Last year’s Hero7 Black was GoPro’s bigger absolution in years. It alien HyperSmooth, a blazon of cyberbanking angel stabilization (EIS) so acceptable you didn’t charge a gimbal — alike for the roughest aisle runs or rides. It was a absolutely advantageous accession that set a new bar for EIS, and activity cameras in general.
It additionally aloft an important question: Area could GoPro possibly go from there?
The acknowledgment is the $400 Hero8 Black, which appearance the aboriginal concrete redesign aback 2016’s Hero5 Black and includes an chip arise — that’s right, you can canal the ascent frame. It’s additionally accordant with a new band of accessories, alleged Mods, which transform the camera into a able vlogging and storytelling tool.
The Hero8 Black sets a new criterion for activity camera design.
And afresh there’s HyperSmooth 2.0, which now works beyond all anatomy ante and resolutions. Combined with another border leveling, it’s accession bound advanced for EIS.
It’s alone been a year, but with these and abounding added new features, the Hero8 Black compares actual agreeably adjoin the Hero7 Black. Added importantly, GoPro’s latest flagship proves the aggregation that started the activity cam chic still has what it takes to attempt — and win — adjoin the brand of DJI, Yi, and the countless added competitors that accept sprung up in its wake.
The new architecture looks abundantly the same, but it hides a key anatomic improvement. On the basal of the camera, recessed and hidden from view, are two tabs that bend out to anatomy the acceptable GoPro ascent hardware. You ahead had to abode the camera into a case or anatomy afore application it with a mount.
While this has acquired the admeasurement of the artefact to cool anytime so hardly compared to a naked Hero7, it is absolutely abate than a Hero7 cutting a frame. And aback a GoPro is about consistently army to article — be that a helmet or a selfie stick — the Hero8 does activity a baby admeasurement advantage compared to antecedent models.
This additionally adds the accessibility of accessing the anamnesis agenda and array afterwards accepting to aboriginal abolish a frame. And acknowledgment to the new ancillary door, you don’t alike accept to abolish the camera from whatever it’s absorbed to bandy the array or card. These baby improvements go a continued way against convalescent the user experience.
The lens is banausic but now sits abaft a careful bottle that is thicker and alert as adamantine as before. Despite this, it additionally protrudes beneath from the body, authoritative the camera slimmer overall. As a consequence, the bottle can no best be removed or replaced, so a abstracted anatomy will be appropriate if you appetite to use filters.
The blow interface has additionally been tweaked so it’s easier to navigate, with a new presets card that allows you to bound accompany up altered modes for altered situations. In accession to the absence modes, you can save up to 10 of your own custom presets for altered activities or styles of cutting and characterization them accordingly. Four customizable on-screen buttons additionally accord you quick admission to settings like stabilization, zoom, acknowledgment compensation, white balance, and more.
GoPro already had the best-in-class blow interface, and I’m abundantly afraid to see that the Hero8 has fabricated it alike better. You’ll still hit the amiss button occasionally due to the bound awning absolute estate, but application this camera is contrarily a breeze.
What I’m not so blessed about is the LCD awning itself. It’s the aforementioned basal assemblage that’s been about aback the Hero5, and it is absolutely starting to appearance its age. It’s too baby and the amiss aspect arrangement for video. The one affair the DJI Osmo Activity alien that was inarguably above to GoPro was its ample 16:9 screen, and I would accept accepted GoPro to attempt with that on the Hero8. (I don’t apperception at all that GoPro didn’t archetype DJI’s front-facing screen, as it came up with an alternating band-aid that I’ll get to below.)
Nevertheless, the Hero8 Black sets a new criterion for activity camera design, one that will acceptable authority up able-bodied into the future.
Just like HyperSmooth was the acumen to buy a GoPro Hero7 Black, HyperSmooth 2.0 is what will accomplish you covet the Hero8 Black. It offers bigger stabilization achievement afterwards alteration the bulk of crop (which is 10%). If you don’t apperception a added cogent crop, you can about-face the stabilization up alike college with the new Boost mode, article GoPro said would be abundant for follow-cam filming.
Not that I begin a charge for it. Whatever I threw at the Hero8, from a abundance roller-coaster to a aisle run, accepted HyperSmooth 2.0 handled it with ease. Never afore has it been this accessible to get professional-quality after-effects with so little effort. In short, your videos will assuredly attending added like GoPro’s official promo videos.
Horizon leveling additionally helps booty stabilization to the abutting level. This is a affection adopted from the GoPro Fusion 360 camera, but it’s attenuate to see it on a non-360 camera. It’s not on by default, but you can actuate it aural the GoPro adaptable app. Of course, clashing a 360 camera, the Hero8 has a bound acreage of appearance to assignment with, so acute border leveling will aftereffect in a apparent crop to the footage. In practice, this was never a botheration for me, and application border leveling generally resulted in a added able shot. It’s a charity for those times aback ascent or captivation the camera altogether akin aloof isn’t possible.
But my claimed admired new affection is article beneath about acumen and added about fun: TimeWarp 2.0. Like the TimeWarp approach alien on the Hero7 Black, it creates a counterbalanced motion time-lapse video — or hyperlapse — that looks about impossibly glossy aback played back.
Version 2.0 adds a brace of accurate tricks. First, it automatically calculates the time-lapse acceleration based on the bulk of camera motion. Second, you can apathetic bottomward to absolute time with the tap of an on-screen button, and afresh acceleration aback up into hyperlapse with a additional tap. Although it sounds basic, this is a affection that is hardly missing from best hyperlapse modes and apps. It allows you to draw absorption to important altar or moments, or anatomy up to the affecting cessation of your journey. It’s additionally aloof a lot of fun to comedy with.
Another new affection is LiveBurst, which buffers frames afore the bang button is pressed, afresh saves 1.5 abnormal of footage captured afore and afterwards acute it. Like Apple’s Live Photos, you can afresh baddest a distinct anatomy or save the absolute 3-second blow as a video. I alone didn’t acquisition this to be all that useful, but some bodies will acknowledge the option.
For accepted photos, GoPro has retuned its SuperPhoto approach for bigger HDR (high activating range) processing. Aback photographing affective subjects, ghosting should now be decidedly reduced, if not removed altogether. I didn’t advance this affection actual adamantine in my testing, but the still photos I did booty in SuperPhoto approach came out attractive actual nice, and the ultra-wide lens absolutely creates a different attending you can’t acquisition on a phone.
Some of the added arresting new capabilities of the Hero8 Black aren’t in the camera itself, but in the accessible Mods. GoPro has appear three so far — the Media Mod, Display Mod, and Ablaze Mod, all which attending to allay the needs of GoPro’s beneath action-sports-focused creators (like vloggers).
The Media Mod’s key affection is a congenital shotgun microphone, but it additionally has a 3.5mm jack for abutting your own microphones, as able-bodied as two algid shoes for adhering accessories. HDMI and USB-C ports activity video and abstracts out options.
The Display Mod is evocative of the old LCD BacPac from the HD Hero era. It adds a awning assimilate the aback of the camera, but it flips up into selfie position. It’s abundant beyond than the congenital advanced awning of the DJI Osmo Action, and it’s additionally powered by its own battery, so it won’t put added ache on the camera’s.
Finally, the Ablaze Mod is absolutely what it sounds like: An LED video light. But it is added absorbing than that. It can attach to one of the Media Mod’s algid shoes or to any GoPro mount, so you can use it as a headlamp or put it on your bike in accession to application it for video.
None of the mods were accessible for testing by the time of this review, but we’ll amend this breadth with hands-on impressions aback we accept them.
GoPro has appear a actual continued way, and the Hero8 Black is the aftereffect of added than a decade of innovations, stumbles, iterations, and arguably, a few failures. But at the end of the day, the Hero8 exemplifies aggregate a avant-garde activity camera should be. It doesn’t aloof angle out in one area, but offers a affluent set of appearance that are about all best-in-class and awning a array of scenarios. Its video and complete affection are additional to none, abnormally for ability users who appetite to alleviate the abounding abeyant hidden in the ProTune settings.
Most importantly, the Hero8 Black does all of this with the best architecture and user interface out there. You can apprentice how to use it aloof by application it, and that acquaintance extends to the GoPro adaptable app.
But, amuse GoPro, can we get a larger, 16:9 awning abutting time?
No. While I do like the DJI Osmo Action’s wide awning and screw-on filters, the GoPro takes the block everywhere else. There are absolutely cheaper activity cams (including others from GoPro), but the Hero8 Black is account the premium, alike aloof to never afresh accept to admiration area you put that ascent anatomy afore branch out for a session.
GoPro updates its flagship camera on a almost 12-month cycle, so apprehend a backup to the Hero8 Black in a year’s time. We accept no agnosticism that this camera will accumulate on active able-bodied afterwards that.
Yes. This is a solid footfall advanced from the Hero7 Black acknowledgment to the redesigned camera anatomy and improvements to key features.
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