GoPro Hero 9 Review
GoPro has released the Hero 9, a new action camera capable of 5K resolution with 30fps, more battery time, and a lot of new better specs! GoPro is one of the biggest producers in the action camera market with some of the most successful models especially on sites such as Amazon, in this blog, we review the GoPro Hero 9 a powerful high-end sports cam. The Hero 9 also comes with dual screens, the classic one in the back, and a new screen in the front perfect for self-recording.
The new GoPro Hero 9 is bigger than all the other GoPro models which means some accessories might not fit like the external microphone, you won’t have problems with most other accessories since it has the bottom connectors. The Hero 9 also added a feature that they removed in the last year GoPro the Hero 8, removable lens, the Hero 9 lets you change the lens in case they got damaged.
One of the main features on the Hero 8 was the Hypersmooth 2.0, this year the Hero 9 has improved the EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) from Hero 8 and came out with Hypersmooth 3.0.
But before we talk about its features, what comes in the box of the GoPro Hero 9? Inside the box, we can find the GoPro Hero 9 sports cam, a GoPro 1720maH battery, a 32GB SD card, the USB cable to charge, many accessories, and a manual.
In this blog post, your gonna find out everything you need to know about this new action camera from GoPro and it’s new features and some comparisons from last year’s GoPro, the Hero 8 Black. Has it improved? Is the video quality better, what are the specs, better audio?
As mentioned above the new Hero 9 is the biggest GoPro of all models but still easy to move around and put into your pocket, the design overall looks the same as the Hero 8/ 7/ 6, the plastics feel high quality and it has a black color. It feels pretty durable and without the waterproof housing, it can go underwater up to 10m (33feet). The Hero 9 also comes with a front screen similar to the design of the DJI OSMO, which will be perfect for vloggers and to set up your shot perfectly without having to look on the back screen.
On the front, we can see the lens, the microphone, and the front screen. On the upper side, there is the shutter button similar to most cameras, on the left side, there is the microSD compartment slot, the battery compartment, and the USB-C-Port connector, on the right side, there is the mode button to turn off and on the cam or change settings as well as the drain microphone, most of them can be changed with the touchscreen.
The dimensions of it are 71.0 x 55.0 x 33.6 and its weight is 159g.
It uses a GP1 chipset that allows it to record 5K 30fps and 20MP photos using a 170° super wide-angle lens with an opening of F1.8. It uses HyperSmooth 3.0 Video Stabilization + Boost which supports up to 5K.
The Hero 9 also comes with a Wi-Fi connection with the GoPro smartphone app to control the camera through your phone or enjoy hands-free control of your camera via simple voice commands. The GoPro App can also automatically back up footage to GoPro’s cloud subscription service (over Wi-Fi).
In the back we can find the IPS LCD 2 ″ screen of 320 x 240px resolution, the screen is biggest than last year’s GoPro and easily to playback your videos or change settings.
The Audio Features of the Hero 9 are 3.5mm Audio Mic Input with Media Mod for HERO9 Black. It can also capture RAW Audio Capture (.wav Format) and has Advanced Wind-Noise Reduction.
The Hero 9 does come with a 32GB SD card but if you plan on using another Micro SD card you should format it before using it. Micro SD card must be U3 or higher with 8-64GB capacity. If “SD card error” appears, format your SD card as FAT32 on your computer.
The GoPro Hero 9 uses a 1720mAh 3.7V battery which is quite good, not having a touch screen or front LCD panel, it will save us battery. The battery can last up to 180 minutes recording 1080p Full HD video, with the WiFi and screen turned off. In the case of capturing 5K video, battery life will drop dramatically.
The new battery has a system that, combining software and greater capacity, manages to reach 41% more battery than the old GoPro’s. If you want to increase the battery time you can always lower the brightness and not use the front screen when not necessary.
The battery is situated on the left side of the GoPro, where there is a cover that gives access to the battery. The GoPro Hero 9 comes with 1 battery, I recommend getting a second one so you can change them quickly and keep recording whenever the first one runs out.
Like last year’s Hero 8, GoPro has decided to improve the stabilization again with the HyperSmooth 3.0 and Boost, thanks to the software and firmware, we see a breakthrough in stabilization, as well as new shooting modes.
This year’s GoPro also introduced a “Boost” mode in the stabilization, the Boost helps you get even more stabilization while sacrificing some image width. They also introduced “Portrait Orientation” were the camera locks onto the horizon level and keeps the video locked with the horizon no matter how you move the camera.
HyperSmooth 3.0 really is a game-changer, at least for action cameras and gimbal users, it works great and can smooth the shot massively and get rid of the need for gimbals. The one negative side of the stabilization is the small cropping you get while recording, but it’s worth it.
As for the photography, the GoPro Hero 9 can take pictures up to 23.6MP (4096 x 2160) a lot more than its predecessors used to be at 12MP, thanks to the higher resolution we get a lot more detail in the pictures.
The quality is similar to the Hero 7 / 8, as well as the other GoPro the Hero 9 also comes with Protune, which lets you change multiple settings such as the possibility to change the ISO, shutter speed, and the exposure time, with patience we can work interesting images.
The GoPro Hero 9 has different modes to take pictures: SuperPhoto + Improved HDR, Continuous Photo, Wide, Linear, and Narrow Lenses. The Hero 9 shoots with JPG by default but you have the option of shooting in RAW format to get a lot more detail in post-production.
For more action shots the Hero 9 has the ability to take Burst pictures capable of shooting: 30/10, 30/6, 30/3, 25/1, 10/3, 10/1, 5/1, 3/1 Intervals, and a new feature on this year’s GoPro is the LiveBurst shooting from 90 images from 1.5 seconds before shooting to 1.5 seconds after (at a frame rate of 30fps).
For those who want to get Night pictures, GoPro has the ability to shoot at Night with the Night mode, which lets change the settings to: 2s, 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s.
It’s capable to record up to 5K full HD to 30 frames per second, and it’s able to record for 180 minutes. The videos captured with this action camera are stored in .mov format under the H.264 (common codec for most cameras) or H.265 (new codec that allows greater video compression).
The Hero 9 has very similar video quality to the Hero 8, thanks to the 5K it does have better resolution, therefore, more crispy detail, a new detail about this year’s GoPro is the 100 Mbps bitrate, increasing the amount of video information the camera gets.
You can change some settings without protune, but if you want to get more technical and touch all of the GoPro settings you’re gonna need to enable protune
With protune enabled you can switch between the different resolution and FPS options, we also have shutter speed control, ISO, sharpness, exposure compensation, color profile, and other adjustments that affect the sound or stabilization.
The audio of the Hero 9 is about the same as the Hero 8, this year’s cam does have a new drain mic to drain the water after putting it underwater. You can also get the audio modes from GoPro to help get better audio.
The video resolutions of the GoPro Hero 9 are the following:
- 5K a 30fps/ 24fps
- 4K a 120fps/ 60fps/ 30fps/ 24fps
- 2.7K a 120fps/ 60fps/ 30fps/ 24fps
- 1080P HD a 120fps/ 60fps/30fps
- 720P HD a 240fps/ 120fps/60fps/30fps/ 24fps
Like its predecessor, the Hero 9 has multiple features to improve your videos and stand out. This year’s GoPro does have a few new features and improved some from the last GoPro the Hero 8 such as TimeWarp 3.0.
The TimeWarp 3.0 and RealSpeed. The surreal TimeWarp effect is back and improved, GoPro improved the fast-motion mode and achieves better results. The Hero 9 has a new “realspeed” function which allows it to capture the usual stabilized timelapse, as well as the automatic speed selection. You can also just tap to speed it up or slow it down.
Like most action cameras the Hero 9 also has the option of Time Lapse with Photos or Videos.
Thanks to the app and the built-in Wi-Fi, GoPro can Live Stream in 1080p to social media such as Instagram or Facebook and show all of the action to your friends live!
Webcam Mode is another new innovation GoPro has given us this year, the Hero 9 is able to work as a pc webcam which they couldn’t do before.
Power Tools (HindSight, LiveBurst, Scheduled Capture, Duration Capture).
Presets + On-Screen Shortcuts, you can learn more about Presets and Lightroom presets by clicking here!
Should you buy it?
The GoPro Hero 9 is the best action camera in the market so far, with the highest resolution in any action camera and a bit better quality than last year’s Hero 8 on its pictures and videos. It can record up to real 5K and 30fps with the best stabilization available.
GoPro also has multiple ways of control to enjoy hands-free control such as voice control, via remote control, or through the GoPro app on your phone. Furthermore, you can edit and share your videos and pictures easily through the GoPro app.
It’s compatible with most GoPro accessories except for a few due to its bigger size such as the external microphone. The batteries are also much better, from 1220mAh to 1720mAh which can last up to 180min.
The negative thing is, it doesn’t do well in low-light like most action cameras so it isn’t a surprise, you can help with that problem by getting GoPro’s external light. The camera can also go underwater pretty deep up to 10m (33ft) without a waterproof case 40m (130ft) with a case.
This without a doubt is the best action camera you can get, if you’re looking for a cheaper option action camera check out our other reviews on GoPro alternatives: If you wanna check some other action cameras, medium and high-end click here!
Video support up to 5K up to 30fps with Hypersmooth 3.0 and Boost and pictures up to 23.6MP. Increased battery life.