GoPro now have two cameras called the GoPro HERO. The first was released in 2014.1 This post refers to the newer version which was released in 2018. To distinguish it, it's often referred to as the HERO (2018), and that's the convention I'm using here.HERO (2018) is GoPro's new entry-level camera, and it has a stripped-down set of features to make it both inexpensive and also easy to use. If you compare it to one of the higher models such as the GoPro HERO6 Black, you'll find that the HERO (2018) has far fewer options for shooting video. But the options that it does have are likely to be good fits for many users who have relatively straightforward needs or want something simple, and especially those who are looking to share their footage online.
So here's a rundown of the video modes that are available in the GoPro HERO (2018).
GoPro HERO (2018) Video Resolutions and Framerates
The HERO has a vastly simplified offering in terms of video resolutions and framerate. There are two video resolutions available: 1080p and 1440p. For each of those, there are four possible framerate options (60fps and 30fps in NTSC mode and 50fps and 25fps in PAL mode).
Both of these have the same width--1080px. The difference is in the height. With its 4:3 aspect ratio, the 1440p mode gives some extra space vertically. That can come in handy if you're trying to prevent the subject from jumping out of the frame.
The 1080p mode has the standard HD aspect ratio of 16:9 that we're used to with HD video and modern TVs. On the GoPro HERO, shooting in 1080p also gives you more options for selecting the field of view (more on that below).
Here's how the resolutions compare. You can click on the image to open a full-size version if you want to see a 1:1 version.
Here's the complete list:
GoPro HERO (2018) Video Fields of View
There are three fields of view available when shooting video on the HERO, but they're not all available in all video modes.
The standard field of view is the Wide model, which is the distinctive fisheye look that we're used to seeing with footage shot on a GoPro. The Wide view is available in all the HERO's video modes, but it's the only FOV available when shooting in 1440p.
|Resolution||Framerate (fps)||Fields of View (FOV)|
If you're shooting in 1080p you have more options: Wide, Medium, and Narrow. Here are some practical examples of what those look like compared side by side.
Video Bitrates of the GoPro HERO (2018)
If you look at the specs on GoPro's website you'll see it says that the maximum bitrate of the HERO (2018) is 60 Mbps, which is the same as the HERO5 Black. But so far as I can tell from the actual video files created from the HERO (with firmware 01.00.00), the maximum bitrate it can currently encode the variable bitrate data stream at is a target of 45 Mbps. It's possible that the 60 Mbps is a placeholder for an increase that will be enabled in a future firmware update (something that GoPro has done before), but so far as I can tell the HERO can't currently encode video at 60 Mbps, but it's possible that will change in future firmware updates.
|Resolution||Framerate (fps)||Bitrate (Mbps)|
To reduce the risk of lockups and the video recording stopping unexpectedly, you'll want to use an SD card that's fast enough to cope with the datastream when recording video.
What Codec Does the HERO (2018) Use for Video?
The HERO uses a standard H.264 codec that produces videos with an MP4 file extension (in addition to the sidecar LRV and THM files).
GoPro HERO (2018) Video Stabilization / EIS
The HERO (2018) has built-in video stabilization. GoPro calls it EIS, for Electronic Image Stabilization. As that implies, it's a digital approach done by software. The results are generally not as good as true optical or mechanical stabilization, but it's also a lot simpler to use. And most of the time it results in much smoother footage.
You can turn the stabilization on or off.
There are no Protune options available on the HERO (2018).
While some of the newer GoPro models include a digital zoom feature, that's not available on the HERO (2018). What you can use, which has a similar effect, albeit in a more limited way, are the medium and narrow fields of view. Of course, those are fixed once you set them, so it's not the same as zooming while recording.
- 2-Inch Touch Screen - Quickly switch between modes, frame the perfect shot and check out your footage on...
- Waterproof + Durable - Built tough and waterproof down to 33ft (10m), HERO goes where your smartphone...
Popular Accessories for the HERO (2018)
Here are some of the best-selling accessories for the HERO (2018).
- Bike Handlebar Seatpost Holder with Three-way Adjustable Pivot Arm - No dead zone as the Three-way...
- Head Strap + Chest Strap - Get the first person point of view videos and photos with our skidproof,...
- Back up your camera when traveling. Accessories kit specially designed for your Go Pro Hero (2018) / 6...
- Waterproof housing case for GoPro Hero (2018) / 6 / 5: Made of excellent PMMA material, waterproof up to...
- Give your action-cam set the home that it deserves, with this case. Keeps your camera safe and sound from...
- The waterproof case for GoPro Hero 5 /HERO 6 is extremely durable and water resistant to 45 meters. Ideal...
- Floating handle grip, floating block view the underwater scenery leisurely, never worry about your gopro...
- Bike handlebar seat post holder with three-way adjustable pivot arm - no dead zone as the three-way...
- Specifically designed for GoPro HERO 5/ Hero 6 Action Camera.【For our full range of Gopro hero 5...
- Protect screen and lens from daily scratches, dust, scrapes, and normal signs of wear.
- There are also more models with similar-sounding names, like the HD HERO, the HERO+, and the SD HERO. ↩
Images and product information from Amazon Product Advertising API were last updated on 2018-08-08 at 19:07.
Common GoPro Questions
Here are some common questions I get from GoPro users.
How to Maximize a GoPro's battery life
There are several factors that influence how long the GoPro's battery life lasts. Among them include what mode you're recording in (4K uses more power than 1080p30, for instance), the health of the battery, and even the environmental temperature (lithium batteries don't perform well in very cold temperatures). But there are some things you can do to maximize battery life. Not every GoPro has all of these features, but start with these:
- Minimize use of the back screen
- Turn off wireless
- Turn off voice commands
- Turn off GPS
- Turn off Protune
- Use QuickCapture mode
Is it normal for GoPro cameras to get hot?
Yes. Depending on the model and the shooting mode you're using, it's normal for GoPros to get quite warm while shooting. They can get hot enough to be uncomfortable to touch. It's especially noticeable when shooting high-resolution and high-framerate video. Some newer models have an overheating protection mechanism that will shut the camera down if it gets too hot. I have more details on GoPros getting hot, here.
How can I control a GoPro remotely?
GoPro makes a range of wireless remote controls. They don't all work with all GoPros--for example, the HERO (2018) isn't compatible with this type of remote control. Many of the newer models also work with the GoPro mobile app. Not every model can be controlled remotely, but most of the newer models have wireless compatibility that can be used for at least some methods of remote control.
Can you take pictures with a GoPro?
If you've been using a GoPro for a while, this might seem pretty obvious, but if you've never used one, it's not quite so self-evident. GoPros are best known for dramatic action videos, but they can most certainly take still photos too. In fact, they can be a very interesting alternative to a traditional camera so long as you work within its limitations. I have more more details here.
Do GoPro wireless controls work underwater?
No. You can't use the mobile app or a wireless remote control if the camera is fully submerged in water. They will normally work just fine in rain and spray--just not submerged. I have a more detailed explanation here.
Do GoPro touchscreens work underwater?
No. If they're just wet above water, they can work to some extent, although often less reliably. But the touchscreens won't work underwater.