GoPro is the biggest action camera brand in the world bar none, and its current range has been headed up by the incredible Hero 7 Black since 2018, but now the release of the GoPro Hero 8 Black is just around the corner and the anticipation is building rapidly.
There have been plenty of rumours and a rather interesting leak about GoPro's new action cameras, giving us much to ponder ahead of the official GoPro Hero 8 Black release. Naturally we have very high expectations for the newcomer, as the Hero 7 Black set the bar so high. We even crowned it our favourite action camera in the T3 Awards 2019 and gave it a five-star review upon its release.
Even when DJI introduced its jaw-dropping debut action camera, the feisty DJI Osmo Action, earlier this year, and we pitted it against the Hero 7 Black, GoPro still came out on top... but only just. As stated in our review of the DJI Osmo Action, it has a few killer features that the Hero 7 Black doesn’t, so there's room for the Hero 8 Black to really muscle in here and assert its unchallenged dominance once again.
The DJI cam's killer features focus mainly on a front-facing colour display, which means you can see if you’re in-frame when vlogging. The Osmo Action is also waterproof to an extra metre without a case (11m instead of the Hero 7 Black’s 10m), and has some impressive manual shooting functions. Many GoPro fans are already hoping that the Hero 8 action camera will address some of these differences.
But DJI's camera lacks live streaming support, which the GoPro offers, and its app doesn’t match the quality of GoPro’s.
So will the GoPro Hero 8 Black sport a front-facing colour display too, and an even-greater variety of shooting functions and features? Before we take a look at everything we know so far about GoPro’s new action camera, let's first remind ourselves of how great the Hero 7 Black is, and how GoPro's biggest competition might just be with itself...
GoPro Hero 8 Black release date and price
In the past, GoPro has launched its new action cameras in September, so it's not too wild a leap to speculate that GoPro Hero 8 release date will follow the same timeline. In May this year, GoPro CEO Nick Woodman stated in the company’s Q1 earnings report that: “I'm happy to share that we're planning an exciting refreshed lineup at all price points in Q4, including our next generation spherical camera…”
What those price tags are remains to be seen, but the Hero 7 line-up is currently priced as follows – and may even seen a reduction once the GoPro Hero 8 Black is officially launched:
- GoPro Hero 7 Black | RRP £379.99
- GoPro Hero 7 Silver | RRP £279.99
- GoPro Hero 7 White | RRP £179.99
The Hero 7 Black is regularly discounted and often hovers around the £349 mark at various retailers, while the DJI Osmo Action was aggressively priced at £329 (official RRP) from the get-go, and right now the Osmo Action is on sale at Amazon UK for just £279.
GoPro Hero 8 line-up: more than one camera?
There has been no official statement from GoPro to confirm exactly how many new cameras will be released, but as Nick Woodman stated, there will be “a refreshed lineup at all price points”, and that there will be a new-gen spherical camera too, widely rumoured to be called the GoPro Max.
The current GoPro Hero 7 line-up comprises three different action cameras: the Hero 7 Black, which is the flagship model, followed by the Hero 7 Silver, and the Hero 7 White, also available in a limited edition Dusk White, for adrenaline junkies on a budget. We break down the entire range in our ‘which GoPro action camera is right for you’ guide.
GoPro’s current spherical camera is the Fusion, which captures 360 video and images, and enables you to edit them afterwards so that you can keep what you like and ditch the rest. Editing can be done within the GoPro app and shared straight from your phone.
It’s hard to guess at this stage what a next-gen GoPro 360 camera would look like, and to be fair it is a rather niche product, so it might be surprising to some that GoPro is launching a new 360 camera.
Features and tweaks we’d like to see in a new GoPro spherical camera include improvements to OverCapture editing, 60p recording at 4K mode (instead of 3K) and better lens protection. These are based on the minor issues we had with the Fusion.
GoPro Hero 8: features and design
A recent GoPro Hero 8 leak by Photo Rumors showed that the basic design of the Hero 8 action camera might not be all that different from the Hero 7. So if you were expecting a built-in front-facing display to rival the DJI Osmo Action, you may be disappointed. Let’s be clear here: we don’t know anything 100 per cent yet about the Hero 8 Black, but the cameras pictured in the photos leaked by Photo Rumours did not feature integrated front displays.
They did feature what looks like a new housing with dedicated slots for accessories, with a microphone, LED light (for filming in low light conditions) and a pop-up external screen shown attached to the housing.
How does that screen differ from the DJI? Quite simply the Osmo’s front screen is built directly into the camera. The pop up screen on the camera shown in the Photo Rumours Hero 8 leak sits above the camera’s body – so it’s connected, but external.
We don’t yet know if these will be add-on accessories you’ll need to pay for, or whether they’d come with the GoPro Hero 8 Black as standard.
There’s also speculation that the Hero 8 will include a GP2 processor. The Hero 7 is powered by the GP1 (introduced in 2017), so it would make sense for the new GoPro action camera to boast its successor. A better chip could boost colour accuracy and digital zoom quality.
The Photo Rumours leak, if accurate, also gave some insight into the capabilities of the cameras, including how they could double the maximum frame rate – up to 60fps in UHD and 480fps Slo-Mo 1080p. It’s also not unreasonable to expect improvements around the already game-changing HyperSmooth image stabilisation tech.
No-one apart from GoPro itself knows anything official about the new cameras, but no doubt we’ll hear more about the Hero 8 line-up within the next few weeks, and will update you as soon as we do. A new GoPro camera is always enticing, and considering how much the Hero 7 Black changed the action camera world for the better, the promise of a Hero 8 Black is hugely exciting.