The GoPro HERO (2018) appears to be “coated” by software, a firmware change makes it GoPro HERO5 Black.

The GoPro HERO (2018) is the brand’s most affordable action camera right now, also the most bare-bones in specs. For about 100 euros more, we can get the GoPro HERO5 Black, which improves on features and functions. But what if a simple software change would allow the GoPro HERO (2018) to record in 4K and have GPS?

In recent months, different experiences of users of the GoPro HERO (2018) have circulated on the network that have managed to modify the internal firmware. With this modification they have been able to “unlock” camera functions that seem to be limited by software and not by hardware. In other words, GoPro HERO5 Black and GoPro HERO (2018) may be sharing the same hardware, despite the fact that the first one costs a little more than 100 extra euros.

The GoPro HERO (2018) has an official price of 219 euros. In return, it offers us a 10MP camera for photographs, with 10 fps bursts. As for video, it records them in 1080p at 60 fps. For its part, the GoPro HERO5 Black has a 12MP camera and capable of recording videos in 4K resolution at 30 fps. Its price amounts to 329 euros. The extra 110 euros can be justified by more powerful components. However, the components are practically the same as indicated by users on Reddit and media who have carried out the process.

The GoPro HERO (2018) appears to be “coated” by software, a firmware change makes it GoPro HERO5 Black

Are users who have modified the GoPro HERO (2018) forcing the hardware to override? This does not seem to be the case, according to the analysis done by Hypoxic, the processor is not overclocked with the new firmware. After the process, they indicate from Hypoxic that compatibility problems are not appearing either in the rest of the functions: the connectivity with the phone is correct, the accessories do not present problems, the GPS is accurate.

Despite the advantages that this hack may entail, it is not recommended at all. We would be violating the manufacturer’s warranty and regulations. Yes, we can do what we want with the purchased devices, but in the long run it can present problems. It is a process without technical support and without solid documentation to back it up.

The GoPro HERO (2018) appears to be “coated” by software, a firmware change makes it GoPro HERO5 Black

Reduce the price by limiting specifications

If true, the differential factor between the two cameras would simply be the software, which does not improve, but rather limits. Ethical or not, GoPro has its reasons and ultimately they sell a product together (hardware and software). The interesting thing would be to be able to acquire the camera and have the option to update it with previous payment, as Tesla does with some of its cars for example.

Why is GoPro following this strategy? Keep in mind that at the moment there is nothing confirmed, not even that the two cameras are the same inside. Although the truth is that it is an understandable strategy. Sometimes it is cheaper to use the same more powerful component than to manufacture several different ones. It can also be a way for GoPro to dispose of the stock of GoPro HERO5 stock components. But in any case, no known official reasons why GoPro may be following this path.

The GoPro HERO (2018) appears to be “coated” by software, a firmware change makes it GoPro HERO5 Black

From SamaGame we have contacted GoPro, at the moment there is no official response in this regard.