Wondering which GoPro version to buy? It can be confusing. In this article, I go over other the basic differences and answer some frequently asked questions about the latest GoPros.
What This Covers
What’s New: HERO and Fusion GoPros
When I refer to HERO (or Hero) here, I refer to the Black versions, just to keep it simple.
New features in Hero7:
We know that HERO6 Black out-performs HERO5 Black and delivers much better image quality than its early versions.
But, HERO7 advances this performance in this GoPro range with Hypersmooth for improved stabilization. You get even smoother footage.
Then there’s the feature of SuperPhoto for enhanced image color and dynamics.
Another new feature found in HERO7 is the ability to live stream, for example, direct to social media.
Fusion was a later addition to the GoPro family. It uses a gimbal-like stabilization and is promoted by GoPro as “the most versatile GoPro ever”. One thing, though, GoPro’s advancement of the low-light improvements in the HERO range are not apparent in the Fusion. Read on for more features.
HERO6/7 Black & Fusion Common Features
The HERO6/7 Black and the Fusion share a dozen or so common features.
- Status screen
- USB port (USB-C)
- GoPro app
- 5GHz Wi-fi for offload to your phone
- Simple one-button control
- Waterproof without housing to a certain depth
- HiLight tag
- Removable lithium rechargeable battery
- Fast charging
HERO6/7 Black & Fusion Differing Features
Then there are a dozen or so features covered below that vary among these GoPros, starting with the seven shown in the table below.
Chart: Hero6/7 Vs Fusion GoPros - Features That Differ
|2620mAh||2xmicroSD||No looping||16ft||no slow motion||18MP Sperical capture|
1. Audio / Sound
The HERO6/7 Black has stereo sound and three microphones.
The Fusion is designed for virtual reality. It has 360 audio (sound from every direction) and four microphones.
In reducing wind noise: The HERO6/7 Black has a 3-mic processing, whereas the Fusion has 4-mic.
2. Battery size
The Fusion has a larger sized battery than the HERO6 Black.
The HERO6/7 Black’s is 1220mAh, whereas the Fusion is 2620mAh.
Both are lithium-ion rechargeable.
3. Memory storage
All will take a microSD with at least Class 10, or USH-l rating as an extra accessory.
The HERO6/7 Black has space for 1 microSD and the Fusion space for 2 microSD cards.
Both have modes of Photo, Burst, Night, Video, Time Lapse Photo, Time Lapse Video, and Night Lapse Photo.
Unlike the Fusion, the HERO6/7 Black also has a looping mode.
5. Voice Control
HERO6/7 Black and the Fusion feature simple voice commands allowing some hands-free control.
All have voice control but that of the HERO6/7 is more expanded. For example, it features a wake-on-voice command.
HERO6/7 Black has twice the performance of HERO5 with its all-new GP1 chip.
7. Slow Motion Playback
HERO6/7 Black has 4K @60fps and 1080p 240 video that enables this slow-motion playback.
8. Camera And Imaging System
For stills, the HERO6/7 Black features 12 megapixels, whereas the Fusion, 18 megapixels.
HERO6/7 Black GoPro features 4K at 60 frames per second (fps) along with resolutions of 720p to 1440p and 2.7K.
The HERO6/7 Black exhibits impressive performance under low-light with its night photo modes.
It has continuous photo capture, unlike the Fusion.
It has exposure control, unlike the Fusion. It also has RAW photo (.GPR format) and audio (.WAV) capture., and has HDR photo capture.
Some Advantages of The Fusion
The Fusion features 3K and 5.2K video resolutions. It delivers really clean 5.2 K spherical videos and is really fun to shoot with. The 5.2K allows you to create immersive virtual reality experiences where you can feel like you are within your video.
It has an ‘overcapture’ feature where you can edit its capture of 360-degree videos to produce standard rectangular 1080p videos similar to those you would shoot with the HERO6/7 Black or other standard GoPro cameras. This means you can do 16:9 HD or 4:3 cutouts from any part of the 360 sphere.
The Fusion has spherical capture, meaning it captures the 360º view of the world around it. It’s like having 2 GoPro HERO Blacks strapped together back to back. And…No stitch lines!
So, with a Fusion on a drone, you would capture all directions at the one time. The trick is finding the right drone.
The HERO6/7 Black is waterproof without housing to 10 meters (33 ft).
The Fusion is waterproof without housing to 5 meters (16 ft).
10. Image stabilization
The HERO6/7 Black and the Fusion have advanced image stabilization.
The Fusion has the next level stabilization, and all without a gimbal.
11. Zoom control
With the HERO6/7 Black, you just touch the screen to zoom in and zoom out.
The charger is sold separately in both cases.
The HERO6/7 has 30+ accessories to help you capture your best shot. It is Karma compatible. The Fusion is not.
For the HERO6/7 Black, there is a 3.5 mm audio microphone in and an HD video out (sold separately). The Fusion is not designed for these.
Included for the Fusion is a Fusion Grip with a built-in extension pole and tripod.
What You Expect To Pay
How Much Does it Cost to Buy a GoPro?
GoPros range from around $200 to $400 for the unit itself. Set extra dollars aside for the accessories that you’ll need.
How much is a GoPro HERO6/7 Black vs Fusion? I suggest you check out Amazon for the latest prices as these often change.
The Fusion can be around the same as the HERO6/7 Black, depending on where you look.
What else does the GoPro HERO6/7 Black have that the Fusion doesn’t?
QuikStories is one.
Another is auto upload to the Cloud.
It also has a touch display and an HDMI port taking a micro HDMI connection.
the Advantage of the Fusion
What’s the advantage of the Fusion? The GoPro Fusion is designed to capture a full 360-degree view of the world. So it captures a spherical view of what’s around it.
What this is good for is for viewing with virtual reality headsets, which place you inside the recorded footage where you can turn your head and take in the scenes around you. It’s a whole new way of viewing the world unveiling with this technology.
It would also be amazing used with a drone.
Which is the Best Go Pro?
Which is the best Go Pro camera?
That can depend on what you want and your budget. The HERO4 Black records at a usable frame rate (30fps). HERO7 Black offers the best video quality in this HERO range with the most expansive shooting options.
But, you can choose between HERO7, HERO6, or HERO5 for use with a drone.
GoPro Fusion is a new edition to the action camera family. It has video resolutions of 5.2K and 3K, and 30fps. It sports a 5GHz Wi-Fi for offload to a phone. Photo megapixels of 18MP. It has advanced video stabilization, 360 audio, and GPS. It would be a great camera for your drone with the right mount. More to come on that from GoPro perhaps.
FAQs about GoPros
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about GoPros in general. This refers also to older versions, the HERO5 and HERO4.
What accessories do I need for my GoPro?
The choice of best accessories for GoPro cameras include suction cup mounts, chest harnesses, GorrillaPod action tripod with mount, aluminum handlebar bike mount, an incase pro pack, and GoPro surfboard mounts, depending on your activity.
Accessory kits for GoPro are typically the cheapest way to buy the extras.
Also, most of the accessories for HERO6 are compatible with HERO7.
For use of the GoPro with a drone, you may need to buy a gimbal and a mount as extras.
Do Gopros take good pictures?
Upwards from the HERO4, you can shoot high definition video and take digital photos at the same time. With each updated model, the capturing capabilities have improved.
So it is worth noting that there are different models of GoPro and not all have the same shooting mode or options available.
Are all GoPros waterproof?
Yes, most are with proper housing. The latest, the HERO7 Black is waterproof to 33ft (10m) without a housing.
What is the best gimbal for GoPro?
There’s the EVO GP-PRO 3 Axis GoPro gimbal for HERO4 with a 3.5mm AV output. For the HERO5 Black, there’s the GoPro Karma Grip.
How long is the battery life on a GoPro?
The battery life will vary with conditions. As a rough guess on the average battery life, plan for just over two hours if you are recording at 30fps (1080p resolution) and under two hours if using 60fps or a higher resolution.
What is the largest SD card for GoPro?
Because of failure or loss, using the largest SD may not be the best. You might want to consider using 64GB cards and have at least two of these. Then if one fails or is lost it’s not as big a loss as if you were depending on a larger 128 or 256GB card. Make sure you have a card reader also.
But at the end of the day…Always check the manufacturer’s requirements that you have the right capacity micro SD card (meeting the minimum performance requirements) to avoid issues with camera stalling, shutting down, not recording or re-starting.
Which GoPros have a screen?
The latest HEROs have a 2 inch touch screen.
Can you zoom in on a GoPro?
There is a Touch Zoom option using the touch screen on both the HERO 7 and HERO 6 Black. This is not an option with the Fusion.
What is burst mode in GoPro?
This enables you to take up to 30 shots per second.
I can see value in both designs. It really depends on what you want to do. Going on what some users have said, however, the Fusion might have a few bugs to iron out yet. As always, let us know your thoughts. Which is best? Fusion or HERO6/7 Black.