GoPro HERO7 Black in water
GoPro's announced the next line generation in the HERO lineup: HERO7

For the past two years, GoPro has experienced dramatic revenue loss,  resulting in major budget cuts. But the HERO7 could be their big chance to make a comeback.

The question is, however, will the HERO7 strike a chord with consumers? Or will it end up like the financially unsuccessful HERO6 (see our review) and dig GoPro into deeper financial woes? Fortunately for GoPro, initial reactions are positive. It looks like the company could finally get a much-needed break.

The HERO7 is the next generation in the HERO line and it comes in three flavors. With today’s announcement, GoPro introduced three new HERO7 cameras: the HERO7 Black, HERO7 Silver and HERO7 White. Their prices — starting with the Black — are running at $399, $299 and $199.

GoPro HERO7 White, Black and Silver
GoPro HERO7 White, Black and Silver

As you would expect, the three cameras offer different features at each price point. The HERO7 Black sticks fairly close to the typical HERO formula. It’s got an all-black, waterproof, rubber design and uses GoPro’s custom GP1 processor. The GP1 processor made its first appearance in the HERO6 Black, but GoPro’s made some advancements to it. The new camera allegedly has more RAM, but GoPro hasn’t disclosed how much more. This, in turn, has given the HERO7 Black features like live-streaming capability and an improved in-camera digital stabilization algorithm that GoPro seems extremely excited about.

Now, for the White and Silver models, you’re not going to get as many features. The Verge claims that they’re more like “refined versions of the HERO5 / HERO6 design.” There is no word from GoPro about what internal processors they’re sporting, but we do at least know these cameras aren’t as powerful as their flagship big brother.

Let’s talk features

HERO7 Black

Like the HERO6, the HERO7 Black shoots 4K 60 fps video. It also uses an new in-camera stabilization algorithm called HyperSmooth stabilization. We’ll talk about that in a little bit.

Additionally, thanks to its internal GP1 processor, the Black can live-stream and save your streamed video to an SD card in high definition. The action cam can also go into its Ultra Slow-Mo mode and shoot 8x slow motion in 1080p at 240 fps. Plus, it can shoot TimeWarp Video that essentially captures time-lapse video at up to 30x the normal speed.

HERO7 Silver and White

The HERO7 Silver and White don’t shoot at the same rates as the Black model. The Silver shoots 4K 30 fps video, while the White shoots 1440p 60 fps video. Both of the models can shoot 2x slow-mo video and have built-in electronic stabilization.

GoPro claims HyperSmooth Stabilization will replace gimbals

This really is the big headlining feature for the HERO7 Black; GoPro claims that it provides gimbal-like stabilization and “is so smooth, your gimbal will slip right out of your gear bag and you won’t even miss it.” From what we have seen so far, the stabilization in the Black works pretty well. It looks to be a great improvement over the HERO6, but nowhere near gimbal-like in many situations. Check out the video below, where Brent Rose from WIRED pits the HERO7 Black against the HERO6 and Sony X3000. He does an extensive comparison of the camera’s Hypersmooth stabilization and determines that, while it’s impressive, it still not gimbal-like.

The HERO7 seems to do a great job at smoothing motion and vibrations — clearly better than the HERO6. But when it comes to big movements, the Black doesn’t look to do as well as it would on a gimbal.

What about the Silver and White’s stabilization?

Both the Silver and White models will have HyperSmooth stabilization. So even with at their lower prices, their stabilization capabilities should be pretty consistent with each other.

Improved Photo Shooting and Audio

“We’ve dramatically improved the photo quality” claims GoPro CEO Nick Woodman. While the HERO7 Black has the same sensor as the HERO6, it has a new auto mode called SuperPhoto. What this mode does is automatically set the settings when shooting photos. So, for instance, if there’s a lot of dynamic range in your shot, it will switch into HDR mode. Though, with the same image sensor, it’s likely the photos won’t look drastically different.

GoPro’s also improved the audio on the HERO7. When compared to the HERO6, you can tell it’s much clearer in the test videos. As Brent Rose put it, the HERO7 has a fuller base, its mids are lifted, and in general sounds clearer. “It’s still not as good as a camera that isn’t waterproof, but for a waterproof camera, it definitely sounds better than the last version,” Rose says.

Overview

HERO7 Black

  • HyperSmooth Stabilization
  • Live Stream
  • TimeWarp Video – Super-stabilized time lapse, up to 30x speed
  • SuperPhoto – Intelligent scene analyzation via automatically applied HDR, Local Tone Mapping and Multi-Frame Noise Reduction
  • Portrait Mode – Native vertical-capture for sharing to Instagram Stories, Snapchat and more
  • Enhanced Audio – Re-engineered audio captures increased dynamic range, new microphone membrane reduces unwanted vibrations during mounted situations
  • Intuitive Touch Interface – 2-inch touch display with simplified user interface enables native vertical (portrait) use of camera
  • Face, Smile + Scene Detection – HERO7 Black recognizes faces, expressions and scene-types to enhance automatic QuikStory edits on the GoPro app
  • Short Clips – Restricts video recording to 15- or 30-second clips for faster transfer to phone, editing and sharing
  • Photo Timer
  • Stunning Image Quality – 4K60 video and 12MP photos
  • Ultra Slo-Mo – 8x slow motion in 1080p240
  • Rugged and Waterproof – Waterproof without a housing to 33ft (10m)
  • Voice Control
  • Auto Transfer to Phone
  • GPS Performance Stickers – Track speed, distance and elevation, then highlight them by adding stickers to videos in the GoPro app
  • Touch Zoom

HERO7 Silver

  • HERO7 Silver shoots 4K30 video and 10MP photos
  • GPS-enabled
  • Waterproof to 10M
  • 2-inch LCD touchscreen with intuitive UI
  • Built-in electronic video stabilization
  • Shoot vertically
  • Photo timer
  • Touch Zoom
  • Short Clips
  • 2x Slow-mo video
  • Voice control
  • Auto-transfer to phone
  • QuickStories enabled
  • Auto-backup to the cloud

HERO7 White

  • HERO7 White shoots full HD video at 1440p60 and 10MP still photos
  • Waterproof to 10M
  • 2-inch LCD touchscreen with intuitive UI
  • Built-in electronic video stabilization
  • Shoot vertically
  • Photo timer
  • Touch Zoom
  • Short Clips
  • 2x Slow-mo video
  • Voice control
  • Auto-transfer to phone
  • QuickStories enabled
  • Auto-backup to the cloud

Pricing and Availability for the HERO7 Lineup

The HERO7 Black is open for pre-order now for $399. The Silver and White models are also open for pre-order now for $299 and $199, respectively. Go to GoPro.com to learn more.

With the launch of the HERO7 lineup, it’s quite possible that GoPro will start lifting itself out of the financial hole it’s been stuck in for the past couple of years. They’ve improved some of the shortcomings of the HERO6 and early reactions have so far been positive. Some have even called it the best camera GoPro’s made to date. We’ll be reviewing the HERO7 soon, so check back to see if GoPro really has outdone themselves this time.

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