GoPro Hero8 Black Review
It’s almost the end of 2019 and GoPro has finally gotten back to the top of action cameras! They finally began to keep up with the tech and include it in new models. Like the Hero7 Black was a huge success with the introduction of Hypersmooth. Well this time they have taken it even further! They only recently revealed their new flagship action camera, the GoPro Hero8 Black! Not only does it have improved hardware but it’s also now modular! It’s something that’s completely innovative. So let’s see if it’s actually worth the hype.
- Dimensions: 66.3×48.6×28.4 mm / 2.61×1.91×1.12″
- Weight: 126 g / 4.4 oz
- Video resolutions: 4K 60 fps; 2.7K 120 fps; 1440p 120 fps; 1080p 240 fps
- Bitrate: 100 Mb/s
- Photo: 12 MP
- Video stabilization: Yes, HyperSmooth 2.0 (works also in 4K 60 fps)
- Modes: Night Photo & Night Lapse mode, Auto Low Light, Exposure Control, Burst, Looping, Slo-Mo, TimeWarp Video, LiveBurst
- Features: WiFi+Bluetooth, Advanced Wind Noise Reduction, Voice Control, GPS, Linear Field Of View, RAW & WDR Photos, Live Streaming, Protune
- Screens: 2″ Touch Sensitive LCD Screen, Status Screen
- Waterproof up to 33 ft /10 m
- Ports: USB-C, MicroSD card slot
- Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 256GB
- Battery: Removable 1220 mAh Li-On
- Battery life: 45 minutes of 4K at 60 fps
In The Box
- GoPro Hero8 Black
- Rechargeable battery
- Curved adhesive mount
- Mounting buckle
- USB-C to USB-A cable
- Thumb screw
GoPro has always been known for their fantastic build quality. I’m happy to say that they haven’t cut any corners over the years. I’d even go as far and say that it has improved with every version. The GoPro Hero8 Black is covered with this really nice high quality material that feels like rubber. It’s some type of a special rubberized plastic. Not only does this material feel really nice to hold but it’s also really easy as it’s not slippery. Plus it makes the camera waterproof down to 10 m / 33 ft.
The action camera has an overall dimension of 66.3×48.6×28.4 mm / 2.61×1.91×1.12″ and it weighs 126 g / 4.4 oz. It’s a bit slimmer than the Hero7 Black as the lens doesn’t stick out as far. That said, they have somehow managed to make the Hero8 Black heavier. 126 g / 4.4 oz is quite a bit of weight when you compare it to other action cameras. It’s most probably not something that’s a deal breaker but still worth to notice.
The layout has changed quite a bit though. The capture / record button is obviously still at the top but they have switched the power / mode button to the lens side. They have also turned the entire left side into a compartment. It holds the removable battery, MicroSD slot and the USB-C port. The camera still has a 2″ touch screen on the back and a small monochrome status screen on the front.
And if you wonder why they have dropped the bottom battery compartment then the picture above should answer that question. Yes, the Hero8 Black now has a built-in folding fingers. It’s the best thing I have seen on an action camera and it solves so many problems. You don’t need to use a frame anymore when you want to mount the camera. I’m sure that it’s one of the reasons why the camera weighs so much now. It’s totally worth it though.
GoPro is pretty much the pioneer when it comes to action camera accessories. They have the most mounts for absolutely any situation you can imagine. The only downside is that they don’t come with the camera. The only accessories that are included in the package are: curved adhesive mount, mounting buckle and thumb screw. Barely anything compared to what AKASO and SJCAM include for example. That said, there are some GoPro packages as well that include more. Or you’ll just have to buy the mounts you need separately.
What is unique about the Hero8 Black is that you can also buy modules for it. They wrap around the camera and add extra features. At the moment there are 3 different types of mods: Media, Display and Light. Each one of those transform the camera to a next level. I can see them being extremely useful for vloggers, especially the Display mod. It adds a bigger screen that you can also flip up to see yourself while recording. Or the Media mod, which brings you a shotgun mic, 3.5mm and HDMI out ports, and two shoe mounts! And yes, you can mix all the mods to create the ultimate action camera!
Settings & Menu
GoPro action cameras have always been extremely easy to use. I’m happy to say that even with the added features, it still stays true for the Hero8 Black. I’d even go as far and say that it has gotten much easier with the new user interface that was introduced with the Hero7 series. For those of you that aren’t familiar, the new interface pretty much looks and feels like a smartphone app in the camera.
You use it just as you would on your phone. As in you just need to swipe to navigate between different modes and settings. The touchscreen is incredibly responsive and it really doesn’t feel different at all from using a phone. They have also improved the visibility of certain signs, such as the memory space and battery life. GoPro has added them some color and they are now easier to view. And finally the portrait / landscape mode. The screen basically flips with the position of the camera. Again, just like on your phone!
The Hero8 Black is GoPro’s flagship action camera and the technical specs match it. It can record 4K videos at up to 60 fps and 1080p at up to 240 fps! That’s actually insane. Especially the 240 frames per second at Full HD. You can use that mode to create some incredible slow motion videos in really high quality. For me, that’s even more impressive than the 4K. That said, it’s still their biggest selling point as they now have a stabilization system that works with 4K 60 fps as well. It’s called the HyperSmooth 2.0! And yes, it’s an upgraded version of the already fantastic HyperSmooth that was revealed with the release of Hero7 Black.
In terms of performance, the GoPro Hero8 Black is currently the best action camera you can buy. The video example should be a clear proof of that. It’s been recorded in 4K with the HyperSmooth 2.0 switched on. And as you can see, the video quality is really good. The footage barely has any blur at all and even the trees are sharp and detailed. Plus of course the fantastic GoPro colors which I’m personally a huge fan of. And finally the HyperSmooth 2.0 which seems to be even more impressive than the previous version. So overall it’s a spectacular camera.
As I mentioned before, the camera comes with a removable battery. It has a 1220 mAh capacity and it’s also compatible with the previous flagship versions as well, all the way down to the Hero5 Black. That said, it has received some updates. As in the new battery supports higher max output, which is needed for certain features. Overall the battery life mostly depends on what modes you use etc. In average you should be able to get 47 minutes of 4K 60 fps with WiFi and GPS turned on. Or 81 minutes of 1080p 60 fps. You can extend the battery life if you switch those extras off. Overall they have gotten much better.
If you are looking for the very best action camera then the GoPro Hero8 Black is for you. It’s just such a good camera that does everything well. First the design, which is really easy to mount and use. Plus it’s already waterproof and you don’t need to put it inside a case. Then the modular feature, which allows you to take the camera to the next level by adding different mods. And finally the performance. Amazing video quality and the best built-in stabilization system that doesn’t involve a gimbal. What more can you ask for?