One year after the release of the GoPro HERO7 Black and a couple of months after the launch of the DJI Osmo Action, GoPro is back with loads of new products: the GoPro Hero8 Black, a couple of modular accessories called Mods, and the GoPro MAX that replaces the GoPro Fusion. Let’s take a closer look at all these new products for action lovers!
GoPro Hero8 Black – If It Works, Don’t Fix It
- The Hero8 Black measures 66.3mm x 48.6mm x 28.4mm, whereas the Hero7 is 62.3mm x 44.9mm x 33mm.
- The Hero8 Black weighs 126 grams, which is 10 grams heavier than the previous version.
- You don’t need a frame to attach your Hero8 Black to all existing GoPro mounts. Instead, the two swapping mounts are now built-in at the bottom of the action camera. They are retractable, so you can fold them if you don’t need to attach your camera to an accessory.
- The lens cover is slimmer and is equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass which, according to GoPro, is “two times more impact resistant than previous models.” Gorilla Glass is the same type of glass that is used on iPhones.
- There is no HDMI port on the Hero8 Black.
And that’s it. No big move from GoPro on the exterior design, if it works, don’t fix it.
The only thing that is missing is the built-in HDMI port; you’ll need to buy the Media Mod to get access to an HDMI port – more on that later. Most of the improvements are on the inside.
GoPro Hero8 Black – Same Look, Improved Features
If you are looking for drastic improvements on the photo/video resolution and framerates sides, you’ll be disappointed. The GoPro Hero8 Black still record in 4K at up to 60 frames per second, with only an improvement in terms of bit rate that jumps to 100Mbps (in 4K) compared to 78Mbps for the Hero7 Black.
Below is a comparison chart between the Hero8 Black and Hero7 Black of all the resolutions and framerates available.
So what’s new? On the photo side, you can still take 12MP pictures, but you now have RAW capabilities in all photo modes. Also, an improved HDR optimizes your SuperPhoto with less blur and more details in your shots. Finally, you can now capture a LiveBurst and get a 3-second video, or choose the best frame from the burst to get the perfect photo.
Better HyperSmooth Stabilization, Better Mic Placement, Time Warp
On the video side, the front-mic gets a new placement which should improve the sound clarity. The Hero8 Black features a unique “night lapse” video mode for capturing time-lapses at night.
Also, there is a new “narrow” digital lens, similar to a smartphone lens, for close up shots, portraits, or simply if you don’t want the fish-eye look. Some capture presets are also available if you don’t want to mess with the camera settings. Like the Hero7 Black, you can talk to the camera and say, “ GoPro, what settings should I use for biking.”. And voila, the camera will enter the right preset immediately.
The team at GoPro also improved the already impressive HyperSmooth feature with version 2.0 and a HyperSmooth Boost mode. The Hero8 Black has three levels of stabilization: On, High and Boost. Boost is the highest setting available and should give super-smooth results.
TimeWarp also gets a version 2.0 upgrade with auto speed detection. TimeWarp automatically adjusts speed based on motion, scene detection, and lighting. You can slow down the effect to real-time and then tap to speed it back up.
Modular Accessories for GoPro Hero8 Black
As I told you previously, the built-in HDMI port is gone on the Hero8 Black. To turn the small action camera into a lightweight filmmaking tool for professionals, GoPro introduced “Mods” or modular accessories.
At the moment, three modules are available: Media Mod, Light Mod, and Display Mod.
The base module is the Media Mod. This mod features a small shotgun-mic and gives you two cold shoe mounts for additional accessories along with a USB Type-C port, HDMI output, and a 3.5mm input jack.
The Display Mod looks like an answer to the DJI Osmo Action camera – that features a little LCD screen in front of the camera, which is useful when vlogging. The Display Mod is a small 1.90 inch LCD that attaches to the Media Mod. You can’t use it without the Media Mod. You can either use the Display Mod as a more prominent rear-facing display or fold it, so you have access to a front screen, ideal for vlogging.
Finally, the Light Mod is a small battery-powered LED light that is waterproof up to 10 meters. You can mount it on the Media Mod, wear it, or attach it to a GoPro mount.
Last but not least, the GoPro MAX is a 360° camera that replaces the two-years-old GoPro Fusion. One of the significant drawbacks of the GoPro Fusion is the lack of a screen to see what you’re doing/recording. With the GoPro MAX, this is now something of the past.
The GoPro MAX is waterproof up to 5 meters, and have a lot of features similar to the Hero8 Black like:
- Max HyperSmooth to stabilize your footage.
- Max TimeWarp, that automatically adjusts speed based on motion, scene detection, and lighting.
- Four digital lenses, including Max SuperView, the widest field of view available on a GoPro camera.
- Built-In, folding mounting fingers.
- Voice control.
- A GPS that captures your location, altitude, and speed.
The GoPro MAX inherit from a lot of the features of the Hero8 Black for some reason! Indeed, you can use the GoPro MAX in “HERO mode,” which is similar to a standard non-360° GoPro. Otherwise, in HERO mode, you can only record videos up to 1440p60, and pictures in a 5.5MP resolution.
But the main reason to buy the GoPro MAX is for its 360° video capabilities, and you won’t be disappointed. You can record 360 videos in 5.6K at up to 30 frames per second, and 6.2MP PowerPano photos. PowerPano photos are panoramic pictures, but without having to scan the horizon. You can easily create a 270° distortion-free panoramic image directly in-camera.
The GoPro MAX features six microphones to capture great 360 audio and stereo sound.
Updated GoPro App
To go with all the new cameras, GoPro also updated its smartphone App. The Quik app is now part of the GoPro app, so you can now quickly edit your pictures and videos directly inside the app. Also, an excellent addition is the ability to live stream your Hero8 Black and MAX in 1080p straight to social media platforms.
The GoPro App allows you to offload and edit your 360 footage in the GoPro app. Also, you can reframe 360 footage into traditional videos and photos that are more easily to playback, edit, and share.
Pricing and Availability
The Light Mod retails for $49.99/49,99€. The Media Mod and Display Mod retail for $79.99/79,99€ each. All three Mods will be available for preorder in December.
Finally, the GoPro MAX retails for $499/529,99€, you can already preorder it on the GoPro website, and shipments will begin October 24th.
What do you think of the GoPro Hero8 and MAX? Do you consider upgrading your action camera to this new model? Do you believe the modular accessories are attractive? Let us know in the comments!