Laurent Joly

Action Cameras, Electronics, News

Introducing GoPro Hero 8 Black & GoPro Max

Leading action camera maker, GoPro has growing competition in its niche, including devices from Insta360 and DJI. The recent updates represent a meaningful collection of improvements on the Hero 7. the new all-in-body design promises a more convenient general use while on the move.

The GoPro Hero 8 Black succeeds the Hero 7 Black. It features a new frameless design with the ability to add mods, inbuilt mounting fingers, and enhanced HyperSmooth 2.0 stabilization for more fluent footage. There will be no Hero 8 Silver or Hero 8 White versions this year.


  • General Features: How They Compare to Their Predecessors

The GoPro Max builds on the GoPro Fusion in a significant way. It has foldable mounting folders, dual lenses for 360 photo and video capture, and 360-degree audio capture (it has six microphones). Whether as a 360-degree camera or a traditional camera, the GoPro camera lets you use one lens at a time, in contrast with the one-trick pony Fusion.

The Hero 8 Black is more compact than the Hero 7 Black. It bears a front-facing microphone for superior audio and a single flap on the right, which holds the microSD card slot, battery, and USB Type-C port. Professional bloggers will enjoy the camera as the Media Mod features a built-in shotgun microphone and two cold shoe mounts for a secondary display and LED fill-light. A Type-C port, HDMI, and one for an external 3.5mm microphone are also present. On the other hand, the Display Mod is an external 1.9-inch display, that can fold forward and backward. You can use the Light Mod up to 10 meters underwater. It brightens the scene or your face when vlogging in low light conditions.

Be sure to check below for price drops between retailers:

  • Video Modes and Quality

The high point is HyperSmooth 2.0, offering smoother video compared to the Hero 7 Black. A Boost mode is available; it crops the frame a bit more for even greater stabilization. The interface has been tweaked a bit for easier accessibility. You can easily switch between different fields of view (Digital Lenses, according to GoPro). You can also create up to 10 presets for various types of activity you typically capture, while varying speed of Hyperlapse video with TimeWarp 2.0 and Horizon Levelling for cinematic effect. All you need is to touch the display.

The new inbuilt mounting fingers means you do not need to bother about the plastic cage to attach the Hero 8 Black to GoPro accessories. Waterproof up to 10 meters, the Hero 8 Black can shoot 4K video up to 60fps and slow motion video up to 240fps at 1080p. It is also excellent for live streaming, and its voice control can recognize commands.

The GoPro Max is the more interesting of the two, considering it is smaller than its predecessor and allows for use as a regular GoPro or a 360-degree camera. It is waterproof up to 5 meters, and comes with GPS. It can also stream at up to 1080p, and will shoot up to 5.6K resolution 360-degree footage at a handsome 30fps.

The GoPro Max camera has a color display on one side, allowing you frame your shots. In semblance to the Hero 8 Black, the Max also shares many new features like the new TimeWarp and HyperSmooth options.


  • Accessories

GoPro has clearly not toned down its obsession for accessories. The Hero 8 Black comes with a modular array of add-ons, including a front display, a 10-LED light, and an advanced mic case.

GoPro considers the Max’s mic quality to be as good as the Hero 8 Black’s with the mic Mod. The six mics offer 360-degree spatial audio, as mentioned before. With the microphone add-on to the cost of the Hero 8 Black, the cost is close to what the Max costs.

There is also a screen for the Max, offering mainstream appeal like the Black series. The screen is not essential for 360-degree video, but it can do much more than that.

Be sure to check below for price drops between retailers:

  • Sensor and Lens

The Max has 4 digital lenses. Being a 360-degree camera, it actually has two 180-degree real lenses to provide a full view of the surroundings. The Fusion’s 360-degree video is possible with the Max.

The fields of view of both Max and Black are SuperView, Wide, Linear, and Narrow. The Narrow is similar to the view of a phone.

  • Verdict

The GoPro Max is a bigger stride forwards than the Hero 8 Black in their respective line-ups. It is a better alternative owing to a screen, reduced size, and better microphones.

It’s an entirely different question over if it is actually better. The small size of the GoPro Hero 8 Black is still essential. The physics of the camera sensors make better video quality more likely at the fields of view common to both cameras.

The Max, however, has a significantly better sound quality and does not cost much more if you want a 360-degree camera.