The GoPro Hero 9 Black has got to be one among the foremost leaked GoPro’s so far .
Thereto end, you would possibly already know tons about it, mostly that all-new front color display or even the upper 5K resolution? But there are tons happening here that likely wasn’t within the leaks, or at very least, doesn’t really mean much until we’ve tested it.
I even have tested it. The result’s possibly the foremost significant update to a GoPro in recent years, certainly since the introduction of the Hero 4 Black.
If you are looking for an in-depth GoPro Hero 9 Review (Honest) then this is the exact place for you.
If you managed to avoid the leaks, or simply need a straight-up refresher of everything that’s new this point around, you’ll find it here.
If you’re already up to hurry though, let’s not waste any longer time.
If you’re a taker of selfies, a vlogger, or an adventure filmmaker, GoPro’s new flagship camera is formed for you.
There was a time when action cameras were primarily for capturing sports, but the new GoPro Hero 9 Black pushes during a new direction by including a front-mounted LCD ‘selfie’ screen to challenge the DJI Osmo Action and therefore the Akaso Brave 7 LE.
However, there’s plenty on the Hero9 Black for the all-rounder, also as upping the resolution to 5K for video, it increases photos to 20MP, and adds the power to capture 14.7MP stills from the video, too.
Add improved image stabilization, improved time-lapses, and a longer-lasting battery, and therefore the Hero9 Black is that the best GoPro we’ve seen so far, and doubtless the simplest action camera else.
The 3 minutes GoPro Hero 9 Review
The GoPro Hero 9 Black is the most powerful and versatile action camera you’ll buy, but
collectively its new features don’t provide quite enough real-world benefits over its predecessor
to justify the worth.
The two biggest upgrades are its new sensor and front display. That new 23.6MP sensor shoots 5K video that does deliver slightly more detail than the Hero 8 Black, within the right conditions.
But perhaps the larger benefit is to its electronic stabilization, with the Hero 9 Black ready to provide HyperSmooth Boost – GoPro’s strongest stabilization – altogether
This makes it a top performer for those that demand high-quality 4K (and 5K) video.
That new front color display, while faraway from perfect, is additionally a really useful new
feature for vlogging or general shooting. it is a little laggy and no match for a fanatical
articulating screen just like the one on the Sony ZV-1.
But if you wish to border yourself in video tons, then this is often probably the GoPro for you. However, a number of the GoPro Hero 9 Black’s other new features aren’t quite as polished.
The new battery boasts its stamina a touch, but it’s only a minor improvement, and that we found the Hero 9 Black more susceptible to overheating than its predecessors.
While you get slightly improved stabilization with GoPro’s new flagship, the particular quality of its 4K video isn’t noticeably better than the Hero 8 Black’s.
Other features like Scheduled recording, while useful on occasions, aren’t yet completely
And most frustratingly, we found the Hero 9 Black’s rear touchscreen to be pretty
Still, the latter is seemingly getting to be fixed by a November firmware update, and if GoPro can iron a number of the Hero 9 Black’s other minor kinks, it could yet become our favorite action camera pick.
Right now, the Hero 8 Black pipe is for sheer value, but this feature-packed sibling may be a close second.
- 5K Video
- Perfect for maintaining detail even when zooming in
- 20MP Photo with SuperPhoto
- 8x Slo-Mo
- Front Display + Rear Touch Screen – A new, larger rear touch screen with touch zoom on HERO9 Black and a dazzling new front display makes for easy framing and intuitive camera control
- Live stream in 1080p on social
- Experience ultimate smoothness with the most advanced video stabilization ever.
- Record mesmerizing time-lapse scenes as you move on the road, on foot, or anywhere else
- Rugged + Waterproof
What’s Inside the Box?
- HERO9 Black Camera
- Carrying Case
- Rechargeable Battery
- Curved Adhesive Mount
- Mounting Buckle + Thumb Screw
- USB-C Cable
GoPro Hero 9 Features and Usability
As you’d expect from a GoPro, the controls are beautifully simple to work, even with just two
buttons – power/mode on the left side and record start/stop on the highest right.
There are four pre-loaded Capture Presets (Standard, Activity, Cinematic, and Slo-Mo) that permit you to jump right into recording the action without getting caught up in endless settings, which has long been a key USP in GoPro’s favor.
There are up to 10 slots available for your own custom settings if you would like them, catering for the professionals too.
By linking to the GoPro app via Bluetooth, and over Wi-Fi for more intensive meddling, you’ll remotely control the camera, preview shots and share them directly, also as edits on the go.
Finally, you’ll create 1080p Livestream immediately, with presets for social channels including Facebook and YouTube also as a manual option for the perennially awkward.
In a particularly well-timed nod to the remote-working world of the ‘new normal’, GoPro has added the power to use the HERO 9 as a cabled webcam. Add the USB-C charging cable and therefore the GoPro Webcam desktop app and you’re up and running.
A very useful magnetic mount within the shape of a crocodile clip provides the right screen mount for this, adding an additional little bit of value for professional vloggers and casual Zoom-callers alike, also as a handy dual-use faff reducer when traveling.
Speaking of faff-reducing, that bigger battery could be liable for piling on a couple of
grams, but it does add a claimed 30% battery life.
In testing, the battery life on the HERO 9 was strong, enough for shooting multiple videos at full 5K quality and many images at a time, and therefore the test model came with a further battery pack for extra juice when out and about.
The only snag there’s that without an external charger, the battery can only be charged onboard
(via USB-C), forcing you to modify batteries within the camera to jazz up both.
The battery door does just clear the mounting screw albeit mounted the incorrect way round, so it isn’t necessary to get rid of the camera from your favorite mount to charge, whatever your preferences.
The sole real negative of GoPro HERO 9 is that the solid build quality does notch up the load, making this a reasonably chunky device.
That’s not a problem in many cases, but some mounting situations (like on the side of a light-weight helmet) will cause you to notice that 158 grams more often than you would possibly like.
The GoPro Android app is surprisingly finicky about connections too, occasionally losing connection and finding it tricky to reconnect, although this was during intensive testing as against normal use.
The All-New Hardware
I’ve seen cosmetic and internal changes to GoPro’s over the years, but this point around
there’s a touch more happening.
The Hero 9 Black features a new redesign, which incorporates that shiny new 1.4-inch front color display, and therefore the camera itself is greater and heavier than before.
It’s a subtle bump in size, but one that soon becomes apparent once you pick it up, especially if you’ve got last year’s camera on the other hand.
In numerical terms, the Hero 9 is around 5-6mm wider on all sides compared to Hero 8.
As for the load, the new camera is over 30g heavier than the Hero 8 and 42g heavier than the Hero 7. In fact, at 158g, the Hero 9 even outweighs the much larger Max (154g).
It might seem strange to start out this review talking about weight and dimensions, but it’s
permanently reason because the extra heft is that the trade-off for a minimum of three of the
new (and most interesting) features found within the Hero 9: the new front display, the larger
rear display and therefore the more capacious battery (finally!).
One last detail to clarify right up top: the removable lens cap is back, so those that want to feature filters can do so again (unlike on the Hero 8). What’s more, GoPro is introducing its own “Max mod” for the Hero 9 that provides the new camera a number of the key features from its 360 siblings (more info thereon here).
While the hardware upgrades are welcome, much of what is really exciting about the Hero 9 lies
within the software.
In fact, there are too many software upgrades to hide all of them intimately, but two deserve special mention.
The primary is Scheduled Capture. If you have ever wanted to try a sunrise time-lapse but hate awakening early, this one’s for you. you’ll find out your shot, leave the camera outside your tent, and sleep in while the Hero 9 does all the work.
The second major update is to HyperSmooth, which is now at version 3.0. Designed to chop down on camera shake even in incredibly jolting and bumpy filming scenarios, the newest version is nothing in need of astounding.
GoPro sent me a radio-controlled car to check this out, and I drove it through the roughest stretches of the woods around my house.
The resulting video seems like it had been shot on knowledgeable gimbal; it really is that smooth. GoPro has also revamped and simplified its online subscription, offering perks like unlimited video space for storing for backups, total camera replacement, and discounts at the GoPro store.
You’ll buy the Hero 9 for $350 and obtain a 1-year subscription, but if you do not need the subscription, you will have to pay $450. I suggest getting the discounted price and therefore the
subscription—you can always cancel when it is time to renew it if you didn’t see much value
after a year.
That’s still tons to buy an action camera. Thankfully, if you do not need all the new
bells and whistles, the Hero 7 and Hero 8 are still on sale for fewer.
The New Dual Screen
That 1.4-inch front display is perhaps the foremost striking new addition. GoPro has been
planning this for a short time, and, little question much to its chagrin, DJI ultimately got there
first with its Osmo Action.
Either way, it’s finally here, and it’s a pleasant little addition. If you’ve been employing a GoPro for any amount of your time, you’ve likely found out the way to point it at yourself in order that you’re centered within the shot through trial and error (it’s not as straightforward as you think that, because of that extra wide-angle lens).
The new screen just makes it ridiculously easy now. There are other benefits too, beyond just getting your grinning face in the shot. It also makes it much easier to line up what’s behind you.
This won’t matter so much if you’re close to combat a carbonado, but if you’re fixing a vacation shot with a landmark behind you, or close to speaking to the camera for a vlog, it really helps you find out the shot.
Especially if you’re using a number of the wider-angle video modes, which tend to stretch or warp objects within the background.
I initially thought that I wouldn’t use this feature much, as I’ve been shooting with GoPros for
years, but it didn’t take long before I noticed something: I’ve learned to avoid an excessive
amount of self-shooting because I’ve had numerous duff shots with it. Not any more!
The new front screen is the same size as the one on the Osmo Action, although initially, it
seemed like it’d be smaller thanks to DJI’s camera being shorter than the Hero 9.
And while we don’t have the precise specifications from GoPro yet, I did find its front display to be a touch sharper and brighter.
There are a couple of things to understand, The screen’s not touch-enabled, but it’s sufficiently small that that wouldn’t be too helpful anyway. you’ll choose what’s shown here, with the choices being a middle pack up, a full (but tiny) view of your whole shot, camera info only (i.e. equivalent info shown on older GoPros), and “off.”
The latter obviously negates any extra battery drain, but I do a minimum of wish to be ready to see the status info at a look.
With it being a secondary screen, it’s smaller than it’s the high resolution because the main goal is
for it to function as a fast reference. Either way, the image it shows is surprisingly clear, even in
While we’re on the subject of screens, it’s worth mentioning that there’s a replacement, bigger
one round the back, too.
The most screen on the Hero 9 is now 2.27-inches across, up from the “shade over” 2-inches found on older models.
It’s obviously still fairly compared to the one on your phone, but that extra land does make navigating the menus easier (the on-screen buttons are slightly bigger, too). It also means viewing your videos on the camera itself may be a little more enjoyable.
GoPro hero 9 Battery Life and Connections
The GoPro Hero 9 Black’s battery is different from people who have preceded it. Not only it is
physically bigger, but it’s rated at 1,720mAh, which may be a third more powerful than previous
Sadly it’s not backward-compatible with older GoPros – there’s no way you’ll even
catch on inside another model’s compartment – but we’re not too annoyed because it’s now
driving two displays and a bigger sensor.
GoPro also claims that its bigger battery helps with performance in cold temperatures, but that
proved tricky to check during September.
The battery lifetime of the Hero9 Black is rated by GoPro at 101 minutes when filming in 1080p.
During several 4-hour sessions with the camera when it had been used sporadically to film
snippets of video, take many photos, and an honest few time-lapses it rarely dropped below 50%
Either way, this camera has much more stamina relative to other action cameras, and
its USB-C allows you to use it while plugged into A battery or a computer.
Getting photos off the GoPro Hero9 Black means extracting the microSD card or using GoPro’s app or desktop software.
The latter is pretty rudimentary, but the app is intuitive, reliable, and enjoyable to use. That’s pretty rare for action cameras.
Transferring to a phone quickly, the Bluetooth-initiated WiFi Direct link between the devices starts-up easily and stays connected.
With the app running on a phone it’s possible to edit videos and offload everything to the (paid-for) GoPro Plus cloud back-up service.
That’s a relief because the touchscreen isn’t as responsive because it might be, with
ghost-presses and mistakes are common.
Video and Image Quality
It almost goes without saying, but the HERO 9 does indeed knock out incredible quality video
This is often partially thanks to the many bumps in sensor resolution, but the
important stars of the show are GoPro’s backroom work with presets and software tools.
Hyper smooth and Timewarp are going to be familiar to HERO 7 and HERO 8 owners, but here
they’re both upgraded once more (now both on V3) and deliver noticeably better results even on
Horizon leveling is now baked into the camera, not just the app, and is instantly
Using the GoPro-supplied RC buggy in testing creates astonishingly smooth and
watchable footage even in extremely bumpy situations, more like a knowledgeable rig than an
That impression is boosted when grabbing frames from 5k video, which thanks to
the oceans of resolution available still begin at 14.7MP/16:9, like you’re running a high-end SLR.
Also like an SLR, the burst function for stills is impressive, augmented by LiveBurst (from the
HERO8) that captures 1.5 seconds of the action before and after you hit the button, ensuring
you do not miss the simplest little bit of the action
GoPro Hero 9 MediaMod
If you are searching a commandable budget camera then you can read the AKASO EK7000 Review (After using 2 months)
GoPro now features a suite of modular accessories – the Media Mod, Light Mode, and Display
Media Mod, which physically supports the opposite two, will now be available during a
version specific to the larger Hero9 Black.
However, given the inclusion on the Hero9 Black of a front-facing color screen, the Display Mod seems less attractive, though its built-in rechargeable battery and micro-HDMI connector should constitute an upgrade for serious filmmakers.
However, the foremost important new accessory just for the Hero9 Black is the Max Lens Mod
accessory. thanks to being launched in October 2020 for $99.99, it’ll also bring into play a couple of
features that only found on the GoPro Max, including 360º horizon lock (so the camera are
often rotated through 360º) and an ultra-wide 155º Max SuperView mode, which can work out to
2.7K 60 fps.
With the max Lens Mode attached, there’ll be a mode that adds Max HyperSmooth and Max SuperView.
The Updates of GoPro Hero 9
The first standout feature within the GoPro Hero 9 is that the 23.6-megapixel sensor. That’s quite a
jump from the predecessor’s 12-megapixel sensor.
More megapixels means the Hero 9 Black can shoot 5K video and snap 20-megapixel still images. 5K video on its own isn’t that useful for many folks, since only a few devices or streaming services support anything over 4K, but the additional pixels mean you’ll crop your video and still find yourself with 4K footage.
With the large field of view during a GoPro, the power to crop and concentrate on your subject after the very fact may be a tremendous advantage.
The disadvantage is that you’re limited to 30 frames per second (fps) in 5K, whereas at 4K you’ll shoot 60 fps. meaning for fast-paced action—think Hero 9 strapped to your head while snowboarding a narrow chute—you’re likely happier switching to the lower resolution and better frame rate.
For broader shots with less motion, the upper resolution at lower frame rates are going to be better, opening up cropping possibilities once you edit.
The other downside with shooting at 5K is that the majority of mobile devices aren’t capable of playing it, so there is no previewing within the mobile app. you will have to download
the footage to your laptop or desktop.
The 20-MP still images are perhaps a good more noticeable intensify from previous Hero sensors. RAW images are considerably sharper, and there is less smearing of fine details.
The physical limitations of small lenses aren’t gone—purple fringing is sort of common but easy to get rid of with software.
The new sensor also brings the power to grab a 14.7-MP still image from videos. That’s a high enough resolution to be perfectly usable not just the online, but in print.
The good thing about this is often that you simply can leave the camera in 5K video mode then pull out high-quality still images later, so there’s never an opportunity you’ll miss the action.
Shooting within the dedicated photo mode still has some advantages, particularly the power to shoot RAW images, but in my testing, I used to be quite proud of the JPG results pulled from video 95 percent of the time.
That’s primarily how I have been using the Hero 9—always in video mode. I figure it’s better to possess the image in 14.7-megapixel JPG than miss the shot entirely during a quest to urge a RAW
The other major new feature is the full-color front screen. The DJI Osmo Action
camera beat GoPro here by several years, and it’s something I’ve missed whenever I switched
back to GoPros.
But while DJI got there first, GoPro has one-upped it with an always-on design that somehow doesn’t affect battery life.
With the Osmo Action, you manually switch from front to rear screen as needed; the Hero 9 has both able to go in the least times. It makes the Hero 9’s front screen considerably more useful. It’s worth noting that battery life has improved too, because of a bigger battery. during a side-by-side 4K test with Hero 8, the Hero 9 lasted 25 minutes longer, running for a full 2 hours and 20 minutes.
During a more real-world test, the Hero 9 usually lasted me half each day, so you’ll still want to pack an additional battery if you’re planning a full day of shooting.
Unfortunately, if you’re upgrading from an older Hero model, your extra batteries won’t work with the Hero 9. Also, GoPro is saying that battery performance in weather, especially, is far better.
The last phase change of note is that the new removable lens cap. This was my biggest gripe about the last model, so it’s nice to ascertain GoPro address this shortcoming, but the corporate also added the power to place a replacement mod on the prevailing lens.
The Max lens mod adds a wider field view and potentially exposes some new filming possibilities.
It isn’t a full 360-degree lens like Insta360’s One R, which may be either an action camera or a 360-degree camera counting on which lens you employ, but it’s nice to ascertain GoPro occupation in an identical direction.
The other mods introduced with the Hero 8 are still available and compatible.
GoPro’s slogan for the Hero 9 launch is more than everything and there really are enough new
things here for that to feel fair.
GoPro regulars will appreciate the upper resolution, while the new front screen fends off competition from DJI.
The introduction of lens mods indicates the Hero 9 could remain versatile long after its launch, and therefore the return of the removable lens cover and larger battery life squashes two of the most negatives from previous cameras.
Is the Hero 9 Black the simplest GoPro ever? Surely, it is. Detailed, clean, and smooth, stable
video in well-lit environments is assured, while an improved ability with photos – which upsizes
sensors – means higher resolutions and grabs from videos that have an honest amount of
The increased size of the Hero9 Black may be a little concerning, but it remains
pocket-sized and, besides, the looks of a bigger rear screen and a front screen for selfies and
vlogging surely makes the additional millimeters worthwhile.
which will not apply to the upcoming Max Lens Mod accessory. However, the Hero9 Black isn’t really about hardware.
The in-camera software is superb, with image stabilization impressing also because of the tweaked TimeWarp 3.0 mode.
The smartphone app is the icing on the cake, offering trouble-free hook-up to the Hero9 Black before initiating easy to use the control, settings tweaks, file transfer, and
That’s key because the touchscreen on the Hero9 Black itself – while bigger in size – isn’t as responsive because it might be, and is fiddly to use.
Whether GoPro’s latest flagship is well worth the extra cash will depend upon your own filmmaking ambitions, but despite a couple of letdowns, it’s clear that the action camera crown has passed once more to the impressive, easy to use and thoroughly enjoyable Hero 9 Black.