Is The GoPro Hero 5 Waterproof? Everything You Need To Know & A Few Tricks

GoPro Hero 4 hit the market with a bunch of innovations that no other camera could deliver. It brought in a series of technologies to allow people to shoot their adventures in a super realistic mode – almost feeling like the audience was there. But then, more than a year later, GoPro Hero 5 kicked in. Available in black and silver, the camera is likely to take your adventures to another level. But then, what kind of extras do you get this time? More importantly, is the GoPro Hero 5 waterproof? Can you drag your little friend underwater to shoot outstanding videos?

Taking video capabilities to another level

When Hero 4 came out, it was available in two different versions – the black version and the silver one. Each of them had specific capabilities, as well as a different target. The black unit was the first camera released by GoPro with 4K video shooting features at 30fps, not to mention 1080p at 120fps. The camera was the ultimate tool for professional photographers and videographers, as well as production companies.

More Information about GoPro Hero4 Black

On the other hand, the silver version was not as powerful, but it has specific features that made it stand out. In terms of video features, you could shoot in 2K at 30fps – not more than that. However, it came with something that the black version did not have – a touchscreen. The touchscreen made it super simple for beginner photographers to navigate through settings and frames.

GoPro Hero 5 goes even further. It looks like GoPro has learned from the feedback received from the previous generation. It grabbed the best parts of the Hero 4 versions and put everything together in one single gadget. For instance, you can capture 4K videos at 30fps, but you also have the innovative touchscreen to frame shots without using your smartphone. Going through settings and options is a matter of seconds now.

The best part? While everyone expected the new version to skyrocket in terms of pricing, it looks like GoPro could feel some heat from its competition. Therefore, the camera is quite affordable.

Apart from the 4K features, GoPro Hero 5 can also shoot 2K videos at 60fps or 1920×108 videos at 120fps. Since it is an action camera, it also boosts image stabilization – just as handy when you take pictures and you want those slight imperfections caused by vibrations to disappear. Whether it is strapped to your car or handlebar or you hold it, vibration will no longer affect the quality.

Plus, the built in GPS is ideal to tag locations in your work.

Is the GoPro Hero 5 waterproof?

Compared to previous versions, GoPro has come up with some serious updates for the physical hardware too. The fourth generation was alright underwater if you had a clear case. You could buy external waterproof shells over the Internet – only a few certain models available. Those accessories were mandatory if you planned to use the camera outdoors.

Even if it was a bit cloudy, you needed that shell with you to prevent the camera from getting wet. When it came to underwater uses, the necessity of a waterproof shell was obvious. Simply put, any risk of your camera getting wet asked for a protective shell.

The waterproof housing was built in before GoPro Hero 5 though. The older version Hero 4 Session came with a waterproof shell. The same feature has been introduced in Hero 5. So, is the GoPro Hero 5 waterproof? Absolutely. Just like you have probably guessed already, there are a few restrictions you need to consider.

For instance, GoPro Hero 5 is, indeed, waterproof. It can take a splash, it can take heavy rain without losing quality and it can even follow you on your diving or swimming adventures. There is a limit though. It will go down to above 30 feet. If you think you will go deeper than that, make sure you invest in an additional clear shell for extra protection or water could leak in.

GoPro Hero5 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos

A brand new user experience

The touchscreen should not feel like an innovation, especially if you have used Hero 4. You should be used to it already. But then, there are a few extras and features associated with it. GoPro has implemented voice control after some of its competitors have already done it. Simply put, you can operate the camera without even touching it. Stick it to your car or helmet and operate it with voice commands.

You need to address the camera by its name in order to get the attention, then stick to simple commands:

·         GoPro take a photo

·         GoPro start video

You get the point. Make sure you do not accidentally talk about it or mention it when talking to someone else or it might take random pictures. Tell someone that your GoPro takes photos and the camera may actually snap one.

There are a few extra voice commands to use too. You can start or stop a timelapse. You can also tag a specific moment while the camera records, not to mention turning it on or shutting it off. Practically, you can do pretty much everything with the camera without touching it – just make sure your settings are right, as it cannot adjust them.

It is worth noting that GoPro Hero 5 can snap pictures while taking videos too – a quick voice command and you have it.

There are some other extras coming with the GoPro Hero 5 camera, but the waterproof innovation is by far the most attractive one – especially as waterproof shells are quite pricey. Now, how do you take advantage of the camera’s full potential underwater?

Underwater video techniques for GoPro Hero 5

GoPro Hero 5 is extremely capable underwater and its features will pleasantly surprise you. It performs optimally, but there is a catch – make sure you have a decent amount of light. The more light you have, the better. Since you have controls, you can adjust them in small details, but you can also add some red color correction filters if you want your videos to explode with color.

First of all, make sure you get all the settings right. If you feel like you cannot achieve the colors you want, plan the dive accordingly and bring in the optimal color correction filter. Of course, such filters depend on the type of water and depth.

If you want the best color in your videos, try shooting with the sun behind your back. Of course, shades can interfere, but a little attention can prevent your unwanted shadow from blocking small details. Shooting with the sun in front of you could reduce the color intensity.

If extra color and a rich contrast are your main goals – such as shooting loads of colorful fish, make sure you shoot at a slight downward angle for maximum achievements. Keep in mind that shooting on the surface does not necessarily require a filter. Instead, filters kick in handy after five feet in depth. There are different filters up to 20 feet in-depth, as well as other options for more depth. Of course, at higher depths, the overall quality will depend on the amount of light you get.

On another note, try to get a decent amount of sand in your videos. Neutral sand or reef will help, especially if there is not too much green around. This type of scenario will help your camera identify the white in your videos.

The stabilization mode will make everything easier, especially when in motion. GoPro cameras are designed for wide-angle action and Hero 5 makes no exception either. Stick to the minimum focusing distance and you will no longer have to worry about getting stable footage due to its capability to eliminate vibration.

It helps to keep arms rigid. If possible, let the action come to you, rather than chase it around. Find through a peaceful scene or simply mount a tripod, go away from the area and return in a bit to capture the wildlife and its natural behavior.

Underwater photo techniques for GoPro Hero 5

While GoPro Hero 5 is most commonly associated with action videos and lots of movement, the truth is it can take great photos as well. It will take images with a great resolution and it allows tweaking settings over its touchscreen mode. You can also leave settings as they are and adjust with time, as you discover your own style.

Again, the lighting conditions will most likely make the difference underwater. Just like for videos, it is highly recommended to shoot with the sun at your back. The light is focused on the subject and you can prevent glare.

Do you have video lights? They are just as useful when taking photos. They should be on if you go deeper than 10 feet – the brighter the lights, the better your results will be. Stick to the focus range to ensure a sharp image. Finally, while the camera is well stabilized and can clear out vibrations, you should still try to be as steady as you can when pressing that shutter button.

Are there other GoPro cameras that can work underwater?

These days, it makes no difference what GoPro camera you have. You can easily find a waterproof shell that will allow you to use the camera underwater – even if the camera itself is not suitable for such activities. The problem is that such shells are not necessarily made by GoPro, but by other companies. Another problem is that they tend to cost more than your camera, so they basically double up the investment.

Is the GoPro Hero 5 waterproof? The good news it is. You can take it on your underwater adventures and dive to about 30 feet without requiring a shell. Going deeper than that will not just require an extra layer of protection, but you will also require adequate lighting if you want quality results.

While everyone was pleased to find out that GoPro Hero 5 is waterproof, it is not GoPro’s only camera with such capabilities. Generally speaking, old models require waterproof housing, while the new ones can go underwater with no problems at all.

GoPro Fusion is waterproof as long as all the camera doors are closed. You can take it down to 16 feet. Apart from Hero 5, you can also take Hero 4 Session, Hero Session, Hero 6 Black, Hero 2018 and Hero 7 on your diving adventures. Each model has its own requirements and depth restrictions, so double check the manual upfront.

GoPro HERO7 Silver + PNY Elite-X 32GB microSDHC Card Adapter-UHS-I, U3 – Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 10MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization

Despite being waterproof, modern GoPro cameras may still require housing if you exceed the depth recommendations. For instance, scuba diving may need protective housing. The housing will keep your camera safe. It will bring in an additional layer of protection against water. At the same time, it is just as handy against bumps and knocks.

Then, a waterproof housing will also give you access to different shooting possibilities. For instance, you could use one of the filters designed for this camera, so you can adjust colors and come up with new ideas for your videos and photos. Filters are easy to mount and come in all kinds of standards – different opportunities and scenarios require different filters.


As a short final conclusion, GoPro Hero 5 may not be the most recent GoPro camera on the market, but it is certainly a standard in this industry. Is the GoPro Hero 5 waterproof? Yes, it is, but to just over 30 feet in depth. It does not mean you cannot go deeper – you simply need to invest in additional waterproof housing for more protection.

When it comes to shooting outdoors and not really underwater, there is not much to be concerned about. Your camera can take a good splash and heavy rain without showing any signs of weakness. Moreover, the extra stabilization by reducing vibration will make your shots steadier than ever.​