GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

Content

  1. Positioning
  2. TECH SPECS
  3. Contents of delivery
  4. Appearance
  5. Screens
  6. Shooting video
  7. application
  8. Working hours
  9. Impressions

Positioning

In September of this year, another action camera by the American company GoPro, Hero 9 Black, was presented. Compared to the previous model, we improved the sensor, added shooting in 5K resolution, improved stabilization, used interchangeable lenses and much more.

In fact, at the moment, the GoPro Hero 9 has no competitors – this is the most famous device for those who are engaged in travel blogging, rides a mountain bike off-road, shoots professional videos from a quadcopter, streams videos to the Web in maximum quality, and so on.

Unfortunately, I had a little time for a full large review, but I am ready to share with you my impressions of such an interesting product. Probably, later I’ll get the Hero 9 for long-term use, since there is something to talk about here: dozens of shooting modes, many photo and video settings, various combinations of resolution and number of frames. In short, there is full scope for creativity.

In general, such devices must be tested definitely not in Moscow in November in cloudy weather. The GoPro element – the beaches of Navayo and Nissi, the mountain landscapes of Rosa Khutor and the Swiss Alps. Eh, beauty …

TECH SPECS
dimensions  71h55h33 mm
The weight 158 grams
Sensor resolution 23.6 MP
Screens 2.27 in
1.4 in 
Lens Max Lens Mod 132 degrees
F / 2.8 aperture
Video resolutions and frequencies 5K – 30fps
4K – 60fps
2.7K – 120fps
1440p – 120fps
FullHD 1080p – 240fps
Photo Resolution 20 MP
Video and photo formats H.264 (AVC)
H.265 (HEVC)
RAW, jpeg
Battery capacity  1720 mAh
Shooting modes TimeWarp 3.0
Live broadcasts in FullHD
FullHD webcam
Nighttime TimeLapse in 4K
Slow Motion 8x
Support  GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Cost  42 000 rubles
Color Black

Contents of delivery

  • Hero 9 Black Camera
  • Battery
  • Curved Velcro pad
  • Quick release mount
  • Mounting Screw
  • USB-C cable
  • Case

GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick ReviewGoPro Hero 9 Black Quick ReviewGoPro Hero 9 Black Quick ReviewGoPro Hero 9 Black Quick ReviewGoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

Appearance

Quite a typical GoPro camera with the most recognizable design: a small black brick with a slightly protruding lens in the upper right part.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

The story with GoPro cameras is about the same as with Apple phones. Due to the recognizable appearance, other manufacturers are trying to replicate the general features of the devices. People see a product similar to Hero and buy it at least because it resembles a cool GoPro gadget.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

Most of the body is made of metal – this is, in fact, the entire frame around the perimeter, as well as the battery compartment cover. The front panel, buttons and edge of the screen are made of rubber.

The camera weighs 158 grams. For such a small size (71x55x33 mm) the device seems rather massive. The center of gravity of the Hero 9 is not shifted, everything in this regard is quite balanced.

The screens are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. Of course, in action cameras, it is the screens that are the weak link, since the rest of the case is almost impossible to break. Therefore, it seems to me that an increase in the number of displays and their diagonals does not benefit the device: if you break the display, consider it, you have lost a working tool (in case it comes to professional use of GoPro). However, now Hero have become not just action cameras, but full-fledged gadgets for shooting Pro-video: light, color, white balance, video precise settings, angle adjustment, frame rate selection, and so on.

Theoretically, the lens could have been made even narrower, but in the ninth version they decided to use The Mods, for example, Max Lens Mod – an ultra-wide lens with a 155-degree viewing angle. The change of optics is instant: they unscrewed the protective glass and screwed in the MLD. And there is no thread as such, the fastening is simple: you move the protective lens counterclockwise by 90 degrees.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

This once again suggests that they are trying to squeeze the maximum out of GoPro. And here it is necessary to strike a balance between keeping the device compact and convenient for action scenes, and the ability to wrap up various mods in the literal and figurative sense. Otherwise we will get a DSLR in Hero 10.

On the right side of the case there is a large compartment for the battery and memory card. There is also a USB-C connector for charging. The compartment opens cleverly: it is necessary to pull on its lower part until it stops (spring mechanism) and slide to the side.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick ReviewGoPro Hero 9 Black Quick ReviewGoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

Above is a large shooting button. It also quickly starts video recording even from the off state of the device. In this case, after the end of the shooting, the device turns off. On the left is the power and mode switch.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

At the bottom there is already a built-in mount for various accessories. That is, you don’t have to buy a special case.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

I was looking for the location of the microphones for a long time. I came to the conclusion that they (stereo sound with a narrow stereo base) are still on the left side of the case behind a metal plate.

There is a very bright video recording indicator on the front panel. The impression that shouts: “Look, I’m blinking, so the video is being shot!” In the dark, its indication is often reflected from objects. The LED is slightly smaller on the back – at the top left.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick ReviewGoPro Hero 9 Black Quick ReviewGoPro Hero 9 Black Quick ReviewGoPro Hero 9 Black Quick ReviewGoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

The GoPro also beeps extremely unpleasantly when turned on and off. There is a normal speaker, why use such wild squeak sounds?

Total: a heavy, but quite compact device made of durable materials.

Screens

Earlier, I already wrote that using displays in such devices is quite dangerous, since action cameras are also action cameras – they can accidentally fall out of the mount, be hit by various objects when moving. I think you understand what I’m talking about. In short, killed the display – killed the entire device.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

And in the new version on the front panel, the screen was also made in color. Its diagonal is only 1.4 inches (26×26 mm). The resolution is unknown, but the picture looks good. The only oddity is that the display is square. I understand what they did according to the design type of previous models, but there the screen was monochrome, it displayed alphanumeric information. And in the case of the Hero 9, it’s not clear what to focus on when looking at the front display. After all, the image is “sprinkled” there, and the corners are cut off. Probably done for bloggers: you look at the screen, you center the camera so that you can see your face. In this case, what prevented you from making a rectangular screen? Yes, it would turn out to be small, but everything would definitely fit into the frame.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

The rear panel display is large – 2.27 inches (49×33 mm). The resolution is also unknown, the matrix is ​​IPS. The brightness is quite sufficient, even if you do not twist it 100%. The default is 80%.

The colors on the screen are displayed accurately, there is no distortion, the viewing angles are maximum.

In addition, it is also touch-sensitive. True, the “touch” is very tight, sometimes it doesn’t even work the second time. It would seem, what to manage there? In fact, in GoPro Hero 9, a huge number of parameters are selected through the device menu.

Shooting video

I think this is the most important thing, for the sake of which we have gathered today.

At the beginning of the review, I wrote that it is necessary to test GoPro in those places where there is a lot of colors, nice landscapes and there is a place to “roam” with a large matrix and high resolution. Now in Moscow, the weather is dark, cloudy, so I couldn’t fully appreciate the camera’s capabilities, and I didn’t have much time. However, here’s the story: you either record your videos on a professional DSLR or use a GoPro. There is also an option with a DJI Osmo pocket, but this is a slightly different option: it is more for recording travel vlogs, where the main “target” is you, since the Osmo’s viewing angle is narrow.

What resolutions can you use to record video:

  • 5K (5120 × 2880) at 24/30 fps
  • 4K at 24/30/60 fps
  • 2.7K at 24/30/60/120 fps
  • 1080p at 24/30/60/128/240 fps

Interestingly, you cannot select an ultra-wide angle at 4K 60 fps, only 24/30 fps. By the way, regarding the choice of the viewing angle:

  • Ультра
  • Wide
  • Linear. No fisheye effect. Best for photographing people or landscapes.
  • Linear with horizon alignment. It will come in handy if you need a flat horizontal picture. Apparently, due to the strong cropping of the frame, the “digit” aligns the image. Looks impressive: you tilt the GoPro almost 90 degrees, and the video stays still level.
  • Narrow. Maximum matrix crop

There are several options for stabilizing HyperSmooth 3.0:

  • Increased
  • High with 10% cropping
  • usual
  • Without “stub”

The last point should be included in exceptional situations. For example, a GoPro stands firmly on a tripod, and you want the widest possible angle as well as maintaining quality. In other situations, the usual stabilization is quite enough.

Assessing video quality is difficult. On the one hand, this is an action camera with the main task of shooting stable video in high definition. On the other hand, there is still a video camera with a cloud of parameters.

My answer is this: GoPro Hero 9 shoots definitely better than any smartphone, better than any similar camera, but, naturally, it loses a little to professional DSLR cameras. Moreover, it loses rather in terms of shooting at night or in poor lighting conditions. Still, there are optics with an f / 2.8 aperture. And, of course, Hero 9 lacks autofocus: all objects closer than a meter will be blurred. But the detailing beyond a meter is simply amazing, even at the corners there are almost no smears.

The dynamic range is also impressive. But here sometimes the picture can lose its natural look a little, as the camera software tries to align shadows and highlights. This is most noticeable in the photographs.

In terms of color, the Hero 9 still embellishes the image a little. Especially blue and green shades. But reds and yellows are quite natural. Probably, it was assumed that the user would mainly shoot landscapes, and with the predominance of blue and green colors, the video would look cool.

In general, I cannot say that the quality surprised and amazed me, but against the background of even the coolest camera phones, the GoPro Hero 9 looks very good.

The sound here is surprisingly great too. Well suited for vlogs, self-photography. The impression that you are wearing a lapel or a directional microphone is installed on the camera – that’s how cool the Hero 9 audio track writes (AAC LC, 48000 Hz, stereo, 189 Kbps).

GoPro can also be used as a 1080p webcam. It is enough to install the application and continue broadcasting even in Skype, even in Zoom, like the king of the stream! I wonder why not in 4K?

With photographs, it’s a little easier: point and shoot. The focus is fixed, objects closer than a meter are blurred. Files weigh 8 – 15 megabytes. Similarly, the DD video is as wide as possible, with its own image processing gags. The detailing for the ultra-wide angle is crazy!

Settings:

Photos

At night:

In the afternoon:

Video

  • 2.7K 60 fps night (MP4, 142 MB) >>>
  • 2.7K 120 fps day (MP4, 80 MB) >>>
  • 4K 60 fps day (MP4, 345 MB) >>>
  • 4K 30 fps night (MP4, 173 MB) >>>
  • 5K 30 fps day (MP4, 111 MB) >>>
  • 5K 30 fps night (MP4, 67 MB) >>>
  • 1080p 240 fps day (MP4, 99 MB) >>>
  • application

    It is a pleasure to work with it, because all settings are collected in one menu. With it, you can do everything the same as with a separate camera. Of course, there is a preview from the camera, video recording, photo creation, LIVE. Through the GoPro software, you update your gadget. This is done pretty quickly.

    It is also possible to copy a photo or video from a memory card to the smartphone’s memory.

    Working hours

    The capacity of the replaceable battery is 1720 mAh. And then I did not understand whether I came across a not the most successful sample, or whether the GoPro Hero 9’s operating time is weak.

    GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

    To roughly understand: 30 seconds of 4K 60 fps takes up to 5 percent of the battery. In fact, it takes about an hour. In cold weather, the battery runs out even faster. So I would buy at least one more battery. Fortunately, it costs about 2 rubles, which is not much compared to the total cost of the device.

    GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

    Impressions

    Eh, now I would like to go somewhere on sunny beaches with GoPro Hero 9: relax, take pictures, show the beauty and demonstrate the quality of photos and videos.

    GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

    But seriously, the Hero 9 is cool and needs to be handled right. Those who are in the subject buy such things and record videos for their YouTube channels, since this particular model is as versatile as possible: here you have an ultra-wide angle, and just a wide angle without the fish-eye effect, 5K resolution, many frame rate options, including 120 and even 240. And, of course, brutal stabilization.

    GoPro Hero 9 is priced at RUB 42. Expensive? Probably yes, if you don’t know why you need such a gadget. And for large bloggers, this is a working tool that repays the money spent on the camera with one video.

    Competitors:

    • DJI Osmo Action… The price is 35 rubles. Slightly lighter and smaller than GoPro, equipped with a 000 MP sensor, records video in 12K resolution up to 4 fps. Two screens, 60 mAh battery.
    • Sony Action Cam FDR-X3000… The price is around 35 rubles. A kind of camera without a viewfinder. But you can connect a special miniature screen to the model.
    • Insta360 One K Twin… The price is about 48 rubles. Shooting in 000K resolution (5.7-degree video). For special connoisseurs of panoramic videos.

    Alternatively – AC Robin Zed5. Old, but can shoot at 4K 30 fps. And it costs 14 rubles.

    GoPro Hero 9 Black Quick Review

    There are a few more expensive devices from this series, but they are all more related to shooting 360 degrees. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of more affordable action cameras out there. But there you have to make a compromise: lower video resolution, lower quality of optics, worse materials, and so on.

    Do you use action cameras? If so, for what purpose?

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