Review: GoPro Hero 7 Black

It’s here… The new GoPro, and something I’ve been looking forward to getting hold of for two reasons:

  1. I don’t own the gimbal and the pov footage on a go pro without it is awful.
  2. It’s several generations newer than my hero 3+ black. So it should be a world above right?

Well, let’s find out. Included in this review is a YouTube video review where you can check out it’s features in action. But, let’s get down to the writing.

The product:

Comes with:
Case (external).
A few mounting points.
Charging cable.

Disappointingly it comes with no external case, the case it comes with leaves the camera very exposed and me quite uncomfortable shooting POV with it. I had to buy an external case, which came with a carry case and screen protectors amongst other bits n bobs from amazon for £20, bargain.

The camera:
The camera is capable of some high-quality shooting. Shooting in 4K, 2 point something k, 1080p as well if you want to drop that low.

HYPERSMOOTH, the much talked about feature is limited to 60fps and 2 point something K and it’s all I have shot in, not testing the 4K out yet. However 2 point something k looks awesome so 4K will probably look awesome too.

The camera can time lapse, and stabilise while time lapsing – this feature works great. If time lapse videos are your thing, then the camera does it well, and stabilises well too.
It also takes photo’s, with the new super photo feature. I have attached them to this article so you can see for yourself. It is also worth saying it now shoots in portrait mode, which is great if your using it for Instagram.

The camera can upload directly to social media stories, but only in 1080p so far, although speculation is around that this will change in an update.

The camera is small and compact, light weight and feels really nice. It looks nice too (if a camera can look nice).

So how is it as an action camera:
Firstly, the touch screen is for me a little small. I have fat fingers, which while being useful in certain areas of life isn’t useful here. Its also not great whilst wearing gloves. Personally, I prefer the button method of doing things over the screen, but it does function well. It is easy to navigate and works smoothly with no time delay.

Secondly, the most talked about aspect of this camera and something I suspect will have generated sales for GoPrO is the Hypersmooth feature.

Let’s get it said straight away. It is not a gimbal killer. However, it does a good job of smoothing out the footage while still making a trail look bumpy. I kinda like this, you get a good feel for how the trail is. It does struggle a lot over rock gardens and small bumps. And by struggles a lot I mean it doesn’t work. However, it stabilises well for a camera that isn’t using a mechanical gimbal and I can honestly say it has improved my riding footage when combined with the higher filming quality. If your solely buying it for the hypersmooth I would honestly look at buying a gimbal to fit your existing camera. But, if you don’t own an action camera this is a good way to capture some great footage. Just don’t expect full gimbal quality.

Another thing an action camera needs is a good battery. The GO PRO lasted about 2 and a half hours, filming on and off in 2 point something k with hypersmooth on. With the high amount of filming I was doing, and the resolution I was filming in, I can’t really be too disappointed in this. More recently I was shooting at Parkwood springs and it went from 100% to 35% in about 1 hour 7 minutes. So make of that what you will.

So far the HERO 7 has been fun to use, I like the new features on it. I enjoy filming with it and as a tool, it has succeeded in making my footage a lot better both in terms of stabilisation to some extent and filming quality.

Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to carry around an external gimbal. These can be heavy, noisy and not very durable (some aren’t even waterproof).

The GO PRO is light and compact, even if it does feel scary taking it down trails so exposed, but, hey ho, that’s what they are built for.

Overall the camera is great to film with, easy to navigate and films some good footage, great footage in fact.

What negatives do I have:
One thing I noticed is the GO PRO films in HVEC, something that at first my laptop didn’t recognise. So for a few days I had to re format the files, which took ages. So if this would really annoy you check this. My laptop has since updated and now plays the files fine mind. My phone doesn’t. But it is a beat up old iPhone 5, so I can understand that. It works with anything 6 and above, not sure on android. GoPro have got a table on their website to show what phones/operating systems are compatible so definitely check before buying one.

Overall the camera is good, it films in great resolutions with several choices. The hypersmooth works well, but don’t listen to GO PRO’s marketing claims about it killing a gimbal. However, if like me you don’t own a gimbal and want to upgrade your filming arsenal then I would say it would be worth looking into. If you just want silky footage buy a gimbal.

I’ve enjoyed my time with it so far and will look forward to using it more in the future.

Sample images:


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