The queen of action cameras remains on her throne. The competition has been wiped out for years now. For its tenth generation GoPro doesn’t change much, but it changes right. We will do a full analysis with the review, which will be published next week, but the important thing to understand is that the changes go in two directions: much more bandwidth available thanks to a new homemade processor, the GP2, and an increasingly pushed use of the cloud to facilitate the immediate sharing of content.
Before telling the GoPro Hero 10 Black let’s start from a mandatory premise: it is an action cam, and was created for specific needs. The sensor it is the same as the previous generation, and despite the fact that for years there have always been those who ask each generation for a bigger sensor on GoPro there are obvious reasons not to put it. First of all, a much shorter minimum focusing distance, with a 1 ”sensor and a fixed focus lens it would be really difficult to manage any selfie and some particular shots, and above all almost absent rolling shutter.
GoPro, given the type of product it builds, cannot use an autofocus or even a stabilizer: the vibrations would destroy the moving parts.
Fortunately, the company had put on the Hero 9, last year, a new and very fast sensor that was throttled by the low bandwidth of the GP1 processor, three years of life behind it.
The new GP2 processor has double the bandwidth and this means recording, on a fast card, 5K a 60 fps e 4K a 120 fps. Not only that: thanks to the new video engine and the display controller, it improves every aspect of the camera, from video capture to preview during recording.
The photos, which on the Hero 9 reached 20 megapixels, are now captured at 23 megapixels, 2.7K videos arrive at an incredible 240 fps framerate, HyperSmooth stabilization becomes even firmer thanks to more starting pixels to work on.
One of the most impressive features of last year’s model was the ability to block the horizon line: the accelerometer with internal gyroscope detects the tilt of the camera, and tries to correct the picture by digitally turning the frame on the sensor using the line of the image. horizon as a reference. Last year a 27 ° tilt was corrected, this year even gets to correct a tilt of 45°. This means that even with the cam on the helmet while skiing, or riding a motorcycle, the recovery will be totally stable, without roll. It can be taken, shaken, shaken, but the recovery will be very stable. Everything, of course, can be deactivated.
The new processor also has a new display controller inside which not only makes the touch more responsive but also doubles the frame rate of the front screen. The small screen added last year actually smoother.
Another aspect where GoPro has intervened is on the workflow: today those who use an action camera have to deal with a file transfer that is not always very fast, and with increasingly large files. The GP2 speeds up movie conversion and the transfer process via wi-fi, which now becomes faster, and also allows for a new mode that many will appreciate, namely the transfer via physical cable to a tablet or smartphone.
It works by connecting USB Type C to any Android phone or tablet with USB Type C, then an iPad Air or iPad Pro in the case of Apple, but it does not work directly with the Type C Lightning cable if you want to connect an iPhone . For the iPhone, unfortunately, the additional Lightning USB adapter is needed because without the Made for iPhone certification, Apple does not allow accessory manufacturers to manage the port in data access mode.
Finally, there is a cloud aspect, which enhances the choice made by GoPro in granting unlimited cloud space and full resolution for content created with GoPro. When the Hero10’s battery is charged, the camera automatically connects to the available Wi-Fi network and uploads all recently recorded content to the cloud. An automatic synchronization, which allows everyone to find the videos inside the Quik app and at the same time on an external server, to protect against any accidental deletion. This system, however, requires a subscription to the premium service.
The battery has not changed, and remains compatible with the previous model, and neither has the body changed: the mods and accessories work without problems. The only difference is the lens cover, which is removable: thanks to a new coating the water runs off much faster in case you keep the GoPro hooked to a board or, as you will see in our test, to a speedboat.
Last, but since it is a camera that is no less important, the aspect linked to quality. GoPro hasn’t changed the lens or even the sensor, but as is done by smartphone manufacturers, it has inserted a new ISP into the GP2 that tries to compensate through software what is difficult to do with the hardware. Especially in the case of scenes where there are strong differences in exposure: an action camera quickly changes the light plane, from a fully illuminated scene it can end up in a forest in the shade and from a beach it can end up immersed in water. Thanks to GP2, much more precise and faster local tone mapping algorithms have been included and above all a new 3D noise reduction system that works by frame difference, and significantly reduces video noise when there is little light. This is for both videos and photos.
Without forgetting that having a 5.3K stream at 60p also means having 16 million pixels for each frame, and from these you can get a very clean 4K at 60p thanks to downsampling. What could not be done with the Hero 9, where if you used 5.3K the maximum frame rate was stuck at 30p, and consequently so was the resulting 4K. 30p, for an action scene, are few.
HERO10 Black will cost € 429.98 for those who, at the same time as the purchase, will subscribe to the GoPro service which offers unlimited cloud and other benefits, such as discounts on accessories, while those who buy it without a subscription will pay 529.99€.
All those who are already GoPro subscribers will be able to take the HERO10 Black Bundle for 429.98 euros, a kit containing a Shorty, a Magnetic Swivel Clip, an extra battery and a 32GB SD card, in addition to the new camera.
GoPro basically gives a bundle to those who have trusted the brand and have chosen the subscription. The test comes next week, but if there are any curiosities or questions we can answer immediately: we have already scrambled it for good.