I recently put GoPro Hero 9 to test. I am writing this review to give user insight about the camera and its features which might not necessarily be in the previous GoPro cameras. Before we get on with the list, keep in mind that GoPro Hero 9 is relatively more expensive than the past ones. However, if you have ‘Subscribed to GoPro’ or have a ‘GoPro Plus’ then you can get $100 off your purchase! I have added a link to this subscription at the end of this post. Side note: This review is based on my usage and I am in no way sponsored.
One more thing before we get started on the things to know about GoPro Hero 9, here is my recommended add on’s for the camera.
These are worth buying along with the Hero 9 camera:
- Having three Batteries is ideal (you get two along with the GoPro package, add one more to the deal!)
- Dual battery charger is a blessing and will make life easy – I highly recommend buying this along with your GoPro
- Three-way tripod mount can be used as a tripod mount, camera grip and extension arm.
Things to know about GoPro Hero 9 before making a purchase.
GoPro hero 9 comes with a travel case.
As part of the packing unlike in the past, Hero 9 comes with a travel case and they have tried to avoid as much plastic as possible. Although, there is still some use of plastic in the packaging for keeping the parts separate it is still reusable, which is pretty impressive.
Hero 9 comes with a front-facing screen!
This will allow you to hold your camera out and see yourself and exactly what you are capturing especially clicking a selfie or front-facing video. This will also be displayed in the back screen as well! This is my personal favourite as it allows me to see exactly what I’m doing. It has two modes. Mode one is the display of the whole wide scene with the black bars and mode two is the display of a ‘zoom in’ scene to fill up the screen while cropping out the edges. Although framing wise this is great, it has one limitation. It isn’t exactly very smooth. It is slow and might record 3 frames per second at a higher resolution like 4K recording.
Record a 5K resolution video on your new GoPro!
In the past GoPro had topped out at 4K resolution but now you can go up to 5K/30 in different modes. You can do it in wide, linear or super-view. The video stabilization is great as well with the highest level being hyper smooth boost mode! Giving you that silky smooth video while it’s shot in motion.
Hero 9 has a new 23.6-megapixel photo mode.
This is way more than the previous GoPro models have and the difference in picture quality is easily noticeable. The super photo mode is a better version of what an HDR photo effect does as it is well-executed with crisp photos.
30% longer battery life!
This is an interesting claim made by GoPro hero 9 because from what I can tell the 30 is averaged across all the different modes! So, some modes have better battery life and some just don’t. From a practical stand-point you can expect to shoot 1080P/240 for 75 – 80 mins, 4K / 30 for 100mins and 5K/30 for 80 – 85 mins before changing the battery. Hero 9 battery is bigger, chunkier compared to hero 8, just like the camera itself is a heavier camera compared to hero 8 or others. So, does Hero 9 come with better battery life than Hero 8? Definitely, yes!
Removable front lens.
For all those who hated the fact that you couldn’t remove the camera lens of the GoPro Hero 8 in the past, well this is going to make you happy! GoPro has reintroduced removable front lens with Hero 9. This gives you the ability to swap lens if you want to. Now you can even replace a scratched lens as easily as changing filters to a picture.
Rear screen size has been increased.
The next in my list of things to know about GoPro Hero 9 is only a small update. The update is an increase in the size of the rear screen by 16% compared to Hero 8. You will notice the size difference easily though as it’s way easier to watch the recording on it.
Upgraded Hyper smooth 2.0 to 3.0
Hyper smooth 3.0 comes with some more flexibility and comes in two ways which are resolution and frame rates. You can see it support all the way up to 5K/30 in any mode that you use.
Time-wrap 3.0 is here!
Time wrap is basically a time-lapse where the footage is all stabilized and smooth. It is better than capturing a regular time-lapse footage. If you are beginner this is a useful video guide for it. In the past time wrap feature has been great but came one major limitation. If you wanted to stop and go back to the real-time to record audio or have any interaction then you had to stop and change modes. Later, go back to the previous time wrap mode and start the time wrap again, so messy! Now you can easily pause with the click of a button, record the audio or talk to the camera and go back to recording time wrap with one click.
Webcam-mode for Mac or PC
Now you can plug the GoPro into your computer and use it as a webcam. It works even for apps like Skype, zoom or teams. Why use it? For the quality! It’s way better than your regular webcam. And, if you want to give a wider perspective of the room with the background instead of being zoomed in then this is perfect. What more? Expanded live stream platform is a brilliant add on! Earlier you could you only live stream to YouTube and Facebook but now, you can live stream to Twitch as well as GoPro’s own platform which is supposed to have the highest quality of resolution for live stream.
Increased performance in cold weather and underwater.
GoPro claims that hero 9 will perform better than hero 8 when used in colder temperatures. This is something that I haven’t experimented yet. But I saw a YouTube testing video of GoPro Hero 9 shooting inside a freezer and the video claimed that the camera recorded for 92 mins. I cannot vouch for this. So, I would suggest you to watch more review videos! GoPro also claims that Hero 9 has improved water drain for the microphone. This is another feature I am yet to put to test.
Scheduled Capture and Duration Capture
You can tell Hero 9 when to turn on and capture in any mode you want whether it’s a photo or time wrap. You can also set a timeframe to begin and end capturing footage in this new GoPro. I must warn you though that both these features do not always work perfectly as I have had some failed attempts.
Talking of failed attempts, I have experienced at times my GoPro going numb or shutting down when it’s connected to my mobile app and when I am in a no network area, such as a rain forest. Unfortunately, during these times I had to make multiple attempts to disconnect the camera from the app before it started working again. I missed taking some really good shots because of that. Hopefully, these few issues are fixed soon.
GoPro has done a great job in nailing updates and adding better features to the camera each year. I personally believe it’s one of the best, if not the best action camera. Their closest competitor would be DJI Osmo action camera. My personal opinion is that GoPro hero 9 is the best choice because it’s equipped with a lot more useful features. Have I missed any point? Write to me or leave a comment below if you think you can add some more information to this or make suggestions. I hope this review and the list of things to know about GoPro Hero 9 proves useful to you. If you are looking to purchase a new GoPro Hero 9 then ‘Subscribe to GoPro’ and save $100 on your purchase. If have recently purchased your hero 9 then watch this video guide to help you set up and get started.
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