Written by Jo Serrano (Tech360.tv Community Creator)
GoPro has done it again and gone beyond the next level with their new action camera, the GoPro Hero 8 Black.
Now we have to be honest with you, if you are looking for the best in class action camera in the market right now, this would definitely be the camera for you.
At first sight, the Hero 8 Black looks like the usual previous models you see that is offered in the market but if you look closely at the exterior, you will definitely see some changes.
First, they decided to remove the frame housing and replace it with built-in mounts which they call the Folding Fingers. This may be a good and bad move from how we see it. On the good side, it is easier to open the compartment where the battery and SD card is located. Also if you tend to forget or misplace the frame housing, you do not have to worry about that problem anymore. However, we question the durability of these Folding Fingers, especially if you are doing extreme activities that may tend to stress these mounts. That is something you should keep in mind whenever you decide to test the limits of the camera.
Another feature we also question is their new lens because they also removed the feature where you can replace the lens by twisting it off. The company has claimed that the lens on the Hero 8 is 2x stronger than their predecessors, and we’ll just take GoPro’s word for it and see in future tests with the Hero 8 Black. By far, we have yet to hear any complaints since they released the product to the market.
The audio features are enhanced and the microphone is now in the front of the camera. For us, this is good. That way if you decide to capture some audio while filming stuff like vlogs, this would really improve the sound.
Let’s talk about their new expansion mods which will release this December 2019. We believed GoPro aimed to target the vlogging community with this feature. These expansion mods consist of the Media Mod, Display Mod, and Light Mod. The Media Mod is a cage-like accessory that features a shot-gun mic performance tool, 3.5mm mic jack and HDMI-out ports, and two cold-shoe mounts — all in one. The Display Mod is a flip-up screen to help frame your shots when you are vlogging.
Lastly, the Light Mod is a LED light for the Hero 8 Black, you can either attach it to the mount or you can use it alone. Unfortunately, if you wish to obtain these mods, it is an additional payment in addition to what you pay for the Hero 8 Black which is kind of a bummer for us. If you are someone who needs to see yourself in the frame and use audio and lighting equipment, then you should consider these in your arsenal. However, if you are someone who has been doing a lot of video production and you have the gear with you to make things easier, we believe in the term of “use what you have”.
Here’s the part where the performance of the Hero 8 Black gets really interesting. If you are amazed at the Hypersmooth stabilisation when it was introduced in the Hero 7 Black, they really improved their stabilisation with Hypersmooth 2.0. That blew our minds, which is why we consider this to be the best in-body stabilisation for action cameras at the moment. If you want to make it more stabilized, then you can turn on the “Boost” setting for situations with a lot of shake. The cons of using the Boost setting is that it crops the footage a bit, which you should keep in mind. What is even more awesome about Hypersmooth 2.0 is that it is available in all video resolutions and frame rates.
Another interesting improvement is the TimeWarp 2.0. They now have an auto-adjust feature that lets your camera choose the speed it thinks the speed should be, so you don’t have to think too much on how fast or slow the TimeWarp should be. We’ve all seen how the original TimeWarp performed in the Hero 7, but imagine allowing a speed ramping effect that allows you to TimeWarp fast, then suddenly slow down and go fast again with just one click.
GoPro has made built-in presets that suits the situation of your shots so that even beginners will be able to start shooting quickly. You can also customize the settings so you do not have to waste time or miss the shot. They placed some shortcuts in the front screen so you don’t have to go the settings to change it to your liking.
The Hero 8 Black has four Digital Lenses: Narrow, Linear, Wide, and SuperView to let you set your field of view. In the photo feature, not only does it have the standard and raw photo feature but they added SuperPhoto and improved HDR settings that allow you to have better detail and contrast in your photos. We find it a nice upgrade from the previous model and it’ll definitely be useful, especially if you don’t enjoy doing too much post-production.
Another cool photo feature is the burst shots. You have the option to either do the normal burst which shoots 30 shots per second or the live burst which allows you to see and shoot 90 shots per second. This is perfect if you want to capture the perfect shot without missing the moment.
More information and purchase options for the GoPro Hero 8 Black (S$599) can be found on GoPro’s website.