GoPro is trying to get more users onto the cloud so it bundles a subscription with the Hero9 Black, its latest action camera.
With a new design than last year's Hero8, the GoPro Hero9 Black has arrived. It comes with a $350 launch price, and a subscription for a year to GoPro Cloud Service.
Upgraded video specs have been made to the sensor. The Hero9 records video at 5K (at 24 or 30fps) and matches the Hero8's video capabilities at lesser resolutions—up to 60fps at 4K, 120fps at 2.7K, and 240fps at 1080p.
The camera can also capture stills at 20MP resolution and roll time-lapse video at 4K using HyperSmooth stabilization.
An LCD panel on the GoPro camera's front panel is located next to the lens. The tiny, monochrome LCD screen served only to display recording settings and status. You can view your frames on the Hero9's front-screen, which is also full-color.
To make space for the color LCD, the camera is slightly larger all round. The difference is not significant compared to the Hero8. However, the GoPro 2X still has a small camera.
The larger frame houses a bigger battery—I netted longer recording times versus the Hero8 in tests—and the rear display and buttons are a little bit bigger as well.
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The Hero9's chassis can withstand falls and tumbles. The Hero9's chassis is also water-resistant, so it can be submerged as far as 33 feet.
Mounting clips can be integrated so that you do not have to fiddle with frames. Hero8 introduced add-on accessories. However, you'll need to update your accessories to accommodate the camera's new size.
The Media Mod is the most intriguing for vloggers—it adds a higher-quality microphone to the system, as well as a couple of mounting points for the tiny Light Mod, one that adds continuous lighting to brighten a scene.
You can get a Display Mod to your Hero9, even though it has a front-facing LCD. You can view your shot in full resolution with the hinged LCD.
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GoPro is rebranding its GoPro Plus subscription service—it's now simply a GoPro subscription. You'll receive one year of service if you purchase the Hero9 Black as most people do. GoPro also offers the Hero9 Black with the bundle at $450. This means you will pay less and receive more.
The GoPro service is beneficial, too. It includes unlimited cloud storage for video and images, two instances of no-questions-asked replacements of damaged hardware, and discounts on mounts.
It's also useful if you're a streamer—the Hero9 already works as a USB webcam(Opens in a new window) for Zoom, Google Meet, and other chat apps. GoPro's service extends the functionality of webcams. The service adds streaming support to Facebook, Twitch and YouTube without having to use OBS or any other third-party software.
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You can also purchase the Hero9 Black today for $349.98 and a 1-year GoPro subscription.
The camera has been in my possession for several weeks. I have had generally good impressions but inconsistent responses from the touch screen.
There's often a bit of beta testing involved in review products before their release, though, so we're holding off on publishing our findings until we've had a chance to take a look at a second unit of the camera. It's set to be delivered today, so check back later for a more extensive look at the Hero9 Black.