GoPro has just announced its latest flagship action camera, the GoPro Hero8 Black, alongside the GoPro Max, a 360-degree action camera. The USD 399 Hero8 Black comes with an all-new form factor that eschews add-on frames to use the camera with accessories like selfies sticks and chest mounts, keeping them collapsible but right on the camera itself.
While the GoPro Hero5 was the first Hero device to provide waterproofing without an additional case, the Hero8 now allows users to use their action cameras without the mounting frame to attach it to accessories.
That is, of course, unless you’re a vlogger, in which case you might seriously consider GoPro’s new “Mods”.
The USD 79.99 Media Mod is a basic mounting frame with an in-built shotgun mic for on-the-fly voice recording, and users can choose to add the USD 79.99 Display Mod which is a flip-up LCD screen for vlogging or selfies, along with the USD 49.99 Light Mod that adds a 200 lumen LED light source for nighttime videos.
First released on the GoPro Hero7 Black to great acclaim, GoPro has revamped their class-leading electronic video stabilisation for HyperSmooth 2.0. This time, users are able to specify the level of stabilisation for a variety of activities, including high-impact sports like jogging. It will also work at all resolutions and frame rates, including 8x slo-mo.
Along with HyperSmooth 2.0, GoPro’s stabilised intelligent hyperlapse (motion timelapse) mode has also been upgraded to TimeWarp 2.0. This time, TimeWarp 2.0 adjusts automatically to the user’s movement speed, and can be quickly slowed back down to regular recording with a tap of the screen for seamless transitions between places.
At USD 499, the GoPro Max is a follow-up to the GoPro Fusion released end 2017. Capturing a 360-degree field of view, the GoPro Max also supports regular GoPro wide-angle footage, and seems to be targetted at a general audience with its front-facing camera.
This means that content creators and vloggers can vlog seamlessly without any additional hardware, reframe shots in post, or even completely flip the perspective to face in or outwards for the purposes of the video.
The GoPro Max appears to be pitched as an advanced version of its Hero sibling. From a more advanced Max HyperSmooth and Max TimeWarp, along with a built-in front-facing screen, the GoPro Max also has a built-in microphone that provides shotgun mic-level audio. That means vlogging would not require any additional Mods tacked on the already larger Max.
GoPro’s 2019 launches seem to be spurred on by large strides in development made by Chinese competitors Insta360 and DJI. However, with its revamped design, improved software, and vlogging-centric peripherals, the GoPro Hero8 and Max should make a bold stand for the year to come.
Preorders for the new GoPro Hero8 and Max have opened, with the Hero8 slated to ship on October 15, and the Max on October 24.