GoPro Hero 9 Review

“More resolution, More screens, More smooth – More Everything…”- that’s the slogan for the new GoPro Hero 9 Black. This validates many people’s expectation during the fall of every year when the manufacturer of the MOST VERSATILE action camera, GoPro, releases a new version of their action cameras – at least since the previous version, GoPro Hero 8, was released around September last year. I am particularly glad we can all do more with our cameras hand-on with the new GoPro Hero9. 

In all sincerity, I think many companies have now adopted the iPhone and Samsung market strategy in making their consumers restless about what to expect in newer versions of their products. Now that GoPro Hero9 has been officially launched, we can always expect to see and get our expectations met especially in terms of battery, video recording, and cameral pixels. Well, I can’t tell you all at a glance – so, join me on this amazing GoPro Hero 9 review as I unveil the new GoPro Hero 9. 

I’m going to start by saying that GoPro Hero 9 (Black) is more elaborate than the previous series the brand has made so far – even though GoPro 8 is also a big fish in the market. Although some reviewers have neglected this fact by saying that there’s a thin line between the Hero8 and GoPro Hero9 Black. I must critically refute that. This is not so – and in fact, there is a huge gap between the two. 

what’s new about the new GoPro Hero9? 

I’m glad you’re carefully following this review. I think for you to get what I’m saying, you must know new things that have been added to the Hero9 camera as this will prepare your mind towards exploring many other amazing functions of the camera. If you’re already a GoPro product user, you can validate everything I’m saying in this GoPro Hero 9 review. The latest Improvements that the new GoPro Hero9 has over other earlier versions are unmatchable.  

pastedGraphic_1.png

Larger Size: 

This is actually the first thing you’ll notice when you see GoPro Hero 9 Black and other versions like Hero 7 and Hero 8. Its size is noticeably larger compared to others. The screen is bigger and fancier than that of the earlier GoPro Hero 8. So, overall, the GoPro Hero9 body is about 10% bigger than that of GoPro Hero8.

If you’re thinking about the weight, you don’t need to worry as the size will not affect the way you carry it around or how you will mount it on either your mounts or bike. Also, you don’t need any separate case for your GoPro Hero 9 Black accessories this time around as it comes in a beautifully packed travel case.

More Power: 

You’ll agree with me that the longevity of batteries is very important in designing new digital products these days. Everyone wants something that will save them from the hassles of recharging after few hours of usage. 

Inside the GoPro Hero 9 Black action camera is a 1720mAh battery and this extension is in an increase of 30% which is more than that of its predecessors – e.g., GoPro Hero8 and Hero 7. Actually, other than the enlarged screen, it’s the size of the battery that partly accounts for GoPro Hero 9 Black overall large size. So, if you have been using your camera for 72mins before, upgrading to the new GoPro Hero9 is worth it as you tend to gain more minutes (at least 84 mins) to your “actions.”

Detachable lens: 

This is a newly added fantastic feature of the GoPro Hero9 bundle. In this new series, you can safely remove the lens of your GoPro Hero9 for replacement in case there is a crack or you just want to use the new Max lens Mod to get a wider field of view. 

New Front Display

pastedGraphic_2.png

Currently, the two most interesting upgrades to GoPro here 9 Black are the front display and brand new sensor. The camera has new 23.6MP sensor and can shoot 5k video. Now, that’s what I’m talking about. Upgrading means you’re getting more detail capturing and video recording – with absolute clarity. 

If you say “well, I don’t have a 5K viewing device yet,” you should probably consider other events where it will be available. You can watch the amazing 5K videos on your MacIOS, and so on. 

You will also get a high interactive feature using GoPro Hero 9 Black front color display. For instance, you will enjoy it for vlogging as well as general video shooting; also, the frame is really amazing if you like to frame yourself in pictures. 

HyperSmooth Boost 

Its HyperSmooth boost which provides the strongest stabilization in all shooting modes makes it highly impeccable. In fact, GoPro Hero9 camera is truly the top-performing camera of the year for its dedication towards getting high quality. Although it’s a bit hard to tell the difference between the HyperSmooth 3.0 of Hero9 and HyperSmooth 2.0 in Hero 8, I think there is more to discover with the 3.0 improvement. 

Is GoPro Waterproof?

Oh yeah,the newGoPro Hero 9 (Black) is built with the capacity to eject water when inside the water – thanks to its inbuilt waterproof casing, and that means you don’t need to buy any waterproof case for underwater action. If you’ve been using action cameras that needed additional waterproof case, this is the time to port and subscribe to this improved GoPro Hero9. 

The waterproof idea is similar to the design used by apple wristwatches, and GoPro has included that kind of function in Hero 9 to automatically drain water from the camera. Isn’t this wonderful? Yeah I know, right. 

Moreover, it also important for you to know that its waterproof capacity is up to 33ft (10m) so, you’ll need to take caution with this – “don’t overdo its waterproofness”. However, if you need to go deeper than the stipulated 33 feet (whether to take picture or record a video), you will need to buy a housing that will do the job – don’t worry, you can get that from GoPro store itself. 

Design and Display

In this review, some of the things I think you must note about the recent GoPro Hero 9 bundle are in the design as well as display features. In width, GoPro 9 physical design is a little larger than before. Hero 8’s design is 66.3 by 48.6 by 28.4mm, which is lower than 70 by 55 by 30mm of GoPro Hero 9 Black. It’s a double display action camera – with front facing and back facing features. It has a 2.27’’ which is a larger rear screen at the back. Also, there is 1.4 inches vibrant and sharp LCD display screen at the front part. These two display screens (larger rear behind and front screens) are amazing designs you can always bank upon to make your adventure fun.

With GoPro Hero 9 (Black), selfies and vlogging haven’t been much easier. You can use it for taking endless selfies by facing and also for live preview vlogging. This is one of the biggest inventions that GoPro brand has made. With GoPro 9, you can bid your laptop webcam goodbye. GoPro Hero 9 Black will be your hero during your video-conferencing both home and office. Not only is the video cam great, but also the audio is crystal clear that you’ll be surprised. To connect the Hero 9 to your PC, you simply use the USB-C and you can enjoy your video chats.

In addition to that, the front lens cover is now detachable – and that means, easy replacement as well as better capturing any time. It’s also encased in a waterproof panel – allowing you to have an optimal adventure inside the water up to 33ft. This would mean no extra cost in buying a waterproof bag for the camera.

Just like the earlier amazing Hero 8, GoPro Hero 9 Black has USB-C port which performs charging function. Around the same area, there’s a micoSD card slot (taking 32GB). The magnetic mounting prongs are still there just like the earlier version as well.

Features and Performance

Resolution 

pastedGraphic_3.png

The arrival of GoPro Hero 9 (Black) has brought every resolution and framing combination you will always need. Using an LCD display, the 20MP sensor can give you a perfect recording at 5K/30fps. That’s not all. Just like what we have in GoPro Hero8 too, it can give you 4K/60fps and go on to 1080/240fps, 1440/120p too. In fact, you will enjoy the default color setting and that I consider an edge over previous versions. 

Generating these shooting features isn’t just a random move, but a dedicated and drastic upping of GoPro resolution to 23.6MP to ensure that users shoot stunning video that have maximum detail even when zooming in, zooming out and capturing 14.7MP frame grabs. 

Believe me, the resolution is superb, gives a lot of details and really ideal for vloggers and anyone wanting high-quality camera action. 

Stabilization and Balancing

GoPro Hero 9 (Black) has amazing stabilization – thanks to its higher HyperSmooth boost feature. The in-camera stabilization that provides horizon leveling – an option that is readily available when you’re shooting linearly, is also really cool. 

The HyperSmooth stabilization was first seen in GoPro Hero7, and with this new upgrade, you can expect it to be a banger – and of course, it is. The resolution boost we see in the GoPro Hero 9 Black is remarkably what gives the camera extra pixels to support the stabilization. So, you’re really going to enjoy the best of this camera 360 degrees all around.  

TimeWarp

This is what you should try out. The TimeWarp 3.0 is really amazing as it gives you the option to choose between half time or real-time. This allows you to drop from a high-speed time-lapse mode to a natural real-time mode.

If we’re talking about slow-motion video recording, the 1080p/120fps of GoPro 9 is the right one for you. Let me show you an example. Let’s say you’re running at a very high speed, and you just need a slow-motion (slo-mo) video recording, the TimeWarp will help you achieve that and even much more.  

Capture duration, Scheduled Capture and Hindsight 

Advancements in the GoPro Hero 9 (Black) over Hero 8 are in the performance of these features. In the setting of Hero 9, the scheduled capture and duration helps you select a time, date and length of time for the camera to either capture or start recording.

Say you want to capture the sunrise, for instance, you can set GoPro Hero 9 Black to the exact time to start recording and go back to bed. Once it’s the exact time, the camera turns on automatically to record in very clear view. Likewise, if it’s recording, at a specific time frame, the camera will record and stop at your set time.

pastedGraphic_4.png

The HindSight effect is also very amazing. Although similar to the loop mode in the previous version, this time, you have 30 seconds on the loop before clicking the shutter. Within the 30 seconds, if you want to capture a moment, you can click the shutter button instead of waiting for the auto-shutter.

Battery life

As I have mentioned earlier in the beginning of this review, there is an improvement in how long the new GoPro Hero 9 (Black) battery can last. No doubt, shooting or streaming videos for a long time will definitely run down your GoPro 9 power. However, with the additional 500mAh capacity added to Hero 9, it means you will have more time to do many things with the camera. 

The 1720mAh can last you more hours if you make your shooting more intermittently. i.e., taking a break after every recording. The 1720mAh (40% bigger battery than that of its predecessors, Hero 8 and Hero 7) also gives the camera stability and also gives 30% more camera performance. 

Even though GoPro Hero9 has an extra screen (which consumes more power), the battery keeps serving more time of recording. Although battery life tends to go down as you increase the resolution – e.g., using 5K, it still beats its predecessors’ hands down in terms of performance and longevity. 

GoPro Hero9 specification

So you’ll know about this GoPro 9 review, below is the list of the specification; 

  • 23.6MP Image Sensor
  • 1.4inches front color display + live preview + status modes
  • Magnified video quality. 5K30, 4K/60, 2.7K/120p, 1080p240, etc.
  • 2.27inches front facing screen + touch zoom
  • 30% increase in battery life + enhanced cold-weather performance.
  • HyperSmooth 3.0 + horizon leveling
  • TimeWarp 3.0 + Real and Half Speed
  • 1080p of Live Stream + 1080p Webcam mode
  • Digital lens mod
  • Removable lens + lens cover
  • Built-in mounting prongs
  • Waterproof body up to 33ft/10m
  • Camera compatible with Max Lens Mod, Media, Light and Display Mod.
  • Removable battery
  • Original Photos
  • Voice commands
  • 3 microphones + improved wind-nose reduction.
  • Larger Speakers

Cons

Among many action cameras you’ve known, there are no much or let’s say significant discouragement with GoPro 9. I Some of the things I will be saying in this review segment are based on what I think and they are still very much insignificant. So, as I state the cons of GoPro 9, please pay attention to my contrasting views. So, let’s dig in. 

Although before the launching of GoPro 9, everyone was expecting something like 8K resolution. But, I’m sorry to disappoint you that our prediction wasn’t right. However, the 5K video upgrade works perfectly well. Besides, since computers are still finding ways around processing 4K video contents, how do we expect to do much with an 8K camera? I’ll just tell you that even when you least expect, this action camera comes handy to capture every moment.

That Hero 9 overheats, when used in a 5K resolution, isn’t that good. I really don’t fancy the GoPro 5K video resolution like that, but, it might be the basic improvement that is attractive to many users like yourself. However, if you’re pretty much calm in handling the camera (like not recording in hot weather), you might still get good capturing at 5K for a long time. But, you can be assured that reducing your resolution, say 4k or less, will afford you more recording time. 

Also, bulkiness is what many people will find discouraging about Hero 9. Given the accessories and added stuff, Hero 9 is a little heavier – weighing more ounces than its earlier versions. Perhaps it’s because of the battery size, enhanced size of the LCD screen and an extra front LCD screen. As you’ll see, Hero 9 added space is being put to good use but, this extra “good baggage” may not be palatable with previous users because they are used to the smaller Hero 8. 

Another thing you won’t like with the new GoPro 9 is that you cannot transfer the accessories. An example of what I’m talking about are the batteries. The 1220mAh battery of the previous version cannot be used as a spare for Hero 9. It’s design for Hero 8 is different and cannot fit Hero 9 space, so, don’t bother to try.  

Actually, I think GoPro should have done something about this and give users the privilege of using Hero 8’s battery as extra in case we run out of power instead of buying a new one. Well, I’ll “subjectively,” say it’s one of the strategies. However, you will really enjoy the 1720mAh bigger battery – so you’ll be fine all the way. 

Extra Media Mod that is sold separately is really not fair. Normally, one would not expect this to happen in Hero 9. Remember that the Media Mod for an ultra-wide view is an enhanced accessory in the new version 9 over Hero 8. Unfortunately, the Max Lens Mod of Hero 8 is not transferable to Hero 9. 

Spending more bucks on Media Mod when one ought to be able to reuse the one from the earlier version is really a disappointment. Well, maybe not really disappointing as it seems though. 

Highlighted Pros of GoPro Hero 9 Black action camera 

  • Higher battery capacity even operating dual screen
  • Full LCD front color display
  • Vibrant and crystal clear 5K plus 20MP
  • High-Quality horizon leveling at 360 degrees
  • Good support for Max Lens Mod
  • All around high-quality features for capturing and vlogging

Is it worth the buy?

This is undebatable if you’re looking at what GoPro Hero 9 Black action camera will help you achieve. This is an adventure-made action camera. Buying this camera will get you;

  • Maximum SuperView 
  • Maximum HyperSmooth with 360-degree horizon lock
  • Going Full studio with more Mods. 
  • Go live streams with the world.
  • Stabilize your recording even when super-speeding 
  • Gain more control using duration, Hindsight, and schedule capture 

Verdict

All I can say is that getting the latest GoPro Hero 9 Black is your launchpad to get more of everything about an action camera. I know you want quality in everything. You want high 5K video, 7X more resolution than HD, 14.7MP of detail in all frames, 20MP in all-round photos, 30% more battery life, power even when in cold weather, more LCD screens (front facing screen and back facing). You want the best in-camera Stabilization with HyperSmooth 3.0 with an in-built Horizon levelling even when in 8X slow motion. 

I also know you want to try out newer compatible lenses and magnetic built-in mounting prong that is compatible with more than 40 mounts and accessories. You are looking for waterproof camera up to 33ft as well like a camera built like an amour tank – talking about its ruggedness. So, my recommendation in this review to you is that the NEW GoPro 9 is meant for YOU, so go for it. 

Currently, on GoPro.com Hero9 is sold for $349 as opposed to $449 plus a 1-year GoPro plus subscription. You’ll even get free camera replacement if you keep your yearly GoPro plus membership. What’s better than that? GoPro 9 is the future of action cameras. 

Leave a Comment