Table of contents
For a long time we did not get acquainted with the new action cameras of this brand. His name plays the same role as the word “Xerox”, when the trademark refers to any copier. Exactly the same word, “GoPro” has long been synonymous with action cameras, and well deservedly.
GoPro Max is perhaps the most concise name of all previously used. There is no digital index in this title yet. Having two hemispherical lenses, the device allows panoramic photo and video shooting, and using stabilization, which is technically quite difficult to carry out. At the same time, sound can be recorded with six (!) Built-in microphones, creating an atmosphere of complete immersion in the recording.
This time the task will be difficult. The camera in question has an unusual design, which requires careful study and search for scenes for shooting, which is not easy to do in such a short time.
The camera packaging has a traditional design, consisting of a box with accessories and a transparent cap, under which the device proudly flaunts on a pedestal.
In the compartment with accessories, you can find the following components:
- pad with a curved sticky base for attaching the camera to the helmet
- branded battery
- two protective lenses
- a fabric case for carrying the camera, in which there are two pockets for storing lenses
- two lens caps
- USB cable. USB Type-C
- user’s manual
- warranty card, flyers
What is missing in the kit? Of course, mounts for all occasions: on the steering wheel, on a tripod or monopod, on the windshield of a car. Alas, all of these additional accessories traditionally for GoPro and other “untwisted” brands are purchased separately and cost quite tangible money.
The body of the device is made of an aluminum base and durable plastic with a soft-touch rubber coating that prevents the camera from slipping out of hands. The main lens here is considered one that is located on the side that does not have a display. Although the parameters of both cameras are exactly the same, unlike the cameras of smartphones. Near each lens there is a grill with holes. built-in microphones are hidden under them.
The 34 × 19 mm touchscreen displays good touch and recognizes swipes. Trying to control the camera with gloved hands is useless. Unless, of course, the fingers of the gloves do not have special inserts.
Hemispherical lens glasses protrude from the body by 6 mm, this is required for panoramic shooting. But because of this, they are very easy to get dirty or damaged. No matter how you take the camera, wherever you put it. you must have at least one lens, but you’ll “finger it”.
Of the controls there are only two buttons: on the side, to turn on the camera and change the shooting mode, and above, to start and stop recording. By the way, the camera can shoot without first turning it on. It is enough to press the record button and hold it for three seconds. the camera will turn on and immediately begin recording in the panoramic time lapse mode. One short press will start instant recording in the mode that was set by default. Mounting ears were originally made: in order not to increase the dimensions of the camera and it was possible to mount it vertically without using fasteners, they were made retractable into a recess, like the landing gear of an airplane.
As usual, we deeply regret the lack of a standard threaded hole for the tripod. There is no mount more reliable than ordinary metal thread, which is available on absolutely any tripod and wider than all other types of mounts is common in all kinds of auto / motor holders, mini tripods, monopods, etc.
On the right side of the case is a sliding hinged lid, it is fixed by a dog. Under the cover is a removable battery compartment, a slot for a memory card and a USB Type-C port for charging the battery.
Video: Gopro Max Video Processing
Mounting the camera involves additional fixation, which provides a rubber sealing insert. It will not allow plastic legs to disperse, with the help of which the mount clicks into the rails of the mounting platform.
The supplied protective lenses are not threaded, they are tightly mounted on the rubberized rim of the camera lenses. Covers are designed to protect regular lenses without lenses. On lenses, the caps are also held by friction.
With the protective lenses on, the camera is seriously adding in size, but you have to worry less about the safety of the lens glasses.
Due to the fact that the structurally sealed apparatus does not have any ventilation openings or open metal pads that remove internal heat outside, there are suspicions of possible overheating of the electronics during prolonged use of the camera. To check the camera for heating, turn on the recording and leave the working device for some time, after which we photograph it with a thermal imager. The following pictures were taken after 15 minutes of recording in 360 ° panoramic mode (shooting with two cameras) so that both sensors are sure to warm up.
Rear view (display side)
It can be seen that some parts of the camera body warmed up to 52 ° C. Somewhere here, most likely, a processor is hidden that processes two streams of video and stitches them into a panorama. Yes, the temperature is quite high, but still not so critical as to sound the alarm. It remains to add that the testing was carried out in a room with a temperature of 23-24 ° C.
The main technical characteristics of the device are shown in the following table:
- USB Type-C
- Max HyperSmooth electronic image stabilization with leveling function
- Wi-Fi control
- time lapse mode
- Max TimeWarp mode
- slow motion mode
- waterproof case (up to 5 meters)
This and other information can be seen on the product page.
Video / Photography
When preparing articles with reviews of video or cameras, no attempt is made to shoot an art, species or action film, as some readers would like. The purpose of each purely technical article is to talk about the operational properties of the device, if possible, to show how the camera settings or shooting conditions can affect the nature and quality of the resulting video, as well as familiarize yourself with the original videos shot under fixed conditions, for later comparison with the shooting, which are made by other devices.
First of all, we study the technical parameters of the video that the camera records. It offers a choice of three video modes with different frame sizes and different frequencies, there is also the option to select a codec (except for panoramic shooting, it is always recorded in HEVC). By the way, the frequency also depends on the region settings, which are hidden in the camera in the parameter with the name “Flicker Elimination”. In fact, this parameter is a PAL / NTSC switch, which means that the number of frame frequencies with which you can shoot is almost doubled. After all, NTSC is 24, 30 and 60 frames per second, while PAL is always a multiple of five, that is, 25 or 50 frames per second.
In the following table, you can observe how the bit rate changes depending on the selected format and codec. It appears that it is better to use compression in H.265 (HEVC), which seriously saves space on the memory card. On average, a third. And this is the first rule of using the camera.
We’ll clarify: the table shows the maximum bitrate with which video is recorded with the maximum frame rate. By lowering the frame rate, the bit rate also decreases. For example, if a 1440p video with a frequency of 60 frames per second has a bitrate of 60 Mbit / s, then in a video with the same frame size, but with a frequency of 24 fps, the bitrate is reduced to 35 Mbit / s.
The bitrate in the files is spent on the formation of key (I) and differential (P) frames, there are no bidirectional frames (B) in the stream.
We continue the synthetic research. The next parameter, which is interesting and is, in fact, key for many cameras. resolution. It is not difficult to measure; everyone can repeat such experiments. To make a complete impression of the capabilities of the camera, we made a measurement in all shooting modes, as well as with different viewing angles. And they did it for good reason. It turned out that changing the viewing angle tragically affects the resolution.
It can be seen that the maximum resolution is achieved in 1920 × 1440 mode with the widest viewing angle: up to 1000 TV lines on the horizontal side of the frame. With a decrease in the viewing angle, the resolution drops to 700 TV lines. In Full HD shooting mode, the resolution also depends on the viewing angle, starting from 800 TV lines on a wide one and ending with funny 500 lines. Such a deformation of quality indicates that the “native” mode for the camera is the older one, with a frame size of 1920 × 1440, and obtained at the widest viewing angle. When reducing the angle, the camera just makes a crop of the frame, and the resulting piece of the picture stretches to the original area. This operation leads to a drop in detail. Here is the second rule: from now on we will shoot only in 1920 × 1440 60p mode with the widest angle.
By the way, an amazing thing! The included stabilizer does not affect either the viewing angle or the resolution of the camera. And this is strange, because the stabilizer in the camera is not optical, but electronic, that is, software (however, it seems that here it is also amplified by tilt sensors, gyroscopes). Software stabilizers, unlike optical ones, compensate for shaking due to the free area of the sensor, which takes up a significant part of the resolution. But this is how it works in ordinary cameras, and this camera is a GoPro. Here, the stabilizer was initially allocated a sensor area sufficient for its operation, which is not used in ordinary, unstabilized shooting.
From here we can derive the third rule of shooting with this camera: the stabilizer can and should be used constantly, it does not lead to degradation of the picture. But, of course, except when shooting with a tripod. Because a working stabilizer with a fully stationary camera can give the effect of a floating picture.
You can clearly visualize the difference in detail and the nature of the picture, which some recording modes give, using the following freeze frames. This scene is mostly static, but we will definitely remove the dynamics. We apologize in advance for the lead sky, but such a breadth here.