GoPro Hero 7 Review
The Hero 7 delivers quality video and images for beginners and experts alike.
- Excellent video/image quality
- Lots of controls for experts
- User-friendly auto features for beginners
- Multiple control options
- Standard waterproof rating is lower than expected
- Touchscreen is sometimes inconsistent
If you like to gather crisp video in the thick of things, you need the best of the best. That’s why we put together this GoPro Hero 7 review. GoPro has long been the frontrunner when it comes to video games. Let’s find out if this offering is up to their high standard. We’ll also compare the Hero 7 Black to the other variants, the Silver and White.
The Hero 7 has a bulky, slightly rubberized body just like the Hero 6. The front and sides are relatively smooth, however, and make it easy to grip comfortable. The camera feels solid and durable.
The included waterproof case holds two doors: one for the battery and image capture card, and another for the USB and HDMI ports. These doors are really tough to open, but that’s only to ensure that the case is truly waterproof.
Speaking of waterproof, the case is rated down to 10 m before it stops guaranteeing camera safety. While we’ve seen other action cameras with better waterproof capability, this is more than enough for what most action camera users will seek to capture on video. You can also always purchase the Super Suit case as an accessory if you want better waterproof protection.
The Hero 7 comes with a plastic frame that can be mounted onto an adhesive stand. You can combine this with other mounting options, such as those on helmets or bikes.
The Hero 7’s user interface is condensed into a 2-inch screen with green icons for battery life. Controlling its various menus and functions is accomplished with directional swipes across the touchscreen. The screen is usually responsive, although we noticed that it occasionally fails to register some finger motions.
Of course, you have to take the camera out of the case to access the screen. For ease of use, there’s an additional Mode button on the side of the camera that’s easier to reach with the case still on.
The Hero 7 also includes voice control functionality for hands-free operation. You can take advantage of up to 12 different commands to start video recording or take photos or anything in between. The microphone picks up your voice relatively consistently.
The Hero 7 has a 12-megapixel sensor and a wide-angle lens, just like its predecessor, the Hero 6. It also features the same upper-end video specs, being capable of recording 4K resolution footage at 60 frames per second or transition to Full HD video at 240 frames per second with 8x slowed-down footage.
But what of capture quality? The Hero 7 provides you with pictures and footage of crisp color and high-resolution quality. The wide-angle lens can help you nab images or videos that other action cameras can’t manage.
Images can be captured in both RAW and JPEG format alike. You can also take a quick series of photos at 30 frames per second and control the duration of capture time you’d like the camera to snap. As you can see, there’s very little limit to what you can accomplish with the Hero 7 if you have some action camera experience.
For video stabilization, the Hero 7 uses HyperSmooth, which combines hardware and software to boost GoPro above the action camera competition. This functionality is so effective that you can even apply image stabilization to 4K footage at 60 frames per second rather than only 30 frames per second. It’s only unavailable while shooting in Full HD mode, but this is above and beyond what many other action cameras offer.
Then there’s TimeWarp, another new feature that uses the improved image stabilization of the HyperSmooth tech. It lets you take time-lapse footage while still enabling the camera to move around the entire time. This can let you capture video that you’ve never imagined possible. Time-lapse footage without the use of a mount or tripod is truly unique.
SuperPhoto and More
SuperPhoto is another new feature from the Hero 7. This scans the ambient environment as you prepare to take a photograph and automates several of the settings or features to produce the best picture possible in a flash. This is an excellent, user-friendly feature that’ll be enjoyed by beginners.
By the same token, the Hero 7 will automatically adapt to a portrait orientation if you tilt the camera in that direction. You can disable this feature if you have experience with action cameras, too.
If you’re more experienced, you can use the ProTune feature to gain enhanced control over the various capture settings of the camera. You can control the ISO range, sharpness, white balance, and even more.
Finally, the Hero 7 also comes with the ability to live stream your footage straight to Facebook. Youtube cross-compatibility is still being finished, but there’s no doubt in our minds that content creators will love this feature more than anyone else.
The audio capture from the Hero 7 is pretty decent. You’ll hear sound across a well-developed dynamic range with deep and natural bass tones and sharp, bright middling and high sounds. It’s excellent for the included camera of an action camera.
Connectivity with the Hero 7 is generally consistent. You shouldn’t have trouble pairing the action camera with most mobile devices or computers.
Downloading the GoPro app will let you control the camera remotely and help you upload images and video footage cloud over a Wi-Fi connection. The app also contains a number of image and video upload settings, which can help you save your captured footage without having to manually send it off yourself.
Hero 7 Alternative Colors
The Hero 7 also comes in Silver and White variants. But there’s more to the differences between these cameras than color alone.
The Hero 7 Silver can only shoot 4k at 30fps, whereas the Black can shoot it at 60. The White is even lower in quality, as it can only reach 1080p at 60fps. By the same token, on the Black can shoot in slow motion up to 8x: the Silver and White cameras can only go down to 2x.
The Silver and White Hero 7s also lack the ability to livestream your adventures and a GPS functionality. The Hero 7 is also the only camera amongst the types to have a removable battery.
So, it’s clear that the Hero 7 Black is the superior camera by each metric. Still, the Silver variant of this camera comes for a more affordable asking price and still manages to compete somewhat with the Black in terms of video quality. While the White is ultimately much cheaper, it lacks the functionality and quality to make it a real contender with the Black.
The GoPro Hero 7 is a fantastic action camera with plenty of user-friendly settings for beginners and advanced options for video experts. With a high-quality sensor and multiple options for controlling its features, the camera is intuitive, easy to understand and enjoy, and offers consistent performance.
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