Is Go Pro Hero 7 a good camera?
The GoPro Hero 7 black is, without doubt, the best action camera in the world. That is, if you don’t include the Go Pro Hero 8!
In order to write this review, I am concentrating on the Go Pro Hero 7.
I first started using the Go Pro Hero 7 in summer 2019. I bought it for a trip to the Pacific Northwest and I am delighted that I did. I am a pretty experienced digital photographer and have used loads of different cameras over the years. In recent years, I have mostly used my iPhone camera for family holidays, but because we were going to such a beautiful part of the world and we were planning to go walking, swimming and exploring the outdoors, I felt that getting an action camera made sense.
The Go Pro Hero 7 was first released in September 2018 and there were three models in the range – black, white and silver. The hero seven black is the most advanced of this range, with the white and silver being the stripped down version. This is obviously reflected in the price of the different models, but as will be seen below, the black is the most advanced of these models and is the best.
What does the GoPro Hero Black look like?
The Go Pro Hero 7 black has a sort of rubber design and looks almost identical to the Hero6 black.
It has a 2 inch touchscreen, USB C ports and a micro HDMI input. Like the Hero6 models, it also uses re-placeable batteries and this is very helpful.
One of the benefits of using the same design as the Hero6 is that anyone who owned the old GoPro Hero 6 does not need to purchase any new GoPro accessories because they will fit your Hero7 models as well.
What are the main features?
Hero7 has a 12 megapixel sensor and a wide angle lens. It takes unbelievable videos in 4K and it does time-lapse and slow motion pictures too.
One of the most impressive improvements is the introduction of hyper smooth. This is a type of video stabilisation which means that the video you take on your Go Pro Hero 7 is almost as stable as it would have been had you used a gimbal. There is some combination of hardware and software which creates astounding video quality.
Another new feature on the Go Pro Hero 7 black is called time-warp video. This combines the whole idea of frame by frame time-lapse shooting with hyper smooth. It creates a very stable hyper lapse and allows you to capture time-lapse footage while also having the freedom to move the camera. The result of this is that you can create time-lapse videos without the need for tripods and whatever movement you want to do at the time.
One of the other things that I really like about the Go Pro Hero 7 is the use of voice control. There are 12 separate commands for example “go pro take a photo “or “go pro start video recording”. If you are used to talking to your iPhone through Siri, then you will find talking to your GoPro pretty straightforward. Be able to speak to your camera is something that nobody would’ve imagined doing five years ago, but it makes selfies so much easier.
Finally, a new feature on the Go Pro Hero 7 is called super photo. Basically, this is a scene intelligent auto option which automatically provides a handful of useful features. When you are taking a wide dynamic shot, it will automatically use HDR for you. The hero seven knows to deploy multi-frame noise reduction and this helps create some brilliant photographs.
There is the ability to live stream direct from your Go Pro Hero 7, for example sending live video to your Facebook channel. I haven’t done this yet, because I have never had the wish or desire to live stream direct to Facebook, but given the quality of the camera I have no reason to think that it would not work perfectly well. At the moment, this only works with Facebook but it will soon be developed for YouTube and other channels as well. What is means is that you are able to use your GoPro Hero 7 as webcam.
How long does the GoPro Hero 7 battery last?
Much depends on what you are doing with the camera, but on average, they Go Pro Hero 7 black battery lasts for about 45 to 90 minutes of constant use. If you are using 4K video, it should last for about 45 minutes. If you drop down to 720p, then you can safely allow up to about 90 minutes. The higher the resolution that you are shooting at, the higher the frame rates, the more energy is used up.
There are other things which can shorten battery life, for example having too many features enabled (Wi-Fi, GPS, voice control). Using them all at the same time is not good for the battery.
Cold temperature also has an affect upon the battery life. If the weather or the water that you’re swimming in is extremely cold, the battery will be used up more quickly.
As with any digital device, the battery life will also simply get shorter as the device gets older. Age has its affect on everything it seems!
Have a look at our review of the best virtual reality headsets and comments about their battery life.
Does the GoPro Hero 7 take good pictures?
My answer to this is a wholehearted yes.
Hero 7 black has a 12 megapixel sensor for still photographs and produces 4:3 aspect ratio images as a 4000×3000 pixels. I appreciate that 12 megapixels may be smaller when compared with other digital cameras but it is perfectly big enough to print at poster size if you want to. Certainly, when sharing on social media or online, this size photograph is perfect. It is in the same range as some of the leading smart phones including iPhone XS and Google Pixel 4.
As with all go pros, Hero7 black has a fixed focus lens which means that you cannot adjust the focus, although you can zoom in and out. However, the Go Pro Hero 7 has a very deep focus and it is extremely difficult to take a photo of this actually out of focus (unless there is motion blur of course “. Taking very close up pictures does not seem to be a problem.
There are loads of websites well you can look for examples of go pro photographs, but of course whether yours are any good or not will depend on how good photographer you are! Well, I suppose that even like me can take some decent photos. Have a look at the pictures I took in the Pacific Northwest and let me know what you think in the comments section.
Which is the best GoPro to buy in 2020?
My answer to this is that the Go Pro Hero 7 black is still the best action camera to buy. I say this while never having had the opportunity of testing the Go Pro Hero 8. I appreciate that that is likely to be a brilliant camera too, but in my opinion, the changes introduced for the eight are not significant enough to outweigh the advances that came with the seven. There are some further accessories and the mounting fingers are integrated into the camera which I guess is helpful, but whether it is worth the extra couple hundred pounds I’m not so sure.
How durable is the GoPro Hero 7 black?
This camera is absolutely as tough as nails. It has been sat on, dropped from a height and knocked around in my bag without any problems. It is obviously waterproof and going into the sea does not seem to cause the Go Pro Hero 7 any problems at all.
If you search on YouTube, you will find loads of videos which show just how tough the Go Pro Hero 7 black actually is. Have a look at some of the videos below and you will be satisfied that it really is a tough camera!
How do you open a GoPro hero 7 case?
Opening the go pro case is actually not as difficult as you will think when you do it for the first time. The user manual is not all that helpful and the latch is stiff when new, but with a little bit of practice you will be able to open and close the case very easily.
First of all, you have to pry open the top latch by holding the camera from behind and placing your index finger on the front right corner of the latch and then press your thumb along the long edge. You do need to use some force but then pull directly upwards with your index finger and the latch should open to reveal a metal hinge.
He then pulled alongside the latch upwards and unhook it from the back of the case. Do be careful not to damage the case as you take it out because this is what keeps it airtight and waterproof.
Then you simply pull the back off. Because the hook is unlatched the back of the case comes out easily. Once you have done that, the camera can simply be slid out and job done.
The video below uses a GoPro Here 6, but the principle is exactly the same with a Hero7.
How do I take time-lapse videos on GoPro 7?
This is so simple. There are three options on the Go Pro Hero 7, video, photo and timelapse. Simply toggle between the three when you’re ready to shoot and away you go. There are lots of settings that you can amend in the settings page but they are all self-explanatory and straightforward to follow. Taking time-lapse videos on the Go Pro Hero 7 is very easy and you can make some brilliant videos.
Have a look at the time-lapse videos I took around the Pacific Northwest and let me know if you like them:
Can you connect a GoPro7 to your phone without wifi?
No you can’t. The GoPro Hero will only connect to the go pro app through Wi-Fi. It does not connect through Bluetooth or through a cable.
How far does the GoPro wifi reach?
Much depends upon the strength of your Wi-Fi or any wireless interference in the spot you are working in. However, on average, the go pro apps range is about 10 metres to 15 metres
How do you connect your GoPro Hero 7 to an iPhone?
It is really simple to connect a Go Pro Hero 7 and an iPhone. Frankly, I am a big apple fan and have found that it is really easy to connect the Apple devices with go pro devices.
- Firstly, press the mode button which will power on your camera.
- Then you open the utility drawer by swiping from the top to the bottom. At that point, press connect.
- Under connected devices, you tap on connect new device.
- Then you tap on go pro app and you will see the name and password for your camera.
The go pro app on an iPhone is really good. It allows you to edit on the fly and it greatly increases your flexibility.
However, you can easily manage without connecting your camera to the phone, because bigger editing projects probably need to be done on a desktop where you have more space to work and this is what I have tended to do.
Unfortunately, I cannot give advice about connecting a go pro to an android device, because I have never done this.
What GoPro Hero 7 accessories do I need?
There are so many accessories you can get for your go pro. The official GoPro Hero 7 accessories are pretty expensive, but very high quality. There are other go pro mounts which are just as good. In my view, it is probably not worth paying the extra money for the official go pro apps.
The Amazon basics go pro carry kit is a very good place to start. I would also recommend that you get a chest strap, head strap, some sort of tripod and a clamp. If you are going to use your go pro on the bike, then you should make sure that you get a bike connection kit.
GoPro Hero 7 Black conclusions – is it any good?
Go Pro Hero 7 is an absolutely fantastic camera. I have no hesitation in recommending it to anybody who is on the lookout for a quality action camera in 2020. I I’m also sure that the go pro eight will be brilliant to, but for my purposes, I will not be looking to upgrade. The Go Pro Hero 7 does everything that I could possibly ask of it and more. The best thing about the Go Pro Hero 8 coming out is that it will reduce the price of the Go Pro Hero 7!
Some further reading
- How to charge GoPro cameras and batteries – this is a great article from Have Camera Will Travel and gives guidance and ideas about prolonging battery life for your GoPro
- How to create beautiful content on a GoPro – Avery informative article from Tribe Group about getting the best from your action camera
- 10 GoPro Photography Tips – some brilliant ideas from Click Like This. My personal favourite is thinking in angles!