GoPro HERO8 | A Review

GoPro HERO8 | A Review

Built-in mounting, 14% lighter, enhanced audio and LiveBurst and new expansion mods, there is a new toy on the market that can take your adventures on water to the next level. Say hello to the GoPro HERO8, the most versatile and smooth HERO camera yet.

There is its design, of course, more pocketable than ever before, and those built-in folding fingers that let you swap between mounts. A new optional Media Mod also adds to its expandability with more lighting, a built-in directional mic and 2 cold-shoe mounts to attach accessories like an LCD screen or an external mic.

But what can the GoPro HERO8 really do for you and how can it add to your boating experience?

Overview

Perhaps the biggest selling point of the GoPro HERO8 is its reimagined shape with tweaks and updates that make it easier to use. Like the new software utility that eliminates the need for dongles and HDMI cables to use the camera with your computer. There is also the improved image stabilization with HyperSmooth 2.0.

A radical revision of HyperSmooth, HyperSmooth 2.0 has multiple layers of stabilization, including Boost, which narrows the FOV as much as DJIs do, and in-app horizon leveling. With HERO8, you can use some form of stabilization at every resolution and frame rate. Then you have:

1. The digital lenses

Get the best view of whatever you’re doing with the Narrow, Linear, Wide and SuperView lenses.

2. TimeWarp 2.0

It’s always been one of the best features of GoPro cameras and the GoPro HERO8 is no different. If anything, the surreal TimeWarp effect users love so much just got a little better with an automatic speed selection tool.

3. SuperPhoto and improved HDR

Out there on water, there is nothing like blur and shred to kill footage of your adventures. With SuperPhoto and the improved HDR on the new GoPro, the revamped algorithm is designed to crank up on contrast and deliver action shots with details previously inconceivable.

4. LiveBurst

And if you need more from your camera, there is the LiveBurst feature, which captures 1.5 seconds before and after you take a picture in 90 still images. You can also convert those images into a 3-second, 4K footage shareable on social media.

5. Night Lapse Video

And what’s boating without the ability to harness some night time magic. The GoPro HERO8 has a night lapse feature that can capture in 4K, 2.7K, 1440p or 1080p together with high-fidelity audio thanks to its 3 mics and reduced wind noise even at breakneck speeds.

With the HERO8, you can also go hands-free with 14 voice commands in English, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese and Korean.

GoPro also has an app that lets you capture, edit and share your badass action shots. The app is continuously updated to boost performance and let you do more…like the new live editing, rolled out in June 2020, and camera control in fewer steps.

There is also a Display Mod and Light Mod you can go for. With the Display Mod, a flip-up screen attached to your camera lets you see yourself in action. It’s perfect for vloggers. With the Light Mod, a compact LED light attaches to your GoPro and illuminates your subject for a crisper footage. It allows for 4 levels of brightness and comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that can last for up to 6 hours.

The specs

Height: 2.6 in.
Width: 1.89 in.
Depth: 2.9 in.
Weight: 16.51 oz.

The GoPro HERO8 operates on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and is also rugged and completely waterproof down to 33ft. Its other key features include:

1. The streamlined design with folding fingers
2. The improved video stabilization, TimeWarp, LiveBurst and HDR
3. Live streaming in 1080p
4. Voice control
5. The presets and on-screen shortcuts
6. The 8x Slo-Mo
7. Horizon leveling with the GoPro App
8. Advanced wind-noise reduction
9. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
10. It’s GPS enabled and smart remote compatible

The GoPro HERO8 also has new camera modes and settings. Like LiveBurst at 8MP and 12MP outputs and photo settings like Touch Zoom, Photo Timer and Protune.

The price tag

If you’re into the boating lifestyle, at $299, the GoPro HERO8 can be a great addition to your onboard kit. It allows sers to capture moments in the most seamless way possible, sometimes with just voice commands.

The camera ships right away and there is a 30-day money back guarantee. It’s compatible with iOS 11 or later and OS X 10.10 or later. The box comes with:

– The GoPro HERO8 camera in black
– A rechargeable battery
– An adhesive mount
– A mounting buckle and thumb screw
– A USB-C charging cable

The biggest worry that buyers of the camera have with its durability is the lens. Unlike previous models, the lens is no longer removable and while Gorilla Glass is hard, we’ve all come across shattered phone screens made of Gorilla Glass.

GoPro recommends the GoPro Plus subscription, which costs $5 a month and includes unlimited cloud storage, 50% off accessories at gopro.com and damaged camera replacement, no questions asked. There is also a $20 kit you can buy with two screen protectors and two lens protectors.

Our verdict

Up until the GoPro HERO8 hit the market, GoPro was facing tough competition in the action camera space. You know, those small, tough and waterproof gadgets you can take aboard anything from a kayak to a superyacht. DJI was much ahead of the curve with its Osmo Action: Dual screens, rock-steady, 4K HDR video, 8x slow motion, UHD image quality and so much more.

In its latest launch, the company addressed all of that, promising something smoother than smooth for hardcore users. It’s a long way from GoPro’s first action camera, the Hero, launched in 2004. At the time, it became the darling of the sports and action community. HERO8 brings back that sentiment with its ability to capture footage in the most extreme conditions, and when the Mods roll out, it makes for the perfect vlogging solution.

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