GoPro Hero 10 Black In-Depth Review

GoPro’s newest camera, the Hero 10, is all about doubling the speed. From doubling of frame rates – now up to 120 frames per second in 4K, and 240 in 2.7K – to significantly improve the speed of the user interface, and even speeding up the simplest action of taking a photo. But it also brought more practical changes like wired offloads to your phone (which are far faster), and a new hydrophobic lens coating to repel water droplets.

These new frame rates are possible via the new GP2 chipset, or SoC (System on a Chip). This is GoPro’s 2nd custom-designed silicon to run their cameras. GoPro says Hero 9 was basically at its limits with GP1 in terms of everything from stabilization to frame rates, and more we’ll talk about that’s less obvious. So while it worked, it was on the edge of what it could handle. GoPro says that like the GP1, they’ll be able to grow into the GP2 over the coming years, likely both for future camera versions (as GoPro has an annual release cycle), but also firmware updates for the Hero 10 too, including later this year.

Now for this review, I’ve done things a tiny bit different. Since most of the core features are the same as the Hero 9, I’ve instead focused much of the Video & Photo sections on a far more nuanced discussion of the differences compared to the past, as well as some insight into where GoPro is going down the road. Fear not, there’s plenty of beginner discussion though in the ‘Basics’ section, both in the super-long Beginners Guide video, but also covering the newer features in the text of the review.

I’ve been using the Hero 10 over the last month across a wide variety of activities. From mountain biking the Alps to parasailing, running, swimming, and even atop an FPV drone – trying to understand where it works well, and where it has some quirks. I’ve been using a media loaner device from GoPro, which as usual will go back to them. I’ve already ordered a set of Hero 10’s for myself at regular retail prices. If you found this review useful, consider hitting up some of the links at the bottom, or becoming a DCR Supporter. With that – onto the review!

What’s New:

The Hero 10 brings a slate of updates to it, though, most of them are more minor. And in fact, what I’d argue as two of the most practical upgrades, the wired offloading for content and the new hydrophobic lens, work with the Hero 9. The wired upgrade works from today with the updated GoPro app, and the new lens can also be purchased as well.

Still, there’s plenty of good stuff in here, arguably especially for mountain bikers and others that want higher frame rates in SuperView. So, let’s dive into it:

– Doubled Frame Rates: Essentially for any given Hero 9 resolution you can double the frame rates on the Hero 10 (except up to 480FPS). For example, 5K/30FPS became 5K/60FPS, 4K/60FPS became 4K/120FPS, and 2.7K/120FPS became 2.7K/240FPS, and so on up/down the line
– Changed to new GP2 Chipset: This is GoPro’s own internal silicon, or System On a Chip (SoC) for powering the graphics pipeline. Their previous GP1 chipset has been powering cameras for a few years now.
– HyperSmooth 4.0 Added: This makes HyperSmooth available in more modes, but notably increases the tilt from 27° to 45° in Linear Horizon Leveling for certain framerates, such as 4K/60.
– Added Local Tone Mapping to Video: Previously, GoPro did local tone mapping for their SuperPhoto mode, however, that’s now coming to video as well. The idea being that it’ll bring out more contrast and textures.
– Increased Low-Light Performance: GoPro says they reduced noise, primarily in 4K/30 and 4K/24, in low-light situations like at dusk or in a dark forest (though don’t expect much change in full night situations).
Livestreaming has HyperSmooth now: Previously, there wasn’t any meaningful stabilization on livestreamed content. Now it’s using the full HyperSmooth 4.0 stack
– Taking still from video up to 19.6MP: Previously this was about 12-14MP depending on mode. This is frankly how I capture 99% of the photos that come from my video
– Changed to 23.6MP for all photo modes: Previously only raw photos supported 23.6MP, whereas now all photo modes except LivePhoto (which is just video), support the higher 23.6MP photos.
– New Hydrophobic coating on lens: This new lens sheds water better, so water droplets don’t form on the lens itself. This lens can be purchased for the Hero 9.
– More scratch resistant lens: GoPro says the new lens is more scratch resistant than previous lenses.
– New Lens reduces pink flares: In certain lighting conditions, the old lens can show some pink light flares (usually a petal look), GoPro says these should be reduced.
– Added Wired/Cable Offloads to Phone: This allows you to offload the footage to your phone via cable. This is available for the Hero 9 as well, from today (with the updated GoPro Quik app). This makes download far faster, and doesn’t tie up your phone’s WiFi connectivity.
– Faster WiFi Uploads: GoPro says the Hero 10 will offload content via WiFi some 30% faster.
– Faster and more responsiveness on back touchscreen. This is most noticeable in conjunction with other high processor activities, such as taking a SuperPhoto. But also even when the screen is wet, it seems to handle better in my testing.
– Front preview screen supports higher resolutions better: Previously if you shot in 5K, the front preview screen would be heavily laggy. Now it’s smooth like the back screen.
– All GoPro Mods Are Compatible: All GoPro Mods from the Hero 9 are compatible, with the one notable exception that while the GoPro Max Lens mod is compatible, it won’t be enabled till a firmware update in November, due to them still working some kinks out with the GP2 chipset and that specific Mod.
– Changed the GoPro on-camera logo/number to blue: I know this might seem silly, but it allows you to spot a GoPro Hero 10 from the front, based on the blue lettering. No other GoPro has blue lettering.

Next, there’s a handful of changes coming in a planned November firmware update for the GoPro Hero 10, which should be called out here, mainly so I don’t forget them anywhere else. They are as follows:

  1. Additional being added:
    • 5K 4:3 24fps
    • 4K 4:3 30/25/24fps
    • 5.3K 24fps
    • 1080 24fps
  2. Adding SuperView lens for 5.3K 30/25/24fps
  3. Adding GoPro Max Lens Mod support for Hero 10

And here’s some things that haven’t changed this year:

– The battery is the same as the Hero 9, and can be used interchangeably
– Battery life is roughly the same as the Hero 9
– The camera is still waterproof to 33ft as before
– Still has the same microphones as the Hero 9
– Has the lower built-in metal mounting fingers as the Hero 9
– Has the same side door as before
– Still can’t view the preview stream from a phone once you press the record button (though, sounds like more a patent court-case issue)

Essentially, it’s externally the same as a Hero 9 (save the lens cover), whereas internally it’s got all the new innards that make it faster and more capable.

Lastly, pricing. It’s gotten $50 more expensive – so now it’s $399 for GoPro Subscribers, or $499 without. Technically you can buy it at $399 including that first year of GoPro subscription. You are permitted to cancel the automatic renewal of that subscription before the end of the year (whereas if you cancel the actual subscription then it’ll charge you the extra $100. Either way, this is $50 more than GoPro did for the Hero 9 – though, given the craziness of world shipping rates and chipset shortages, we’re probably a bit lucky.

As a reminder, the GoPro subscription is normally $4.99/month or $50/year, and basically gives you unlimited cloud backup of your GoPro, as well as a discount of upwards of 50% off GoPro accessories on their site. Also, there’s some added features in the GoPro Quik app you get, though for most folks the big deal is the cloud backup and accessory discount.

GoPro Basics:

If you’re new to a GoPro, then consider watching the long-form video Beginner’s Guide above. It’s a complete beginner’s guide to getting up to speed, with plenty of tips and tricks along the way that even more advanced users might not know exist.

However, there are some new features that are worthy of mention – the most notable being the new wired connectivity option. Even better, this is available immediately as well on the GoPro Hero 9 (just using the most recent app, no firmware update required). This allows you to download footage at far faster speeds than the typical WiFi downloads, plus, doesn’t tie up your WiFi on your phone while your GoPro slowly downloads the day’s adventures.

To get started, you’ll need an additional cable that didn’t come in the box. These are as follows:

For iOS Users: You’ll need the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Connection Cable. It usually costs about $12-$15 on Amazon, though the price spiked yesterday to $25. Note, it *HAS* to be this cable. Not a knock-off one, nor a lighting to USB-C charging cable.

For Android users: You’ll need any USB-C to USB-C data cable. Almost every USB-C to USB-C cable moves data, but I suppose there’s probably some oddball cheapy ones that don’t.

Here’s the goods laid out. For an iOS user, you’ll also need the regular charging cable that came with your GoPro (USB-A to USB-C) in order to plug it into the GoPro. So basically, you’ll use two cables tethered together. Don’t worry, the speeds are worth it.

All you do is simply plug these together, and then open up the GoPro Quik app. It’s here it’ll automatically detect the camera and switch to using USB. At no point do you need to turn on WiFi.

A few weeks ago while on an extended road trip with DesFit, we were often sharing GoPro footage at the end of the day. I asked whether or not it was possible to simply hand my GoPro to someone else and then let them pick which footage they wanted with USB. They said yes, however, that person would have to add the camera to their GoPro Quik app first (using Bluetooth/WiFi). That won’t remove the pairing with your app, as the GoPro camera itself can maintain/save multiple camera pairings. Once that pairing is established, then that person can use the USB cable. Honestly seems a little bit clunky for simple USB access, but I suppose it’s better than nothing. I’d love to be able to just hand it to anyone and not have them have to add it to their app, but rather just get ‘guest’ access that permits read-only access to the card (but not the ability to delete files accidentally).

Overall, the wired download is arguably my favorite feature here.

My second favorite feature is the new lens. Seriously. As someone who has been spending a lot of time in the water over this summer, I’m constantly licking my GoPro lens, which prevents water droplets from forming. GoPro says though that the new Hero 10 lens has a hydrophobic coating on it that prevents water droplets from sticking to it. And sure enough, if you watch my ‘16 New Things Video’ above, you can see me repeatedly dunking the camera and having no water stick to it – whereas the Hero 9 droplets constantly stuck to it.

What’s great though is that the Hero 9 and Hero 10 share the same lens cover. So you can actually buy the new lens cover today for the Hero 9. It costs $19.99 for non-GoPro subscribers, or $13 for GoPro subscribers. I ordered new lenses for all my Hero 9 cameras already.

The company says the new lens cover is also more scratch resistant, as well as will reduce the chance of pink petal lens flares. I haven’t yet managed to scratch my lens, nor have I noticed any pink petal lens flares on the footage – though I haven’t carefully reviewed every single second of the countless hours of footage in search of pink petal flares.

Another update that’s more general is both the front and back touchscreens have been updated, albeit, it sounds like this may be more tied to the GP2 than the screens themselves. Either way, the net result is the screens work better. For the front screen it’ll now be butter smooth at higher frame rates. Previously if you used the front screen at 5K or higher speed 4K frame rates, the front screen would drop to about 3-5FPS. So it looked like bad internet video (the recorded files were perfectly fine). Now though, it’s seamless.

 

Meanwhile, on the back, the responsiveness is faster and quicker. I saw this repeatedly during the last few weeks of shooting the Hero 9 and Hero 10 side by side. I was *ALWAYS* waiting on the Hero 9 for something, whereas the Hero 10 was ready. I think most of this was more tied to completion of backend operations – such as waiting for a photo to finish, or getting to a menu. In the past you might have tapped again thinking something didn’t take, but in reality, it was just thinking.

Speaking of user interface things, I noticed a few minor tweaks along the way. For example, the menu to choose which quick-access buttons you wanted has been changed. Previously it was a dumpster fire of dots, nearly impossible to choose which setting you wanted. Now they’ve adopted a logical list.

Additionally, there’s now three color modes in video and photo – Flat, Natural, and Vibrant. I mostly shot on Natural (the default). Flat is used when you want to do post-production of the footage later, from a color processing standpoint.

Rounding home, some have asked whether or not I’ve had any freezes. Nope – not a single freeze-up. In my case, I buy these SD cards. In talking with GoPro, they noted that the GP2 gives them far more latitude to keep ahead of performance issues. In my discussions they seem to be implying that there were cases where the GP1 was probably a bit underpowered relative to certain camera operations, which might have led to issues when combined with certain SD cards or other factors. One of the things I have noticed over the years is that a clean(ish) SD card seems to play a large role in keeping camera freezes to the minimum. Mind you, I rarely remember to follow that guidance – but in general it helps. Likely it also reduces corruption potential too.

Finally, some have also asked about overheating. I haven’t seen any overheating in any of my real-world testing over the past month. Though, most of my testing tends to be while moving outside (bikes/running/drones/etc…) – so I have airflow moving over the camera, which of course dissipates heat.

That said, after seeing a few other reviews note overheating on the highest 5K modes for longer durations (but not on lower modes), so I did 40+ tests to see what does and doesn’t happen. Hit the Play button for that extravaganza:

Ultimately though, in my day-to-day usage, I simply never ran into an overheating scenario. Likely because of airflow over the cameras in how I use them (I rarely use GoPro’s indoors, except in very sporadic situations and never at 5K).

Video Changes:

Since we covered all the usage basics in the first section, for this one I want to focus mostly on the video changes and how they relate to practical usage. In many ways, most of the changes on the video side are more nuanced than the photo ones – and really focused heavily on high frame rates and more advanced use cases. For example, most people aren’t shooting in 2.7K 4:3 at 120FPS…unless you’re doing FPV drone work – in which case, it’s awesome. Note, the complete massive listing of Hero 10 resolutions and frame rates is here.

The bigger shift though for more general usage is allowing SuperView in higher frame rates. For example, in a Hero 9 you can do 4K/60 in Wide, but not SuperView – that’s limited to 30FPS (SuperView a wider shot ideal for chest mounts in mountain biking). Whereas in the Hero 10 you can do 4K/60 in SuperView (you can’t do any 5K resolution in SuperView today, but coming in November you can).

SuperView is by far my most frequently used mode for any sort of fast-moving action shot where I want a really wide field of view. For example mountain biking as discussed earlier, since it allows you to see the terrain moving past quickly, while also getting the full handlebars in. It increases the sensation of speed. You can see this in the comparison videos above, especially the mountain biking section – which are all shot in SuperView. I also tend to use SuperView while skiing when I’m doing selfie style bits, as it’ll usually get my skis in the shot too.

Of course, the downside to SuperView is that some people don’t like the fisheye look to it. However, I think that heavily depends on *how* you use it. For the mountain biking scenario on a chesty, you’d likely never notice the fisheye look because your arms wrap into the frame and somewhat break that fisheye aspect. Versus if I’m just walking down the street randomly filming buildings with SuperView, it’ll look horrifically fisheye.

So for that, I’m going to use Linear mode. Linear is basically GoPro’s term for “not-fisheye”. They’ve had it for a few years now, but the Hero 10 increases the resolution frame-rates it supports, namely up to 5K/60 FPS with full Boost (previously it was limited to 5K/30). However, more notably for Linear mode is the secondary element called ‘Horizon Leveling’.

This is an optional toggle you can enable that will keep your shot level despite you tilting the camera. This is useful for perhaps mounting the camera on a slightly uneven surface (like a car hood) where finding the exact level center point can be tricky. In using the horizon leveling, your camera shot is always level, up to varying degrees. In the Hero 9, it would vary between 27° and 45° of tilt. Whereas with the Hero 10 with HyperSmooth 4.0, it’s virtually 45° across the board. GoPro noted that in particular, the 4K/60 Linear + HL (Horizon Leveling) was previously limited to 27° of tilt, whereas now it can handle 45° of tilt.

That said, like any setting, use it wisely. For example, I don’t use horizon leveling in mountain biking as I think it kills the mood. Also, it’s only available in linear mode, which in turn crops in a bunch. Versus I do use horizon leveling anytime I’m mounting the camera to a platform that might be imperfect (oftentimes the front of the cargo-bike, where getting it *just right* is really a solid PITA).

Note that one change I make across the board on my cameras is toggling the High Bitrate option within the menus. Keep in mind this (annoyingly) needs to be toggled for each camera profile you create. Meaning that each time you create a new profile (with new settings) you have to toggle it. While I understand (fully) why this is logical, I think there should also be a menu option to hard-set it across the board (which would in turn grey out the per-profile option). Anyways, I use this to ensure I get the highest quality video bitrates possible, which in turn can give me a bit more latitude in post production.

All of the comparison footage above in that video is shot at high bitrate. Speaking of which, if you want to look at the actual raw/original footage, much of that is available here in this file share.

Virtually every other feature remains exactly as in the Hero 9. So things like Hindsight (which allows you to have a DVR-style recording that will create a 30-second buffer without actually recording), or scheduled capture are all still there. As are features like looping (which allows you to endlessly record by overwriting the oldest videos). The other changes to video are being able to pull higher resolution stills. But I’ll cover that in the photo section, just to keep stuff tidy.

Now I was curious why we didn’t see 480FPS in the Hero 10, given the doubling of all the other frame rates. GoPro says that they foresee the GP2 chipset being capable of that, but they aren’t yet sure whether or not the Hero 10 would allow for that down the road. Their priority was on stabilizing (in a software stability sense) the modes they have for launch, and then once they got past the November firmware update (which adds more modes), looking at what else is possible with the Hero 10 hardware and GP2. They did note that they believe the GP2 chipset should serve them well for a number of years, similar to how the GP1 chipset was on multiple camera editions before they outgrew it.

Keep in mind that the GP2 chipset is only a single piece of the puzzle in terms of the entire capabilities of a camera. In the same way that a 1” sensor is only a piece of the puzzle for the Insta360 One R 1”. In fact, despite that 1” sensor, you can see clearly in the sample footage that while the Insta 360 One R 1” looks a bit better in some of the very still lake shots (in terms of color and clarity), that it suffers heavily in the mountain biking footage with the far higher speeds and lower lighting – compared to the Hero 10. And this is even with the Insta360 doing all its stabilization in post production at the highest levels possible. Point being, while it’s easy to say “GoPro (or DJI) needs a 1” sensor”, the reality is that’s only one element of the puzzle.

Lastly, I also asked whether it was possible that we’ll see higher resolutions or frame rates supported for the GoPro Max Lens Mod. That one is currently limited to 2.7K/60FPS on the Hero 9. As you might remember from earlier in the review, at launch the Max Lens Mod isn’t supported software-wise (hardware it fits just fine), instead, that’ll come in the November firmware update. In any event, when asked, GoPro said that it might indeed be possible to get higher frame rates or resolution for the Hero 10 on the Max Lens mod, but to stay tuned for later this year (December I presume) – essentially, once they get past the November update, they’ll be looking to see what’s possible there.

As one who heavily uses the GoPro Max Lens Mod, I’d absolutely love to see a bit higher resolution out of it. I’d also love to see the option to change/choose orientation after the fact in post. Meaning right now I often shoot two videos for things – one for Instagram in Vertical, and then one for everything else in Horizontal. Part of the selling point of the Max Lens Mod is that you can rotate the camera endlessly and it’ll lock the horizon. Thus, I’d have to assume that means they’re capable of recording either orientation concurrently (which is really just recording a larger frame of content) – but perhaps didn’t have the processing overhead in the GP1 to pull it off.

Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to both the Max Lens mod update for November, but also the ability to do 5K/30 in SuperView mode in November too – the first time we’ll have something that wide in 5K from GoPro.

Photo Changes:

The main photo-driven changes in the Hero 10 are around offering high resolutions in more photo modes, and around increasing the resolution of photos taken from video. Meaning that sure, you can still shoot a single photo as-is, but GoPro says they see more and more people shifting towards shooting video and then taking the exact frame they want as a still photo, from the video. That makes sense for an action camera, as it’s far easier to just shoot a short video clip, then trying to catch the exact split-second frame that you want. And indeed, it’s what I often do.

To recap the changes on the photo side, the key shifts are:

– Taking still from video up to 19.6MP: Previously this was about 12-14MP depending on mode. This is frankly how I capture 99% of the photos that come from my video
– Changed to 23.6MP for all photo modes: Previously only raw photos supported 23.6MP, whereas now all photo modes except LivePhoto (which is just video), support the higher 23.6MP photos.

Now as I noted a moment ago, the vast majority of time I’m using a still photo from a GoPro, it’s actually from a video frame. It’s just logical for most shots/purposes (but I’ll cover which ones don’t make sense too). If I’m trying to capture a single photo of fast moving action, it’s very challenging to do so with the GoPro’s shutter and delays to nail it. Even using the Burst mode, while totally functional, isn’t a guarantee. And then I’m stuck with perhaps a pile of 30 photos per button press on my SD card.

Instead, by just shooting high frame-rate video, I can just pull the single frame I want. Previously, that was limited to a frame-wise of about 12-14MP, or roughly half of the full photo size of 23MP. So in that case, I was losing a fair bit of resolution. Of course, I still did it most of the time anyway because a perfectly timed shot won out over quality.

But with the Hero 10, you can now pull up to 19.6MP photos from your videos. However, the key term is ‘up to’. The exact megapixel count will vary. For example, on a 5K 4:3 video (which you probably won’t use), it is indeed 19.6MP. However, if I’m ‘only’ shooting 5.3K in 16:9 (what I usually do), then it’s a bit less. Here’s a simple table I put together showing what you get at reach resolution, photo-wise:

5K 4:3 Video Stills: 19.6MP
5K 16:9 Video Stills: 16MP
4K 4:3 Video Stills: 12MP
4K 16:9 Video Stills: 8MP

So your simple math there is if you’re planning on stealing photos from footage, go with the 5K resolution, as it’ll give you far more megapixels than not, and for the bit extra, you can do 4:3 – since that’s giving you more vertical framing to work with.

Now, while I’ll almost always use video over photos for grabbing stills these days – there are a few cases where stills will win out. The first is for static landscapes/subjects. For example, this shot here of the lake. The lake wasn’t going anywhere, and I wanted to use the SuperPhoto mode (more dynamic range) to get all the juicy goodness I could out of it. Second, this would give me the full 23.6MP resolution:

The main change in the Hero 10 is that the 23.6MP resolution is now across all photo modes, inclusive of JPG exports. Previously if you wanted 23.6MP you needed to shoot RAW. Which in turn meant you couldn’t get a SuperPhoto (or HDR). It also wasn’t available in modes like Burst either. Now it is.

Thus the main reason to use photos is really when you want complete vibrancy, or, want total control via raw photos. In which case exporting out a single still from video won’t get that for you. Now the challenge there is that if I’m looking at a static landscape/object, I’m probably going to use my phone. My iPhone easily wins in this department in terms of at least visual appeal.

For example, take the two shots below of my wife on the swim dock after her run. Both are unedited by me. Clearly, the iPhone (at left) one looks better:

 

Of course, that’s long been the case. But it’s ultimately about different use cases. I can’t pull out my phone and get this shot below without crashing my bike (GoPro Hero 10 Black with 4K/60 SuperView):

Just like if it was the middle of winter and I’m on top of a mountain somewhere, I’d probably take the photo with the GoPro if it was handy, rather than taking off my gloves, pulling my phone out of my pocket, freezing my fingers, etc…

Either way, the point is you’ve got options – and it’s basically up to you to decide which option you want to use. But for me, effectively doubling my shooting photo resolution is pretty useful.

Mod Compatibility:

The Hero 10 maintains compatibility with all Hero 9 accessories (e.g. mounts/etc), but also maintains compatibility with the GoPro Hero 9 Mods. However, there is a catch that the GoPro Max Lens Mod won’t be enabled until a November firmware update. GoPro says that’s because with the new GP2 chipset, they’ve had to re-architect how the camera handles the Lens Mod, and that work isn’t yet finished. But, physically speaking, the existing Lens Mod is fully compatible with the Hero 10 – it’s just that you can’t toggle into the Lens Mod menu to enable it yet.

Meanwhile, the Hero 9 Media Mod is fully compatible with the Hero 10. That mod allows you to connect external microphones, as well as provides an HDMI output for connecting to a TV. While many of us have lamented that GoPro hasn’t just provided an inexpensive USB-C audio adapter for the Hero 9/10 (like DJI & Insta360 do), but hey, at least the Media Mod does work well in terms of usability. I frequently use it with a Rode Wireless Go II microphone attached to it, using the cold-shoe port on the top to hold it:

This ensures I get good quality audio even in windy conditions. In fact, this mic setup is how I shoot almost all of my on-bike high-wind drone testing. Same goes for recording some of the DCR Supporter Quarantine Corner episodes from the cargo bike.

The display mod is compatible as well, and just like before, I strongly recommend you not buy it for a Hero 9/Hero 10. It’s cumbersome and clumsy to use because it shuts off the back display (where you change settings, you can change settings with the display mod), and for the Hero 9/10 you already have a (albeit smaller) display on the front anyway. This was really designed for the Hero 8, and for that, in very specific use cases, it’s fine.

Finally, the Light MOD is compatible, namely because it’s compatible with everything as there’s no electronic tie-in. In that sense, it’s compatible with my toilet as a night-light, or a banana to be properly illuminated. It just sits atop whatever you want it to.

As for the GoPro Max Lens mod and whether or not GP2 might allow for larger resolutions or frame rates, beyond the current 2.7K/50FPS. GoPro says maybe. They noted that once they get through the November firmware launch they’ll be looking at what’s possible for the Hero 10 and the Max Lens Mod. Keeping in mind that November firmware update adds other non-Lens Mod frame rates – so there’s hope there somewhere.

Frankly, I was really hoping we’d see post-production re-framing options with the Lens Mod and the Hero 10. For example, the ability to switch between vertical and horizontal views after the fact – given that one of the key selling points of the Max Lens mod is that you can rotate the camera indefinitely and it’ll keep the horizon lock as-is.

And ultimately, that’s why you’ll generally find me using Max Lens Mod on my main GoPro camera – I love the extra stabilization, as well as the ability to lock the horizon for portrait mode (for Instagram), while then mounting the camera in normal horizon mode. Of course, I explain how all this works in my full Lens Mod review here.

Product Comparison:

I’ve added in the GoPro Hero 10 Black to the product comparison database, compared along with the Hero 9 Black & DJI OSMO Action. I don’t yet have the Insta360 One R 1″ n the database (on the to-do list!). While one could argue a comparison with the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30, I just don’t think at this point that’s a valid/logical comparison. That said, you can always make your own comparison chart here in the database if you want!

Function/FeatureGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated September 23rd, 2021 @ 3:34 am New Window
Price$399$449
AvailabilitySept 16th, 2020Sept 16th, 2021
WiFi BuiltinYesYes
Bluetooth to PhoneYesYes
Recording LightYesYes
GPS builtinYesYes
Altimeter builtinYesYes
Water Resistant10m/33ft10m/33ft
AccellerometerYesYes
Video Preview ScreenYesYes
Voice ControlYesYes
BatteryGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
Recharges viaUSB-CUSB-C
Removable batteryYesYes
Recording Time91mins 5K/30 /// 2hr8m 1080p3071mins 5K/30 /// 2hr8m 1080p30
Secondary attached batteryVia USB-C battery bankVia USB-C battery bank
StorageGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
Storage Card TypeMicro-SDMicro-SD
Maximum Card Size512GB512GB
VideoGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
5K25/30 fps (5.3K)25/30/50/60 fps (5.3K)
4K24/25/30/60 fps24/25/30/60/100/120 fps
2.7K24/25/30/48/50/60/100/120 fps24/25/30/48/50/60/100/120/200/240 fps
1080p24/25/30/48/50/60/80/90/120/200/240 fps24/25/30/48/50/60/80/90/120/200/240 fps
Records 360* VideoNoNo
Automatic Image RotationYes (also, portrait mode for video/photo)Yes (also, portrait mode for video/photo)
Image StabilizationYes - up to 5K30Yes - up to 5K60
Looping RecordingsYesYes
Timelapse Mode (constructs timelapse video)YesYes
Travelapse/Hyperlapse ModeYesYes
Pro Settings ModeYesYes
AudioGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
Internal MicrophoneYesYes
Supports Bluetooth MicrophonesNoNo
Pro mode with seperate tracksYesYes
Custom ModesYesYes
PhotoGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
Megapixels23.6MP23.6MP
Timelapse Mode (photos on interval)0.5,1,2,5,10,30,60s0.5,1,2,5,10,30,60s
Burst ModeUp to 30 photos/secondUp to 30 photos/second
Continuous Shooting ModeYesYes
Concurrent w/video modeNoNo
Records 360* PhotoNoNo
Pro Settings ModeYesYes
RAW photo creation supportYes + HDR Modes tooYes + HDR Modes too
SportsGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
Skiing ModeNoNo
Control from sport computerNoNo
ANT+ Sensor ConnectivityNoNo
Bluetooth Sensor Connectivitynono
ANT+ Profile TypesNoNo
Overlays sport data on recordingYesYes
PhoneGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
App platforms availableiOS/AndroidiOS/Android
Use as remote controlYesYes
Video previewYes (but not when recording)Yes (but not when recording)
Transfer video-photos from cameraYEsYEs
Multi-camera live control/previewNoNo
Live Streaming to InternetFacebook/YouTube/RTMP/GoPro CloudFacebook/YouTube/RTMP/GoPro Cloud
SoftwareGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
App for computerDiscontinued but functionalDiscontinued but functional
AccessoryGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
Remote control button/keyYesYes
Diving caseYEsYEs
Mount TypeGoPro compatible mountsGoPro compatible mounts
Device ConnectionsGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
USB Connector TypeUSB-CUSB-C
Micro-HDMIWith Media ModWith Media Mod
Composite VideoNoNo
Audio 3.5mm Stereo MicWith Media ModWith Media Mod
PurchaseGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
AmazonLinkLink
REILinkLink
DCRainmakerGoPro Hero 9 BlackGoPro Hero 10 Black
Review LinkLinkLink

Again, you can always create your own charts in the database if you want, such as comparing to older cameras like the Hero 6 or Hero 7 (or anything back to the Hero 3). Enjoy!

Wrap-Up:

Ultimately, it’s clear the Hero 10 is the best GoPro they’ve ever made. But then again, you’d sorta hope it was. Both physically and practically, the GP2 chipset changes are more under the hood than purely visible as huge new marketing features. It’s enabling higher frame rates at higher resolutions, and enabling better usability. However, for most people, these won’t be huge drivers to upgrade if you have a Hero 9 already. Instead, I think this is far more heavily aimed at upgrading Hero 7 and older units, as well as people with Hero 8’s that were already considering a new camera.

Don’t get me wrong, the Hero 10 is great, and will become my de facto camera. But unless you have a very specific use-case in mind (such as wanting 4K/60 with SuperView, or frequently using a GoPro to get high-resolution stills), I don’t think most people would notice much of a difference between the Hero 9 and Hero 10. This edition is very clearly more evolutionary than revolutionary. GoPro tends to have a bit of a tick-tock rhythm, with going minor one year, and major the next. I suspect that while the under the covers GP2 switch was major for GoPro engineers, we probably won’t see them hit full stride till a Hero 11 on it (or firmware updates later for the Hero 10 – like the 5K SuperView coming in November).

Invariably the question will come up with respect to how the DJI OSMO Action or Insta360 One R1” compare. For that you can view my full comparison footage. But I can’t see buying either camera at this point. Less because of the Hero 10, and mostly because both cameras are two years old and ripe for replacement. Still, accounting for the Hero 10, the DJI OSMO Action struggled to compete with the Hero 9 (and even many aspects of the Hero 8) when it was launched. It was revolutionary in the front display, but less so in footage stability. Meanwhile, the Insta360 1” certainly has an advantage in non-moving scenarios for visual clarity (like the lake comparison footage), but as seen in the mountain biking comparison footage – if you’re using it as an *action* cam, then it simply doesn’t compete on stabilization. Finally, I don’t see Garmin and their VIRB series as even on the table here anymore. They haven’t announced anything in more than four years, and I don’t see how they could profitably jump back into this market – let alone be competitive in it. Nor have they shown any recent interest in it either.

With that – thanks for reading!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the GoPro Hero 10 Black or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

Here's a few other variants or sibling products that are worth considering:

These are my favorite action cam accessories that I use day in and day out across all the action cams. They just work dependably, and are my go-tos!

GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp Mount

GoPro Magnetic Swivel Clip Mount

GoPro Seeker Backpack

GoPro Shorty Mini Extension Pole Tripod

SanDisk 256GB Ultra microSD Card with Adapter (SDSQUA4-256G-GN6MA)

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the GoPro Hero 10 Black or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

Here's a few other variants or sibling products that are worth considering:

These are my favorite action cam accessories that I use day in and day out across all the action cams. They just work dependably, and are my go-tos!

GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp Mount

GoPro Magnetic Swivel Clip Mount

GoPro Seeker Backpack

GoPro Shorty Mini Extension Pole Tripod

SanDisk 256GB Ultra microSD Card with Adapter (SDSQUA4-256G-GN6MA)

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

DC Rainmaker:

View Comments (65)

  • could not agree more on the max lens mod and higher res and (to me more important...) picking portrait/landscape post. That is the single feature I miss most about my Max (which got lost somewhere at Alta last ski season...sad...). If they could bring that to Hero10... brilliant.

  • Ray, something's wrong with the beginning of this. You jump right in with "These new frame rates..." Is there a broken tag in front of the video that's hiding things, or just a bad cut and paste?

    • Weird. I think I zapped it when adding in the code for the YouTube video, and frankly, I have no idea what I wrote as my intro when I wrote that a few days ago. Fixed!

    • Sometimes the SD card isn't fast enough, especially late on Friday nights. As usual, fixing one typo makes another...

  • FYI: Its price is $399.98 USD for the basic and $449.98 USD (assesories bunle) from GoPro US website. Also include if $15 off of shipping which nullifies the charge for 2-3 shipping rate. So far the best price that I have found

  • Hey I don't see this or the Hero 9 in the product comparison database/checker - the most recent one is the 8.

  • Fantastic reviews (incl. videos), Ray!

    Quick question: My primary use case would be recording road bike rides - would love to share quick motion videos with the family who can't visit me in the US.

    Is the Gopro a feasible tool for this? I would hang it under the computer mount and take spare batteries with me.

    Of course, it could always be smaller and have longer battery life, but I still haven't found anything better...

    Thoughts?

    • I use my Hero 8 to record road bike rides as well as gravel and mountain rides. It's great for that, and the stabilization that even the Hero 8 does is amazing (9 and 10 are reportedly better). I generally use Time Warp, which on an 8 was limited to 1080p until a recent upgrade boosted that to 2.3k(?). The resulting videos are amazing. One thing I miss from using my VIRBs is the ability to easily overlay what Garmin calls GMetrix (speed, cadence, power, etc.) on the video, but the quality of the GoPro video is so much better that I don't miss it much.

      One piece of advice: get one of the little replacement doors that have a hole over the USB port (this is the one for the 8, you'll need the one for the 10, but it's the same manufacturer), a cable, an external USB battery (doesn't have to be very big) and a small top tube bag. Whenever I record a ride, I always use an external battery so I don't have to swap batteries mid ride. The internal battery only lasts about an hour on the 8 even under the best circumstances, and the interval degrades when it gets colder. With an external, you can continuously record as long as you want.

    • Hi Paul
      I am doing exactly the same as you do but with Hero 7. I would like to upgrade to say H10 but am afraid of overheating (the discovery that H10 is mainly/on average for recording 1 minute videos in Gopro opinions means the camera is not for us). I already have bad experience with GP7 reliability - now I have 4th H7 due to freezing issues.
      Well, are you sure regarding the Timewarp limit in H8? Even in H7 I can record Timewarp in 4K/30fps 16:9. Actually I hope that this specification will go higher in H10. Maybe you record in 4:3 format then 2.7 is max.
      Example of my long recordings https://trassy.pl/reco/over/55/1153

    • No, I wasn't sure, and now that I'm using the H8 regularly again, I see it's 4k. If I remember right, though, you can't set it that way on the camera itself. The easiest way to get it is to use GoPro's "QRControl" app (I have the iOS app, but I assume there's an Android one as well). Set up the proper QR code, and then point the camera at it and it will use those settings. I've had no overheating problems at all, but I usually use a handlebar mount so there's plenty of airflow.

    • Yeah, in short you won't have any overheating problems on the Hero 10, as long as there is airflow. I'm going to try and edit the full video up today, but I've done some pretty insane tests with it over the last week+ on overheating, including bringing the temp of a room up to 101*F (38*C) with two GoPro's running constantly, one with a little bit of airflow, and one not - to show the impacts.

  • I was using the recommended SanDisk memory card (that came with the camera) in my Hero 9 and was getting occasional freezes/lost footage. When I went on the gopro community forums people were telling me that I should have gone with a Samsung card.

    • Here ya go, from the end of the 'Basics' section above:

      "Finally, some have also asked about overheating. I haven’t seen any overheating in any of my real-world testing over the past month. Though, most of my testing tends to be while moving outside (bikes/running/drones/etc…) – so I have airflow moving over the camera, which of course dissipates heat.

      That said, after seeing a few other reviews note overheating on the highest 5K modes for longer durations (but not on lower modes), I did two tests yesterday. The first was sitting at my desk in my overheated office with a camera I had been using for roughly half an hour shooting stuff with. In that case, in 5K/60/High Bitrate/Boost (so highest setting). It overheated in 18 mins (it shows an overheat warning and stops the video recording).

      Then I went outside on the bike with the same high settings. In that scenario, I got to 29:42 before the battery ran out (only started with ~50-60% battery). I’ll do more tests, but the camera felt just fine to the touch when the battery died. My guess is that if you’re in a warm/no-airflow space, it’ll overheat more easily. So that wouldn’t be an issue for cycling or such, but would be an issue if placed inside a hot car in a front windshield with no airflow for the higher frame resolution combinations.

      Ultimately though, in my day-to-day usage, I simply never ran into an overheating scenario. Likely because of airflow over the cameras in how I use them (I rarely use GoPro’s indoors, except in very sporadic situations and never at 5K)."

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