Go Pro Hero 7 Review

​The Latest Powerhouse P​OV Camera from GoPro

Go Pro Hero 7 Review

​Click to Watch Video Review

The GoPro Hero 7 Black Edition is a significant upgrade from the HD Hero 5 and 6 Black. It is a high quality, fit-in-your pocket POV camera with a ton of tricks up its sleeve. These include HyperSmooth stabilization, 4K/60p recording, 1080p/240fps recording, NEW live streaming and upright social media orientation.

​Introduction

Wow! What more can I say? I have been using the GoPro Hero 5 for a couple of years and loved it. Until its untimely death that is (my fault). It happened around the time that GoPro released the Hero 7 so obviously I jumped on it.

I use Go Pro's for a number of things ranging from family days out through to B/C roll for some of my professional work. They are also very handy as a second camera when doing YouTube videos or vlogging, especially in the car. I love GoPro cameras and have owned every HD version except for the Hero 6.

​What is so great about the GoPro Hero 7?

In a word, stability.

HyperSmooth Stabilization

I know GoPro have really pushed the stabilization feature on the GoPro Hero 7 but I think it is entirely justified. I saw the promo videos and was amazed so this was the first thing I tried out. Being a fan of all-things-stabilized I wanted to see if the hype was for real. It was.

I have tried out the HyperSmooth Stabilization whilst riding a bike on cobblestones, handheld in the passenger seat of a car and at an adventure park. Each time I have been thoroughly impressed by the results. For most, "not overly active" situations, there really is no need for a secondary stabiliser.

Obviously it doesn't compare to say a DJI Ronin or Moza Pro gimbal but it certainly holds its own. When attached to a smaller handheld gimbal such as the FreeVision Vilta M or GoPro Karma Grip, the results are bonkers good!

HyperSmooth Stabilization is available in the following frame rates at 16:9 aspect ratio:

  • ​4K - 60/50/30/25/24p
  • ​2.7K - 60/50/30/25/24fps
  • ​1080p - 60/50/30/25/24fps
  • ​720p - 60fps only (does anyone still shoot at 720)?

Stabilization drops to the "standard" level at the following frame rates:

  • ​1080p 120fps

And there is no stabilization at these frame rates:

  • ​2.7K - 120fps
  • ​1080p - 240fps
  • ​720p - 240fps

At present, there simply isn't the processing power available in such a small camera to cope with this. For added stabilization, stick the GoPro Hero 7 on a Vilta M or Karma Grip : )

Caveat for HyperSmooth Stabilization: You may get slightly softer footage when HyperSmooth is activated. This is due to the 10% crop needed to stabilize the footage. If you are not moving crazy fast or using another, handheld stabilizer, turn HyperSmooth off. If you want to keep HyperSmooth activated, and you will be outputting to a lower resolution, you won't see a difference.

Frame Rates

At a time when major DSLR and Mirrorless camera manufacturers are struggling to include faster video recording speeds, GoPro are simply excelling.

​Note This is a very small camera with a very small sensor. Do not expect to get RED quality from a £379 camera! Take it for what it is...a fun, take anywhere, record anything matchbox sized camera.

Saying that, there are so many exciting and creative features on the GoPro Hero 7 including frame rates (at 16:9 aspect ratio). Here is the best of what you get:

  • ​4K 60/50p (wide view only)
  • ​2.7K 120/100p (wide view only)
  • ​1080 240/200p (wide view only)

Shooting at 4K 60p is lovely. It is perfect for general shots such as:

  • ​Travel
  • ​Aerial video
  • ​Fun with family and friends etc

It also works as B or C roll for some projects you may undertake where no other camera will fit.

Note: If your timeline/output frame rate is 24p, shooting at 60p gives you 2.5x slow motion (60/24). For best slow motion on a 25p timeline, shoot at 50p.

Changes to the 4:3 aspect ratio

All you crazy surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders, skydivers etc will be pleased to see some upgrades over the GoPro Hero 6.

You get, on top of 4K 60p HyperSmooth and 2.7K 4:3 60p HyperSmooth, the following options:

  • ​1440p 120fps
  • ​960p 240fps

Both lacking on the Hero 6.

Go Pro Hero 7 Available Frame Sizes

​The Go Pro Hero 7 shoots in a wide range of frame sizes. Check them out below and please click the image for a larger version.

Go Pro Hero 7 Frame Sizes

Viewing/Filming Angles

The narrow angle seen on most previous Go Pro's is no more. I am not sure why they removed this but here are the viewing angles at all resolutions:

RESOLUTION
​LINEAR
​WIDE
SUPERVIEW

4K 60/50p

4K 30/25/24p

2.7K 120/100p

2.7K 60/50p

2.7K 30/25/24

1080p 240/200p

1080p 120/100p

1080p 60/50p

1080p 30/25/24p

720p 240/200p

​720p 60/50p

Time Warp

If you love time lapses, you will have a lot of fun with the Go Pro Hero 7. It comes with a raft of time lapse/motion lapse/hyperlapse features including:

  • ​Time Warp Video
  • ​Time Lapse Video
  • ​Night Lapse Photo
  • ​Time Lapse Photo

Time Warp Video (2.7k and 1440p, Wide FOV only)

By shooting your time lapse with the Time Warp Video function, you get 5 options:

  • 1
    ​2x​ - Speed up video 2x meaning 1 minutes recording = 30 seconds of Time Warp Video
  • 2
    ​5x​ - 1 minute of recording = 10 seconds of Time Warp Video
  • 3
    ​10x​ - 5 minutes of recording = 30 seconds of Time Warp Video
  • 4
    ​15x​ - 5 minutes of recording = 20 seconds of Time Warp Video
  • 5
    ​30x​ - 5 minutes of recording = 10 seconds of Time Warp Video

In my experience, choosing 15x or 30x speed gives much better results unless you are static.

Time Lapse Video (2.7k and 1440p, Wide FOV only)

Time Lapse Video is slightly different to Time Warp Video in that with this option, you choose the interval. For example, if you choose an interval of 0.5 seconds between shots, 5 minutes of recording will give you 20 seconds of time lapse video.

At the other end of the scale, if you set a 60 second interval, 5 hours of recording will give you just 10 seconds of time lapse video.

The full range of options are:

  • ​0.5 secs
  • ​1 second
  • ​2 seconds
  • ​5 seconds
  • ​10 seconds
  • ​30 seconds
  • ​60 seconds

Night Lapse Video

Because shooting at night means longer exposures are required, you get a few options to choose from and set here:

  • Shutter - Auto, 30 seconds, 20s, 15s, 10s, 5s, 2s
  • Interval - Auto, 4s, 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 1 minute, 2m, 5m, 30m, 60m
  • FOV (Field of View) - Wide, Linear
  • RAW - On/Off (RAW is better)
  • ProTune - On/Off (Setting to on gives you the following, additional settings)
  • EV Compensation - (+2 to -2 in half stop increments)
  • White Balance
  • ISO Min/Max - 100 to 3200
  • Sharpness
  • Colour - GoPro or Flat

It is worth doing some homework and using RAW and ProTune for night lapses. Keep the quality high (low ISO, long shutter speeds etc) for better results.

Time Lapse Photo

Similar to Night Lapse Photo, Time Lapse Photo gives you various options. However, you don't get to choose the shutter speed as this will be used during the daytime. It would be better to have the choice in my opinion:

  • Interval - 0.5 seconds, 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, 30s, 60s
  • FOV - Wide, Linear
  • RAW - N/A
  • ProTune - On/Off (Setting to on gives you the following, additional settings)
  • EV Compensation (+2 to -2 in half stop increments)
  • White Balance - Auto, 2300K, 2800K, 3200K, 4000K, 4500K, 5000K, 5500K, 6000K, 6500K, Native
  • ISO Min/Max - 100 to 3200
  • Sharpness - High, Medium, Low
  • Colour - GoPro, Flat

Self Timer

Camera = 3 or 10 seconds delay

At a Glance

There are a few more features available but I won't go into great detail here. I have added some quick notes below for you to check out and experiment with when you buy the camera.

Notes

  • ​Voice command is good. It will turn on when connected to a computer but won't turn off using voice control.
  • ​Locked Exposure is cool. Press and hold the rear screen before shooting. This is especially good for time lapse...you get no fluctuations.
  • ​Set -0.5EV to save blown highlights
  • ​Set ISO to Max 100 when shooting outdoors (skiing, surfing etc) for maximum quality
  • ​Turn Low Light Off to prevent the camera changing your frame rates automatically. Change frame rates manually yourself as and when required.
  • ​Audio. Set to stereo unless you need audio in a windy situation. I got some strange echoing when set to auto. Best to use external audio whenever possible. However, use the internal audio from the GoPro Hero 7 for lining up with other audio files in post production.
  • ​Stills. You cannot shoot RAW in Linear POV...grrr.
  • ​Turn off Auto ISO. A camera with a sensor this small cannot cope with high ISO's. Be aware of slow shutter speeds in low light though and use a mini tripod or stabilizer when you can.
  • ​Short clips setting (set to record 15 or 30 second clips with notification front and back)
  • ​Playback high frame rate clips in slow motion - Cool

​​​​​​​​Summary - GoPro Hero 7

Obviously this is the best Go Pro camera to date as it is the latest. However, the improvements are easily enough for anyone to jump onto the Go Pro bandwagon or upgrade from any other Go Pro.

If you own a Hero 5 or 6 and don't need the additional features, you are fine where you are. The image quality is pretty much the same.

For me, I think this camera is superb. Like I said in the video, the Hero 6 wasn't enough to sway me from the Hero 5 but the Go Pro Hero 7 is everything it promised to be. Superb!

​​Do you own a Go Pro Hero 7? What do you think of it? Will you be upgrading or buying one?

Please like, share and comment below...much appreciated!

About the author

Nick

Professional photographer and videographer for more than 30 years and all round photography, video and gadget geek. Shooting ground and aerial wedding, stock and commercial photography (and video) in the UK and Europe.Please note: As an Amazon Associate and affiliate for other companies, I earn from qualifying purchases from some links used in this website. You don't pay any more but the commissions earned means I can keep adding to the website and offer free training etc. I.e. they pay my costs. Thank you.


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