Unfortunately, that narrow focus means the Hero goes without all of the advanced features found on higher-end GoPros. This isn’t inherently bad for its target user, but it does mean that experienced users no longer have a lower cost option that will play well with their Hero5 or Hero6 Black cameras. The new Hero doesn’t have the resolution or ProTune settings to match the quality of footage from the other two.
At its core, a GoPro is a small camera the takes the best qualities of point-and-shoots and camcorders and packs them into a rugged frame that’s smaller, waterproof, and virtually indestructible. Inside the cuboid design is an image sensor, processor, ultra wide-angle lens, and up to three microphones for recording audio in different conditions. The users interface is made up of just two or three buttons, and the Hero5 Black and Hero6 Black models feature touchscreens for more control.
Sign up for a cloud-based service. All GoPro cameras are set up to transfer photo and video files to your computer or smartphone, but if you’re serious about backing up your content, consider subscribing to a cloud-based backup service. Cloud-based services, such as GoPro Plus, safely keep copies of your media files and allow you to access them from other devices as needed, which can be a lot more convenient than carrying all of your content around with you on your phone.
The GoPro camera was originally designed by current CEO Nick Woodman as a compact means to capture photos and videos of him surfing. While the devices are often still used for this purpose, the company has come a long way in the 15 years since its initial inception, and GoPro cameras are now used by all manner of extreme athletes and adventurers, in addition to more casual users.
How do I protect my GoPro?
Since there’s an exposed cut-out on the side of the frame, you can actually remove the USB port cover – just remember to reattach it if you intend to use the camera in water. This means you don’t have to remove the camera from the frame to charge it, or if you need to power the camera for a long period – for a lengthy time-lapse video, for instance – while keeping it mounted.
GoPro’s entry-level camera for 2018 is its least exciting to date, but that’s kind of the point. It’s a no-frills action camera that emphasizes simplicity and ease-of-use over raw power, and it bears an equally no-frills name: Hero — no number, no color. It lacks the high-end specifications of the Hero6 Black, and is even outclassed by 2016’s Hero5 Black, but at $200, it brings core aspects of GoPro’s current Hero family to the lowest price yet.
With the Hero 8, the UI has changed again. You'll still swipe left and right to swap modes. Likewise, swiping up from the bottom or down from the top gives you access to the same screens as before (gallery and settings, respectively). What's new is the addition of shortcuts to preset settings. For example, hop into video mode and you'll find Standard, Activity, Slo-Mo and Cinematic presets, along with the option to add your own. The idea is to present you with optimized settings depending on what you want to do (and remove the guesswork).
GoPro’s suite of portable apps is great, too. In the bit of downtime I had, I spent it transferring images and video to my phone and then knocking together an edit on Quik to share on social media. It made keeping people at home updated really easy (also known as #holidayspam). Updates including the new QuikStories are also great, and it’s pleasing to see GoPro’s continued support with improvements and fixes.