GoPro Hero 9 Black evaluate: All motion hero

GoPro Hero 9 Black review: All action hero

(Pocket-lint) – The identify GoPro is synonymous with the phrases ‘motion digicam’. With out the previous, the latter would seemingly not exist in the identical manner.

However regardless of that – what with the development of smartphone video digicam capabilities and enhancements through the years – the GoPro has seen its relevance and subsequently, its reputation, cut back.

So how does GoPro proceed to develop whereas attempting to remain present? All of the options to that downside may lie in its strongest digicam up to now: the Hero 9 Black.

Acquainted, but new

  • Dimensions: 71 x 55 x 33.6mm
  • Microphone (with water drain)
  • Waterproof to 10m (33ft)
  • Constructed-in mounting 

Anybody even remotely accustomed to how GoPro merchandise are likely to look will instantly recognise the Hero 9 Black. It has all of the hallmark options of a GoPro – even when that is the largest Hero design change for the reason that Hero 5. It isn’t fairly as massive a leap as Hero 4 to Hero 5 was, nevertheless it’s nonetheless massive. By way of measurement that’s: it is the biggest normal single-camera Hero GoPro has launched up to now.


In a manner, it was the Hero 8 that paved the best way for this measurement enhance, by taking out the necessity for any instances for mounting. As an alternative, the mounting arms are constructed into the underside of the Hero 9 digicam – and which means you need not fear about whether or not or not the digicam will slot in any particular instances or on explicit mounts or handles. You simply screw it straight onto any of them utilizing the usual screw pin. 

The rationale that is such an enormous deal is that it is made it doable to enhance a lot of the {hardware}, each when it comes to practicality and in inner energy. Specifically, there is a greater battery – however extra on that later. 

In addition to that bigger measurement, the opposite massive new Hero 9 characteristic is he color display screen on the entrance. Fairly than simply be a primary monochrome display screen with data in your present taking pictures settings, it really reveals a preview of what you are taking pictures so – in order for you – you possibly can shoot vlogs dealing with the digicam lens and body them with none guesswork. 

Certain, it isn’t as straightforward to border as when utilizing the larger widescreen ratio show on the again, nevertheless it’s actually extra helpful than the earlier data-only method of its predecessors. 

Pocket-lintGoPro Hero 9 Black review: All action Hero photo 7

Aside from that, it’s totally a lot the identical as different earlier Hero cameras: there’s the purple button on the highest for beginning a recording or taking pictures a photograph; then the ability/mode button on the left (the one you press-and-hold to change it on, then faucet to cycle by means of the taking pictures modes). 

What’s fascinating is that GoPro has made the water-resistance extra environment friendly within the newest mannequin too. Beneath the mode button is a ‘drain microphone’, which his designed to assist drain any extra water out of the digicam. It isn’t that it isn’t properly sealed already – the digicam is waterproof to 10 metres – it simply helps expel water that seeps in and sits round within the digicam physique if it is received in by means of the mic or speaker grille.

One good new contact we get pleasure from is the purple LED gentle on the entrance – simply above the display screen. It flashes brightly, and is sat proper within the center, so you possibly can simply inform once you’re recording. 

The Hero 9 feels considerably extra sturdy in comparison with earlier fashions too. There’s heft to it, however the door on the facet feels sturdier, with a stronger clasp and hinge, whereas the buttons additionally really feel extra clicky and simpler to make use of. On the entire it is simply that bit extra stable. 

Pocket-lintGoPro Hero 9 Black review: All action Hero photo 3

Just like the Hero 8, the 9 can be designed to be adaptable and extra appropriate for many who would possibly think about themselves greater than only a informal motion digicam consumer. For these professionals there are extra mods you possibly can add on, they usually embody lights, flip over screens, a shotgun mic and an ultra-wide lens with superior horizon levelling.  

What’s it like to make use of? 

  • Touchscreen interface
  • HyperSmooth
  • Voice management 

One of the best sort of expertise is the sort that does all of the heavy lifting for you. And with the Hero 9 that is been a serious focus level for the corporate. That is led to options just like the superior HyperSmooth characteristic – which mixes each digital and software-based stabilisation to create tremendous easy footage – simply works. As soon as switched on, its impact is definitely fairly unbelievable. 

We used our GoPro to movie the in-car segments of our Pocket-lint 2020 Awards video, and used it to movie some on-robot footage for a robotic vacuum promo. What it does in these situations is sensible. 

There’s little to no digicam shake in any respect, however extra impressively is the truth that the footage routinely pans easily once you flip shortly, or – within the case of the automobile – cease at a junction, earlier than turning a nook or becoming a member of a roundabout. It does not shake or shudder, however crops slightly into the footage to then give itself area to maneuver easily.

The touchscreen on the again is comparatively easy to make use of when you get the dangle of it. There are on-screen icons for enabling options just like the HyperSmooth enhance, or enabling greater body price for slow-motion, or altering the ‘digital lens’ (or crop/focal size). 

On the backside of the show you may discover the lengthy pill-shaped tab for opening up taking pictures decision/frame-rate setting. You possibly can select from presets, or create your personal. And to get to your photograph and video gallery, all you have to do is swipe up from the underside of the show. 

Swiping down from the highest of the display screen will get you entry to settings like enabling voice activation, onscreen grids, or simply attending to connection and machine settings (as an illustration if you wish to change the beep quantity or hook up with your cellphone). 

Pocket-lintGoPro Hero 9 Black review: All action Hero photo 8

Maybe an important enchancment with the Hero 9 is the battery life. At no time throughout testing did we really feel panicked or restricted by it, and that is not one thing that is been traditionally true for any GoPro. That bigger measurement and bigger capability are an enormous bonus level right here. In fact, if you are going to spend a protracted day trip taking pictures, it is nonetheless worthwhile getting a spare, simply to make certain. 

Video and photograph 

  • 1080p as much as 240fps
  • 4K as much as 60fps
  • 5K at 30fps
  • 20MP stills 

It is within the photograph and video high quality the place you may discover the largest distinction between a GoPro and a smartphone digicam. A giant a part of that is that the GoPro has a hard and fast focus, so struggles to deal with something near the lens – so it is no good for macro pictures. Its low-light efficiency leaves lots to be desired too. 

Indoors with dim gentle and even exterior at evening taking pictures with the improved evening mode you will not get pictures or video that appears as sharp, steady and brilliant as these from the trendy smartphone’s evening mode. Issues get a bit noisy and blurry when taking pictures pictures in these circumstances. 

Actually, relating to images the Hero 9 isn’t all that sizzling. In good daylight, taking pictures extensive pictures outdoor, you will get good footage with vibrant color and sharp element. However all of that goes away when you’re in decrease gentle conditions or attempting to shoot one thing close-up. It simply falls aside creating a number of picture noise and dropping element. 

That is an motion digicam and subsequently it is best when getting used to seize movement the place you want stability and the place you have to seize as a lot of a scene as doable. And it is best in good even daylight outdoor. 

There’s actually no scarcity of decision and frame-rate choices. You possibly can go all the best way as much as 4K at 60fps or 5K at 30fps in order for you, with digital lenses that may change you between slender and extensive views. 

For slow-motion taking pictures you possibly can change to 1080p and have it report as much as 240fps, taking pictures at both 16:9 or 4:3 side ratio. The number of choices is just about infinite. So no matter sort of motion footage you need to shoot, you possibly can.

Our solely criticism of the ensuing footage is at instances there is a sense that the colors are a bit over-saturated and distinction is simply too excessive, whereas brilliant spots and highlights usually look too brilliant and overexposed. We do not count on GoPro cameras to be good in that regard although, however high quality does not fairly match that of respectable smartphones, so the actual profit of getting it’s its sturdy construct and making use of the epic HyperSmooth capabilities. 


Video and nonetheless images high quality will not match your flagship smartphone, that is for positive, however GoPro greater than makes up for it by providing a digicam you may bounce off partitions, drown in a river, and tackle the shakeiest bike trip – and nonetheless ship superior footage.

The newest iteration of HyperSmooth is really distinctive, with its potential to routinely pan inside footage and even out bumps utilizing the digicam’s built-in algorithms and processor. What’s extra, you possibly can shoot as much as 5K decision for actually sharp pictures or at as much as 240fps in Full HD decision for super-looking 8x slow-motion. 

The GoPro Hero 9 continues to be the all motion Hero that leads within the motion digicam class.

Additionally think about

Pocket-lintAlternative photo 1

GoPro Hero 8

Wish to save slightly money? Check out the earlier era mannequin – which continues to be thought of present on GoPro’s personal website.


Writing by Cam Bunton. Enhancing by Mike Lowe. Initially printed on .

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