- With HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilisation, it can record videos in 5K resolution.
- For the first time, it has a colour LCD on the front.
- Its battery is greater than the Hero 8 Black’s.
The new GoPro Hero 9 Black is finally available in India, although at a higher price of Rs. 49,500 than previous flagship models from GoPro. GoPro’s 2020 model, on the other hand, isn’t just an evolutionary tweak; it’s a major overhaul. There’s a new sensor, front and back colour displays, and the capacity to shoot up to 5K footage, all of which sound very remarkable.
Should you choose the GoPro Hero 9 Black instead? In this review, we’ll discover out.
Black GoPro Hero 9 design:
We won’t spend too much time on this because I have talked about the design improvements and how the Hero 9 Black compares to its predecessor in my first impressions back in September. The short version is that it’s larger and heavier than the Hero 8 Black, yet it’s still small enough to fit into tight spots. The Hero 9 Black has a larger body, which allows GoPro to employ a larger back LCD display, but more crucially, it has a colour front-facing display for the first time.
The GoPro Hero 9 Black, like the Hero 8 Black, has foldable mounting prongs. There’s a single water-sealed container housing the microSD card and battery, as well as a mode and power button. The Hero 9 Black, on the other hand, has a larger battery, which is great news, but it also means that your earlier GoPro batteries will not operate with this new model. The lens cover is now removable (it previously fixed on the Hero 8 Black), allowing suitable lens upgrades to be used.
Overall, the Hero 9 Black sticks quite close to GoPro’s tried-and-true recipe. Larger displays and a larger battery are also excellent additions. All previous GoPro mounts and most accessories are compatible with the Hero 9 Black. The camera will also come with a reusable hardshell case, which is something I appreciate.
Performance and battery life of the GoPro Hero 9 Black:
Using the GoPro Hero 9 Black is quite similar to using the previous-generation model, especially if you’ve used it before. By swiping left or right on the viewfinder, you may switch between Timelapse, Video, and Photo shooting modes. A swipe-down gesture opens the Settings menu as well as toggle switches to enable voice commands and other features. You may view the GoPro’s media by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
When I first started using the Hero 9 Black a few months back, the interface was a bit sluggish, and that hasn’t gone away completely despite a slew of firmware updates. When switching shooting modes or opening menus, touch response is still a little sluggish at times. When the camera is positioned in a tight space and the screen refuses to respond to your input, you’ll have to resort to using the GoPro App instead.
The larger 23.6-megapixel sensor allows for 20-megapixel photographs, which is a significant improvement above prior GoPros’ 12-megapixel photographs. Because the Hero 9 Black has a tiny f/2.8 aperture, images appear good if you give the sensor enough light. The camera can take HDR photographs, and the Night Photo mode, which allows the shutter to be left open for up to 30 seconds, gives good quality stills in low light. Burst and live burst capture modes are also available, the latter of which allows you to retrieve a frame from a brief video clip.
The Hero 9 Black’s key new feature is the ability to record videos in 5K. (5120×2880 pixels). When shooting during the day, the video quality is excellent, and the HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilisation performs admirably. Even if it is mistakenly installed at an angle, the Hero 9 Black can automatically level the horizon in-camera. This only works if the ‘Linear+Horizon Levelling’ perspective is selected. You may still modify the level of the horizon in other viewpoints, such as ‘Wide,’ using the app. In addition to real-time speed like on the Hero 8 Black, HyperSmooth now allows you to reduce the speed of any hyperlapse clip to half (for a slow-motion effect).
In low light, video quality is a little bad, which is to be expected. There’s a lot of noise, and stabilisation usually adds a lot of jitter. Low-light recording has never been GoPro’s strong suit, and we’d like to see some significant advancements in this area in the future.
In most of the main shooting modes, there are a few more handy functions that can be enabled. You can use Scheduled Capture to specify when the Hero 9 Black should start and stop recording. This is especially beneficial if you want to photograph time-sensitive events like sunrises or sunsets. Duration Capture allows you to establish a time limit for your video clip, allowing you to start recording without having to worry about manually ending. Finally, in video mode, you can activate Hindsight to continually buffer the last 15 or 30 seconds of footage before pressing the shutter button.
In comparison to the Hero 8 Black, GoPro promises that the larger 1,720mAh battery will provide up to 30% more battery life. I noticed that when shooting with similar settings on the Hero 9 Black and Hero 8 Black, the new model lasted around 15-20 minutes longer, which is good. It’s difficult to predict how long a GoPro’s battery will last because it depends on a variety of things including the shooting mode, if Wi-Fi and GPS are turned on, and so on. However, when comparing the Hero 9 Black to the Hero 8 Black, you should expect the Hero 9 Black to have a longer recording duration per charge.
Every year, GoPro improves and adjusts its primary Hero range, and the Hero 9 Black is without a doubt one of the most significant updates yet. It’s a little easier and nicer to use now that it has a front colour display, a larger battery, and better recording resolution. In India, however, these advances come at a high cost. The MRP of the Hero 9 Black is Rs. 49,500, but you should be able to purchase it for a little less online. Owners of the Hero 8 Black should not rush out to upgrade unless they really require the second colour display or 5K recording, in my opinion.
Low-light performance and touch response for the UI are two things I’d want to see improved in the next version. Aside from these flaws, the GoPro Hero 9 Black is one of the greatest action cameras on the market if you don’t mind paying a premium.
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