First Impression: GoPro HERO5 Black

GoPro HERO5 Black

Words and Photos by Eduardo Lim, Creative Director, EDOHAUS


What started out as a means to capture extreme sports moment later became the leader in action camera due to its size and versatility.  In the fourth quarter of 2016, GoPro launched the HERO5 Black.


We bought one to be used primarily for snorkeling and other out of town trips. This is my first GoPro, so take my words with a grain of salt.


From the get-go, it looks like its predecessor. But, gone are the days when you have to put your HERO in an acrylic case because this one is waterproof for up to 30ft. Substantial benefit when you’re transitioning from underwater to the surface. Though not as impressive as those with dedicated microphone, the sound is clear and audible. Ours went under 15ft of seawater for 20 minutes without a hitch.


Another added feature is its voice command. GoPro HERO5 Black is capable of 12 Voice Commands; practical if both your hands are occupied.

  • GoPro Start Recording
  • GoPro HiLight (Pro tip: say some mild curse words to activate it)
  • GoPro Stop Recording
  • GoPro Take a Photo
  • GoPro Shoot Burst
  • GoPro Start Time Lapse
  • GoPro Stop Time Lapse
  • GoPro Video Mode
  • GoPro Photo Mode
  • GoPro Time Lapse Mode
  • GoPro Burst Mode
  • GoPro Turn Off

Accuracy of voice command drops as you increase the distance and background noise. Shouting helps but unless you want to grab the attention in public, I suggest using the phone app instead.

The HERO5 Black can be connected to your phone via WiFi using GoPro’s Capture app. With this, you can download videos and photos to your phone for easy sharing. It also enables you to control it.

Setting the preference is done at back using its tiny 5.1cm touchscreen display. It’s good but at the same time bad. A touchscreen eliminates unnecessary physical buttons, making a smaller footprint. However, it is not sensitive enough to work all the time, especially when wet. And if you have gigantic fingers, you’ll probably struggle.


Battery life is relatively decent. But the 1220mAh won’t last long if you shoot in 4K often. Knowing this, we bought two extra batteries together with GoPro’s charging dock that can charge two simultaneously. (Pro Tip: number your batteries to keep track which is fully charged and out of juice.)

A side note, HERO5 Black’s battery don’t fit with the older models.

The HERO5 Black still need refinement. The voice command is functional and we love it! Operating it is pretty straightforward. No worry dipping it in water this time.

Overall, a satisfactory purchase.

Get GoPro HERO5 Black from Amazon $394.00

Other accessories we included