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GoPro HERO7 Black Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.10
Reviewed Mar 25, 2021 at 09:22 am
GoPro HERO7 Black Picture
4.1
Travel Photography
6.7
Landscape Photography
5.3
Sport & Wildlife Photography
5.4
Vlogging
5.8
Studio Video
8.9
Action Video
This camera was replaced by the GoPro HERO8 Black
Body Type
Action Cam
Mirrorless
Yes
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens
Sensor Size
Unspecified

The GoPro HERO7 Black is a compact camera that's designed for action video. It isn't meant for handheld use, but it can easily be mounted on a helmet rig or a chest mount, and you can also use the GoPro app to control most of its functions. It's also advertised to be waterproof. It does a fantastic job smoothing out camera shake whether you're recording in 4k or in FHD, which is ideal for recording footage while moving around a lot. Unfortunately, video quality is limited by the camera's small sensor but still good relative to other action cameras.

Our Verdict

4.1 Travel Photography

The GoPro HERO7 Black is sub-par for travel photography, though it isn't really intended for this use. This camera is portable and well-built, and it also offers great image quality. However, it lacks an autofocus system, which makes it hard to track moving subjects and keep them in focus. Also, it isn't designed for handheld use, and its small size can make it very uncomfortable to shoot with. Its battery performance is also mediocre, and while this can vary depending on usage, it may not last through long days on-the-go.

Pros
  • Great image quality.
Cons
  • No autofocus system.
  • Not designed for handheld use.
6.7 Landscape Photography

The GoPro HERO7 Black is satisfactory for landscape photography. Though this isn't its intended use, it still offers impressive image quality, even at high ISO levels. It has a portable and well-built design, and its screen is bright enough to be readable even if you're in bright sunlight. Unfortunately, it lacks an autofocus system, and it isn't meant for handheld use, which can be inconvenient for some users.

Pros
  • Portable, well-built design.
  • Great image quality.
Cons
  • No autofocus system.
  • Not designed for handheld use.
5.3 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The GoPro HERO7 Black is unremarkable for sport and wildlife photography. It isn't designed for this usage, but it does offer an impressive image quality, so your photos are sharp and detailed. It can shoot in bursts of 30 frames in one second, which helps you capture clear images of fast-moving subjects. However, it lacks an autofocus system, which makes it difficult to track moving subjects and keep them in focus.

Pros
  • Great image quality.
Cons
  • No autofocus system.
5.4 Vlogging

The GoPro HERO7 Black is acceptable for vlogging. This portable camera is easy to bring with you on the go, and its fantastic video stabilization performance helps smooth out camera shake if you record while walking. However, its fixed screen means that you can't see yourself while you record, which can be disappointing if you want a selfie-style video. Also, video quality in 4k and FHD isn't amazing relative to larger-sensor cameras, but it's still fine for vlogging and online content.

Pros
  • Incredible video stabilization performance.
  • Portable, well-built design.
Cons
  • Video quality is limited by its small sensor.
  • Fixed screen can't be flipped or rotated.
5.8 Studio Video

The GoPro HERO7 Black is middling for studio video, though it isn't designed for this use. Video quality is mediocre in both 4k and FHD, especially if you're recording in low-light settings and compared to larger-sensor cameras. It lacks an autofocus system to help track moving subjects, and it doesn't have inputs for common videography accessories like headphones or a microphone. That said, it does offer a wide range of frame rate options in both 4k and FHD, so you can record everything from slow-motion video to films with a more cinematic look.

Pros
  • Lots of frame rate options in FHD.
Cons
  • Video quality is limited by its small sensor.
  • No autofocus system.
8.9 Action Video

The GoPro HERO7 Black is amazing for action video. This well-built, portable camera can easily be mounted on a helmet rig, and it's even advertised to be waterproof. Its video stabilization feature offers incredible performance, so your footage is free of camera shake even if you're moving a lot while you record. It supports lots of frame rates in FHD, allowing you to record slow-motion clips. While video quality in both 4k and FHD is solid for an action camera, it's unremarkable overall due to its small sensor.

Pros
  • Incredible video stabilization performance.
  • Portable, well-built design.
  • Lots of frame rate options in FHD.
Cons
  • Video quality is limited by its small sensor.
  • 4.1 Travel Photography
  • 6.7 Landscape Photography
  • 5.3 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 5.4 Vlogging
  • 5.8 Studio Video
  • 8.9 Action Video
  1. Updated Nov 25, 2022: Updated intro and verdict boxes for clarity.
  2. Updated Oct 03, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.10.
  3. Updated Sep 02, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.9.
  4. Updated May 18, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.
  5. Updated Jan 04, 2022: Updated 'Max Aperture (Full Frame Equivalent)' and 'Max Focal Length (Full Frame Equivalent)' to 'N/A'.
  6. Updated Nov 09, 2021: Updated 'Sensor Size' to show 'Unspecified' since GoPro doesn't officially advertise sensor size.
  7. Updated Oct 25, 2021: Corrected error in previous update about Sample Gallery photos.
  8. Updated Oct 14, 2021: Added additional information to 'Screen' section about the second front-facing screen.
  9. Updated Oct 13, 2021: Updated score to show N/A for 'Image Stabilization' test due to limits in test methodology for this camera.
  10. Updated May 06, 2021: Competed retests in 'Body', 'Sensor', 'Lens', 'Shooting Speed', 'Image Quality', 'Luminance Noise', 'Sample Gallery', '4k Video Quality', and FHD 'Video Quality' boxes.
  11. Updated Mar 25, 2021: Review published.
  12. Updated Mar 23, 2021: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the GoPro HERO7 Black, and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

GoPro also sells the HERO7 Silver and the HERO7 White. However, those aren't just options for the color of the case. They're all different camera models that shoot in different image sizes and have slightly different designs. The Black is the flagship model, and it offers more premium features such as Protune and an enhanced photo mode called SuperPhoto. The White is the simplest, and the Silver sits in the middle. However, we haven't tested these other models, so we can't confirm their performance.

If you come across another version, let us know in the discussions so we can add it to our review.

Compared To Other Cameras

DJI Osmo Action

The GoPro HERO7 Black and the DJI Osmo Action perform similarly overall, though each has its advantages over the other for action video. Both are incredibly portable, waterproof, and easy to use, but the DJI has a longer battery life and a front-facing screen that you can use to monitor yourself. The GoPro, on the other hand, has better stabilization performance and has a Micro HDMI port built-in for easy external playback.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
9.7
Design
Portability
Height
1.8" (4.6 cm)
Width
2.5" (6.2 cm)
Depth
1.3" (3.3 cm)
Volume
5.7 inยณ (94.1 cmยณ)
Weight
0.26 lbs (0.12 kg)
Weight With Lens
0.26 lbs (0.12 kg)
8.5
Design
Build Quality

  • Materials feel robust and durable
  • Grippy rubber around the camera has a soft touch
  • Sturdy hinged doors cover the battery, SD card, and inputs
  • Outputs door can be hard to open

Design
Body
Body Type
Action Cam
Water Resistance
Waterproof
Mirrorless
Yes
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
No
Customizable Button
No
Command Dial
0
Tripod Mount
No
Lens Mount
No Lens Mount
Built-In Flash
No
Design
In The Box

  • GoPro HERO7 Black camera body
  • User manual
  • Stickers
  • GoPro AABAT-001 battery
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Plastic frame mounting accessory
  • Silicone case with lanyard
  • Adhesive mounting plates

6.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Large Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
No Hand Grip

  • It's intended to be used as an action camera, but can be used to take photos/videos handheld
  • Can change settings using the touchscreen or via the GoPro app on your smartphone, though the Protune settings such as shutter speed and ISO aren't available on the app
  • Buttons are hard to press due to waterproofing
  • Small body can be uncomfortable to hold

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
No Viewfinder
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Resolution
N/A
Advertised Magnification
N/A
4.2
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
No Articulation (Fixed Screen)
Screen Max Brightness
850 cd/mยฒ
Advertised Resolution
N/A
Size
2.0" (5.0 cm)
Touchscreen
Yes

This camera has a small additional screen on the front that displays information like shooting mode, battery life, and remaining SD card storage space.

8.5
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
GoPro

  • Menu is simple, responsive, and easy to navigate
  • Menus are the same on the camera and the GoPro app
  • Guide Mode is available for additional information about settings and features
  • Small screen size can make it difficult to select menu items

6.9
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Built-in
Maximum Aperture
2.8
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens
Minimum Focal Length
3 mm
Maximum Focal Length
3 mm
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Optical Image Stabilization
No
Luminance
93.7%
Light Falloff
34.8%
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
12 MP
Sensor Size
Unspecified
Processor
GP1
Extended ISO Minimum
N/A
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
100
Native ISO Maximum
6,400
Tested Firmware
01.90
6.2
Design
Battery
Battery Type
GoPro AABAT-001
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
N/A
Tested Battery Life In Video
60 min
Photo General
Photo General
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
Raw File Format
GPR
Shutter
Electronic
Slowest Shutter Speed
1/125 s
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/2,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
Yes
Time Lapse
Yes
9.1
Photo General
Photo Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
3 fps
High Speed Continuous
30 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
30 fps
Raw Buffer Size
30 Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
30 Photos
Buffer Empty Time
11 s
0
Photo General
Photo Autofocus
Object Tracking Success Rate
N/A
Face Tracking Success Rate
N/A
Face Detection Distance
N/A
Eye Detection
No
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
N/A
not tested
Photo General
Photo Image Stabilization
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
N/A
In-Body Image Stabilization
No
Photo Image Quality
not tested
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Dynamic Range
Dynamic Range At Base ISO
N/A
Dynamic Range At 1/500s Exposure Time
N/A
Dynamic Range At 1/2000s Exposure Time
N/A
Dynamic Range At 1/4000s Exposure Time
N/A
not tested
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Sharpness
Vertical Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
N/A
Horizontal Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
N/A
not tested
Photo Image Quality
Photo JPEG Noise
SNR 18% At Base ISO
N/A
SNR 18% At ISO 800
N/A
SNR 18% At ISO 3200
N/A
6.7
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
RAW SNR 18% At Base ISO
42.72 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200
39.71 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400
35.58 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800
32.68 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600
30.24 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200
26.82 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200
N/A
Photo Image Quality
Test Scene Pictures Download
JPEG Picture At Base ISO Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 400 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 800 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 1600 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 3200 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 6400 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 12800 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 25600 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
RAW Picture At Base ISO Download
RAW Picture At ISO 400 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 800 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 1600 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 3200 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 6400 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 12800 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 25600 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
Pictures Sample Gallery
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Skate Park Picture
JPEG Skate Park Picture Download
RAW Skate Park Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Polish Church Picture
JPEG Polish Church Picture Download
RAW Polish Church Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Studio Picture
JPEG Studio Picture Download
RAW Studio Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Stairway Picture
JPEG Stairway Picture Download
RAW Stairway Picture Download
Video General
Video General
Video Features
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Not Advertised
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
N/A
Log Picture Profile
No
Recording Light
Yes
Video General
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
No
Video General
Video File Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
Yes
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
All-I Compression
No
4k Video
9.5
4k Video
4k Video Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
Yes
30 fps In 4k
Yes
24 fps In 4k
Yes
4k Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
7.9
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
60 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
40 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
8 Bit
Record Time Limit In 4k
N/A
Overheat Recording Interruptions in 4k
0
0
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In 4k
N/A
Face Tracking In 4k
N/A
Face Detection In 4k
No
Eye Detection In 4k
No
5.8
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
5.0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
6.5
10
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
0.0ยฐ
Full HD Video
10
Full HD Video
FHD Video Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
Yes
120 fps In FHD
Yes
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
FHD Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
8.2
Full HD Video
FHD Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
60 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
20 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8 Bit
Record Time Limit in FHD
N/A
0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In FHD
N/A
Face Tracking In FHD
N/A
Face Detection In FHD
No
Eye Detection In FHD
No
5.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
5.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
5.0
10
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
0.0ยฐ
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
microSD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot
6.5
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
USB-C
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
No
Microphone
No Microphone input
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Discussions