Gadgets

GoPro Hero 9 Black review: All action hero

Upon its initial launch, the Hero 9 Black was GoPro’s most powerful camera ever, and its most significant design change since the Hero 5 all the way back in 2016.

Now, it has been succeeded by the Hero 10 Black, an almost identical camera visually, but one that has seen numerous improvements on the inside.

The Hero 9 Black is still being manufactured by GoPro and acts as the ‘entry-level’ model in its lineup, with a significantly lower price than the Hero 10 Black.

But, just because it’s cheaper, doesn’t mean it can’t perform at the top level. So, let’s take a look at what this diddy camera can do.
Video and still photography quality won’t match your flagship smartphone, that’s for sure, but GoPro more than makes up for it by offering a camera you could bounce off walls, drown in a river, and take on the shakiest bike ride – and still deliver awesome footage.

HyperSmooth 3.0 is truly exceptional, with its ability to automatically pan within the footage and even out bumps using the camera’s built-in algorithms and processor. What’s more, you can shoot up to 5K resolution for really sharp images or at up to 240fps in Full HD resolution for super-looking 8x slow-motion.

The GoPro Hero 9 is still an all-action Hero that produces stellar images and is worthy of your consideration. We may now have the superior Hero 10, but the Hero 9, with its newly reduced price, stands on its own as a superb value proposition.
Anyone even remotely familiar with how GoPro products tend to look will immediately recognise the Hero 9 Black. It has all the hallmark features of a GoPro – even if this is the biggest Hero design change since the Hero 5. It’s not quite as big a jump as Hero 4 to Hero 5 was, but it’s still big. In terms of size that is: it’s the largest standard single-camera Hero GoPro has released to date.
In a way, it was the Hero 8 that paved the way for this size increase, by doing away with the need for any cases for mounting. Instead, the mounting arms are built into the underside of the Hero 9 camera – and that means you don’t need to worry about whether or not the camera will fit in any specific cases or on particular mounts or handles. You just screw it directly onto any of them using the standard screw pin.

The reason that’s such a big deal is that it’s made it possible to improve so much of the hardware, both in terms of practicality and in internal power. Namely, there’s a bigger battery – but more on that later.

As well as that larger size, the other big new Hero 9 feature is the colour screen on the front. Rather than just be a basic monochrome screen with information on your current shooting settings, it actually shows a preview of what you’re shooting so – if you want – you can shoot vlogs facing the camera lens and frame them without any guesswork.

Sure, it’s not as easy to frame as when using the bigger widescreen ratio display on the back, but it’s certainly more useful than the previous data-only approach of its predecessors.

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Ajmal Solangi is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and reviews. He likes tech news, mobile unboxing, reviews, gadgets, and more.

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