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Hero 8 Black is a GoPro game changer

Hero 8 Black is a GoPro with integrated mounting hardware
Hero 8 Black is smaller, lighter and has better function software
(Image credit: GoPro)

GoPro has consolidated its reputation as the industry leading action camera brand, with a new Hero 8 Black.

The company’s software engineers and industrial designers have obviously been paying attention to customers and user feedback. With its new Hero 8 Black there is more agile digital file processing within the camera’s electronics and superior overall external design. 

There are many hidden gems among the array of new features.

Fundamental resolution specifications remain unchanged, which means that the Hero 8 Black can record in 4K at up to 60fps. If you wish to extract a still image from its video footage, that will size up to 12MP in resolution.

So where are the gains? The Hero 8 Black’s sensor now possesses faster processing ability and the algorithms which control its rendering is much improved. That means  you can now use some functions are previously unimaginable resolutions and frame rates.

Smoother footage for better slow motion sequences 

The ability to stabilise GoPro footage is a huge issue and point of appeal for users of the brand’s camera systems. If you are out riding a particularly technical descent, you don’t wish to have every single front fork compression shake the camera’s field of view violently up and down.

GoPro’s Hypersmooth function has enabled users to record footage that is much less shaky. The good news is that with the superior sensor and algorithm combination, you can now use Hypersmooth 2.0 at the camera’s peak quality settings (4K and 240fps), which is a resolution and frame rate which was previously unavailable.

Beyond the more potent sensor and image stabilisation software, the actual Hero 8 Black’s chassis contains most of the best new features.

Helps to mount itself

The Hero 8 Black is smaller than its predecessor, so there is no way of it fitting properly in a GoPro mounting case – but that isn’t an issue, because you don’t need one. GoPro’s designers have cleverly equipped the Hero 8 Black with its own integrated fold-out tabs, which sit on the bottom of the camera and will play nice with whichever GoPro mounts you use.

Sound quality is another aspect where GoPro has upgraded the Hero 8 Black’s design, by integrating three microphones, ensuring less wind noise.

For those riders who like using their GoPro to conduct impromptu interviews after or during a ride, the Hero 8 Black has an innovative Media Mod case accessory pack. 

This is a bolt-on frame which adds shotgun microphone audio, a 3.5mm mic port, HDMI-out ports and two modular and two cold shoe mounts. These mounts accommodate a forward-facing LCD display, which is great way to get your camera framing perfect.

In low light conditions – or indoors – you can generate additional illumination with a 200 lumen LED light source, which can be connected to that second cold shoe mount.

The GoPro Hero 8 Black is now available for pre-order, at a price of €430.

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born media professional who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his fascination with trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. Rides: Morewood Kwela Cotic Simple 26 Pyga 160mm aluminium prototype