Reviews |GoPro Hero10 Black

GoPro Hero10 Black Review

The world's most popular action camera gets a major power boost. Find out what it's now capable of in our GoPro Hero10 Black review

GoPro Hero10 Black Review
Review

Price when reviewed

£499

$499

Our Verdict

The GoPro Hero10 Black is an exciting, if not overwhelming, update to the world’s most popular action camera. While internal electronics are never the most exciting of upgrades, the performance they bring often is. The GP2 delivers overall improved performance, and that has to be a good thing.

The GoPro Hero10 Black is a refinement of the Hero9 and gives a power boost to all of the features. It’s also launched into a market with only two real competitors, the DJI OSMO Action, now a few years old, and the Insta360 One R.

The GoPro Hero10 Black sees the action camera maker stay on top form with a very exciting new action camera to keep us entertained over the winter months. GoPro manages to find a way to refine its market-leading product, and it’s still the best action camera you should buy.

What is the GoPro Hero10 Black?

It’s that time of year again when the GoPro announces its latest camera. Yes, the new action camera has arrived and our GoPro Hero10 Black review is underway. As we’ve seen in the past, the latest updates and upgrades are a progressive refinement of features rather than any huge leaps in resolution or ground-breaking new features.

Click here to buy the GoPro Hero10 Black from Adorama

The new GoPro camera, now on its 10th release, is launched alongside a new slogan, “Speed with ease”. This slogan refers to several new features and performance upgrades that have been packed into this new model.

The biggest of these new features is the introduction of the new GP2 processor, promising more power and a boost to framerate options, HyperSmooth 4.0, Auto file uploads, more Mods and upgrades rather than an uplift in video resolutions.

  • Are these new features what you were expecting? Find out how the GoPro Hero10 Black specs stack up against our wishlist from earlier this year, and see what GoPro Hero11 Black specs we expect to see in the next version of the popular action camera.
GoPro Hero10 Black Review

Design-wise you’ll be glad to hear that the GoPro Hero10 Black takes on the familiar GoPro form, following the slight size increase of the Hero9 Black from the Hero8 Black. A controversial move as none of the new Hero8 mods fitted the new Hero9 camera.

Thankfully GoPro seems to have settled on the increased size so that all Hero9 mods will fit the Hero10. Outwardly, the new camera looks much the same as the Hero9 Black but with the addition of the bright blue 10 on the side; otherwise, everything else looks much the same from the images.

As you’d expect, with the arrival of a new model and new processor, the GoPro sees an impressive boost in features, most noticeably the framerate options, which is exciting for those wanting to capture slow-motion video.

Specification

  • Photo : 23MP
  • 5.3K: 60fps
  • 4K: 120fps
  • Video stabalisation: HyperSmooth 4.0
  • LCD: Front and Rear (Touch screen)
  • Battery: Removable 1720mAh Lithium-Ion
  • Slow-mo: 8X
  • Waterproof: 33ft (10m)
  • Processor: GP2
  • Cloud compatibility: Auto upload to GoPro cloud (Sub required)
  • Voice control: Yes
  • Livestreaming: 1080p

An all-new GoPro GP2 processor

GoPro’s move to its own GP processor was savvy; it meant that competitors could no longer buy the same or very similar circuitry and create action cameras that mimicked GoPro products’ features and performance.

The GoPro clone market exploded around the time of the GoPro Hero4 Black and led to a host of similarly spec’d cameras being available for a fraction of the GoPro’s retail price.

GoPro Hero10 Black Review

The introduction of the Hero5 Black with the new form factor and then the GP1 processor in the Hero6 Black marked a real change for the company.

GoPro was back on its feet, and the competition we were once again trailing. However, at four years old, that GP1 processor is getting old, so the arrival of the GP2 is very welcome.

But, what does the new GoPro GP2 processor mean when it comes to performance increases for the GoPro Hero10 Black?

First and foremost, the top resolutions remain at 5.4k and 4k, so as yet no sign of that elusive 8k that we’ve been expecting.

Instead, there’s a major boost in framerate, and to be honest, this will be more useful and fun for the majority of GoPro users.

5.4K is boosted to 60fps and 4K to 120fps. This essentially means that with the 4K footage, you can record 5 seconds of footage and play that back over 20 seconds with beautifully smooth motion.

The next boost is on the stills resolution front, with the small sensor enabling the capture of images at 23MP. This is almost in line with most standard DSLR and mirrorless cameras, although obviously without the interchangeable lens option and a much smaller sensor.

GoPro Hero10 Black Review

However, the quality of stills from the GoPro Hero9 Black was impressive, and while the processor is new, the sensor is the same. I look forward to checking out and comparing the quality from the hero10.

One issue that I found with the Hero9 Black was that some of the touch screen controls on the back could be a little sluggish, which has become an issue for many users over time.

The new processor promises faster response times and a snappier feel to the touch screen interface. The new processor also boosts the front screens framerates for smoother playback of footage.

HyperSmooth is one of the knock-out features from the last few models of GoPro. When I was first introduced to the feature, I initially thought it was simply GoPro rebranding its electronic image stabilisation.

However, HyperSmooth is one of the most groundbreaking features introduced to these small cameras (GoPro Hero7 Black), and the Hero10 Black now features HyperSmooth 4.0 with increased horizon levelling limits.

New HyperSmooth 4.0 is available in 5.3K @ 30fps, 4K @ 60fps and 2.7K @ 120fps. The in-camera horizon levelling has also been boosted with a tilt limit increase from 27º to 45º when shooting in 4K60, 2.7K120 and 1080p120.

Another less popular feature that many of us are blissfully unaware of is frame grabbing, you do this through the App. This is becoming more popular as the video resolutions increase, and the Hero10 Black enables 19.6MP from 5.4K 4:3 video and 15.8MP from 5.3K.

It’s all about the GoPro Hero 10 Black cloud

GoPro has been actively pushing their cloud and subscription services, and with the GoPro Hero 10 Black, that push is being further increased.

GoPro Hero10 Black Review

The new camera gets a WiFi boost, enabling files to be offloaded from the camera 30% faster than the previous generation. GoPro has also introduced a Wired offload option, which it says is 50% fast than wireless. This all essentially means it’s easier and faster than ever to back up your footage.

The big resolution, bigger framerates

As we’ve come to expect from GoPro, it takes a few generations for any sign of a resolution increase. At present, the resolution remains at 5.3K, which is still impressive. The 15.8 million pixels that make up the image is almost double that of the older 4K cameras, 8.2 million, which ultimately results in more detailed, clearer, sharper and crisper video capture.

Behind the scenes of the image, the new GoPro features a host of improvements that further boost the quality of the footage that you capture, all of which we plan to thoroughly test in our GoPro Hero10 Black review.

New local tone mapping improves the subtle detail of the video content, enriching subjects and their surroundings. 3D noise reduction also helps to reduce the introduction of noise that can be a real issue for these cameras in low light conditions.

New GoPro Hero 10 Black Upgrades

GoPro has also upgraded many of the existing features of the camera, including some hardware and software.

A new lens cover has been created, a while it looks identical to the old one, it is improved. A hydrophobic, water-shedding glass has been used, this is more scratch-resistant than the equivalent on the Hero9 Black. The glass coatings also help to reduce ghosting, and of course, the lens cover is removable.

The webcam model has been enhanced; this now essential feature allows the camera to broadcast in full 1080p HD with a 132º field of view.

GoPro Hero10 Black Review

Live webstream has also been streamlined with more features, compatibility and ease of use.

Other features that remain the same such as TimeWarp 3.0 and Hind Sight all see a performance boost through the new GP2 processor.

3D Noise Reduction

Low light is an action camera killer and always has been. With the cameras designed for extreme sports enthusiasts and bright outdoor activities, the small sensors thrive in bright and beautiful conditions, not caves, night and shadows.

In this release, GoPro aims to tackle bad low light video with 3D Noise Reduction. It’s a big feature and will be one of the key tools we plan to test in our GoPro Hero10 Black review.

Unlimited Cloud Back-up

GoPro’s cloud storage is something the company has been pushing for a while, trying to get users to take up the yearly subscription to keep their footage safe and accessible from anywhere.

Many of the enhancements brought to the new GoPro Hero 10 Black by the GP2 processor are realised in the new streamlining of workflow and the integration with the cloud services.

The improved performance means that it’s now possible to automatically upload footage from the GoPro to the cloud as the GoPro charges. This backup keeps the files at full resolution, so there’s no loss of quality, and that storage is unlimited with the GoPro subscription.

Having all the footage on the cloud not only means that it’s safe, but you can access, edit and share that footage whenever you want.

This new and improved feature aims to get users used to editing and sharing content on the go. A feature that GoPro and other action camera manufacturers are pushing at the moment.

It’s still about the Mods

When GoPro launched the Mods with the GoPro Hero8 Black, they looked like a good idea, certainly bringing another angle to the small camera.

However, with the likes of the impressive Insta360 One R, these mods do now look a bit dated.

However, there is a good choice with the Max Lens Mod, Media Mod, Light Mod and Display Mod, which is still one of the most useful additions to the GoPro you can buy.

GoPro Software

Thankfully GoPro integrated and merged its multiple apps a few iterations ago, which helped streamline the workflow processes. The Quik app is fully featured and one of the slickest video app offerings on the market.

Firstly it’s beautifully designed, easy to navigate, doesn’t try to sell you anything unless you want it to and works.

It enables you to quickly edit or automatically edit your video, add music, adjust video speed, apply filters and themes, grab frames and share your videos with friends. Most importantly it enables you to connect to your camera and control it with a fast unbroken lovestream.

And of course, if you have the Go Pro subscription, it will allow you to upload your footage and do all that side of the GoPro ecosystem.

Build and handling

GoPro are quite unique when it comes to updates to their cameras in both features and design. They edge forward at a slow yet progressive pace with each new camera giving you just enough to soften the £400 plus you’ve just spent on one or two seemingly small upgrades.

However, every few generations, Hero5 Black, Hero9 Black, GoPro mess with the design to give us something all new and exciting. When the Hero5 Black was launch we rejoiced, here was a new camera with a slick new look, touch screen and a scattering of new features that softened the blow that the camera was otherwise identical to the Hero4 Black.

The the Hero9 Black arrived and while from a distance the camera looked identical to the Hero8 Black, it was obvious that it had put on a few covid pounds and no longer fitted in to last years suit. or Media Mod that had been the big hitting feature with the Hero8 Black.

So the investment in GoPro’s all new eco system lasted less than a year, and before term started it demanded a new set of clothes. Except it didn’t, it could just go naked and slim back down until it fitted back in it’s old clothes.

Now the Hero10 Black is her and it looks like that new size and design, that looks like the old design, but is just a touch bigger and actually much better, is here to stay.

The all-new GoPro Hero10 Black is visually almost identical in form to the Hero9 Black. It has the new Blue logo’s the casing finish is slightly different, the lens has changed, although you’d be hard pressed to see the difference and that appears to be it.

Size and weight was of course the big difference that caused the GoPro Hero9 Black to prematurely expand beyond the fit of it’s new clothes, so I was interested to see if there was any difference, even minutely with the Hero10 Black.

A quick measure using a set of calliper rather than a ruler for increased accuracy, showed that the camera was the exact same size as it was last release. That’s a good thing and means that I’m now safe to invest in the media mod again safe in the knowledge that it will at least last for more than one season, even if that’s backward compatibility rather than for 2022’s GoPro Hero11 Black.

Checking the weight and it looks like GoPro has picked up the fitness regime and lost a gram or two, or five to be exact. On the scales it weighs in at 155g compared with 160g last year. In real terms that’s a whole tsp of sugar difference.

Power on the GoPro for the real differences

Power-up the GoPro Hero10 and you start to see the real differences. Push the record button on the Hero10 Black and after two seconds not only has the screen started to flicker into action but it’s started recording, that three seconds faster than the Hero9 Black.

Looking at the front of the camera and you also see a huge difference in the quality of the front screen. It was a nice feature on the Hero9 Black but the quality and framerate was lacking. It was an obvious keeping up with the jones addition, or in this case the OSMO Action, and was a good enough feature rather than good.

Now the screen seems as clear and crisp as the rear screen in the quality of the preview, you can also see from that quality that here in the office the lower light performance has obviously taken a step-up even without starting to film,

Otherwise a quick sift through the features and both cameras seem pretty similar. There are a few changes in the menu system, for instance on the home screen the frame rate / slow motion option has swapped from a picture of a snail to a 1x, tapping it then gives you direct access to 2x (60fps) and 4x (120 fps) rather than just on / off.

Likewise the HyperSmooth on/off option now gives access to a further two options Off / High / Boost.

However, the real difference is the speed of the touch screen. Before of the Hero9 Black it was one of the feature that has caused me issue over the year since it was lauched. I commented on the speed and responsiveness of the screen in my review of the GoPro Hero9 Black, but now with the Hero10 Black by it’s side, it’s obvious just how slow it is.

As before swiping down on the screen gives you access to the options, here again everything looks familiar with the one addition which is a menu setting for the upcoming Max Lens Mod. As this isn’t available as yet, and we dont have a review sample, I can’t at present comment further on this, but surfice to say I’m quite excited especially afetr looking at the excellent Insta360 R One.

Swiping up on the camera brings up the play back so you can check your recordings. Again it has a few nice direct features, but is relatively basic in function which is no bad thing.

Otherwise for the bulk of the camera options there doesn’t look to be many changes.

For the GoPro Hero10 Black the big change is that new processor the GP2 and as you click and tap through the menu items you can really see how that has improved the performance of the camera. It feels more responsive and the irritation of hard tapping and swearing at the camera to change a resolution option has been removed.

Tap into the resolution and frame rate options and you start to see the performance enhancements that the GP2 processor has brought to the camera.

The Hero10 Black adds 5.3K over 5K, then retains 4K, 2.7K and 1080, but for each the frame rates take a leap doubling.

Filming 5.3K footage on the GoPro Hero10 Black and you now have the option for 60fps, up from 30fps and the camera no longer warns you that it will be recording in HEVC if you haven’t turned the notice off.

4K jumps from 60fps to 120fps, 2.7K to 240fps from 120fps and 1080 remains at 240fps. To some degree this pause at 240fps for 1080 seems on the surface to be due to a lack of space on the touch screen, but I’m sure it’s due to a much more technical issue. The 180º rule would state that the 240fps requires a shutter speed of 1/480 so push that to 480fps and you’re looking at a shutter speed of 1/960 which is fast and probably technically difficult at present for the small camera.

You’d either need a huge ISO, and as the cameras produce notoriously bad footage at high ISO’s that’s probably not a good thing or you’d need plenty of additional light, or both, to balance the exposure. However, the Sony RX1 does it so it must be possible.

Performance

When it comes to performance updates GoPro tends to go on the side of caution, hardware upgrade then resolution and frame rate update, however, with the GoPro Hero10 there’s been bit of both.

The Hero9 Black saw the design change with the larger size and a few other refinements, although it was one of the first GoPro launched where I now feel that the GoPro Hero8 Black was in-fact a better camera. The Hero10 Black is what the Hero9 Black should have been, not for the resolution increases but for the responsiveness of that rear screen.

In use out on the track and the speed of selecting options and settings is relatively fast and accurate, it’s certainly far easier to use than the previous generation despite the user interface (UI) being almost identical.

Used in the traditional GoPro way of being mounted and simply used to record the action the faster boot time is nice , and knowing that by the time you’ve pushed the button and kicked off the camera will have primed and started is reassuring.

As ever the rear screen gives plenty of info if you need and switches off after a few seconds to help preserve battery power while a red light flashes to tell you that the camera is recording.

Flicking through some of the major resolutions and frame rates on the rear screen and all data seems to record down to the small SD without hitch.

It’s also possible to connect the app and get the live preview easily enough, one of those features that is now just expected but works incredibly well.

Coming to the Quick App and this latest itteration of GoPro App control, Editing and social sharing platform is slicker than ever.

Connecting to the GoPro is easy with the App walking you through the process and enabling you to get started in just a few minutes if that.

Everything that you can adjust in camera can be accessed through the Apps interface, in the case of the Hero9 Black this was a god send, here it’s back to being a nice touch.

Here with the GoPro Hero10 Black the big features is the speed of the upload to the GoPro cloud. In use this all seems straight forward enough once you’ve ensured you’re signed up to a GoPro account.

Once signed up and you’ve selected the subscription model you want you can then switch the automatic upload switch in the app and all footage from the GoPro will automatically upload to the cloud as your GoPro charges. It’s really easy to use and once connected it’s a feature you’ll never need to think of again, unless you look at your bank balance and see the monthly or yearly out goings.

One of the nice features of Quick is the Auto Edit that enables you to quickly make engaging videos that you can upload to your social media channels or simply share with family and friends.

It takes a little while to naviagte the workflow but once you get it and find out where GoPro has stashed you’re video files it all makes sense.

When you first boot the app you have the choice of connecting to Control your GoPro or View Media, the GoPro will also highlight if theres new video files to be downloaded.

Click this or the view media option and you get access to the media and the option to download so you can trim, edit and share your footage. All straight forward. However, once that footage has downloaded unless you click the link to view the downloaded media it can initially be difficult to find as there’s no obvious place to click and navigate to it.

After a while you find that place is back on the home screen, obvious really, but then unlike the other options with their obvious tags, the view media icon is just an icon. Placed in the bottom right corner you can click this to view all the downloaded media and start the editing process.

Here there are four tabs that will show you the footage stored in the app, cloud, phone and your edits so far.

When it comes to editing you have two options, automatic or Mural.

Starting with Mural you essentially select the video files, trim and click through the options, GoPro Quik does the rest and before long you’re looking at a very pleasing video of your clips.

The second option gives you more manual control, again you select the footage that you want to use, then you can drag and drop clips into order, trim, and publish. It’s simple and again gives you some nice auto editing features that save time.

Again GoPro pushes it’s subscription service and some of the more advanced editing features are only available to those who subscribe to the premium. These features include unlimited Mural events, Unlimited Editing, more photo and video features, additional themes, speed adjustment tools and background music tracks.

GoPro video quality

It has to be handed to GoPro when it comes to the quality of their video. It’s always been good, that is after all what made GoPro stand-out from the competition from the outset, but with the resolution and framerate updates the quality remains exceptional.

Riding in the bright late summer, early autumn sun and the camera handles the changes in light from bright to shadow well. The dynamic range of the small camera has certainly improved over the years and the Hero10 is in line with the Hero9 Black.

What is different is the shadow detail, the difference is mild but there does look to be a slight improvement, which is inline with the information given from GoPro. I’ll side-by-side test this with the Hero9 Black in test to confirm the improvement on a dull day.

Switching from 5.3K, 4K and 1080p at most framerates and the quality of the footage really stands out. The colours remain bright and there’s plenty of detail. The 5.3K at 60fps is especially impressive and the quality of the footage means that it can easily be cropped into as needed.

I’ve finally made the swap to mainly using 4K so here being able to film at 120fps is incredible, and the quality of that footage is usable as long as it’s captured in bright conditions. Filming in overcast or inside even with the low light improvements starts to show the limits of this small camera and sensor combo.

Verdict

I’m now used to being slightly underwhelmed by GoPro’s new release feature list. However, while I’m still awaiting some of the big features we’ve highlighted in our “GoPro Hero10 Black specs we’d like to see” feature, I am excited about the new frame rate increases and the power of the new processor.

While internal electronics are never the most exciting of upgrades, the performance they bring often is. The GP2 delivers overall improved performance, and that has to be a good thing. That performance boost results in greater responsiveness for the rear screen and of course the increased framerates.

The latest version of HyperSmooth 4.0 also builds upon that in the Hero9 Black. I didn’t realise there was a need to improve a feature that already seemed as near to perfect as a feature could get, but amazingly GoPro has done it.

The GoPro Hero9 was launched during the pandemic and annoyed many users with the change in size and slow response rate. However, it was still GoPro and far better than anything else on the market.

The GoPro Hero10 Black is a refinement of the Hero9 and gives a power boost to all of the features. It’s also launched into a market with only two real competitors, the DJI OSMO Action, now a few years old, and the Insta360 One R.

In reality, only the Insta360 One R can compete, and once the GoPro Hero10 Black arrives in the office, I’ll put the two cameras up against each other in a head to head.

The GoPro Hero10 Black sees the action camera maker stay on top form with a very exciting new action camera to keep us entertained over the winter months. GoPro manages to find a way to refine its market-leading product, and it’s still the best action camera you should buy.

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