While GoPro Fusion was the first ever 360-degree camera from GoPro but it left a lot to be desired and had glitches that turned enthusiasts away from it. This GoPro Max is a replacement of Fusion and in quite an improved version.
Well, Max is a 360 camera with some features borrowed from the GoPro Black range to make it more versatile. It’s also very easy to use and helps you create videos from just one mounting position.
The Max is slightly smaller than its predecessor Fusion. Its interesting to note that it uses the FoldingFingers same as that in Hero8.
As expected from GoPro, the body of Max is well built with a rubber grip. The record button is on top of the camera and is slightly raised which is a small but welcome feature, making it easy to locate.
Two microphones are located right next to the Mode button.
One larger microphone is right in front just above the logo. Lens is right next to the microphone. You can find a second lens and one large microphone. Below these is located the touchscreen LCD.
The touchscreen is very responsive and is also bright helping you see in outdoor bright sunlight. The screen displays the camera mode you are in, camera resolution and frame, battery life and space left on the memory card. It also shows a circular arrow with which you can switch between lenses.
The Power/Mode Button is one side of the Max and on the other side is Battery Slot. The battery is 1600mAh Lithium Ion battery. Inside the battery compartment there is a MicroSD Card slot along with a USB-C port.
The Max is slightly bigger than Hero8, which means it just cannot support the GoPro Mods. Probably keeping that in mind, GoPro decided to incorporate a selfie screen and 6 microphones on each side of camera, which almost eliminates the need for couple of mods. It is waterproof up to 5 mtr without any housing.
The Max shoots 360 footage at 5.6K. One disappointing thing is that the video shows visible stitch lines which actually dampens the spirit of user making the video look low quality. The video does not have HDR feature.
The stabilization is super smooth when shooting in well-lit daylight conditions but become awfully jerky as night set in. Another disadvantage is that it shows some noticeable chromatic aberration and purple fringing in backlit scenes.
The Max has taken a slice of TimeWarp from the Hero8 which actually is shooting time-lapse handheld while on the move.
Action and/or Vlogging Camera
Till now the Max probably was going neck to neck with the Insta360 but the moment we talk about using it in normal video mode, it falls way behind its rival. The normal video has a max resolution of 1080p at 16:9 and 1440p at 4:3.
You can shoot videos at 4 different focal lengths viz 13mm, 16mm, 19mm and 27mm (all digital FL’s).
One of the best features is the way it handles horizon when you create video footage at extremely odd angles.
The video footage is customizable using ProTune. With this you can tweak video bitrate, shutter speed, WB and many more.
Battery and Connectivity
The Max uses 1600mAh battery which drains fast when used with TimeWarp. It gives you around 50 mins of continuous 360-video recording. There is a USB-C port which helps you charge on the go. It takes around 3 hrs to fully charge the battery.
The Max has connectivity options of in built WiFi which helps you connect to your phone app. You can use this to live stream your footage on Facebook and YouTube at 1080p.
Here are couple of video footages:
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The GoPro Max is a solid built, waterproof and versatile 360 action camera. Till very recently it was ruling the market and then Insta360 launched their One R modular camera.
Having said that The Max still impresses you with its design which is a unique GoPro and great features. Its sound quality is a path breaking feature which certainly is going to be the winner for some time to come.
Should you buy one? Well, definitely yes if you are GoPro fan. It is a great option if you are a first time investor into an action camera which shoots 360 footage but in that case, do look at what Insta360 One R has to offer.
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