GoPros are best known for video. But they also have some useful and interesting features and characteristics for taking still photos. They don’t work quite the same way that more traditional cameras work, but they offer opportunities for some fun and interesting shots.
Some features of the HERO7 Black really stand out when it comes to taking still photos: the ultra-wide-angle fisheye perspective; auto-everything exposure 1 and fixed-focus; fast burst mode shooting; and, most importantly, they’re small size and rugged build that lets you take them pretty much anywhere.
Depending on how you want to look at it, some of those features can be regarded as limitations or opportunities. The fixed ultra-wide-angle lens isn’t good for traditional portraits, for example, but it’s great for a close, immersive view or dramatic perspectives. 2 The limited manual control over exposure does definitely limit what you can do, but the automatic settings also mean that there’s a good chance that you’ll get usable photos even from run-and-gun shooting.
There are definitely some limitations you have to work with or around. Even with flagship models like the HERO7 Black, the low-light performance is mediocre compared to many other cameras on the market today. And you’ll probably find yourself constantly fighting against the poor battery life.
But despite those negatives, I find the HERO7 Black to be a fun stills camera to shoot with. They’re particularly well suited to action shots, obviously–after all, that’s why they were invented in the first place–but they can also be a fun option for general travel photography or capturing family photos with a difference. Here’s a collection of photos I’ve taken with the GoPro HERO7 to give a sense of what it’s like for everyday shooting.
The HERO7 Black has a 12MP sensor that produces images in a 4:3 aspect ratio measuring 4000 by 3000 pixels. While 12MP is on the smaller side compared to many other cameras, it’s plenty big enough for sharing photos online and even making enlargement prints. You can shoot RAW with it using GoPro’s proprietary .gpr format (actually, it shoots RAW+JPG). It does technically have a zoom, but it’s a digital zoom rather than an optical zoom, and I don’t find it particularly useful. I have a separate post that goes into more details on the photo features and specs of the HERO7 Black.
Sample Images Taken with a GoPro HERO7 Black
All of these were shot with a HERO7 Black. Most of them were shot in GoPro’s RAW format, .gpr, and processed in Lightroom. Many of them had some boosting of local contrast.
Others were shot in JPG, particularly any that used burst mode (which only works with JPG).
GoPro also has a SuperPhoto feature, that combines in-camera enhancements such as HDR. I have found it to help with better-looking photos in some situations, but I also find that I can get better results in post-processing in Lightroom, so I rarely use SuperPhoto. None of the photos on this page use SuperPhoto, but I have some other examples here.
Price & Availability of GoPro HERO7 Black
Check the current price and availability of the GoPro HERO7 Black at:
- HyperSmooth: Get gimbal‑like stabilization—without the gimbal. HERO7 Black corrects for camera shake...
- TimeWarp: Capture super stabilized time lapse videos while you move about a scene. Increase the speed up...
GoPro HERO7 Cameras Compared
|HERO7 Black||HERO7 Silver||HERO7 White|
|Resolution / Max fps||4K / 60|
4K (4:3) / 30
2.7K / 120
2.7K (4:3) / 60
1440p / 120
1080p / 240
960p / 240
720p / 240
|4K / 30|
1440p / 60
1080p / 60
|1440p / 60
1080p / 60
|Max Bitrate||78 Mb/s||60 Mb/s||40 Mb/s|
|File Format (Codec)||MP4 (HEVC / H.265)|
MP4 (H.264 / AVC)
|MP4 (H.264 / AVC)||MP4 (H.264 / AVC)|
|Audio Track||WAV + AAC||AAC||AAC|
|External Mic Compatibility||✓||-||-|
|HDMI Video Out||✓||-||-|
|Max Photo Size||12MP||10MP||10MP|
|File Format||RAW (.gpr)|
|In-Camera Image Enhancement||SuperPhoto||WDR||-|
|Top Burst Mode||30 / 1||15 / 1||15 / 1|
|WiFi / Bluetooth||✓||✓||✓|
|USB Port Type||USB-C||USB-C||USB-C|
DESIGN & BUILD SPECS
|Dimensions||62.3 x 44.9 x 33 mm||62.3 x 44.9 x 28.3 mm||62.3 x 44.9 x 28.3 mm|
|Weight||4.1 oz / 116 g||3.3 oz / 94.4 g||3.26 / 92.4 g|
|Battery Type||1220 mAh||1220 mAh (non-removable)||1220 mAh (non-removable)|
- Models like the HERO7 Black give you some control over exposure using features such as exposure compensation and some manual controls through Protune.
- The HERO7 Black does have digital zoom, but it’s not a feature that I regard as particularly useful. Here’s an explanation of why.
Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2023-09-26 at 14:21. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
New Model: GoPro HERO12 Black
Released in September 2023, the HERO12 Black is GoPro's newest model.
- 5.3K60 / 4K120 / 2.7K240 Video
- 27MP Photos
- Waterproof to 33ft/10m
- HyperSmooth 6.0 Stabilization
- Shoot 5.3K60 & 4K120 video at up to 120Mbps bitrate
- HDR video up to 5.3K30
- Horizon Lock keeps level even during movement
- Take 27MP photos (5568 x 4872 pixels)
- 1/1.9" CMOS sensor
- Waterproof to 33ft / 10m, so you can take it swimming, paddling, surfing, or snorkeling without a separate housing
- Built-in mount point
- HyperSmooth 6.0 In-camera Video Stabilization creates smooth video without a gimbal
- Shoot up to 8x slow motion