GoPro Hero 9 Black review: Rugged action camera with top drawer specs
Have you ever wondered what is evo India’s secret sauce for creating those awe-inspiring shots that you see often in the mag, social media or on YouTube? Today, we are letting those secrets loose. Well, actually, there is no secret sauce. The shots take a simple but hard to achieve combination of some very brave photographers/videographers with incredible skill developed over years and some of the very best photo and video gear. One particular component of our kit bags has developed immensely through the years and has now made it much easier, and safer, to create standout imagery — that’s the GoPro.
We have been reviewing the GoPro Hero 9 Black over the last couple of weeks and are pleasantly surprised by the improvements in the latest iteration. The Hero series has matured from a rugged, nearly indestructible camera in its early years to now allowing us to shoot high quality 5K video at 30fps. Yes, it is an action camera but one that offers surprisingly high amounts of detail. A new 23.6MP sensor has aided it in this regard and has helped the GoPro stretch its lead among action cameras. While that’s wonderful to have, the 4K resolution that the Hero 8 Black offered was actually more than enough for our use case.
Our video team members are diehard fans of another feature that GoPro has improved massively this time around. ‘HyperSmooth Boost’ stabilisation is now available in all shooting modes which our chief film-maker Alameen merchant says, “I don’t have to worry about shaky footage even when taking fast paced shots. Now I no longer have to compromise on stabilisation while switching between different modes.”
Another addition has made things far less painful for our photo and video team. You see, we often find ourselves setting up a GoPro in places where it would be challenging to plant a human being in, forcing Alameen to do gymnastics and contortions to check and review the frame. The new 1.4-inch front facing display means that photographers and videographers don’t have to deal with cramps or sprains on what is already a physically demanding job; better still the anchors can themselves check the frame while shooting their in-car pieces to camera. Also much appreciated is the larger 2.27-inch rear touchscreen.
“The front facing screen is a godsend,” says our photographer Rohit. “The number of times that I have been unhappy with the in-car shots just because the frame was a little off is unbelievable. This new addition helps me check the frame on the fly.”
The 40 per cent bigger battery means that we don’t need to charge or swap batteries as often. This comes with an increase in footprint, but the GoPro was already compact, and a slight increase is barely noticeable. Another feature that stands out for its sheer usefulness in creating automotive content is ‘Hindsight’. Getting those amazing sliding shots often requires tons of patience and lots of free storage.
“Earlier we’d often leave the camera running for some time till the actual shot is completed which eats up storage. ‘Hindsight’ allows us to just leave it on and then after the shot is completed, choose to save only the last 15 or 30 seconds. This is definitely a boon on long shoots where we often end up swapping multiple memory cards,” says Alameen.
All in all, the Hero 9 Black’s new features and improved sensor have helped our photo and video teams immensely. Our teams give the Hero 9 Black two thumbs up and recommend it for any aspiring photographers/videographers. And particularly so, if fast-moving cars and bikes is your subject of choice.
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