360 Camera Reviews

GoPro Max (GoPro Fusion 2): Everything you want to know – sample photos and videos, 16 features, weaknesses, complete specifications (updated Oct. 20, 2019)

GoPro MAX complete specs, GoPro MAX vs Hero 8, GoPro MAX vs Insta360
GoPro MAX complete specs, GoPro MAX vs Hero 8, GoPro MAX vs Insta360

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 photosOctober 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

Executive Summary

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?


GoPro MAX size: MAX is noticeably more compact than Fusion
GoPro MAX size: MAX is noticeably more compact than Fusion

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)
ProcessorGoPro GP1Ambarella (unconfirmed)
ISO (photos):100 to 800100 to 800
ISO (videos):400 to 6400400 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 / 5m16 ft / 5m
Storage:one Micro SD cardtwo removable Micro SD cards
Connection:USB Type CUSB Type C
Dimensions (approx):L: 64mm
H: 69mm
D: 24mm
L: 73mm
H: 75mm (without Gopro mount), 90mm (with GoPro mount)
W: 23mm (excluding lenses)
(with lenses)
Weight:154g220g (7.76 oz)
Battery:1600 mAh, removable2620mAh, removable
Price:$499$299 as of 2019
Release date:October 1, 2019November 24, 2017 (however, it began shipping sometime November 13, 2017).


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.

touchscreen with shortcuts
touchscreen with shortcuts

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. 

Review photos and videos on GoPro Max's large touchscreen
Review photos and videos on GoPro Max’s large touchscreen

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).

GoPro Max 4-in-1 lens
GoPro Max 4-in-1 lens

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.

GoPro Max replaceable lens cover
GoPro Max replaceable lens cover

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.

GoPro MAX can stitch smoothly underwater
GoPro MAX can stitch smoothly underwater

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.

GoPro Max spatial audio
GoPro Max spatial audio

8. Keyframing.  With the GoPro app, you’ll be able to keyframe camera movements for 360 photos and videos.

Reframe your videos in the GoPro app
Reframe your videos in the GoPro app

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.

GoPro Max TimeWarp (hyperlapse)
GoPro Max TimeWarp (hyperlapse)

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:

GoPro Max Power Pano
GoPro Max Power Pano

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.

GoPro Max livestreaming with stabilization
GoPro Max livestreaming with stabilization

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.

16.  Voice command.  As with the Fusion and Hero, you can use voice command to control the Max.

What’s in the box?

GoPro MAX packaging + what's in the box
GoPro MAX packaging + 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

A post shared by Abe Kislevitz (@abekislevitz) on

Here is another sample video of the MAX by @travisrice.

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.

GoPro MAX sample photo in tiny planet format
GoPro MAX sample photo in tiny planet format

This is another MAX photo (unconfirmed):


View this post on Instagram


@gopro MAX in paradise. #goproanz #gopromax @goproanz

A post shared by Ben Brown (@ben_brown_) on

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!

GoPro Max Price
GoPro Max Price


About the author

Mic Ty


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  • One X disadvantages:

    I shoot lectures using both Fusion and One X. The Fusion always delivers consistent results. The One X on three successive video files did something different each time. The first shot the z axis wobbled between plus 1 and minus 2, the second shot the image panned around over two dozen times so I had to unscrew the 30 minute shot which took a couple of hours of keying, the third shot was rock steady and perfect, just like every tripod shot I get with the Fusion.

    This makes me want another Fusion for shooting lectures.

    The One X is excellent for all walking shots and even with the extended 3 meter stick which wobbles frightfully yields excellent results. It just doesn’t like tripods.

    I have had these issues with two Insta360 One Xs.

    Each camera has advantages and disadvantages so having both is best.

  • Ummm, maybe you’re using a technical exception, but the footage that comes off the VIRB360 is already stitched and ready to be viewed. It does this in the 4k range as opposed to the 5k range, but still. Because of this, Garmin’s workflow is much easier than GoPro’s. My wishlist in order of priority…

    1) Replaceable Lens
    2) Better camera to content workflow
    3) Better Profile (The Virb360 looks like an action camera, the Fusion looks dumb)
    4) Higher Resolution (and the ability to edit it without bogging down your computer)
    5) Better stitching

    • Thanks Chase yes realtime stitching has been done by several cameras including virb, theta v, etc. To clarify, I mean realtime stitching *with stabilization*. Virb realtime stitching doesn’t have stabilization until you process it afterward. Insta360 Pro, Insta360 Pro 2 and Pilot Era have stabilization straight out of the camera.

    • Thanks Chase yes realtime stitching has been done by several cameras including virb, theta v, etc. To clarify, I mean realtime stitching *with stabilization*. Virb realtime stitching doesn’t have stabilization until you process it afterward. Insta360 Pro, Insta360 Pro 2 and Pilot Era have stabilization straight out of the camera.

  • I wonder if the changable lenses will allow for an underwater camera housing for perfect stitching once the magnification happens due to the water. The Fusion needs an underwater housing for SCUBA diving!

  • Oh I’m betting GoPro Devs Team have been right on track to the competition.

    Brands like insta360 (one X) and Theta (Z) apps can actually (Should) be adapted to the GoPro environment.

    The merging with Quik App is also on the horizon. I’m betting they will release the new camera and also the refreshed and improved Gopro App merged with Quik, just like Dji made with the Mimo App for the Pocket and now with Osmo Mobile 3.

    If GoPro smashes insta 360 One X Specs (I love the fact that they finally decided to have only one sd card as it reduces corrupted files) and presents a epic competitive price then, oh boy we have an amazing tech battle here!

    I’m also betting 2020 Will bring DJI to the 360 cameras equation, that’s just a question of mirroring the osmo action camera and basically using the already available tech installed on their drone Apps thats creates the #djiasteroid.
    Along with the rockseatdy tech, it will be tough to decide between these 3 giants!

  • Sweet!! So, the lens/lens cover can be replaced if it gets scratched. I’ll buy it immediately if so. Both my fusion and insta360 one x both have a little scratch on the lenses from falling over.

  • Hi Mic and all,

    Am I the only one confused by “realtime stitching with stabilization in *non-360 Hero* mode?”
    So if it doesn’t stitch 360 in real time, what’s it stitching? Or is this supposed to mean like the Insta 360 Go stabilization of the regular 16 x 9 videos? Thank you in advance for a clarification 🙂


  • GoPro just announced that the two new cameras’ releases will now be delayed a month or two. Just cancelled my order, hello Insta360 again I guess.

  • as expected, a downgrade from the Fusion in almost every way. Let’s see if this pivot improves sales. Good thing the Fusion will probably see price reductions

  • It has lots of Fancy Dan capabilities, but if the video quality is not better than the Insta360 One X or Rylo, then it is just a gimick for smartphones.

  • From the v1.2 firmware update release notes, the Max also has 5.6k/24fps video capture in 360 mode:
    “Adds 5.6K30 and 5.6K24 Video and 5.6K TimeWarp.”

    • Hi Shawn. The streaks are dirty fingerprints that got smeared. On the side facing the photographer, you can see there are no streaks and actually almost no flare.