GoPro has launched the new Hero 8 Black action camera, said to offer improved video stabilisation over the existing Hero 7, better image quality and the option to add a range of accessories directly to the camera.
The Hero 8 Black will be available from 15 October for £379 / $399. There’s also a new 360-degree camera, the Hero Max 360, coming on 25 October which will be priced at £479.99 / $499.99.
There’s no news on more affordable versions of the Hero 8 Black, but the price of the existing Hero 7 has been dropped to £319.99 / $329.99 for the Black and £199.99 / $199.99 for the Silver. The Hero 7 White has been discontinued.
GoPro Hero 8 Black key features, pricing and availability
- HyperSmooth 2.0 image stabilisation with High and Boost modes
- In-built mounting system for modular accessories
- Four digital lenses: SuperView, Wide, Linear, Narrow
- Video resolution up to 4K at 60 frames per second
- Photo resolution up to 12 megapixels
- WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity
- Waterproof to a claimed 10 metres without a case
- Dimensions: 62.3mm (W) x 44.9mm (H) x 33mm (D)
- Claimed weight: 126g
- Available from 15 October for £379.99 / $399.99
- GoPro Hero Max 360 also launched, £479.99 / $499.99
HyperSmooth 2.0 arrives
The Hero 8’s HyperSmooth 2.0 tech is now available across all shooting modes and resolutions, while the latest software ups the ante with new High and Boost settings.
These, according to GoPro, provide even smoother footage (with a crop factor), which should appeal to mountain bikers riding on rough terrain.
Meanwhile, the updated TimeWarp 2.0 function allows users to switch between real-time and time-lapse recording with a tap of the touchscreen. You can also continue to record static time lapse videos and night lapse shots on the Hero 8 Black.
Modular accessories without a case
HyperSmooth and TimeWarp aside, one of the Hero 8 Black’s key upgrades is the in-built mounting system.
Rather than having to put the camera in a case to add attachments, you can add a range of modular accessories (or ‘mods’) directly to the Hero 8.
These include a light for shooting in dim conditions (£49.99 / $49.99), a shotgun microphone for improved audio (£79.99 / $79.99) and a front-facing display (£79.99), although the Hero lacks the flip-up display of its chief rival, the DJI Osmo Action camera, as a standard feature.
The camera also has two ‘fingers’ that fold out from the body so you can attach it straight to a mount, once again without needing a case.
All three mods will be sold separately and should appeal to vloggers or cyclists who want to take their ride edits to the next level, but they won’t be available until December.
Improved image quality and shooting options
The Hero 8 Black features four ‘digital lenses’ – SuperView, Wide, Linear, Narrow – to offer a range of in-camera shooting options. The first three were available on the Hero 7, but Narrow is a new option for the Hero 8 and offers a similar field of view to a camera phone, according to GoPro.
Otherwise, the Hero 8 will shoot video all the way up to 4K at 60 frames per second and at an improved bit rate of 100 Mbps (that’s up from 78 Mbps on the Hero 7). You can also shoot super slow-mo footage in 1080p at 240 frames per second. Live streaming is available at 1080p, an improvement on the Hero 7’s 720p.
As for photos, the Hero 8 Black can capture 12-megapixel stills, and you now have the option to save those files as RAW images, not just JPEGs.
LiveBurst mode, meanwhile, captures stills 1.5 seconds before and after you hit the shutter, leaving you to pick from 90 images or create a three-second 4K video clip.
Finally, the Hero 8 Black is waterproof down to a claimed 10m without a case and is said to offer improved in-built audio thanks to three microphones.
It also offers WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, as you’d expect, and can be controlled via the touchscreen or a range of voice commands.