Price (RRP): $599.95
Was it only three months ago that we reviewed the GoPro Hero 7 Black? Absolutely. And now its – not replacement, but successor – the GoPro HERO8 Black action camera is here. And it’s here at the same $599.95 price as the earlier model. The 7 remains, though, at the reduced price of $529.95.
GoPro HERO8 features – a significant upgrade
At first glance, the GoPro HERO8 looks like the subtlest of moves from the Hero 7. It’s still a very compact unit. It has the colour screen occupying just about the whole of the back, the camera lens at top right on the front with a small monochrome status display next to it.
But, no, it’s quite different, with an expansion of internal features and marked changes to the outside. The first change: it’s bigger on a couple of dimensions, but also smaller. It’s heavier, but also lighter.
The GoPro HERO8 Black is 66.3mm wide, 48.6mm tall and 28.4mm deep, compared to the Hero 7’s 62.3mm wide, 44.9mm tall and 33mm deep. So, the 8 isn’t as deep as the 7, but it’s bigger the other two ways.
But it’s also smaller. You see, if you flip the HERO8 Black upside down, you’ll see two odd looking tabs folded into its base – GoPro calls them “floating fingers”. Flip both of them out and they form a standard GoPro twin-tab mount. To mount the Hero 7, you have to insert it into the included frame. With that in place, the Hero 7 is both wider and taller than the GoPro HERO8 Black.
The GoPro HERO8 Black is also a little heavier than the 7, at 126 grams vs 116 grams. But the Hero 7’s frame brings its weight up to 142 grams.
GoPro HERO8 connections
Like the Hero 7, the HERO8 Black is waterproof to ten metres without a housing. If anything, it’s probably easier to keep watertight because it has only one door instead of two. That’s on the side and it houses the battery (the same one used by the 7 and 6), the microSD card (up to 256GB) and the USB Type-C port.
There is one arguably backwards step with the GoPro HERO8 Black compared to the 7: it no longer has a microHDMI output port. The USB Type-C port is the only connection. I think it was a change worth making because with the reduced space demands, the need for a second door is removed. And if you are keen on better I/O, then in coming months you’ll be able to purchase a new “Media Mod” ($129.95) for the GoPro HERO8 Black. This is like an oversized frame for the HERO8 Black. It includes a directional microphone (there’s a microphone on the front of the HERO8, so I assume this one is better), two “cold” shoes for mounting accessories, a USB Type-C port, a microHDMI out port and a 3.5mm microphone in port.
Basically, add the Media Mod and you’re started to turn your GoPro HERO8 Black into a powerful media capturing device.
Included in the box with the GoPro HERO8 Black is the battery, a USB charge cable, a curved adhesive mount, a clip-in attachment compatible with standard GoPro fittings and the necessary screw to clamps things down. Not included with the unit is a standard 1/4-inch camera tripod adaptor.
There is a wide range of other accessories including (coming soon) a flip up display and an LED light source (you need the Media Mod for them), plus batteries, chargers, all manner of mounts and protective cases, including an underwater one to allow more than 10 metres of depth.
Internal improvements in the GoPro HERO8 Black
As for functionality, take the Hero 7 and add about 20% and you’ve got the HERO8.
Oh, yes, a couple of things have been taken away. There are no longer 720p and 960p video modes, but do you need them? The 1080p slow motion mode goes up to 8x. The old 720p and 960p slo-mo were the same speed for no particular advantage.
4K still goes up to 60 frames per second and 2.7K up to 120 frames per second. (1080p? up to 240 fps). And maximum bitrates are up to 100Mbps instead of 78Mbps. TimeWarp video – which is kind of like an automated, smoother Time Lapse video, now comes in version 2.0, although it’s unclear what changes. Likewise, the HyperSmooth digital video stabilisation now also comes as version 2.0.