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GoPro HERO 8 Black In-Depth Review | Best Action Camera

Today we are taking a look at the very cool GoPro Hero 8 Black. The Hero 8 is GoPro’s flagship action camera and at present the top to the food chain for amazing stabilization.

GoPro Hero 8 Black In-depth Review | Best Action Camera

OUR VERDICT

The GoPro Hero 8 Black is an impressive offering from GoPro and currently has the absolute best stabilization called Hypersmooth 2.0. The action camera comes packed with advanced features that put it ahead of its competition and previous itterations.

One Key feature that sets the GoPro apart from previous versions is its killer audio recording (3 microphones) and extremely good Hypersmooth stability.

POSITIVES

  • Amazing Stabilization
  • Doesn’t Require A Camera Case
  • No Increase In Price

NEGATIVES

  • No Forward-Facing Screen
  • No Removeable Lens Cap

Check out our full review or just click on one of the following to get the inside scope.

So let’s get started with all the great news.

Product - Unboxing Image
Product-Technical-Specifications-Image
Product - Review Image
Hero 8 Q&A
Updates
Hero 8 Verdict

GoPro Hero 8 Black Unboxing

Unboxing

GoPro packages the GoPro Hero 8 Black in their typical consumer plastic see-through display box.

Inside the box, GoPro includes a User Manual and GoPro Plus ad, 1 USB-C power cord, 1 GoPro Hero 8 Battery, 1 sticky mount, a thumb screw and of course the Go Pro Hero 8 Black Action Camera.

GoPro Hero 8 Black Unboxing Shot
GoPro Hero 8 Black Unboxing Shot with all the stuff you get
The Hero 8 comes with a battery, a charging USB to USB-C cable, a thumbscrew, a sicky mount and battery. You also get a user manual and some info on the GoPro Plus program.
GoPro Hero 8 Black Unboxing closeup shot
Here is a closeup of the Hero 8 Black and accessories that you get

OBSERVATION: GoPro’s packaging is top notch and for retailers makes for a very nice display.

One thing that sort of annoys me with both GoPro and DJI is the fact that the action cameras don’t come with a battery charger. I would be willing to pay a bit more for that rather than having to buy it separately.

GoPro Hero 8 Black Review

Review

GoPro officially launched the GoPro Hero 8 Black October 1st, 2019. Almost all the rumors about the GoPro Hero 8 Black we compiled for 2019 came true, well except 120fps at 4k (We could only wish).

New Look

The GoPro Hero 8 Black is a complete redesign from the previous versions including the GoPro Hero 7, Hero 6 and Hero 5.

Hero Black 8 With Battery
GoPro Hero Black 8 With Flipout Brackets

THE GOOD NEWS: GoPro has nailed Video Stabilization with the new Hypersmooth 2.0 and added some really cool features like Timewarp 2.0 and customized presets.

GoPro also improved audio by including 3 microphones.

Lastly, the overall body seems a bit more professional than previous versions.

THE BAD NEWS: With GoPro going to a new body design for the Hero 8, it means older camera cases and other accessories like the GoPro Karma Grip will not work.

Non-removable lens cap. GoPro nixed the ability to remove the lens cap, which many vloggers and videographers have frowned upon.

New Features

  • Larger Body
  • 3 Microphones
  • HyperSmooth 2.0
  • TimeWarp 2.0
  • Improved  HDR
  • Live burst photos
  • Better low light image processing
  • RAW Photos 
  • 100Mbps bitrate for 4K and 2.7K
  • Capture presets
Hero 8 Black With battery door off
Top view of the Hero 8 Black
Side View of the Hero 8 Black
Rear view of the Hero 8 Black

Size Comparison and Screen Size

Below are size comparisons between the DJI Osmo Action, GoPro Hero 8 Black and the GoPro Hero 7 Black.

Side view Comparison between the Osmo Action, Hero 8 Black and Hero 7 black.
The Osmo has a lower profile, but the lens sticks out further.
Top view Comparison between the Osmo Action, Hero 8 Black and Hero 7 black.
The GoPro Hero 8 Black is the thinnest of the bunch
Front view Comparison between the Osmo Action, Hero 8 Black and Hero 7 black.
The GoPro Hero 8 Black is the tallest of the bunch
Rear view Comparison between the Osmo Action, Hero 8 Black and Hero 7 black.
The Osmo Action has the largest Screen Display and the only one to have a
front screen that displays video
Front view Comparison between the Osmo Action, Hero 8 Black and Hero 7 black.
The Osmo beats GoPro with a forward-facing screen.
Rear view Comparison between the Osmo Action, Hero 8 Black and Hero 7 black.
DJI Beats GoPro with a larger rear screen

OBSERVATION: The GoPro Hero 8 Black has a smaller rear screen than the Osmo Action and doesn’t include a forward facing screen.

Larger Body

GoPro Hero 8 Black Larger Body

GoPro redesigned the GoPro Hero 8 making it a little larger, yet slimmer. The end result is the new GoPro will not be compatible with older cases and products like GoPro’s gimbal, the Karma Grip.

The camera’s lens cover has a lower profile than previous versions due to it’s fixed nature (non-removable). While this change slims down the GoPro, it does come with the disadvantage of not being able to swap out lens covers with new ones or ND filters. Also if you happen to crack or scratch the front glass, you can’t replace it and will have to send it back to GoPro for repair.

3 Microphones

To improve wind noise reduction and enhance audio, GoPro added a 3rd forward-facing microphone to the Hero.

Hypersmooth 2.0 Stabilization

In order to improve stabilization (Hypersmooth 2.0) for the new GoPro Hero 8 Black, GoPro had to redesign the battery. This redesign allowed GoPro to extend Hypersmooth for all framerates, but keep the battery size the same.

Important Note: Previous versions of GoPro batteries will work in the newer GoPro, but users will not have the advantage of being able to use Hypersmooth in all framerates. If your goal is to use Hypersmooth and not have to worry about battery issues allowing or not allowing the Hypersmooth functionality, I would suggest buying the newer GoPro Hero 8 batteries.

There are 4 Hypersmooth settings including (Off, On, High, and Boost). At each setting more cropping is introduced to improve the stabilization of the footage.

GoPro Timewarp 2.0

Gopro has improved Timewarp 2.0 and added a cool feature that allows users to switch between Timewarp and real-time footage. This allows you to create unique Timewarps, switching between fast and normal motion.

Currently, when in Timewarp and during normal recording, the new GoPro doesn’t record audio.

GoPro SuperPhoto + Improved HDR

GoPros are best known for their action camera capabilities, but they are also quite good at taking stills. GoPro has tweaked the SuperPhoto and HDR to make it even better.

GoPro Live Burst

We all have had those moments where we just weren’t fast enough to capture the moment. To help solve this issue GoPro create what they call Live Burst which captures 1.5 seconds before and after you click the shutter button for something like 90 frames of images.

DJI Osmo Action Vs GoPro Hero 8 Black Stabilization (Running Walking)

I like to start off the review with a few comparison video reviews I did between the GoPro Hero 8 Black and the DJI Osmo Action. In the comparisons, I tested stabilization, audio, color and picture quality while walking, running and mountain biking.

DJI Osmo Action Vs GoPro Hero 8 Black Stabilization (Mountain Biking MTB)

GoPro Hero 8 Black Media Accessories

GoPro-Hero8-Media-Mod-Module-Review
GoPro HERO8 Black
Hero 8 Black - Media Mod, Light Mod, and Display Mod
Hero 8 Black – Media Mod, Light Mod, and Display Mod

GoPro introduces a brand new series of Mods (i.e. modules) for the GoPro Hero 8 Black line including the media mod ($79.99) for “vloggers,” the display mod ($79.99) also for vloggers, which provides a selfie screen and the light mod ($49.99). We will cover these in more detail below.

GoPro’s Hero8 Black is available to pre-order from today for $399 with the first shipment scheduled for October 15. It should be available in retail stores starting the week of October 20th.

GoPro mods will not be available to pre-order until December. 

GoPro Media Mod

The GoPro Media Mod is a must-have addition for GoPro Hero 8 users. It provides 2 cold shoes for mounting, a directional mic and a 3.5mm mic jack for vlogging. It really is the ultimate vlogging setup and certainly exceeds expectations for what people were looking for in the next generation of GoPros.

GoPro-Hero8-Media-Mod-Module-Review
GoPro Hero 8 Black with GoPro Media Mod
GoPro-Hero8-Media-Mod
GoPro Media Mod – Includes a 3.5mm microphone jack, power input, and HDMI-out Port

The Specifications of Media Mode Include.

  • Built-in directional mic delivers crystal-clear audio and reduces wind and ambient noise
  • 2 cold-shoe mounts to attach your favorite lights, mics or LCD screens
  • 3.5mm mic port lets you add an external mic for enhanced audio
  • HDMI-out port to monitor or playback your footage
  • The unique and compact wraparound design adds portable expandability and ensures mounting remains easy
  • Specially designed for use with Display Mod and Light Mod for HERO8 Black, and compatible with third-party accessories

GoPro Screen Mod

GoPro is coming out with a new accessory called the GoPro screen Mod, which should satisfy vloggers who want to use the GoPro as one of their vlogging tools.

GoPro Hero 8 Black with Media Mod and Screen Mod
GoPro Hero 8 Black with Media Mod and Screen Mod
GoPro Hero 8 Black Screen Mod
GoPro Hero 8 Black Screen Mod
GoPro Hero 8 Black Screen Mod Flipped Down
GoPro Hero 8 Black Screen Mod Flipped Down
GoPro Hero 8 Black Screen Mod Flipped Up
GoPro Hero 8 Black Screen Mod Flipped Up

Frame the shot with Display Mod, the flip-up screen that lets you see yourself in action.  Compact and perfect for vloggers, it connects to your HERO 8 Black via Media Mod (sold separately).

  • 2-inch flip-up screen (1.9 in Display) makes vlogging easy
  • Built-in rechargeable battery (680mAh) and micro-HDMI connector
  • Folding design for easy storage and transport
  • Compact and sturdy with a low-profile appearance
  • Connects to HERO8 Black via the required Media Mod (sold separately)

GoPro Light Mod

GoPro-Hero-8-Black-with-top-lighting
GoPro Lighting Mod attached to the GoPro Media Mod
GoPro-Hero-8-Black-Lighting Mod
GoPro Lighting Mod attached to the GoPro Media Mod

While the lighting system specs seem pretty good, I haven’t figure out if I would really need it. I don’t do a lot of nighttime shooting, so I might put the GoPro Light Mod as a possible purchase rather than a must-have.

The Specifications of Lighting Mode Include.

  • 4 levels of brightness — up to 200 lumens — for crisp detail
  • Built tough and waterproof to 33ft (10m)
  • Built-in rechargeable battery with up to 6 hours of runtime1
  • Compact design is perfect as an add-on to your HERO8 Black, or as a standalone light for use with GoPro mounts
  • Connects to HERO 8 Black via Media Mod (sold separately)
  • Maximum brightness for up to 30 seconds with Overdrive mode
  • Strobe mode for signaling and visibility

Light Specifications:

  • Overdrive mode: 200 lumens, 200 lux @1m
  • Level 3: 125 lumens, 120 lux @1m
  • Level 2: 60 lumens
  • Level 1: 20 lumens
  • Runtime: 1 hour at Level 3, 2 hours at Level 2, 6 hours at Level 11
  • Color temperature without diffuser: 5700K
  • CRI: 90

GoPro Hero 8 Black Vs DJI Osmo Action

To date, the biggest competition to the Hero 8 is the DJI Osmo Action.

GoPro is currently leading the action camera market with its Hypersmooth and Timewarp capabilities that currently other action camera’s stabilization methods like DJI’s Rocksteady can’t match.

Where the GoPro falls short against the Osmo Action is not having a forward-facing screen and not having a removable lens cap.

GoPro Hero 8 Black Updates & New Features

Product - Updates & New Features Section

New Features 

  • HyperSmooth 2.0
  • TimeWarp 2.0
  • Live burst photos
  • Improved  HDR
  • Better low light image processing
  • RAW Photos 
  • 100Mbps bitrate for 4K and 2.7K
  • Capture presets

Top GoPro Hero 8 Black Improvements And Updates

GoPro really did a fantastic job with the latest version of the GoPro Hero 8 Black. This latest release of the Hero line really shows GoPro listened to their customer base and critics.
ImprovementDescription
It’s priced at $399.99(No increase in Price)
3 Microphonesincluding a forward-facing microphone.
4 Stabilization Modes(Off, On, High, and Boost.)
Built-In Finger Flip MountingSide Battery Load Door
Digital Lenses
Don’t Need A GoPro Case(uses a foldout finger flip mounting)
The lens doesn’t fog up(Since there is no lens cap, the lens doesn’t fog up)
Gridline Feature(Displays Gridlines to help with framing a shot)
Hypersmooth 2.0(Improved Hypersmooth Stability)
Hypersmooth Boost
Hypersmooth In All Video Formats(Only if using the new battery)
Improved Night-Time Capture
Improved Color (Better Colors and Detail). GoPro redesigned the white balance and color tuning.
Improved Gorilla Glass(helps resist scratches)
Improved Video bit rate to 100Mbps (vs 70Mbps Hero 7)
Live Burst (captures 1.5 seconds before and after you hit the shutter)
Live Streaming with 1080p(vs GoPro 7 supports 720p)
New Accessoriesincluding (GoPro Media Mod), Display Mod (Selfie Screen) and Lighting Mod (LCD Lighting System))
New Narrow Field of View
New Slimmer, but Larger Body(Smaller vs GoPro 7 in case/frame)
Night Lapse Video
Optional Horizon Leveling (Need to use the GoPro App).
RAW photo format is now available in all photo modes.
Screen Doesn’t Go Black For Time Lapse Capture
SuperPhoto + Improved HDR
Timewarp 2.0(Improved Timewarp with Auto Speed Selection)

Top GoPro Hero 8 Black Negatives

While the GoPro Hero Black 8 has a lot of positives, there are certainly some negatives as well.
NegativesDescription
Lens CoverNo Ability To Remove The Lens Cover
ND CoversCan't easily add ND Filters Or replace Lens Cover
Battery LifeNo Improvement In Battery Life
Touch ScreenSame Size Touchscreen (Would have been nice to see a 16/9 screen like the Osma Action)
Time WarpWhen using Timewarp Real-Time it doesn't record sound (Maybe fixed in a later update)
Hot Action CameraCamera Gets Hot While Recording
Missing HDMI PortNo HDMI port on Camera, you must purchase the Media Mod
Karma Grip No GoWill Not Work With The Karma Grip
Older Battery CompatibilityUsing older batteries will not allow Hyperstablization in all modes like the new ones do.

Questions And Answers

Questions and Answers
How Much Does the GoPro Hero 8 Cost?

The retail price of the GoPro Hero 8 Black is $399

Is The GoPro Hero Black 8 Waterproof?

YES. You must make sure the battery door is closed and sealed properly.

Is GoPro Hero 8 The Latest GoPro Action Camera?

The Hero Black 8 is the latest version of GoPro Action Cameras

Is The Hero 8 Stabilization Better Than The DJI Osmo Action?

YES. Currently, the GoPro Hero 8 stabilization is the best out there for action cameras.

VERDICT

Verdict

OUR VERDICT

The GoPro Hero 8 Black is an impressive offering from GoPro and currently has the absolute best stabilization called Hypersmooth 2.0. The action camera comes packed with advanced features that put it ahead of its competition and previous itterations.

One Key feature that sets the GoPro apart from previous versions is its killer audio recording (3 microphones) and extremely good Hypersmooth stability.

POSITIVES

  • Amazing Stabilization
  • Doesn’t Require A Camera Case
  • No Increase In Price

NEGATIVES

  • No Forward-Facing Screen
  • No Removeable Lens Cap

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about photography, cycling, running and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of GearMashers.com, 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the photography and cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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