GoPro's Max gets much-needed 360 time lapse features

Some key features missing at launch finally land on the all-seeing camera.

James Trew / Engadget

While the world remains on lockdown, your GoPro might feel a little neglected. But if you own a Max, you might want to keep it handy. The 360 camera is getting a firmware update that adds a few features that were missing at launch. Most notably the addition of a 60fps recording option for 360 videos, and spherical video and time lapse modes.

When GoPro unveiled Max, it solved a lot of the issues we had with Fusion — the company's first stab at a 360-camera. Not only was it smaller, the user experience was much improved and a slew of new features like Max HyperSmooth and 360 TimeWarp added exciting creative options. But a few things were notable by their absence. There was no slow-motion at all, and 360 time lapse options were limited to TimeWarp (which is conceptually similar but less apt for higher quality photos).

With the new firmware, you'll finally have some form of slow motion in 360 mode, albeit just 60fps (2x). There is a trade off in resolution, too, as you'll have to shoot in 3K. This might sound a lot, but given Max is essentially two cameras, it's a relative step down from the standard 5.6K (stitched) image available at 30 fps.

GoPro Max update.
James Trew / Engadget

The addition of time lapse in 360 mode fills a glaring gap in the Max spec sheet. When I reviewed the camera, I enjoyed the presence of TimeWarp, but was disappointed there was no conventional time lapse mode in 360 (you could shoot regular “flat” time lapses). Not only is it a popular feature generally, but it's also a handy way to take multiple photos without having to manually click the shutter -- if you want to catch a moving target or have multiple shots (okay, selfies) to choose from. Which interval options will be available isn't clear right now, but we're hoping there's a decent selection.

Other perks in the update include Horizon levelling for TimeWarp and photos (in non-360 mode) as well as improved media offload speeds. There's only one small caveat, and that's that you'll have to wait a little longer. The update is currently due to land around April 15th, but we guess it's not like you're planning on going on any adventures right now.