Gear

GoPro Hero 9: Gear Review

The GoPro Hero 9 flagship action camera is a little bulkier, but improves on previous iterations in a thousand new ways.

When they first crashed into the market, GoPro quickly became the go-to camera for high-action content creators, from sportsmen and women to documentarians working on the most demanding locations. In the years that followed the cameras have improved with each new iteration, and the Hero 9 is the latest.

Each new version seemed to corner a larger slice of the market as the cameras became more user friendly and fitting for broader use. After spending some time with the Hero 9, it’s honestly tough to imagine a contemporary creator who couldn’t find a use for this camera.

At the surface level this is perhaps the biggest change the humble GoPro has gone through to date; for the first time there’s a front-facing LCD screen for framing self-shots, a removable lens cover, native screen-capping from video, and more. Once you dive in further, the pleasant surprises keep on coming.

Let’s start with the front-facing display. The 1.4 inch screen makes selfies and front-facing video miles easier to produce on the fly, something vloggers and streamers will count as a huge quality of life fix. A returning feature, voice control will play very nicely with the new display for an even more hands-off experience than ever – useful if your camera is placed in a hard-to-reach spot on the home setup.

The back display (2.27 inches) and indeed the whole build has also been upsized from the Hero 8, likely a byproduct of fitting a brand new screen on the front.  Though it’s slightly bigger overall, the camera by no means a giant at 71mm wide, 55mm tall, and 33.6mm deep.

So how do the picture specs shape up? As you’d expect, the Hero 9 outclasses its predecessors on all fronts.

Video now captures in 5K at 30FPS, with 4K and below capturing at 60FPS and as high as 240FPS if you crank down the quality a little. Video stabilisation and time lapses have been improved, and the battery now lasts longer – always a treat.

Photo-wise you’re looking at 20MP captures with improved HDR. A neat new feature is the ability to snap 14.7MP stills from your videos, which I’m sure you’ve all wanted to do at least a billion times before.

Spec improvements or otherwise, the Hero 9 is the easiest and most gratifying GoPro the company have created to date. Small differences such as a sleek new case (goodbye, bulky plastic housing) and ever-so-slightly larger buttons make using the camera that little bit more satisfying, and that much easier to pick up if it’s the first GoPro you’ve purchased.

As always the camera is waterproof down to 10m, built-in mounting allows you to perch the Hero 9 wherever you need, and the GoPro app is easy to set up and use.

To the thrill-seekers and tech-heads, the GoPro Hero 9 is the same camera you’ve always loved, just that little bit better. To those of you in the games of streaming, podcasting, or any kind of home content creation, this is the GoPro that caters to your needs and then some.

 

Find out more about the GoPro Hero 9 here.