There are many uses for action cameras in our social media-fueled world where people like to show off their skills, travels, or experiences with their friends. GoPro has pioneered the action camera industry, and its HERO 7 Black has been their flagship model until the company unveiled the new GoPro HERO 8 Black.
In the following comparison article, we will dive deep into the GoPro HERO 7 Black vs GoPro HERO 8 Black debate. We will cover where the differences are and which model wins in their respective categories. GoPro did not sponsor this comparison. All of the information found within this guide was researched and conducted by our team of tech experts.
TL;DR – Quick Comparison
The Previous Generaton Model
Last year's flagship GoPro model, the HERO 7 Black came with many improvements and new features over the 6 Black, including support for hyper lapses, SuperPhotos, Short Clips, portrait video shooting, better stabilization, an improved menu system and more support for HEVC video encoding.
The Latest & Greatest Flagship Model
The latest and greatest GoPro action camera, the HERO 8 Black, offers a full redesign of the body with a thinner profile and less protruding camera. While the features and performance have increased in a variety of ways both, there are some downsides like no HDMI port & non-native support for lens filters.
GoPro HERO 7 vs 8 – Similarities
GoPro HERO 7 vs 8 – Differences
Price & Affordability
GoPro released their HERO 7 Black back in September of 2018 with an MSRP of $399. Given that the HERO 8 Black has now replaced the action camera, its price has dropped significantly with it currently selling for $319.99 on Amazon.
GoPro just released their HERO 8 Black model in early October 2019, with the same MSRP of $399. Given that this model is so new, the price hasn't fluctuated and we don't expect it too for at least a few months. It is so new that Amazon isn't even carrying it yet (they do still sell the 7 Black), so you'll have to order from GoPro's website or B&H in the meantime.
Design & Size
The HERO 7 Black offers a traditional design that follows suit with previous generations. It was the first GoPro body that offers a waterproof design with a large protruding lens and a detachable frame that can be secured to provide mounting capabilities. The HERO 7 Black's cover glass can be removed and replaced with filters.
For the first time in the last four generations of GoPro, the company has redesigned the physical body of their HERO 8 Black. This new design offers a built-in mount to the camera's body, meaning you won't need a mounting frame or case for most uses.
The lens has been shrunk down to be significantly thinner versus the HERO 7, with the cover glass being twice as durable. However, it cannot be removed like in the previous generation. You'll need an additional adapter to use lens filters.
In terms of dimensions, the 8 is slightly taller coming in at 48.6 mm (vs 44.9 mm), although it is thinner 28.4 mm (vs 33 mm). The battery and memory cards can be swapped out quickly while the HERO 8 is mounted, which is a significant benefit.
Both models offer a convenient touch screen experience with voice control potential. The 8 Black weights in at 126g for the body alone (vs 116g), but it is lighter than the 7 Black when you factor in the mounting frame, which brings the 7's functional weight up to 142g.
Both the GoPro HERO 7 Black and 8 Black offer a removable 1220 mAh rechargeable battery. The actual battery life itself will depend entirely on how you use the action camera and how hard you push the settings (resolution, fps, etc.).
This means the battery life will range anywhere from 45 minutes when recording at higher resolutions or high frame rates up to 1 hour and 45 minutes when shooting 1080P or lower and standard frame rates.
Both the HERO 7 and HERO 8 Black offer the same 1200 mAh battery and comparable battery life that will be influenced by many usage variables ranging from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Video Resolution & Bitrate
Both the HERO 7 and 8 can shoot video 4K video as the maximum video resolution. However, the GoPro made their 8 Black able to shoot at a maximum bitrate of 100Mbps vs the 78Mbps from the 7 Black.
Both action cameras can shoot 1080P. However, the HERO 8 Black no longer offers 960P or 720P like the HERO 7 Black can. This is a bummer for someone who doesn't need a high resolution or high bitrate file. But realistically, you should probably be buying an older generation GoPro in that case.
A higher bitrate means that more bits are transferred per second throughout the camera, thus retaining more video information resulting in better quality. The downside of a higher bitrate is that it results in a bigger file size, which can be more cumbersome to store and use in a video editor.
When using the built-in live-streaming feature of the HERO 8 Black, you can now stream in 1080P vs the 720P limitation of the HERO 7 Black.
While the HERO 8 Black cannot shoot in lower than 1080P, it has an improved bitrate at 100Mbps (vs 78Mbps) thus giving you higher quality footage in a larger file size. The HERO 8 also supports 1080P live-streaming vs the 720P limitation of the HERO 7 Black.
Framerates & Slow Motion
GoPros are known for their slow-motion, high frame rate capabilities as it suits the standard usage of action cameras so well. Both models are capable of shooting 4K up to 60 fps offering a 2x slow-motion potential.
If you want to slow down motion even further, then you can drop down to 1080P, which offers up to 240 fps. This brings the slow-motion potential to a much more pleasing 10x.
Another huge advantage of the HERO 8 Black is the HyperSmooth 2.0 stabilization works on ALL frame rates vs the limited frame rates offered by the HERO 7 Black offers.
Both models are capped at 1080P 240 fps and 4K 60 fps which gives plenty of slow-motion possibilities.
Field Of View & Stabilization
Both models of GoPro's HERO line-up offer the following fields of view:
Both offer GoPro's signature ‘HyperSmooth' stabilization which works remarkably well to improve the shakiness in your footage. However, the 8 Black offers the newest 2.0 version of this technology which offers even smoother results.
The HERO 8 Black offers one more ‘narrow' FOV option over its previous generation and a newer 2.0 version of their ‘HyperSmooth' stabilization feature to offer smoother results on shaky video footage.
Storage & Connectivity
Both the GoPro HERO 7 and 8 Black offer wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. In terms of physical connections, both offer a USB-C port and microSD slot with a Class 10 or UHS-I rating or higher.
The GoPro 8 Black does NOT offer a native HDMI port as the 7 Black does. It does support an external media mod for the HERO 8 Black, which adds an HDMI port along with a 3.5mm audio jack, two cold-shoe mounts, and a built-in directional mic. However, this costs an additional $80.
GoPro's last generation HERO 7 Black wins this category only for the sole reason that it natively offers more connections by way of the integrated HDMI port. If you can support an additional $80 investment, the HERO 8 Black's Media Mod adds an HDMI and other important connection attributes.
While there are a lot of GoPro accessories on the market for all recent generations of their action cameras, GoPro went above and beyond with their latest HERO 8 Black flagship. They introduced a new assortment of official accessories called ‘mods' that only work with the HERO 8.
These mods range from the Media Mod that we discussed in the last section ($79) to a Display Mod which adds a selfie screen and a Light Mod which offers a small LED light that attaches to the Media Mod or any GoPro mount.
While there are many GoPro accessories for sale, the HERO 8 Black now has three new official Mods which extend the functionality of the flagship action camera but require an additional investment per Mod.
Timelapse & Photos
Both models offer still photography and timelapse functionality. Still photos remain capped at 12MP SuperPhotos for both models, but the HERO 8 now offers improved HDR functionality, and RAW photo captures in all photo modes.
Beyond the HDR improvements, you can now take LiveBurst photos. The camera will capture a burst 1.5 seconds before and after hitting the shutter, providing a choice of 90 still images to choose from or 3-seconds of 4K video.
The HERO 8 Black has improved video time-lapses as the TimeWarp has been upgraded to their 2.0 version. Additionally, beyond the standard photo Time Lapse feature, you have an enhanced Night Lapse video mode. This offers a TimeWarp style video for low light conditions.
While both models offer still photography and timelapse functionality, the HERO 8 Black has been upgraded to offer improved HDR, RAW support in all photo modes, LiveBurst photos, improved TimeWarp 2.0 and an improved Night Lapse mode.
We've reached the conclusion of the GoPro 7 vs 8 Black comparison guide. Here's a recap of which video doorbell came out on top for each evaluation section:
GoPro HERO 7 Black
GoPro HERO 8 Black
While the HERO 7 Black is still a viable option for many consumers especially those on a tight budget, the GoPro HERO 8 Black offers many significant advantages over its predecessor which makes it easier to use and better performing overall.
We hope our GoPro HERO 7 Black vs HERO 8 Black comparison was helpful for you.
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.