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Blog posts tagged with 'best action camera'

GoPro Hero8 Black – What makes it a Great Upgrade?

GoPro has been in the market of action cameras from ages now and what makes them still a force to reckon with is that they are continuously looking to improve. 

GoPro recently rejigged their product lineup making their Hero7 Black the entry level action camera.  With Hero7 Black, GoPro leap-frogged their own standards and competition, and they seem to have upped their ante with the release of Hero8 Black.

E:\Blogs Future Forward\Oct 2020\Images\Hero8\71UAtd5yS5L._SL1500_.jpgLet’s do the review of this action camera and find out is it worth upgrading from its predecessor. But before we get into that let’s find out how is it different from Hero7 Black.

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How is Hero8 Black different than Hero7 Black?

 

  • HyperSmooth 2.0 – While HyperSmooth was wonderful, its Ver 2.0 is even better which now works on ALL resolutions at ALL frames per second

  • TimeWarp 2.0 – this feature though was great but had limitations. In ver 2.0 it now offers auto mode and real time intervals

  • Folding Fingers – This is new feature where you do not need a cage to mount your GoPro

  • Upgraded design – Smaller and lighter

  • Video at 4K is now at 60FPS

  • Improved audio with front facing mic

  • MediaMods helps you convert your action camera to a production powerhouse

  • DisplayMod lets you attach flappable screen to let you see yourself while vlogging 

  • LightMod helps you attch LED light for vlogging

  • Upgraded SuperPhoto giving better low light performance

  • LiveBurst mode – great feature where you get 90 frames to choose from

  • Inbuilt video and photo presets with ability to create your own presets

  • Night lapse video helping you create time lapse at night and that too in 4K

  • Live Streaming at 1080p

  • Updated user interface making it more user friendly

 

Design and Built

In first look it looks like a replica of its predecessors with its signature GoPro look and design. But there are some significant changes which GoPro has incorporated. 

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The front has a familiar display which is monochrome. The removable glass protector of fixed lens has been done away with replacing it with the scratch and impact resistant glass which as per GoPro is 2x more durable that the glass protector. Personally it bothers me because now I will find it difficult to fix my ND filter but as per GoPro, with this change, you will be able to capture better audio with the instruction of much improved front facing mic.

The Hero8 is slightly narrower and taller than the Hero7. It has a fixed lens. Now this has its own disadvantages because you can no longer remove or replace a lens. The biggest drawback is that you cannot easily replace it, in case of breakage. Another big disadvantage of the new slimmer and taller design is that it will require a new housing and if you are already using old cameras, you will need to invest more. 

The Power / Mode Button has been moved from the right side to the left side of camera. The battery door has been moved to the side and a vacuum sealing for water proofing. Old battery is compatible with the Hero8 but some features may not work with old batteries because they require high power discharge.

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FoldingFeet is a new introduction which make the mounting easy. Most important use is it helps you mount the camera without camera housing. 

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HyperSmooth 2.0

While the HyperSmooth in Hero7 was a game changer, it had some niggles and limitations. In the Hero8 GoPro has taken care of those shortcomings and made it even better with the introduction of ver. 2.0.

The version 2.0 of HyperSmooth now works on all frame rates and resolutions and that is a huge leap. 

You can watch this video for the same:

TimeWarp 2.0

This was another game changer in Hero7 which allowed you shot moving time lapse. In the Hero8, GoPro has introduced Auto Mode which lets the camera detect settings you will need to create smooth TimeWarp video. In its Ver 2.o, you have the option to pause, go back to real time footage for a moment and re-enter TimeWarp mode. May sound miniscule but does let you get creative with your footage.

 

LiveBurst

After sitting for long on on erratic and guess work oriented burst mode, GoPro wakes up with LiveBurst in Hero8. Using this feature, you can create a high frame rate video which gives you an option to choose a frame from 90 different frames. It starts capturing 1.5 secs before you press the shutter and keeps clicking 1.5 secs after you release the shutter. As an option you can even use this footage as a 4K video.

 

Improved Audio

Well again GoPro has been sleeping on its audio quality for quite a long. They seem to have woken up with the Hero8. 

The audio quality has significantly improved with the increase of number of mics used. Along with the onboard regular mic, there is welcome addition of front mic which has significantly improved wind noise cancellation feature.

 

Video Quality

While retaining the same chipset as in Hero7, GoPro has improved the video quality. You can now shoot 4K at 60fps along with 30fps and 24fps. The bit rate of 4K footage is also improved to 100Mbps from 78Mbps ofHero7. Bit rate is improved both in 4K and 2.7K footage. 

 

Accessories

While most features are an upgrade on the Hero7; introduction of Mods is something which is really worth talking about and certainly worth upgrading from the previous models. If you a vlogger, you are going to love this. Pls note that these mods are additional attachments which can be purchased at an additional price.

The main of these Mods is MediaMod. This is actually an external plastic frame with a built-in uni directional shot gun microphone. It also has 2 cold shoe mounts and 3 external ports viz USB-C, microphone port and micro-HDMI port.

 

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Second mod is the DisplayMod. This connects Hero8 through Micro-HDMI of MediaMod. This is actually a flip screen which can flip upto 180 degrees helping vloggers see themselves while vlogging. Interesting point is that it has its own re-chargeable battery and does not use the Hero8 battery.

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And third mod is the LightMod. This is an LED attachment which is water proof upto 10 mts. It constitutes 10 light emitting diodes with a silicon diffuser in front. The LightMod has 4 different levels of brightness with max being 200 lumens. It also does not use the camera battery but instead has its own re-chargeable battery which lasts almost upto 6 hrs.

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Battery Life

While GoPro has been on adding new features and improving old features, one thing they have continuously failed is to address the issue of battery life. The battery lasts for 50 mins on a single charge. You can however remove the detachable battery door and charge the battery while in use.

 

Final Verdict

While on the face it may appear that Hero8 is significantly improved over Hero7, actually in practicality it’s not that substantial. Even if we want to argue, we would like to say that the price difference is way too much for the changes incorporated. When we look at this in isolation, it does appear to be a formidable action camera which has everything you need and more. Let’s see what goes For and Against this camera.

FOR

  • Excellent image stabilization with HyperSmooth 2.0

  • Top notch video quality with 4K/60p

  • Option of Mods and easy functionality

  • Much Improved audio quality

  • Body integrated mount in the form of FoldingFingers

AGAINST

  • Fixed non-removable lens

  • Fidgety battery door

  • Super expensive mods

 

So is this camera for you? Well if you are buying GoPro for the first time, then Hero8 is probably the best option which positions itself very well between the Hero7 and Hero9 both in the terms of features and price. If you are already on previous versions of GoPro other than Hero7, then it’s a great upgrade and probably a must-have in your camera bag. And if you are on Hero7, then you need to evaluate and do cost analysis viz a viz updated features.

All in all, a great rugged feature laden action camera with great attachment options.You can buy it at https://futureforward.in/gopro-hero8-black-3

 

 

 

The Top 5 Action Cameras of 2020 – The Cameras that get you in Action

Action cameras are very popular with adventurists and other sports enthusiasts who want to capture their own footage while on the move. Of late, they have also been getting popular with vloggers and content creators because of their portability, and some features like water-proof and high end video recording capabilities. Keeping this in mind different brands have been introducing vlogger oriented features as well in the action camera.


For an action camera to be good enough and versatile, it should check atleast the following boxes
right:

- Compact and water-proof body
- Touch Screen LCD preferable on both sides
- Ability to shoot at 4K 30p
- Good Image Stabilisation
- Good low light performance
- Good audio quality
- Ability to stream live on social media
- Features like Timelapse, Hyperlapse, Slow-Mo etc.
- Bundled with accessories and mounts

These are broad features one must be look at while making a decision. However, you may have your specific requirement which will always weigh more than other features.


Here is our choice of Top 5 Action Cameras. Pls. note we have not considered GoPro Hero9 Black in this because its entry in India has been delayed and we have not been able to test that.

1. GoPro Hero8 Black

Great All-Round camera with good value for money


Video Resolution (Max): 4K at 60 fps | Photo Resolution (Max): 12MP | Touch Screen: Yes | Battery Life in Single Charge: 158 minutes | Water Proof: Yes, up to 33 feet | Size: 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.1 inches | Weight: 119 GMS

Reasons to Buy

  • One of the finest Stabilization
  • Folding Fingers (Mounting Arms)
  • High Quality Audio
  • Different Mod

Reasons to Avoid

  • Fixed non removable lens
  • Poor low light performance
  • Small Screen

Though there is now a GoPro Hero9 in market, Hero8 is still a formidable and feature laden choice of action camera. I fact now it becomes more affordable and still offering best in class features. Unique features like HyperSmooth 2.0 and TimeWarp 2.0 enhance its functionality. Optional GoPro Mods transform it into a cinematic camera. Introduction of FoldingFingers ensure ease of use without having to use the waterproof casing to mount the camera.
Another unique feature is its 4 digital lenses viz SuperView, Wide, Narrow and Linear, making shooting simple and seamless.

2. GoPro Hero7 Black

Flagship of 2018, Entry Level of 2020 – Quite a Formidable Option


Video Resolution (Max): 4K at 60 fps | Photo Resolution (Max): 12 MP | Touch Screen: Yes | Battery Life in Single Charge: 158 minutes | Water Proof: Yes, up to 33 feet | Weight: 119 GMS

Reasons to Buy

  • Wonderful 4K video and image quality
  • HyperSmooth is very useful and effective
  • Waterproof that too without housing

Reasons to Avoid

  • Struggles with voice commands
  • Screen sometimes gets unresponsive

Once a flagship camera of 2018 has now positioned itself firmly as a formidable entry level action camera in GoPro’s rejigged line up. What makes it gain entry in Top 5 despite being an old camera is its affordability and great value for money with its features like HyperSmooth and being water proof without the housing. With a video quality of 4K at 60p its certainly a war horse even after the launch of Hero9.

It was the first camera to introduce both HyperSmooth and TimeWarp which is another reason to get your hands on this one.

3. SJCAM SJ6 Legend

Power packed budget action camera


Video Resolution (Max): 4K at 24 fps | Photo Resolution (Max): 16 MP | Touch Screen: Yes | Battery Life in Single Charge: 70 minutes | Water Proof: Yes, up to 33 feet | Weight: 83 GMS

Reasons to Buy

  • Affordable. Suits everyone
  • Gyro Stabilisation for super smooth videos
  • Waterproof up to 10 mtr
  • 4K at 24P


Reasons to Avoid

  • No true 4K
  • Poor battery life

In a market ruled by GoPro, this SJCAM has been creating its own market with their affordable yet feature rich action cameras. And this SJ6 Legend has features like Gyro Stabilisation, 4K, waterproof body and dual screen camera have made it very popular with masses. It offers multiple mounting options which makes it highly flexible.

 4. Insta360 One R Twin Edition

Unique modular, yet impressive 360 Action Camera

Video Resolution: 4K at 30 fps, 5.7K at 30 fps, 1080 at 200 fps | Photo Resolution (Max): 18.5 MP | Battery Life in Single Charge: 70 minutes | Water Proof: Yes, up to 5 mtr with bracket | Weight: 130.5 GMS

Reasons to Buy

  • Unique modular design for extreme flexibility
  • 360-degree camera with 4K making it unique action camera
  • Waterproof up to 5 mtr
  • FlowState offering great stabilisation

Reasons to Avoid

  • Very Small Screen
  • Poor battery life

Insta360 is one unique action camera offering 360 degrees and 4K footages, both of extreme high quality. Its modular design makes it \easy to switch between lenses easily. Option of Leica 1” Wide Angle Lens/Sensor combo ensures you get best in class low light image quality.
While it offers 3 different camera options, does it actually deliver? We can easily say Yes. With Leica 1” option it ensures you get great detail in low light., making it one unique action camera to do that.

5. GoPro Max 360

Dedicated 360-degree camera

Video Resolution: 360 degree 5K at 30 fps | Photo Resolution (Max): 18 MP | Battery Life in Single Charge: 90 minutes | Water Proof: Yes, up to 5 mtr without case | Weight: 154 GMS

Reasons to Buy

  • Dedicated 360-degree camera shoots at 5K 30 fps
  • Waterproof up to 5 mtr without casing
  • In Camera video stitching

Reasons to Avoid

  • 2D footage at extreme low resolution
  • Poor low light performance
  • No 4K option
  • Stitching is poor showing stitch lines

This is good 360-degree action camera from GoPro. Though it does offer good 360 footages, if you want equally good non 360 footage, then look elsewhere. Its unique 6 microphone design ensures you get top notch audio. It steals features like TimeWarp, FloatingFingers from Hero8, which again makes it a good action camera option.
The biggest downside is its inability to shoot 4K which makes Insta360 One R Twin Edition take a formidable lead over this. Also it really disappoints with its low light performance where it even struggles to stabilise.

GoPro Hero7 Black – This former Flagship Action Camera packs a Punch

The moment we say Action Camera there is one brand pops up on top of the list and that is GoPro. Well this is not about the company or the brand but all about what they deliver – yes it’s about action cameras and in particular their Hero7 Black which was once their flagship camera. While they have already released their flagship camera Hero9 Black, this camera continues to remain favorite with sports and adventure enthusiasts. 

We thought before we get into a detailed review of GoPro Hero9 Black, it is important to share detailed review of this powerhouse Hero7 Black.

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Specifications

Video: 4K at 60, 2.7K at 120, 1440p at 120, 1080p at 240 and more
Photo: 12MP
Burst: 12MP at 30 fps
Time Lapse Video: At 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 second intervals
Timewarp Video: 2x, 5x, 10x, 15x, 30x video
Waterproofing: 10 metres underwater without the case, 30 meters underwater with the case
Screen: Intuitive 2" LCD Touchscreen
Stabilisation: HyperSmooth Video Stabilization up to 4K at 60
HDR: SuperPhoto Auto HDR Photo Enhancement
Live streaming: Yes
Vertical Portrait Mode: Yes for Instagram

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With the release of Hero9 Black, GoPro has revamped its product line up which positions this Hero7 Black at entry level. What is most interesting is that what was once a flagship camera is not an entry level in the product line-up of GoPro. So let fine out why it’s still one of the favorites with GoPro fans and users. 

 

Key Features

  • 4K Video @ 60p

  • HyperSmooth Stabilisation

  • Live-Streaming on Facebook

GoPro decided to continue with their signature body design and size but still pack in some additional impressive features. The camera body itself is waterproof till 10 meters and when you use it with camera housing (optional), you can take it upto 30 meters. In terms of mounts, you can use both GoPro branded and third party mounts which makes the list very wide.

Hero7 has 12MP Sensor. It can shoot videos at 4K 60fps. It can also shoot Full HD at 240fps (max) for a footage which is slowed down by 8X. 

One great feature of Hero7 is that it easily adapts to the portrait orientation mode. All you need to do is to turn the camera in portrait mode. This is a wonderful feature keeping in mind the popular Instagram reels.

Two of the best and most talked about features of Hero7 are HyperSmooth and TimeWarp Video. 

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HyperSmooth

This is by far one of the best features of Hero7. As a first, GoPro used a combination of hardware and software over just optical stabilization to achieve super smooth image stabilization. It is so smooth that you do not feel the need of a gimbal. HyperSmooth can be used even with video footage settings at 60fps (full resolution). However standard stabilization works when shoot Full HD at 120fps and 240 fps.

You can the HyperSmooth capability in the following video footage:

https://youtu.be/nJX4llWUVfQ

 

TimeWarp

Another unique feature is its ability to create TimeWarp Videos. TimeWarp is actually a handheld time lapse video. GoPro uses its two features namely Time Lapse and HyperSmooth to allow you to capture TimeWarp. Yes, you got it right, it’s nothing but a handheld, yet super smooth time lapse video. 

You have an option to choose different speeds like 5x, 10x, 15x or even 30x. To choose your choise of speed, its better to record at all and decide.

You can check both HyperSmooth and TimeWarp video footage here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9KDqfpCgws

 

Voice Control

This allows you to go hand free and use voice commands to let camera perform a function. It can recognize upto 16 commands which include commands like “GoPro, take a photo”, “GoPro, turn on” or “GoPro, start video recording”.

 

Super Photo

Super Photo is almost like HDR where the camera uses local tone mapping and noise reduction to create excellent images even in low light conditions. 

 

Photo Quality

Hero7 Black can capture 12 Megapixel images. You can shoot both in JPEG and RAW format. Even though the sensor is small (1/2.3 inches), the image quality is good. In good lighting conditions it creates images that are sharp, crisp and have edge to edge details. For low light you can always use Super Photo feature.

It has a wide option which tends to distort images if shot from close distance. 

 

Connectivity and Live Streaming

You can use GoPro App on Android and iOS to transfer photos and videos. As a first for GoPro, this camera has a unique feature of going live on Facebook directly from the camera. For this you will need to connect your smart phone to the camera. Camera uses smart phone data connection to stream live. The live stream max resolution is 720p.

 

Accessories

The best part about Hero7 Black is that it is compatible with all old GoPro accessories along with multiple third party accessories as well. 

 

Final Verdict

After the launch of Hero9 Black, this camera has become their entry level action camera which means it offers a great value for money. Its unique features like HyperSmooth and TimeWarp make is almost a go to camera in action camera line up across all brands. Let’s point out what goes for it and what goes against before we share our final verdict.

FOR

Wonderful 4K Video Quality

HyperSmooth is actually super smooth

TimeWarp makes it real fun for travel vloggers and content creators

UI enabled portrait mode is very useful again

Live Streaming at 720p on Facebook is a boon for vloggers

Super Photos gives good quality photos in low light

Value for money 

AGAINST

Touch screen is slightly glitch

Voice commands can fail at times

 

So if you are looking for an action camera which offers best in class features at low price option within GoPro product lineup, then this is the camera for you. Its unique features, high video and photo quality make it a great option. However, if you are price conscious and are ready to compromise on top end features, there are other options available which you can buy at a much cheaper rate. You can buy it at https://futureforward.in/gopro-hero7-black