GoPro Max

Hot on the heels of GoPro’s fantastic Hero 8 Black comes the dual-lens, 360° Max.

But this isn’t just about taking spherical video – it also uses its lenses to be the most versatile regular action camera possible, with even more advanced motion stabilisation than the Hero 8 Black. The Max shares a number of design cues with the Hero 8 Black, including the ability to be mounted using two metal fingers that fold out from its base and neatly tuck away when not in use, rather than needing a case. The Max is bigger than most conventional action cameras, and its weight of 154g feels a tad hefty, thought it’s lighter than the GoPro Fusion it replaces. Just as the design shares aspects with the Hero 8, the Max’s camera uses the same interface. Aside from the additional 360° elements, both offer the same easy-to-use system of taps and swipes via the touchscreen, although the smaller display on the Max makes navigation slightly fiddlier.

Both cameras also helpfully respond to voice commands, which is useful when you don’t have a free hand or you’re wearing gloves. It’s easy to cycle between the Max’s three main shooting modes – Video, Photo and Timelapse – by pressing a button on the camera body. An icon on the touchscreen enables you to toggle between shooting with both lenses in 360°, or just one at a time to create conventional footage. You can choose whether to record from the front or rear lens via the touchscreen, which means you can choose to have the screen itself facing in either direction, so you can always see what you’re recording, whether you’re filming yourself or another. Keep in mind that the touchscreen can’t show you the full picture of what 360° video will look like. For that, you’ll need to connect to the app and see it on a larger display. Once you get the idea, you’re then better able to picture your footage using just the touchscreen view.

The app’s other major function is to enable you to view and edit your content – which you can download in full 360° form on to your phone. From there, you can use the in-app software to share your raw 360° footage, or create regular 16:9 video that uses just a portion of the overall 360° video, but you can pan around while the footage is playing to point to wherever the action is taking place. This is fantastic, as it means you can shoot in 360° and guarantee that you’ll never miss any action. The ease with which you can do all of this is impressive, and it’s really fun. Like all 360° cameras, the image stitching is noticeable as the camera can’t see the distance between the two lenses.

The image exposure can also vary between each lens, resulting in one view being darker or lighter than the other. And when shooting 16:9 video, its maximum resolution is 1080 p 60 fps, which is far below the 4K 60 fps on the Hero 8 Black as well as many other 4K action cameras on the market. The Max comes equipped with GoPro’s superb stabilisation software – HyperSmooth – which massively reduces camera shake and vibration. This is the most advanced version yet, called Max HyperSmooth. It is as smooth as the Boost mode on the Hero 8 Black, but without all the cropping that that mode requires. It also uses the round lenses for clever horizon levelling, keeping everything very watchable.Excellent 360⁰ video; fantastic app support; can use screen on either side; sturdy build.

Excellent 360⁰ video; fantastic app support; can use screen on either side; sturdy build.

SPECS

360° in 6K video resolution, 18 MP photo resolution, 6 mics with noise reduction, R10 734, gopro.com

RATING

Features 9/10
Build 8/10
Price 5/10

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