After last week’s tease of a more powerful new GoPro, the Hero 8 Black was unveiled today with upgrades across the board. The latest action cam gets faster, more capable hardware inside, better software to stabilize your POV video footage, a new body with a built-in mount that lets you leave the case behind, plus a new modular “Vlogger’s” case with external microphone and two cold shoes that lets you add on a forward-facing screen and external light source.
GoPro Hero 8 Black more powerful POV action camera
The new generation of GoPro’s industry benchmark action cam – the Hero 8 Black – gets a welcome but relatively straight-forward upgrade to its internal hardware to stay competitive with a growing crop of competitors, most recently led by the latest DJI Osmo Action camera. GoPro’s own software that smooths your video and helps turn hours of footage into something entertaining to watch also gets a noticeable update. But it is probably the new case designs and new modular accessories that are the biggest departure for the new Hero8.
What’s new inside the new GoPro Hero 8 Black?
The new camera packs more powerful, faster sensor & processing inside thanks to optimized algorithms on the GP1 chip, so you can step up to higher quality videos at the highest bitrate of any GoPro ever – 100Mbps. But the core stats of the sensors & video capture remain the same as the last generation at 4K 60fps, 1080p240 for 8x slo-mo, and 12MP stills.
With that the Hero 8 adds four new digital lens options – Narrow, distortion-free Linear, Wide & SuperView – so you can tap through to get the shot you are looking for.
The new camera also packs in three on-board mics now for less wind noise, and more accurate audio recording.
Hero 8 Black has a slimmer body with integrated mounts
At first glance, the new Hero 8 looks to have left the shape of the camera mostly unchanged as it has been for years since the Hero 5. But, it’s 4.6mm slimmer than before, and 14% lighter, so it won’t fit inside older cases. (It’s down to 126g, which is actually 10g more than the 7. But since it doesn’t need a frame mount, it ends up 16g lighter overall.) Buuuut, new Hero 8 Black body gets built-in, fold-away mounting tabs so you don’t need that extra frame that previously snapped around the core camera or a larger external case to attach to their now ubiquitous standard 3-tab mounts.
It also features a slim Corning Gorilla Glass lens cover for a 2x boost in impact resistance. And there is an optional tempered glass lens & screen protector add-on for those especially hard on their devices.
The new fold-away mounting tabs – called Folding Fingers – mean you can bolt the core camera directly to all current and past GoPro mounts. Or, snap them into the closed position and put them in the…
New Hero 8 Black external case with built-in mic & cold shoe mount
A new optional external Media Mod case or rather a modular extended frame that builds in external, shotgun microphone audio, a 3.5mm mic port, HDMI-out ports and two modular, industry standard cold shoe mounts (that’s a hot shoe without auxiliary power). That microphone is a big plus for anyone looking to use their GoPro to record people speaking into the camera in addition to fast moving action footage, without the need for more bulky external mic setups.
Then, onto those new mounts you can add a new external forward facing Display Mod external LCD display to see what is being recorded live – especially useful for the growing crop of vloggers, or really anyone looking for an easier way to frame your shot from in front of the camera.
Another optional accessory is a high powered, yet compact 200 lumen (200lux over 1m) LED light source called the Hero 8 Light Mod for recording in lower light conditions, again useful for interview-style video recording. It can even be bought separately to mount the extra light on any standard GoPro mount.
There is also a new $30€ Hero 8 Black Floaty case (which is actually orange), a large foam cover that slips over the core camera so it will bob to the top when you drop it in the lake.
All of the updates to the main body of the new camera necessitate a bit of reshuffling of the Hero 8 internals, with the battery & memory card access door moving to the side of the body. That’s not that big of a deal, but the important thing is that the new camera will still use the same battery pack as before, so your stockpile of extra Hero 6-7 batteries will still work when you upgrade.
HyperSmooth 2.0 now works in all resolutions, frame rates!
GoPro says the software that makes the Hero 8 Black tick is much improved over the 7, with new HyperSmooth 2.0 image stabilization that smooths out your bump trail footages almost as well are mechanical image stabilizers, plus automatic leveling of the horizon, and a new TimeWarp 2.0 that creates even better smooth & stable time lapse videos.
Here’s the big news about HyperSmooth: It now works in ALL resolutions and frame rates, from the highest 4K all the way to 240fps slow motion! That’s a massive upgrade from the H7 for anyone who does a lot of slo-mo and wants to improve the resolution! It also gets three modes – On, High & Boost – so you can pick how smooth you are aiming for!
Thanks to more processing power, Live Streaming is also said to work better than ever, now allowing direct streaming at 1080p to social media sites (up from 720p) via the companion GoPro mobile phone app.
Hero 8 Photos get better, too
SuperPhoto and more powerful HDR photo automation get upgraded for better color ranges, and are said to cut down motion blur significantly.
A new LiveBurst mode also captures shots 1.5 seconds before & after you tap the shutter to get the best of the 90 individual stills that the Hero 8 records. Or you can share the 3 sec LiveBurst as a 4K video. And a special new Night Lapse video mode was developed to create better time lapse videos without typical dark footage grain.
Voice control & touch screen operation remains unchanged making it easy to operate the latest GoPro in any environment.
GoPro Hero 8 pricing & availability
The new Hero 8 is available for pre-order now direct from GoPro, and effectively carries over the same pricing as the Hero 7. The base new GoPro Hero8 Black camera sells for $399 (€430) with the basics – the revised camera, battery, USB-C charger & two adhesive mounts. Global delivery is expected in approximately two weeks, with current shipping estimates of Oct 15.
The $/€79 Media Mod, $/€79 Display Mod & $/€49 Light Mod kits will be available for pre-order only from December 2019.
The Hero7 drops in price to now for $329 (€349) and carries over unchanged. Which is good, because it’s still an amazing action cam.
But wait there’s more! The dual-spherical-lens 360° GoPro Fusion and its immersive Overcapture recording get a complete Virtual Reality reboot as the new GoPro Max. Developed to capture every angle, all the time – the new GoPro Max packs all of the latest VR video recording tech into a much smaller, and even more affordable package…Check it out here!