GoPro HERO7 Announced with HyperSmooth Stabilization

GoPro has announced the new HERO7, with the biggest feature being the built-in image stabilisation called HyperSmooth which GoPro claims will deliver gimbal-like stabilization.

Just like the previous series, there are three tiers to choose from with varying capabilities:

HERO7 Black – $399.99 USD
HERO7 Silver – $299.99 USD
HERO7 White – $199.99 USD

The Silver & White lose out on a number of resolution/frame rates, only have standard stabilisation and a number of shooting modes.

All three models are waterproof down to 33ft (10m) without an additional housing, can now shoot in vertical mode and are compatible with most of the accessories from previous generations.

 

The HERO7 cameras can now shoot vertical aspect, Just like the Alexa Mini

HERO7 Black

For those wanting all of the top features, you will need to go for the HERO7 Black.

The HERO7 Black can record 4K60 and 1080p240 with the option for SuperView FOV in certain resolutions. It can also record in H.265 HEVC with a maximum bitrate of 78 Mb/s in 4K.

 

Another big advantage that the Black has over Silver & White is that the battery is removable so you can quickly swap out the 1220mAh lithium-ion battery. The lens is also replaceable if it ever gets scratched or damaged.

If you want to livestream from your GoPro, you will also have to stick to the Black as the Silver & White don’t have this option. The Black also has a mic input using the adaptor.

TimeWarp which is essentially a hyperlapse mode and SuperPhoto for built-in HDR photos are also available only in the Black.

Bitrates and codec

The GoPro’s have lagged behind in recent years with low bit rates and outdated codecs. So what do the new HERO7 models use?

HERO7 White

Video File Format: MP4 (H.264)

Max Video Bit Rate: 40 Mb/s (1440p)

HERO7 Silver

Video File Format: MP4 (H.264)

Max Video Bit Rate: 60 Mb/s (4K)

HERO7 Black

Video File Format: MP4 (H.264/AVC), MP4 (H.265/HVEC)

Max Video Bit Rate: 78 Mb/s (4K)

The 78Mb/s (4K) maximum bitrate when shooting on the HERO7 Black is only marginally better than the HERO6 Black’s 66Mb/s, but slightly lower than 80Mb/s that could be done when shooting in the ProTune mode. It’s dissapointing to see that GoPro is still severly limiting recording bitrates on their cameras.

HyperSmooth

GoPro claims that HyperSmooth provides gimbal-like stabilization.

GoPro does not state how this is being done in the Black but it is most likely a combination of sensors and EIS. Looking at the comparison chart, only the Black features the new GP1 chip.

Competition

GoPro has faced tough competition in the recent years with cheaper options coming into the market like the Yi 4K+ action camera that was announced back in February 2017 and offered 4K60, EIS & a maximum bitrate of up to 120MB/s and retail price of $299.99 USD.

Sony’s RX0 with a 1″ sensor was also introduced a year ago which only recorded up to 108050 but had 4K output via HDMI. It was also more expensive, priced at $700 USD. Maybe we will see an update in an RX0 II at Photokina next week.

Pricing & Availability

HERO7 Black – $399.99 USD
HERO7 Silver – $299.99 USD
HERO7 White – $199.99 USD

The cameras are available for pre-order from the GoPro online store and come with a free 32GB or 64GB Micro SD card, depending on which model you choose.

If you are going to be buying the HERO7 Black, consider entering your footage to GoPro’s HERO7 Black Million Dollar Challenge, where you can get a share of $1,000,000 if your footage is chosen as part of the HERO7 Black highlight video.

The HERO7 range seems like another minor upgrade of existing technology. GoPro was once an innovator with action cameras, now it just seems like they are putting out new models that offer slightly better features than previous versions. What do you think about the HERO7? is it still too late for GoPro?

 

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