GoPro Hero8 Black | Review - Outdoors Magic

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GoPro Hero8 Black | Review

The kings of the action camera market are back with another hard to beat device

Why We Chose The GoPro Hero8: Updated design, versatile camera, weatherproof build

Huge overhauls don’t come that often with tech like this, but when they do, it’s usually a good time to upgrade to the latest model.

The GoPro Hero8 Black is certainly an overhaul in our eyes. It’s a model that’s been pitched towards the ‘Vlogging’ audience but while also staying true to its action sports core with some unbeatable stability.

Who Is The Hero8 Black For?

With a few new upgrades (which we’ll go into detail further down the review), GoPro really improved the versatility of this action cam by a huge margin. The wide angle lens and multiple shooting options for stills or film make this a fantastic single camera choice for the majority of outdoor enthusiasts, right across the board. 

Design Changes

So the first thing to mention is the new design of the Hero8. GoPro have done away with the original skeleton mount that used to surround the Hero6 and 7. This has been replaced with what GoPro are calling the ‘fingers’; two little tabs that can be flipped out, allowing you to attach your GoPro to the still unchanged GoPro mounts.

These fingers can be flipped back up and out of the way, so they’re not left exposed when not in use. After just under a year of use, the Outdoors Magic team can confirm that they do remain out of the way, and we’ve never accidentally broken one. And of course, ever since the Hero6, GoPros don’t require the use of an external housing to remain waterproof. The entire housing is waterproof, adding to the sleek design of this camera.

A full width rear LCD screen shows a live feed and offers video playback. Photo: Mike Brindley
A small front facing LCD screen shows video settings. Photo: Mike Brindley
The Hero8 is built to survive the outdoors. Photo: Mike Brindley

Hypersmooth 2.0

Now let’s get into the internal upgrades of the Hero8. GoPro have given their stabilization software an overhaul to become what they’re calling ‘Hypersmooth 2.0’. The original Hypersmooth found on the Hero7 already did an impressive job, but this upgrade takes things to the next level.

Hypersmooth 2.0 builds on the already successful Hypersmooth, by improving the sensor management and the algorithm that predicts when and where a sudden impact is coming from (adjusting the frame in relation to this). In short, it’s able to smoothen out footage really, really well.

Still taken directly from the Hero8 while testing in Zermatt. Photo: Jordan Tiernan

Timewarp 2.0

GoPro’s own hyperlapse feature is also seeing an upgrade to ‘version 2.0’. Timelapse 2.0 is a great way for bloggers and filmmakers to easily grab some b-roll while you’re having your lunch out on the hill, or generally want to shoot a long sequence, but not film the full length of it.

Timewarp essentially takes a series of photos (the intervals between photos can be adjusted), over a timeframe, to then stitch all of those photos into a buttery-smooth hyperlapse.

The main upgrades that Timewarp 2.0 boasts is the ability to adjust the speed of the hyperlapse, giving you the chance to slow down footage at certain points, such as when you’d like to focus on a specific point of interest. You can speed it up as well. 

Media Mod

The all new ‘Media Mod’ found on the Hero 8 gives the option for you to convert your Hero 8 into a pretty sweet vlogging-style rig. It looks as though the popularity of Vlogging has been surging in recent years, so it’s interesting to see companies like GoPro start to position their camera towards this market – we just hope this doesn’t water down the vital updates (such as video quality).

With this new media mod, you’re able to add a shotgun-mic, 3.5mm audio port, HDMI out, front facing display screen and also a light, meaning you’ll be able to keep up with that hectic vlogging schedule no matter where in the world you find yourself, if you’re into that.

Video Quality

If you’ve kept up to date with the previous GoPro releases over the years, then these stats might not be of interest to you, as, if we’re honest, there hasn’t been too much change from GoPro in terms of the video quality. Saying that, given the size of this camera, the quality does remain pretty astonishing – so you could say that very little actually needed to be changed in this department.

4K – up to 60 fps
1080 – up to 240 fps
8x Slo-Mo

Tester’s Verdict

Jordan Tiernan, Outdoors Magic Staff Writer

“I’ve used the GoPro Hero8 extensively over the past year. From ski touring high in the Zermatt alpine, to surviving a classic midwinter Cairngorm storm, and everything in between. The Hero8 simply hasn’t let me down, both in video quality (which is nearly faultless for a camera of this size), and durability.

Testing the GoPro Hero8 in the Lake District. Photo: Holly Burns

“The new Hypersmooth 2.0 isn’t just marketing talk, it really is an improvement of the original Hypersmooth (which already performed well). Even when trail running with the camera in my mouth (using a bite mount), the software was able to smooth out the footage to an impressive level. 

“If you’ve already got yourself a Hero 7, then the upgrade might not be worthwhile just yet. If you’re still packing anything less than the Hero 7 though, I’d definitely advise you to upgrade to the Hero8 – the difference in stability and picture quality is night and day.”

GoPro Hero8

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