Reviews |GoPro Hero9 Black

GoPro Hero9 Black

GoPro Hero9 Black

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GoPro has just announced the release of the much anticipated GoPro Hero9 Black. The new camera looks much the same as the GoPro Hero8 Black with the sleek minimalistic design. But, there are some major new features, so lets take a look at what the new GoPro action camera has to offer.


  • Camera type : Action Camera
  • Announced: 16th September 2020
  • Max video resolution and frame rate: 5k 30p, 4K 60p, 2.7K 120p, 1440 120p, 1080 240p
  • Video file formats: MP4 (H.264/AVC), MP4 (H.265/HEVC)
  • Max photo resolution: 20mp
  • Max bit rates: 100Mbps (2.7K, 4K, 5K)
  • Screen: Rear: 2.27-inch touchscreen, Front: 1.4-inch colour screen
  • Livestreaming: 1080p
  • Voice control: 4 commands in 11 languages + 6 accents
  • Battery: Removable, rechargeable 1720mAh lithium-ion
  • Storage: MicroSD USH-I
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Stabilisation: Hypersmooth 3.0
  • Waterproof: To 10m / 33 feet
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 71 x 55 x 33.6mm
  • Weight: 124g

As ever, the new Hero9 Black features are mostly slight boosts in technology but there’s an all-new GoPro imaging sensor and improvements made to software and battery. But, as we’ve seen from GoPro before, these small enhancements can deliver big video quality upgrades.

In the last release, the Mods took center stage, taking some of the fanfare away from the incredible new GoPro design. Here again, some of the technology updates like the sensor and improved Hypersmooth will be outshone by the 5K resolution and the new Max Lens Mod.

But before we take a look at that new Mod, lets run through what you can expect from the new barebones camera.

The GoPro Hero9 Black can shoot 4K at 60fps. If you’re familiar with the GoPro family of action cameras you’ll know that this is nothing new, but, it can now also shoot at 5K 30fps, that’s a big resolution hike for such as small camera.

GoPro Hero9 Black

If you’ve seen the pictures then you won’t be able to miss that new small screen. This may well be a bit of a catch-up move with the DJI OSMO Action already having a similar feature. On the new GoPro Hero9 though, it’s bigger and we’ll find out if it’s better during our testing.

Hypersmooth 3.0

In the last couple of GoPro releases, Hypersmooth image stabilization has gone from strength to strength with this groundbreaking feature now in its third iteration. After Hypersmooth 2.0 it’s hard to see how it can improve further but GoPro seems to be confident.

As before the new GoPro packs in a host of slow-motion features at a variety of resolutions including 8x slow-mo at 1080p. This means that 1 second of recorded footage can be stretched over 8 seconds which is impressive. Essentially, that’s 1080p at 240fps. In the past the quality of the footage has been a little ropey, to say the least, so it’ll be a good test of the new sensor.

Shooting stills

As usual, the GoPro Hero9 Black can shoot still image, this time at resolutions up to 20Mp. As before, you can shoot in raw or Jpeg format and there are Super photo and HDR modes.

GoPro Hero9 Black

Familiar Design

The design introduced with the GoPro Hero8 Black runs through to the GoPro Hero9 Black with what looks like little major changes, at first glance at least.

Again there’s no need for a waterproof housing or cage, the new camera is waterproof up to 10m. If you do need to go deeper then there is a waterproof housing available.

While at first look the camera suggests it is much the same at the Hero8 Black, it has the same form factor at least, the Hero9’s two screens are a touch larger than before. I’d still like to see that rear screen stretch edge-to- edge though.

As with the Hero8 Black, the Hero9 Black features a built-in mount which can be flipped down when needed. This is a neat feature and has been highly successful with the Hero8 despite some early reservations.

Again we see 1080p live streaming, this is really essential for action cameras now and, of course, the functionality of this is vastly increased by the introduction of the Mods with the last camera.

GoPro Hero9 Black front display

The Hero9 is fully compatible with the mods that are already released and the all new Max Lens Mod. This looks really exciting and fits to the front of the camera lens enabling a far wider POV. It really does look like an excition addition but does come at a price £89.

It also raises a few questions, for example one of the major flaws of the GoPro Hero8 Black was the inability to remove the front lens. This meant that once scratch it was either an expensive repair bill or a new camera.

I’m looking forward to seeing if the Lens mod is part of the solution to this issue.

Voice control is back and we’re looking forward to seeing if the vocab of this handy feature has been enhanced.

New Battery

Another big feature is the battery, this sees a 30% increase in longevity and is of course swappable.

GoPro Hero9 Black Price

Do you want to get the GoPro9 Black cheaper? Then it appears that GoPro has found a way of selling the camera at a major discount, but there is a catch.

The GoPro subscription service actually offers great value for money and only costs £49.99 a year or £4.99 a month. For that you get to buy the camera for £329.98 if you take a one year sub. So essentially you can buy the camera and subscription for £50 less than you buy the camera on it’s own.

If you need more reasons to save yourself £50, then with the subscription you get equipment replacement, essentially smash it and GoPro replaces it. There’s also unlimited cloud storage for your GoPro footage, enhanced live streaming plus 50% off mounts and the lifestyle gear.

Looking through the specs the latest GoPro looks like the best GoPro yet by far. I’ll bring you a full review as soon as the latest GoPro arrives.

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You can also check out the GoPro Hero8 Black review here