New GoPro HERO 9 Black: Extreme Flagship Specs Review

gopro, black, review

Gopro has become a benchmark for cameras EXTREME shooting, when it comes to equipment, then this camera is NOT complete. Indeed, the quality of shooting and the indestructibility of the device was amazing. And now it is at its best, despite the fact that the latest updates were not very large. But the latest generation of HERO 9Black has received more updates, for example, now the sensor is 20 megapixels, which supports 5K video shooting. A more capacious battery was also installed and optical stabilization was upgraded. Let’s start with her.

Stabilization mechanism

In fact, the camera has been pumped so much for the first time in the last eight years, the sensor has increased from 12 megapixels to 23, the detail has improved, and now 5K video can write at 30 FPS. Of course, in comparison with the leap in the smartphone segment, such parameters are not very impressive, because cameras on mobile phones are now very powerful, and thanks to powerful processors, frame processing is very high-quality, even in 8K they write video, while additional neural network chips are capable of processing and improving records on the fly. In GoPro, a clean video immediately asks for a video editor for processing.

Of course, the comparison with smartphones is somewhat incorrect, because no one in the same mind will NOT attach their iPhone to a skateboard, surfboard or to a motorcycle. The result will be disastrous after the first fall, and the action camera was created just for this.

But the main advantage of HERO 9 over any smartphone is that the cameras have an epic stabilization mechanism. third generation HyperSmooth. A slightly cropped frame is obtained in width, but it produces such a smooth picture that any most expensive smartphone will simply cry quietly. Any shaking of this stabilization is NOT a hindrance, even when cycling through the mountains, even down the mountain on a snowboard. Up to 30 degrees, sharp movements do not affect the smoothness of shooting, including at a maximum resolution of 5K.


Also an interesting feature. TimeWarp, it was upgraded to the third version, and now the preset accelerates the video in such a way that even an ordinary walk becomes gorgeous, while you don’t need any tripod, as when working with a regular camera in time-lapse, everything goes perfectly on the go. The camera automatically selects the necessary parameters, so you can not help but readjust when walking, jumping on a vehicle or just running a certain distance at an accelerated pace. At 1080p, the camera shoots at 240 fps. But most owners choose 2.7K at 60 fps, which gives a great picture and saves space on the memory card.

GoPro is also good at photography, but the quality of photos is at the level of a mid-range smartphone. In everyday life, it is better to use a smartphone camera. By the way, the device can be controlled by voice, support for the Russian language is available. Activation of the mode with the phrase “Goupro, video”. The number of teams is 14, a very convenient option for a similar camera.

Design, ergonomics

Gopro received its original design, so it remains, practically unchanged, now it is a business card. Basically, it’s a small box with a large lens and a touchscreen display on the back. The novelty has slightly increased in size, the device has also become heavier, now it is 158 grams, instead of 103 in the previous model. In this weight, the battery capacity is increased by 500 mAh, which gives a 30 percent increase to the shooting time. In the most popular mode, the camera lasts for 2 hours.

The latest model is the largest in the manufacturer, but this did not affect ergonomics, shooting with one hand is just as convenient. Mounts and other adaptations are suitable from older versions, the battery has become easier to change, the mechanism in the compartment is different. Easy movement and it’s open. We change the battery and also easily close.

The gadget is water-resistant up to ten meters of immersion, and now there is no need to wait for the camera to dry, you can immediately start shooting with good sound, water, thanks to the Heathrow scheme, now do not jam the microphones. Replaceable lenses are back, you can use “super wide” at 155 degrees. A small display appeared on the front panel for viewing technical information, and for writing a blog, you can clearly see yourself as on a selfie.

Additional options

The novelty has many useful functions, one of them Hindsight allows you to shoot constantly, that is, not a single interesting moment will be missed. The last 30 seconds are saved, so there will be no overflow. And you don’t have to press the record button. Liveburst. this is a series of photographs taken over three seconds. This is not a video, but you can put together an interesting video. There is also a Delayed start, blog mode or webcams with support for YouTube and other streams.

The GoPro Hero 9 Black’s most important changes are related to ease of use, not image quality, but there is nothing wrong with that.


  • Longer battery life
  • Image quality and stabilization are excellent
  • Helpful front display


  • 4K image quality similar to Hero 8 Black, but with higher contrast
  • Price jump Significant
  • Still pretty poor at night

Main characteristics

  • Review Price: £ 429.99
  • 20MP 1 / 2.3 sensor
  • HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilization
  • Horizon leveling
  • 1720mAh battery
  • Water resistant up to 10 m
  • 2.27-inch rear screen
  • 1.4-inch front screen
  • Video to 4k / 60, 5k / 30

Gopro Hero 9 Black. The most important action camera of 2020. It is the sequel to Hero 8 Black and GoPro’s latest attempt to maintain its lead over the likes of Insta360 and DJI.

Does it? Yes, in a significant way, although the £ 429 price hike is daunting. Hero 9 Black costs almost as much as Insta360 One R version with 1-inch sensor.

Changes for this generation include dual screens, some already incredible stabilization tweaks, and an increase in maximum resolution from 4K to 5K.

Worth an upgrade? Probably not for Hero 8 Black owners unless you are desperate for a vlogging-friendly screen. There is no improvement for low light video, and 4K resolution still matches the vast majority of GoPro workstations.

However, if you will be using your GoPro frequently, this is what you need.

Design. significantly more than Hero 8 Black

The Gopro Hero 9 Black is significantly larger than the Hero 8 Black. This was the first thing I noticed after opening the box.

This obviously means that you cannot use your current diving box for a new model if you have one. It’s not that big, however, and the use cases are changing. Gopro Blacks have looked the same for so long, any changes seem important.

Gopro also fixed one part that I absolutely didn’t like about Hero 8 Black. The lens cover can be replaced again. This makes the camera a real workhorse, ready for abuse. As with older GoPros, you rotate the outer lens barrel to remove it.

It also allows the use of ND filter accessories and a new “modification” for the GoPro Hero 9 Black, which increases the field of view to 155 degrees, effectively attaching an additional lens element forward. It’s a great idea that provides the “non-destructible” stabilization feature of the 360-degree GoPro Max, if not exactly a cheap £ 90 add-on.

The water resistance is 10m (33ft), which means most of us won’t have to use a diver’s case too often, if ever. Gopro continues to use flip-down pins to mount the lens, further reducing the real impact of large size.

Screen and interface. GoPro Hero 9 Black is like going from a double bed at home to a king-size bed on vacation.

The Gopro Hero 9 Black has a widescreen rear display and a square front display. They are both excellent, and it was a great relief to use the Insta360 One R with its tiny screen for several weeks.

Its rear screen is 2.27 inches in diameter, front. 1.4 inches. Not only do you get an additional display, but the one on the back is significantly larger than last time, compared to 1.95 inches.

I never felt like the GoPro Hero 8 Black’s rear display was too small. Using the GoPro Hero 9 Black for the first time is like going from a double bed at home to a king bed on vacation. However, a large screen is NOT really an excuse for a larger shell, as there are still large empty spaces around the panel.

The front screen is great too. This is important considering that this is the main new feature of the GoPro Hero 9 Black. While most of you will shoot video in a 16: 9 aspect ratio rather than a 1: 1 aspect ratio, you can choose whether the preview will fill the space or show a “real” shape with black bars at the top and bottom.

Alternatively, it can act as the front display of the GoPro Hero 8 Black and display camera status. The front screen has a touch layer for the best.

There are two minor annoyances here. The Gopro Hero 9 Black does not have an auto brightness setting. You have to dig into the settings to change the level. And the brightness of the two displays is linked. You cannot make the front screen thin and the back one. bright, which makes me miss the thin screen of old black cameras.

The GoPro Hero 9 Black interface is much the same as the Hero 8 Black. It is preset based. Lots of everydays are pre-programmed from the start, but the GoPro enthusiast will want to put them all together and make their own, if only to rename them “dogcam”, “bikecam”, “family trips” and so on.

These presets define parameters such as resolution, frame rate, stabilization mode, and field of view. They make your GoPro Hero 9 Black look like yours.

This is partly due to the fact that GoPro uses smartphone-like transition animations. But either they are not optimized enough or the processor is not quite suited for this style of visual brilliance.

Image quality. how does it compare to the Hero 8 Black? 5K vs 4K

Capture 5K video. one of the main improvements to the GoPro Hero 9 Black. This is made possible by the move from a 12MP sensor to a 20MP sensor. 5K capture at 5120 x 2880 consists of over 12 million pixels and the GoPro needs even more than this native resolution as it shoots 5K with a cropped “wide” field of view.

I shot some 4K / 30 and 5k / 30 clips to see if there was a big difference.

The point is the pixel level, you can see some inconsistencies. 5K displays beautiful natural elements such as distant leaves better than 4K, which means you have more options to crop your frame when posting and avoid looking like cropped view.

However, there is a more obvious processing difference. 4K footage has more contrast and further evidence of sharpening at high-contrast edges such as the horizon line. The 4K clip also has less magenta color noise, although you’ll only notice it in the 5K frame if you dig deeper.

This comparison is also typical of the 4K GoPro Hero 8 Black versus the 9 Black. The new camera plays a little more with contrast and sharpness. His videos pop up more, although this style also tends to minimize some of the visual elements you might want to keep, such as the fog in the distance. There’s also slightly more intense noise reduction than the Hero 8 Black, but it cleverly manages to smooth out some color gradations without obviously reducing fine details or texture.

Gopro seems to have appreciated this move towards a more Public-friendly approach to image processing. Let’s hope it will NOT go further.

People who care about image quality can fix a few things anyway. GoPro Hero 9 Black ProTune controls allow you to switch to a ‘flat’ color profile and reduce sharpness.

In most cases, you will NOT see a significant change in image quality on a GoPro Hero 9 Black if you already own a Hero 8 Black. 4K video recording doesn’t provide more detail than what we see in this camera, and 4K is indeed more practical than 5K for the average action camera owner.

The top settings also require the use of the HEVC codec and these files may not play correctly on your laptop / phone if it’s an older model.

Low light shooting still leaves a lot to be desired because the GoPro Hero 9 Black still has a 1 / 2.3-inch sensor. A small sensor with no low-light gymnastics used in some top-end phones means really dim scenes are filmed with virtually unusable footage.

In any other environment, though, the GoPro Hero 9 Black is great. And the main takeaway when comparing Hero 8 and Hero 9 Black. deliberately increased contrast.

Stabilization. HyperSmooth 3.0 instead of HyperSmooth 2.0

The camera also changes image stabilization, HyperSmooth 3.0 instead of HyperSmooth 2.0.

In most shooting scenarios, you won’t notice much of a difference. I took them for a run, and of course, when used in Boost mode, they provide incredibly smooth footage. The GoPro‘s stabilization was so good there was no obvious way to improve it without an internal mechanical gimbal.

The GoPro Hero 9 Black also has a slightly narrower field of view than the Hero 8 Black, making stabilization difficult.

Hypersmooth 3.0 only has a big effect when switched to linear field of view, which allows horizon leveling to be enabled. This preserves, you guessed it, the horizon level even when you’re hard-hitting Hero 9 Black left and right. This is the magic stabilization trick that appeared in GoPros with 360-degree Max.

The Hero 8 Black can do that too, but only through the GoPro app. This time everyone is in the cell.

This is a great feature that makes it easy to capture professional looking shots. In indoor lighting, you will see some blur in the corners of the frame caused by motion blur, but in bright light it is almost invisible.

Horizon Leveling Efficiency is not yet at its Maximum. When you lean at a 45 degree angle, the GoPro Hero 9 Black tends to give up and flip the image. However, I cannot imagine myself with real scenarios that I will face where this will happen. Some of you will probably do this. Gopros are used in a million different ways.

Like the GoPro’s image quality, the stabilization was excellent last time. It stays great without any dizzying generational change.

Battery life. it lasts much longer than last time

However, the new GoPro Hero 9 Black battery will change the way you use your action camera. It takes much longer than last time.

Gopro claims that it lasts 101 minutes when capturing 1080p, 30% more than the Hero 8 Black. My observations are much less convincing, based on the decision to take the Hero 9 Black for a run / walk / weekend before. But it holds a charge very well and usually has a good battery life when the Hero 8 Black runs out.

Of course, this is another annoyance. It has a different battery, so a small set of 1220mAh batteries like you have from old GoPros and not a 9 Black. It has a 1720mAh battery, physically larger in all dimensions.

However, if GoPro had NOT done this, we would all have complained that She was not using up the extra body space. The Hero 9 Black at least works with most of the other Hero 8 Black mounts and accessories (Not with the remote), so this is something.

Should you buy the GoPro Hero 9 Black?

Gopro has kept pace with the times and made the action camera much more usable for video blog style videos. You can compose your shot right on the front screen, and horizon leveling adds even more professional flare if you don’t mind a cropped field of view.

There’s also less need to bring an extra battery with you as the GoPro Hero 9 Black lasts longer on a single charge. 5K capturing will NOT affect the number of people being captured, and the main change in image quality we see here compared to the Hero 8 Black. it’s contrast enhancement.

A lot of people should be buying a GoPro Hero 9 Black instead of the 8 Series. But if your reaction is to the front display. “Why would anyone want this”, £ 150 savings could mean sticking with an older GoPro is the right choice.

Review of the new action camera GoPro HERO9 Black. Dual displays, 5K and epic stabilization

Smartphone cameras are evolving incredibly fast, and other manufacturers are trying to keep up with them. One, two, three modules. bumpers on the rear covers are turning into systems, the potential of which many simply do not realize.

That is why there are companies where they try to build one of the lenses into absolute functionality.

The Gopro HERO9 Black is just that. Inside is ultra-wide glass, and in this version, the engineers took advantage of this feature.

This is the first time I’ve shot a video with a camera that looks better stabilized than the iPhone 11 Pro. And to which electronic holders are absolutely not needed. Rate yourself:

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In a couple of hours of pampering, the GoPro HERO9 Black proved that one small, but packed with features camera can really surprise.

In addition to the impressive leveling of the horizon, I’ll talk about other major improvements below. And about one closed problem of the eighth version, because of which I now recommend updating to absolutely everyone.

HERO9 shoots in 5K and 240 frames

But not at the same time.

The camera interface is designed so that you can independently think over the necessary operating modes. For example, make a resolution of 1080p at 60 frames per second and name it Selfie. Or deliver 4K and 24fps from a Cinema shortcut.

The settings don’t stop with the choice of resolution and frame rate.

Of the main adjustable lens coverage, worthy of a separate item in the review, smoothing mode HyperSmooth 3.0, shooting timer, recording duration and zoom.

Additional give control over bit rate, shutter speed, exposure, white balance, ISO range, sharpness, color and sound quality.

Maximum resolution with each frame rate from 30 to 240 frames per second

I liked the option with the TimeWarp 3.0 capture buffer. It allows you to Paste the last 15 or 30 seconds of what is happening before you pressed the shutter button.

This is convenient in situations where something happened in front of you, and you did NOT write. With the function, such a segment will be saved, and the precious moment will be saved.

Killer features made support for 5K or 5120 x 2880 pixels. Fingers of one hand are enough to count smartphones that can shoot in more detail.

Maximum difference in viewing angle, the second can be independently adjusted in five steps (from “narrow” to “ultra-wide”)

over, the engineers were able to squeeze out the maximum resolution with a frequency of 120 fps. Called 2.7K, in fact, a 16: 9 video will be 2704 x 1520 pixels. If you change the aspect ratio to 4: 3, the recording rate will drop to 60 fps.

As for 240 frames per second, the result is good in itself, but with a caveat. At maximum resolution of 1080p, video quality in this mode drops, and a lot of bright light is needed for less grain.

No tripod required for this stabilization

The electronic leveling system HyperSmooth 3.0 was a giant step compared to its previous versions.

HERO9 has a new sensor, which has increased the resolution from 12 MP to 20 MP. This and the wide angle helped the system achieve such an incredible result.

It works like this.

When you change the coverage of a space from wide to narrow, in fact, clipping edges can also be recorded.

If you enable HyperSmooth 3.0, the camera increments unnecessary “cropping” of the recorded video to the results of the option.

Algorithms and space sensors calculate what needs to be left in the frame and what to add. And thus the stabilization effect is formed, Supposedly with the help of additional equipment.

So even with an incredible 30º tilt, you’ll still get a neatly trimmed flat horizon.

There is a second screen. Ideal for action cameras

Left GoPro HERO9, GoPro HERO8 case

The Gopro HERO9 Black is the company’s first camera with two color screens: a large 2.27-inch full back and a small 1.4-inch to the left of the camera’s eye.

The front display does NOT respond to touch, so the function is only informative. In the settings, you will be able to choose one of 4 options for its state.

The SD card slot is located deep in the case next to the battery. It is still inconvenient to insert and take out the memory. But you can get used to

The screen can be left as a selfie camera in a cropped to fit a square format or in full 16: 9 proportions. There are two other options. this is to show the state of the camera such as shooting mode, battery and micro-SD space, or turn off the screen completely.

Preview is definitely convenient for those who use an action camera for blogs. But the screen also helps in other cases.

For example, with a front camera, you can always see how flat the horizon is or whether the camera is fixed at the right angle in hard-to-reach places.

This included helmet mount is now much easier to set up thanks to the front display

The standard touchscreen is slightly larger than the HERO8.

The 0.27-inch difference seems modest on paper, but in reality the windows themselves were small, so a 13.5% increase in the diagonal helps to see the content better and to work with the interface easier.

The new building has become larger. But still compact

The nine has grown in all respects and gained 30 grams in weight. As always with mobile devices, the figure seems small, but direct comparison makes a noticeable difference.

HERO8 66.3 x 48.6 x 28.4 mm, December 126

HERO9 71 x 55 x 33.6 mm, December 158

At the same time, the new model remains lightweight and compact. If this is your first time holding an action camera, HERO9 will not seem bulky and will fit comfortably in your hand.

For its size, it turned out to be weighty, but still comfortable to carry in a or side of a backpack.

The camera can be immersed in water to a depth of 10 meters. And in this regard, an interesting feature was added to the case.

One of the microphones has a secret

Unlike previous generation cameras, HERO9 has a new door under the power button. I tried to find out what was behind her, but I almost pulled my nails out and left me alone.

So, DO NOT try to open it.

It turned out that this is a special design, which hides the microphone. It is needed so that after dipping into water from five recording holes in at least one of them, water can immediately flow out.

Thanks to this, the engineers solved the constant problems of action cameras, when immersion under water for a while makes the sound from the camera deaf.

Battery lasts one third longer than HERO8

Due to the fact that the body has been enlarged in the new camera, it now accommodates a battery with a larger capacity of 1720 mAh versus 1220 mAh.

Each mode consumes in its own way, so the time in minutes cannot be said. But one test did.

In linear recording mode (no fisheye effect) at 1080p and with IS disabled, HERO8 lasted 1 hour and 44 minutes, and HERO9 lasted 2 hours and 12 minutes.

Growth is obtained for about 25 minutes with errors or the same 30% percent.

HERO8 shut down in the cold. Corrected

The set comes with a sturdy travel case. White shape retracts for extra batteries and SD cards

The eighth camera could suddenly stop recording at temperatures below 10ºC. And the colder the faster it happened.

And even 100% of the battery did NOT change the situation. HERO8 said she was tired and supposedly had nothing to eat.

I specifically tested HERO9 at 10ºC at night and did NOT see such a problem, and even the test in the freezer did NOT break it. Unlike HERO8, which turned off in the first minutes.

However, even with a 30% battery growth, the camera still will NOT be able to provide a day of use on a single charge. For large trips and many hours of shooting, I recommend taking a couple more extra blocks.

Now on GoPro you can trailer your lens

In the new generation, GoPro has developed its own mount, on which you can attach interchangeable lenses.

HERO9 Black has a protective glass that can be removed to free up space for other modules.

While there is only one from GoPro itself, called Max, it costs 100 €, and has not yet come to Russia. It widens the FOV up to 155˚ and enables HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilization at 2.7K and 60fps.

In this case, compatibility here is exclusively on the manufacturer’s side. The camera itself will not understand that it has a new body kit. The shooting mode with the Max module must be turned on independently in the settings.

This, on the one hand, simplifies the work of third-party companies, and on the other. will not allow them to implement software functions and play with software in order to also adapt new functions at the system level.

But you can hope that someone will be able to make an optical zoom module or a macro. So that even more people can use the crazy stabilizer of this camera in their work.

The price has increased significantly. But the update turned out to be strong

In the United States, the novelty has risen in price by only 50 from 399 to 449, but the rate and error on the European market turned this gap into 9,000 rubles.

HERO8 Black now costs 36,990 rubles, and HERO9 Black will cost 45,990 rubles.

For such a difference, you will buy at least 5 fundamental functions:

Growth of autonomy by 30%

Incredible horizon stabilization

5K recording

Convenient second screen

The ability to shoot in the cold.

Therefore, I believe that the advantages of this camera will absolutely beat off the additional costs.

At the very least, you don’t have to buy an expensive electronic stabilizer. HERO9 has it built in.

For everyone else who DOES NOT understand or doubt why they need an action camera, I recommend taking a similar one from friends and just shoot for a couple of days in different modes.

After the test, HERO9 definitely wanted this one, with 5K mode, wide angle at 240 frames per second and a powerful stub, and at the same time incredibly compact.

Because even three iPhone cameras DO NOT compare in convenience with one very compact but incredibly pumped-out GoPro HERO9 Black lens.