I can distinctly remember walking into a meeting to find out about the GoPro Hero 8 wondering if they would have a front-facing screen. Nope. Fast Forward a year, and the GoPro Hero 9 has a front-facing screen, 5K Video and even better stabilisation. But wait till you hear the price.
What’s new in the GoPro Hero 9?
Almost every aspect of the GoPro Hero 9 is improved.
20 Megapixel still images, up from 12 MP on the Hero 8 and Hero 7.
Video Resolution on the GoPro Hero 9 is up to 5K at 30fps, along with 4K at 60fps and 1080p at 240fps.
The battery is now 1720mAh up from 1220mAh, which is great for overall battery life but does come at the expense of the size – more on that soon.
GoPro’s Hypersmooth image stabilisation gets an update to version 3, as does TimeWarp.
With last year’s Hero 8 the Horizon Levelling function was something you did after filming in the GoPro app. Now, it’s available in real-time on the camera.
Here’s the big advances for the GoPro Hero 9:
There’s a front-facing 1.4 inch LCD screen which gives you your basic status and camera controls, but of course importantly a live preview image. Unlike DJI’s Osmo Action, the GoPro front screen shows the preview at the same time as the rear screen – which, by the way is also 16% larger.
Scheduled Capture allows you to setup your GoPro Hero 9 and set a timer for the capture you want. You can even set it up for a scheduled star capture. Lots to experiment with there.
But most of all, I’m loving the idea of Hindsight. Rather than hitting record, trying that trick shot, over and over and wasting space, or doing hundreds of clips. Turn the GoPro on and do the action and once it happens, click record and you’ve got the last bit of action captured on the card!
Size of the GoPro Hero 9
It’s big. Bigger than the previous two models.
GoPro Hero 7 measured in at :62.3 W x 44.9 H x 33 D (mm)
Last year’s GoPro Hero 8 was 66.3 W x 48.6 H x 28.4 D (mm)
The new GoPro Hero 9 is bigger in every way at 71.0 W x 55.0 H x 33.6 D (mm).
This means that Media Mod you have for the Hero 8 – nope, there’s a new one. That deepwater scuba attachment case, also, need a new one. Not brilliant, but, so goes life really. For the extra battery, better screens – worth it?
Stabilsation on the GoPro Hero 9
Hypersmooth is exceptional, to test it, we strapped the GoPro Hero 9 to a Rock Crawler remote control car.
Here’s the action:
There is still that weirdness about the camera seeming to turn before the car does, but focus on the horizon and you’ll see this is legitimately excellent.
Price of the GoPro Hero 9 in Australia
So here’s the thing. Last year, the GoPro Hero 8 was $599.
In 2020, the GoPro Hero 9 is a staggering $699.95. But anyone who pays that is mad. It’s like a whole new shift GoPro has to direct online sales.
If you buy it online at GoPro.com, you’ll pay $559.95 – as long as you also buy a $69.95 annual subscription to GoPro. So you save $150, by spending half that.
Still works out more expensive than last year’s model, but worth it for sure.
But that strange pricing also applies to the other models. GoPro MAX now priced at $799.95 or $659.95 if you buy that one year subscription.
GoPro Hero 8 Black now $529.95 or $459.95 with the one year GoPro subscription. Hero 7 remains available at $399.95.
We’ll have to wait and see how bricks and mortar retailers price this to remain competitive.