GoPro HERO7 Black-7

I recently received a GoPro HERO7 Black to check out some of the new features, including the much-hyped HyperSmooth stabilization. The new lineup includes the HERO7 Black, HERO7 Silver and HERO7 White.

GoPro HERO7 Black unboxing
[What’s in the box]

The Black model is powered by a new GoPro custom processor that the brand launched last year, with 4K video capture at up to 60 frames per second as well as 12MP photo capability.

GoPro HERO7 Black unboxing

There’s also super slow mo, live-streaming, a Hyperlapse TimeWarp mode plus improved digital image stabilization that makes the camera no longer need a gimbal to steady itself.

GoPro HERO5 Black vs HERO7 Black

But if you do mount the HERO7 Black to a bike or a helmet, the stabilization benefits are even greater. Footprint-wise, the HERO7 has a slightly thinner lens than the HERO5 (note I didn’t review the HERO6 when it came out, so I only have the HERO5 vs 7 in side-by-side shots).

GoPro HERO5 Black vs HERO7 Black

I did notice that all my HERO5 mounts and accessories will fit the HERO7, so that’s a relief, as I have several mounts for both land and water that I’d like to continue using.

GoPro HERO7 Black

Like the HERO5 and HERO6, the HERO7 is also waterproof without additional housing to 10 meters (33 feet).

Voice control has also made it to the 7, with the same list of action commands for both recording and photo-taking action as well as switching modes (e.g. from camera to video or time lapse mode). And the HERO7 Black is finally truly black.

A fun command (maybe introduced in the 6?) is a second HiLight tag command; you can say “GoProHighlight” to add a Highlight Tag to help the camera know where the good stuff is for quick editing in the app, or simply say “That was sick”! Tried it, works.

I don’t have a GoPro subscription, however if you do have one, you can automatically back up your footage over the cloud via WiFi.

GoPro HERO5 Black vs HERO7 Black

According to GoPro, the HERO7 uses much of the same hardware as the HERO6. A design improvement on the HERO7 Black is the big “7” on the side of both housing and camera, making it easy to match the correct orientation in dimly-lit areas.

GoPro HERO7 Black-2

The touch screen also features a few new menus and options, based primarily on the additions of Hypersmooth, TimeWarp and SuperPhoto.

HyperSmooth – one of the 7’s biggest features – takes electronic stabilization and builds on it via GP1, extra RAM and the GoPro’s internal sensors to make real-time predictions about how the camera is about to move. All this without the need for a gimbal.

Another key addition is TimeWarp, adding ability to shoot fast time-lapse videos (up to 30x speed) that can be uploaded to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch or Vimeo over your phone’s cellular connection. You can also shoot in Short Clips mode and create either a 15- or 30-second clip (quicker to transfer to your photo as well as minimized editing and sharing time).

[5x TimeWarp fun at Aurora Winter Festival Vancouver; 480px x 360px]

Admittedly, I’ve been having a lot more fun with TimeWarp than any other video feature on the camera and keep searching for cool TimeWarp scenarios to shoot (GoPro recommends 2x or 5x for short activities; 10x, 15x or 30x for longer activities).

GoPro HERO 7-2
[SuperPhoto off]

GoPro HERO 7 SuperPhoto
[SuperPhoto on]

SuperPhoto intelligently analyzes your shooting scene via automatically applied HDR, Local Tone Mapping and Multi-Frame Noise Reduction. And speaking of photos, you can also use the GoPro to shoot in portrait mode, ideal for Instagram Stories.

GoPro HERO 7-4 GoPro HERO 7-3 GoPro HERO 7-5
[Portait Mode]

I also like the Touch Zoom feature on the rear display to finally be able to zoom in on both your photos and videos. This is one of the reasons I now feel like the GoPro more closely resembles a proper compact camera than simply a video device.

GoPro HERO7 Black-2

More Features

Live Stream – Automatic sharing as you live it while saving your streamed videos to your SD card in high definition
Re-engineered audio captures increased dynamic range, new microphone membrane reduces unwanted vibrations during mounted situations
Simplified 2” touch display now enables native vertical (portrait) use
Face, Smile + Scene Detection – HERO7 Black recognizes faces, expressions and scene types to enhance automatic QuikStory edits on the GoPro app
Photo Timer – Countdown timer for convenient selfies and group shots
Ultra Slo-Mo – 8x slow motion in 1080p240
Auto Transfer to Phone – Your photos and videos move automatically from camera when connected to the GoPro app for on-the-go sharing
GPS Performance Stickers – Track speed, distance and elevation, then highlight them by adding stickers to videos in the GoPro app
Capture 12MP photos with option to shoot in RAW format
Auto Low Light automatically adjusts to darker settings when shooting video at 50 or 60 FPS

[Here I’m walking around Sun Studios in Memphis with a Handler attached to the HERO7 Black]

If you really want to bump up the quality of your videos and photos, turn on Protune. Within this setting, you can change the ISO, shutter speed, white balance, colour profile, sharpness, exposure value compensation (adjusting brightness within an existing ISO setting), create RAW audio and gain three microphone settings (auto, stereo, wind) for various conditions.

[Really impressed with built-in stabilization during a Segway tour of New Orleans]

Protune is also compatible with professional colour-correction tools, GoPro’s Quik desktop app and other editing software.

GoPro HERO7 lineup

HERO7 Black vs Silver vs White

Between the three, the difference in price equates to the amount of features, speed and resolution you’ll get.

The two cheaper GoPro models – Silver and White – have less features and don’t utilize the GP1 chip. The HERO7 Silver compares to HERO6 Black (built-in GPS, wide dynamic range photos, ability to shoot up to 4K resolution video at 30 frames per second).

GoPro HERO7 with phone
[GoPro app showing media stored on camera]

Both HERO7 Silver and HERO7 White are waterproof, have voice control and can automatically back footage up to GoPro’s cloud service over Wi-Fi. They don’t have Hypersmooth, but they do have HERO6 Black-level stabilization.

The HERO7 Silver has limited slow-motion abilities, topping out at 60 fps overall. The HERO7 White is even more limited (with 1440p maximum).

GoPro HERO7 Silver, White
[GoPro HERO7 Silver, White]

You’ll still get a touchscreen on the back of the Silver and White, but GoPro has dropped the small LCD display on the front that shows shooting mode, battery life and available memory card space info. All three will shoot in vertical mode and allow you to use short clips. The Silver and White produce 10MP images.

The cameras are priced at USD $199 (White), $299 (Silver) and $399 (Black), offering varying levels of performance as mentioned above.

I was sent the GoPro HERO7 Black to test drive for this feature. Opinions, as always, are my own. Non-watermarked images courtesy of GoPro.

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