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GoPro HERO 8 Black Review

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

GoPro-Hero8-Media-Mod-Module-Review
GoPro HERO8 Black

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

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. 

REVIEW

Top GoPro HERO 8 Black Updates and Improvements


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.

  1. New Accessories: including (GoPro Media Mod), Display Mod (Selfie Screen) and Lighting Mod (LCD Lighting System))
  2. New Slimmer, but Larger Body: (Smaller vs GoPro 7 in case/frame)
  3. The lens doesn’t fog up (Since there is no lens cap, the lens doesn’t fog up)
  4. 3 Microphones: including a forward-facing microphone.
  5. New Custom Settings (Allows for Quick Access To Various Custom settings, but is not compatible with older cases or Karma grip)
  6. Digital Lenses
  7. Hypersmooth 2.0 (Improved Hypersmooth Stability)
  8. Hypersmooth Boost
  9. Hypersmooth In All Video Formats (Only if using the new battery)
  10. 4 Stabilization Modes (Off, On, High, and Boost.)
  11. Timewarp 2.0 (Improved Timewarp with Auto Speed Selection)
  12. SuperPhoto + Improved HDR
  13. Live Burst (captures 1.5 seconds before and after you hit the shutter)
  14. Improved Night-Time Capture
  15. Night Lapse Video
  16. Don’t Need A GoPro Case (uses a foldout finger flip mounting)
  17. Built-In Finger Flip Mounting
  18. Side Battery Load Door (Allows easy swapping of batteries even when mounted)
  19. Improved Gorilla Glass (helps resist scratches)
  20. Optional Horizon Leveling (Need to use the GoPro App).
  21. Improved Color (Better Colors and Detail). GoPro redesigned the white balance and color tuning.
  22. New Narrow Field of View
  23. Improved Video bit rate to 100Mbps (vs 70Mbps Hero 7)
  24. Live Streaming with 1080p (vs GoPro 7 supports 720p)
  25. It’s priced at $399.99 (No increase in Price)
  26. RAW photo format is now available in all photo modes.
  27. Screen Doesn’t Go Black For Time Lapse Capture.
  28. Gridline Feature (Displays Gridlines to help with framing a shot)

Top GoPro Hero 8 Black Negatives


  1. No Ability To Remove The Lens Cover
  2. Can’t easily add ND Filters Or replace Lens Cover
  3. No Improvement In Battery Life
  4. Same Size Touchscreen (Would have been nice to see a 16/9 screen like the Osma Action)
  5. When using Timewarp Real-Time it doesn’t record sound (Maybe fixed in a later update)
  6. Camera Gets Hot While Recording
  7. No HDMI port on Camera, you must purchase the Media Mod
  8. Will Not Work With The Karma Grip
  9. Using older batteries will not allow Hyperstablization in all modes like the new ones do.

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

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.

To Be Continued

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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