You probably don't think you need a new GoPro camera. You might want to read this first.
What is it?
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: 'This is just another GoPro camera. It adds a few extra bells and whistles, but is essentially the same as the Hero 4, 5 and 6. I probably don't need it.' You're wrong. The GoPro 7 makes the biggest improvements to its range of video cameras yet. That's thanks to something called "hyper smooth stabilisation". That's a fancy way of saying that no matter how shaky your hands are, or how rocky your ride is, or how bumpy your descent is, you're going to emerge with stunning footage. That makes this the best GoPro release in years.
How does it work? The GoPro 7 doesn't mess with its format. The buttons, screens and charging ports are all in the same spots. If you've used one before, this won't take you long to set up. But you'll notice the changes when you look back at your footage. I tested this in a blustery plane ride over Auckland, while zip lining around Waiheke Island, and then on a boat ride back to Auckland, and the results were incredible. It delivered super smooth footage every time. I'm not going to compare myself to Martin Scorsese just yet, but you get the picture.
What do they say? "(This) is the GoPro we've all been waiting for," says GoPro founder Nick Woodman. "With HyperSmooth video stabilization, it's a camera anyone can use to capture amazingly smooth, professional looking shots of their favourite activities. And they can do it live."
What's its best feature? Because of its incredible stabilisation, you can throw away all your GoPro accessories. If you've already got one of those fancy gimbles, you don't need it anymore. All you'll need to pack to film your holiday escapades now is the camera, a charger, and the Shorty extension stick, if you want it. The camera's other best new addition is TimeWarp Video, a super simple slo-mo option with impressive results. The Hero 7 also boasts livestreaming options, if you're into that.
And what's its worst feature?
After about a month of regular use, I'm using this GoPro more than any of the others I've trialled. But I am finding the battery just doesn't last as long as previous models. It's supposed to go non-stop for nearly two hours, which, if you're out filming for a day, isn't very long. You'll want to pack a charger and a spare, if you're planning on shooting a lot of stuff.
Okay, so how much is it? The Hero 7 Black, which is the elite model of this range, retails at $669.99. There's also a silver option for $499.99, and a white one for $349.99, which don't include all the features of the Black. If you're on a budget, you're better off looking at the Silver or White options: they apparently offer better footage than previous GoPro models. But right now, the Black model is the one setting the standard.