HERO9 Black was released in September 2020. After careful testing, we (and everyone else, honestly) rated it as the best GoPro camera there is.
So, what about it's predecessors?
HERO8 was the top dog for a long time and HERO7 is still very popular, even though it was released in 2018. Both of these cameras have their advantages over one another as well as overall weak spots.
GoPro 7 vs. 8: Detailed Comparison
We reviewed the overall design, photo-shooting, video-recording, pricing (oh yeah), and bonus features of both cameras. While HERO7 and HERO8 are somewhat similar, you'll notice there are quite a few important differences to take into account.
You can use the above links to jump to relevant sections if you're only interested in taking photos or recording videos, for example. However, I recommend reading the entire guide as it will allow you to make an informed purchase.
Let's get to it!
|GoPro HERO7 Black||GoPro HERO8 Black|
|Waterproof||Up to 10 meters||Up to 10 meters|
|Ports||USB-C, Bluetooth, HDMI||USB-C, Bluetooth|
|Mods||None||Media Mod, Light Mod, Display Mod|
|Image Sensor||12 MP||12 MP|
|Controls||Touchscreen, GoPro Remote Control, Voice Controls||Touchscreen, GoPro Remote Control, Voice Controls|
|Photo Output Format||JPG||JPG, RAW|
|FOV||Wide, SuperView, Linear||Wide, SuperView, Linear, Narrow|
|Shutter Speed||Auto, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000||Auto, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000|
|Bitrate||70 MB/s||100 MB/s|
Editor Note: We'll compare GoPro HERO7 Black vs. HERO8 Black. HERO7 White and HERO7 Silver exist as well, but they are both 'lightweight' versions of HERO7 Black - designed for users on a budget. If you decide for HERO7, check out our detailed GoPro HERO7 Black vs. Silver vs. White comparison.
GoPro Hero 7 vs. 8: Design/Build
When it comes to aesthetics and the outside look, you can barely tell the difference between these two excellent cameras. There are some minor changes here and there, but overall, they both have that smooth and elegant GoPro look and feel.
Even though GoPro HERO7 is a great camera, GoPro HERO8 Black does pretty much everything better. Few improvements we can mention at the start are the possibility of taking photos in RAW format, live streaming in 1060p, and having HyperFocus 2.0.
Key specifications like photo and video quality are similar since both cameras can record in 4K60 and take pictures in 12MP. But of course, HERO8 offers some extra features.
LCD screens are generally the same, but HERO8 has an additional screen with the Display mod, but more on that later.
Waterproof or Not?
When it comes to GoPro 7 vs. 8 waterproof capabilities, both are safe up to 10 meters without the need for any special equipment or cases.
But for all those who enjoy exploring flora and fauna of the ocean, both cameras allow cases that enhance their underwater capabilities.
For HERO7, we have the GoPro Super Suit, which will enable you to dive and record in the depth of up to 60 meters underwater. The good news is that the HERO7 is compatible with the same Super Suit as GoPro Hero5 and Hero6.
Unfortunately, HERO8 has different dimensions than the HERO7, so you would need to buy an additional case if you want to dive deep.
For the HERO8, we have the HERO8 Black Protective Housing, which does the same job as the GoPro Super Suit, except its HERO8 exclusive.
The case is ranked as one of our best GoPro accessories for its overall usability and quality.
It allows you to attach extra underwater lenses that make your underwater footage look amazing.
Ports & Connectivity
GoPro HERO8 doesn’t have the HDMI port, but it has, of course, the USB-C port and the folding fingers.
The idea behind HERO8 not having the HDMI port is that the user if needed buys the GoPro HERO8 Media mod. The Media Mod provides you with the HDMI port, other USB and Audio ports, and two cold shoe mounts.
If you need the HDMI port for your everyday use, you must spend additional money on the Media Mod.
GoPro cameras, up to HERO8, are all compatible with older mounts. Our review of the best GoPro gimbals on the market talks about the official GoPro Karma, as well as some unofficial alternatives.
A significant difference in the build of the cameras is that the HERO8 has a built-in mounting point. Having a built-in mounting means that you no longer have to put it in housings to attach it to mounts.
GoPro Hero 7 vs. 8: Battery Life
Both cameras have equal recharging capabilities and a 1220mAh removeable battery. Also, both cameras use the USB-C cable to recharge.
We already talked about some of the most efficient ways of recharging your cameras and batteries. GoPro Supercharger and Dual Battery charger are both compatible with these cameras, and we always suggest using them to save up some time.
External Batteries & Battery Life
External batteries used to be a thing with older Hero models, but unfortunately, these two cameras don’t support external batteries. However, they are still much better than cameras before them in terms of length and duration of the recordings and the video quality.
HERO8 Black currently provides the longest known battery duration in 4K60 recording - even compared to the HERO9 Black.
Mods & Accessories
GoPro mods are only available for HERO8 Black and the latest HERO9 Black. Mods are one of the features that will help you decide between the HERO7 and HERO8.
These mods enhance your experience, and if you have higher needs than the average filmmaker, these mods make HERO8 the perfect choice.
The mods that are currently available to buy are Media Mod, Display Mod, and Light Mod.
The HERO8 Media Mod is an addition to your camera that will allow you to attach other mods, external microphones, non-GoPro equipment, etc.
It comes with a built-in microphone, 3.5mm port, HDMI port, and 2 Cold Shoe ports.
You can mainly use this Mod to expand your sound recording capabilities or add some extra light for your footage. No matter what you want, this is a perfect supplement for your filmmaking process.
Have you ever been vlogging, and you wondered: “Does my hair still look great?”.Well, the display mod allows you to see yourself while recording. It helps you adjust the camera the way you want it on the go.
The display mod is a relatively compact LCD screen that is attached to the Media Mod. This isn’t something that many people besides vloggers would require, but those whose hobbies need it will appreciate it.
GoPro HERO8 Light Mod is a waterproof and lightweight Light. It’s the perfect way of making your photos look more crisp and smooth. The light mod can be used on its own, or it can be attached to your camera.
We predict that GoPro will continue releasing mods for their new cameras, and if you master them now, you will no doubt be ahead of the competition. Media Mod is made to fit only the HERO8 camera, but fortunately, both Light mod and Display will be compatible with the HERO9 Media Mod.
Many Third-Party companies started making accessories that will be compatible with the HERO8 Media Mod.
There are a few downsides to these mods. The main downside is that you will always need the HERO8 Media Mod before attaching any extras, which means that you will need to spend extra money. Media Mod isn’t waterproof, and you wouldn’t be able to put the camera in any case or mount.
GoPro 7 vs. 8: Controls & User Interface
Now, let's talk about the accessibility of both cameras and how they measure up against one another.
HERO8’s design is revolutionary as it’s the first GoPro camera that doesn’t require a case for mounting. This is where HERO7 falls short.
A big downside for the HERO8 is that it doesn’t have a removable front lens. However, it has some additional equipment that will provide you with extra safety.
Even though the HERO8 is slightly larger than the HERO7, the touchscreen is the same size as the HERO7 one. Both cameras have an impressive and crisp touchscreen and the overall software design.
Additionally, GoProHERO8 has a screen that can be bright and clear even in the sunniest environment.
Controls & User Interface
Not much changes in terms of Voice Control. HERO7 and HERO8 have the usual commands such as Wake, switching modes, taking photos, starting to record, and stopping.
All the settings are still set up manually.
GoPro Remote Control
The GoPro Smart remote can control both Cameras. And, of course, they can be paired with your GoPro phone app via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
GoPro 7 vs. 8: Taking Photos
Some folks never even record a GoPro video - all they do is take beautiful photos. If that's you, then this next section is very important.
Image Sensor (12 MP)
Both cameras have a 12 MP image sensor. They deliver photos in the 4:3 aspect ratio, which is nothing spectacular as the pictures are the secondary focus of the GoPro cameras.
Both cameras take decent photos, and their photo capabilities aren’t much different from each other. HERO8 has some additional features, such as LiveBurst, which is a feature that allows you to choose between 8MP photos and 12MP photos.
Output Formats (JPG & RAW)
HERO7 Provides you with the standard JPG format picture, while the HERO8 can take photos in both RAW format and the standard JPG format.
Fields of View (FoV)
By definition, a field of view is the extent of the observable world at any given moment. What does that mean in terms of cameras?
Again, by definition, FOV is a solid angle through which a detector is sensitive to electromagnetic radiation. Okay, so what does it mean in term of GoPro cameras?
Simply put, changing your FOV will change the width, height, or angle of which your camera captures the world before it. Depending on the FOV you choose, your GoPro's output will appear wider, narrower, zoomed in, or curved.
Let's see which FOVs are available for HERO7 and HERO8:
Wide is the GoPro’s default field of view. Anyone that has ever seen any action camera footage is familiar with this FOV. It's the usual GoPro footage experience.
SuperView is the GoPro’s widest possible field of view, it affects the overall quality a little, and it’s not always compatible with the GoPro’s highest resolutions and framerates.
Linear FOV straightens out both axis of the footage. It removes the Fisheye effect and provides you with a classic camera field of view. This is useful for many different hobbies where you don’t want that distorted Fish Eye look.
HERO7 doesn’t have the narrow FOV, but HERO8 does. As the name suggests, this mode narrows the Field of view a little allowing you to make the footage look more “Focused” on something.
For all the beginners out there, ISO is a camera setting used to change your photo’s brightness. High ISO means that you will brighten your photo, and Low ISO means that the photo is darker. When possible, you should avoid changing this as having a high ISO, for example, may make the photo look grainy.
Both GoPro HERO8 and HERO7 don’t have any significant difference when it comes to ISO range. Both cameras have a range from 100 to 3200, while the Night Mode provides you with a range that goes from 100 to 800.
You can change this in your settings, making the photos have a minimum or maximum ISO.
Shutter Speed (Manual & Auto)
Just like the ISO Range, Shutter speed plays an essential role in making your photos look the way you want them to, whether if it is making it blurred or crisp.
Both Cameras have the same Shutter Speed settings. The set of the shutter speeds you can set them on is: Auto, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000
All GoPro cameras have a built-in focus that you can’t adjust. The good thing is that both HERO7 & HERO8 have a very deep focus that removes any motion blur during the recording.
GoPro cameras are made mainly for high-speed sports, and are rarely used in hobbies that require stillness and focus.
To explain, burst mode captures a certain number of images in a set amount of time. For example, 60 images in 10 seconds, which is the highest number the HERO8 Black can take.
- Hero 7: Auto, 30/1, 30/2, 30/3, 30/6, 10/1, 10/2, 10/3, 5/1, 3/1
- Hero 8: Auto, 60/10, 60/6, 30/10, 30/6, 30/3, 30/2, 30/1, 10/3, 10/2, 10/1, 5/1, 3/1
Continuous shooting does a similar job as Burst mode. The difference is that the Burst mode has preset options, while with the continuous shooting, you hold the shutter button for as long as you want it, up to 30 photos.
A new feature only available on HERO8 Black. It captures 1.5 seconds before you hit the shutter and 1.5 seconds after you hit the shutter. This results in 90 images taken within 3 seconds.
With this feature, you can export a 3 second long 4K video or a perfect set of frames.
Zoom Capabilities (Photos)
The last few GoPro Hero cameras all have a digital zoom. Anyone experienced in the recording will know that the digital zoom is quite limited.
Both these cameras have it, except that the HERO8 Black can’t shoot zoomed-in photos in RAW format. This feature is quite limited on both GoPro cameras, you can’t zoom in while recording, and you can’t use both the live burst, continuous shooting, or burst mode while zoomed in.
When zoomed in, you can’t record in 4K on both cameras.
Night mode helps you take more clear photos in the dark by allowing you to choose longer shutter speeds and low ISO Range.
As we mentioned earlier, night mode limits your ISO range from 100 to 800. Here is a list of all the shutter speeds: Auto < 2 seconds < 5 seconds < 10 seconds < 15 seconds < 20 seconds < 30 seconds.
A timer isn’t an extraordinary achievement since even DSLR cameras have had this feature for a long time. However it was only introduced in the latest GoPro cameras.
Both HERO7 and HERO8 have the same options for timer settings.
You can choose from Off, 3 Seconds, or 10 Seconds.
GoPro 7 vs. 8: Recording Videos
If you're looking to film beautiful videos of nature and exciting extreme sport adventures - you'll find this section crucial. There are quite a few differences between HERO 7 and 8.
Both cameras can film in 4K60 resolution. However, that's not all that matters.
It's recommended you opt for HERO8 if videos are your priority.
Simply put, the bitrate is the quantity of data encoded for a period of time. The higher the bitrate is, the video will be less compressed and overall be of greater quality.
This is another field where HERO8 got upgraded. HERO8 has a bitrate of 100 MB/s while the HERO7 has a bitrate of 78 MB/s. The average viewer will hardly notice the difference between the two but professional filmmakers might.
Fields of View (FoV) - Digital Lenses
Digital Lenses are basically another name for a field of view.
Up to HERO7, the field of view for shooting videos was simply called FOV, but they got a fancy new name for it now.
Here are the focal lengths of all the fields of view you can choose from for the GoPro HERO8. The same goes for the HERO7, except that the HERO7 doesn’t have the Narrow FOV:
- SuperView 16mm
- Wide 16-34mm
- Linear 19-39mm
- Narrow 27mm - HERO8 Only
Filetypes and Codecs: H.264 (AVC) / HEVC (H.265)
When it comes to formatting, both HERO7 and HERO8 save their files as MP4.
There is one more thing you should know about codecs and file formats. There are two main codecs, H.264 and HEVC. Both are available on both cameras. HEVC provides you with better video quality and a filesize rate. However, it also takes up more memory.
Let's take a look at some of the other features HERO8 and HERO7 have and the differences between them.
In-Camera Video Stabilization
Stabilization is one of the notable improvements on the HERO8. The newest version of the GoPro is available on HERO8, and it’s called HyperSmooth 2.0. The HERO7 has HyperSmooth stabilization, but we must admit that the HERO8 version is much better.
Protune can be described as the GoPro expert mod. It allows you to delve into advanced settings that can enchant your footage a lot. However, to use this effectively, you will need to play around with it and do a little bit of research. We will cover this topic in the future, so you don’t have to worry!
The difference between the Protune on HERO8 and HERO7 is not significant. There is a broader range of shutter speeds you can choose from and adjusting your audio, whether it’s windy or not.
There is no difference between these two cameras when it comes to QuikCapture. For those unfamiliar with the QuikCapture, QuikCapture is a “shortcut” for recording.
This feature enables you to power on your camera and to start recording by pressing a shutter button. If you want to record a video, press only once, and if you’re going to take TimeLapse photos, you need to hold it for a few seconds.
Looping is a feature that was introduced years ago with the Hero3 camera. These two cameras aren’t an exception, and they both provide you with the same feature, in the same choice of intervals. You can choose between multiple lengths, including 5 minutes, 20 minutes, 60 minutes, and 120 minutes.
For all the beginners out there, looping is used to record many different short parts. For example, if you record using the 5-minute intervals, GoPro will record five one minute sequences that are the same.
HERO7 and HERO8 have the same slow-motion capabilities. No matter the resolution and frame rate. The rate of the slow-motion depends on the resolution you record in. For example, you can only have slow-motion of 2x in 4K, while in 1080p, you can record in 8 times slower.
If you are looking for a GoPro because of its Slow-Motion capabilities, both will serve you equally.
Highlights & Tags (HiLights)
HiLights are a way to mark certain parts of your videos so you can easily edit your footage later. HiLights are set in real-time, and they are made with a simple push on the Mode button while recording.
This is where we would easily pick HERO8 over the HERO7 camera. An improvement is made since HERO8 can Livestream in 1080p while the HERO7 can live stream in 720p.
Compared to other GoPro cameras that are being released, HERO7 isn’t that great when it comes to live-stream.
This feature is only available on HERO8, and you need a mobile app to use it. It levels out the horizon and makes your pictures look more stable and cinematic.
People that post their videos on Instagram and such platforms will find a great use for this feature. This feature will allow you to record just like you would with a smartphone, it’s an excellent addition and can provide your Instagram profile with higher quality footage.
Night Mode - Automatic Low Light
This mode automatically calculates how to optimize your recording and framerate to provide you with better low light footage.
It’s only possible to enable this option if you are recording in 60 frames per second, so the feature makes the framerate go down to 30 fps and calculate the best exposure for the situation.
HERO 7 Black vs HERO 8 Black: Pricing
All things considered HERO7 is still one of the better action cams on the market. It's cheaper than the HERO8, but isn’t much worse than it's successor.
As for HERO8, both new features and mods make it more versatile than HERO7. If you're a filmmaker, we can recommend buying the HERO8. There will probably be many future mods released that will enhance your work.
For example, HERO7 has an HDMI port, while for the HERO8, you need to buy the Media mod. Even though these two cameras’ prices are often the same on the sales, we believe that the HERO8 requires slightly more investing to fulfill its potential.
GoPro Hero 7 vs. 8: Bonus Features
HERO7 has TimeWarp, while HERO8 has TimeWarp 2.0. You don’t need to be a scientist to guess which one is better.
TimeLapse makes the footage looks more stable and smooth, and it can make quite a difference. Both TimeWarp and TimeWarp 2.0 do the same thing, but the HERO8 version of it is improved.
Exposure Compensation hasn’t changed since the Hero5. It allows you to go two steps below and above the automatic exposure value.
Custom Shooting Presets
An outstanding feature that will save you time when setting up your camera. This feature was introduced with the HERO8. It allows you to create shortcuts for certain combinations of settings.
For example, you use a specific group of settings while running and another one when biking. Custom Shooting Presets allow you to switch quickly between the two.
There you have it, folks. We've reviewed and compared every single feature that GoPro HERO7 and HERO8 have. Camera design, taking photos, capturing videos, your budget preferences, and bonus features have all been taken into account.
In the end, you can see there is no clear winner in the HERO 8 vs HERO 7 battle, but both models have their preferred user groups. To summarize:
- More affordable than HERO8.
- Better if you won't film any videos.
- For beginner users that don't require advanced features like Protune.
- One of the most expensive action cameras on the market.
- Better than HERO7 when it comes to filmmaking and extreme sports videos.
- Has advanced features for professional photographers.
If you still have no idea which of these two cameras is ideal for you, feel free to contact us and we'll give you some expert advice based on your preferences.
Until next time,