GoPro HERO 7 Black vs GoPro HERO 7 Silver: which budget action cam is right for you?

The GoPro HERO 7 series has been around for a while and prices have dropped, but which one should bargain hunters choose – Black or Silver?

GoPro HERO 7 Black vs GoPro HERO 7 Silver
(Image credit: GoPro/Future)

Both launched in late 2018, the Silver and Black models from GoPro's HERO 7 range are getting on a bit in camera years now. While they can't compete with today's best GoPros, if you're on a budget you're more likely to snag a cheap GoPro deal on a slightly older model. And despite their age, both the GoPro HERO 7 Black and GoPro Hero 7 Silver are still worthy action cameras with strong specs.

If you're prepared to put up with slightly lower quality and fewer features than you'll find in the likes of the GoPro HERO 10 Black and HERO 9 Black, you're likely to get great value for money. (Although if you're really strapped for cash, their basic sibling, the HERO 7 White is our top pick for the best cheap action camera on the market.)

Could one of these once highly sought after models be the best choice for you Let’s have a closer look at both cams in our GoPro HERO 7 Black vs GoPro HERO 7 Silver face-off. 

GoPro HERO 7 Black vs HERO 7 Silver: design

Being launched simultaneously, it’s no surprise that both cameras share a very similar aesthetic. While the body of the Silver is slightly smaller, lighter and a different colour, a more crucial point of difference is that it lacks the Black’s front-facing status screen (which displays the current shooting mode and other handy information) and makes do with an LED which merely lights up when recording.

GoPro HERO 7 Black and HERO 7 Silver

GoPro HERO 7 Black (left) and HERO 7 Silver

(Image credit: GoPro)

Similarly, while the HERO 7 Black has a replaceable battery (which allows you to easily change batteries in the field), the Silver’s built-in battery is of the non-removable kind. While the batteries of both cameras can shoot around 1.5 to 2 hours of video when new, they will degrade over time and the Silver’s battery cannot be replaced.

GoPro HERO 7 Black vs HERO 7 Silver: video and stills

The HERO 7 Black’s top video resolution of 4K video at 60FPS is still the equal of virtually all action cameras except GoPro’s latest flagship model, the HERO 9 Black, with its 5K video. The Silver version can also shoot in 4K, albeit at 30FPS, but this is still as fast a framerate as you’ll ever need to capture incredibly detailed video sequences at regular speed. As well as a better maximum video resolution, the HERO 7 Black also has a far wider selection of resolution and framerate options, making it far a more versatile option than the Silver edition.

When comparing photo capabilities, the HERO 7 Black once again comes out on top with a higher number of shooting modes and a resolution of 12 megapixels compared to the Silver’s 10MP. However, both cameras fare poorly in comparison to their more recently released rivals, as most modern cameras can shoot 20MP stills.

GoPro HERO 7 Black vs HERO 7 Silver, back screens

GoPro HERO 7 Black (left) and Silver

(Image credit: GoPro / Future)

GoPro’s excellent stabilisation software, HyperSmooth, and their hyper-lapse (moving time-lapse), TimeWarp, are facilities that both made their debut on the HERO 7 Black. While improved versions appeared on later cameras, these earlier versions still are still hugely impressive even today. While the Silver also has its own highly capable stabilisation, it’s not as rock solid as HyperSmooth and the camera cannot shoot hyper-lapse sequences.  

GoPro HERO 7 Black vs HERO 7 Silver: verdict

Being the higher specced model of the two, it’s no big surprise that the GoPro HERO 7 Black is better in every respect than the HERO 7 Silver. However, it also costs more (just how much cheaper varies wildly). So does it have enough superiority to justify spending that extra dosh?

With superior photo and video resolutions, extra content capture options, powerful features such as HyperSmooth and TimeWarp, and a removable battery, the HERO 7 Black is the clear winner here and it’s still a match for many more modern rivals. As for the HERO 7 Silver, while it’s still a well put together camera that gives excellent results, it is a little on the dated side now. If you don’t have the cash for the Black version, you may wish to consider a well specced budget modern camera, such as the Akaso Brave 7 LE.

Rich Owen

Rich Owen has been frantically riding mountain bikes since the early 90s and is a former editor of What Mountain Bike magazine. He’s also a surfer with over 20 years’ experience and lives near North Devon’s best beach breaks.