I have no affiliation with GoPro, so with that out the way I can start with this small review of the GoPro 5 which is aimed at Extreme Sports users, most typically Kiteboarders. As you might guess from the title, I think it's an essential upgrade. I've owned pretty much all the GoPro's so feel qualified to explain to you why I think this one is really worth it, especially if you have the GoPro4 and wondering "should i upgrade?".
If you're looking for a proper tech review I recommend visiting another site which will have all the examples of resolutions, fields of view, video quality etc etc!! I'm doing this In order of what I think is the most important changes that have been implemented.
1) PROTECTIVE LENS REPLACEMENT £19.99
What a relief. £19.99 and your GoPro is brand new again. Now that there is no 'waterproof case' for your GoPro (the device itself is now watertight) you can't expose the fragile lens. Before it was so easy to scratch and bugger the camera for life. You might ask 'why was it out the case anyway' of which I reply - Audio was better (obviously not on the water) and was easier to balance on things taking photos. FutureProof at last!
2) No FOGGING
Remember these things? The annoying fog things that go in your housing, never do anything and end up being lost all the time. Now that the GoPro 5 is fully waterproof itself, it seems to be fog resistant. All that air inside the old case is a thing of the past. I left the GoPro 5 in the sun for 20 minutes yesterday then took it in the sea (cold water). No sign of fog. A real joy! This could easily of been up there as number 1 in this review, however fog has always been temporary hence it's position here in 2nd place.
3) TOUCH SCREEN ON THE BACK
Yes I know that there was a screen on the GoPro4 Silver but if you care about top quality like myself then most likely you had the 4Black that had no screen. The addition of a screen on this top of the range model is just great. The Touch Screen works really well and is a welcome change from the tiny display you are used to from before. Finally I can compose my shots without going through the GoPro app on ipad etc. Very useful for Time Lapse and also checking your angle on the Kite Mount.
4) IMPROVED BATTERY LIFE
It goes without Saying the battery life has never been great but GoPro reckon it's better now. I reckon its better too, I had it going for over 2 hours yesterday, ok it was only on TimeLapse but this was never possible in the past. At 1080p / 30fps GoPro state it will do 2 hours. An extra battery is £20 (genuine) so 2 batteries should cover the day out easy.
5) VOICE RECOGNITION
I don't get much of a reaction from my old Nokia phone when I talk to it so I've really been enjoying this new feature with GoPro5. It's very accurate and quite useful as well. Don't expect to tell your GoPro 5 to wake you up in the morning as the commands are pretty basic but they are simple enough to remember. I enjoyed walking past my lines/kite when I finished my session and just saying "GoPro Stop Recording" or "GoPro Off". Even in a windy environment (remember to speak upwind) it will read your voice well. I'm a real fan of anything that reduces physical time with a device once you are in your element. Nice video explaining Voice Rec feature more here.
6) OLD MOUNTS WORK FINE
I suppose you could argue this isn't a reason to 'upgrade', but it is handy to know that all your existing mounts will still work. This is due to the 'GoPro Frame' that the camera slots into. Just as you can see on the front, the back looks the same so you can still access the touch screen. The clever amongst you will ask "Where does my floaty go now?". Great question and GoPro solve this by offering the floaty which comes with a solid back door for GoPro 5. Slightly annoying here is that your old GoPro4/3 backdoors that have a floaty already stuck to it will not fit this Frame. Also the solid back door is not shipped with the GoPro so you can't just stick a floaty on it. For reference I am using the Camrig Kite & Strut Mounts.
7) IMAGE STABLISATION
A Pneumatic drill is something that causes a lot of vibration. Could the new Image stabilisation make a smooth clip if it was filming next to it on the ground? I'm not sure but all the video I have seen so far suggests this new feature improves video tenfold. Take a look at this clip here where GoPro talk about this and show you an example themselves. I can see this really helping in Kiting with things like the shaking of a kite line or if your brand of Kite tends to flutter a lot in all/gusty conditions.
8) REMOTE CONTROL OPTIONS
First off the Smart Remote that you may already have IS compatible with the GoPro5. Great news if you dislike going through hours of footage or 1000's of photos. If like me you have had any issues with it (Battery always fails I'm on my 3rd one) you might be tempted to try out the new 'REMO Voice Activated Remote'. Unfortunately you will not be able to control the GoPro5 from the Kite as it has a 10meter range, however this could be a very appealing option to those that use the Line Mount. How effective it will be in windy conditions I'm not sure but GoPro states - 'Remo enhances the voice control of your HERO5 camera in windy and noisy environments' so I'm going to give it a go for sure.
9) LINEAR VIEW
Linear view offers a nice new angle rather then the typical 'classic' fish eye view. This classic view could become somewhat boring especially watching a whole 5 minute video shot on GoPro. It's available in both Photo and Video mode. Most likely it was added to give the Drone a clean wide angle but it produces some great results in a lot of situations. Take a look at the picture of a room to the right. In Linear mode (top image) you can see the straight lines where the ceilings and walls connect, whilst the typical curves are visible in 'wide' mode (at the bottom). Linear mode will slightly crop your image but it still provides a really decent flat wide shot of your surroundings. I'm looking forwards to using this new angle, especially with the kite & line mount. It could be a great way to 'zoom' in slightly if your using a bar (like the trust bar) where the center line split is quite far up.
10) Option of the drone
Even though I have not tested this out with my GoPro5, I feel it would be wrong of me not to mention the drone at all. I should add that the drone is compatible with the GoPro4 and session cameras but for best results it should be used in conjunction with the GoPro5. I have never owned a drone. I'm one of those that likes the idea of getting a mate that has one to get the shot I need and therefor risk his own gear but now that The Karma is out and and knowing my GoPro 5 is the right camera for it, I'm at least thinking about it. That's a good effort on their part.