GoPro Hero 10 Black
GoPro has announced the release of the next generation of its action camera, which includes a new CPU that allows the camera to record at greater frame rates (for that beautiful slow-motion footage), improve stabilisation, and automatically upload files to the cloud while charging. The new processor also speeds up and improves the responsiveness of the GoPro Hero 10 Black.
In many circumstances, the GoPro Hero 10 Black can shoot at twice the frame rate of the Hero 9: it can now film at 5.3K at 60 frames per second (providing both a frame rate boost and a minor resolution bump), as well as 4K120 and 2.7K240. While 240fps is still the slowest (er, fastest?) the camera can go, it can now do so at 2.7K, rather than the 1080 resolution restriction of the GoPro Hero 9.
Performance Boost with New Processor
The camera’s new GP2 processor, which is a replacement for the GP1 chip that has been used in GoPro cameras since the Hero 6 Black, is said to be the reason for the boost in performance. GoPro’s decision to continue using custom chips in its cameras makes sense, given that some of the company’s toughest competitors are in the smartphone sector, where companies like Apple and Google are using the same strategy.
The GP2 also allows the GoPro Hero 10 Black to behave like a phone in a number of ways, from its very responsive touchscreen to the intensive video processing it performs, including local tone mapping and better noise reduction.
Cloud Storage and Cost
The camera’s ability to upload files to the cloud while it’s charging is arguably one of the most smartphone-like capabilities. However, a GoPro subscription is required, which costs $5 per month or $50 per year. The membership also includes a $100 discount on the camera, lowering the price from $499 to $399 of GoPro Hero 10 Black, as well as access to GoPro’s damaged camera replacement programme. However, the Hero 9’s initial pricing reflects the gradual increase in the cost of GoPro cameras – without a subscription, the Hero 9 cost $450 at launch, up from $399 with the Hero 8. Of course, there’s also the ever-present chip shortage to consider this year.
It’s also easy to get footage off the camera with your smartphone if you don’t want to pay for a membership. The new processor, according to GoPro, makes wireless uploads to its app 30 per cent faster, and there’s also a new option to download your footage using an actual cable for people who really want dependable, quick unloading.
In addition, the new camera has a few minor enhancements that make it more appealing. The camera’s “horizon levelling” feature, which attempts to preserve the horizon as a straight line, allows the camera to tilt up to 45 degrees before the sky begins to move, as opposed to the Hero 9’s 27 degrees. Unfortunately, the improved horizon levelling is limited to 4K at 60 frames per second and 2.7K or 1080 at 120 frames per second on the camera’s highest resolutions and frame rates.
The camera’s still images have been upgraded from 20MP to 23MP, with still frames extracted from video reaching 19.6MP when shooting in the 5K 4:3 format and 15.8MP while shooting in the 5.3K60 mode.
Streaming with GoPro Hero 10 Black
GoPro Hero 10 Black also claims that a new iteration of its HyperSmooth stabilisation function can be used while live streaming, albeit the best video quality from your feeds, will require a GoPro subscription.
Most of GoPro’s Mod add-ons should work with a Hero 9 — including the Max Lens Mod, though support for it will be coming in a future software update. Even the default lens gets an upgrade, with GoPro claiming that it will be easier to remove water and less likely to scratch. (It is, of course, still detachable.)