GoPro Hero 8 Black action camera

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GoPro is well-known for making great action cameras.

Today I want to share with you my GoPro Hero 8 Black review.

At the moment, it isn’t the latest and best camera available from GoPro — it’s the second best. GoPro has just released Hero 9 Black. If you want to have the very best camera, this is the one you’ll be looking at. However, if all you need is a great action camera that’s sturdy, reliable and offers high video quality, then the Hero 8 Black might be it.

Here are the reasons why I love this camera (and a few – why not).

GoPro Hero 8 Black Review: Basics

The camera is small, waterproof right out of the box, and easy-to-use.

All the extra features aside, the camera has 3 main modes:

  1. Video (up to 4K 60fps),
  2. Photo (12 MP, burst shooting),
  3. Timelapse (regular, night, TimeWarp 2.0).

If with video and photo everything is clear, then timelapse is something GoPro has taken to another level. With the help of GoPro’s TimeWarp 2.0 feature creating beautiful hyperlapses (“timelapse in motion”; something like this) is just as easy and only a single click away.

The camera features a touchscreen, WiFi and USB connections.

Its battery life is around 40 – 50 minutes of shooting.

WATERPROOF: up to 33 ft / 10 meters

DIMENSIONS: 2.61” x 1.91” x 1.12” (66.3 mm x 48.6 mm x 28.4 mm)

WEIGHT: 4.44 oz / 126 g

GoPro Hero 8 Black next to a window
GoPro Hero 8 Black

1. The Video Quality Is Very Good

I’m not going into specs here, but I love the quality.

I also love how smooth the videos are, thanks to the Hypersmooth 2.0.

For the last year I’ve been shooting a lot with iPhone 11, both photos and videos. I love iPhone’s video quality. The same way I love the GoPro’s video quality. In some places iPhone does a better job, in another – GoPro. All in all the quality is very similar, both from video and audio perspective.

2. Shooting Is Super Easy

Sometimes it feels like it’s too easy.

Because you come home, see all the footage you have, and think – why? Why do I have so much of this monotonous cycling or driving, or walking? When all I need is just a few 10-20 second clips. If you’re new to GoPro you may have to work on this, to remind yourself not to shoot too much.

To start shooting a video all you have to do is press a button.

The camera turns on and starts shooting right away.

That’s the easy of use I really love.

This applies only to video shooting.

Holding GoPro Hero 8 Black

3. I Don’t Like The GoPro Photo Quality

It’s worse than I was expecting.

I wasn’t expecting much, I knew GoPro is all about high quality smooth videos. It’s an action camera after all. But still the quality of photos turned out to be worse than what I was expecting it would be like. Especially in bad conditions.

So, just as much I like the video quality, I don’t like the photo quality.

You can’t compare it to the quality of iPhone 11 photos. Yeah, I’m comparing it to the iPhone again. iPhone does a much, much better job in photography.

Here’s one example – shot on GoPro Hero 8 Black:

Mangalsala Pier, Riga
Mangalsala Pier, Riga

Apart from the quality, it’s just feels plain hard to shoot single photos.

You have to press the same one button, the one you use for video recording.

I would like to have a chance to shoot by pressing the touch screen.

Voice control makes it a bit easier.

4. Timelapse Mode Is Great

It’s great both during the day and at night.

The quality is good, and you also always know how long the end result (the video) is going to be, something you don’t know for example with the iPhone. The iPhone just shows you that it’s taking a time lapse, but you don’t know how long should you be waiting for. The only downside with the GoPro is that its screen dims after some time, and then you have to be very careful when touching it — not to destroy your recording.

GoPro Hero 8 Black next to a match box
GoPro Hero 8 Black next to a match box

5. I Love The Hyperlapse Mode

I love how these videos look and how stable they are.

During the 2 weeks that I was using this GoPro I used this mode a lot when cycling. The thing I like most about this mode is how the end result makes you feel. It makes you feel like you’re really in that place. Just in a matter of seconds you get a very good feeling of what it’s like there. Like in this example I shot.

6.  The Battery Could Be Better

Gopro Hero 8 Black battery life could be better.

Right now it’s at around 40 – 50 minutes of shooting.

It’s not bad, but I, personally, would like it to be at least 2x as good, more similar to what modern smartphones nowadays offer.

The other thing is that you have to adjust, to change your habits a bit — not to shoot that much, when it’s that easy (which is good). Or you’ll end up like me constantly feeling that again the battery is dead when you need it the most. It’s very easy to change the battery, but if you haven’t put the camera on some selfie stick or something, or have it in a cover like I had. Then it takes a bit extra and can be annoying.

You may also want to buy a separate charger for batteries.

Or you’ll have to charge them one by one.

GoPro Hero 8 black lying on the ground

To sum up this GoPro review – if you’re fine with the GoPro battery capacity and don’t care that much about the photos, it’s a great backpacking camera – an action camera to capture all your adventures, wherever they may take you. Be it on the water, under the water, in the snow or mud.

Have you tried this or another GoPro? What’s been your experience?