Review: GoPro HERO10 Black is finally here and packed with refinements

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Today, the new GoPro HERO10 Black is finally here. Having long been the gold standard of action cameras, the most recent model looks to iterate on its predecessors with an improved processor, 23MP sensor capable of recording 5.3K footage, a hydrophobic lens, and plenty of other enhancements. But do all of those features stack up to continue GoPro’s reign? Head below for all of the details in our hands-on review.

Hands-on with the new GoPro HERO10 Black

After offering a first look at what to expect from the HERO10 Black at the end of last month, GoPro is now officially pulling back the curtain on its latest action camera. With plenty of new features to go alongside form and function that has carried over from its predecessor, we’re taking a hands-on look at what you can expect from the package.

For starters, the GoPro HERO10 Black has a nearly identical design to the HERO9 from last year. There’s that black rectangular form that has now become something of a signature element of the brand’s releases, which borrows the same fold-out mount at the bottom the previous generation. On the back is a 2.27-inch touchscreen on the back, which now packs improved sensitivity on top of a higher refresh rate, so playing back footage should look a little closer to what you’ll expect from transferring over to another device.

Turning around to the front, and you’ll find the same front-facing screen as introduced last year to complement the camera’s main sensor. While the actual recording capabilities themselves have received some love, GoPro has also implemented what may very well be my favorite tweak here. A new hydrophobic coating has been applied to the main lens, rounding out the water-resistance up to 33-feet. All that while still clocking in at 153 grams, which is just a tad less than the HERO9’s 158 gram weight.

Though where GoPro is really upping the ante of its HERO10 Black is in the recording capabilities. Front and center is the all-new GP2 processor, which steps in to power the entire package from the improved 23MP photo capture and 5.3K video recording to improved image stability, faster captures, snappier interface, and more convenient wireless backups. Not to mention, improved low-light performance. All that’s to say, GoPro didn’t skimp out on the processing power on paper, and it certainly ends up making for a near seamless experience in person.

GoPro is also rolling out its best in the features department for the HERO10 to match the hardware adjustments. With the GP2 under the hood, there’s plenty of improvements to write home about, though none of them are quite as apparent as just how fast this thing is. Booting up to take a photo takes an instant and means you can quickly press the shutter button up top to start recording at a moment’s notice.

That power also translates over to better recording and capture prowess, with double the frame rates than before alongside better tone mapping and 3D noise reduction.

All of GoPro’s in-house smart capture modes are being upgraded this time around, too. You’ll find the latest iteration of Hypersmooth, now into its fouth generation, which yields improved tilt adaptation and now works while live streaming. That’s alongside other staples like timeWarp 3.0, Hindsight, and LiveBurst.

Now available for purchase, the new GoPro HERO10 Black arrives with a $399.98 price tag direct from the brand’s online storefront. Those who want a more complete package can pick up the latest action camera with some bundled accessories. Both of these offerings come with a 1-year GoPro subscription – though buying it without an auto-renewing subscription from retailers like Adorama will set you back the full list price of $499.99.

How does it all stack up?

While there are certainly plenty of enhancements this time around on the Hero 10 Black, GoPro isn’t doing anything too drastic compared to the previous-generation model. It’s an approach that is all too common these days in the world of tech – delivering incremental upgrades to smaller aspects in order to arrive at the next stepping stone on the path. And honestly, that approach works quite well.

Everything from the speed and improved ease of use to better photo capturing and video recording, hydrophobic lens, and lighter package all result in what is certainly the most compelling action camera on the market. Though with GoPro being the gold standard for quite some time now, it’s really no surprise that the HERO10 Black lives up to its expected experience.

Don’t get me wrong though, it isn’t a completely perfect package though, as there are some things that could still use some improvement and new inclusions that aren’t quite up to spec. In terms of the former, the lack of autofocus is something that would have gone the distance to really round out the experience; though I understand that’s an omission we’ve come to expect.

And in terms of the latter, I found that the touchscreen sensitivity was actually a bit too much so. Earlier I noted how things are more reactive, and that’s certainly the case! In addition to the sensitivity issue, tapping the on-screen controls to swap between some of the slider-based interfaces tended to be somewhat inconsistent when trying to make quick adjustments.

For a better idea of what to expect from the GoPro HERO10 Black, check out some of the photos I snapped during my testing.

During a day of going out and snapping pictures, I also put the water-resistance to the test in order to try and get some footage of a giant koi fish that washed into a pond following all the recent flooding in Pennsylvania. While I couldn’t actually find the beast, there are some little friends beneath the water’s surface that were more than happy to model for the camera.

https://9to5toys.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2021/09/fish-4k.mov

9to5Toys’ take:

I’ve been using the GoPro HERO10 Black over the past week or so, marking the first time I’ve gotten to go hands-on with one of the brand’s action cameras in quite some time. Long before I started sharing my tech musings here at 9to5Toys, I was an avid time-lapse taker. It has certainly been some time since I’ve trekked out to capture a scenic sunset or anything of the sorts throughout central Pennsylvania, getting to go out and put the latest from GoPro to the test has certainly brought back much of that spirit.

Even if there isn’t anything all too groundbreaking on its own from GoPro, there are plenty of upgrades that all go a long way to delivering the fantastic experience that the HERO10 Black does. It’s of course the best action camera yet from GoPro, and from other manufacturers for that matter. At least at the price point.

Whether you’re like me and someone who is finally returning to check out what the latest from GoPro has in store, or just looking to finally begin capturing your adventures for the first time, GoPro HERO10 Black is a pretty compelling option.

Buy the GoPro HERO10 Black now

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