The leading action camera company have released the latest GoPro Hero 9 Black, featuring the latest specifications fitted inside a tiny portable unit. We took the new camera for a quick review to see if it beats lasts years model.
New standout features include a new color front facing display – which is great for vloggers. More importantly, a new Sony IMX677 1/2.3 23.6MP image sensor provides 20MP stills and 5K video.
In comparison to the Hero 8 Black, the new model provides slightly sharper quality in certain conditions, better cold water support and more.
If you happen to use your GoPro during moving action shots, the new electronic stabilization (HyperSmooth Boost) will make things smoother in all shooting modes – which is greatly beneficial when shooting high-quality videos.
There’s a new increased battery capacity, however the new color front display tends to take up a bit of juice. However, if your face is often out the frame when recording, you won’t might the trade-off.
When comparing the video quality of 4K video with the GoPro Hero 9 Black vs Hero 8 Black, there was very little difference between the two.
The rear touchscreen appeared to be unresponsive to finger touches at certain times, which we struggled with. Hopefully this is not a common issue that needs to be rectified.
It’s most likely that you’re want to add a bunch of accessories for your new GoPro, which is why the company have put together a Hero 9 Black Bundle.
The bundle price offers fantastic value for money and includes the Hero 9 Black camera along with accessories like a microSD card for storage, spare battery, GoPro Handler floating grip and Magnetic Swivel Clip.
A Media Mod is available, which includes a built-in directional mic and 3.5mm mic port for external microphones. A Display Mod is also available which increases the size of the screen.
Next month, a Max Lens Mod will be released that increases stabilization and field of view, combining Max HyperSmooth stabilization with an ultra-wide 155˚ FOV digital lens
If you’ve been following GoPro designs over the years, you’ll notice the company has slowly made the appearance more professional and appealing. The GoPro Hero 9 Black is arguably the biggest refresh in recent years, and so far, we like the look of it.
The larger battery has ultimately increased the size somewhat, as well as the 2.27-inch rear screen and new 1.4-inch self-facing color display. The new display on the front is intended for vloggers – it works pretty well, however it stuttered at certain points.
While the increased battery size might look good on paper, it’s mostly sucked up by the intensive screens. Depending on how much you use the screen, your mileage may vary. The new model includes a 1,720mAh battery, which is about 40% larger than last year’s model.
In comparison to some touch screens on travel cameras that we’re used to, the responsiveness of the touchscreen on the new GoPro 9 Hero Black tends to be slow at times, and if you’re impatient this might become annoying. However, GoPro have suggested this will be resolved with a software update in the near future, so there’s hope.
Finally, GoPro have introduced a removable lens cover. If you’ve owned a GoPro before, a cracked lens might sound familiar to you. Replacing the lens cover is a simple process now. The new Max Lens Mod can also be screwed on to give a wide field-view and better image stabilization.
We took the GoPro for a quick dip in the pool and had no issues with the waterproofing. GoPro suggests it should be good for a 10-meter distance, which is great for water lovers and adventure seekers.
GoPro have finally introduced a new 23.6MP resolution that is capable of shooting 20MP stills and 5k/30 video.
The Hero 9 Black has a 1/2.3 inch sensor, identical to previous models, and less than some cameras like the Insta360 One R.
HyperSmooth 3.0 and TimeWarp 3.0, GoPro’s moving timelapses feature, often a slightly improvement over the previous models. However, it is nothing to rave about as this point.
If you have a Hero 8 and wondering if you should upgrade to the GoPro Hero 9 for better performance, it’s highly unlikely you’ll see a massive improvement. The price of a new camera doesn’t justify the purchase unless you’re an avid action camera fan or can get rid of your older model for a decent price.
The new HyperSmooth Boost to the 4K/60p and 5K/30p modes is a nice addition, but its most likely casual travel fans and millennials probably aren’t shooting in such high quality anyways.
While the new battery is quite a bit larger than last years model, the new screens don’t allow you to take benefit of longer recording or playback times. If you’re looking to shoot for a long duration, you might be able to squeeze out an additional 20 minutes in comparison to the Hero 8 Black.
Video & Image Quality
If you’re looking for an action or travel camera that can take brilliant photos and video at an affordable price, it’s hard to beat the GoPro Hero 9. The new 5K/30p might allow you to futureproof your videos, however most people don’t have devices or screens capable of displaying such high-resolution videos without downgrading the quality.
With the new sensor 20MP still photos is achievable and we found it great for taking a variety of different photographs. Plus, the benefit of taking photographs underwater is a nice addition that people seem to love on holidays.
The new GoPro Hero 9 is a fantastic action camera – if you don’t already own the older version. The front facing LCD screen is a nice addition for the vloggers. As usual, the camera is waterproof so you don’t have to worry about jumping in the pool or taking it to the beach.
The GoPro Hero 9 is the best all-round GoPro available. It shoots brilliant photographs and videos. The 23.5MP sensor and 5K video allow you to shoot in high-quality which looks great on the right monitor or TV.
GoPro Hero 9 Black FAQ
How big is the GoPro Hero 9 Black?
The dimensions are 72x55x33.6mm
How much does the Hero 9 Black weigh with Max Lens mod?
The GoPro Hero 9 Black weighs approximately 180g with the Max Lens mod attached.
Is the GoPro Hero 9 Black compatible with my previous accessories?
Since the battery is a new size, those won’t be compatible. However it’s likely that some of your mounts and certain accessories will still work.
How does the battery life compare to the Hero 8 Black?
GoPro says there is a difference of about 30% – however your shooting time might vary depending on certain conditions. From our test, the GoPro Hero 9 Black lasted about 1 hour 35 minutes in comparison to the GoPro Hero 8 Black which ran for 1 hour 15 minutes.