Is the GoPro Hero8 Black the most awesome action camera on the market? With a 12Mp sensor, 4K video and HyperSmooth stabilisation, you may think so. Let’s compare it with the Hero7 and see how it’s evolved.

GoPro Hero8 Black

Looking at the GoPro Hero8 Black, it’s immediately clear how similar it is to its Hero7 predecessor. Notable, however, is its significant weight-loss. The Hero8 has large boots to fill despite its smaller size, and it manages to meet expectations due to subtle, yet powerful changes made to what’s under the hood.

Compact, sleek, and easily-portable are just some understatements that I could use to describe this flagship GoPro. However, I believe a few headings and organisation are in order, to efficiently describe the many intricacies of this camera and how it stands up in relation to the Hero7.

Design

All GoPros follow a fundamental blueprint design with their own unique alterations.
Comparing the Hero8’s dimensions of 66.3 x 48.6 x 28.4 mm to the Hero7’s dimensions of 62.3 x 44.9 x 33 mm coupled with a weight difference of 10g, it’s clear that Hero8 is intended to be a slicker and more compact GoPro than the Hero7.

Hammock camping in the woods
Hammock camping in the woods

The most noticeable change to the Hero Black’s design is its built-in mounting apparatus that eliminates the need for the pain-in-the-arse mounting frame so that the camera can be attached to a tripod or any handheld device. This Hero8 mounting apparatus operates using two ‘finger-like’ juts that fold into the camera.

Hardware

There has been no change in the sensor used in GoPro’s since Hero6, and the Hero8 is no exception. However, there have been some improvements made to the GP1 processor that accumulate in better video stabilisation and a variety of other enhanced features. Furthermore, the GoPro Hero8 Black has a maximum video throughput of up to 100 Megabits per second in 4K, leading to more detailed imaging in comparison to the Hero 7 Black’s 78 Megabits per second.
The battery capacities of both GoPros remain the same at 1220 mAh, but I heard the older batteries drain a little quicker, not surprising.
Please note that the lens of the Hero8 GoPro is not replaceable, get it scratched and you’re screwed, buy screen protectors.

Expansion mods

A feature that is unique to the hero8 is the option to add additional modifications to your camera through a series of mod ports built into the GoPro hardware. These modifications come in the form of a front flip-up display that allows you to see yourself as you go or front-facing LED lights that can provide lighting for a photo-op. This line of accessories also includes a high-quality microphone.

Features and Spec

The GoPro Hero8 black makes use of HyperSmooth 2.0 to enhance video stabilisation while also making for polished ‘slo-mo’ shots. Horizon levelling is another feature that makes for a superb and even image.

The GoPro Hero8 black even has a LiveBurst feature which allows you to record moments 1.5 seconds before and after you capture your action shot. This feature enables you to pan through the ‘video’ and choose the best frame as your photo.
Whereas the GoPro Hero7 Black supports SuperView, Wide and Linear field of view, the GoPro 8 also offers a Narrow option.
Similar to the GoPro 7 Black, the 8 is waterproof and touchscreen.

DD Hammock taken with the GoPro Hero8 Black
DD Hammock taken with the GoPro Hero8 Black

Another useful feature of the GoPro eight is the onscreen shortcuts that paired with the touchscreen make for easy access and quick use.

Adding to the improvements made to the GoPro Hero8 is the novel night lapse video feature paired with an enhanced ability to capture daytime time-lapse images. The addition of TimeWarp 2.0, which is GoPro’s latest hyper-lapse mode, is what gives rise to the improved time-lapse imaging that allows for dynamic imaging.

Due to the built-in WIFI, GPS and Bluetooth of the GoPro Hero8, images or videos stored on the SD card of the camera can be immediately uploaded to the web or the GoPro app for editing and sharing.

Video

A new addition to the GoPro8 is its support of Live Streaming with 1080p. The GoPro7’s was only 720p. This increased resolution and image quality make the GoPro8 perfect for vloggers or those wishing to record their adventures.

A novel HDMI-out port has also been introduced as one of the GoPro Hero8’s many mods. This new port facilitates the monitoring, playback, and editing of footage paired with the new mountable GoPro Media Mod.

Photo

Both the Hero8 Black and Hero7 Black are equipped with a 12MP sensor. However, the Hero8 also takes improved HDR images which, when paired with GoPro’s ‘Superphoto’ feature can help to perfect images.

Night Photo

My favourite feature of the GoPro is night photography mode.

Ingleborough Wild Camp Moonbow Vango Banshee 200
Ingleborough Wild Camp Moonbow Vango Banshee 200

You can set the shutter to open for 20 seconds just like a DSLR and take amazing shots like this. With the lens being so small there’s no problems with everything being in focus. Lugging the DSLR up mountains is a bit of a pain so with the GoPro being so light, it’s much more usable. I can strap it to a tree or rest the mini-tripod on a rock to get a good angle.

Audio

There is a built-in directional mic that delivers crystal-clear audio while reducing any ambient or wind noises. The novel front-facing mic of the GoPro Hero8 is wind-optimised meaning that crisp audio can be recorded despite heavy winds. Once again, this feature makes the GoPro Hero8 a ‘must-have’ for any wilderness vloggers or street vloggers.

A 3.5 mm Audio Mic can be mounted to the GoPro using the Media Mod or the Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter. Though the internal mic of the GoPro Hero8 is entirely satisfactory, the enhanced sound-collection and audio quality of the external mod mics cannot be denied.

Is the GoPro Hero8 any good?

It’s awesome, and the thing is this, if you’re going to learn how to use it and get use out of it then it’s more than worth the money. If you don’t use it, you’ll be pissed off you spent good money on something that sits in a drawer. When you watch the videos on YouTube with someone on a bike or surfing, they definitely got their money’s worth, and it’s up to you to get yours.

Initially priced at £379.99, the GoPro Hero8 Black is now considerably less expensive months after its debut. It’s now £100 cheaper at £279.99 and it’s worth every last penny. What will have you thinking, on their website, is whether or not to go all in and get the bundle!

If you have some bits from an older version, you probably won’t need the bundle bits but a charger and extra battery are very useful, especially if you’re out in the wild for a couple of days. The charger supports USB charging from your powerpack.

This robust, state-of-the-art, and portable camera will not let you down no matter what the moment or challenge.

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