GoPro Max CHDHZ-201

So, the new 360 GoPro is here, and as anticipated it’s neither a Fusion replacement (positioned as more of a normal gopro with optional 360) nor a successor (lower image resolution, and even the model code only got bumped from CHDHZ-103 to 201).
The good:

  • built in touchscreen should make it easier to control and frame without relying on a phone
  • (extra purchase) protective lenses, finally
  • smaller size, mounting teeth now integrated into the body, lower weight (154g vs 220g)
  • lower starting price (479 GBP/499 USD)
  • supposedly better hw and sw, offering better stabilisation and extra modes - seems useless for mapillary though
  • an actual new camera, not two hero5 bolted together, so one SD card! And in-camera stitching, both good and bad
  • it will probably bring fusion prices down (at least initially)

The bad:

  • LOWER (!!!) image resolution, 16.6 vs 18mp - unlikely there would be more detail
  • in camera stitching, ultimately likely to be worse than optical flow in Fusion Studio
  • gopro seems to be mothballing fusion completely, even removing the product page
  • GPS appears to be “Hero-mode only”, so just for mono-lens capture - what a weird limitation
  • smaller battery
  • no RAW capture

Some of these are properly subject to change, but I certainly won’t be rushing to buy one.
A shame really.


Bad horizon leveling makes it a no-go for mapillary photographers:
GoPro Max: 20 Pros, 10 Cons - YouTube :slightly_frowning_face:

In the rig I want to build for next spring I have a “feiyu tech g360 gimbal” on my wish list.

I think this will work better then a software solution… When I have set it up, I’ll share the results :wink:

with so many sensors in modern cameras, horizon leveling should really be better, and sw-based

So has anybody actually bought one and tried it out yet?

it looks like it might become more useful for mapillary soon, as the next fw update adds 360 timelapse capture. Unclear if that would include gps exif

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GoPro finally released firmware version 1.50 for the Max, which adds support for 360 time lapse images. Here is a sequence I shot with it: Mapillary

It does the stiching in-camera and writes equirectangular JPEG images to the SD card that can be directly uploaded to Mapillary. The older GoPro Fusion required processing the images on a computer to get JPEGs that Mapillary could use. Fusion Studio probably did a better job of stiching, but it is convenient to have it in-camera.

The image interval is selectable between 2s, 5s, 10s, 30s, and 60s. I’d prefer a shorter 0.5 or 1 second interval for driving, but 2 seconds is still usable.

I did notice that the camera isn’t properly tagging compass heading in the images, the EXIF data always has the heading as 0. When using the camera in “hero mode” (with only one lens, like a normal GoPro), it’s more of a problem. The Mapillary command line tools can use the GPS data to correct it, but still annoying.


this would make it easier to get started with, since many people disliked the fusion’s stitching requirements. It ain’t half bad either. Interval is a trade off
Image quality is still pathetic though.

Not sure if the Fusion was ever tagging heading properly (some sources said it had a compass), but I generally move the centre of the image to be facing direction of travel and then interpolate track heading after upload (as you probably did)

Impressed with Max and images you took and also your mount. But 2 second for highways is not enough,

Did you try to record video and then export images from videos in 0.5 or 1 sec. Intervals?

I did record a video and used the Mapillary command line tools to extract frames at a 0.5s interval, but it seems that the GPS data is missing. From what I can tell, when you convert the .360 file recorded by the camera to a normal video using the GoPro Max Exporter, the GPS data is lost. I did try the three codec options available (CineForm, h264, and h265), and get the same behavior with all of them. You could record a GPX track along with the video, but that kinda ruins the ease of capture with the GoPro.

I did double check to make sure I had GPS enabled in the camera, so I’m not sure if this is a limitation of the camera, the GoPro Max Exporter software, or if there is something else I’m doing wrong.

The mount I use is a RAM mount: RAM Mounts
A bit expensive and probably overkill, but it works well and doesn’t scratch the car.

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Very Helpful, Thank you!

I think the gps in video data was similar on other gopros, where they write it in their proprietary format.
There was, I think, software to extract the track from the video

So the Fusion is still better than the Max when it comes to Mapillary? or not?

I’d say yes, if you don’t mind the extra stitching workflow.
It’s cheaper, has timelapse on every firmware, and is supposedly longer lasting
(note that I don’t own a Max, basing this on internet feedback and photos I’ve seen)

What would you say the quality is like fusion (timelapse) vs max (video - frame extraction I guess)?

I’m also slightly concerned about the fusion being end of life pretty much. buying one now feels a bit weird

I have not seen raw imagery to compare fusion vs max, but looking at what’s on mapillary, I don’t see the difference. I don’t know if Max uploads are frame captures or images, but the detail is still very low.
Fusion has been end of life for almost a year now, and still works ok. Knowing GoPro, I wouldn’t expect many new features for the Max.
If you are in the market for a standalone 360 camera for mapillary and don’t have the budget for an Insta360 Pro, I’d go for a Fusion

I took the plunge into 360 imagery, just purchased a GoPro Max (and all the mounting gear) unfortunately before finding this forum.

I haven’t found any *updated documentation on the Mapillary site on how to upload captured imagery from the Max.

Has anyone found a smooth workflow to quickly get the imagery online?
What tools have you found to be most effective?

I raised this on the Go Pro forum. You never know, right? :wink:

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The Go Pro Exporter on Win 10 doesn’t export GPS data :frowning: but if you have access to a Mac, the Go Pro Player does. More info here