It seems every year we sit here eagerly awaiting the latest from GoPro. Year after year the brand delivers with a bar-raising product that pushes the boundaries in action camera technology. Upon launch, the Hero 10 Black appeared visually similar to the Hero 9 Black model it replaces, however, a few key improvements to the image processor results in a far better viewing experience for the user with 4K@120fps and 5.3K@60fps capable recording.
We’ve been using the latest camera for the last month and put together a few practical thoughts in the review below. We shot everything from mountain bikes to sports cars and even tried our hand at a little vlogging along the way. Let’s check it out.
New in-house processors have been the hallmark of GoPro technology. The brand launched the GP1 alongside the Hero 6 Black in 2017 and it allowed the camera to push frame rates, stabilisation and quality beyond what we’d seen with action cameras in the past. Last years Hero 9 Black hit the ceiling on what the technology could achieve, and for this year’s Hero 10 Black they’ve officially launched the GP2.
So the average person would probably shrug their shoulders wondering what on earth a simple processor upgrade really means, but in reality, it’s the most significant change the brand has made in years. With the new processor the experience is taken to the next level with key features that bring the GoPro to the forefront of action cameras once again, including;
- 5.3K @ 30 or 60fps
- 4K @ 24, 30, 60 or 120fps
- 2.7K @ 60, 120 or 240fps
- 1080p @ 30, 60, 120 or 240fps
In layman’s terms, own a modern television or smartphone (like the iPhone 13 Pro) that you watch your footage on? Then there’s a good chance it supports 4K@120fps for a buttery smooth viewing experience. Your GoPro can now capture video that complements modern screen technology and the result is stunning.
Unlike even some of the newest action camera models on the market such as the DJI Action 2, the GoPro Hero 10 Black will also allow you to shoot 4K@120fps in a 4:3 aspect ratio, better suited for rewatching on televisions. If pulling frames from video is in your domain – not so much for us personally – the ability to shoot in 5.3K means you can pull 15.8-megapixel photos, but you can also choose to just shoot just photos at 23 megapixels (optimal lighting conditions preferred).
We’re an absolute sucker for shooting video in 4K@120fps and the GoPro 10 Black really opens a new world for a lot of creators. You’ll be going through batteries often when vlogging all day, however, a few spares never hurt anyone and statistically, 50% of GoPro videos shot are less than 25-seconds long. Unless you’re bombing down the longest downhill mountain bike section on earth, your video won’t be longer than 15-minutes, we averaged about 2mins per clip.
It’s worth noting that to record in 5.3K@60fps or 4K@120fps you’ll need a V30 or higher spec’d microSD.
The Hero 10 Black features GoPro’s highest levels of image stabilisation (Hypersmooth 4) and is available across all high-resolution modes. We tested the image stabilisation when mountain biking, trail walking and offroading and the results truly speak for themselves. It’s also worth a reminder that you’ll need a 4K@120fps television, mobile phone, or full computer setup with the correct cables etc. to see the cameras full potential.
Vloggers make up a good portion of GoPro consumers and when we tried our hand at using it in our day to day lives the camera never had an issue transitioning between indoors and outdoors. While the 60-megabits per second-bit rate is relatively high, the 23.6-megapixel sensor offered quite a noisy picture when really pushing the limit.
The biggest change in the design is no more licking! A new hydrophobic lens mount means those who like to dabble in watersports won’t have to lick their lens anymore, apparently. While this never affected us during our testing, we can imagine how frustrating a single water droplet would be after filming a sick DH section at Whistler, chur bro.
The lens mount will fit GoPro 9 models as they’re the same dimensions.
Other than a few blue details the design of the Hero 10 Black doesn’t change at all from the Hero 9 Black, but it’s not like we’re asking for a complete redesign and form factor here anyway. Live preview on the front screen is smoother (vloggers rejoice) and you can transfer files via the USB-C cable, but we had no issue using the app.
- Waterproof to 10m.
- Automatically upload footage to the cloud when charging.
- TimeWarp 3.0, 8X Slo-Mo.
- Compatible with Quik app.
- Compatible with over 30 mounts + accessories.
Thankfully, all the add-ons GoPro made available with the launch of the Hero 9 can be used with the 10. Our personal favourite (and vloggers favourite) of them all is the Media Mod that offers a shotgun mic, HDMI port, 3.5mm microphone jack that we use when shooting press cars on weekends away. Others include;
- USB pass-through door – link
- Protective housing + waterproof case – link
- Floaty floating camera case – link
- Dual battery charger – link
A full list of add-ons can be found on the GoPro website – here.
If you’re in the market for a new piece of technology we always recommend buying the newest one you can get your hands on and the same can be said for the Hero 10 Black. In the case of Hero 9 Black users, we’d recommend waiting an extra year to see what’s to come with the Hero 11 Black and the GP2 processor, we’re hoping for a bigger front screen and maybe even some 8K capabilities down the line. Those who currently own the Hero 8 and older would greatly benefit from the improved 4K@120fps and 5.3K@60fps capabilities of the new Hero 10 and we’d recommend upgrading.
Is this the best action camera on the market? The short answer is yes, however, vloggers might also consider the new DJI Action 2 for their daily vlogging duties, which also offers 4K@120fps recording and a tiny form factor.
To Subscribe or Not to Subscribe
You can save AU$150 off a new GoPro Hero 10 Black by signing up for the brand’s subscription services for one year.
So what do you actually get?
Well, the teaser is the unlimited cloud backup storage for one year. Something that will pay for itself in microSD cards or SSD’s if you’re backing up from your mobile phone every so often. There’s also a damaged camera replacement that’s very competitive, discounts on gear, and access to the brand live streaming platform. You’re paying for convenience here, and the camera further takes the hassle out of backing up videos by connecting to the homes wifi network when plugged in to charge, backing up files in the background once you’ve set it up with the iOS or Android mobile app.
Considering the $150 outlay that you save off the initial price of the camera it’s a no-brainer for those who shoot every couple of weekends and hate the arduous task of backing up files. The annual cost of the subscription is AU$70.