GoPro’s launch of the HERO8 Black included a lot of excitement about three new accessories especially useful to vloggers:
- Media Mod: includes higher-quality external microphone, HDMI-out port, and acts as a hub for the other mod accessories.
- Light Mod: an external LED video light.
- Display Mod: A flip-up display that lets you see what you’re filming from in front of the camera (ie. for selfies or vlogging).
Some have since been released, but supplies have had a hard time keeping up with demand, especially with the disruption to global manufacturing and shipping.
Save $150 on GoPro HERO9 Black Bundle ($399.98)
GoPro is running a deal on the HERO9 Black, their latest flagship camera. It's a bundle that includes the HERO9 Black, a 1-year subscription to GoPro, a free extra battery (these come in very handy), a floating hand grip, Magnetic Swivel Clip, and a free 632GB SD card. It's all for $399.98.
But those aren’t the accessories I’m focusing on here. If you’re upgrading from a previous model and already have some accessories on hand, you might be wondering whether those work on the new model. There’s no simple answer: some do and some don’t.
Basically, there are four main considerations when trying to determine whether accessories you’re currently using with previous GoPro models will work with the HERO8 Black. I’m focusing here on upgrading from the HERO7 Black to the HERO8 Black, but there’s quite a bit of overlap with previous models. The HERO6 Black and HERO5 Black, for example, share the same body design as the HERO7 Black.
These are the general considerations with accessories for the HERO8 Black:
- The HERO8 Black’s body is just slightly larger than the HERO7 models. There’s enough of a difference that most frames and housings won’t work. That also goes for other accessories that wrap around the body, like silicone sleeves and some floats. In some cases, there are new models specifically for the HERO8 Black.
- The lens port isn’t removable and doesn’t stick out as far. That affects anything that attaches to the lens port, such as snap-on filters, as well as some accessories where the field of view might be obscured (such as the Super Suit dive housing; the version for the new camera is called the Protective Housing). It also affects any accessories, usually filters, that go on in place of the glass lens port.
- The buttons and ports are in different positions. So any triggers or housings that connect directly to the button positions, or any battery or monitor accessories that have a hardwired USB-C position won’t work.
- There’s no HDMI output on the camera body. To add HDMI-out, you’ll need to use the Media Mod.
With those in mind, here’s how some specific types of accessories do or don’t work with the HERO8 Black.
The HERO8 Black has a new mounting method in that the attachment point is not built into the base of the camera itself. So you don’t need to use a frame or housing as you have had to do with previous models.
But it’s still the same standard 3-prong GoPro-style attachment system that you’re used to. So most accessories that rely on that mounting attachment point will work just fine with the HERO8 Black.
There are, however, occasional exceptions. There’s a relatively small number of accessories that need the camera to be in a frame (like the pistol-trigger triggers; see below).
Grips & Poles
Most of them will work because they generally attach with the standard GoPro mounting system.
Some specialized grips, like pistol-trigger grips, require a frame mount to work properly. Right now, GoPro doesn’t have their own frame for the HERO8 Black. Aftermarket manufacturers will likely make some sooner or later.
GoPro HERO8 Batteries
Internal Batteries. I’ve put together a more detailed guide to GoPro HERO8 batteries. But here’s the short version . . .
GoPro has released a new battery with the HERO8 Black. It’s the same shape, size, and power rating as the HERO7 Black, HERO6 Black, and HERO5 Black. And, technically, you can put one of the older batteries inside the HERO8 Black and power the camera with all of the same features available. You might run into issues when using some of the camera in very demanding conditions (eg. very hot) with the high-performance modes like HyperSmooth Boost, Live Burst, and TimeWarp.
But you’ll also get an on-screen warning that to get peak performance you should be using the newer model. And it won’t work with the new battery health checker in the camera.
The new battery is also designed to be backward compatible. But before you use it in a HERO7 Black, HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO (2018), make sure to update the camera’s firmware.
Extended Batteries. Any batteries that use a cable to attach to the USB-C port will work. So external USB power bricks and batteries that act like that (such as this one, will work fine.
Batteries that clip onto the camera, like these, won’t work because the USB-C port and compartment are in different positions on the body.
One of the changes with the HERO8 Black is that there’s a single compartment with one door. Not only does the door come off rather too easily, but you can’t use it at the same time as using the USB-C port for external power. There’s an aftermarket solution with this replacement side door for the HERO8 Black.
Memory Cards for the HERO8 Black
I have a much more detailed guide to GoPro HERO8 Black SD cards. But here’s the short version . . .
In general, most of the memory cards that work with the HERO7 Black should work with the HERO8 Black. But it’s not a direct overlap because the HERO8 Black has a higher maximum video bitrate of 100 Mb/s (compared to 80 Mb/s for the HERO7 Black). So lean towards faster cards.
- Up to 160MB/s read speeds to save time transferring high res images and 4K UHD videos; Requires...
- Up to 90MB/s write speeds for fast shooting; Requires compatible devices capable of reaching such speeds
Housings and Frames
Most housings and frames from the HERO7 models won’t work with the HERO8 Black. There are a few issues that come into play: the body of the new camera is slightly larger, the buttons and ports are in different places, the microphone pickups are in different places, and the lens port is a different design.
Frame. The HERO7 Black’s standard frame, which comes included with the cameras, won’t fit on the HERO8 Black. The new camera doesn’t include one because it has a built-in, fold-out attachment point built into the bottom of the camera’s body. GoPro doesn’t currently make a frame for the HERO8 Black, but aftermarket manufacturers are likely to fill that gap before long.
SuperSuit Dive Housing. The SuperSuit Dive Housing that worked with the HERO5 Black, HERO6 Black, and HERO7 Black won’t work on the HERO8 Black. Use the new dedicated Protective Housing instead. The cameras are different sizes, have different button positions, and different lens port designs.
The H8 Black’s Protective Housing is very similar and has the same depth rating (196 feet / 60 meters). It comes with one solid back door and one skeleton back door (the SuperSuite comes with two solid back doors and one skeleton back door). You can find it here.
Floats. Floats that wrap around the camera body will need to be ones designed specifically for the HERO8 Black. GoPro has released their own, recycling the Floaty name. Any pole floats or strap floats will work just fine.
Sleeve + Lanyard. I’ve found GoPro’s Sleeve useful as a light layer of protection when just out and about with hand-held shooting. But, annoyingly, the previous versions, of which I have several copies, don’t fit. They’re too small for the H8 Black’s body. Less importantly, the markings for the power button are in the wrong positions for the new camera, as are the microphone exposures. So there’s a new version just for the HERO8 Black.
Drone / Gimbal Cages
There’s no cage yet for the GoPro Karma drone or gimbal.
Many clip-on filters from the HERO7 Black won’t work on the HERO8 Black. That’s because of the different lens port design.
That also hold true for filters that attach to the SuperSuit dive housing. Again, the different lens port design means that the HERO8 Black won’t work in the Super Suit—you’ll need to use the similar Protective Housing instead.
This is a running list that I’ll add to as I have a chance to try different accessories. Feel free to shoot me questions in the comments if something isn’t clear.
You can find GoPro’s official list of HERO8 Black accessories here. If you buy any of them from GoPro.com, it’s worth looking into the PLUS subscription program. One of the benefits of that program is 50% many of the accessories.
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