GoPro MAX has now been launched! All of my 7 predictions have been confirmed, including features that have never been previously available in a consumer 360 camera. Here are the Max’s specifications, features, an exclusive preview, and a preliminary review. October 15, 2019 update: tutorial, new product photos; October 14, 2019 update: sample 360 photo, and sample PowerPano photos.
Executive Summary (updated October 12, 2019)
Specifications (updated October 15, 2019)
16 Features (updated October 14, 2019)
What’s in the box? (added October 15, 2019)
Tutorial and workflow (added October 20, 2019)
Sample videos and sample photos (updated October 14, 2019)
Price and release date
Part 1: Why should you be interested in the GoPro MAX? How is it better than the competition? Is it worth waiting for? In this video, I discuss the MAX’s specifications, key features, and weaknesses.
Part 2: New information on GoPro MAX, plus whether you should get MAX or Hero8, or Insta360 One X?
Here are the specifications of the GoPro Max:
|Maximum video resolution, framerate, codec (360 mode)||5376 x 2688 @ 30fps|
60 mbps (H.265)
|5504 x 2752 @ 24fps |
120 mpbs (H.264)
5120 x 2560 @ 30fps (beta)
4992 x 2496 @ 30fps
3008 x 1504 @ 60fps
|Maximum video resolution, framerate, codec (non-360)||1920 x 1080 or 1920 x 1440 @ 24, 25, 30, 50, or 60 fps. |
60 or 78 mbps (H.264)
45 or 60 mbps (H.265)
|Video resolution (timewarp)||5376 x 2688 @ 25/30fps 60mpbs H.265|
1920 x 1440 or 1920 x 1080, 25/30fps 30 mbps H.264
Speed: 2x, 5x, 10x, 15x, 30x
|Photo resolution (360):||5760 x 2880|
16.6 mp JPG (Raw not available)
|5760 x 2880. |
Can take photos in burst mode (up to 30fps). Can take photos in Raw format (The GoPro gpr format, based on the DNG format)
|Photo resolution (non-360)||2704 x 2028 |
4320 x 1440
JPG (Raw not available)
|Processor||GoPro GP1||Ambarella (unconfirmed)|
|ISO (photos):||100 to 800||100 to 800|
|ISO (videos):||400 to 6400||400 to 6400|
|Shutter speed:||1/28000 - .2 Seconds (Photo)|
1/50000 - .5 Seconds (Video)
|up to 30 seconds. Long enough for light painting and night sky photos.|
|Waterproof:||16 ft / 5m||16 ft / 5m|
|Storage:||one Micro SD card||two removable Micro SD cards|
|Connection:||USB Type C||USB Type C|
|Dimensions (approx):||L: 64mm |
H: 75mm (without Gopro mount), 90mm (with GoPro mount)
W: 23mm (excluding lenses)
|Weight:||154g||220g (7.76 oz)|
|Battery:||1600 mAh, removable||2620mAh, removable|
|Price:||$499||$299 as of 2019|
|Release date:||October 1, 2019||November 24, 2017 (however, it began shipping sometime November 13, 2017).|
GOPRO MAX FEATURES
1. Touchscreen with shortcuts. GoPro Max has a large touchscreen, which will make it easier to adjust the settings without being connected to the phone. In addition, you can setup shortcuts for your most-frequently used settings.
2. Review photos and videos. The larger screen will be used not just to change settings as in the current Fusion, but will also be able to review photos and videos. Until now, almost all 360 cameras have not had a preview screen. But I’ve used a couple of 360 cameras with the preview screen (Acer Holo 360 and Pilot Era) and I think it is very convenient.
3. Realtime stitching with stabilization. This is a feature I’ve been predicting ever since the first Fusion 2 rumors appeared. Mr. Woodman has previously discussed some of the features of the next GoPro Fusion. In an interview with PC Magazine, Mr. Woodman said he wants it to be as easy to use as a regular GoPro. Max has realtime stitching with stabilization in non-360 Hero mode, a feature that has never been seen before in a consumer 360 camera. It also has realtime stitching for 360 photos (as in the Ricoh Theta Z1 and other Ricoh Theta cameras). 360 videos are what I would describe as “pre-stitched,” which can be viewed as a stitched and stabilized video in the GoPro app, and is ready for editing without further stitching, but can’t be directly uploaded to YouTube or Facebook without exporting from the app.
There are some 360 cameras with realtime stitching capability for video, but they do not have stabilization unless first processed in an app. There are a few 360 cameras with realtime stitching with stabilization (Insta360 Pro, Insta360 Pro 2, Pilot Era) but they cost at least $2500. Max is the first consumer 360 camera to have that capability.
4. Automatically create overcapture video, shoot in 360, or vlog with a front-facing camera. The Max has three video modes: a 360 video mode, a non-360 Hero mode, and a front-facing vlogging mode.
5. 4-in-1 lens. You can switch between an ultrawide Max Superview (13mm equivalent), Wide (16mm equivalent), Linear (19mm equivalent), or Narrow (27mm equivalent – similar to most smartphones).
6. Replaceable lens cover; waterproof. This is a feature that many people have been asking for in a 360 camera. While a few cameras have had it, the ones that had it (Virb 360, Orbit 360, Keymission 360, and to some extent the original Samsung Gear 360, etc.) were plagued by excessive glare. I think GoPro wouldn’t add a replaceable lens unless they have solved the glare problem. So I’m optimistic that glare will be well controlled.
In addition, the protective lenses are spherical, which may enable the Max to stitch with minimal refraction underwater, up to a depth of 16ft (5m). The photo below is a framegrab from a GoPro promo video. The stitch line is appears to be around 45 degrees from this view. The woman is within the stitch line, yet she is stitched smoothly. However, there is a circular line in the frame which seems to show that they used some type of dive case, so we can’t be certain yet how the MAX will perform underwater without a case.
7. Spatial audio + shotgun microphone. The Max has six microphones to provide spatial audio. There is no microphone input but one or two of its microphones is a shotgun microphone for vlogging, while the other microphones are used for noise cancellation.
8. Keyframing. With the GoPro app, you’ll be able to keyframe camera movements for 360 photos and videos.
9. Max Timewarp (hyperlapse). The Max has an improved hyperlapse feature for both 360 and non-360 videos. In non-360 videos, you can switch back and forth between hyperlapse and regular video.
10. PowerPano. PowerPano is a 270-degree wide panorama.
Here are a couple of samples shared with permission by Luke Bell:
Here is a sample by GoPro:
11. Live streaming in 1080p with stabilization. The Max can livestream in non-360 mode in 1080p resolution to YouTube, Facebook, or other streaming services that support RTMP.
12. Slow motion 60fps. The Max can capture non-360 video at 60fps, which can be played back at 30fps to create a 1/2 speed slow motion video.
13. Self-timer. The Max finally adds a self-timer for photos, an essential feature that was strangely absent from the GoPro Fusion.
14. Folding GoPro mount. The Max uses a foldable GoPro mount, similar to the Hero 8.
15. Short clips. Like Snapchat Spectacles or the Insta360 Go, you can capture short, 15 or 30 second video clips in horizontal or vertical format that are ready for upload to Snapchat, Instagram Stories or other social media.
What’s in the box?
The MAX packaging looks similar to that of the Fusion. Besides the camera, the package includes the following accessories:
– one rechargeable battery
– USB Type C charging cable
– a pair of lens covers
– a pair of replaceable lenses
– GoPro quick release clip and adhesive mount
– GoPro thumbscrew
Tutorial and workflow
Here is a reframing tutorial by GoPro Senior Creative Director Abe Kislevitz:
GoPro MAX has realtime stitching for photos in all modes: 360 photo, non-360 Hero mode, and PowerPano 270-degree panoramas. For videos, MAX has realtime stitching with stabilization for the non-360 HERO mode. For 360 videos, it has a no-stitch editing capability, but does not appear to have true realtime stitching with stabilization. Its 360 videos are unstitched, but contain metadata for stabilization, and when viewed in the GoPro MAX app, the videos will appear stitched and stabilized. You’ll also be able to edit the videos immediately, without having to stitch them beforehand. But to edit the videos in editors such as Premiere, you’ll need to stitch the videos first.
GoPro MAX sample videos and sample photos
Here is a sample video from the GoPro MAX by @abekislevitz, including the behind the scenes view of how it was shot:
View this post on Instagram
The intro shot for the @jonolsson1 @benjaminortega vlog this week! We had an idea to start the vlog as a cool one-shot take. We started thinking about a drone shot that flew through this villa but landed on doing a 360 shot so we could create a shot that was very unique! I filmed it on a @270pro pole – swipe over to see a little BTS of how it came together! It was super fun to hang and collab with some talented like minded peeps across the world in some epic locations. Thanks @douchebags for bringing us all together! Benni is an absolute editing animal and 2 vlogs from our trip are already up on Jon Olsson’s YT! Check my story or hit the link in my profile to see part 1. The Benni segment starts 5 min in. Thanks for a rad trip boys! @oskarbakke @olsson92 @chrisfarro @jacob @lifeof_riley // #gopro #gopromax #goprofusion #dbtravel #dbfamily #douchebags #monaco #360video #overcapture #france #frenchriviera #bennified #jonolsson
Here is another sample video of the MAX by @travisrice.
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Announcing #GoProHERO8 and @GoPro MAX. Thoroughly impressed with how damn good these cameras are getting! . Last winter in BC, found this sniper chute to test out the new Max 360 Camera. Spooky blind roll entrance and sheer cliff to the left. Better snow than I was expecting ⚡️🤘🏽⚡️. Finding the right places to ditch speed is the name of the game and it works best when done leaning into a pow detonation!
Here is a sample 360 photo shot by Luke Bell shared with his permission and uploaded to Kuula. The photo was stitched in-camera with DWarp (GoPro’s version of optical flow stitching, developed by Kolor).
Here is a sample photo from the GoPro MAX in tiny planet format.
This is another MAX photo (unconfirmed):
View this post on Instagram
GoPro MAX Release Date and Price
GoPro Max is available for preorder as of October 1, 2019, with the release date on October 24, 2019. As for the price, it will be $499, available direct from GoPro, from Amazon, or from B&H Photo. What do you think of the GoPro Max / Fusion 2? Let me know in the comments!