GoPro’s Hero 8 is now here, along with a new 360 camera called the Max. What do the new cameras have to offer?
Feature HyperSmooth 2.0, Built-In Mount, and More, New designs and features make them a notable upgrade
In stark contrast to previous years, the release of the new GoPro cameras came as a livestream of the now obligatory action reel we have no come to expect. No presentation from Nick Woodman, no stage. The company let the footage speak for itself. Interestingly although two new cameras have been announced today, the trailer only contained footage from the Hero 8 Black.
So what’s new?
- The Hero 8 Black features a new design and improved interface
- The GoPro Max is an action and 360-degree camera, all in one
- Both will go on sale in October. The mods will arrive in December
Popular action camera maker GoPro has launched its brand new set of action cameras for 2019. The main one is the Hero 8 Black, the successor to the Hero 7 Black, which features a new frameless design with inbuilt mounting fingers; the ability to add mods; and improved HyperSmooth 2.0 stabilisation for even more fluid footage. The Hero 8 Black will be available from October 20 for a price of Rs. 36,500. This time, GoPro isn’t launching a Hero 8 Silver or Hero 8 White version of the camera, like it did last year. The mods for the Hero 8 will be available for pre-order in December. These include the Light Mod for $49.99 (roughly Rs. 3,540); Display Mod for $79.99 (roughly Rs. 5,680), and a Media Mod for $79.99 (roughly Rs. 5,680).
The second camera is the long-awaited upgrade to the GoPro Fusion, now simply called GoPro Max. Like the Hero 8 Black, this too has foldable mounting finders, dual lenses for 360 video and photo capture and 360-degree audio capture thanks to the presence of six microphones. But rather than being a one-trick pony, like the Fusion, the GoPro Max also allows you to use a single lens at a time, so it can be used as a traditional action camera or a 360-degree camera, depending on the activity you’re doing. The GoPro Max will go on sale late on October 24 for a price of Rs. 47,000.
The Hero 8 Black has a slightly more compact body compared to the Hero 7 Black; a front-facing microphone for better audio and a singe flap on the right which houses the microSD card slot, battery and USB Type-C port. The camera can now be used for professional blogging too as the Media Mod features a built-in shotgun microphone and two cold shoe mounts for a secondary display and LED fill-light. It also has a Type-C port, HDMI and one for an external 3.5mm microphone. The Display Mod is an external 1.9-inch display, which can fold in the front or back. The Light Mod is waterproof up to 10m and helps brighten the scene or your face when vlogging in low light.
The big highlight is HyperSmooth 2.0 which promises even smoother video compared to the Hero 7 Black. There’s a Boost mode which, crops the frame a bit more for even more aggressive stabilisation. The interface has been redesigned a bit for easier accessibility. You can now easily switch between different fields of view or ‘Digital Lenses’ as GoPro calls it; create up to 10 presets for various types of activity you typically capture; Horizon Levelling for a cinematic effect and TimeWarp 2.0 lets you vary the speed of the hyperlapse video when you need it, by simply touching the display.
The mounting fingers are now built-in, which means you no longer need to bother about the plastic cage for attaching the Hero 8 Black to GoPro accessories. The camera is till waterproof up to 10m; can shoot 4K video up to 60fps; slow motion video at up to 240fps at 1080p; live streaming; voice control and can recognise voice commands.
The GoPro Max is certainly the most interesting of the two as not only is it smaller than the older Fusion, it lets you use it as a regular GoPro or a 360-degree camera. The Max is waterproof up to 5m; has built-in GPS; can live stream at up to 1080p; and can shoot up to 5.6K resolution 360-degree footage at 30fps. The camera also has a colour display on one side, so you can frame your shots. Like the Hero 8 Black, the Max also shares many of the same new features like the new TimeWarp and HyperSmooth options.