Insta360, without any doubt, brings revolution to the idea of what a 360 camera can do with the Insta360 One X. It is important to note that the One X was not marketed as a 360-degree camera. But it was a camera that can shoot 360 degrees of possible angles. Footage shot using the One X was also stitched in the camera and you can edit it right on your phone for quick uploads on the various social media platforms.
Now, GoPro is answering the One X with the price tag of 499.99 in form of GoPro Max. It is a successor to the GoPro Fusion that was released in 2017 that needed two memory cards and stitching on a desktop.
All the headaches of past 360 cameras were a forgettable package indeed. But now with the GoPro Max, the company borrowed some ideas from Insta360’s playbook and they have made a most accessible 360 camera.
Here is a full GoPro Max review for you:
Pros of the 360 Camera
- The hardware is very durable.
- It comes with a great audio quality.
- It is having a responsive touchscreen.
Cons of the 360 Camera
- The stabilization of the camera is s jittery, especially during the night.
- It is linear and non-fisheye footage is grainy
- It is not having as many resolutions and frame rate options as compared to Hero 8.
The GoPro Max is having dual 180-degree lenses that will shoot 16.6-megapixel 360-degree photos. It is having 5.5-megapixel 4:3 shots from just one of the cameras. This feature is called “Max Super View” photos.
It is having super cool 270-degree 6.2-megapixel panoramic photos called PowerPanos. Furthermore, in the case of video, it can capture 1440p 60 fps footage using a single lens and 5.6k 30 fps spherical clips similar to the Insta360.
Note that there are mics on all but all are on one side and it is sharing the same satisfying rubber buttons and button layout similar to the Hero 8. On the bottom, it is having stable mounting prongs that will allow you to mount accessories to the camera without any separate housing. Note that GoPro Max is compatible with all current GoPro accessories just like Hero 8.
The touchscreen on the Max is small as compared to the touchscreen on the back of the Hero 8. But the menu system is identical. The big advantage here is that when you are vlogging or taking a selfie, you can easily see yourself.
The camera is waterproof up to 16 feet but it is said by the GoPro that it is not an underwater camera. Stitching 360-degree footage under the water is an ongoing problem for GoPro but this waterproofing is better suited for strapping the camera to the front of a surfboard without worrying about the damage.
The touchscreen is responsive but you cannot use it to scroll around your frame in 360 modes. This is due to the fact that the screen has swiping gestures, like swiping down for reaching the main menu. You can switch between lenses by just tapping a button on the screen and this will only work before you start the recording.
Once you click the record button, the screen will no longer have the functionality other than being viewfinder to the lens you selected before rolling. The image on the screen will stay level with the horizon no matter which way you are going to rotate your camera. This was done without any noticeable lag in our GoPro Max review.
When you are going to shoot the warped, super-wide fisheye look, then the footage will be crisp and vibrant. Note that the skin tones are true to life and Max will not be afraid to overexpose the highlights.
Max’s 360 video is very stable due to the software. It can be really jittery especially during the night. The stitching is most noticeable on the top and bottom of the frame. The most GoPro mounts typically are having a wider base as compared to the camera. There is always a bit of an artifact from the mount in the footage. Overall, once you export the 360 footage the stitch will be really clean.
In our GoPro Max 360 review, the audio capture is the best. The wind reduction might add a lot of compressions but as a whole, it will actually reduce the sound of wind by keeping voices intact.
GoPro Max Modes
For your information, there are three GoPro Max-specific modes that are new to the GoPro camera line. This will include PowerPano, Max Superview, and Max Timewarp. PowerPano shots are 270-degree photos that will be using both lenses to capture extra-wide panoramic views. The photos are very clear and they provide a panoramic photo instantly instead to scan the landscape with your phone.
Max SuperView is the widest-angle GoPro is offering you. It will help you to shoots 1440p60 video by using one of Max’s 180-degree lenses and this will offer Max Hypersmooth that GoPro claims are the most stable form of video stabilization.
At 60 fps, the video is available at 4:3, but the stabilization is gimbal level at least in the perfect lighting conditions keeping in mind the waterproofing and small size of a GoPro. Furthermore, the Max Timewarp provides you the time-lapse video in 360. It is very cool but a battery killer.
The GoPro Max will be charging over USB-C and it will be using a slightly larger battery as compared to the Hero 8. For a full day heavy usage, you will need two batteries.
Editing in the GoPro App
You can edit all your footage in the GoPro app and the 360-editing experience will be the most approachable. It is all the keyframe-based and this will even add convenience for creating polished moves between the keyframes within just 360-degree capture.
This was the GoPro Max 360 review. Hope you like it. Let us know your thought in the comments, will you be interested to purchase it?
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