Recently I purchased a Hero 5 Black (Amazon) because of some of the excellent features available, including voice control and stabilization. I look forward to working with it more and seeing those features in action. I’m hopeful that it will turn out to be an excellent camera.
Initially though, I’m not impressed.
After being thrilled with my Hero 3, and Hero 4 Session (my review), the mechanical build of the Hero 5 black seems almost unfinished in comparison. Both of those cameras are nicely sealed, but the Hero 5 Black doesn’t seem quite as mechanically sound. It’s tough to put my finger on, exactly, but the Hero 5 almost seems like a collection of parts, where the previous Heroes that I’ve used were distinctly one unit.
Not terrible, just not quite up to the standard that I’m used to from GoPro.
Edit: 1/5/2017 – GoPro decided to send me a new door, so thanks for that.
What really annoyed me though was the design of the USB door, and to a lesser extent the door for the battery and micro SD card. After charging it, I couldn’t get the door to come open, eventually using a metal ruler to help nudge it out. Compare this to the Hero 4 Session, which flips open beautifully (and can be accessed with a mount attached), and it seems almost unfinished.
The sort-of good news is that you can remove this door if you like, destroying its waterproof rating, but allowing for easy access to the USB and HDMI ports. I attempted to pull this off, and instead of removing it, it just broke off. Perhaps I pushed it in a way that you’re not supposed to, but I’ve yet to find official instructions for this procedure, and I don’t think I used excessive force.
After calling GoPro’s support line (and tweeting to them,
which remains unanswered they replied), they referred me to their website, where I could BUY another one, but didn’t offer to replace it. I could (and may) send it back to Amazon, but it seems like it would be much more cost-effective to handle this themselves.
*Edit 1/5/2017 – See note above. Despite this, after using it for a day, I’m quite impressed with the voice control, as well as some other aspects.
This post has obviously been a bit of a rant, but I’ve come to expect much more out of GoPro, especially for a camera costing around $400. On the other hand, the features, such a multiple microphones, image stabilization, a display, and voice control should be quite useful.
In other words, GoPro, I’m still a big fan, but slightly less so than before. I’m looking forward to trying it out, jut a little less than before receiving it! Perhaps I’ll do another review of it after I’ve had some time to see what it can do.