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GoPro HERO7 Black Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.12
Review updated May 01, 2023 at 09:51 am
Latest change: Writing modified May 01, 2023 at 09:51 am
GoPro HERO7 Black Picture
5.8
Travel Photography
8.2
Landscape Photography
7.0
Sport & Wildlife Photography
5.4
Vlogging
5.8
Studio Video
8.9
Action Video
This camera was replaced by the GoPro HERO8 Black

The GoPro HERO7 Black is GoPro's flagship action camera from 2018. Though it's been replaced by newer models that have refined the formula further, it still holds up well to newer competition. With 4k / 60 fps recording and HyperSmooth stabilization, along with mainstay features like waterproofing to a depth of 33 feet, the HERO7 is still a capable action cam in a fairly crowded market. 

Our Verdict

5.8 Travel Photography

The GoPro HERO7 Black isn't really intended for photography, but it can be a good tool to capture adventurous moments you may have while traveling. It's super portable, sturdy, and waterproof, so it's great for capturing underwater stills or mountain vistas while hiking or climbing. That said, image quality is severely lacking compared to dedicated photography cameras, and it's limited by its fixed focal length and fixed aperture lens.

Pros
  • Highly portable.
Cons
  • Not designed for handheld use.
  • Image quality is limited by its small sensor.
  • Built-in lens isn't very versatile.
8.2 Landscape Photography

The GoPro HERO7 Black isn't meant for landscape photography, but it's okay for taking photos in a pinch if you're hiking or rock climbing. Its wide-angle lens is well-suited for landscapes. However, image quality and dynamic range are very limited because of its small sensor.

7.0 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The GoPro HERO7 Black isn't designed to take photos of sports and wildlife from afar, but it can be a good tool to capture stills from within the action. It can shoot in bursts of 30 fps, which helps you capture clear images of fast-moving subjects. However, image quality is limited by its small sensor. Its fixed focal length and fixed aperture lens aren't very versatile, either.

5.4 Vlogging

The GoPro HERO7 Black isn't really intended for vlogging, but it can be a good tool to capture and incorporate footage from unique points of view into your vlogs. Unlike newer GoPros, it doesn't have a front-facing selfie screen, so it's not the best choice for walk-and-talk style videos. Still, it's incredibly portable, and its stabilization feature lets you capture buttery smooth action footage.

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.
  • Built-in lens isn't very versatile.
5.8 Studio Video

The GoPro HERO7 Black isn't meant for studio video, but it can be a good tool to capture extra footage or B-roll from unique angles. Video quality is mediocre compared to larger sensor cameras, especially if you're recording in low light. 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.
  • Built-in lens isn't very versatile.
8.9 Action Video

The GoPro HERO7 Black is excellent for action video. This well-built, portable camera can easily be mounted on a helmet rig or other action cam mount. It's also waterproof down to 33 feet. Its video stabilization feature is highly effective at reducing camera shake, allowing you to capture smooth action footage. It also has plenty of high frame rate options in 1080p and records 4k video up to 60 fps, allowing you to record fast action and slow motion. That said, while video quality is fine in brighter conditions, the camera isn't really suitable for low light situations.

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.
  • 5.8 Travel Photography
  • 8.2 Landscape Photography
  • 7.0 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 5.4 Vlogging
  • 5.8 Studio Video
  • 8.9 Action Video
  1. Updated May 01, 2023: Added full text to review and rewrote existing text for clarity.
  2. Updated Dec 21, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.12.
  3. Updated Dec 20, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.11.
  4. Updated Nov 25, 2022: Updated intro and verdict boxes for clarity.
  5. Updated Oct 03, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.10.
  6. Updated Sep 02, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.9.
  7. Updated May 18, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.
  8. Updated Jan 04, 2022: Updated 'Max Aperture (Full Frame Equivalent)' and 'Max Focal Length (Full Frame Equivalent)' to 'N/A'.
  9. Updated Nov 09, 2021: Updated 'Sensor Size' to show 'Unspecified' since GoPro doesn't officially advertise sensor size.
  10. Updated Oct 25, 2021: Corrected error in previous update about Sample Gallery photos.
  11. Updated Oct 14, 2021: Added additional information to 'Screen' section about the second front-facing screen.
  12. Updated Oct 13, 2021: Updated score to show N/A for 'Image Stabilization' test due to limits in test methodology for this camera.
  13. 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.
  14. Updated Mar 25, 2021: Review published.
  15. Updated Mar 23, 2021: Early access published.
  16. Updated Mar 04, 2021: Our testers have started testing this product.
  17. Updated Mar 03, 2021: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  18. Updated Dec 19, 2020: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The GoPro HERO7 comes in three variants: the GoPro HERO7 Black, the GoPro HERO7 Silver, and the GoPro HERO7 White. We tested the flagship GoPro HERO7 Black, and you can see our unit's label here.

The three variants differ in color but also performance and features. The Black is the flagship model, with a higher-resolution 12MP sensor, and includes a front display to check your settings and battery life. The Silver model sits in the middle and the White model is the simplest of the three. Both the Silver and White lack a front screen and use a 10MP sensor. The White model is limited to 1080p recording, while the Silver model can record 4k video but only up to 30 fps. That said, we only tested the Black variant, so the results in this review are only applicable to that model.

If you come across another variant, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Cameras

The GoPro HERO7 Black is an excellent action camera that still offers a lot of value, even as newer, more capable models, like the GoPro HERO10 Black, have entered the market. While it doesn't have the processing power as the latest GoPros, it can still record 4k video at up to 60 fps, with even higher frame rates in 2.7k and 1080p, giving you a lot of flexibility for action footage and slow-motion recording. HyperSmooth stabilization, waterproofing, and the sturdy build quality we've all come to expect from GoPro make this a very solid action camera overall, especially if you don't need a selfie screen or 5k video capability.

For more options, check out our picks for the best action cameras or the best GoPro alternatives. If you're looking for something to shoot the action from the sidelines, you can also check out the best sports video cameras we've tested.

GoPro HERO8 Black

The GoPro HERO8 Black replaced the GoPro HERO7 Black. It offers a few improvements, but the cameras perform quite similarly overall. The HERO8 offers better battery life and slightly upgraded internal recording capability. However, unlike the HERO7, it doesn't have a Micro HDMI port. 

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)

The GoPro HERO7 Black is highly portable. It has slightly smaller dimensions than newer models like the GoPro HERO9 Black and the GoPro HERO10 Black. You should have no trouble mounting it to a helmet or other equipment.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

Build quality is excellent. The materials feel robust and durable, and the rubber around the sides feels soft but still grippy. The camera's also rated to be waterproof down to 33 ft (10m). The hinged doors that cover the inputs and the battery/Micro SD compartment feel sturdy too, though they can be somewhat 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
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/2,000 s
Design
In The Box

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

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

This camera isn't meant to be used handheld, but if you do use it that way, it's fine to hold. The grippy texture feels secure. However, the camera's small size makes it somewhat uncomfortable to hold. You can adjust settings via the touchscreen, though it's quite small, or the GoPro app on your phone. That said, you can't change some settings, including shutter speed and ISO, through the app.

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

The back touchscreen isn't very large, but it does get bright enough to combat glare on sunny days, which is great. The camera also 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

The menu is simple, responsive, and easy to navigate using the touchscreen or the GoPro app. It includes a help function that gives you additional information about settings and features, if needed. That said, the small size of the touchscreen makes it a little difficult to select settings, especially if you have larger hands.

6.9
Design
Built-In Lens
Maximum Aperture
2.8
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
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

Battery performance is mediocre. It only lasts for about an hour of continuous video recording, which is significantly less than the battery life of newer models like the GoPro HERO9 Black. On the upside, you can continue to use the camera while charging via USB.

Photo General
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
not tested
Photo General
Photo AF-C Tracking
Autofocus Tracking Shots N/A
Perfect Focus Hit Rate
N/A
Usable Focus Hit Rate
N/A
not tested
Photo General
Photo AF-C Center Point
Autofocus Center Point Shots N/A
Perfect Focus Hit Rate
N/A
Usable Focus Hit Rate
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 RAW Noise
SNR 18% At 1/8 Exposure Time (125 ms)
N/A
SNR 18% At 1/125 Exposure Time (8 ms)
N/A
SNR 18% At 1/1000 Exposure Time (1 ms)
N/A
SNR 18% At 1/4000 Exposure Time (0.25 ms)
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

The GoPro HERO7 Black can record 4k video at up to 60 fps, which is good for capturing footage of smooth fast action. You can also slow down your videos slightly, but there aren't any higher frame rate options for super slow-mo.

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

Internal recording capability is good in 4k. There's no recording time limit, which is great, and the camera doesn't overheat even through longer recording sessions.

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

This camera doesn't have an autofocus system. The narrow aperture of its lens creates a very large depth of field, ensuring everything stays in focus.

5.8
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
5.0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
6.5

Video quality is okay in more controlled lighting, but the camera isn't really meant for low light shooting. Video in low light is very noisy and lacking in detail. In bright conditions, you should have solid video quality relative to other action cameras.

10
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
0.0ยฐ

Rolling shutter from panning is minimal, thanks to the cameras very wide field of view.

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

The camera can record 1080p video at up to 240 fps, which is fantastic for capturing action video and generating super slow-motion footage.

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

Internal recording capability is great in 1080p. There's no recording time limit, and the camera doesn't overheat even through longer recording sessions.

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

This camera doesn't have an autofocus system. The narrow aperture of its lens creates a very large depth of field, ensuring everything stays in focus.

5.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
5.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
5.0

1080p video quality isn't great, and the camera isn't really meant for low light shooting. Video in low light is very noisy and lacking in detail. In bright conditions, video quality is passable relative to other action cameras.

10
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
0.0ยฐ

Rolling shutter from panning is minimal, thanks to the cameras very wide field of view.

Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
microSD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot

The camera uses microSD cards. There's just a single card slot, located in the battery compartment on the bottom of the camera.

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

Unlike newer GoPro models, the HERO7 includes a Micro HDMI port, which is good if you want to connect the camera to an external display. Otherwise, there's just a USB-C port for charging.