GoPro just hasn’t been at the top of their game the past couple of years. Oh sure, they’ve been putting in as much effort as usual, but with the sheer amount of drones, phones and other cameras and recording devices out there, it can be hard for anyone to compete. Even their drone, the Karma Quadcopter, ended up being kind of a flop – and GoPro doesn’t have flops. In an effort to get themselves back in the game, however, GoPro has come back with the new Hero7 Black.
The Hero7’s main attraction is GoPro’s new HyperSmooth, a new stabilization technology that GoPro calls “gimbal-like stabilization – without the gimbal” and the “best in-camera stabilization ever.” When you think of all the many different video stabilization algorithms created over the past decade or two, the boldness of that statement really becomes evident. At the same time, the Hero7 still shoots video in 4k at up to 60 frames per second.
But ultra-smooth stabilization isn’t all GoPro has to offer. With the Hero7, there is also voice control, which allows you to use as many as 16 present commands, such as “Take a Photo” or ‘That Was Sick”, which will “tag an epic video”, according to GoPro. On the back, they’ve included a standard touchscreen LCD for all the usual things you need to do – but something even cooler with this model is SuperPhoto, which automatically adjusts photos to look even more incredible using tone mapping, noise reduction and HDR compositing, no matter the shot taken. There’s also a GPS function for tagging videos with your exact location, 8x slow-motion capability, time-lapse (that works simultaneously as the stabilization) and Live Streaming connected to Facebook Live.
And of course, as this is a GoPro we’re talking about, it’s completely waterproof down to 33 feet (10m) as well as impact-resistant and dustproof, ensuring it’s ready for everything from casual diving to epic snowboard jumps.
All this is made possible by a new processor GoPro has spent the past year working on, with additional RAM and memory. GoPro is slimming down their camera lineup for the next few years, and the Hero7 will be their main attraction, retailing for about $400. While we haven’t had the chance to actually use it, we will say the sample footage on their website – showcasing the HyperSmooth stabilization capabilities – has been pretty convincing in of itself so far. Judging by that, we’d be willing to give it a shot. (It is, after all, a GoPro. You can’t really go wrong with a GoPro).