GoPro Hero 8 Slow Motion Mirrors Hero 7!

GoPro Hero 8 Slow Motion

Meet the new GoPro Hero 8 Black which is a refinement of last year’s Hero 7 Black. It has better hyper smooth stabilization, it has now stabilized slow motion modes and has a smaller form factor with a clever undercarriage that folds into the mount support system to reduce footprint which is very clever.  The real big changes are the Mods which are attachments that let you expand the capabilities of the camera to get a more professional kit if needed. They are relatively inexpensive but do offer a better package than what the competition has to offer.

The Slow Motion modes remain identical to the Hero 7 Black of last year as it still uses the same GP1 processing engine which was released over two years ago with the Hero 6 Black. By now it would have been ideal to see an updated processor and sensor combo to get even higher frame rates like 4k 120p and 1080p 480fps but GoPro has decided to press the last drop of juice from their custom chip investment to keep up with their restructuring goals.

GoPro Hero 8 Black Video Specs:

Video Recording Modes: 3840 x 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60 fps (78 Mb/s MP4 via H.264/AVC)
3840 x 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60 fps (78 Mb/s MP4 via H.265/HEVC)
2704 x 1520p at 24/25/30/50/60/100/120 fps (MP4)
1920 x 1440p at 24/25/30/50/60/100/120 fps (MP4)
1920 x 1080p at 24/25/30/50/60/100/120/200/240 fps (MP4)
1280 x 960p at 100/120/200/240 fps (MP4)
1280 x 720p at 50/60/200/240 fps (MP4)

 

Media Mod:

$79.99

  • Built-in directional mic delivers crystal-clear audio and reduces wind and ambient noise
  • 2 cold-shoe mounts to attach your favorite lights, mics or LCD screens
  • 3.5mm mic port lets you add an external mic for enhanced audio
  • HDMI-out port to monitor or play back your footage
  • Unique and compact wraparound design adds portable expandability and ensures mounting remains easy
  • Specially designed for use with Display Mod and Light Mod for HERO8 Black, and compatible with third-party accessories

 

Display Mod:

$79.99

Frame the shot with Display Mod, the flip-up screen that lets you see yourself in action. Compact and perfect for vloggers, it connects to your HERO8 Black via Media Mod.1

  • 2-inch flip-up screen makes vlogging easy
  • Built-in rechargeable battery and micro-HDMI connector
  • Folding design for easy storage and transport
  • Compact and sturdy with a low-profile appearance
  • Connects to HERO8 Black via the required Media Mod1

 

Light Mod:

HERO8 Black

$49.99

Add compact yet powerful LED lighting to your next adventure. With Light Mod, you can illuminate your subject with wide, smooth, even light and capture ultra crisp footage. Light Mod attaches to HERO8 Black via Media Mod (sold separately), or works as a handy standalone light for use with GoPro mounts.

  • 4 levels of brightness—up to 200 lumens—for crisp detail
  • Built tough and waterproof to 33ft (10m)
  • Built-in rechargeable battery with up to 6 hours of runtime1
  • Compact design is perfect as an add-on to your HERO8 Black, or as a standalone light for use with GoPro mounts
  • Connects to HERO8 Black via Media Mod (sold separately)
  • Maximum brightness for up to 30 seconds with Overdrive mode
  • Strobe mode for signaling and visibility
  • Light Specifications:
    Overdrive mode: 200 lumens, 200 lux @1m
    Level 3: 125 lumens, 120 lux @1m
    Level 2: 60 lumens
    Level 1: 20 lumens
    Runtime: 1 hour at Level 3, 2 hours at Level 2, 6 hours at Level 11
    Color temperature without diffuser: 5700K
    CRI: 90

The mods do make it a nicer package and the aim is to get you to really buy all of them if you are a Vlogger or serious video professional. The addition of Hypersmooth 2.0 in all recording modes including all slow motion frame rates makes it the best GoPro for high speed video recording ever released. The limit of 240fps is, of course, a letdown as this camera could be an incredibly good 480fps slow motion camera even in short bursts.

GoPro Hero 8 Slow Motion Quality:

While the Hero 8 Black offers a 2x stronger front lens element to withstand scratches and hits better, the quality of the video should be identical to the Hero 7 Black besides the Hypersmooth improvements. Note that Hypersmooth crops the video image according to motion and estimates on the fly with sensors the amount of real-time correction.  The result is incredibly smooth and really does away with the need for most gimbals in a camera like this.

GoPro HERO8 Black: Cre8ors Hypersmooth 2.0 Madness by Chris Rogers:

Hero 7 black VS Hero 8 Black|慢動作 Slowmotion 240fps by I’m 鹹魚爸:

In the excellent comparison above by: I’m 鹹魚爸 you can clearly see that the hyper smooth 2.0 crop is about a 10% frame grab loss in slow motion compared to the Hero 7 Black.  But you can always turn it off if needed. What is also apparent is the aliasing and moire is more apparent in the new model since the sharpness seems to have been turned up a notch. Look at the street crossing lines and the bridge grille details.

The shimmering is really apparent and while the sharpness appears to be a higher resolution it is really just based on processing. You can always turn that off with ProTune recording in settings to get a more natural image. The 240fps 1080p mode is still as good as the Hero 7 Black but it retains what was bad about it as well. The resolution is better than some other cameras but it is still far from clean and by the third generation of using this sensor and processing it seems unless something changes in the components themselves, the slow motion will continue to be full of aliasing artifacts which are less apparent in people and pets.

Initial Impressions: 

It is clear that the Hero 8 Black is an evolutionary refinement which creates the best GoPro yet for many reasons and lets you expand on that with mods.  What is also apparent is that regarding video quality we have the same essential resolutions and frame rates as last year and if you own a Hero 7 Black and do not need any of the new mods and Hypersmooth 2.0 for slow motion, you can keep that camera and easily wait this cycle out.

The Hero 8 is a very capable camera with some of the best features and quality footage out there for action enthusiasts. What brings to the table allows it to become a Vloggers ultraportable kit with excellent results for audio and video with even a Facebook live component if needed.  You would be really asking for trouble going for a larger camera when you only need ultra-portability with reasonable video quality and audio in your travel kit.

You will not get improved Slow Motion video except for the extra stabilization in those modes which reduces resolution slightly and increases aliasing to compensate with oversharpening which is not ideal.   The frame rates remain the same as the last two cameras since GoPro is kind of stuck in Sensor and processing molasses with the GP1.  It is time to really up the ante and offer better quality 240p and jump to 480fps with maybe a 960fps option.  When Phones are already at 1920fps 720p like the last Huawei Mate 30 Pro which records it for 1 second and plays back for 32 worth is kind of remarkable regardless of the interpolated 7680fps mode. GoPro needs to offer more on that front for advancing the wheel on high frame rates.

As an action camera, however, it is probably the best option so far in this market and if you need one for Vlogging, you really can’t go wrong on a small budget that wants little compromise.  GoPro wants to cater to the Youtube and Facebook crowd which is their primary market and their real lifeline to continue to be solvent and you really can’t fault them for it. But for slow motion fans we will have to wait longer or look elsewhere for innovation. -HSC 

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4 thoughts on “GoPro Hero 8 Slow Motion Mirrors Hero 7!”

  1. Due to increasing competition in this market segment I was believing that the rumours of 480 fps at FHD in this new gopro could be true. I was considering to buy one but as the video specs have not improved I will wait and see what will happen next year.

    I still hope that a redesigned Sony RX0 will allow high frame rates on an external recorder in the future.

    1. We are in a stagnant development phase which seems to only be improving in the Chinese Phone market. RX0 probably will not output anything above 120p or 240p at best, most professional cameras cannot output 480p either unless you have dedicated fiber cabling like in the case of phantoms and photron. The best bet will be internal but with better quality in short bursts. It is quite a letdown by GoPro.

  2. The one thing i wanted out of the go pro 8 was an increase in frame rates.
    What a let down that turned out to be. After all the hype about what specs we
    were hoping for.
    Am i right in that the gopro 3 did 240fps @ WVGA back in about 2013?
    After the 4 came out in 2014 it was the same until 6 months later when a software
    update did 240fps @ 720p. 2017 we get 240fps @ 1080p. Thats great.
    2 years & 2 gopros later we still are stuck at this. I just can’t understand why
    they can’t see what a massive step it would be if it did something like
    420fps @ 1080p & 800plus fps @ 720p.

    1. Seems their investment in their GP1 chip was so costly and with sales hurting due to other copycat action cams and phones that they have to squeeze every micro ounce of power to recoup their investment. By breaking with Ambarella they hoped copycats would have a harder time but cameras like the DJI show that was not the case. GoPro is on a tightrope regarding finances and just today they expect production delays. The real miracle is how they have been able to survive in this harsh competitive arena.

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