We just started testing cameras, and our test bench v0.7 is rather simplistic, so we decided to launch without text in the test boxes. If you have any suggestions on what to improve, let us know here. As we gather your suggestions, we plan on making more frequent changes to our methodology and we'll be able to add text to the reviews in the near future.

GoPro HERO9 Black Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.7
Reviewed Apr 01, 2021 at 07:51 am
GoPro HERO9 Black Picture
5.8
Travel Photography
7.8
Landscape Photography
6.4
Sport & Wildlife Photography
7.4
Vlogging
5.8
Studio Video
8.7
Action Video
Body Type
Action Cam
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
1/2.3-inch
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens

The GoPro HERO9 Black is a compact camera designed for action video. You can easily mount it on a chest or helmet rig, and it's even advertised to be waterproof, though we don't currently test for this. You can also control all of the camera's features using the GoPro app on your smartphone, which is handy. Thanks to its impressive video stabilization performance, it can help smooth out camera shake. Unfortunately, its video quality in FHD and 4k isn't the most impressive, resulting in footage that isn't very sharp or detailed.

Our Verdict

5.8 Travel Photography

The GoPro HERO9 is middling for travel photography, though it isn't really intended for this use. Its portable design makes it easy to bring with you on-the-go, and its incredible image quality results in clear and detailed photos. Unfortunately, there isn't an autofocus system to help you track moving subjects, and its high minimum shutter speed means it isn't very suitable for taking long-exposure photographs of a starry night sky. It also isn't meant to be used handheld, so it can be a bit uncomfortable to operate with your hands.

Pros
  • Fantastic image quality.
Cons
  • No autofocus system.
  • Not meant to be used handheld.
7.8 Landscape Photography

The GoPro HERO9 is very good for landscape photography, though it isn't really intended for this use. This well-built, portable camera can take images that are sharp and detailed, even at high ISO levels. Its screen is also bright enough to be readable in direct sunlight, which is handy if you're shooting outdoors. Unfortunately, there's no autofocus system to help you track moving subjects, and it isn't very comfortable to use handheld since it's not really designed to be used that way.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
  • Fantastic image quality.
Cons
  • No autofocus system.
  • Not meant to be used handheld.
6.4 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The GoPro HERO9 is unremarkable for sport and wildlife photography. Though it isn't designed for this use, this well-built camera offers incredible image quality, and its high continuous shooting speed in burst mode can help capture clear images of fast-moving subjects. Unfortunately, it lacks an autofocus system to help you track moving subjects, and its low maximum shutter speed can make it difficult to freeze the action in your shots.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
  • Fantastic image quality.
Cons
  • No autofocus system.
  • Not meant to be used handheld.
7.4 Vlogging

The GoPro HERO9 is satisfactory for vlogging. Its portable design makes it easy to bring with you on-the-go, and it even has a second screen that lets you see yourself while you record. Also, it does an incredible job smoothing out camera shake if you record while walking. Unfortunately, video quality in 4k and FHD isn't very impressive, resulting in footage that lacks sharpness and detail.

Pros
  • Impressive video stabilization performance.
Cons
  • Unremarkable video quality in 4k and FHD.
5.8 Studio Video

The GoPro HERO9 is sub-par for studio video. It isn't really designed for this use, and it doesn't shoot very sharp or detailed footage when recording in 4k or FHD. It also lacks an autofocus system, so it can't help track moving subjects, and it doesn't have inputs for videography accessories like headphones or a microphone. On the upside, its menu system is easy-to-use, and you can even control the camera using the GoPro app on your phone, though we don't test for this.

Pros
  • Easy-to-use menu system.
Cons
  • Unremarkable video quality in 4k and FHD.
  • No autofocus system.
  • No inputs for headphones or a microphone.
8.7 Action Video

The GoPro HERO9 is amazing for action video. You can easily mount this portable camera on your helmet or chest rig, and it's advertised to be waterproof, though we don't test for this currently. It also has an impressive video stabilization performance that helps to smooth out camera shake. It also offers a lot of frame rate options in FHD, so you can use it to record slow-motion footage. Unfortunately, its video quality in 4k and FHD isn't the most impressive, so your footage isn't very sharp or detailed.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
  • Impressive video stabilization performance.
  • Lots of frame rate options in FHD.
Cons
  • Unremarkable video quality in 4k and FHD.
  • 5.8 Travel Photography
  • 7.8 Landscape Photography
  • 6.4 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 7.4 Vlogging
  • 5.8 Studio Video
  • 8.7 Action Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
9.6
Design
Portability
Height 2.0" (5.0 cm)
Width 2.8" (7.1 cm)
Depth 1.3" (3.4 cm)
Volume
7.4 in³ (120.7 cm³)
Weight
0.35 lbs (0.16 kg)
Weight With Lens
0.35 lbs (0.16 kg)
9.0
Design
Build Quality

  • Hard plastic body with soft, rubberized plastic finish for the grip
  • Materials feel robust and solid
  • Sturdy hinge with a rubber gasket for water resistance

Design
Body
Water Resistance
Waterproof
Rugged
Yes
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 HERO9 Black camera body
  • User manual
  • Carrying case
  • GoPro SPBL1B battery
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Adhesive mounting plate with accessories

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
  • Since it's slightly larger than the GoPro HERO7 Black and the GoPro HERO8 Black, it's a bit easier to hold
  • Buttons are hard to press due to waterproofing layer

8.5
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
GoPro

  • Menu is simple to use and easier to navigate than the GoPro HERO8 Black thanks to its larger-sized screen
  • You can access all the camera settings on the GoPro phone app
  • Guide Mode is available for additional information about settings and features

Design
Viewfinder
Type
No Viewfinder
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Resolution
N/A
Advertised Magnification
N/A
7.0
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Dual Screen
Screen Max Brightness
970 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
N/A
Size
2.4" (6.0 cm)
Touchscreen
Yes
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
12 MP
Processor
GP1
Extended ISO Minimum
N/A
ISO Minimum
100
ISO Maximum
3200
Tested Firmware
01.52
7.8
Design
Battery
Battery Type
GoPro SPBL1B
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
N/A
Tested Battery Life In Video
90 min
6.6
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Built-in
Maximum Aperture
2.8
Max Aperture (Full Frame Equivalent)
f/15.6
Minimum Focal Length
3 mm
Maximum Focal Length
3 mm
Max Focal Length (Full Frame Equivalent)
17 mm
Luminance
90.3 %
Light Falloff
63.7 %
Photo
Photo
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
RAW File Format
GPR
Shutter
Electronic
Minimum Shutter Speed
1/125 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
1/2000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
Yes
Focus Peaking
No
Zebra Pattern
No
Histogram
No
Time Lapse
Yes
9.6
Photo
Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
3 fps
High Speed Continuous
25 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
25 fps
Raw Buffer Size
25 RAW Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
25 JPG Photos
Buffer Empty Time
0 s
0
Photo
Autofocus
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
N/A
Manual Focus Assistance
No
Face Detection Distance
N/A
Eye Detection
No
Face Tracking Success Rate
N/A
Object Tracking Success Rate
N/A
2.9
Photo
Image Stabilization
In Body Image Stabilization
No
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/125 s
9.1
Photo
Image Quality
Dynamic Range At ISO 100
8.44 f-stops
Color Accuracy (dE2000)
22.81
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 800
45.53 db
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 800
1.532 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 1600
45.31 db
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 1600
1.556 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 3200
48.72 db
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 3200
2.005 pixels

ISO Setting Sample Photo
ISO 100 Photo
ISO 200 Photo
ISO 400 Photo
ISO 800 Photo
ISO 1600 Photo
ISO 3200 Photo

6.1
Photo
Luminance Noise
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 100 39.86 db
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200 37.27 db
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400 34.9 db
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800 32.52 db
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600 29.5 db
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200 26.52 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
Sample Gallery
Sample Gallery
The Skate Park

Format Link
JPEG Photo

Sample Gallery
The Polish Church

Format Link
JPEG Photo

Sample Gallery
The Studio

Format Link
JPEG Photo

Sample Gallery
The Stairway

Format Link
JPEG Photo

General Video
General Video
Video Feature
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
No
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Not Advertised
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
N/A
Log Picture Profile
No
Recording Light
Yes
General Video
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
No
General Video
Video Exposure Assistant
Zebra Line
No
Histogram
No
Waveform
No
General Video
Recording 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 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
Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
0
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In 4k
No
Face Detection In 4k
No
Face Tracking In 4k
0
Object Tracking In 4k
0
8.4
4k Video
4k Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In 4k
No
Walking Test In 4k
4.71 pixels/frames
Running Test In 4k
7.34 pixels/frames
Crop
1.38 x
7.5
4k Video
4k Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
60 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
60 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
8 bits
Record Time Limit N/A
Overheat Recording Interruption
No
6.6
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
5.0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
6.7
4k Rolling Shutter
0.62 degrees
Full HD Video
10
Full HD Video
FHD 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
Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In FHD
No
Face Detection In FHD
No
Face Tracking In FHD
0
Object Tracking In FHD
0
8.6
Full HD Video
FHD Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In FHD
No
Walking Test In FHD
2.38 pixels/frames
Running Test In FHD
3.19 pixels/frames
Crop
1.38
8.2
Full HD Video
FHD 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
Record Time Limit N/A
6.2
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
5.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
5.6
FHD Rolling Shutter
0.15 degrees
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
Input / Outputs
USB
USB-C
HDMI
No
Headphones
No
Microphone
No Microphone input
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The GoPro HERO9 is available in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

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

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