GoPro Hero 10 Black Review: New Era For Action Cameras

GoPro Hero 10 Black Review: New Era For Action Cameras

If you’re looking for a capable camera that can capture anything, anytime, then the GoPro Hero 10 Black is your perfect match. It’s waterproof, durable, and has an ergonomic design to help you easily capture fantastic footage.

In this article, LucidCam will introduce you to GoPro’s latest product: GoPro Hero 10 Black Review. And why is it ushering in a whole new era of action cameras?

The new GoPro Hero 10 Black camera is a must-have for those who love to take photos and videos of their adventures. The Hero 10 features all the best of previous models, with some upgrades to please even the most demanding users. It has an updated design with better water resistance, longer battery life, and clearer night vision.

This camera does not glare screen when recording in bright light or at water depths up to 33 feet! If you are looking for a new adventure-ready camera, look no further than the GoPro Hero 10 Black.

GoPro Hero 10 Black Review – New Era For Action Camera

Pros

  • 5.3K capture at 60fps
  • 120fps 4K slow motion
  • Class-leading video stabilization
  • High frame rate video
  • Front-facing color screen
  • Waterproof without the need for an add-on bag
  • GoPro Media Mod Support
  • Wi-Fi and USB Transfer for Tablets and Phones

Cons

  • Battery drains quickly
  • Prices are higher if you do not subscribe
  • The long-form video recording is limited by heat

The field trip – the high altitude Carnic hike trail

The GoPro HERO10 was perfect – we had enough stuff to last us multiple days, including nights at mountain huts. However, the backpacks were light enough to carry the extra technical trails.

Gear had to be very minimalistic. I tried to determine if my Panasonic S1 full-frame with a small Canon FD 35mm lens fit. But I gave up on all that. It was either my smartphone or a GoPro. There was no more space.

Here’s the thing: a smartphone won’t give you the same flexibility and features as a GoPro. The camera is weatherproof and can be mounted in many positions, including a chest harness. This was what I used most. You can film in excellent image stabilization with the Hypersmooth 2.0 feature. Then there are the different frame rates and photo resolution.

Four days of riding, covering 163km at 6300m altitude, we spent about 5-6 hours in the saddle each morning and using one HERO10 camera as our sole camera.

The user interface and menu navigation have also been improved. GoPro claims that the touch screen is more responsive and should make most tasks faster. It appears that this is the case. Sometimes, older cameras may require two or three attempts to register a press. However, Hero 10 required me to tap less than once.

The time it takes for an HDR photo to be processed is another clear example of how software can make things more efficient. GoPro owners are familiar with the blurred circles that appear after an image has been taken and processed by the camera.

The Hero 10 takes only a few seconds to expose the image. The latest flagship is a lot easier to use due to this and the general nippiness in the menus.

Another small but important usability improvement that isn’t technically necessary but adds to the user experience is that Hero 10 now supports wired transfer via a smartphone. Connect your phone to the camera, and you can also transfer media to GoPro’s Quik app this way.

You can store all your GoPro footage on the unlimited cloud storage. There are also premium editing templates available in the Quik app.

It is a great deal if you have an internet connection that allows for the automatic uploading of high-resolution footage.

Design

Covers for new lens cover with a water-repellant coating that is stronger and more durable.

Rear touchscreens and menus respond better.

Physically, the Hero 9 Black is identical to it.

Physically, the GoPro Hero 10 Black looks almost identical to its predecessor. Only Hero 9 Black’s Hero 10 Black has an external difference in the fancy blue logos on its front and sides.

There have been a few subtle changes to the GoPro, but the new lens cover is most important for watersports enthusiasts. The lens cover now features a hydrophobic water repellent coating. We tested it under a tap and found that the new lens cover was significantly more effective at repelling water.

The lens cover is also more scratch-resistant, although it was harder to test on our loan sample. However, an unexpected test in which our head-mounted GoPro flew away from a heavy zip line landing and stopped in some jagged wood chips left no visible marks on the lens. This lens cover can be removed and replaced if it sustains severe damage.

Although the Hero 10 Black is 5g lighter than its predecessor, we cannot determine where GoPro made these weight savings, and it doesn’t offer any practical benefits. The camera’s base has folding “fingers” that can be attached to all the accessories. These were first seen on the Hero 8 Black and allow you to connect the camera directly to your helmet without the need for additional housing.

Here’s a quick overview of Hero 9 Black’s design features. A 1.4-inch front LCD is available for vloggers. GoPro claims that this screen shows movement a lot smoother than it did before. Despite being so small, we couldn’t tell the difference from its predecessor.

The 2.27-inch LCD rear touchscreen is far more prominent. GoPro claims that this touchscreen has an “improved touch sensitivity,” however, the real difference is the GP2 processor. We were critical of the Hero 9 Black’s slow, unresponsive rear screen. It was not as responsive as the Hero 10’s touchscreen.

The GP2 adds 3D noise reduction and local tone mapping. These features allow for better dynamic range and clearer images even in low light performance. Steadier video with the GP2 comes HyperSmooth 2, the latest version of GoPro’s digital image stabilization system in-camera.

This is the way Hero 9 Black should have performed, so it’s not a victory for its successor. It is much more fun to use than last year’s frustrating experience.

The Hero 10 Black’s side doors will reveal the same 1,720mAh battery used in its predecessor. This was another change introduced on the Hero 9 Black. If you are upgrading from an older GoPro, your older 1,220mAh batteries will not work here.

The battery cover is flanked by a microSD card slot and a USB-C port. This port is used to charge your phone but can also be used for the wired transfer to transfer footage to the Hero 10 Black (approximately 50% faster than wireless transfers). This is a straightforward process for Android phones. They only need a USB C to USB C cable. However, iPhone users will require the Apple Lightning to USB camera adapter and a standard USB A to USB C cable.

The Hero 10 Black is an excellent pocket camera, which can be waterproof to 10 meters and feels a lot more professional than its predecessor.

The field trip – the high altitude Carnic hike trail

Battery life

So far, everything has been positive, but it’s time to add a little spice. Although battery life has not been GoPro’s strength, it has improved over the years. The Hero 10 is a slight step back.

Although it’s not a significant breakthrough, on a simple click record and forget the camera shootout, Hero 9 beat Hero 10 by nearly half an hour. It took 1hr40 at 40K/30fps. The new camera only managed 1hr15 when I tried the same test with the same battery.

GoPro claims that most users only shoot short videos. It has optimized the camera and battery usage for this scenario. Although it might be true, one should assume that this hasn’t changed from the previous camera. No matter what your shooting habits are, higher processing will always reduce your overall shooting time.

The problem gets worse when you try to flirt with higher frame rates. My first day of testing led me to believe I had a bad cell. It sank to about 50% unusually fast. This was the price you have to pay for smoother videos.

As you can see, there is not much more. We can only hope that future revisions and possibly software updates will recover some of those lost minutes.

Resolution & frame rate capabilities – Max lens mod

GoPro has increased the processing power of the Hero 10, allowing it to do more with the same image sensor that the Hero 9.

The new GP2 processor has doubled the frame rates available, from 5.3k60p, 4k120p, to 2.7k240p. The 1080p frame rate has remained the same at 240fps.

The 5.3k mode in 30p or 60p looks excellent. GoPro color science works well. White balance can shift if the camera is moved (flat was used for Protune settings. auto is for WB). Manual WB settings are also available. You won’t believe it, but there is no 24-p mode in 5.3k. Only 4k mode.

If you use 5.3k30p for your base, this will give you 4x slow motion with 4k120p. This is amazing. There is almost no loss of resolution.

The 2.7k240p mode makes things more difficult.

In the 1080p (FullHD) mode, GoPro’s of the previous generation only provided 240p. This mode was limited by poor resolution and stair-stepping/aliasing artifacts.

The footage in 2.7k240p has soft footage, but stair-stepping/aliasing is almost gone. It is not FullHD quality. But, you can see it for yourself.

I asked if it was possible to see higher resolutions and frame rates for the GoPro Max Lens Mod. This one is currently limited at 2.7K/60FPS for the Hero 9. The Max Lens Mod was not supported software-wise at launch (hardware fits perfectly fine), but that will change in the November firmware update.

When asked about it, GoPro stated that it might be possible to achieve higher frame rates and resolution for Hero 10 using the Max Lens Mod. However, they suggest you keep checking back for December (I presume). Once they have finished the November update, they will be exploring what’s possible.

As someone who uses the GoPro Max Lens Mod support a lot, I would love to see it with a higher resolution. It would be great to have the ability to choose/change the orientation in post. This is why I shoot two videos per thing right now – one for Instagram, Vertical, and one for Horizontal.

The ultrawide angle lens main selling point is its ability to rotate the camera infinitely while locking the horizon. Therefore, I would assume they can simultaneously record either orientation (which is just recording a larger frame) but don’t have the processing overhead of the GP1.

However, I look forward to the Max Lens mod update in November and the ability to do 5K/30 SuperView mode in November – this will be the first time we have anything that wide in 5K with GoPro.

The Hero 10’s photo-driven improvements include the higher resolution in more shooting modes and increased video resolution. While you can still take a single picture as-is, GoPro reports that more people are switching to shooting videos and creating still photos from the video.

This makes sense for action cameras since it is much easier to shoot a quick video clip and then capture the exact frame you want. It’s something I do pretty often.

Do I need to upgrade to the GoPro Hero 10 Black model?

It is usable. However, the 4k timeline resolution loss is quite noticeable. I recommend that you use the 4k120p mode.

Last but not least, the software is now stable. There was always the possibility of the camera hanging up, especially at higher frame rates. This led to the loss of the shot at highly inconvenient times as you had the battery pulled. The cam is now stable at all frame rates and resolutions.

HyperSmooth 4.0 refers to GoPro’s highest level image stabilization on the Hero 10 Black. You can get it at 5.3K30 and 4K60, and 2.7K120. However, there are other frame rates and resolutions that provide stabilization. The stabilization results were excellent on rides at theme parks, in a water park, and while just walking around.

HyperSmooth also offers horizon leveling and tilt limits up to 45 degrees. In Hero 9, it is a maximum of 27°. You can also use stabilization when you Livestream with the Hero 10, which is helpful if you are doing things like walking or talking with it.

Video in 5.3K is clear and sharp, even with mixed indoor-outdoor lighting in theme parks and water parks. The 60 megabits per sec bit rate is a good one. GoPro claims that you will see improvement in low-light outdoor scenes at dusk and sundown, but low light indoors is still soft and noisy. This is not uncommon for a 23.6-megapixel new image sensor.

Hypersmooth 4.0

Starting with Hypersmooth 2.0 in the Hero7, electronic image stabilization became a distinctive selling proposition. GoPro claimed, no gimbal was needed. I wasn’t convinced by that claim, as I own the GoPro Karma Grip and the HERO6. The footage was flawless no matter what.

In some situations, the camera was stable but had hiccups on other occasions, particularly when the camera was attached to the breast harness.

The footage was shot with Hypersmooth 2.0, solid, and viewed in all frame rates/resolutions. This is a considerable advantage and no longer requires a gimbal.

There were very few hiccups, except when the trail became too bumpy/rocky, and the entire breast harness would move. There are two options: standard or boost. I chose to use standard because I didn’t want to cut too much of the boost footage.

Audio quality

Another surprise was the audio quality – this is the Achilles heel of any action camera. Your voice will sound fine if you speak directly to the camera and avoid windy situations. You can hear yourself in the video.

New lens cap

A new lens cap coating is available that is better at repelling water and dust.

Lens flares have a side effect that makes them look better but can sometimes appear blueish.

Resolution & frame rate capabilities

Front screen

The Hero 9 has a front screen that allows you to frame yourself while looking at the camera. DJI was the first to offer one for its Osmo Action. This beat GoPro by several weeks. It’s still a popular feature that is subject to updates.

The Hero 10’s camera is the same size as the Hero 10, but the frame rate has increased slightly from 20 to 30 frames per second.

Although it’s great to see the camera updated by the company, I don’t find much difference. I’m not at arm’s length, and I often need the second display. If you feel the screen lacks this area, you can rest assured that you will have a better experience this time.

Although it is not a prominent feature on Hero 10, it does relate to the preview screen. The Hero 10 now features a hydrophobic coating on the GoPro lens. Drops on your lens can quickly ruin your footage if you have ever taken a GoPro underwater. They are usually right where the action is happening.

Although I haven’t had the chance to test the camera in water, it is easy to see that water doesn’t collect in large, subject-blurring drops. Although it is not entirely water repellent, large drops are no longer an issue. Instead, you will get a small collection of droplets. They are still not recommended, but they have a more negligible effect on the subject matter, so I’ll accept them.

Does the GoPro Hero 10 Black overheat?

While recording at 5K or 4K120, the camera can get warm. Although I didn’t feel any heat, I did experience some. However, I only have clips that last less than 2 minutes, and I make sure to turn off both displays when I’m recording.

The Hero 10 can lock up if it is set to its highest settings during hot or warm weather. Short clips can be used to keep the camera cool while recording.

Another piece of advice is that you might need to upgrade your microSD cards if you are upgrading from an older GoPro camera. I tested using a Samsung Evo Select card, which I had previously used in the Hero 9 Black.

Although I had no issues with it initially in the Hero 10, I noticed that it was slow when I began recording at 5.3K60. I needed a faster card, V30 or higher, to optimize performance.

Does the GoPro Hero 10 Black overheat?

Do I need to upgrade to the GoPro Hero 10 Black model?

The Hero 10 Black’s pricing is similar to the Hero 9 Black. The Hero 10 Black camera costs $499. This is $50 more than the Hero 9 starting price. The price drops to $399 if you purchase directly from GoPro.com.

You can also sign up for the GoPro subscription service, which comes with the camera. The camera will cost AU$599 in Australia and AU$379 in the UK with a GoPro subscription for a year. The camera is available for purchase at AU$749 or PS479.

You get unlimited cloud backups in original Image quality, damaged camera replacement, discounts on gopro accessories, gear, and access to GoPro’s premium streaming platform. It makes it easy to share clips and photos.

After charging the camera, it connects automatically to your Wi-Fi network. Once you have set it up with an iOS or Android mobile application, the backup will begin.

A year subscription is available and reduces the cost of the camera by $100. If you love the service and want to keep it for a year, it will cost $50 per year or $5 monthly. It’s AU$70 per year or AU$7 per month in Australia. In the UK, it’s either PS50 annually or PS4.17 per month.

The Hero 9 and Hero 8 will remain in the lineup along with the GoPro Max 360 cameras. Each of these gets a price cut if you purchase from GoPro.com and sign-up for the included service.

It’s been a long time since I was able to capture stabilized 4K120 video on my GoPro. The Hero 9’s 5K video is excellent for capturing stills. It’s great to have a different resolution on the Hero 10.

You won’t lose out if your Hero 9 Black is already black. However, it wouldn’t hurt to wait a year and see what GoPro can do using the new GP2 processor. If you are new to GoPro cameras, the Hero 9 is a great place to start. This is a great time to upgrade if you have a Hero 7 Black/Hero 8 Black. You’ll get a lot more features, capabilities, and a better design.

Conclusion

GoPro has been a leader in the action camera industry for years and continues to innovate with its latest product release. The new Hero 10 Black is designed to help you capture every moment of your active lifestyle from up close or afar. It’s rugged, waterproof, and mounts just about anywhere – including on animals!

If you are interested in purchasing one for yourself or someone else on your list, be sure to take advantage of our exclusive coupon code!

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