GoPro HERO9 Black Goes 5K

Credit: GoPro
The next-gen action camera receives a bump in resolution. 

It feels like only yesterday when GoPro announced the HERO8 and No Film School reviewed it alongside the MAX, its 360° action camera. Today, GoPro has announced its latest camera, the HERO9 Black, and it has improved upon its predecessor in every way. 

The HERO9 Black has a new 5K sensor that can record 5K video at 30 or 24fps. Dropping down to 4K, 60p becomes an option, and at 2.7K, 120fps is added when using the wide lens. Shooting HD, you get the most frame rate options from 24p up to 120p. Video can be shot at 16:9 or 4:3, but the latter tops out at 4K 30p. Depending on the mode, files are recorded as MP4 H.264 or H.265, but 5K, 4K, and 2.7K all offer a 100Mbps bit rate. 

The HERO9 also sees a ton of special video features including, 8x slo-mo, HyperSmooth 3.0 video stabilization, TimeWarp 3.0 for time-lapse, and Hindsight which allows you to capture 30 seconds of footage before you start recording. On top of that, HERO9 can also be used as a webcam for live streaming which tops out a 1080p. 

Photos also see a bump from 12MP on the HERO8 to 20MP with a live burst mode at 8MP or 12MP. Photos can be taken with standard or RAW color profiles. Additionally, you can schedule when the photo should be taken as well as the duration of each photo. 

Other changes on HERO9 include longer battery life. GoPro suggests that the action cam will receive 30% more battery life, as well as waterproofing at up to 10 feet (33 m). Like the HERO8, this new version is also voice-controlled and has a built-in mounting system found underneath the unit. 

With the new digs, the HERO9 size is slightly bigger than the previous model, but with it comes a slightly larger screen. GoPro also offers new mods for the HERO9 which allows you to attach lenses, like the Max Lens Mod, the Media Mod that features a built-in directional mic and a 3.5mm mic port, or the Display Mod for the front-facing camera. All of which are sold separately. 

The HERO9 retails for $349.98 when you sign up for a one-year subscription to GoPro Plus and $449.99 without the subscription. For those unfamiliar with GoPro's subscription services, it provides you with unlimited cloud storage, total camera replacement, and up to 50% off at GoPro's online storeThe GoPro subscription is available for $49.99 annually or $4.99/month.     

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The problem I ran into with the 8 was that if you want to shoot cinematic video at 24fps with an ND the stabilization doesn't work! It's kind of the main selling point yet no one seems to really be bothered by it. I wonder if that's changed at all? I'm also kinda of annoyed with all the youtube reviewers who shoot auto at insanely high shutter speeds and are too lazy to get the best image out of the camera.

September 17, 2020 at 12:31AM

Stephen Herron