For years, GoPro was absolutely synonymous with the action cam market. Year after year, the company was producing incredibly powerful products, with ever more impressive features, and doing it in smaller and smaller form factors. But that all started to fall apart around the era of the GoPro Hero 5. Instead of focusing on giving everyone a better camera, GoPro started to try and invent cameras that they thought people wanted. What we ended up with is a bloated camera lineup with too many different models, and not enough improvements in specifications to justify their ever higher prices.
That all appears to have changed now for the Hero 7. GoPro has gone back to its roots, stripped the family line, and has delivered a trio of cameras that look focused in their purpose. We have a standard naming scheme of White, Silver and Black. Of course, the company has placed most of its focus on the new range-topping Black, which is easily the most exciting new model. So that’s the one we are going to talk about.
The headlines are simple. Better image quality, advanced stabilization, and improved audio. On the image side we have a claim of the best ever color production, and you can record in 4K 60 fps, or go for “Ultra Slo-Mo” with 240 fps at 1080p. For still photos, we are still stuck at 12 megapixel images, but GoPro is now offering advanced automatic image features like HDR and tone mapping.
But the really important piece of the new technology in the Hero 7 Black is a new stabilization feature called “HyperSmooth.” GoPro claims that this special new software stabilization is good enough to replace a gimbal, and based on initial review footage, it looks like they might be right.
And that is why we are excited.
You see, we’ve been big fans of GoPro for a long time. We’ve owned at least one camera of every generation since the Hero HD 2 days. In total we own nine of the brand’s cameras. But we stopped buying cameras with the Hero 5. It just didn’t seem to offer enough improvement to make the investment seem worthwhile.
But since we use our GoPro for tons of high-vibration situations like car review videos and motorcycle riding, this one single change could dramatically change the way we create and edit footage.
We won’t be able to give a solid verdict on the Hero 7 and its performance until we can test it ourselves, but this could be the single greatest feature GoPro has made since it switched to recording in high definition back with the original Hero HD.
But what about the White and Silver models?