Digital Photography Review

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Now that the latest camera by GoPro – The Hero 9 Black has arrived, you must be wondering what’s new in this action camera? Another thing that many GoPro enthusiasts have been asking is: how does the GoPro Hero 9 compare with Hero 8 and Hero 7?

If you are also wondering the differences between the most popular action cameras available today, then in this article you’ll find the answer to your questions.

But without further ado, let’s get started!

Overview

Let’s start with a general overview of the three cameras:

GoPro Hero 7 Black

HERO7 Black

GoPro Hero 7 Black comes with the same external design as the previous models like Hero 5 and 6 Black, but has various added features. You can enjoy recording your fun moments using these amazing new features like HyperSmooth, TimeWarp, SuperPhoto and so on. However, the camera uses the same battery, same sized sensor and lens as its predecessors.

GoPro Hero 8 Black

HERO8 Black

GoPro Hero Black 8 incorporates a slightly different design with the mounting system right on the case. It provides excellent image stabilization with HyperSmooth 2.0 and some amazing add-ons like the Media Mod functionality. It has various upgraded features, including TimeWarp 2.0, Night-lapse and many more. The camera lens is made of a much stronger material than before. However, you can’t remove or replace the camera lens like the previous models.

GoPro Hero 9 Black

HERO9 Black

With the latest GoPro Hero 9 Black, the company has revamped its camera design with the noticeably bigger touchscreen at the back and a color display at the front. The camera size is also slightly bigger than Hero 7 and 8. Image stabilization in the Hero 9 Black is further improved with HyperSmooth 3.0. Some of the most notable improvements with the latest GoPro camera include a bigger sensor (20MP), higher maximum video resolution (5K), and an increased battery capacity (1720mAh).

GoPro Comparison Chart: Specifications

Here’s the spec-wise comparison of GoPro Hero 7 Black, GoPro Hero 8 Black and GoPro Hero 9 Black:

SpecificationsGoPro Hero 7 BlackGoPro Hero 8 BlackGoPro Hero 9 Black Weight117 grams126 grams158 grams Dimensions62 x 44.5 x 32 mm66.3 x 48.6 x 28.4 mm71 x 55 x 33.6 mm Touchscreen Size1.95 inches1.95 inches2.27 inches Front DisplayMonochromeMonochromeColor Display Image Sensor12 MP12 MP20 MP Resolution4K / 60fps 1080p / 240fps4K / 60fps 1080p / 240fps5K / 30fps 4K / 60fps 1080p / 240fps Battery1220mAh1220mAh1720mAh Image StabilizationHyperSmoothHyperSmooth 2.0HyperSmooth 3.0 Price$230$300$350

Key Differences: Hero 7 vs Hero 8 vs Hero 9

Listed below are the key differences between GoPro Hero 7 Black, GoPro Hero 8 Black and GoPro Hero 9 Black:

#1. Design

While the GoPro Hero 7 and Hero 8 Black look almost identical, the Hero 9 Black is around ten percent bigger. It translates into a bigger touchscreen around the back of the Hero 9 at 2.27 inches as compared to 1.95 inches on the Hero 7 and Hero 8 Black.

The Hero 9 Black combines this touchscreen with a full-color front screen as opposed to Hero 7 and 8 Black’s monochrome front display. The color screen is especially helpful for vloggers, as they can frame up their shots even without access to the rear screen.

#2. Resolution

With a 20 MP sensor, the GoPro Hero 9 Black has almost double the sensor resolution of the Hero 7 Black and Hero 8 Black. The Hero 9 is also capable of shooting 5K video, whereas the maximum resolution provided by Hero 7 and 8 is 4K. All this automatically means that the Hero 9 delivers noticeably crisper shots with much more detail as compared to its predecessors.

While all this may sound like a big deal, it’s actually not so! This is because the Hero 7 and 8 can shoot 4K videos at 60fps which is more than enough for general usage and social media posts.

#3. Battery Life

Regardless of the above-mentioned differences, certain GoPro things have so far remained pretty much the same like Battery Life. For generations, GoPro’s Hero flagships have sported 1220mAh batteries. Not anymore! GoPro has bumped up the battery capacity to 1720mAh on the Hero 9 Black. GoPro claims that it boosts the stamina of its latest camera by about 30%. So, you get a significantly better performance with the Hero 9 Black.

The bigger battery size of Hero 9 Black also means that it can handle extreme cold weather better. However, upon usage we noticed overheating issues with Hero 9 when shooting 5K video.

#4. Connectivity

All the three cameras support connectivity through WiFi and Bluetooth, which enables them to connect to a smart device with the GoPro App. These cameras also support Livestream. But while Hero 8 and Hero 9 Black can livestream 1080p video footage, Hero 7 can broadcast it at 720p only.

The Hero 8 and Hero 9 Black have been built keeping in mind the vlogging aspect. Both these cameras have their own Media Mods (sold separately), which add a directional microphone ideal for vlogging. You also get other useful vlogging accessories compatible with these cameras like Light Mod.

#5. HyperSmooth

GoPro Hero 7 offered great shake free video recording with HyperSmooth enabled, and with the significant upgrade to HyperSmooth 2.0 in Hero 8, GoPro outdid itself in the game of image stabilization. In the latest GoPro Hero 9 Black, GoPro has taken image stabilization even further up a notch with HyperSmooth 3.0.

#6. TimeWarp

TimeWarp – a fun Hyperlapse mode for creating super-smooth motion time-lapses in Hero 7 – is even better with TimeWarp 2.0 on the Hero 8 and TimeWarp 3.0 on the Hero 9 Black. You get amazing hyperlapse shots without the annoying 10% crop. Plus it’s also available in all frame rates and resolutions in the latest GoPros.

#7. Swappable Lens Cover

Until GoPro Hero 7 Black, all GoPro Hero Black models featured swappable lens cover. However, with the Hero 8 Black, GoPro changed this and the lens port was fused to the body, which made it non-removable. With the latest Hero 9 Black, GoPro has reverted back to the swappable lens. Not only this, the company has also created an interchangeable lens mod called the Max Lens Mod.

#8. Remote Control

All the three GoPro cameras can be controlled wirelessly via GoPro mobile app using WiFi and Bluetooth. However, the Hero 9 Black does not work with the Smart Remote and Remo Remote while the Hero 7 and 8 Black do.

Bottom Line

All the three cameras — GoPro Hero 7 Black, GoPro Hero 8 Black and GoPro Hero 9 Black — are GoPro flagship cameras of their time. While there’s no doubt that the latest Hero 9 Black has the most advanced features, but it comes with a higher price tag. So, if you’re low on budget, you can choose the Hero 8 Black or even Hero 7 Black (depending upon features and how much you’re willing to spend). Both of them provide great performance even by today’s standards.

Enjoy your GoPro adventures!

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends if you found it useful 🙂

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