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GoPro - HERO7 Black HD Waterproof Action Camera - Black-Angle_Standard

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Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 1578 reviews

96%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars with 14 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Going Pro...for a Price

    Posted
    Turbolence
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    * Sample video is on YouTube at https://youtu.be/-z8sb9tZdtg . Read Video Quality below for commentary. * The GoPro Hero 7 line represents a consolidation of GoPro’s product portfolio, trimming models like the Session from their offerings and standardizing the lineup to the White, Silver, and Black Hero 7 models. The range-topping Black offers all of the company’s latest technologies, presenting what appears to be a tantalizing upgrade for owners of any previous GoPro camera. It is a fantastically capable device that has no trouble keeping up with fast action as is customary of the renowned action cam line, but a shockingly high price and only a couple convenience features make this a tough sell to all but the most devoted action videographers. - Setup & Features As with all GoPros, packaging was very simple and straightforward, and those who have used their prior cameras will have no trouble getting this device set up. As it was my first time using a proper GoPro, I had some difficulty figuring out how to get the Hero 7 Black up and running, as the included documentation is extremely basic and directs you to the GoPro app on Google Play or the App Store. This would usually be fine, except for whatever reason I could not get the Hero 7 Black to connect to my phone via Bluetooth or WiFi,* meaning I had to guess my way through the menus on the Hero 7 itself. The Hero 7 Black is loaded with features for video recording and photo-taking, and can be triggered to start and stop recording via your phone or voice commands. The rear touchscreen was quite cramped for my large fingers to navigate but worked in a pinch. The quick-start recording option (which triggers the camera to turn on and immediately start recording by pressing the Record button) is extremely convenient and ensured there was little battery life wasted on downtime rather than action shots. Additionally, the front monochrome LCD, though small, was useful to determine whether the camera was recording without needing to look at the camera from behind or unmount it from its base. *I am unsure whether pre-release GoPro software or my phone’s age (2013 flagship running Android 5.0) caused this communication difficulty, and thus cannot fault GoPro for it. - Video + Sound Quality In my time testing the Hero 7 Black, I was able to take a few videos in mixed light settings under various usage scenarios. As with all action cameras, outdoor shots were the highest quality with extremely clear and vivid details. Lower-light shots produced the expected results, though these appeared sufficiently clear and had good range between light and dark shots, rivaling entry-level camcorders. Motion blur was minimal in all situations, and I didn’t notice any significant blurring nor chromatic aberration at the edges of the fisheye lens. Sound quality is acceptable for an action camera. While wind noise is still a major issue, the microphone was adequate in all other situations, and those who are using action cameras in a casual or amateur setting will find the sound reasonable. Anyone using these cameras for higher-quality productions will likely be using external sound capture hardware and sync up the feeds in post-production. The Hero 7’s menus implied that an external bluetooth or USB microphone can be used as a sound source for captured video, but I did not test this feature as I do not have supported hardware. - Stabilization and Sample Video The standout feature for the Black edition over the other models in the Hero 7 lineup is GoPro’s “HyperSmooth” stabilization, which uses an onboard processor and the device’s internal sensors to pan, distort, crop, and warp the image appropriately to produce what the company claims is “gimbal-like” smoothness in your videos at the expense of about 10 degrees field-of-view at the edges of the image. This is only available at certain resolutions and frame-rate settings; it is available on 4K30 but not 4K60, for example. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say the resulting video matches the results from a good external gimbal or track, the resulting video was quite smooth with little stabilization artifacting. Of course, a non-stabilized video can be fixed in post-production, but the convenience of having the video stabilized onboard makes this an attractive proposition for amateur videographers. The following go-karting sample video was taken from the GoPro Hero 7 Black mounted on a go-kart helmet at 2.7K, 60fps, with the HyperSmooth stabilization enabled. These karts were extremely powerful (29HP “Rotax” karts; 3-4x the power of typical rental go-karts) and vibrated like crazy with huge G-forces in the corners. Please pardon the poor angle and strong wind noise. https://youtu.be/-z8sb9tZdtg - Photo Quality I tested photo quality using burst photography (30 photos per 2sec) with linear lens view. Unfortunately this means I had to forego RAW image shooting (available on single shots), which did lead to some compression artifacting. I found that the resulting image quality was decent, but any fine details are significantly muddied. Regardless, the lack of optical zoom removed the Hero 7 Black from consideration for most photography uses, and though it does work as expected the image quality is sub-par against most flagship smartphones. Definitely stick to videography with this one. Please refer to the images attached to this review for an example in moderate, uniform light. - Battery Life This is the area where the latest GoPro offering disappointed the most. While I realize that recording quality will affect the battery life, as will enabling features like HyperSmooth stabilization, I achieved a disappointing 50 minutes of video record time on a full charge at 2.7K, 60fps, stabilized, with the screen off. Battery life has always been on the short side for most GoPros and I was hoping that this would have been improved some as the company revamped its lineup. If you’re planning on an extended outing and don’t want to swap batteries, you’ll want to pack an external battery and USB-C cable to keep the camera going. - Bottom Line This is a feature-packed action camera that delivers on all fronts, producing the great videos commonly associated with the GoPro name, but it is extremely difficult to overlook the price. With an MSRP of $399 USD, this camera costs $100 more than the Hero 7 Silver (which foregoes the HyperSmooth stabilization and front LCD panel) and double that of the Hero 7 White. While the new features are useful, they do not justify the cost compared to competing action cameras, and it feels like the entire lineup carries a premium just for the name recognition. Simply put, this camera feels overpriced, and I would not recommend buying at this price (unless the advanced onboard stabilization is a feature you desperately need or want). The Hero 7 Silver would be the more fitting purchase for those with existing GoPro accessories and generations-old cameras ready for upgrade.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    New stabilization is the real deal, great camera

    Posted
    Keyan
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 10 ContributorTop 10 Contributor

    The GoPro Hero 7 Black is the new top of the line action camera from GoPro. In the age of cell phones GoPro finds itself in something of an interesting position. GoPro, like many other camera companies, needs to convince you that carrying – and purchasing – a dedicated camera is worth it. The Hero 7 Black tries to do just that by providing capabilities and features that no cellphone – or other action camera – can match. The major feature that GoPro is touting on the Hero 7 Black is the new hypersmooth software image stabilization, which provides image stability that previously was limited to a dedicated gimbal. For the most part, it works, and saves you the cost and bulk of having another piece of hardware. It also has the advantage that it works underwater and in any conditions the GoPro can handle. There are some limits to the video resolutions that can use hypersmooth, but the most popular ones are covered. Personally, I found 2.7k/60fps/Linear to be about the perfect setting for general video taking. On that mode the hypersmooth is extremely effective, with the camera able to handle a remarkable amount of shake and still keep the jitter out of your video. It can’t quite compensate for all motion as well as a mechanical gimbal, but the image is actually more natural feeling to me, it has just enough motion that it feels natural and doesn’t have the almost dreamlike floating effect that gimbals create. The Hero 7 Black can go all the way to 4K/60 with hypersmooth, and also offers other modes including super slo-mo and hyperlapse, a stabilized time lapse that is a lot of fun for capturing movement through space or around objects. Other features include a live streaming function that uses your cell phone to provide the data connection. It also has GPS, and a new super photo mode that does in camera image enhancement with HDR. My review includes both a pic without and with the HDR enabled, and it does a good job of managing high contrast situations and increasing color without making the image overly flat without natural contrast. The GoPro also responds to voice commands, which is very helpful if you have the camera in a position where it is hard to reach or your hands are full and not able to get to the camera. It can also connect to your smartphone or tablet wirelessly to view and copy media, and GoPro offers some decent editing software to do some quick edits. It has only two buttons, one is the shutter, and the other is the power and mode selector. It also has a capacitive touch screen to navigate settings and provide additional control. One note, if using the camera in or around water, the screen can sometimes pick up contact that you aren’t making and it can sometimes get a little crazy. There is a screen lock feature to stop this unintentional input from registering. Since this is a GoPro, there is an entire ecosystem of accessories to mount the camera to, making it far more capable than your average point and shoot for capturing action shots and going into extreme environments. The package includes the camera, “the frame” which clamps the camera in a tight frame case that has a quick mount included. It also has two adhesive mounts (one flat and one curved) to secure the camera to a helmet or other hard surface. Additionally, a USB A to C cable to connect to a PC and to charge the camera is in the box. The included directions are simple picture directions to show you how to get it out of the frame, charged, and telling you to get the app for your mobile device. You’ll have to go online to learn more about your camera. As this product is new to market, there are a couple of quirks with the software that should be worked out soon, one of which is when the camera is turned off shortly after turning on, it takes a while for the camera to actually shut down, sometimes around 10 seconds. The largest drawback to the GoPro is the battery life. One trade off for the remarkably small package with all of this technology and intense image processing is that the battery is small for the task being asked of it. There are some things that can be done, such as turning off some of the in camera processing and only activating the wireless functions when needed, but you are going to want to invest in extra batteries to record a full day of adventures. Fortunately, the batteries are not terribly overpriced as is often the case for cameras. This little camera is pretty expensive, but it does pack an impressive number of features in a compact, rugged, and waterproof (to 33ft) body. Since it can go places your cell phone can’t, or you wouldn’t want to put it, the GoPro Hero 7 Black still fills a unique need and it is hard to find another product that can do everything it can do. The hypersmooth stabilization is a real revolution in in-camera software stabilization and allows for the creation of ready to use video right out of the camera or live using the live streaming function.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Action Camera

    Posted
    AncientGeek
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    GoPro 7 Black Full disclosure: I received a GoPro 7 in exchange for an honest and timely review. So far, I love my new GoPro 7 Black. I purchased a GoPro4 Silver several years ago and this is a very nice upgrade for me. I have not evaluated the 5 or 6, so I don’t know when many of the differences were originally introduced, but there are clearly some nice improvements. Like my 4 Silver, the 7 Black has both front and rear displays which I find indispensable. The front display is a small B&W display for settings which will rotate automatically when the camera is rotated 90 degrees. The 7 has only two buttons compared to three on my 4 Silver. I always found the three button model to be a bit confusing, so eliminating one button was a good thing from my perspective. My 4 Silver required the clear housing to make it waterproof/weatherproof. The 7 Black no longer needs this housing. It has a frame that is open in the front and back, but snaps on in a similar fashion to the original housing. The lens on the 7 appears to integrate the rectangular lens cover from the original housing, into the camera itself. I like having direct access to the touch screen at all times. I haven’t tried using the camera underwater yet, so I can’t speak to the degree of waterproofing provided by the new design. I assume it is as specified. The gaskets on the battery and connection doors are pretty small and I suspect it would be wise to inspect these prior to entering the water to make sure they are not damaged or dirty. The batteries are similar but different between my 4 Silver and the 7 Black. I have three batteries and a dual battery charger for my 4 Silver. Since they won’t work on my 7 Black, I have ordered the charger (which comes with a battery) and a 3rd battery to match the items in my 4 Silver kit. Though I was disappointed that I needed to buy both new batteries and a new charger, I understand that new technologies and requirements often place a greater demand on power. Upon researching this, it appears the battery design changed for the Hero 5 and beyond, so my 4 Silver was the last model to use the older battery design. Of course the 7 has great 4K video, time-lapse, time released shutter (0, 3s or 10s) and many choices in resolution for both video and still photos. There are also three choices for the Field of View on the lens for video...Linear, Wide & Superview and two for photos...Linear or Wide...no Superview choice there. I find all video modes to be crisp and clear. Really nice video in all modes and, of course, 4K is the current pinnacle. The 7 Black offers voice control which is pretty handy. I can say “GoPro start recording” and “GoPro stop recording” or “GoPro take a photo” (“take a picture” also works). I have not fully explored the voice commands yet to see what else I can do via voice commands. A hallmark of GoPro cameras has been image stabilization and the 7 Black has improved on that. I am impressed with the smooth video I get from the 7 Black when walking or riding in a car while recording video. It is very smooth. Audio is very good. I would think the elimination of the clear housing improved the audio, but I haven’t done a good side by side test with my 4 Silver to prove that. However, the audio on the 7 Black is very good for an action camera. There is a feature called “short clips” that allows me to take videos of 15 or 30 seconds in length. While the video is recording, a red progress bar makes its way around the perimeter of the display so I can easily see the length of the video I have recorded and what is left to go. I think this will be handy. I often watch the timer on my videos intentionally to keep them to a manageable file size. Now I can just watch the progress bar and recording will stop automatically even if I don’t watch. The GPS allows data to be tracked while recording. Speed, GPS location and G-Force are among the items you can track and display on your video, if desired. It is amazing. The GoPro app works well for connecting with the camera and downloading photos and videos. It can take quite a while to download long videos, so I usually transfer large files using a cable I like the 7 Black use of USB-C. Also, it seems like the battery is heavily taxed when transferring videos via WiFi. I watched 25% disappear quickly while doing a wireless transfer. The same files took 2 min 21 secs to transfer via USB and the camera charged the battery a few percentage points while doing the transfer. If you don’t have an action camera or have an older GoPro, I recommend you take a look at the GoPro 7 Black. It is a great action camera and a nice upgrade over older models for sure.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Quality Action Videos, Not As Good For Pictures

    Posted
    scovartwo
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    The GoPro Hero 7 has pretty good build quality, considering all the technology necessary for its functioning is fitted into such a small sized camera that is also waterproof. I have never owned a GoPro style of action camera before, so I do not have much to compare this GoPro to, but I was surprised that the battery on the GoPro Hero 7 drains really unexpectedly fast when connected to a Smartphone. Upon doing some online research, I found that the fast draining battery happens because of the following: When the GoPro is put into the App viewing mode, the GoPro camera uses extra battery power to create a wireless signal, of which the Smartphone connects directly to the GoPro’s wireless signal, and so it is the wireless signal which drains the GoPro’s battery power to this extent. It is best to only connect to the GoPro app when necessary, and then open the app’s settings and turn off the wireless connections whenever not needed. Always remember when you have turned off the wireless connections, because if you put the GoPro Hero 7 in app connection mode with the wireless connections option turned off, the on screen display does not show any message saying that the wireless connections are turned off. I spent 20 solid minutes one time trying to connect my Smartphone to my GoPro and I had forgotten I had set the wireless connections mode to OFF. Recording time test: I set the GoPro video settings to the following options, 4k, Wide, 30 frames per second, I was using a 64GB SanDisk micro SD card. I started the GoPro recording, and I started a stopwatch to see how long it would record for. The GoPro Hero 7 recorded at these settings for 1 hour and 21 minutes and 38 seconds. I had previously watched a video on YouTube which compared the recording time of the GoPro Hero 5 vs the GoPro Hero 6, and in that video, the GoPro Hero 5 recorded at the same settings for 1 Hour and 35 minutes, and the GoPro Hero 6 recorded at the same settings for 1 Hour and 44 minutes. Anyway, I am not sure what all changes GoPro has made to this newer GoPro Hero 7 camera, but I am guessing that the improved Video Stabilization that this GoPro Hero 7 has, might be draining a bit more battery power. Upon starting the GoPro app, it brings up a prompt suggesting to turn on Bluetooth, and I wondered if Bluetooth was 100% necessary, since it would not really seem like it would be necessary to have WiFi and Bluetooth both turned on in order to connect a Smartphone to the GoPro. I found that it is indeed possible to connect the GoPro app to the GoPro camera, without turning on the Bluetooth on my Smartphone, so I do not know why the process of using the GoPro app suggests to turn on the Bluetooth on the Smartphone. My complaint in the GoPro app requesting to turn on the Bluetooth, is that most customers would probably not prefer to turn on both WiFi and Bluetooth, unless it is totally necessary, since both signals would use more battery power on the Smartphone. I found that the GoPro Hero 7 takes somewhat average pictures, and the up close pictures are downright blurry, especially when the pictures are being taken indoors under low or medium lighting. Pictures taken using the GoPro Hero 7 in brighter outdoor lighting from a distance are certainly better, and I am guessing these distance pictures might be on par with what is expected from a 12 mega pixel camera. The up close images I took outdoors with my GoPro Hero 7 were overall blurrier than I had expected. I took several up close pictures outdoors in ample sunlight, and the pictures were all blurry, I expected the blurriness I had experienced indoors to be completely caused by the dimmer indoor lighting, but it seems to be that the up close pictures taken with this camera are not in focus. I know that cameras in general take lesser quality pictures in low lighting, so I kind of expected the pictures I snapped in my living room to be of lesser quality. The images I captured using the GoPro Hero 7 in my living room were actually under pretty decent lighting. The lights in my living room are certainly not described as low lighting, and could be described as above average for indoor lighting. I did a comparison of the pictures that I captured indoors with the GoPro Hero 7, compared to indoor pictures from my $650 Smartphone, and I found the pictures that were taken using the GoPro Hero 7, were noticeably darker and much blurrier, to the point that I was surprised how blurry some of the pictures were. The main issue seems to be that this GoPro does not seem to focus on items that are anywhere near the lens, up close pictures using the GoPro Hero 7 are essentially blur central. I had expected that the bigger lens on the GoPro Hero 7 would have been capable of capturing some great up close picture, I guess not. The images I captured using my GoPro Hero 7 were taken using the 12 mp linear option & the Superphoto option was set to HDR Only, this seems to be the best options for the photo settings of the GoPro Hero 7. The GoPro Hero 7 is simply optimized for capturing faster action video footage, and it is not so great at taking up close pictures, especially in low to medium indoor lighting. The GoPro Hero 7 does come with a nice quality USB C cable that is 22 ½ inches long. It is kind of a disappointment that there is no charger included. I think that not including a charger, was not a very good customer satisfaction choice to make on GoPro’s part, after all, what customer would prefer to not have an included charger? I guess you could say that the GoPro cameras are considered kind of a premium product which also comes with a premium price, and so for there to be no charger included, that is kind of a bit of a let down. I own a substantial collection of expensive electronics, and so I know what is considered a good value at a certain price point, and I feel as if the external charger with a spare battery should have been included with the GoPro Hero 7 kit, and that would have made the selling price way more understandable. Maybe even one or two more accessories. The GoPro Hero 7 is obviously one of the better quality action cameras, but it is lacking a bit in versatility considering that it takes blurry up close pictures. Logically it would seem like such a high quality lens would at least be able to take as good of pictures as a flagship Smartphone. Considering that the GoPro Hero 7 has a premium price for such a small camera that does not even include a charger, I would consider the GoPro Hero 7 kit to be lacking a bit in value. If someone is a hardcore outdoor action sports enthusiast, the GoPro Hero 7 would be more enticing. I am an older guy who is not as active, and I had planned on using the GoPro Hero 7 more for indoor up close photography and bit of miscellaneous videos for YouTube, so this is part of the reason why my review might seem a bit overly critical. I did not get to test the GoPro Hero 7 for what it is best at, which is faster action videos, and I am sure it is great for this purpose, and I am sure the improved Video Stabilization will result in better action videos. You will have to read other reviews to know more about the fast action performance of the GoPro Hero 7. I am rating the GoPro Hero 7 kit at 3.5 out of 5 stars, mainly because of the lack of value.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A lot of capability in a very small package.

    Posted
    StephenS
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    I’m not an adventure thrill seeker -- I don’t do 720* back flips on a snowboard, BMX bike stunts, or base jump with a wingsuit. No, I’m just a dad with two kids who are into basketball, baseball, diving, and swimming. My main draw to a GoPro then was having a rugged waterproof camera, dedicated to the task, that I could often just “set and forget” without having to give up my phone. In that role the GoPro H7B delivers in spades. It’s not perfect, but my family is having a lot of fun with it and it rarely sits idle… somebody always wants to do “something” with it. The main thing I personally wanted it for was underwater shots for swimming self-evaluation. I’m an avid swimmer and have long wanted the ability to shoot underwater video to evaluate my swim technique. Using the GoPro “shorty” tripod I was able to setup the H7B on the floor of the pool to capture high quality and slow-motion capable video of my swim position, catch and pull, and flip-turns to objectively see what I was doing right… and not so right. The H7B earned itself a place as my “assistant swim coach” the very first outing as I was able to immediately identify several aspects I wasn’t doing nearly so well as I thought I was. That specific application aside, here is my my general appraisal of the GoPro Hero 7 Black. It’s a very capable and flexible little camera -- there’s honestly too much to cover thoroughly without writing a book so here are my highlights. First you’ll probably want to install the GoPro app on your phone. It’s not strictly required for basic use of the camera but it is the most convenient gateway to most of the advanced features and all-important camera updates. The app also allows you take a certain degree of remote control over the H7B and see through its lens, take photos and videos, change settings, and initiate live video streams. It does this by triggering the H7B to start a private Wi-Fi network, your phone then switches to that network, and then starts streaming a live preview to your phone. I never got more than a dozen feet away in this mode but it worked well for spot-checking what was in the H7B’s view without having to constantly stay behind the camera. It also allows you to see what media is on the camera and then download it to your phone, make QuikStories, etc. The H7B is capable of live streaming to both Facebook and Youtube (and other RTMP video services) pretty easily, but you have to use the app to initialize those sessions. Once initialized and setup correctly, the H7B can switch to a different WiFi network and start the video stream without the continued intervention of the phone… but you have to use the phone to setup the stream -- there is currently no way to configure and start the stream directly from the H7B itself. Updates -- make sure you check for and install camera updates! Out of the box my H7B was pretty unstable. It locked up repeatedly. A day or two after I got the camera update v1.51 was released and, though not perfect, it seems to have helped quite a bit in my case. Even so, there were still a couple of lock-ups, boot-loops, and “all the red LEDs stuck on” issues that occurred even after updating to v1.51, all of which I was only able to resolve by physically removing the battery. I won’t be too harsh on it for this as it is a brand new device, and I’d expect future updates to improve on this. When it comes to updates: check early, check often. QuikStorikes are a feature of the app that examines your media, factoring any highlight events you’ve tagged yourself, and then automagically makes short videos of segments it thinks you might like. If you don’t have even basic video editing skills then they’re better than nothing but I quickly found QukStories results to look pretty gimmicky, bland, and mechanical -- frequently cutting off the clip at awkward moments. It’s better than nothing, and works for putting together something you can show in a hurry, but if you have even basic video software and skills you will get much better results on your own. Good for video. Pictures… not so much, with one noteworthy exception. The video in all modes was excellent though I found myself gravitating toward 1920x1080 @120FPS as providing a really good balance of video stabilization, resolution, file size, and capability for making smooth slow-motion effects. For photos though, even though both the H7B and my phone have 12MP cameras, the H7B was obviously inferior for simple photos. Given how capable the H7B sensor is for high speed video this really surprised me. But in anything but bright sunlight the H7B photos showed noticeable grain. If it was the only camera I had available the photo capability would suffice, but in all other cases I’d easily prefer to just take the photo with my phone instead of the H7B. Or, just take a short video with the H7B instead of a photo and then just snag a frame you like later and make a picture out of it. It actually looks better than taking photos directly in my opinion. The video time-lapse features are fun and functional too -- I was easily able to capture and create some pretty stunning sunrise and sunset time lapse videos. Just switch to time lapse, change a few basic settings, point the H7B at the horizon of interest, and then start the time-lapse video and do whatever you want for the next hour or so. Come back later and, voila! One aspect of time lapse videos that really surprised me is how capable the H7B is at some basic NIGHT astrophotography! (Night lapse) You aren’t likely to image nebulae or other Deep Sky Objects with the H7B, but I was surprised at just how well I was able to capture the stars themselves! It wasn’t too hard at all to capture several hours of star movement and then play it back accelerated. It requires more post work (color correction, etc) than sunrise/set lapses for good results, but this wasn’t something I even had in mind at all when I first got the H7B -- that I could easily set the exposure on the H7B to long enough to respectably image the basic night sky at all was pretty exciting stuff to me. Voice control is a nice option for remotely taking self/family/group photos on-demand without having to set a timer and then rush to get into the picture. Though there is a timer option as well, whichever you find best suited to your situation. Despite several little problems -- which were relatively minor individually -- the H7B has earned a permanent spot in this dad’s bag of tricks for family and hobby video. I’ve had it about a week now though and the one thing I’m certain of is that I’ve just barely scratched the surface of ways to use it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Upgrade from previous GoPro Heros

    Posted
    TechBuyer
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    My last GoPro was a Hero 4 so this Hero Black 7 was a pretty huge upgrade for me. There are some nice features over the Hero Black 6 as well but obviously not as big of a difference. Before I get too far into the review, I CANNOT emphasize how important it is to buy a microSD card that is on the recommended/tested list from GoPro. If you buy a card that is not recommended, you may encounter all kinds of odd issues to the point the camera is literally non-functional. You can find GoPro's official compatibility list here: https://gopro.com/help/articles/block/microSD-Card-Considerations#list1 I tried an older Samsung Pro card rated at 80MB/s and the GoPro went nuts, I ended up buying a 128GB Samsung Evo Plus from BestBuy and all the issues I saw went away. Some crazy things you will see if you try a non-supported microSD card: 1) Problems pairing with the app 2) Red SD card icon and inability to record with error message saying "SD Card Busy" 3) Complete OS lockups, only way to reset is to hard pull the battery 4) EXTREMELY hot camera chassis and fast battery drain. Basically the camera will not work at all unless you have a compatible memory card and it will make you think the unit is defective. That said, with a compatible card, this thing is simply amazing. It is soooo small and records 4K/60 with incredible image stabilization. The 7 also added a new live streaming feature that I haven't fully tested yet. It also shows 4 hours of record time on a 128GB SSD at 4K/60. Another "GoPro" tip, in order to get 4K/60 you must change the aspect ratio to 16:9 or you will get an error message about 2.7K/60 only, but that is because it is by default set to 4:3 aspect ratio. Some negatives are the battery life isn't spectacular, seems to be about 1 hour of record time, so you will definitely need more batteries before your SD card fills up. I don't love how the different connectors are behind different casing doors and the ability to transfer videos is still easiest via removal of the microSD and plugging into a PC microSD/SD slot. Fullsize cameras do a better job of transferring wirelessly over BT or via USB. I also couldn't connect to my Wi-Fi while connected to my GoPro even though I was supposedly connected via BT. I need to look into this more. That said, this device is awesome for capturing videos on the go. I plan to get the 3-in-1 grip as well as some additional mounts for my bike and bike helmet, but the Hero7 is compatible with any accessories you have that support the 5 and 6. I actually have the GoPro Hero 7 Black, not the White, from what I can see is the White does only 4K/30 and does not have the front display. For just $50 more I would definitely spring for the Black or even the last-gen Hero 6 over the Hero 7 White. My main recommendation for GoPro would be to do a better job alerting the user that the memory card is not supported and that it needs to be replaced ASAP because it really breaks the camera and makes it frustrating and unusable as if the underlying OS is running some loop and making it stall and overheat.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Silky Smooth Video

    Posted
    camdenk
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Pros - Super smooth video - Auto orientation - Same formfactor for existing mounts Cons - Battery life is short - Audio could be better Overall, I’m very impressed with the GoPro Hero 7 Black. While the outside looks unchanged from the previous model the Hero 7 packs impressive hardware with some new very special software tricks. The BIG trick being their intelligent software video stabilization. They advertised that the software can produce gimbal quality video and after trying it out I have to say that it comes very close. To have some fun and test the Hero 7 I enlisted my biking friend who often records trail and park rides with a Go Pro strapped to their chest. The usual setup is an older GoPro with an electronic gimbal mounted via a chest strap. We tried one run with that typical setup and one run with the Hero 7 Black and you could hardly tell the difference. As far as benefits go – with the Hero 7 Black you can lose the bulky gimbal and have a very basic chest strap and that is all you need to get the job done. This also means that you won’t have an extra part that you must pack and carry around. However, it does come with its drawbacks. A gimbal can be setup to always stay view parallel to the ground looking toward the horizon – it adjusts for your vertical tilt. A GoPro Black 7 strapped to your chest will look out perpendicular to your body and has less flexibility on the vertical tilt. You should keep this in mind when mounting to make sure that your setup is going to give you the frame you need. Overall from the stabilization side it does an excellent job and it should fit the needs of most users. Another new feature is the auto rotation of video – now the GoPro will adjust the video to be portrait or landscape based on orientation. This orientation locks as soon as you hit record - no more fixing your video in post! This is a big deal and leads into another software aspect – Live Streaming. We watch videos on our phone and vertical video with the growth of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram has increased dramatically in terms of popularity. Now not only can you record vertical video but you can also stream to your favorite service (Facebook, Twitch, Youtube, and Vimeo). This uses your phone’s cellular connection and my testing of streaming to Facebook shows that it works well - but your mileage may vary based on coverage. This opens a world of scenarios to video unique perspectives and experiences live as they happen – something that wasn’t possible before. Also there is a very cool "TimeWarp" timelapse feature that utilizes the Hypersmooth functionality to create a super fast and smooth video. I used this mode as we hiked down a trial and the effect was like a constant floating camera following us the entire way. At the end of the day - GoPro carried over many of the great features from the previous model - the ruggedness, voice control, and formfactor and built on these in a ways that added value for existing audience while also appealing to a very social generation of consumers. I think the result is a great uncompromising device that's extremely versatile for capture all of those special moments in a spectacular format. One thing that I noticed hadn’t really improved was the audio quality – it still needs some improvement and if you are serious about needing good sound you will want an external mic. Additionally, battery life especially when recording high quality video didn’t seem to last – typically under one hour. These are far from deal breakers and there are solutions that address these issues like an extra mic and extra batteries – but it would be cool to see improvements that result in you not needing extra hardware.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Amazing Video Quality and Built Like a Tank

    Posted
    Kotor
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 10 ContributorTop 10 Contributor

    EXTREME ACTION CAMERA: The HERO 7 Black is my first GoPro product, and I have to say that I did not know what I was missing. I thought that the camera in my phone was sufficient, but I was completely wrong. The first thing I noticed was how small and handy it is to carry. It fits well in my hand is very easy to maneuver and handle. Since this is an extreme action camera, I tested it to see how well it held up to getting wet. I submerged it in a sink of water and can confirm that it was completely functional after getting wet. I did not have the heart to beat it up too bad even though it is rated by GoPro as “tough as nails.” But my impression is that this camera can take a beating and not break a sweat. VIDEO AND SOUND QUALITY: The 4K video quality is simply amazing! It is hands down the best and most life like video that I have ever captured with any device. Whatever you are using now, the HERO7 Black will likely blow it out of the water. This camera has a feature called Hyper Smooth that works amazingly well at taking the wobble out of jumpy action videos. I tested this riding a bike and was very impressed at how smooth the video turned out. You really must see it to believe how well the image stabilization works! This camera has a 12 MP sensor, so you can expect very detailed and vibrant photos. The sound is noticeably lifelike compared to other cameras that I have used. This camera is equipped with a quality microphone and it makes a big difference. DESIGN AND FEATURES: One feature I really liked is called Time Warp, which allows you to do a fast-forward time lapse recording from 2X to 30X. It is Wi-Fi capable, so you can live stream the action (if you have access to a hotspot or Wi-Fi). But just remember that 4K videos won’t upload very easily unless you have a fast and stable internet connection. 4k video takes up a lot of room on your SD card so the video is adjustable down to lower resolutions. It uses the newer USB C cord which is superior to the older version due to improved charging time and data transfer capability. Another nice video recording setting is up to 8X slow motion. The box also comes with a nice assortment of accessories. This camera also offers voice control, but I did not use this much. It works, but I prefer to control my device by touch rather than voice. VERDICT: This camera is expensive but is worth it if you want a premium extreme action camera. I am very impressed with the feature set and it’s build quality. This camera is obviously designed by people who take pride in their work. I can’t emphasize enough how good the video quality is and how well the image stabilization works! USEFUL TIPS: The camera requires a high-speed Micro SD card to work properly (which is not included). I used the SanDisk Extreme Plus card and found that it worked perfectly. You will also need a newer computer with a fast processor and enough RAM to handle the higher resolution videos. The same goes for your phone. Slow, older devices just can’t keep up with the high-resolution videos. If you are going to be using this camera on the go, make sure that you take the power cord. I found that you will get about an hour of video use per charge. Fortunately, USB C can charge fast, but If this is not enough recording time for you, then it is advisable to get an extra battery to take on the go.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Coming from a cheap action camera, this is INSANE!

    Posted
    nhtechie
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    I have experience with an $80 4K action cam, so this camera blew me away. TLDR: Buy this. The quality is amazing & live streaming is pretty cool! Long-winded review; Let’s get right to it. Pros: Insane Quality Tons of GoPro and 3rd party accessory available YouTube Videos to help you get great videos, tune for cinematography, etc. Video stabilization Cons: No more GoPro studio - replaced with Quik, which isn’t good. It just isn’t. Things I’ve noticed: It goes through battery pretty quickly, so you absolutely need 2 batteries at a minimum It gets warm even at 1080p; 4k -- it’s good to double as a hand warmer, come winter Issues (Firmware 1.0) - I used this version for over a week: Occasional Freeze-ups (with an SD card NOT on the list (MB-ME64GA/AM) and with one ON the list / SDSQXNE-064G-AN6MA). Strange symptoms of … Screen staying black, but still recorded etc … needed reboots / battery pulls Had to reset connections / reconfigure to get reliability back to Android App multiple times Total app failure while at amusement park NO STREAMING Then, on roll-out day (when these started shipping) came with the 1.51 update! There wasn’t an updated App, which I find a bit strange (and 4 days later, still no updates). To get reliability on my phone, I needed to delete all cache/App data from phone, then remove the app Then, I had to: delete Bluetooth paired devices for GoPro delete WiFi Access Points for GoPro reset camera to factory defaults & set it up again Reliability arrived and Live Streaming worked at that point. But it’s a PAIN to use AND you have to have HotSpot capability on your phone (if you’re not at home), which uses data, so have an unlimited plan! Let’s help you get a feel for “Live Streaming” while you’re out and about … Set up your phone HotSpot & turn the HotSpot off (likely you did this before you headed out) Connect to your Camera with the (Already Configured) GoPro App FYI -- This turns your WiFi off & Connects to the GoPro HotSpot (WiFi with ! symbol for no Internet connectivity) Scroll to the Set up Live Streaming button Facebook setup (easy - need the App installed) YouTube (needs a long custom URL) Twitch (needs a long custom URL) Other providers cost $$, so I didn’t try Once you are in the setup screen, hit the drop-down for Wireless Networks and flip over to turn on your HotSpot. Flip back over to the GoPro App and refresh the list (‘pull down’ for android) search for / attach to your phone’s HotSpot within the setup screen. Then go Live. If something happens to the App, you have to shut off your HotSpot & go back to the GoPro App. Eventually the Live Stream goes “Network Error” and stops … eventually. All of my LTE HotSpot usage had very choppy video - so it seems like you’ll need some pretty stellar LTE service -- and you can’t use WiFi on your phone, when it’s a HotSpot. If you’re home & have a decent pipe from your ISP, the live streaming is smooooooth. Repeat the steps, minus turning on the HotSpot and pick your home/friend’s SSID. Also, since the latest update, there has been more reliability with the camera and an SD card ON the list; no more pulling the battery. At first, this was going to be a 3-star review - with deductions due to the crummy App, instability and the inability to live stream, but now - 5 stars because it hasn’t needed a battery pull and live streaming is fixed! P.S. did I mention there was insane quality?!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Iteration not innovation

    Posted
    PeboQuattro
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    The Hero 7 Black is the latest action camera from GoPro and it brings several improvements over the previous generation. The most notable being HyperSmooth, claiming to offer gimbal like stabilization. The Hero 7 Black is the same dimensions as the previous generation (Hero 6), meaning you have an abundance of mounts and accessories to choose from. Unfortunately not much has changed on the inside (apart from increased RAM), meaning this update is mostly software improvements and optimization. The additional memory doesn’t go to waste however, as GoPro has improved video stabilization dramatically. With the latest update, the Hero 7 can stabilize footage up to 4K60 providing a clean, shake free video everyone can appreciate. The new stabilization isn’t limited to video, GoPro offers it on a new mode called TimeWarp. TimeWarp is stabilized time lapse video which looks great for long recordings, condensing the footage down while knowing when to momentarily slowdown during an action sequence. Beyond video stabilization the H7B can record up to 240 fps (1080p/720p) for capturing slow motion shots and can take photos. The photos aren’t any better then current generation smart phones, so I would stick to using this for what it does best (video). One thing I am disappointed with is the lack of battery life improvement on the current generation. The H7B uses the same battery and processor as H6B, so it’s no surprise that the battery life is still terrible. You will be lucky to get an hour or two of use out of it, as it drains the battery just browsing through the settings. I would like for GoPro to come out with a higher capacity battery but I feel it must be a limitation of the design and a larger battery may cause overheating. Perhaps a future Hero 8 black with a GP2 processor will be more efficient. In addition to battery issues, I found the Hero 7 still lacks refinement. The interface seems sluggish, often times a swipe or button press isn’t registered making the overall experience feel buggy. At this point in time, touch interfaces have come a long way so these inconsistencies really stand out coming from a refined product like a smart phone. The tiny display also has noticeable light bleed around the edges, again the product needs a little more polish for the price point. Overall, the GP Hero 7 Black is a great action camera for those who either have an older GoPro (Hero 5) or are looking to purchase their first action camera. I feel this generation is more of an iterative improvement, lacking innovation and refinement. The value with the H7B versus other cameras comes from a robust accessory market and advanced features like HyperSmooth. As much as I can nitpick the camera on other aspects HyperSmooth is more than just marketing, it truly does a fantastic job stabilizing video. Simply put, if you want to record video while in motion, this is the camera.

    I would recommend this to a friend