The newest in a long line of Hero action cameras, the GoPro HERO10 Black lives up to the old adage, “don’t reinvent the wheel.” Instead of reinventing the HERO action camera line, GoPro chose to make incremental improvements. However, the improvements add up and make the GoPro HERO10 Black a worthy new flagship camera.
Decked out with a powerful new processor that unlocks higher recording resolutions, frame rates and responsiveness, there’s a lot to like about the GoPro HERO10 Black. In this review, we will discuss everything we like and dislike about the new action camera. We’ll also determine if it’s worth the upgrade if you already own a decent action camera.
The GoPro HERO10 Black’s top features
Arguably, one of the GoPro HERO10 Black’s strongest selling points is its resolution and frame rate options. GoPro doubled the HERO10’s frame rates across the board. Essentially, this means you can remain in a higher resolution format and have a high frame rate. The camera tops out at a massive 5.3K resolution at 60 frames per second (fps) — a slight increase from the GoPro HERO9 Black’s 5K resolution at 30 fps. Even though it’s a small bump, 5.3K resolution at 60 fps is still impressive for an action camera. Also, you won’t find many people who complain about an increase in resolution — even though it’s marginal. While the slight bump in resolution isn’t groundbreaking more pixels are never a bad thing.
While the top-end resolution is almost unchanged, there is a big difference when recording in 4K at 120 fps — up from just 60 fps. GoPro doubled the HERO10’s frame rates across the board. When filming in 4K, you can now record up to up to 20fps. On the previous model, you could only record at 60 fps. On the top end of the frame rate options, you can capture 240 fps in 2.7K. These improved frame rate options will help you record buttery smooth, cinematic slow-motion footage. Previous GoPro camera models were more limited when it came to their frame rate options. The higher frame rate options open up the possibility for cropping in post, adding in pan, tilt and zoom effects and more.
The only downside to the increased frame rate options is the significantly reduced battery life. For example, when we switched from 4K at 24 fps to 4K at 120 fps, the HERO10’s battery quickly dipped from 50 percent to 27 percent. At 27 percent in 4K at 24 fps, we couldn’t record in a higher frame rate because the camera would automatically shut off due to its low battery.
Higher image quality
As with any camera, image quality is extremely important. In the case of the GoPro HERO10 Black, it has a few new features that improve its image quality. Its new Picture Profile, Natural, is a nice additon. The profile is not super flat, nor is it too colorful or contrasted. Instead, it strikes a nice balance between the other Picture Profiles, Vibrant and Flat. The colors appear faithful without being too flat and look great right out of the camera.
The GoPro HERO10 Black’s new powerful GP2 chip also boosts the camera’s image quality. With the new processor, GoPro was able to tweak the HERO10’s HDR processing technique. This ultimately improves the camera’s local tone mapping and noise reduction processing. The camera can retain more highlights and shadows now as well.
GoPro delivers its best image stablization yet
The HERO10 Black debuts the latest in GoPro’s image stabilization technology: HyperSmooth 4.0. This is one of the best image stabilization we’ve seen from a GoPro so far and makes a noticeable difference. It creates smoother shots across all resolutions — including high frame rate options like 4K at 120 fps.
GoPro improved the horizon leveling limit as well. HyperSmooth 4.0 increased the GoPro HERO10 Black’s tilt limit to 45 degrees — up from the GoPro HERO9 Black’s 27 degrees. With a higher tilt limit, you can tilt the HERO10 up to 45 degrees while also keeping the horizon level. That’s pretty insane!
However, just because this feature is available doesn’t mean it’s always the best option. In some cases, you may want to retain the action dynamics in your footage. Thankfully, it’s easy to toggle the horizon leveling on and off via the home screen after a bit of menu customizing. Also, you can now use stabilization while livestreaming, a long-requested improvement that will surely make a lot of people happy.
The rear touchscreen gets a big update
The GoPro HERO10 Black’s external hardware is practically identical to its predecessor. However, GoPro did make a major upgrade to Hero10’s rear touchscreen. Although GoPro wasn’t the first to release an action camera with a front-facing screen, it’s become a mainstay feature for GoPro cameras. Before the HERO10 Black, some of GoPro’s competitors had better functioning, more responsive screens. However, the playing field is even now. With its new faster processor, the HERO10’s touchscreen is much more responsive. Swiping through options, navigating the menus, playing back footage and just about every other aspect of the camera’s performance are now more enjoyable. The touchscreen’s improved responsiveness is the best quality of life improvement we found over the previous model — especially since you use the touchscreen for just about every function.
Though the front screen on the HERO10 is the same size as last year’s camera, the screen has a higher frame rate — now up to 30 fps. On the HERO9, the front screen’s preview was rather choppy. It’s much smoother now. It’s also easier to set up your framing while vlogging. However, we did encounter one issue with the front-facing screen. The screen dims considerably after 45 seconds of recording and then shuts off completely after just one minute. However, we did discover an option to change this setting. So, this is a minor issue with an easy fix.
Improved lens coating
GoPro included a new hydrophobic coating on the GoPro HERO10 Black’s lens. The coating works best when repelling large, subject-blurring drops. Tiny mist-like droplets are unlikely to roll off. Still, this is an improvement over the prior model where users were reduced to licking their lens to help it shed water droplets.
More media transfer options
Like previous GoPro models, the GoPro HERO10 Black has only one micro SD card slot. However, there are now more ways to transfer your footage. You can automatically upload your clips to the cloud while your camera charges or wirelessly offload them to the GoPro Quick app. You can also opt for wired offloading, which is the fastest way to offload an entire card’s worth of media. The only downside is if you’re using an Apple device, you will need to purchase a USB to Thunderbolt adapter if you don’t already own one. For Andriod, you will need a USB to USBC cable.
Supercharged power tools
GoPro introduced three new power tools on the GoPro HERO10 Black: Hindsight, Scheduled Capture and LiveBurst.
Hindsight is a powerful tool that allows you to capture up to 30 seconds of video before hitting the record button. However, the camera’s battery life drains quicker when using Hindsight. You need to keep a close eye on the battery if you use it.
Scheduled Capture is another one of the GoPro HERO10 Black’s valuable power tools. This tool lets you set a time for your HERO10 to automatically turn on and record a clip up to 24 hours in advance. It’s available for all presets. We could see this tool being helpful for remote time-lapses. For example. if you want to capture the sunrise and sunset but don’t want to arrive super early or stay late, you can use Scheduled Capture.
Next, we have the LiveBurst power tool. LiveBurst captures a series of photos in rapid succession. After the GoPro HER010 Black captures the LiveBurst, you can review the burst of pictures to find the perfect shot or use the entire burst as a short video clip. This tool reminds us of the iPhone’s Live Photo mode. However, since you can already pull high-resolution stills from video using the GoPro app, we don’t see this tool being used all that much.
What are the cons?
We had some initial concerns about the GoPro HERO10 Black overheating before our tests. While the camera does overheat, it may not end up being an issue depending on your usage. The camera is noticeably warm to the touch after just a handful of minutes of recording. However, we were able to record a 21-minute clip in 5.3K at 60 fps before the camera shut down due to overheating. The environment was a comfortable 68 degrees F and indoors, so there was little environmental influence. Typically, we don’t often press record on a GoPro and let a shot capture for over 20 minutes. In real-world situations, you probably won’t run into overheating issues with this camera, but that’s not to say it won’t overheat if left recording for long periods. Thankfully, GoPro does offer a Tripod/Stationary Video mode via a firmware update. This mode helps reduce overheating issues.
At this stage in the evolution of the GoPro action camera, we think there should be some new exciting innovations. One feature we wish the HERO10 Black had is a built-in variable electronic ND filter — especially since most action camera footage is shot outdoors. We can see a lot of scenarios where an ND filter would come in handy.
Another addition we thought would have been nice is 480 fps. Even if it were in 1080p, it would still be nice to have the option at this late stage of GoPro action cams. Perhaps GoPro is saving this as a new feature on the GoPro HERO11 Black, but only time will tell.
Although pairing to your phone is super quick and more reliable, there is a nagging issue that has carried over from the previous generation. When using the app, the preview goes black once you hit record. It would be nice if you could set up your camera and then still be able to monitor your shot while it’s recording. This seems like GoPro could have addressed this already because there were complaints about it on the previous camera.
The GoPro HERO10 Black’s launch price is also higher than the HERO9’s launch price. It’s now $499 — up from the GoPro HERO9 Black’s $450. However, the HERO10 is only $349 if you are a GoPro subscriber, or $399 if including the 1-year subscription. Overall, the price doesn’t seem so bad with the subscription.
Should you get the HERO10 Black?
The HERO10 is a powerful action camera. It captures 5.3K footage at up to 60 fps and can record 120 fps video in 4K. The new processor gives a nice quality of life improvement to the camera’s responsiveness. It also offers excellent stabilization, a suite of useful tools and good image quality — thought that’s somewhat dependent on your lighting.
This new release does mean that older camera models are now more affordable than ever. Is it worth the upgrade from the GoPro HERO9 Black to the GoPro HERO10 Black? Probably not, but it is a worthwhile upgrade if you’re coming from a GoPro HERO7 Black or GoPro HERO8 Black. Unless you’re new to action cameras or want the latest and greatest, a more affordable yet very capable HERO9 will serve you well enough.
|Effective: 23 Megapixel
|Media/memory card slot
|Single slot: microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC
|5312 x 2988p at 24/25/30/50/60 fps (100 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
5120 x 3840p at 24/25/30 fps (100 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
3840 x 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60/100/120 fps (100 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
4000 x 3000p at 24/25/30/50/60 fps (100 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
2704 x 2028p at 50/60/100/120 fps (100 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
2704 x 1520p at 50/60/100/120/200/240 fps (100 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
1920 x 1080p at 24/25/30/50/60/100/120/200/240 fps (100 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC)
|Slow motion mode
|JPEG / RAW
|RTMPS, RTMP: 1920 x 1080
|Fixed touchscreen LCD
|Front: 1.4″ LCD live-view monitor
|1/30 – 1/2000 seconds (photo)
|Photo/video: 100 to 6400
|25 photos / 1 second
|Waterproof depth rating
|33.0′ / 10.0 m (camera)
|White balance modes
|1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Charge & Video Output
|Rechargeable battery pack, 1720 mAh
Battery charge time: 3 hours
|Dimensions (W x H x D)
|2.8 x 2.0 x 1.3″ / 71.8 x 50.8 x 33.6 mm
|5.6 oz / 158 g