After months of testing to see if this is the ultimate action camera on the market, here’s my complete GoPro Hero7 Black review.
I am just going to get it out of the way really quickly here. Get yourself a GoPro Hero 7!
Why? The GoPro Hero 7 Black by far is the best GoPro ever…by a long shot.
BREAKING NEWS! GoPro’s latest camera has just been released – Check out our complete, in-depth GoPro HERO11 Review here!
If you are wondering what all of these strange terms are like ‘TimeWarp’, ‘SuperPhoto’ or ‘HyperSmooth’, then keep reading this article as I will be giving a detailed rundown in my complete GoPro Hero 7 review.
Table of Contents
- My GoPro Hero 7 Review
- GoPro Hero 7 – White, Silver or Black?
- GoPro Hero 7 Black Review – Camera Highlights
- Final Thoughts on My Review of the GoPro Hero 7 Black
My GoPro Hero 7 Review
It wasn’t that long ago that the GoPro Hero 6 hit the shelves and when it did, we all thought that it could not be beaten.
How wrong we were…
The introduction of the Hero 7 was much more of a big deal when compared to the Hero 6 and there were certain reasons behind why that was so.
What is a GoPro?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the GoPro line of products or the company, let me give you a quick rundown of what exactly a GoPro is.
A GoPro is primarily a small, handheld, waterproof camera that is capable of being mounted or placed just about anywhere in order to get a unique angle or shot.
GoPro’s are capable of capturing videos, stills, timelapses, photo bursts, and night photography as well as underwater photography.
Many people think that a GoPro is designed for those into action sports like surfing or snowboarding but that isn’t entirely true.
With the new Hero 7, its ease of use allows for almost anyone to use this incredible piece of technology.
The GoPro Hero 7 sits in a long line of GoPro’s with past models including the original HD Hero to the Hero 4’s when 4K video was introduced to the smaller Session models. In 2018, GoPro released the best GoPro yet.
What I Think of the GoPro Hero 7?
I received my GoPro in the first week of October and have had quite a bit of time since then to explore all of its features.
Every time they bring out a new camera they try to do something new, but to be honest it’s been a few years since they’ve really shaken up the industry.
But what has led me to write my GoPro Hero 7 Black review is that for the first time in a long time, this new camera has a bunch of truly epic new tools that will set it apart from anything else on the market.
GoPro Hero 7 – White, Silver or Black?
You may notice that there’s three different models of the GoPro Hero 7 – White, Silver and Black. What are the differences, and which one is right for you?
Think of them as beginner, intermediate and pro cameras. The White is the cheapest, and with the least amount of features.
In my mind unless you are really hurting for cash, don’t even bother with this one. It has 1080 video and is waterproof, but that’s about it.
The Silver is a step up and has 4K video as well as WDR photos, but it lacks the main features that you really want out of a GoPro.
The GoPro Hero 7 Black is the bees knees when it comes to action cameras. Let me save you the research and say just save some extra dollars and jump in and buy this one.
What sets it apart? Features like HyperSmooth, SuperPhoto and TimeWarp. So let’s get into these right now.
The purpose of the Hero 7 is to drastically increase the cameras stability when filming. The GoPro Hero 6, which was the previous model, required the use of the Karma Grip, a stabilisation gimbal which gave incredible, smooth footage when filming.
That was cool, and the stabilisation you could get with the Karma Grip was pretty damn amazing, but it was another big tool that you needed to carry around everywhere with you.
And if you weren’t focused on making epic videos, then it was a bit of a pain to have really as it took up a lot of space.
Cue the GoPro Hero 7 and all of its silky smooth goodness.
The Hero 7 basically has one of the most amazing inbuilt stabilisation systems of any action camera available, which means you won’t need a gimbal to capture smooth footage.
What makes the Hero 7 so incredible is that you can literally do what the Karma Grip can do, except you just have to hold it in your hand.
Just to test out how smooth the footages looks, I put on my Chesty Mount and juggled a football. The inbuilt lens stabilisation was able to make the footage extremely smooth despite how much I was moving with only 10% of the footage being cropped.
This feature alone makes the new camera worth the upgrade, and is what gives it almost 5 stars in my GoPro Hero 7 Black review.
You know how you see some awesome GoPro photos on Instagram or somewhere else and you think to yourself, “Damn, that’s awesome, but it was probably edited like crazy to get it looking like that…”?
Up until the Hero 7 came out, you were probably right.
GoPro pictures are great, but they’ve always needed a fair bit of tweaking in Lightroom or some other program to get them popping and looking awesome. And sometimes you just don’t want to do that.
There are times when I don’t have my laptop on me, meaning that it would be nearly impossible for me to edit a photo the way I like before I publish it on social media.
Then GoPro came out with SuperPhoto – an option which can be chosen on camera settings.
When selecting SuperPhoto, the Hero 7 calculates the best White Balance, minimum and maximum ISO levels, sharpness and colour to create a HDR photo (high dynamic range).
HDR are often over edited photos with excessive contrast, saturation and vibrance, looking so cooked that they make you shudder, however the Hero 7 doesn’t seem to ‘over edit’ the photos it takes while on SuperPhoto mode.
When taking a SuperPhoto photo, make sure the Hero 7 is mounted on a tripod if you are in anything other than perfect daylight, as the image takes slightly longer to process than when the Hero 7 is in standard photo mode.
If you don’t you might end up with a blurry image, or weird chromatic aberrations around the edges.
When the Hero 7 first made an appearance, a clip of Abe Kislevitz’s arose of him walking along a wharf somewhere in the tropical Pacific Islands in crazy smooth fast motion, and this clip was truly magical.
I thought, “How the bloody hell did he do that? Must be some kind of editing trick!” Well to be honest, it’s not as difficult as it looks. This is the new GoPro Hero 7 TimeWarp feature!
Just like a hyperlapse, you need to know the right settings and speeds to get the shot you want and suddenly you’re out there capturing gold.
Basically the faster the setting (i.e. 150x) the smoother the TimeWarp will be. Using 150x is perfect for running or walking or anything that is slow, while shooting 30x and below is best if having the Hero 7 mounted to a fast moving vehicle or bicycle.
I love the idea of being able to create a hyperlapse with ease, and TimeWarp is a testament to how GoPro are showing that they have truly made a GoPro with inbuilt stabilisation and crazy new features.
However, I feel like TimeWarp’s success is based too much around the Hero 7 being mounted to motorbikes, cars or skateboards which already have suspension meaning that the inbuilt stabilisation will make it even smoother.
Yes that’s great, but I want to see the Hero 7 be truly tested by mountain climbers, trail runners or kayakers to truly show what the Hero 7 is capable of.
Video – More About HyperSmooth
TimeWarp uses the inbuilt stabilisation well, but the best feature in my GoPro Hero 7 Black review is how it works with the standard video mode.
If you are using anything below a Hero 7 for film purposes, you may want to consider upgrading to the Hero 7 immediately.
The Karma Grip was designed to rough out any bumps that would be produced when using a Hero 5 or Hero 6, but if you have ever used a gimbal before you know that they can get in the way and require a battery pack to keep it charged.
The Hero 7 keeps things simple…and small with an inbuilt system that is designed to keep the footage ‘smooth as butter’. I have had a lot of questions from friends in regards to the stabilisation actually being legit and I can tell you it’s true.
Since I received the Hero 7, all I have used is a shorty mount as the handle then applied the desired settings.
There are a few things to note when wanting to obtain smooth footage –
- 4K will not support HyperSmooth.
- High frame rates such as 1080p 120 frames per second or 1080p 240 frames per second don’t support HyperSmooth
Although the higher frame rates won’t support HyperSmooth which is a bit of a shame, but I have learnt to deal with it.
GoPro Hero 7 Black Review – Camera Highlights
While all of the nifty features in the camera are the main reason for my review of the GoPro Hero 7 Black, there’s a lot more to this awesome camera than just the software that makes it the best action camera on the market.
What is epic about the Hero 5 and above is that you don’t need to use a dive casing to go underwater (to a certain depth of 10 metres).
Although you can take the Hero 7 underwater without a dive case, I always advise using the ‘SuperSuit’ as GoPro calls it when going into salt water.
Saltwater will do bad things to your camera such as making the battery and micro SD door hard to open with tiny grains of sand becoming embedded in the cracks.
If you plan on taking the Hero 7 past 10 metres, be sure to put on the SuperSuit to avoid water leaking into the GoPro – you really don’t want that!
I think this maybe one of my favourite features with the Hero 7 and yet it’s so damn simple! The software in the Hero 7 now allows for the GoPro LCD screen to be flipped to portrait mode; i.e. the interface.
Also when taking vertical images, the software automatically flips the image when downloading to your hard drives meaning you won’t have to go through everything and rotate!
So why does this make the list of things to talk about in a GoPro Hero 7 review? Because sometimes you just want to shoot in portrait mode to properly capture a scene, or to share on Instagram.
Past GoPro’s haven’t been quite up to scratch with their sound until the Hero 7 came to the market. With increased audio options in the Hero 7, you can basically use the new GoPro as a vlogging camera without the addition of a microphone.
There are options with RAW sound, wind and Auto which makes the Hero 7 totally open to all kinds of environments so that top quality sound can be recorded!
Auto Exposure Lock
I love to shoot timelapses with my GoPro’s but have always had an issue with exposures, especially when light becomes faded from daylight into dusk and finally night.
With the new Hero 7, I select any spot on the screen and hold it until a small white bordered screen appears. This screen enables a spot which will be locked for the exposed when taking a still or video shot.
Under low light, this is the perfect thing to brighten things up!
Using a Hero 7 for an extended period of time requires a good battery. Shooting timelapses requires upwards of 2.5 hours therefore good battery life is pretty much necessary.
I shoot my timelapses on 1080p for an average of 2 hours and I generally have 40% battery life remaining which is seriously incredible given the size of a GoPro battery.
I have 5 batteries which are always fully charged and there are times when I am doing an overnight camp.
For these situations, I created an insulated battery warmer to ensure the cold air won’t drain my batteries of their power as there is nothing worse than going to shoot only to find out the batteries are all drained.
Note: Using settings such as 4K or 240fps will decrease battery life quicker.
Why oh why did GoPro never have this feature before??? The Hero 7 now has an inbuilt timer which comes in two forms:
- A 15 and 30 second timer which will only film for that set time. This is perfect for those shots that you want to be in a frame but don’t have anyone else to hold the Hero 7.
- A Stills timer which is used for taking photos. It pretty much is a countdown clock that gives you enough time to get in the frame of a shot. There are options of a 3 and 10 second timer. In addition to the stills timer, you can also activate using voice control which I will get into next.
Voice control for me is a bit weird as for some reason I have never really been a fan. I think I am being lazy when using the voice control feature, but there are times when it really does come in handy.
Using the voice control comes in handy when you are using mounts such as a head mount, chesty mount or for some reason are out of reach of the Hero 7.
A quick tip for voice control! If you have multiple cameras set to voice activated or voice command, be sure to only have voice control turned on for one camera as you may turn on all of your cameras when you give them the order.
Final Thoughts on My Review of the GoPro Hero 7 Black
The Hero 7 is epic, no doubting it.
Despite my Hero 7 having a few glitches on the LCD screen and issues with saving files to the micro SD card (these issues were resolved by updating the software), the Hero 7 has performed relatively well.
I have managed to use every setting and mode in as many different environments and situations as possible and it easily out performs the Hero 6.
One thing I am stoked about is how much of a quicker performer the Hero 7 is to the Hero 6. If you turn on the Hero 7 and Hero 6 at the same time, the Hero 7 will turn on at least 1 second earlier, and that’s a lot of time when you see a special shot or moment you want to capture it right there and then.
In the past few months I have done some crazy things with my Hero 7, literally crazy.
I have attached my GoPro to the outside of a moving bus during rush hour in Sri Lanka, mounted it to a javelin and a discus and launched it to see how it would look in terms of stabilisation.
I have even thrown my GoPro 20 metres into the air and have it hit the ground just to test how strong these things are.
And today I still love it more than ever.
Should You Get a GoPro Hero 7 Black?
If you are a vlogger, cinematographer, photographer or filmmaker, or you just like taking the occasional photo, the Hero 7 is unbeatable.
There are a lot of other products on the market like the Sony Action cameras and the DJI Osmo, but not being biased, the Hero 7 is truly the best on the market.
I Have An Old GoPro – Should I Upgrade?
If you currently have a GoPro Hero 5 or Hero 6 and are wondering whether or not you should upgrade, the answer depends on what you will use it for.
If you don’t ever shoot video and only use the GoPro for still photography, then you can get away with just keeping your old camera, especially if you know how to edit photos in Lightroom or Photoshop.
But if you’re shooting video and don’t already have a Karma Grip, then without a doubt you NEED to upgrade to the Hero 7.
The HyperSmooth stabilisation is seriously next level, and the fact that you can mount this to a helmet, chesty mount or hold it on a stick and get gimbal-like footage is crazy.
Personally I say yes – upgrade if you can afford it and you think you might shoot video.
I hope you enjoyed my GoPro Hero 7 Black review. If you did leave a comment below and let me know if you have any questions!
28 thoughts on “GoPro Hero 7 Black Review – Is This The Ultimate Action Camera?”
To be honest, GoPro Hero7 Black is a great camera and it’s still relevant today. I understand what was their plan with Hero7 White and Hero7 Silver (To make budget models), but even though they are great cameras for someone who is a beginner, I believe that Hero7 White just has too few features and that it’s low performing in 2021.
Thank you for your comment Jim. 🙂
Thanks for the review, great read! I look forward to trying it out.
Thanks Kyle. So glad you found this article helpful. 🙂
Thanks for this best review post
Thank you 🙂
It’s a shame you don’t mention the thousands of unhappy customers who have struggled to get a functioning camera. Check forums including gopros support forum before choosing a camera.
Unfortunately this is an issue with a lot of the GoPro. It is getting better but it doesn’t affect the quality of the images or the video. So it doesn’t bother us.
Hi, Why have you not talked about PROTUNE? Thanks,
I bought my Gopro7 black for my 2 month vacation in Raja Ampat 2020. When I used the settings on 2.7k with 30 fps, linear without protune the results were very good, vibrant colors, good focus and image, the stabilizer does its job well. I would caution anybody who wants to use the wide angle fov, I did not like it , it skewers the perspectives, I found linear much better.
Unfortunately for what ended up being my most exciting videos, cuttlefish, sharks and much more, I decided to use protune which leaves the video dull and flat so the color can be added afterwards.
When I got back from my vacation I found out my computer was not powerful enough to use quality software like Adobe or Davinci Resolve, I am not going to buy a new computer and pay $300 for the software.
The free editing software which one finds on the internet such as Wondershare or VSDC, at the end when I wanted to save or export my videos, it became impossible without paying for it. The worst part is after using the software to add the color back in, the end result still was not as good as when I used the regular settings. I am very disappointed.
Gopro should take out protune and the wide angle and sell it $75 cheaper. I cannot recommend Gopro7 black.
Is the freezing still an issue?
Unfortunately yes. Ours does freeze sometimes but corrects itself. We have had no freezing on the Hero 8 so far. 🙂
Thanks for the great review! Do you think it is still worth buying the GoPro Hero 7 Black since a new release is probably about 5 months off?
Hey Steve, the GoPro HERO8 Black was just released yesterday! Check out our review here: https://www.nomadasaurus.com/gopro-hero-8-review/
I sadly beg to differ on the Hero 7. I have 5 of them, they all fail my tests of being consistent to film in hot temps. I was working in Arizona, it was 110 degrees outside, granted hot, but all cameras failed when trying to shoot 4k at 60fps. The black shell does not help when the camera is in the sun. It is a remarkable camera but not robust for hot temps. Half of the U.S. will have temps over 100 degrees during the summer months. This is a camera for winter if you want to get best results. GoPro needs to up their game, put a heat sink or other to make it more robust. For the time being, I hope that GoPro Support will actually pass along enhancement requests I made to a supervisor, so that they can rework their next iteration to be more stable.
Thanks for the review. I purchased the Hero 7 Black last week and after reading this, I know I made the right choice. I am heading on a surf trip to Spain next week where the Hero 7 will take her maiden voyage on the front of my board. I am stoked to say the least!
Thank you for the wonderful review.
U have made me decided to buy the Gopro Hero 7 black instead of DJI osmo pocket. Hehe.
Anyway, I’ve read that the battery life for Gopro is easily drained and that’s why we need to have an extra batteries.
I want to ask your opinion, since nowadays there a lot of OEM products for Gopro, which one would you think is better for an OEM battery? Telesin or Kingma?
Or would you rather spend extra for the original Gopro battery?
Thanks for sharing such a great article.
Glad you help. Thanks for reading.
Thanks, Calumn Hockey this is an amazing review
Special Thanks for nomadasaurus.com provide that kind of stuff.
I am Ajay Kumar and I am running a Paragliding blog flynfeel. This blog all about adventure and travel but that’s not important the important thing is I use HERO4 Silver for blogging but now I want to upgrade it. You give me a piece of good information now I upgrade my GoPro 4 with GoPro Hero 7 Black it fit in my budget.
Again Thanks, Calumn Hockey
So glad we could help. All the best with the upgrade. It is worth it. 🙂
Thanks for this awesome review! After your review, I couldn’t help but go straight to Amazon and buy the Go Pro 7. I love Amazon.
I live on Maui and even though Amazon doesn’t ship down here in two days, it’s still a game changer and it’s pretty much our lifeline down here. Things can get expensive on an island. Totally worth it though!
Drones are a big one too if you have ever used one. I bet it would provide a lot of value if you had a drone review.
Thanks again and I hope you’re having a great adventure!
That’s great John. Hope you are enjoying your new GoPro. Thank you. All the best.
Do the still photos have the “fisheye” effect? If so, is this corrected via Photoshop or similar, or can the camera do this automatically if
Will use the 7 Black for still photos only, but your review says little about still photo specs. Such as: What is the aspect ratio for stills? Is aspect ratio changeable? What is FOV (in degrees) for stills? Is FOV changeable (zooming – digital or optical)? What 35mm camera equivalent does this FOV equate? Does stabilization also work with stills? What is the max aperture of the lens? What is the focal length of the lens? Have tried to find these specs on GoPro websites, but this kind of info is “rare”. Thanks much.
I read your review.
I would like to know your input about transmitting to social media without using a complicated apps. to connect trough the phone . I mean live video.
Right now I have the black 5 and I have to connect trough a 3rd party app. to be able to do live video. you loose a lot of time to make the connection.
That’s the best review of all, apart from a couple of youtube videos I watched. I ordered a Hero 7 on Amazon and had it arrive the next day. I liked my Hero 5… but love the 7!
Hey Jane, so awesome. So glad you love the GoPro 7. It really is a great camera. We have been experimenting lately and only doing some vlogs on the GoPro. It’s a great challenge as it is fish eye. Have fun with it. 🙂