GoPro Max review: the most accessible 360 camera

GoPro Max review: the most accessible 360 camera

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(mellow piano music) (upbeat music) – This is the GoPro MAX. And it’s GoPro’s second attempt at a consumer level, 360 camera. (upbeat music) (camera whirring) Last year, Insta360
came out with the One X, and it totally revolutionized the idea of what a 360 camera could be used for. First off, footage shot with the One X was stitched in camera, and then you were able to
edit it right on your phone and upload to social
platforms almost instantly. Secondly, they market it
not as a 360-degree camera but instead a camera that
could shoot 360 degrees of possible angles. Now fast forward a year
and we have the GoPro Max, which is the successor to the GoPro Fusion that came out in 2017, that was filled with all of
the headaches of 360’s past. It required two memory cards. You had to stitch the
footage on a desktop. But they overhauled all
of that with the Max, and they in turn made a
really accessible 360 camera, which makes me believe I might continue to actually use this thing. ♪ We wag, we wag, we wag, we wag, we wag ♪ ♪ This is the widest angle GoPro’s made ♪ ♪ This is the wide ♪ The GoPro MAX has dual 180-degree lenses that shoot 16.6-megapixel,
360-degree photos, 5.5-megapixel single lens, or GoPro is calling Max SuperView photos, and the super cool 6.2-megapixel panoramic
photos called PowerPanos. Video-wise, you have 1440p60
video with a single lens and 5.6K30 spherical video,
just like the Insta360. There are mics on all but one side and it shows the same super
satisfying rubber buttons and button layout as the Hero8. On the bottom, you have these
new stowable mounting prongs, which alas, you no
longer need that housing, which I somehow always
manage to forget anyways, and it also makes it compatible
with all GoPro mounts. The touchscreen on the
Max is a bit smaller than the touchscreen on
the back of the Hero, but its menu system is identical. The big plus here is if you’re
vlogging or taking a selfie, you can see yourself much
like on the DJI Osmo Action because, well, there’s
lenses on both sides. The Max is waterproof up to 16 feet. But that proofing is merely
for protection at this point. GoPro claims that it’s really difficult to stitch underwater footage, but they are promising some
sort of waterproof housing in the future. The screen is super responsive, but you can’t scroll around
your frame in 360 mode since the screen has swiping gestures such as swiping down
to reach the main menu. You can however switch between lenses but only while not recording. Once you hit that record button, the screen has no functionality other than just being a
viewfinder to the lens that you chose before rolling. The image on the screen
will however stay level with the horizon no matter
which way you turn the camera. And it does so with
almost no noticeable lag. If you lean into that
warped, super fisheye look that only a 360 camera could
give you, the footage is sick. Skin tones are true to
life and it’s not afraid to overexpose the highlights of it. I prefer this to the flatter
color grade of the One X, especially for users who
won’t be color correcting. And how even if you are color correcting, I find that the Max and the
One X have very little latitude in the coloring process. Now, if you’re only gonna
be showing these photos on social platforms that you’re
gonna look at on a phone, who cares, but for a
camera that costs $500, I hope it’s going a little
further than that. (laughs). The Max’s 360° video is
stabilized in software. It bobs up and down as
you’d expect from walking and it can be really
jittery, especially at night. The stitching is most
noticeable at the top and the bottom of the frame. And since most of GoPro’s mounts
typically have a wider base than the camera itself, there’s almost always a bit
of artifact from the mount in the footage. Over-all though, once you
export the 360-degree footage, the stitch is pretty clean. The audio, however, is
probably the best I’ve seen on a camera this size. The wind reduction can
add a lot of compression, and enough wind can sound like, well this, (wind blowing) Guys, when I say it’s windy out, it’s like actually very windy out. I am about to blow over. This might make some really
good footage as I fly away. But when you’re not in
25-mile an hour wind, it actually reduces the sound of wind while prioritizing voices. So while hiking with Alex, I
love that the GoPro picked up on the crickets and footsteps, while also keeping our
voices at the forefront no matter where the camera was in space. ♪ Yeah, and I think it’s
gonna be a long, long time ♪ And then there are those PowerPano photos. I gotta be honest guys, I had a tough time not showing you these photos
before this video dropped. I mean first and foremost, they make taking a panoramic
photo a lot easier. And you don’t have to
stand there and slowly and robotically move your
phone across the landscape. I was really surprised at how crisp these photos turned out to. Even on a desktop, they
still look really cool. The time warp feature in 360 mode, which is when the Max just
records the time lapse, is really cool, but it’s
a total battery killer. I saw my battery drop
15% off a fresh charge while shooting this time warp. And I let it record for all of 10 minutes. I think it would help if
the screen would go off a bit sooner while shooting
these to save some battery. Otherwise, the battery
performance is on par with the Hero8. Even though it is a different battery. So yes, you will need to buy extra spares if you plan on heavy use. I was able to get through
a full day of heavy use using two of these batteries. 360 cameras are only accessible though if you can do something with the footage. So the software has to be sound, and GoPro’s app makes it really
easy to edit this footage. Max uses the same GoPro app as the Heroes. Now, I’m no stranger to keyframes, but I think even a
casual non-video director from the verge.com could
edit the Max’s 360 footage. And I actually enjoyed
editing it on the app. GoPro also has a 360 desktop
app called GoPro Player, which mirrors the mobile app experience with added codec options at export. You have H.264, ProRes, HUVC, and as far as 360 editing goes, I was blown away by its ease. Okay so there’s this whole
other mode on the Max called Hero mode. And it’s basically just when
the camera’s using one lens as opposed to two. It has more mic controls
and it even boasts GoPro’s most stable video
called Max HyperSmooth. And it also has the widest field of view called Max SuperView. But I gotta be honest,
while it does sound good and the footage is stable, the fact that it maxes out
at 1440p60 is noticeable. Especially in how much
smoothing is being done when the subject is close to the camera. I also noticed the camera struggled to keep the footage
level with the horizon, choosing to instead focus on
keeping the footage stable. So when climbing down this trail, which to be fair, is a slanted surface, the horizon kept tilting
further and further from level to almost a dizzying point. GoPro has become a household name. I mean they’re specced out, durable, tiny, portable beasts of cameras. And the Max is no different. And while the Max has great
features such as PowerPano, it also has great hardware and
a really good touch screen. But for me, it came down to
the ease of use of the app that made me wanna keep using this thing. 360 footage used to
mean high-end equipment and tons of headaches and post, and that always pushed
me away from using it. But when you put all of that into the form factor of a GoPro, a workflow I’ve been using for years, it’s way more approachable. Now, is all of that
enough to make this thing more than a novelty camera
that will ultimately end up in my forgotten type bed in my basement? Time will truly tell. But it is the most fun and
user-friendly 360 camera I have used today. And I’m excited to see
this thing as specced out. (coughing) 4K Hero mode? (coughing) Please? All right, so for 499, you
can pre-order a Max today. They start shipping on October 24th and will be on shelves October 27th. The 360 space is getting kinda nuts and the One X versus the Max
deserves its whole own videos, so I guess I’ll see you guys next time.

100 thoughts on “GoPro Max review: the most accessible 360 camera”

  1. please tell, whats the name of the wired motor that holds down the camera? I remember seeing sometime in the past, but now its back in my attention, sience i can us it on the gopro max … mostly indoor on the events
    Thank u

  2. I so agree that it's weird they couldn't have a 4K camera in there. When one camera records at 180 degress, you're only going to be zooming to a quarter of that for editing so 4K is minimum for 1080p editing in my opinion.

  3. how do you hide the mount? i think it is visible in the video at some point? I hope there is a replaceable arm for the mount, that has the traditional tripod mount screws.

  4. Nice review, Becca! Thanks for the in-depth. I have a few questions:
    -How are the thermals? Does it get warm? With the waterproofing, I was curious how it handles in direct sunlight and long record times. Though, I doubt I'd use it longer than 10mins at a time except for the hyperlapse mode. But you never know how this might be applicable to a production setting.
    -How quickly do the batteries recharge?
    – Do you expect the horizon roll correction issue to be fixed in a future firmware update?
    EDIT:
    -Did you try both Android and Apple usage of the app? Any thoughts there?
    -What are the export render times like on the app (iPhone or Pixel)?

  5. 4k 60fps in the max will probably be available once the the 8 dies down or the next max generation. it's definitely capable since the 8 and max have the same processor chip, there just wouldn't be a point of an action camera at that point lol so now I'm guessing it won't be any time soon, but at least they gave us what was it 1080p or 1440p 50fps max?

  6. How is it possible for you to show 24fps footage and 30fps footage in the same video whilst trying to demonstrate the native look of both framerates? Presumably you edited this in 30fps so all the 24fps footage will look choppy due to stop frames unless you converted it in post (in which case you're not demonstrating the native look of the 24fps functionality anyway). Or is there something I'm missing?

  7. 2:12, actually not because you have lenses on both sides, but because you have a screen on the side with the lens, still same outcome. Just saying 😉

  8. Editing software too has left me desiring more. I’m kind of curious to see if I’ll like this too! Thanks so much for your review.

  9. 1:17 wow, the 180° 1080p video out of a Rylo or a insta360 one X was not even near that quality.
    I think the problem with the 4K Hero mode is those are 4K sensors and with such a fisheye lens, how do you get rid of so much distortion? I think 1440 was kind of a sweet spot there.
    What do you think?

  10. Beautiful video I like to see a one x vs gopro max indeed since I own the onex 👍

    Btw the onex is at least one year old so the next one shouldn't be very far…

  11. Gopro max doesn’t have the viewfinder mode edit like the insta360 if they did it would’ve been game over. 360 cams are all about the editing process. As of now still a insta360 guy because of the viewfinder feature. If gopro had that I’ll definitely convert.

  12. iGoPro Pro Max SE 12 EA it's the money lite extra note 10+5g plus five_nights_at_freddy mAx oH YeEAH touchscreen certified ip1672872827292 sand360

  13. Get someone who know how to use a 360 camera to review it, she don't even know how to mount the 360 camera in the selfie stick. and BTW a suitable selfie stick is needed to ensure the selfie stick invisible.

  14. 360 camera would be great if one vlogger has the camera and the other one doesn't(like couple's channel), so vloggers don't have have to try to fit themselves inside the little square which another vlogger are holding anymore, they can just naturally walking, and looking back every so often, and viewers are able to look both front or back(or sides) to see the two vloggars. 360 camera would also be great for the video like: if there's another vlogging channels involved, viewers can change the view from back to front to see both vloggers, or they can try to search where the other channel vloggars are.

    Exploration channels with 360 cameras would be great too, it will feels like you're the third person with the explorers too, inside the ruins doing abandon exploration/adventure.

    I can already imagine the ASMR sleeping video in the future, putting 360 camera in-between the couple while they sleeps lol

  15. rylo's 5.8k in a much much much smaller foot print is a clear winner. I wish go pro would've actually got an 8k resolution out of the Max

  16. My favorite reviewer comes through again. I’ve been looking for a no-nonsense review packed with the information I need. Thank you.

  17. Any disadvantages of the MAX over the new 8? Submersibility or cost is not an issue. A smooth video is most important to me.

  18. I don't understand why you put a huge black border ("SPACE!") around your clips in this video. This "picture in picture" style wastes so much screen space AND makes quality hard to evaluate even on a 24" monitor. Not a good idea.

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