California company GoPro has unveiled its new GoPro Hero 8 Black. On the surface, it may look a lot like its predecessor the GoPro Hero 7 Black. However, everything isn’t as it seems. GoPro has made significant improvements to the design and features which makes the Hero 8, the action camera to beat.
Firstly, the GoPro has made a few improvements to the Hero 8 Black’s design. The device now has built-in mounting instead of having to use a special housing that blocked the battery. The mount sits flush under the device and extends downward. This removes the hassle of having to use a frame when mounting on different devices or surfaces. The GoPro Hero 8 is also physically larger than the Hero 7. However, it’s 14% lighter.
The GoPro Hero 7 Black introduced HyperSmooth technology. This stabilisation feature almost completely eliminated handshake from video capture. Somehow, GoPro managed to improve on the feature in the Hero 8 Black with HyperSmooth 2.0. The feature seems amazing and makes otherwise unusable, jittery videos appear shake free. This is quite impressive seeing that the HyperSmooth in the Hero 7 Black was very good. What’s more impressive is that you can customise the stabilisation level. If you want a bit of shake for realism, you can select “High” and the camera will do the rest. However, if you want truly near shake-free footage, crank it up to “Boost” mode and watch the magic happen. But beware. “Boost” mode crops the image a bit in order to eliminate the shake. The great news is, HyperSmooth 2.0 is available in every resolution and at every frame rate.
The new Hero 8 Black can shoot 4K up to 60fps, 1080p at 240fps and live streaming is now 1080p, up from 720p from the previous model. SuperPhoto now has improved HDR. This means you can get more contrast and detail in Hero 8 still images.
There’s also improved hyper-lapse. TimeWarp 2.0 (GoPro’s hyper-lapse feature) now intelligently determines the speed of the video based on what’s happening in the frame. You can also manually slow down to real-time video with just a tap on the touchscreen.
With the dizzying array of resolutions, frame rates and stabilisation options, it might be hard for a newbie to use the Hero 8 Black. To solve that problem, GoPro created presets. Users can choose one of the new, built-in presets that are tailored for different activities. And, you can add your own. This will make shooting simpler.
You can also add optional Mods to the Hero 8 Black action camera to truly let your creativity shine. There’s a Media Mod that adds a shotgun microphone, 3.5mm mic jack for an external mic, HDMI out ports and two cold shoe mounts. The Display Mod comes with a flip-up screen so you can see yourself when vlogging. While the Light Mod includes an LED light to brighten subjects. Mods will be available for pre-order in December.
GoPro has been sort of a benchmark for action cameras. However, other manufacturers are coming for a piece of the pie. DJI released its own action camera that was a direct competitor to the GoPro Hero 7 Black. It too offers impressive video stabilisation, a screen at the front so you can see yourself and most importantly, it was cheaper than the Hero 7 Black. This competition has prompted GoPro to react and bring great improvements to its product line that make it a compelling package.
The Hero 8 Black is US$399.99. Pre-orders began October 1 and the devices will ship on October 15.
— Written by Renor C.