Sensor size: 23.6MP
Still images: 23MP
Max video resolution: 5.3K/60 fps
Water resistance: 33 feet
Size: 2.75 x 1.9 x 1.6 inches
Weight: 5.3 ounces
Unlike the GoPro Hero9 Black, the GoPro Hero10 Black isn’t radically redesigned from previous generations. Rather, GoPro has beefed up the internals of its flagship action camera so you can take smoother and sharper videos, and share them with others faster than before. In this GoPro Hero10 review, I’ll outline what’s changed, and explain why GoPro remains at the top when it comes to the best action cameras.
GoPro Hero10 Black review: Price and availability
The GoPro Hero10 Black is available for $499, or $399 for GoPro subscribers; a bundle with the camera, a 32GB microSD card, two batteries, and a tripod/selfie stick will cost $449 with a GoPro subscription and $549 without a subscription. Existing GoPro subscribers can purchase the bundle for $399.
A GoPro subscription is $50/year, and lets you upload an unlimited amount of video to the cloud, gives you some advanced editing capabilities in the GoPro Quik app, lets you live stream video, and lets you replace the camera twice a year if you damage it — no questions asked.
The GoPro Hero9 Black is now $399, or $349 with a GoPro subscription, and the GoPro Hero8 Black is now $299/$249 with a GoPro subscription.
GoPro Hero10 Black review: What’s new
Here are the most significant new features in the GoPro Hero10 Black compared to the Hero9 Black:
|Hero10 Black||Hero9 Black|
|Max video resolution||5.3K/60 fps||5K/30 fps|
|Video stabilization||HyperSmooth 4.0||HyperSmooth 3.0|
HyperSmooth 4.0 is a big upgrade over the previous iteration. Now, it works at resolutions of 5.3K/30 fps, 4K/60 fps, and 2K/120 fps — prior, it was limited to 4K/30 fps and 2K/60 fps. Additionally, it will level the horizon even if the camera is tilted up to 45 degrees horizontally; HyperSmooth 3.0’s limit is 27 degrees. And, the Hero10 can shoot motion-stabilized time-lapse videos.
Frame rates for lower resolutions have also been doubled over the Hero9: The Hero10 can shoot 4K at 120 fps, and 2.7K at 240 fps.
GoPro Hero10 Black review: Design
The Hero10 looks exactly like the Hero9, which is a good thing since I don’t think I — nor anyone who had to buy new accessories — could handle yet another major redesign. GoPro gave the Hero9 the big makeover, with a front-facing display, the return of the removable lens cover, and a new attachment system for mounts and accessories.
The front-facing screen — a feature pioneered by the DJI Osmo Action— is a tremendous help when trying to frame yourself in a shot.
The top of the Hero10 has a shutter/record button; I like that you can press it even when the camera is off, and it will turn on and start recording. The left side has the power button, while the right side has a door that houses the battery, microSD card slot, and USB-C charging port. I wish you didn’t have to expose the battery compartment to the elements in order to access the USB port — it’s one more thing to worry about if you want to keep the camera plugged in to an external power source.
The bottom of the camera has two fold-up “fingers” used to attach the camera to a GoPro mount.
Inside the camera, the Hero10 Black uses the company’s new GP2 processor (the Hero9 has the GP1, which dates back to the Hero6), which enables such things as faster transfers, better image stabilization, improved low-light performance, and a more responsive camera in general.
Despite its similar appearance, the Hero10 weighs 3 percent less than the Hero9 — 5.3 ounces rather than 5.6 ounces. It’s not much, but when you have this mounted to a helmet, every ounce counts. Additionally, the lens cover on the Hero10 has a hydrophobic coating, and the glass is more scratch-resistant. Like most other GoPros, the Hero10 is water-resistant to 33 feet.
As with the Hero9, the Hero10 comes in plastic-free packaging; better still, the camera comes in a semi-rigid fabric case with enough room to add a couple of mounts and clips. Imagine if your next iPhone came with a reusable case, rather than a box.
GoPro Hero10 Black review: Video and photo quality
The Hero10’s motion stabilization is truly impressive. To test its effectiveness, I strapped the camera to the back of my friend’s dog, and had him run around with another puppy. Despite the camera flopping back and forth violently, video was remarkably stable. As someone who gets nauseous even watching rollercoasters, I was impressed with the smoothness of the Hero10’s output.
I then took another video holding the Hero10 while chasing the dogs; again, the action was nearly as smooth as if I had the camera mounted on a gimbal.
Another fun feature is TimeWarp, which captures a series of stills and stitches them together into a movie. With the Hero10, this video too can be motion-stabilized. It’s a great way to record what would otherwise be a long and tedious video.
Still images snapped with the Hero10 were good, but there are some limits to what it can do. While the company says that its night-capture mode has improved, you’ll still want to mount it to a tripod if you’re planning any night photography. I tried taking a few handheld shots of the Moon and one of my cats in a darkened room, but the images came out blurry.
HDR mode for stills is also pretty good. While inside a train station, I took a shot of lower Manhattan through an opening; the interior of the station was well exposed, but the background of New York was a bit washed out.
GoPro Hero10 Black review: App
While the company offers desktop apps, you’ll need the GoPro Quik app for your phone (Android/iOS) should you want to edit your videos on the go or control your Hero10.
Connecting my iPhone to the camera was seamless — the app quickly found the Hero10, and asked if I wanted to join its wireless network. From there, I could see a live preview from the camera and adjust its settings, set up a live stream, or review and edit my clips.
The app generates a low-res preview of your video, so you don’t have to download anything to your phone right away. In this mode, you can scrub, trim, and save stills, which worked quickly, with almost no lag.
In order to make more extensive edits, you have to first download it to your phone, where you can apply themes, music, level the horizon, and more.
GoPro’s Quik app will also analyze your video and then make some edits on its own, applying different themes and music, which you can modify. You can also adjust the speed of sections of your clips, slowing down one section if you want to highlight something interesting.
There’s a little learning curve in finding where everything is. The app pushes you to its self-editing mode, which more experienced videographers won’t like, but will no doubt be helpful for newbies. I wish there were a basic and advanced interface, a la Photoshop, where you can skip the hand-holding sections and get right to edits.
GoPro Hero10 Black review: Battery life
The GoPro Hero10 Black uses the same 1720 mAh battery as the GoPro Hero9 — which is different from all previous GoPro batteries. GoPro doesn’t make any new claims, so expect the Hero10 to last between 1.5 to 2 hours on a charge, depending on your settings. I found that the more you use HyperSmooth, the faster the battery will drain.
Update (10/25): GoPro has released a firmware update that will allow the Hero10 Black to record longer clips in situations where there's limited airflow to cool the camera. The company says that users will be able to record up to 63-minute clips at 4K/60 fps.
The camera has three new modes: Maximum Video Performance, Extended Battery, and Tripod/Stationary mode. Using the last setting, GoPro says that the Hero10 will be able to record the following clip lengths in a 77-degree room with no airflow:
|5.3K/60 fps||29 minutes|
|5.3K/30 fps||44 minutes|
|4K/120 fps||26 minutes|
|4K/60 fps||63 minutes|
|4K/30 fps||50 minutes|
GoPro Hero10 Black review: Accessories
There’s an entire cottage industry built around making accessories for the GoPro. Some of the best GoPro accessories include cases that let you take it deeper underwater, hand grips that will float it to the surface, external lights, microphones, and more.
GoPro itself makes an assortment of what it calls Mods, which include a light ($34.99), a microphone ($55.99), and a flip-up display ($55.99). In addition, a Max Lens Mod ($69.99) will keep the horizon level even if you rotate the camera 360 degrees. At launch, this Mod won’t be compatible with the Hero10; a firmware update sometime this fall will fix that.
GoPro Hero10 Black review: Verdict
The GoPro Hero10 Black may look the same as last year’s model, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The Hero10 sports a new processor, which allows the camera to record video at up to 5.3K at 60 frames per second — double the frame rate of the Hero9. It can also take larger 23 megapixel still images. But, what’s really impressive is the image stabilization.
We have the same issues with the Hero10 as we did the Hero9 – you have to expose the battery compartment if you want to use its USB port. And, while it’s lighter than before, its 5.3-ounce weight is noticeable if you mount it on a helmet.
If you have a GoPro Hero9, you probably don’t need to upgrade. But if you’re in the market for the best action camera around, then definitely check out the GoPro Hero10 Black.