GoPros can be quite capable stills cameras too, but video is really their bread and butter and really what defines them.
The GoPro HERO7 Black has very similar video capabilities as the previous model, the HERO6 Black, but there are a few notable differences. One of the leading ones is an improved in-camera stabilization, not called HyperSmooth. The 960 resolution has also returned, and there are some higher framerates available in some settings.
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Here’s a rundown of the various options available when shooting video with the HERO7 Black.
Resolutions, Framerates, and Aspect Ratios
Overall, there’s a lot of overlap between the resolution/framerate options offered on the HERO7 Black with those that were offered on the HERO6 Black. There are a few small differences–there’s now a 960 resolution for instance. But overall, the options are very similar.
Two aspect ratios are offered: 16:9 and 4:3.
The largest resolution is 4K4:3, which results in dimensions of 4000 by 3000. The smallest is 720, which results in dimensions of 1280 by 720. Here’s an illustration showing the relative sizes and aspect ratios available on the HERO7 Black.
The fastest frame rate available is 240 fps. The slowest is 24 fps. As usual, switching between PAL and NTSC will change the available framerates. Not all framerates are available at all resolutions. The table below has the combinations available.
The maximum video bitrate on the HERO7 Black is 78 Mb/s, the same as on the previous model. So you’ll need to make sure you have an SD card that’s fast enough.
It uses that only with the very highest video modes with Protune turned on. For other combinations of settings it uses lower bitrates. I’ve put together a table below that shows which bitrates are used for which video modes.
Whether the file is compressed with the HEVC or H.264 codecs, it uses variable compression, so in practice you can end up with bitrates just slightly above or below these target bitrates.
Fields of View
There are three fields of view available across all of the video modes on the HERO7 Black, but they’re not all available in all shooting modes.
The standard one is the basic Wide FOV, which is the default one that we’re used to with GoPro footage. There’s also one that squeezes even more into the frame, called SuperView. And there’s a Linear FOV that electronically compensates for the fisheye distortion and is especially useful when shooting from drones.
Filetypes and Codecs: H.264 or HEVC (H.265)
All of the video files produced on the GoPro HERO6 Black have a file extension of .mp4. So they’re all using the mp4 container, but they’re not all the same inside. That’s because there are two different codecs used: HEVC (H.265) and H.264.
GoPro introduced the HEVC (H.265) codec to the HERO6 Black, where it was available as the only option for some of the high-end video modes. It’s a newer, more efficient codec than the older H.264 one and offers better compression that results in a better combination of video quality and filesize. The catch is that files encoded with HEVC are not yet anywhere nearly as widely compatible as ones using the older H.264/AVC codec. (If you’re having trouble with the HEVC files, I’ve posted a workaround here.)
On the H6 Black, encoding with the HEVC codec was the only option for some of the very high-end video modes. On all the other video modes, H.264/AVC was the only option.
On the H7 Black, they’ve tweaked that somewhat. There’s now an option in the preferences for choosing HEVC or H.264 + HEVC. (Note that if you’re using the GoPro mobile app, these show up until the Video Compression option as “High Efficiency” and “Most Compatible”.)
But the way this is implemented is a bit confusing. The first option is obvious enough: it will use HEVC for all video recording. The second option isn’t quite as obvious. It doesn’t mean the same as a RAW + JPG option you often find on cameras, for example, where it records both formats simultaneously. If you choose the H.264 + HEVC, it won’t record two versions. What it will do is use H.264 for most of the video options. But with some of the high-end video modes you can still only record them with the HEVC codec. If you’re recording 4K60, for instance, it will only record using the HEVC codec regardless of whether you’ve choose the H.264 + HEVC option. So “H.264 + HEVC” doesn’t mean “H.264 and HEVC”; it means H.264 when available and HEVC when it’s not. You can see which codecs are available in the table below in the AVC bitrate column.
In-Camera Video Stabilization
One of the notable new features of the HERO7 Black is the new and improved in-camera electronic stabilization, now called HyperSmooth.
Here’s a quick example of it in action compared with in-camera stabilization turned off, with the cameras mounted on a bike:
I’ve also posted quite a few side-by-side comparisons of the HERO6 Black’s stabilization with the HERO7 Black’s HyperSmooth.
On the HERO7 Silver and White models, you don’t have the option of turning off the in-camera stabilization (both of those models use the older generation of stabilizations, not HyperSmooth). With the HERO7 Black, you can turn it on or off. It’s available for most, but not all, video modes. In particular, it’s not available at same of the highest framerates. You can see which video modes HyperSmooth is and isn’t available in the table below.
The HERO7 Black has Protune options for video and photo shooting. This basically enables an expert mode where you can specify some of the shooting options manually. Used with care, they can also open up higher-quality video, and they generally result in recording at a higher bitrate than when Protune is turned off.
The video Protune options available on the HERO7 Black are mostly the same as with the HERO6 Black, with a few tweaks here and there. Here’s the full listing.
|Protune Option||HERO7 Black||HERO6 Black||HERO5 Black|
|Manual Exposure / Shutter*||Auto|
|Exposure Compensation||-2 to +2||-2 to +2||-2 to +2|
|Raw Audio Track||Off|
|Auto Audio Mode Group||Auto|
Live Video Feed
A new feature with the HERO7 Black is the ability to stream live video from the camera through the GoPro app. You can then share that stream through services like Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch, and Vimeo. You can find more details here.
The HERO7 Black has a new feature known as Short Clips. This fits in squarely with GoPro’s efforts in recent years to make it easier to share the footage you shoot with the camera. Short clips are standard video but are saved at predetermined lengths of 15 or 30 seconds. The idea is that they’re much more manageable to share via the GoPro app to social media.
The new Portrait Orientation feature allows you to film vertically rather than the usual horizontal (or landscape) orientation. This is something Youtube has embraced quite recently, mainly because so many people film with their phones held upright. The camera has a built in sensor that tells it which way is up and should switch accordingly. But one thing to watch is that once you start recording a video clip, it won’t switch the orientation. So if you start filming in vertical, it will stay in vertical. For that reason, there’s an option in the settings where you can lock it in to landscape-only recording (it’s called Landscape Lock). Both screens, front and back, also rotate to reflect the vertical orientation.
Video Modes of the GoPro HERO7 Black Master Table
|Mode||FPS||HEVC BITRATE - PROTUNE / + PROTUNE||AVC BITRATE - PROTUNE / + PROTUNE||Stabilization?||Aspect Ratio||Dimensions||FOV Wide||FOV SuperView||FOV Linear|
|4K||60||60 / 78||HEVC Only||✓||16:9||3840x2160||✓|
|50||60 / 78||HEVC Only||✓||16:9||3840x2160||✓|
|30||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||16:9||3840x2160||✓||✓|
|25||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||16:9||3840x2160||✓||✓|
|24||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||16:9||3840x2160||✓||✓|
|4K 4:3||30||60 / 78||HEVC Only||-||4:3||4000x3000||✓|
|25||60 / 78||HEVC Only||-||4:3||4000x3000||✓|
|24||60 / 78||HEVC Only||-||4:3||4000x3000||✓|
|2.7K||120||60 / 78||HEVC Only||-||16:9||2704x1520||✓|
|100||60 / 78||HEVC Only||-||16:9||2704x1520||✓|
|60||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||16:9||2704x1520||✓||✓||✓|
|50||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||16:9||2704x1520||✓||✓||✓|
|30||45 / 60||45 / 60||✓||16:9||2704x1520||✓||✓||✓|
|25||45 / 60||45 / 60||✓||16:9||2704x1520||✓||✓||✓|
|24||45 / 60||45 / 60||✓||16:9||2704x1520||✓||✓||✓|
|2.7K 4:3||60||60 / 78||HEVC Only||✓||4:3||2704x2028||✓|
|50||60 / 78||HEVC Only||✓||4:3||2704x2028||✓||✓|
|30||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||4:3||2704x2028||✓||✓|
|25||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||4:3||2704x2028||✓||✓|
|24||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||4:3||2704x2028||✓||✓|
|1440||120||60 / 78||HEVC Only||✓||4:3||1920x1440||✓|
|100||60 / 78||HEVC Only||✓||4:3||1920x1440||✓|
|60||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||4:3||1920x1440||✓||✓|
|50||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||4:3||1920x1440||✓||✓|
|30||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||4:3||1920x1440||✓||✓|
|25||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||4:3||1920x1440||✓||✓|
|24||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||4:3||1920x1440||✓||✓|
|1080||240||60 / 78||HEVC Only||-||16:9||1920x1080||✓|
|200||60 / 78||HEVC Only||-||16:9||1920x1080||✓|
|120||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||16:9||1920x1080||✓||✓||✓|
|100||45 / 60||60 / 60||✓||16:9||1920x1080||✓||✓||✓|
|60||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||16:9||1920x1080||✓||✓||✓|
|50||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||16:9||1920x1080||✓||✓||✓|
|30||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||16:9||1920x1080||✓||✓||✓|
|25||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||16:9||1920x1080||✓||✓||✓|
|24||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||16:9||1920x1080||✓||✓||✓|
|960||240||45 / 60||HEVC Only||-||4:3||1280x960||✓|
|200||45 / 60||HEVC Only||-||4:3||1280x960||✓|
|120||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||4:3||1280x960||✓|
|100||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||4:3||1280x960||✓|
|720||240||45 / 60||45 / 60||-||16:9||1280x720||✓|
|200||45 / 60||60 / 60||-||16:9||1280x720||✓|
|60||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||16:9||1280x720||✓||✓|
|50||24 / 36||30 / 45||✓||16:9||1280x720||✓||✓|
Where to Buy
You can find the GoPro HERO7 Black at good camera retailers like B&H Photo and Amazon, where it’s available in various bundles. You can also get them directly from GoPro.com, where they’re throwing in a memory card.
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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)|
Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2020-01-24 at 17:58. 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.