Sometimes a product or service becomes so successful that the product name takes over for the generic product type. Think: Kleenex, Scotch Tape, Tivo, and Uber. In each of these cases, people use the specific product name to refer to the whole industry sector.
GoPro is another example. The product line has been so strong and has had such a defining impact on the consumer imaging tech, that we now call any tough, tiny action camera as a “GoPro.”
The reputation is well-deserved. GoPro gets to leverage people’s love of tech with their love of adventure and the outdoors. The Hero8 Black is the latest embodiment of this mixture and it shows how GoPro is getting it right.
Hero8 is about capturing action. It’s most important feature is image stabilization. You get a stabilized image at 4k that is shot up to 60fps. You may not always need all this fire-power and the interface allows you to easily change settings to optimize battery or memory. When the stabilization is dialed all the way up, almost any action can be captured with drama and clarity.
As with other GoPros, the central feature is the wide angl;e lens. Hero8 allows for an ultra-wide view that can be adjusted to a slightly narrower and less distorted image. The case is not much bigger than the lens and features a heavy, rugged build. The device is waterproof and can withstand reasonable drops.
One of the most exciting new features of this latest flagship is that the case has integration into the “Mod” system which allows secure attachment to GoPro peripherals. On the one hand this is a clear cash grab to sell an ecosystem, but considering the punishment the product is expected to withstand, and the camera’s $399 price tag, you are going to want accessories that meet the same quality standards. This means that there is a microphone, display, tripod and other attachments that you know will stay put and fit seamlessly with your camera.
Other nice features include the voice activated controls, which work very well, and the simplified display and control interface. The memory card is a bit hard to get to, but I’ll take that as a small price to pay for it being protected from the elements.
For the action imaging experience that literally sets the standard for the industry, the Hero8 Black is a worthy flagship.