The GoPro HERO7 Black is the result of multiple refinements since the original model, and it’s become one of the most popular and high-tech action cameras on the market thanks to its many iterations. The HERO7 Black is designed for more than just action shots, with features like insanely advanced image stabilization and live streaming.
We recently got our hands on this teeny-tiny powerhouse to see if the software and video quality improvements are worth the asking price.
Design: Classic action camera design
The GoPro HERO7 Black is extremely small and almost a cube, measuring 2.4 x 1.3 x 1.8 inches. The device is completely black, with a nice rubber casing that makes it feel very soft to the touch.
The design is extremely simple. The camera has a power button on the right side and a record button on the top. The USB and HDMI ports are hidden behind a door on the side, and the battery and MicroSD port are hidden behind a door on the bottom. A small screen on the front of the camera displays the current settings.
All of these doors shield the camera’s ports from the elements and provide a tough outer shell that can withstand drops from up to 33 feet and submersion in water. The HERO7 Black is an excellent travel camera for trips to exotic locations that include water activities and rough terrain.
We noticed that when using the GoPro HERO7 Black for extended periods of time, the device’s body gets very hot. We put it to the test for a few hours nonstop and found it to be quite warm even when it wasn’t recording. If the device is used for long recordings in hot temperatures, this can be a major issue.
Display: Bright and visible
A two-inch touchscreen on the back of the GoPro HERO7 Black is bright and easy to read. We were able to navigate through the menus with a single touch of a finger while testing the camera, and they are intuitive and simple to adjust. To select, simply tap.
Setup: Updates out of the box
The GoPro HERO7 Black’s battery life was not great right out of the box. We set the date, time, and location after turning it on. It then told us that we needed to update the software, which required a blank memory card and a fully charged battery.
The HERO7 Black is compatible with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, making it simple to pair with a smartphone that has the GoPro App installed. We were able to make the camera discoverable in the Preferences menu, which allowed the app to scan and connect to the camera automatically when it was opened.
Sensor: Small but mighty
The 1/2.3-inch 12-megapixel sensor on the GoPro HERO7 Black is built for action. The new and improved image processor can now stabilize footage using HyperSmooth, an electronic image stabilization technology. This feature works by detecting unwanted motion in your videos and correcting it algorithmically. It improves the stability of your footage, even when shooting handheld or while riding through rough terrain.
We took out the GoPro and recorded some handheld video while walking around, which would normally be shaky. The HERO7 Black footage was smooth and free of camera shake, almost as if it had been shot with a gimbal.
It improves the stability of your footage, even when shooting handheld or while riding through rough terrain.
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Lens: Great for video
The GoPro HERO7 Black’s fixed lens shoots wide or in SuperView mode, which is an extra-wide field of view that can sometimes produce a distorted fisheye effect in your footage. Although this distortion is inconvenient, there are ways to work around it during editing, including using video editing software to correct it. In addition, when shooting at a lower resolution, the camera can use a linear field of view, which reduces lens distortion. When shooting in a 4:3 aspect ratio, SuperView is not available.
Video Quality: Amazing 4K quality with variable frame rates
The GoPro HERO7 Black’s 4K video quality is stunning. The recording capabilities of this camera will be extremely useful to content creators and travel vloggers.
When testing the GoPro HERO7 Black, we found that recording in bright lighting conditions produced the best 4K video. In lower light, the image quality began to deteriorate, and grain began to appear in the scene’s shadow areas.
The ability to create a TimeWarp video is new to the GoPro HERO7. With HyperSmooth technology, the user can create super smooth time-lapse videos without having to keep the camera stationary. This allows you to be more creative when creating time lapse videos.
Capturing 1080p video at 240 frames per second is also a game-changer. This camera’s slow-motion feature is stunning, producing smooth, beautiful footage, especially in bright lighting conditions. The HERO7 Black is a great way to slow down footage and study movement if you’re an athlete looking to record and analyze footage of yourself.
A live stream feature is also available on the GoPro HERO7. You can create a live video feed using the GoPro app by connecting to your Facebook, YouTube, and other social media accounts. You’ll be able to go live in minutes after connecting to the desired account.
Photo Quality: Nothing to brag about
The GoPro HERO7 Black has average photo quality, but it does have the ability to create HDR (High Dynamic Range) images.
Because of the lens distortion, the images produced by this camera have a distinct look that you may or may not like. In comparison to typical point-and-shoot cameras, it also has a fixed lens that does not zoom, which limits its functionality.
The GoPro HERO7 Black, on the other hand, is known for its stunning video capabilities rather than its stunning photographs. It isn’t intended for someone who wants to use it solely for still photography.
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Sound Quality: Sensitive to the touch
The microphones on the GoPro HERO7 Black are sensitive and easily record ambient noise. The microphones are on the camera’s body, so any slight touch will be audible in your video. We accidentally covered the microphones with our fingers while shooting handheld footage, resulting in muffled audio in our video.
The GoPro HERO7 Black’s ability to add external microphones transforms it from an action camera to a high-quality video camera.
Internal microphones are useful if sound is not a priority in your videos, but if great audio is required, an external microphone should be purchased. One can be connected to the HERO7 Black via USB, allowing for the use of external microphones, lapel mics, and digital audio recorders to improve sound recording capabilities.
The GoPro HERO7 Black’s ability to add external microphones transforms it from an action camera to a high-quality video camera. When the camera’s 4K resolution is combined with excellent audio quality, it becomes a powerful tool in the hands of the right content creator.
Connectivity: Speedy Wi-Fi and Bluetooth pairing
The GoPro HERO7 Black makes Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity a breeze. The camera connected immediately after we installed the GoPro app on our smartphone. The app also provided us with a much larger and easier-to-read interface, as well as a live view feature that allowed us to frame and compose videos and control the camera remotely using our phone.
Edit mode settings, change the original set up, review camera information, change Wi-Fi remotes, and monitor the battery level and SD card capacity are all available in the app. It also makes reviewing the footage and images captured by the camera much easier.
Battery Life: High-res video drains it quickly
The HERO7 Black’s battery only lasts about 50 minutes when recording 4K video at 60 frames per second, so if you’re going to be shooting all day, it’s a good idea to have a few extra batteries on hand.
Connecting the GoPro HERO7 Black to an external battery pack via the USB port is another way to extend shooting time.
Price: Fairly priced for what you get
The GoPro HERO7 Black is reasonably priced for its amazing features, retailing for $400 () but frequently selling for less. This camera is well worth the asking price, with 4K recording, HyperSmooth image stabilization, high frame rates, Bluetooth connectivity, a waterproof body, and live streaming features.
Adventurers, filmmakers, and vloggers who need a rugged and portable camera to create content on the go will love this camera.
Adventurers, filmmakers, and vloggers who need a rugged and compact camera to create content on the go will love the GoPro HERO7 Black’s portability.
Competition: Less rugged, but better with still photography
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II: At $700, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is more expensive than the GoPro HERO7 Black, even though it usually sells for between $600 and $650. The PowerShot is another excellent option for those considering the GoPro as a vlogging camera. It doesn’t record in 4K, but it does have a larger 20.3-megapixel sensor and a 180-degree articulating LCD touchscreen display that’s ideal for self-recording.
The advanced DIGIC 7 Image Processor in the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II produces better photos than the GoPro HERO7 Black. This image processor also improves video stabilization and autofocusing, though it isn’t quite as advanced as the GoPro’s HyperSmooth feature.
When compared to the GoPro HERO7 Black, the Canon is a lot easier to use. It’s a better fit for those who want a versatile camera that they can easily pick up and use without having to navigate menus on a small screen.
Canon PowerShot SX740 HS: At $400, the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is on par with the GoPro HERO7 Black in terms of price. Although the PowerShot can record 4K video, it lacks the frame rates that the GoPro HERO7 Black can achieve. It also has the ability to take photos without distortion, making it a more versatile camera.
The PowerShot SX740 HS is designed for those who want a little bit of everything from a camera. It can shoot 4K video and take photos, but it falls short of the GoPro’s excellent video quality. The PowerShot is also a more user-friendly camera for those who are used to traditional point-and-shoot cameras.
The camera also has an LCD screen that can be adjusted 180 degrees, making it an even more powerful tool for vloggers.
The Final Word
The GoPro HERO7 Black is ideal for adventurers who want to record or even live-stream their most challenging expeditions thanks to its incredible video quality and enhanced HyperSmooth electronic image stabilization. It creates stunning videos with improved color and sharpness and is small enough to wear or mount without obstructing your view.