|Overall rating 4.9 / 5|
GoPro Hero 7 comes out almost a year after Platzhiersch officially unveiled the GoPro 6 last October. As you saw in our last review, the 6 Series has outperformed the competition.
With new intelligent video recording features, the Hero 7 Black no longer needs a gimbal to shoot incredibly stable Ultra HD movies at 60fps. We’ve tested the new flagship for you and will show you if the purchase is really worth it.
The following review shows our hands-on test of the Hero 7 Black:
Photo and video quality and microphone test
Like its predecessor, the small action camera captures images at 12MP and has a digital zoom that can be controlled via the touchscreen. Images can be saved in compact JPG format as well as RAW (DNG) format.
In my opinion, the DNG files are of acceptable quality as there is no overexposure, for example for Mavic 2 Pro photos the contrast is still too strong or too low.
However, it should be said here that the Hero 7 is also a mini camera that is supposed to record scenes with incredible sharpness and is not designed to take extremely high quality photos.
What really surprised me is the internal microphone, which is slightly better than the Hero 6. Unless the wind blows like a hurricane, there is almost no noise in the sound, so the action camera is now good too. and can be used as a selfie camera without using an external microphone.
Video quality is truly outstanding, with contrast and dynamic range virtually unmatched in this segment. As you have seen in our recordings, the camera provides excellent recordings both above and below water.
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The new image stabilization is now finally also available for Ultra HD at 60 FPS and thus also stabilizes videos at the highest level of quality. This is made possible by a new feature called “Hyper-Smooth”.
In addition, the camera supports Full HD slow-motion recording at up to 240fps, which means video recording can be slowed down up to 8 times. The following additional setting options are available (in terms of video resolution):
- 4k @ 60 FPS (frames per second)
- 2.7k 120fps
- 1440p 120fps
- 1080p 240fps
- 720p 240fps
The camera produces cinematic recordings both above and below water. We tried the Hero 7 while snorkeling in Croatia as well as diving. The action cam held up to 8m without the body, but we didn’t want to push it any further. Including the body, we were able to reach 40m depth without any problems (with the original GoPro body!).
For snorkelers, I can recommend a cheap selfie stick * which can be purchased for 10 euros. This allows you to hold the camera in your hand and even take great selfies thanks to the retractable front of the handle.
All divers are advised to purchase appropriate diving equipment. This includes not only the underwater housing, but also the device that the Hero 7 can be attached to.
The body shown here, combined with the new Intelligent Image Stabilization, can produce near-blurred images. The case can be purchased here on Amazon *.
There are also diving goggles that you can attach an action camera to on top.
Then you will have all your hands free underwater and you can fully concentrate on the dive. You can find goggles here (I deliberately knitted these goggles, even though they cost a little more, the quality is much better. I’ve been diving for over 12 years now).
New features: Hypersmooth, Timewarp and SuperFoto.
GoPro is calling the new image stabilization software Hypersmooth, which should provide video blur in every conceivable situation.
I was very surprised at how well the image was stabilized in our practical test.Whether we’re riding a wobbly hoverboard, tying the Hero 7 to the Phantom 3 Pro, or simply recording video with a selfie stick or by hand, the system is truly mature and rewarding for this series.
Of course, the Acitoncam cannot fully compensate for sudden movements or rapid changes in direction, but it’s also difficult with a manual gimbal. I am really completely satisfied with the result. It should be noted here that Hypersmooth is only available in 16: 9 aspect ratio.
Just like the Mavic 2 Zoom (here called “Hyperlapse”), Timewarp can create time-lapse recordings that look really cool. This is a great feature, especially for inexperienced filmmakers, to create a cool recording without prior knowledge.
I think this new feature is very useful as it can create an image worth seeing in a short amount of time without a video cutter. The user interface has also been redesigned.
The new SuperPhoto function makes taking photos even easier, and the camera intuitively helps you take great pictures. If the lighting conditions are bad or the farms are too bright, the internal software uses this feature to create a great photo that automatically adjusts settings and does unnecessary post-processing. However, this only works when the GoPro is not in motion, otherwise the photos will be blurry.
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New usability and live streaming via WLAN
GoPro has completely redefined how the little muscle man works and is increasingly focusing on swipe gestures when using smartphones. By swiping horizontally, you can switch between different photo, video or time-lapse modes. It works really well and is fast with no lag.
With the new feature, video clips can be time limited from 15 to 30 seconds from the start, making them ideal for posting to social media as short films.
When streaming, video images are transmitted directly via Wi-Fi or to a smartphone. At the moment, only Facebook is supported, but Youtube and Instagram are coming soon, probably early next year.
Another change is that the Hero 7’s menu also rotates when tilted vertically, rather than staying tilted to the side. Even if this small difference seems insignificant, in a practical test I found out that it is very pleasant and significantly improves the usability.
Battery life and charging time
The battery drains differently depending on the resolution you are shooting at. At the highest 4k resolution at 60fps, we were able to achieve a film time of just under 35 minutes using Hypersmooth.
On the other hand, with Full-HD, the Hero 7’s hardware is less loaded and handles 110 to 120 minutes easily. The batteries can be changed. In addition, batteries from GoPro 5 and 6 fit into the model.
The charging time with a regular mobile phone charger that I also use for my Honor 10 (OUTPUT: 5V = 2A OR 4.5V = 5A OR 5V = 4.5A) is almost 40 minutes. I also have a charging station from Hero 6 and 5 in which you can charge multiple batteries.
Conclusion on the new flagship
Whether it is worth switching to the new GoPro 7 from the old model is hard to say. If you want to shoot 4k recordings with 60 FPS stabilization, you should definitely do it.
Keep in mind that videos of this quality require a lot of storage space and an equally powerful computer for post-processing. For all other previous models, or those interested who don’t h
ave an action camera yet, the Hero 7 is the right choice if budget allows it. The price has not changed at 429 euros.
The small power supply impresses not only with photos and videos, but also with smart new features. World-class image stabilization and Timewarp offers new possibilities for previously unimaginable recordings. I totally recommend Hero 7 Black.
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In addition to Hero 7, the slightly less powerful Hero 7 Silver and Hero 7 White are also entering the market. Both models do not have a black and white display on the front.
The Silver model can record Ultra HD video at up to 30fps, just like the GoPro Hero 5. The Hero 7 White, on the other hand, is limited to Full HD at 60fps. Both mini cameras have “only” electronic image stabilization, not Hypesmooth modes like the Hero 7 Black.
Unfortunately, the batteries in these models are not replaceable, so there is only one charging time for stills and videos. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea why GoPro took this step. So for me these two models, Hero 7 White and Silver, are not recommended. I would rather use Hero 5 or Hero 3 Silver Plus.
If you have questions about one of the models, just use the comment function at the bottom of the page, I’ll be happy to help!