GoPro Hero 7 Black Review

This page is going to serve as my running review of the GoPro Hero 7 Black camera. I will update and add more detail, as I gain more experience in using it. I’ve noticed how many reviews are just the initial unboxing and impressions using the camera. So, let’s explore the different features and issues with the Hero 7 Black, over a longer time. I also just want to say, that I’m not any sort of expert on cameras, just an amateur consumer who likes to shoot travel footage or vlogging. As such, don’t expect too many technical details, because I cannot really answer those.

 

 

Hero 7 Black Specs and FAQ:

Is it Waterproof?

Yes, the Hero 7 Black can dive down to a depth of 33 meters without any special housing. So, water resistant to that depth would be more accurate to say, I suppose.

 

What is the Picture Quality Like?

I will update this section when I start shooting still photos with the GoPro. So, probably next trip…hopefully within a month.

 

Does it perform well in low-light settings?

Sort of. I would say, that this is definitely one of its weaker points, and the footage can get quite noisy when in low light. This seems to be especially true indoors. I’ll post some low light footage below so you can see for yourself.

 

Battery Life

Is the battery life good on the Hero 7 Black? Eh, it doesn’t seem to be improved versus any other GoPro. Recording in 4K 60fps, I usually get somewhere in the hour range out of the battery. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

If you’re planning to shoot lots of 4K video, I’d definitely be bringing fully charged backup batteries.

Another thing that I’ve noticed with this model and other GoPros, is the overheating issue. Yes, it does overheat sometimes, and the software freezes. It is usually limited to when I have been shooting for a while, but be aware, that it does happen with this camera.

Then again, I might just need to get a better Micro SD card? This could potentially fix most of the problem…I’ll keep this updated, when I figure it out.

How does the audio sound?

The audio is solid for a built in camera and improved upon from my old GoPro. I don’t know how it compares to the Hero 6, so, I can’t comment on that. However, when the wind is calm, the audio is clear and crisp. But even in noisy situations, speech can still be heard quite well.

It no longer has that old GoPro sound quality, where you could sound muffled or like an echo, depending on the circumstances. It is noticeably better at capturing sound.

For most people’s purposes, you will be fine just using the built in microphone. People who want a more professional quality are going to use an external mic anyway. So, the audio being insanely good, isn’t an issue for them.

Here is a clip compilation of footage that I took in Manhattan with the Hero 7 Black, so that you can see how the camera footage looks and the audio sounds in different environments. NOTE: Some shots were captured with the iPhone 7 Plus, in this video, but vast majority was GoPro. 

Are the menus easy to navigate?

 

They are quite easy to navigate, as all GoPros tend to be. The menus, however, are in different places than they had been previously on my GoPro Hero 4 Silver. So, swiping from the right, will now bring up whether you want video, photo, or time lapse mode. Swiping from the bottom will bring up the settings for that particular selected mode.

It’s different, but not difficult at all.

Hypersmooth

One of the main selling points of the Hero 7 Black, is the addition of Hypersmooth. It is the built-in stabilization system of the camera. Its purpose? To create a stable and buttery smooth quality, when filming, without using a gimbal.

Now, the previous generations of the GoPro line, had to rely on the use of the Karma GripThe Karma Grip while a great tool to have at times, can also be quite annoying to deal with. This is particularly true with the audio output, which gets infected by the mechanical buzzing sound of the gimbal.

With the Hero 7 Black, that is no longer a problem, as the stabilization is a part of the camera with Hypersmooth. This is an amazing addition, as you can finally capture really great looking and stable footage, just holding or mounting the camera. No more lugging the Karma Grip or waiting for it to charge or dealing with the audio hum.

I’ve seen some folks say that Hypersmooth isn’t available for use with 4K 60fps, which is untrue. You may have to update your software to access it, which is what I had to do after my purchase of the camera. It is available when the camera is set to 16:9 resolution, then select to shoot in 4K 60, and you will have Hypersmooth in that framerate (see photo above for what the menu looks like).

Want to see a comparison? Check out my video footage, of Hypersmooth vs. my old GoPro 4 using the Karma Grip:

 

Slow Motion

While I haven’t captured any slow motion footage, as of yet. The Hero 7 Black does offer 240 frames per second while shooting in 1080p, as an option. Also, 2.7k can film in 120 frames per second.

So, yeah this thing should be great for your slo-mo needs. Again, I will add to this post, when I really dive into all of the features.

 

Portrait Mode

Hero 7 Black can go into portrait mode when you turn the camera and record videos or shoot photos from this perspective. Obviously, this is a great option for those looking to upload directly to Instagram or Instagram Stories. It’s a nice little feature to have, shoot with, and then be able to have the footage right on your phone with the GoPro app.

That being said, I wasn’t aware of this feature while shooting sometimes, and I accidently shot footage in this mode that I didn’t intend to. Also, footage that recorded upside down, an easy fix in Adobe Premiere but still irritating.


Time Warp

I’ll add to this section, once I get a good time warp captured.

 

Live Streaming

I’ve never live streamed anything in my life. However, if I want to, this camera is capable of doing so with the GoPro app on my iPhone. I know that initially upon release you could only livestream with Facebook, but they have updated the software to include YouTube. There may be some other options available now and in future updates, so check the GoPro website for that.

I will say, for vloggers or other social media users, this is a great option. You no longer have to use your smart phone or some other high end camera to shoot vlogs or livestream events. You can now just have an affordable GoPro, with minimal technical knowhow.

 

My Thoughts on if the GoPro Hero 7 Black is Worth It?

For me and my purposes, it is a definite yes. While it isn’t a perfect camera, the upgraded features on this model are well worth it. Especially now, that they have reduced the price by $100. With all of the accessories and features, the Hero 7 Black is pretty much capable of anything that I’d need it for.

For the action camera category? This thing is pretty much a damn beast. I was also consider the DJI Osmo Pocket, but in the end I decided to stay with GoPro, since I already have a host of accessories and experience with this brand of cameras.

For the average person, looking to film travel, action sports, or daily vlogging when you need to be moving around; the GoPro provides a quality solution without having to lay down too much money. The 4K 60fps looks outstanding, the audio quality is improved, and Hypersmooth makes shooting with this such a better experience than with older shakier stabilization (or lack thereof).

 

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