GoPro has officially unveiled its Hero 6 Black device, featuring the same aesthetic design as its predecessor (Hero 5), whilst packing in significantly upgraded internal components, inclusive an the ability to shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second.
A new custom processor (named ‘GP1’ and developed by Socionext) enables the Hero 6 Black to offer faster video frame rates, improved overall image quality and faster capture speeds. GoPro states the new chip has been in development for three years and is a notable transition for the product line, which reports state was formerly powered by Ambarella chips.
Transitioning to a new processor is an important move for GoPro, who is seeking to differentiate itself from emerging Chinese rivals. It should also equip the company with further control over the future of its camera’s smart features.
Whilst the device is waterproof just like its predecessor, the revamped internal components have increased the device’s price to A$749.95.
Whilst previous GoPro cameras have shot video in 4K, clearly, the company has listened to feedback from athletes and sports users, which requested a higher frame rate. Notably, the feature will enable the creation of slow-motion video footage.
Slow-motion is a feature emphasised by GoPro, as the device boasts a ceiling of 120 frames per second when shooting in 2.7K, and 240 frames per second when shot in 1080p. Video footage can be played back an impressive 10 times slower.
The Hero 6 Black still captures images with 12MP, in either JPG, RAW, and GoPro’s Wide Dynamic Range mode. The company claims compared to the Hero 5 Black, the new camera will perform better in low light.
GoPro states the new device will harness 5GHz Wi-Fi to transfer all footage to a user’s smartphone, which will be three times faster.
Improved image stablisation is also said to be included in the revamped device, though this is still done digitally, not optically.
Like its predecessor, the camera will include GPS, 2″ LCD touchscreen, voice controls, and various instant-editing features.
More than specifications and features, the Hero 6 Black represents considerable commercial high stakes for GoPro, which faced a particularly hard financial year in 2016.
Also unveiled was updates to its ‘Fusion’ consumer 360-degree camera, and some new features to its Karma drone. GoPro’s ‘Session’ did not receive any updates, as is expected to remain the base/entry model to its product lineup going forward.
GoPro also unveiled a suite of new accessory products:
- Shorty – Pocket-able extension pole and tripod
- Bite Mount + Floaty – Versatile bite mount with an easy-to-spot float, ideal for POV.
- The Handler – Updated floating handgrip with a quick-release mounting feature.