GoPro Max Hands On – So Much Fun
The GoPro Max is GoPro’s newest 360 camera. Having used this camera several times now, I really enjoy the flexibility the system provides.
The Video (4:01)
The GoPro Max Is Equipped With Loads Of New Features Including:
- Max Hypersmooth
- Max TimeWarp
- 16.6MP Stitched Images
- One-Click PowerPanos
- Spherical Audio with six speakers
- 5.6K 30 FPS 360 Video Capture
- 1440 60 FPS Hero Video Capture
- Built-in Mounting Clips
- Touch Screen
- Waterproof to 16 feet (w/included lens protectors attached)
- 1080p Live Streaming
One of the things I want to consider when looking at gear like this is how it would benefit a photographer. Why would a photographer want to add a camera like this to their kit? Maybe you want to start vlogging or perhaps you want to show your camera setup while in the field. Or maybe you just want to capture some fun BTS or travel footage while out on location. The GoPro Max is a good solution for any of these scenarios.
The Max is a compact system with all the build quality and functionality that GoPro is known for. It has easy menu navigation and a great touch screen that also functions as a selfie monitor. The screen was easy to see even in bright sunlight, and it was very responsive to the touch. One big downside: You are not able to navigate a 360 image or video while reviewing the files on the camera itself. I did not notice that until I completed the video. I am hoping that is something that can be corrected in a firmware upgrade.
The Max has a dual-lens setup that captures 5.6K 30 FPS 360 footage, but it also can be changed to Hero mode where it functions as a standard GoPro. I do wish it had 4K Hero mode capture.
Time-lapse is another benefit for a photographer. If you were resting on a hike or setting up camp, you could toss the Max on a small tripod and capture some amazing time-lapse video clips to share on social media or incorporate it into your travel videos. The beauty of capturing 360 time-lapse or video is that you have the ability to go back later to reframe your shots.
The Screens From The Mobile App
The GoPro can be controlled from a mobile app making using it and its features very easy when in the field.
One of the big benefits of this camera, as opposed to other cameras of the same category, is the audio quality. As any video professional would say, audio is the most important part of creating good video content. With six microphones in this small package and some amazing wind noise reduction, you can be sure you’ll be getting useable audio without having to worry about an external microphone. Remember, this is a small camera and the audio is not going to compare to a shotgun or lavaliere microphone that you might be accustomed to using if you are a video professional. However, from a close distance, I found the audio quality to be much higher than previous versions of the traditional GoPro or other 360 cameras of the same class.
Another benefit to this system is the new 6.2mp 270-degree PowerPano photo capture. This is an awesome feature that allows for one-click panoramic images as opposed to using your mobile device and having to slowly pan the horizon. It also eliminates any strange artifacts that can occur while panning across moving subjects. I did find that in some of the images, I was getting some weird stitching issues if objects were close to the lens.
Unfortunately, there isn’t RAW image capture on the GoPro Max. But maybe that is something that will be added in future iterations.
It is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled so you can edit and share it with your mobile device. I found the editing of the 360 footage to work great both in the app and on the desktop application.
The Max currently sells for $499 USD, which isn’t cheap, but with all that is packed into this camera, it might be a good tool for you to start dabbling in video.
In closing, the GoPro Max is just a great, durable, multifaceted tool to have in your kit. You can do a lot with minimal setup or thought. That’s what excites me about 360 cameras in general. They allow you to be in the moment and go back to tell your story later.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this product.
After studying broadcast journalism at Illinois State University, I began my career in Central Illinois creating commercials and on-air promotions for local television affiliates. From 2008 to 2012, I worked for The Marketing Store where I created content for clients such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Southern Comfort. From there, I worked for Maddock Douglas, an innovation consulting firm, developing an internal photo/video offering. I left Maddock Douglas to be a creative director at FÁS Chicago, where I worked primarily for Case Construction. In 2017, I relocated to Indianapolis with my wife and two sons and I have started Michael Durr Photo/Video, LLC. Currently, I work in partnership with Kevin Raber and PhotoPXL, creating video content on all things photography. In addition I work on other freelance projects primarily around the midwest. Throughout my career, talented friends and great mentors have surrounded me. I have been fortunate to wake up every day never feeling like I was going to work. The combination of my professional experience, personality and drive to improve has given me a unique perspective from behind the lens. It is a combination of work and life that inspires me.