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GoPro HERO8 Black Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.10
Reviewed Feb 08, 2021 at 07:40 am
GoPro HERO8 Black Picture
4.1
Travel Photography
6.4
Landscape Photography
5.4
Sport & Wildlife Photography
5.4
Vlogging
5.6
Studio Video
8.9
Action Video
This camera was replaced by the GoPro HERO9 Black
Body Type
Action Cam
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
Unspecified
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens

The GoPro HERO8 Black is a compact waterproof camera designed for action video. It's easy to use, well-built, and feels quite durable. With impressive video stabilization performance, videos are mostly free of camera shake even if you're moving quickly while filming. However, its video quality isn't the best, and there's some visual noise present, especially if you're filming in low-light conditions. The companion GoPro app makes it easy to control this camera from your phone, which is handy if you have it strapped on a helmet.

Our Verdict

4.1 Travel Photography

The GoPro HERO8 isn't the best option for photography. While it isn't intended for this use, it's okay for taking photos in a pinch. It's also incredibly sturdy and very portable, so it's easy to take with you wherever you go and is a good option for rock climbing or other action shots that you might take while traveling. However, its fixed lens is very limited, giving you little flexibility to adjust framing, exposure, and depth of field.

Pros
  • Well-built and portable design.
Cons
  • No autofocus system.
  • Very limited fixed lens.
  • Disappointing battery performance.
6.4 Landscape Photography

The GoPro HERO8 isn't meant for landscape photography. Image quality is very lacking, especially with dynamic range, and the camera's built-in lens doesn't offer a lot of flexibility, especially in low-light conditions. It also isn't meant for use as a handheld camera and can be a little uncomfortable to shoot with in this configuration.

Pros
  • Well-built and portable design.
  • Waterproof.
Cons
  • Small screen can make it difficult to see what's being displayed.
  • Very limited fixed lens.
5.4 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The GoPro HERO8 is sub-par for sport and wildlife photography. This camera lacks an auto-focus system and doesn't take very sharp or detailed photos. However, even though it isn't intended for use for this, it's well-built and can shoot at high continuous burst speeds, helping you capture clear images of fast-moving athletes.

Pros
  • Well-built and portable design.
Cons
  • No autofocus system.
  • Small screen can make it difficult to see what's being displayed.
  • Very limited fixed lens.
5.4 Vlogging

The GoPro HERO8 is okay for vlogging. This portable camera is easy to carry with you and does a great job stabilizing video for a clear shot while you're walking and recording. Unfortunately, there's some visual noise present when you record video in 4k or FHD, and its lens is very limited, preventing you from creating a shallow depth of field or adjusting the field of view. It also lacks a front-facing screen with Live View to help you monitor yourself while vlogging.

Pros
  • Well-built and portable design.
  • Fantastic stabilization.
  • Solid battery life.
Cons
  • Sub-par video quality.
  • Very limited fixed lens.
  • No front-facing Live View screen.
5.6 Studio Video

The GoPro HERO8 isn't meant for studio video. Its video quality isn't good enough for polished studio video or filmmaking. Its fixed lens doesn't give you any flexibility to make adjustments to exposure, field of view, or depth of field.

Pros
  • Well-built and portable design.
Cons
  • Sub-par video quality.
  • No autofocus system.
  • Very limited fixed lens.
8.9 Action Video

The GoPro HERO8 is excellent for action video. This compact, waterproof camera is very easy to bring on the go and does an impressive job stabilizing video for a clear image even if you're moving quickly, like during extreme sports. Unfortunately, its FHD and 4k video quality aren't the best, so there may be some visual noise present, especially in darker settings.

Pros
  • Well-built and portable design.
  • Waterproof.
  • Fantastic stabilization.
Cons
  • Sub-par video quality.
  • Can't record at 120 fps in 4k.
  • 4.1 Travel Photography
  • 6.4 Landscape Photography
  • 5.4 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 5.4 Vlogging
  • 5.6 Studio Video
  • 8.9 Action Video
  1. Updated Oct 03, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.10.
  2. Updated Sep 02, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.9.
  3. Updated Jun 23, 2022: We reshot and reuploaded the photo image stabilization slideshow because the original photos were uploaded with a heavy black border.
  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 14, 2021: Added additional information to 'Screen' section about the second front-facing screen.
  8. Updated Oct 13, 2021: Updated score to show N/A for 'Image Stabilization' test due to limits in test methodology for this camera.
  9. Updated Oct 06, 2021: Updated 'Clean HDMI Output' and 'Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI' fields to show 'No HDMI'.
  10. Updated May 07, 2021: Competed retests and corrected input errors in 'Ergonomics & Comfort', 'Screen', 'Sensor', 'Battery', 'Shooting Speed', 'Image Stabilization', '4k Video Stabilization', '4k Video Quality', 'FHD Video Stabilization', 'FHD Video Quality', and 'Inputs / Outputs' boxes.
  11. Updated Feb 08, 2021: Review published.
  12. Updated Feb 08, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
9.7
Design
Portability
Height
1.9" (4.8 cm)
Width
2.6" (6.7 cm)
Depth
1.1" (2.8 cm)
Volume
5.5 in³ (90.0 cm³)
Weight
0.27 lbs (0.12 kg)
Weight With Lens
0.27 lbs (0.12 kg)

If you want an even more portable camera, take a look at the Insta360 GO 2.

9.0
Design
Build Quality

  • Rubberized plastic casing surrounds front of camera and lens; back end made of hard plastic
  • Hinge covering the battery/SD card feels sturdy and closes tightly

Design
Body
Water Resistance
Waterproof
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 HERO8
  • Mount part 1 (GoPro side)
  • Mount part 2 (object side with a sticker to install)
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • 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

  • 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
  • Buttons are hard to press
  • Easy to change settings by mistake with touchscreen

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
No Viewfinder
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Resolution
N/A
Advertised Magnification
N/A
4.3
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
No Articulation (Fixed Screen)
Screen Max Brightness
885 cd/m²
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 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

6.9
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Built-in
Maximum Aperture
2.8
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Minimum Focal Length
2.92 mm
Maximum Focal Length
2.92 mm
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
N/A
Optical Image Stabilization
No
Luminance
86.4%
Light Falloff
46.8%
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
12 MP
Processor
GP1
Extended ISO Minimum
N/A
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
100
Native ISO Maximum
6,400
Tested Firmware
02.00
7.0
Design
Battery
Battery Type
GoPro SPJB1B
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
N/A
Tested Battery Life In Video
75 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
9.3
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
6 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

Note: We couldn't score this camera's photo stabilization because our current methodology can't adequately accommodate cameras with limited slower shutter speed settings. This camera still has stabilization features, and the score isn't representative of how these features perform in actual use.

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
4.8
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
RAW SNR 18% At Base ISO
37.7 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200
33.84 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400
29.65 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800
26.5 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600
23.87 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200
21.32 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
No HDMI
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
No HDMI
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
8.2
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
100 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
60 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
6.0
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
5.5
Test Scene Extract In 4k
6.5
10
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
0.0°
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
45 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
0.0°
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
microSD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot
4.5
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
USB-C
HDMI
No
Headphones
No
Microphone
No Microphone input
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The GoPro HERO8 comes in one color variant: black. You can see the label for the model we tested here. Some manufacturers also sell this camera with some extra accessories, like a head strap, extra rechargeable batteries and chargers, a handler, and an adhesive mount, but we don't test for these.

If you come across another variant of this camera, let us know in the discussions.

Compared To Other Cameras

Insta360 GO 2

The GoPro HERO8 Black is a bit better than the Insta360 GO 2. It isn't as portable, but it can record 4k video, offers a wider range of frame rate options, and has no recording time limit, on top of longer battery life.

DJI Osmo Action

The GoPro HERO8 Black and the DJI Osmo Action perform similarly overall. They're both incredibly portable, well-built, and waterproof. Each can shoot in 4k up to 60 fps and 1080p up to 240 fps. While the GoPro has a slightly better stabilization feature, it imposes a more severe crop. Unlike the GoPro, the DJI also features a front-facing screen with Live View, so it's the better option for vlogging.

Discussions