GoPro Hero 7 in test: photo and video quality, battery life and new features

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The GoPro Hero 7 comes almost a year later after the Platzhiersch officially introduced the GoPro 6 last year in October. As you could already see in our last test report, the 6 series model put the competition in the shade.

Thanks to new intelligent functions for video recording, the Hero 7 Black should no longer need a gimbal system to produce incredibly stable films in Ultra-HD at 60 frames per second. We have tested the new flagship for you heart and soul and show you whether it is really worth buying.

The following review shows our practical test of the Hero 7 Black:

Photo and video quality and microphone test

The small action camera shoots, just like its predecessor, pictures with 12MP and comes with a digital zoom, which can be operated via the touchscreen. The pictures can be saved in the space-saving JPG format as well as in RAW format (DNG).

The DNG files are in what I consider to be acceptable quality, as there is no overexposure, as for example in photos taken with Mavic 2 Pro, nor is the contrast too high or too low.

GoPro Hero 7 strapped to Mavic 2 Pro

Nevertheless, it has to be said at this point that the Hero 7 is also a mini cam that is supposed to capture action scenes in razor-sharp focus and isn’t designed for taking extremely high-quality photos.

What really surprised me was the internal microphone, which is even better than the Hero 6’s. As long as the wind doesn’t blow violently, there’s almost no noise in the sound, so the action cam is now also suitable as a selfie-cam without the use of an external microphone.

The video quality is really outstanding and in terms of contrast and dynamic range almost unrivalled in this segment. As you have seen in our recordings, the cam delivers great shots both above and underwater.

>> GoPro Hero 7 günstig kaufen* <<

The new image stabilisation is now finally available for Ultra-HD with 60 FPS and thus also stabilises video recordings in the highest quality level. This is made possible by a new function called “Hyper-Smooth”.

The camera also supports slow-motion recording in full HD at up to 240 frames per second, which can slow down video recording by up to 8 times. The following additional setting options (with regard to video resolution) are available:

  • 4k with 60 FPS (frames per second)
  • 2.7k 120fps
  • 1440p 120fps
  • 1080p 240fps
  • 720p 240fps

The camera produces both over- and underwater cinema-quality images. We have tried the Hero 7 while snorkeling in Croatia as well as while diving. Up to 8m the actioncam was tight without a housing, but we didn’t want to push it any further. Including the housing we could reach a depth of 40m without any problems (with the original GoPro housing!).

For snorkelers I can recommend a cheap Selfie-Stick*, which is available for 10€. With it you can hold the camera relaxed in your hand and even shoot great selfies through the extendable front part of the stick.

Hero 7 Selfie-Stick

For all divers it is recommended to purchase the appropriate underwater equipment. This includes not only an underwater housing, but also a device on which you can attach the Hero 7.

With the housing shown here in combination with the intelligent new image stabilisation, almost unshaky recordings can be generated. The housing can be purchased here at Amazon*.

GoPro Hero 7 underwater housing

There is also a diving goggle on which you can put the Actioncam on top.

GoPro Hero 7 diving goggles

Then you have all hands free underwater and can fully concentrate on diving. Here you can find the goggles (I deliberately linked these goggles, even if they cost a bit more, they are much better quality. I have been diving for over 12 years).

New functions: Hypersmooth, Timewarp and SuperFoto

GoPro calls the new image stabilisation software Hypersmooth, which is designed to ensure unshaky videos in all conceivable situations.

I was really surprised how well the image is stabilized in our practical test. Whether we’re riding on a shaky hoverboard, strapped the Hero 7 to our Phantom 3 Pro, or just shooting video with a selfie stick or from the hand, the system is really mature and an enrichment for this series.

GoPro Hero 7 on Phantom 3 Professional

Of course, the Acitoncam cannot completely compensate for jerky movements or quick changes of direction, but this is also difficult with a hand gimbal system. I am really completely satisfied with the result. It should be noted that Hypersmooth is only available with an aspect ratio of 16:9.

Just like the Mavic 2 Zoom (here the function is called “Hyperlapse”), Timewarp makes it possible to create time-lapse images that look very cool. This is a cool feature especially for inexperienced movie producers, which can produce a cool shot with little knowledge.

I find this new function very successful, because it allows to generate a worth seeing recording in a short time without a video editing program. Furthermore the user interface has been revised.

The new “SuperFoto” function makes taking photos even easier and the camera intuitively helps you to take great snapshots. If the lighting conditions are poor or the farms are too bright, the internal software uses this feature to create a great photo that automatically adjusts the parameters and makes post-processing unnecessary. However, this only works if the GoPro is not in motion, otherwise the photos will be blurred.

>> GoPro Hero 7 günstig kaufen* <<

New usability and live streaming via WLAN

GoPro has once again completely revised the operation of this little muscle man and has focused more on the wiping gesture movements when handling smartphones. By wiping horizontally, it is possible to switch between the different modes photo, video or time-lapse. This works very well and quickly without any delay.

A new function allows you to limit video clips to a time of 15 to 30 seconds right from the start, making them perfect for sharing on social networks, as a short film.

The live streaming transfers the video images either directly via WLAN or to the smartphone. For the time being only Facebook is supported, but Youtube and Instagram will follow soon, probably early next year.

Another change is that the Hero 7‘s menu also rotates when tilted vertically, instead of remaining tilted sideways. Although this small difference may seem irrelevant, I found it to be very pleasant in my practical test, and it makes the Hero 7 much more user-friendly.

Battery life and charging time

Depending on the resolution you film in, the battery will last differently. In the highest resolution at 4k with 60 frames per second, we were able to achieve a filming time of almost 35 minutes using Hypersmooth.

The hardware of the Hero 7 is less stressed in Full-HD and easily manages 110 to 120 minutes. The batteries can be replaced. Moreover, the batteries from the GoPro 5 and 6 fit into the model.

The charging time with my normal mobile phone charger, which I also use for my Honor 10 (OUTPUT: 5V=2A OR 4,5V=5A OR 5V=4,5A), is about 40 minutes. I still have a charging station from the Hero 6 and 5 in which several batteries can be charged.

Hero 7 charging device

Conclusion on the new flagship

It’s hard to say whether the switch to the new GoPro 7 from an older model is worth it. If you want to film 4k shots with 60 FPS stabilized, then you should definitely take it.

It is important to remember that videos of this quality require a lot of storage space and post-production requires an equally powerful PC. For all other predecessor models or prospective buyers who do not yet own an action cam, the Hero 7 is the right choice, provided that the budget is sufficient. The price remains unchanged at 429€.

The small power pack is not only convincing when taking photos and videos, but also with its new intelligent functions. The image stabilisation is world class and Timewarp offers new possibilities for previously unimagined recordings. I can recommend the Hero 7 Black all around.

>> GoPro Hero 7 günstig kaufen* <<

In addition to the Hero 7, the somewhat weaker Hero 7 Silver and Hero 7 White are also coming onto the market. Both models do not have a black and white display on the front.

The Silver model can record video in Ultra-HD at up to 30 frames per second, just like the GoPro Hero 5. The Hero 7 White, on the other hand, is limited to Full HD at 60 FPS. Both mini-cams “only” have electronic image stabilisation and not the hypesmooth modes of the Hero 7 Black.

Unfortunately, the batteries of these models cannot be replaced, so there is always only one battery charge for photo and video recordings. Unfortunately I don’t understand at all why GoPro took this step. For me, these two models Hero 7 White and Silver are not recommended. I would rather use a Hero 5 or Hero 3 Silver Plus.

If you have any questions about one of the models, just use the comment function at the bottom of the page, I’m happy to help you!


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