First up, this cam has got its first new processor since the HERO 6 in 2017. The new GP2 processor is key to some pretty impressive upgrades: namely, better image quality, higher frame rates and resolutions, speedier offloads and a faster interface.
By features and capability, this is the best GoPro in town, and it's also a safe bet that you'll find it topping our best action camera guide before long. Here's a quick look at the pricing, followed by the standout features so far.
GoPro HERO 10 Black price and release date
The GoPro HERO 10 Black is on sale globally from today (16 September) from GoPro.com and select retailers around the world. The pricing is as follows:
If you're not a current GoPro subscriber, you can purchase the HERO 10 with a one-year subscription for that lower price. Otherwise, a GoPro subscription will cost you $49.99/£49.99/AU$70 annually.
For comparison, the HERO 9 Black is currently $349 / £329.98 / AU$529.95 with sub (or $399 / £379.99/ AU$599.95 without) and the HERO 8 Black is currently $279 / £259.98 / AU$429.95 with sub (or $299 / £279.99 without).
So a $50 / £50 price hike compared to the previous model, provided you're a GoPro subscriber, and $100 / £100 if not. The main thing we can gather from the pricing this time round is that GoPro really wants you to subscribe. Certain features in the new HERO 10 Black are only available to subscribers.
1. Image quality has had a big boost
One major benefit of the new GP2 processor is a significant jump in image quality over the HERO 9 Black. At most higher resolutions, it's capable of capturing double the framerate of the H9 – it offers 5.3K at 60FPS, 4K120, and 2.7K240.
The HERO 10 Black also introduces HYPERSMOOTH 4.0. It's difficult to say much more about this than that we can attest to the fact that it's really very smooth. It's also now available on livestreams. Further to that, there's improved horizon levelling – so you could tilt the H9 up to 27-degrees with the horizon locked, while the H10 can be tilted up to 45-degrees.
The general camera function has had a revamp too. Resolution has been bumped up from 23MP in the H9 to 23MP in the H10, across all the different camera modes including Burst and Night Photo.
Perhaps more interesting for those looking for a convenient way to capture action stills, the HERO 10 Black lets you take 19.6MP frame grabs from your video ( photos) – so essentially it's like you're shooting hi-res photos continuously as you record.
2. Getting stuff off your HERO is far easier
Alongside the considerable image improvements offered by the new processor, GoPro has focused this time on making it simpler for people get their footage off their camera, edited and ready to be released into the wild (the wild being something like a YouTube channel or social media platform in this semi-tortured metaphor).
"The job of the camera is not to capture the footage," said Pablo Lema, VP of Product at GoPro, during the launch event. "The job of the camera is to capture the footage and let the user get to it so they can do something with it." That first part is outright not true, but we do agree that having 20 videos languishing on a camera in a drawer is not bringing anyone any joy.
To that end, there's not one, not two, but three new or upgraded ways to transfer things off your HERO 10 Black.
First and most boringly is via the ol' classic, wireless transfer, which is now 30% faster thanks to the GP2 processor. The second is a welcome throwback: you can now literally plug your HERO into your phone's USB port (via an adapter if you have an iPhone) for almost failsafe wired uploads that are up to 50% faster than the also-faster wireless transfer.
Perhaps the best new option is only open to GoPro subscribers (told you they really wanted you to join). For those people, if you bring your camera home and plug it into a USB port to charge, it'll automatically log into your home Wi-Fi network and upload the day's takings to the cloud. So you barely even need to think about it.
3. No more need to lick the lens
The HERO 10 may look extremely similar to the HERO 9 Black, but it's not quite the same. There's a blue logo. That's the most noticeable differentiator. It's also very slightly lighter (3% lighter, to be exact ... but then the H9 is heavier than the HERO 8).
Another welcome hardware upgrade is that the removable lens cover is now hydrophobic, meaning it actively tries to repel water. So, the GoPro rep informs us that you will no longer need to lick the lens cover before catching a big wave. A win for hygiene as well as engineering. It's also more scratch resistant than previous versions.
4. Images look better
The new processor unlocks some key algorithm updates to local tone mapping (LTM) and 3D noise reduction (3D NR). In practical terms, the LTM update means more realistic textures on things like hair, sand and grass, while the 3D NR update means less noise and improved image quality in low-light environments.
If those acronyms sound familiar, that's because both have been included in previous HEROs – LTM was previously for photos only, but now it's available in video too, while 3D NR was available in previous HEROs, but it's been improved for the HERO 10.