The GoPro HERO7 White is the entry-level offering of the three cameras in GoPro’s HERO7 lineup. So it has the most basic set of features.
That’s very true when it comes to its video offerings. While the Black and Silver editions offer quite a range of resolution and frame rate combinations, along with several features like superfast framerates for slow-motion or the new HyperSmooth in-camera stabilization the live streaming (those last two are Black only), the features of the White are significantly pared down. That’s quite deliberate, not only to justify the lower price but also to make it much simpler to use for those who don’t want to be overwhelmed with options and just want to get out and start shooting. After all, if you don’t need all of those bells and whistles they can just get in the way.
If you’re trying to decide whether the HERO7 White’s video capabilities fit your needs, here’s a rundown on its various options and features available when shooting video. For comparison, I have a separate rundown of the video features of the HERO7 Silver.
Resolutions and Framerates
There are only four combinations of resolution and framerate available. In NTSC, they’re 1440p30 and 1440p60. In PAL, they’re 1440p50 and 1440p25.
Put more simply, the only resolution available is 1440. That’s a rectangle 1920 pixels across and 1440 pixels high that looks like this:
That resolution is considered HD video and is suitable for general web use. Typical HD videos on the web display at either 1080p or even the smaller 720p. But if you need 4K video, you’ll need to step up to one of the higher models like the Black.
It’s an aspect ratio of 4:3. So it’s the same width as the standard 1080HD, but it’s a taller aspect ratio. That comes in handy when shooting video, because it gives you more leeway vertically. That’s useful when the camera or the subject (or both) are moving.
Here’s a visualization of how those aspect ratios compare, with the box in the middle the traditional 16:9 HD aspect ratio and the background the taller 4:3 aspect ratio of 1440p video.
There are four available frame rates–two each in NTSC and PAL video modes. In NTSC, you can choose either 60 frames per second or 30 frames per second. In PAL video mode, you can choose either 50 frames per second or 25 frames per second. 1
Video Bitrates on the HERO7 White
The HERO7 White’s video records at 40 Mb/s in all the available combinations of resolution and framerate. That makes it much less demanding of the speed of the SD card than the Black (up to 78 Mb/s) or Silver (up to 60 Mb/s), so you can get away with a slower SD card. (Here are some recommendations).
I find the way in which you switch framerates to be a bit odd. There’s no option in the menu system for you to select the framerate. Instead, you have to hit the snail icon on the main screen. That denotes the slow motion mode (or Slo-Mo, as GoPro puts it) and does the faster framerate options (60fps in NTSC and 50fps in PAL). Calling that slow motion is a bit of a stretch, but that’s how you switch the framerates between the faster and slower options.
File Format & Video Codec
The HERO7 White produces mp4 files that are encoded with the H.264 codec. So they’re very widely compatible with most current devices and online video services and have good compression and video quality.
The White doesn’t use the newer and less-compatible H.265 HEVC codec (optionally) used on the Black.
The HERO7 White doesn’t have any Protune options for either video or photo modes.
The White does have built-in electronic stabilization. It’s the older generation, not the most recent HyperSmooth used in the Black edition. It works reasonably well, although it’s not a replacement for an external gimbal stabilizer.
One thing to note is that you can’t turn the stabilization off–it’s always on.
The White has a digital zoom feature that you can use while shooting video. It’s worth knowing that this is an electronic zoom, not an optical one. Essentially, it’s digital cropping. But you can apply it while filming by using touch controls on the back screen using a slider. It eases in and out, but it’s not the smoothest zoom you’ve ever seen, so don’t expect silky smooth zooming shots.
Note that the zoom function is not available when filming the Slo-Mo mode.
The White uses automatic exposure, but you can specify which part of the frame is used to calculate the automatic exposure. You do that by using the touchscreen–just select the part of the frame you want to use. An example might be if the sky is getting blown out (too bright) but you want to highlight some dramatic clouds, in which case you can touch the sky area on the back screen and the automatic exposure will be calculated using that part of the frame. Another example might be if a person’s face is in shadow, so you can select their face in the frame and it should lighten the overall exposure by trying to correctly expose the face.
The White doesn’t have exposure compensation. That’s a Protune option, and the White doesn’t have Protune.
The highlight tagging feature that the last several generations of GoPros have had is also available on the White. It lets you mark specific moments as they happen so that you can quickly reference them later when editing in the GoPro app or GoPro Studio. Highlight tags can be added on the fly in-camera, using the GoPro mobile app, or with the Smart Remote.
This is a new feature that GoPro introduced with the HERO7 models. It lets you shoot 15 or 30-second clips that are designed for quick sharing online. All of the HERO7 models have it, including the White.
The White can record slow motion, but it’s a much more limited feature than on Black (the Silver has the same slow-motion capabilities as the White). In this case, it records at 60 frames per second and plays back at 30 frames per second. So it’s half speed, or 2x slow motion. So the feature is there, but if you need more powerful slow-motion options you’ll be wanting to look at the Black.
The White can do time-lapse video, creating the video in the camera. But the options are limited. The resulting video is 1440p, and it’s a preset interval of 0.5 seconds (ie. you can’t change the interval). The field of view is also preset to Wide and not configurable.
Starting and Stopping Video on the HERO7 White
There are several different ways you can control the video record button. The most obvious is to use the shutter button on the camera. You can also use voice control, the GoPro mobile app, or the Smart Remote or REMO remote.
Where to Buy
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)|
- NTSC and PAL refer to standards that are used in different parts of the world for recording, broadcasting, and displaying video primarily on televisions. NTSC is used in much of the Americas, while PAL is used in countries like the UK and Australia. It’s also relevant to DVD and Blu-Ray, but it’s far less relevant if you’re only displaying video on the web. So if you’re shooting video to share on the web or social media, it really doesn’t matter which you choose, but to simplify your editing workflow, it’s easier to choose one and stick to it.