GoPro Hero 10 Black Action Camera: First-Look Review

What’s new in the GoPro Hero 10 Black?

Les Shu/Insider

The highlight of the Hero 10 is the new GP2 processor, the successor to the GP1 that was introduced in the Hero 6 back in 2017. The GP1 allowed GoPro to add high-end features and functions to the Hero series, such as

video, high-res photos, image stabilization, multiple frame rates, new shooting modes, uncompressed RAW file support, and more. With the GP2, we see performance upgrades in many of these existing functions, as well as overall camera operation — GoPro claims the GP2 doubles the performance of the GP1 in Hero 9 Black.

Higher-quality video and photo capture

The GP2 processor bumps photo resolution up to 23 megapixels (for comparison, on paper, the new Apple iPhone 13 Pro supports 12 megapixels). The advantage of having more megapixels allows for more detail, and you can crop into it while still maintaining quality. 

Video, which is the Hero’s strength, is where we see some big jumps. The Hero 10 can shoot up to 5.3K at 60 frames per second (FPS); 4K up to 120 FPS; and 2.7K at 240 FPS. High frame rates allow you to shoot much smoother video and control the speed, while the higher resolutions provide greater detail. 

While 1080p still suffice for most people (although this argument is starting to wane), which the Hero 10 also supports, these higher resolutions and frame rates will appeal to content creators, filmmakers, or anyone who wants to preserve their videos for future viewing on high-resolution displays like 8K TVs. One benefit of shooting in 4K or 5K is the ability to pull high-res stills from the video.

The GP2 also adds local tone mapping and 3D noise reduction. These allow for videos with improved dynamic range and help to capture clearer images in low light.

Steadier video

With the GP2 comes the next version of HyperSmooth, GoPro’s name for its in-camera digital stabilization system. With HyperSmooth 4.0, you can now apply stabilization to higher video resolutions (5.3K30, 4K60, and 2.7K120). If you’ve ever captured video while in motion, you’ll notice how annoying the bouncing image can be to watch. Unless the motion is really violent, stabilization can help. (Note that digital image stabilization requires cropping into the image a bit.) HyperSmooth 4.0 also improves the horizon leveling, up to 45 degrees. This function lets you keep the image leveled even if your tilting the camera.

Wired transfer to phone

In addition to auto-upload to the cloud while charging (a GoPro subscription is required) and wireless transfers to a phone or tablet, GoPro now gives you a third way to offload files, by way of a wired connection to an Android or iOS device. This not only provides a more stable connection, but it’s also faster — GoPro claims it’s 50% quicker than wireless. While wireless transfers have been one of GoPro’s strong points, a wired connection can be more convenient. (Wired transfers will also be available in the Hero 9).

Other improvements

The Hero 10 introduces a removable lens cover that’s more scratch-resistant and has the ability to repel water. Since the Hero 10 is waterproof, this helps to keep the lens clear. GoPro claims the new cover reduces ghosting.

Like many camera companies during the height of the pandemic in 2020, GoPro created software to allow select Hero models to function as webcams, which is great for those working from home and need a higher quality image than what typical webcams can provide. With the Hero 10, you can shoot in 1080p with a wide field of view (132 degrees) and utilize the front LCD as a preview screen to frame your shot. (The Hero 9 also has a front color LCD but lacks this capability.) And, if you do any live-streaming, you can use the Hero 10 to shoot up to 1080p with image stabilization.  

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