The GoPro Hero 10 Black is the successor to the Hero 9 Black, which was launched just over a year ago. Last year’s update introduced a major overhaul of the Hero series in terms of sensors, displays and performance, but in my opinion the user experience was still somewhat sluggish and lacked low-light video performance. The new Hero 10 Black promises to solve all these pain points and more, thanks to the more powerful GP2 SoC. It’s time to examine GoPro’s claims and see how this new SoC improves the user experience, and whether it’s a GoPro that existing users deserve to be upgraded.
GoPro Hero 10 black design
In terms of looks, I haven’t expected any major changes since we got it last year. The GoPro Hero 10 Black is similar to the Hero 9 Black in terms of dimensions and design. Weight a little less at 153g (vs. 158g). The GoPro logo and series name are now blue, gray versus the previous model, and some plastic paneling is now black instead of gray.
Button and port layouts are also very familiar. There are buttons at the top and right for shutter and power / mode selection, respectively. The battery is the same as the one used for the Hero 9 Black, so it’s interchangeable. The battery compartment, USB Type-C port and microSD card slot can be found under a water-sealed flap.
The GoPro Hero 10 Black has the same 2.27-inch touch display on the back and a 1.4-inch display on the front. The resolution is the same for both, but the touch response on the rear panel and the frame rate on the front panel have improved. This action camera is shipped to a reusable case and comes with some basic accessories such as a charging wire and glue mount.
GoPro Hero 10 Black Features
The GP2 SoC is the highlight of the new GoPro Hero 10 Black. This camera uses the same sensor as the previous model but due to the more powerful chip, the Hero 10 Black can now record video up to 5.3K resolution at 60fps, up from 5K 30fps in the previous model. The frame rate has doubled for other resolutions too, so you can now shoot 4K 120fps and 2.7K 240fps videos. The Hero 10 Black can take still 23-megapixel stills, and you can now drag from a 5K video to a 19.6-megapixel frame grab.
GoPro has developed a new HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilization system that works in higher resolution and frame rate combinations than ever before. The tolerance of the in-camera horizon leveling feature has been increased from 27 degrees to 45 degrees. Other touches include a hydrophobic coating for the lens cover, better scratch resistance, and support for a wired connection to your phone for faster content offload. The new image signal processor on the GP2 chip also allows noise reduction in video and local tone mapping, which means we should expect better details and less noise in a less illuminated environment.
The GoPro Hero 10 Black’s interface is much more similar to its predecessor, more responsive. It supports all the features introduced with Hero 9 Black like Hindsite, Schedule Capture, Duration Capture and Liveburst. You can extend the functionality of the camera with the Quick app – it lets you edit your video or live stream on YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, etc. The lens cover is removable, and the Hero 10 Black is compatible with all modes recently introduced. Year for Hero 9 Black.
GoPro Hero 10 Black Performance
The moment you turn on this camera, the UI speed improves. When using it with GoPro Hero 9 Black, the interface of Hero 10 Black felt much smoother. Switching between shooting modes was faster and all interactions with menus were more precise. There were a few instances when my input wasn’t registered, especially if the display is wet, but it’s still a significant improvement over last year’s model. The camera is still quite warm during continuous shooting, but it never affects the output.
The speed boost shooting time offered by GP2 SoC on GoPro Hero 10 Black is also clear. Photos, especially HDRs, are captured and saved much faster than the Hero 9 Black. While shooting during the day, I noticed that the photo and video quality was very similar to the Hero 9 Black, except for a slight difference in color tone, which was a bit cooler with the new model. High supported frame rates at 4K and 5.3K give you more flexibility for slow-motion footage. The stability was very good like last year’s model and even during running, the footage looks smooth without any shaking from very little while shooting during the day. You can enable Boost for more stable footage, but it comes at the cost of frame cutting.
There’s a noticeable improvement in low light stills and videos, though it’s not as drastic as my favorite. The photos taken using Night Photo mode had somewhat sharper details than what the Hero 9 Black could handle, but I really needed to pixel-pip to notice this. HDR photos taken with Hero 10 Black in the evening had better dynamic range than photos taken with Hero 9 Black. There was also less noise in the videos, I was shooting indoors or out in the evenings. The objects in the shadows were better defined, and the footage looked even brighter. When shooting at night in dark light, the footage was still noisy and the details weren’t great, but it was still an improvement over the Hero 9 Black.
The GoPro Hero 10 Black can automatically upload all of its contents to the cloud via Wi-Fi while charging, but there’s a catch. This feature requires a GoPro subscription (not to be confused with a quick subscription) which is not currently available in India. It offers unlimited capabilities for backing up your videos and photos in full resolution, so you don’t have to transfer them to your phone or other device. It costs 49.955 (approximately Rs. 3,712) per year in the United States and includes other benefits such as accessory discounts and a free replacement policy.
I had access to the service for this review and it worked well. After the initial setup, which includes saving your Wi-Fi login details to the camera, Hero 10 Black automatically wakes up when plugged in and automatically uploads any new footage to the cloud.
The GoPro Hero 10 Black uses the same 1,720mAh battery as the Hero 9 Black and in my experience, the battery life was the same. On a full charge, with GPS enabled, you can expect up to half a day of shooting in 4K or about an hour and a half of video recording. Of course, your mileage will vary depending on various factors such as resolution, frame rate, shooting mode, etc. which you choose. If you’re planning on using the Hero 10 Black for all-day shooting, it’s best to have at least one extra battery in hand.
In India, the GoPro Hero 10 Black is priced at Rs. 54,500, and it will be available in early November. The Hero 9 Black will continue to be officially sold at a reduced price. 43,000, although you can now sell it for less than that. The Hero 8 Black is also available for Rs. 31,000 If you haven’t already upgraded to Hero 9 Black, it would be better to pay a little more and take Hero 10 Black instead, as you can’t really pay for a more fluid user experience. However, if you don’t need a high frame rate, the GoPro Hero 9 Black will still be a great choice.