GoPro Hero5 Black review

An awesomely powerful piece of kit, but not without its flaws

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Build quality and handling

  • Sound quality much improved over Hero4
  • One-press shutter
  • Sturdy design

The absence of an additional plastic casing has greatly improved the Hero5 Black's exterior styling, and it also means that sound quality is now better than ever, thanks to bulky casing not getting in the way of microphones; but it does leave the little unit a little exposed.

A Super Suit is available for those who wish to take their cameras deeper than 10m, but we'd suggest using it for any rigorous underwater activities, as we found that the wet stuff can penetrate the removable lens cover seal, especially when diving in and out of the warm waters of the Balearic Sea.

In fact, the camera feels a little naked without the tough plastic casing of old, but it does make access to the touchscreen nice and easy, while the mode selection button (located on the side) is just a prod away.

The one-press shutter is also unhindered and easy to operate (even with gloves on), while the new and very svelte plastic frame also houses the typical GoPro mounting system at the bottom.

Luckily, the company hasn't overhauled its mounting system, so this camera will work with whatever accessories you already have – simply screw in and away you go.

We've not been in a situation where the camera has been tested to destruction, but our unit has been dropped, bumped and submerged in water many times, and the rear touchscreen remains unscratched, the casing is still intact, and the lens is in good condition.

The only issue we found is with that removable lens casing, which causes a small amount of water leakage after being subjected to some high dives from a party boat, which in turn creates some steaming in underwater situations.

Regardless, it's a sturdy little thing, despite the degree to which it's seemingly exposed to the elements.

Leon Poultney

Leon has been navigating a world where automotive and tech collide for almost 20 years, reporting on everything from in-car entertainment to robotised manufacturing plants. Currently, EVs are the focus of his attentions, but give it a few years and it will be electric vertical take-off and landing craft. Outside of work hours, he can be found tinkering with distinctly analogue motorcycles, because electric motors are no replacement for an old Honda inline four.