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Up to take your urban or off-beaten-track adventures to a new level? The GoPro Max is a powerful wearable omnidirectional action camera that makes it a cinch to take creative and striking photos and video that will be sure to wow your friends and followers.

Read up! Our review of the Max follows below.

Compact hardware

We’re hardly new to the action camera scene, but it always wows us that the action cameras of today allow you to fit so much camera power in the palm of your hand. The Max is no exception: it’s all of 64mm (width) x 69mm (height) x 25 mm (thickness) – fits right in your hand or on your helmet or wherever you might want to mount it.

The front of the Max is dominated by one of its 180-degree cameras and one of its six microphones. Turn it around and you’ll see the other 180-degree camera, another of the microphones (the remainder are located on the other sides of the unit) and its 2-in touchscreen, which could have been a little larger but it’s still quite usable and very visible thanks to its brightness. We thought initially that the display might be on the small side but when we tried it out, we ended up realizing it was sized just right after all.

True to GoPro’s heritage, the Max is built sturdy to take a beating. And if you want to wade through the wet, the Max can join you – just snap on the protective lenses included in the package, the Max can take being immersed as deep as 16 feet or 5 meters (take note, though, this isn’t an underwater camera – just a camera you can take with you when it gets a little wet). The Max’s flip-out built-in mounting will help make sure that it stays firmly stuck onto your helmet (just try not to hit it on something, though, of course).

You also get an accompanying GoPro app for mobile or desktop which you can use to edit your output. We found both the mobile and desktop apps pretty powerful and easy to use  without much of an adjustment period. We particularly love how they allow you to drop in transitions to make your videos seamless. (There’s also a 360 desktop app called GoPro Player that makes for super easy 360-degree video editing.)

Easy to use and powerful

 

The Max might be easy on the eyes and sized right for the hands, but how is it to use?

In a word, it’s terrific – this is one excellent little camera that can, with a little practice and familiarization, be a great way to capture your adventures and share them with your friends and family.

The Max may be small, but this sure is one powerful camera that gives you the power to take terrific pictures and video footage per your wants and needs. GoPro claims the MAX can serve as three cameras in one, allowing users to shoot “HERO-style” video with its single lens camera, 360 footage in 6K with its dual-lens snapper, and/or shoot vlogs easily thanks to its microphones as well as front-facing screen. 

We had a lot of fun taking our test Max for a spin – it took only a few minutes to mount and then we were off. We tried using it during a bike and then while on a swim, and were quite impressed to see that it works as well as advertised, with tack-sharp images and video – much of which is already good to share even straight from the camera.

The user interface is easy and quick to use, even when on the go. Choose between photo, video, and time-lapse modes by simply flicking left or right on the touchscreen or pressing the side Mode button. We were also quite happy to see that with the Max, GoPro now offers user presets that allow for customization of resolution, frame rate, field of view, min and max ISO, and button shortcuts too. Of course most users probably won’t feel the need for custom presets, but it’s still good to know we have that option just in case we need it.

And, as mentioned, the GoPro apps are super easy to use if you feel the need to fix up the pictures and footage you’ve taken.

The Max’s dual lenses allow users to take 16.6-megapixel 360-degree photos from one of the cameras or “Max SuperView” photos in GoPro parlance, as well as 6.2-megapixel 270-degree pics or “PowerPanos”, and “Max Timewarp” video which is time-lapse 360-degree video. We found these easy to shoot and quite remarkable to look at, especially the PowerPano shots and Max Timewarp videos we took. 

We also love how the six-mike setup makes audio capture a cinch. We can confidently say that the Max offers among the best audio capture of any camera of its class. We tried it out during strong winds and the Max still managed to capture our voices really well.

Take note, though, that all this power can come at a bit of a price: battery life. For instance, taking 360 time-lapse videos is really cool, but can drain the battery rather quickly. If this does happen, though, the Max does charge over USB-C – just bring a battery pack and a cable to top your Max up while out and about. Other GoPro cameras usually require two full charges or one extra fully charged battery if used for a whole day of shooting and the Max is no different.

The verdict

The bottom line is that the GoPro Max is a great omnidirectional camera to use however you want to use it. It’s small and powerful, offers a ton of options, and takes great shots and video, and the accompanying apps allow you to further enhance your output should you feel the need to. This is one camera that’s really worth a closer look.

 

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