GoPro HERO 8 Black Review
The GoPro HERO8 is finally here, and we’re excited to share our take on the good, the bad, and the ugly! Before we begin this review, we want to start by saying this is THE BEST ACTION CAMERA THAT GOPRO (or anyone) HAS EVER MADE…PERIOD! Want to find out why? Read more below!

PROS

  • No more plastic frame = lighter GoPro
  • HyperSmooth with a Boost
  • Media Mod: An Adventure Vlogger’s Dream
  • New capture presets for every activity
  • LiveStream in 1080p (Facebook + Youtube)
  • HyperLapse with auto-mode
  • LiveBurst = choose the best frame from 3sec video

CONS


HERO8: Beyond Next Level

The new GoPro HERO8 Black is finally here, Woo Hoo! Although not too much has changed physically (looks almost identical), the new HERO8 has gotten a major technological overhaul, with upgrades in nearly every department. With many people calling GoPro’s latest creation the “GoPro HERO-Vlog” (okay just us), many people are eager to find out how this new GoPro compares to the almost perfect, GoPro HERO7. Hold on to your board shorts, because we’re diving in!

New Design

As I type this, its difficult to hide my excitement about the HERO8’s new integrated mounting fingers! I’m sure I can speak for most of us when I say that I’m glad those annoying housing clamps are gone (well kinda)!With the new GoPro HERO8, mounting fingers are built right into the camera, which makes it super easy to charge the camera and swap out SD cards on the go.

The only downside to this new design is that the battery door includes the battery, the SD card, and the ports (USB-C + HDMI). Therefore, when you charge your camera, you need to open the battery door, which can lead to the battery falling out.

HyperSmooth 2.0

If you thought HyperSmooth was nice, wait until you try HyperSmooth 2.0! Last year the GoPro HERO7 changed the game with its seemingly unshakable footage, no gimbal required, of course.HyperSmooth 2.0 extends HyperSmooth to every frame rate in every aspect ratio. The HERO8 also has a HyperSmooth Boost mode, which crops the image slightly and offers a higher level of stability. The Boost feature is not provided in every mode, but it is available in 4K/30.

With Boost, you can leverage more of the accelerometer and gyros in the camera to predict what will happen in the scene, and it will automatically smooth based on that.

HyperSmooth Boost is ideal for high-speed action shots like follow-cam (wakeboarding, snowboarding, etc.) or when you are mountain biking down a bumpy trail.

TIP: You know you are shooting in Boost mode when you see the blue icon on the screen. Blue = Boost, No Blue = No Boost

TimeWrap 2.0

GoPro also improved its TimeWrap feature with the introduction of TimeWrap 2.0. The HERO8 uses the same HyperSmooth 2.0 technology and applies it to TimeLapse video. TimeWrap 2.0 takes time-lapse to the next level and allows you to toggle how fast you want the hyper-lapse.TimeWrap 2.0 also includes a new Auto mode, which automatically adjusts the speed based on the scene, motion, and how much lighting you have.

Media Mods: A Vlogger’s Dream

Attention all adventure vloggers, your life just got a whole lot better! The new Media Mods are perfect for vloggers as it can turn an ordinary action camera into a top of the line vlogging rig with just a snap. The Media Mod frame includes a built-in shotgun mic, HDMI out port, and a 3.5mm mic jack. GoPro also makes a Light Mod, with a 200 lumen LED light, as well as a Flip Screen Mod, for that perfectly framed selfie Vlog shot.Vloggers, don’t get too excited just yet, the Media Mods are set for pre-order December 2019, right on time for the holidays (hopefully)!

As I write this review, the HERO8 Mods are priced as follows:

  • Media Mod = $79.99
  • Display Mod = $79.99
  • Light Mod = $49.99

Also, keep in mind, the Light Mod and Display Mod are sold separately from the Media Mod and attach directly onto the Media Mod’s top and side rails. Therefore the full Light Mod setup will cost you an additional $159.98, and the full Light Mod setup will cost $129.98.

The entire Media + Light + Display Mod setup will run you about 200 bucks. GoPro doesn’t make this very clear on their website, so just a heads up.

LiveBurst


If you are familiar with Apple’s Live Photo or Andriod’s Motion Photos feature, you will love the HERO8’s LiveBurst mode. With LiveBurst mode enabled, when you take a picture, the camera automatically takes a 1.5-second video before and a 1.5-second video after. From that 3 second video, you can choose the frame you want to use for that picture.

Rugged & Waterproof

GoPro HERO 8 Rugged and Waterproof
The lens on the HERO8 also got an upgrade and is no longer integrated within the camera. GoPro says the new lens is now 2x stronger than in the past. They made this possible by increasing the thickness of the glass from 1.3mm to 2mm. We did not get a chance to smash the camera’s lens, but we will take GoPro’s word for it!

The obvious downside is that if the lens gets scratched or cracks, you will need to send the HERO8 back to GoPro to get it swapped out. If you have the GoPro Plus subscription package, you can get it swapped out with no questions asked…Still a pain in the butt if you ask me.

Your old ND filters will also not be compatible with the HERO8, but GoPro said they are working with PolarPro to release new filters soon (hopefully before Christmas, but with GoPro, who really knows…)

Another slight downside is that the new HERO8 is no longer compatible with the GoPro Super Suit Uber Protection & Dive Housing, so if you plan on going diving, you will need to pick up the new scuba Protective Housing for the HERO8. The HERO8 is also not compatible with the Karma Drone and Karma Grip, so to any of the 3 people in the world who still fly the Karma drone, sorry…

GoPro also has 4 digital lenses:

  • Narrow (27mm):
  • Linear (19-39mm): 4k = no fish-eye view for edits using a DSLR camera
  • Wide (16-34mm)
  • Superview (16mm)

The HERO8 is still waterproof to 10 meters (30ft) and pretty much indestructible (again, just take our word for it).

I have to be honest, I am still waiting on GoPro to release a water-repellant glass lens something like a superhydrophobic coating film that is baked into the glass. RainX and Saliva work well, but I always get mini panic attacks when I go home to edit the footage I just shot and see that water droplet just hanging out there in what always seems to be the best frames of the session! But a man can dream, right?

LiveStream


If you’re a Youtuber or content creator, you’ll be happy to find that the HERO8 can now Livestream in 1080p to Facebook and Youtube. Yes, we are still waiting on an Instagram Live integration, but we’ll take Youtube at 1080p for now!

The HERO8’s new Livestreaming capabilities pair perfectly with the new, improved shooting modes (HyperSmooth 2.0, TimeWarp 2.0, Media Mods, etc.). You can now shoot more professional footage without having to edit the footage in post before you can share your adventure with your friends! On the HERO8, your footage will be smooth, crisp, and ready to watch, right our of the box.

GoPro MAX (Fusion 360)

I won’t go into too much detail on the new GoPro MAX (New GoPro Fusion), as we will probably do a separate review for this camera soon.The GoPro Max can still shoot 360 degrees video, is smaller than the Fusion, and only requires one memory card, not 2. The GoPro MAX now has a front-facing 1.7in screen, a shotgun mic, six mics overall, and allows you to Livestream in 1080p. The GoPro MAX is sold for $499 (at the time of writing).

The Verdict: Buy or Pass?

Okay, so there you have it, the new HERO8 is undeniably the best GoPro ever made and by far the best action camera on the market. This year, GoPro has faced the most competition in recent years with the release of the DJI Osmo Action. Once again, GoPro has proved why they are the global leader in Handheld Action Cameras, selling more than 30 million GoPros worldwide (as of Q4 of 2018).

Now, the $400 dollar question—Is it worth upgrading from the HERO7 Black to the HERO8 Black?

Short Answer: If you can afford it (duhh), the HERO8 will be one of the best purchases you’ll make this year.

Long Answer: If you are a content creator or vlogger looking for the best quality footage possible and have $400 just burning a hole in your pocket, the HERO8 is definitely for you! Also, if you are still rocking the HERO5 or HERO6, and have been waiting to pull the trigger on a new GoPro, the new design + stabilization features alone are worth the upgrade.

Although the enhancements made to the HERO8 are useful, the jump from the HERO7 to the HERO8 is less significant than say, from the HERO6 to the HERO7. So if you just bought the HERO7 and use your GoPro for recreational videos, you can save your money for Halloween Candy or cool GoPro Mounts because let’s be honest, you can never have enough sticky mounts on your gear!

Compare: HERO8 Black Vs. HERO7 Black

HERO8 Black HERO7 Black
GoPro HERO8 Black
GoPro HERO7 Black
Key Features
Key Features
Photo
Photo 12MP + SuperPhoto With Improved HDR 12MP + SuperPhoto With HDR
LiveBurst
LiveBurst
SuperPhoto
SuperPhoto With Improved HDR With HDR
Video (Resolution / Max fps)
Video (Resolution / Max fps) 4K / 60
4K (4:3) / 30
2.7K / 120
2.7K (4:3) / 60
1440p / 120
1080p / 240
4K / 60
4K (4:3) / 30
2.7K / 120
2.7K (4:3) / 60
1440p / 120
1080p / 240
960p / 240
720p / 240
Max Video Bit Rate
Max Video Bit Rate 100 Mb/s (2.7K and 4K) 78 Mb/s (4K)
Battery
Battery Removable 1220mAh lithium-ion rechargeable Removable 1220mAh lithium-ion rechargeable
Waterproof
Waterproof Up to 30ft Up to 30ft
Frameless Mounting With Folding Fingers
Frameless Mounting With Folding Fingers
HERO8 Black Mods
HERO8 Black Mods
Touch Screen
Touch Screen
Video Stabilization
Video Stabilization HyperSmooth 2.0 HyperSmooth
Horizon Leveling
Horizon Leveling With the GoPro App
TimeWarp Video
TimeWarp Video TimeWarp 2.0 TimeWarp
Digital Lenses / FOV
Digital Lenses / FOV SuperView, Wide, Linear, Narrow Superview, Wide, Linear
RAW Photo Capture
RAW Photo Capture All Photo Modes
Settings Presets / Custom Presets
Settings Presets / Custom Presets
Customizable On-Screen Shortcuts
Customizable On-Screen Shortcuts
Voice Control
Voice Control
Time Lapse Video
Time Lapse Video
Night Lapse Video
Night Lapse Video
Slo-Mo
Slo-Mo 8x 8x
Live Streaming
Live Streaming 1080p (Facebook + Youtube) 720p (Facebook)
GPS
GPS
Face Detection
Face Detection
Protune
Protune
Integrated Flash
Integrated Flash
Compatible Housing
Compatible Housing Protective Housing (HERO8 Black) SuperSuit (Protection + Dive Housing)
GP1 Chip
GP1 Chip
Auto Cloud Backup
Auto Cloud Backup Included with GoPro Plus Subscription Included with GoPro Plus Subscription
Audio Features
Audio Features
Stereo Audio
Stereo Audio
RAW Audio Capture
RAW Audio Capture .wav format .wav format
3.5 mm Audio Mic In
3.5 mm Audio Mic In With Media Mod for HERO8 Black or With Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter With Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter
Connected Features
Connected Features
Wi-Fi + Bluetooth®
Wi-Fi + Bluetooth®
Connects to GoPro App
Connects to GoPro App
Auto Upload to Cloud
Auto Upload to Cloud With GoPro Plus subscription With GoPro Plus subscription
HDMI Video Out
HDMI Video Out With Media Mod for HERO8 Black With Micro HDMI Cable
Design + Dimensions
Design + Dimensions
Dimensions
Dimensions 66.3 W x 48.6 H x 28.4 D (mm) 62.3 W x 44.9 H x 33 D (mm)
Weight
Weight 126g 116g
Mounting Weight (Camera + Battery + Frame)
Mounting Weight (Camera + Battery + Frame) 126g (No Frame Required) 142g
USB Port
USB Port USB-C USB-C
Memory Storage
Memory Storage 1 microSD™ with at least Class 10 or UHS-I rating 1 microSD™ with at least Class 10 or UHS-I rating
Battery
Battery Removable 1220mAh lithium-ion rechargeable Removable 1220mAh lithium-ion rechargeable
Replaceable Lens
Replaceable Lens
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Price
Performance
Image Quality
Design
Stability
User Friendliness
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Marc Leipold is the Founder/CEO and Extreme Sports Guinea Pig at Extrevity. When he's not behind a keyboard, you can find him at the bottom of the ocean hand feeding Tiger Sharks or bungee jumping off of a 450 Ft. platform in the Costa Rican Cloud Forest. You can find out more about him at:

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