As I write this, the Hero 7 is already out and my posting is late! Hopefully this post will still help some of you decide whether a GoPro is what you want for capturing your fishing trip actions.
Duration owned: 11 months
Frequency of use: Very often
Quality of video recording is good overall. A huge improvement from my previous Hero 3 (I know, it’s very old!) which is plagued with issues. Low light video quality of the Hero 6 is not quite there though. It will not be my choice for low light recordings.
Some video recordings turn out with a humming sound instead of what it should be. That’s bad if it’s some valuable scene.
When it works it’s great. Audio is a huge improvement compared to the need for a casing.
The microphone/audio recording becomes kind of muted however if you put the camera underwater.
The ability to take High Dynamic Range still images is a new feature to the Hero 6, I think. Away from fishing, I turned on this option and is quite happy with the image results that are rich compared to the flat-look in the standard mode.
Some of you may have a preference for either look so it’s subjective. I’m not sure if I want to use the HDR mode while fishing but it’s definitely nicer for casual shots.
I’m hesitant to use the HDR mode while fishing because it’s a bit slower to process the shot. Fish don’t stay still and I like to take a few quick shots so I have choices later.
If you are particular about still image quality, do not use the Hero 6 as a still camera. Use a proper camera, or a smartphone with a good camera.
On the other hand, if you’re not very particular or want pictures to share in social media, the Hero 6 is not that bad when it comes to taking still images. Just make sure there are sufficient natural light. It doesn’t do too well in low light situations.
I love this!
Optical is the way to go rather than digital when it comes to image stabilisation. Having said that, the digital image stabilisation of the Hero 6 however, is pretty impressive.
It is a great feature to have which will finally drastically reduce the number of vomit-inducing video clips out there shot on action cameras.
Upside Down Videos
I found that if I turn the Hero 6 upside down and hit the quick record button, the recording will turn out upside down.
To prevent this from happening, you can’t use the quick record feature. Instead you have to go old school, turn the camera upside down, press the on button, wait for the beeps and then hit the record button. That slows things down. Bummer!
One of the feature I find very useful is the quick record function. It’s basically hit the record button once and the Hero 6 turns on and starts recording. That is so much better compared to older models where you have to turn the unit on using a dedicated on/off button, wait for it to beep and switch on, then hit the record button. That’s way slow and often misses the actions.
I like the fact that I can now dunk the camera underwater without any worry which I will not do with the water-resistant iPhone.
That means I can get more underwater shots again which the HTC Re took care of until it stopped working in June 2017.
First Impression Of Voice Command Feature
It feels strange talking to a camera and initially, I was having issues with it.
It’s unreliable. It works 50% of the time and I cannot have the camera miss recording a moment when I expect it to be.
I thought the frame casing could be affecting the audio sensitivity as it appears to works better without the frame.
But then, my itchy tweaking fingers switched the preference from English (US) to English (UK) and–voila!–it became better.
In conclusion, I prefer not using the voice command as I need it to be recording when I want it to be, and I’m often near noisy boat motors so I cannot hear the beeping sound of the camera activating.
GoPro Hero 6 vs iPhone 7 Plus
The iPhone 7+ takes pretty good photos and videos and I’ve been using it a whole lot more than my other gear for images and videos the past year or so.
To get a real sense of how good the Hero 6 is for my adventures, I used the Hero 6 as my primary camera instead of the iPhone during a recent six days mahseer fly fishing trip. So, how did I find it?
Battery Life Is Decent
I could start the day, typically breakfast at 7am (I have a habit of shooting the food), followed by preparation to get to the water and start fishing at 8am, getting back to “camp” at around 6pm, with a fully charged battery and still have around 20 – 30% battery life left in the evening! Amazing if compared to my last GoPro, a Hero 3, which would be flat by midday – max!
The other condition which I deploy the GoPro is saltwater fishing in a boat. I often mount the camera e.g. on the roof and press record every now and then when there’s action. The battery will last most of the day. Quite rare that I have the need to use a spare battery.
Viewing Images and Videos On The Build-in Monitor
The monitor screen at the back is helpful in many instances. One of which is playing back of shots.
However, the Hero 6 hangs once in a while or becomes very slow when trying to view the gallery on screen. That’s annoying.
Playing back video on iPhone 7 Plus using Quik Key
Sometimes I get this “error playback not supported” message I use the Quik Key to access recordings using my mobile devices. The way to get around that is to download the clip into the device, which is slower. Beats the idea of having the Quik Key in the first place.
Thankfully this is a rare occurrence, but it happens and that’s very bad. That corrupted file could just be the one scene that makes the trip, you look forward to viewing it and nothing!
It is one of those things that is near impossible to figure out what causes it as most of the time everything works fine.
Bad Sound. Make That No Sound!
Some videos turn out silent. No audio. What the…!
Would I Recommend Getting The Hero 6?
Although it has its issues, the answer is yes if you need a compact tough action camera for video.
If you want good still images, and videos, a proper camera will still be preferable. Or use a good mobile phone.
The mobile phone as a camera still wins hands down when it comes to convenience and quicker workflow. There is no syncing, transferring, and additional gear needed. Just shoot and you’re ready to share/edit/upload. Easy.
But I’m still happy with the Hero 6 as I always need a secondary camera and a action camera. The image/video quality is a huge improvement over the previous model I had.