Welcome to my GoPro Hero9 Black vs Hero7 Black comparison post.

If you skipped the Hero8 Black, I will help you figure out if you need to upgrade to the Hero9 Black or not.

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GoPro Hero9 Black was launched in September 2020 whereas the Hero7 lineup was launched in September 2018.

As you might well know by now, GoPro Hero7 has three variants, the Hero7 Black, Silver, and White.

The Hero7 Black is the bigger and best in the lineup. It means that the Hero7 Black can do everything the other two versions do plus many more.

In this comparison post, I will focus mainly on the Hero7 Black but will mention the other two models where need be.

GoPro re-introduced the detachable lens to the Hero9 Black similar to what we have in the Hero7.

I believe you already know that the Hero8 Black had a fixed lens cover and it is not possible to replace it.

Having a fixed lens cover has many disadvantages and users expressed their disappointment to GoPro via all the available channels.

In terms of upgrade, the Hero9 Black comes with a new 23.6 megapixels image sensor that can capture 20MP stills and 5K videos.

This is an improvement from 12MP and 4K video recording supported by Hero7 Silver and Black and 10MP & 4K video recording for Hero7 Silver.

There is a new front color display on the GoPro Hero9 Black which is an upgrade that has received a good reception from the public.

If you already own an action camera from the Hero7 lineup, is it necessary to upgrade to the Hero9 Black? If you own an older GoPro action camera, you can get the Hero7 cameras at a reduced price.

Continue reading my comparison because I will give you every important detail about the cameras that will help you make the important decision.

See also: GoPro Hero 9 Black vs Hero 8 Black

As usual, I will kick-off this comparison by giving you tabulated differences in the technical specifications of both cameras.

SpecsHero9 BlackHero7 Black
Video
Lens aperturef/2.8f/2.8
Video Resolution & Frame RatesVideo 5K30 + 4K60, Wide FOVUp to 4K60fps
Video StabilizationHyperSmooth 3.0HyperSmooth
TimeWarp Video SpeedAuto, 2x, 5x, 10x, 15x, 30x 
Time Lapse Video Intervals0.5s, 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, 30s, 1m, 2m, 5m, 30m, 60m0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds
Video File FormatMP4 (H.264/AVC), MP4 (H.265/HEVC)MP4 (H.264/AVC), MP4 (H.265/HVEC)
Max Video Bitrate100Mbps (2.7K, 4K, 5K)78Mb/s in 2.7K & 4K
Digital lenses Superview, Wide, Linear, Linear + Horizon Leveling, Narrow LensSuperView, Wide, Linear, Narrow
ISO Video100 to 1600100 to 1600
Photo
Megapixels20MP + SuperPhoto With Improved HDR12MP + SuperPhoto With Improved HDR
LiveBurstYesNo
Burst RatesYes (up to 30fps)Yes (up to 30fps)
Continuous Photo Capture YesYes
SuperPhoto Yes, with Improved HDRYes, with Improved HDR
Photo Timer YesYes
RAW Photo Capture YesYes
Exposure Control YesYes
ISO Photo100 to 3200100 to 3200
Night Photo YesYes
Shooting Modes
Looping YesYes
Time Lapse Photo NoYes
Time Lapse Video YesYes
TimeWarp Video Yes, TimeWarp 3.0Yes
Night Lapse Photo YesYes
Slo-Mo 8x8x
Design 
Dimensions71.0 W x 55.0 H x 33.6 D (mm)62.3 W x 44.9 H x 33 D (mm)
Weight (Camera + Battery)158g116g
Removable LensYesYes
Lens11
Rear Screen2.5 inches touch screen display2 inches touch screen
Front ScreenYesNo
Chip GP1GP1
HDMI PortNo. Media Mod for Hero9 Black neededYes
USB PortUSB-CUSB-C
3.5 mm Audio Mic InNo. Media Mod or USB-C to 2.5mm adapter neededNo. USB-C to 2.5mm adapter needed
Memory Storage1 microSD1 microSD
Microphones33
BatteryRemovable and Rechargeable with a capacity of 1720mAhRemovable and Rechargeable with a capacity of 1220mAh
Rugged + WaterproofYes. Waterproof up to 10 meters / 33 feet.Yes. Waterproof up to 10 meters / 33 feet.
Features 
Voice Control YesYes
Wake on Voice YesYes
Live Streaming YesYes
GPS YesYes
Advanced Metadata YesYes
Protune YesYes
Compatible HousingYesYes
Auto Cloud BackupWith GoPro PLUS SubscriptionWith GoPro PLUS Subscription
Advanced Wind-Noise Reduction3-mic processing. Foam Wind cover for the Media Mod mic3-mic processing
Stereo AudioYesYes
RAW Audio Capture YesYes
Wi-Fi + Bluetooth®YesYes
Damaged Camera ReplacementIncluded with GoPro PLUS Subscription (US Only)Included with GoPro PLUS Subscription (US Only)

The Unboxing experience

You will get the respective items in each retail packaging of the action camera units;

GoPro Hero9 BlackGoPro Hero7 Black
GoPro HERO9 Black Camera Unit
1 x Rechargeable Battery
1 x Curved Adhesive Mount
1 x Mounting Buckle
1 x USB Type C Cable
1 x Thumb Screw
1 x Camera Case
GoPro Hero7 Black Action Camera unit
1 x Camera Frame
1 x Rechargeable battery
1 x Curved Adhesive Mount
1 x Flat Adhesive Mount
1 x Mounting Buckle
1 x USB-C Cable

Many people including myself have been impressed by the change in the packaging language for the Hero9 camera.

The camera now comes in a newly designed box alongside a carrying case that can be used later as well.


Design & Components

Weight and Dimensions

A perceivable physical difference between these two cameras will come out in the body dimension and weight.

Keeping in mind that the Hero9 Black has a larger battery than the Hero7 Black, it directly translates to having a chunkier camera.

The Hero9 Black has a dimension of 66.3 W x 48.6 H x 28.4 D (mm) whereas the Hero7 Black measures 62.3 W x 44.9 H x 33 D (mm).

GoPro Hero 9 Black Dimensions
Hero 9
GoPro Hero 7 Black Dimensions
Hero 7

In terms of weight, the Hero9 Black stands at 158 grams while the Hero7 Black is only 116 grams.

Despite the physical differences, the Hero9 Black is still a very portable camera and you can still carry it along without necessarily worrying about the size and weight.

Dual Screen vs. Single Screen

One of GoPro’s major selling points for the Hero9 Black is the availability of a secondary display which is strategically located at the front side of the camera beside the lens.

You can use the front display effectively to frame up your shots as well as for vlogging.

We have seen this kind of set up previously from Akaso Brave 7LE and Campark V40, but what I like about the Hero9 Black is that you can have both displays functioning at the same time.

The front display on GoPro Hero9 Black has several options including keeping it OFF. I recommend keeping it OFF if you are more conscious about saving some battery power.

The other options are having the display as a Full Screen, Actual Screen, or a Status Screen.

For those who are completely used to GoPro’s traditional status screen, worry no more because you are covered here.

On both cameras, the rear screen is also a touch-sensitive display that is used to control the camera by using the finger.

The Hero9 Black has a slightly bigger rear display compared to what the Hero7 Black has.

GoPro Hero9 Black Back Side_Touchscreen
Hero 9
GoPro Hero 7 Black Back Touchscreen
Hero 7

A bigger touch screen is good especially for people who cannot see small wordings and those who have huge fingers that require a larger interactive area for touch screen control.

The front side of the Hero7 Black has the status screen that displays important information such as video resolution, recording time, and battery level.

Lens

Both cameras have detachable lenses which is a very nice thing to have in any action camera.

However, the Hero7 White and Silver don’t have replaceable lens capabilities.

Those who own the Hero8 Black will tell you how devastating it was not to have the option to change the lens cover whenever you need to.

GoPro has introduced a Max Lens Mod for the Hero9 Black that will increase the FOV to 155° as well as make the HyperSmooth 3.0 even better.

GoPro Hero 9 Black Max Lens Mod

The Max Lens Mod is not compatible with the Hero7 Black because of the size difference and software issues.

Both camera lenses have an aperture of f/2.8

Ports and Sockets

This is where the Hero7 Black gets more interesting because it has an HDMI out port whereas the Hero9 Black does not have.

To use an HDMI for the Hero9 Black, you will have to purchase the Media Mod for Hero9 Black.

Other than that difference, the cameras have similar ports and slots for external media connectivity.

Both cameras have a USB Type C port which can be used for charging up the battery as well as for media transfers.

Both cameras have a memory card slot that supports microSD cards of up to 256GB of storage capacity for Hero9 Black and 128GB capacity for the Hero7 Black.

If you are a heavy user of action cameras, I recommend you choose the one with a bigger memory card capacity support since you will have much more space to store your recordings and photos.

Before using a new memory card, please make sure that you format it. You can read more on GoPro memory card formatting here.

Microphones

Both cameras have 3 microphones that are used to capture audio as well as record stereo audio.

Stereo audio is always a good thing to have when you are looking for an immersive audio and sound experience.

How does the audio quality compare?

As with most other action cameras, we don’t expect the audio from the in-built microphones to perform extraordinarily.

Both cameras have a nearly equal audio experience, it’s only that I was able to notice that the Hero9 Black produced slightly louder sounds.

You can improve your audio quality by doing post-editing on your PC/Mac.

I recommend using an external microphone if you need superb quality audio. Both of these cameras don’t have dedicated ports for external microphone connectivity.

Get the USB type C to 3.5mm adapter for both cameras or use the Media Mod for Hero9 Black which has a dedicated port for external microphone connectivity.

Waterproof

Both of these cameras are waterproof without the need for waterproof housing.

The cameras also have a similar underwater rating of 10 meters / 32 feet.

However, if you are a deep diver, you might be required to get additional protective housing for your camera to get a good guarantee.

The protective cases for both cameras will give you a new depth rating of 60 meters / 196 feet which is more than enough for most divers out there.

GoPro Hero9 Black has a new design feature known as the microphone drain which is used to drain the water every time you come from underwater expeditions.

This is a major feature for me since it means that my camera’s microphone will dry a lot faster and I can resume my audio recordings in a good time.


Controls and Buttons

There are various ways of controlling both cameras which is standard for GoPro cameras.

We have physical buttons on the cameras’ body, touch screen control, voice control, smartphone App, and GoPro Smart Remote.

However, GoPro Hero9 Black is not compatible with previous remotes from GoPro including the smart remote.

I don’t know whether GoPro did this intentionally or it is a software/hardware issue. I will give you an update in regards to this matter once it comes out.

In terms of physical buttons, both cameras have two similar to other GoPro cameras.

There is a shutter button on the top side which is used to start and stop video recordings as well as for capturing photos and a mode button that doubles up as a power switch.

You can press the mode button to navigate and select the available shooting modes in either camera.

As I mentioned earlier, the rear screen on both cameras is also used as a touch-screen to control the camera using touch interactions.

I like the brightness and color on the Hero9 Black touch-screen, it looks more updated than that for the Hero7 Black.

Accessing Menus and Modes

Accessing the available menus and modes on either of these cameras is as simple as making one swipe using your finger on the touch screen display.

You will swipe left or right to change to any of the three modes namely; Photos, Videos, or TimeLapse.

Once you get your preferred preset, you will simply have to tap on the display to make a selection.

Adjusting exposure on either camera involved making a tap on the area of the photo/video you wish to do so on the touch screen.

Voice Control

Both cameras support control by voice which is a cool hands-free feature to have.

There are both Action voice commands and mode commands. Action voice commands as the name suggests is one that is used to give the camera a command to perform a specific action e.g. ‘GoPro Take Photo‘.

Mode commands, on the other hand, are used to give the camera a command to switch between the available modes e.g. ‘GoPro, Video Mode‘.

To learn more about the voice control on GoPro cameras, Read my article on GoPro voice controls.

Using a Smartphone App

Both cameras can be controlled by the GoPro Smartphone App which is downloadable from Google Play and App Store.

You will first download the GoPro App and successfully install it before pairing your phone to the camera.

After installing the App, you will then switch ON the Wi-Fi on the camera and connect it to your phone with the GoPro App.

The Smartphone App is also used for live monitoring, meaning the screen on the phone will give you a preview of what the camera lens is filming.

It even makes it easier to access your stored files and share them directly to your social media platforms.

To maximize on the smartphone App experience, please ensure that your camera runs on the latest software.

You can check for software updates on the GoPro App whenever you successfully pair your camera with your phone.


Video

Let us now move to the video segment of this comparison post.

Many people usually tell me that this is a major area in choosing between two or more action cameras hence it is critical in helping you decide whether to upgrade or not.

I will walk you through the video aspects of both cameras including resolutions, frame rates, video codecs, bitrates, and many more.

Video Resolution

The GoPro Hero9 Black manages a maximum resolution of 5K at 30 frames per second thanks to the new 23.6 megapixels image sensor.

The Hero7 Black on the other hand has a maximum 4K video resolution which is still impressive by today’s standards.

GoPro Hero9 Black does not have 720P resolution whereas the Hero7 Black has the 720P resolution as the lowest.

If you need a camera that can shoot very sharp details then the Hero9 Black is a great choice because of the 5K capabilities.

How does Video Quality from both cameras compare?

It is always a difficult task to compare two or more GoPro cameras mainly because the company does a very nice job of making cameras that record nice videos.

Hero7 and Hero9 Black have a two-year time difference and that is good timing to warrant some nice improvements in the camera’s performance including video quality.

I was able to notice that the Hero9 Black performed slightly better in terms of balancing contrast and brightness than the Hero7 Black.

Otherwise, the Hero7 Black still offers very solid performance in terms of video quality especially now that it comes with a reduced price tag.

What about 5K@30fps video on the Hero9 Black?

Something that you cannot do with the Hero7 Black is recording videos in 5K resolution.

5K recordings provide a sharper video with much more details compared to other resolutions.

The Hero9 Black does an impressive job in this category and if you have a 5K monitor for playback, you will appreciate what the camera offers.

Having videos in 5K resolution also gives you room to crop the video without losing a lot of details. 

However, if you do not care about 5K videos yet, then you can consider getting the Hero7 Black.

Have a look at this cinematic 5K video by ‘Abe Kislevitz‘ shot using a GoPro Hero9 Black:

And a video by Rob Rides EMTB shot with the GoPro Hero 7 Black:

Low-Light videos

Both cameras have an average night performance. This is much expected for an Action camera because they were literally designed to be used in the daytime filming your actions.

However, there are a few tweaks that have been made for the Hero9 Black that may improve the night performance making the videos a bit less noisy.

Frame Rates

Both cameras have a maximum of 240 frames per second which means that you can manage up to 8x slow-motion videos on both cameras.

You also get a wide range of frame rates to choose from.

Bitrates

This term is used to refer to the number of data used to record a second of video.

It is expressed in megabytes per second (Mbps). The higher the bitrate the better when it comes to writing speeds and video quality.

On the Hero9 Black, the maximum bitrate is 100Mbps which is usable with resolutions of 5K, 4K, and 2.7K.

The other two resolutions (1440P and 1080P) are not compatible with this bitrate. With the Hero7 Black, the maximum Bitrate is 78Mbps.

The lowest bitrate on the Hero7 Black is 24Mbps which can be used with resolutions of 720p and 1080p.

The advantage of using a lower bitrate is that it will result in a video with reduced file size hence saving on memory card space.

Video Codecs

Both cameras have two video-encoding technologies; the older H.264 (AVC) and the most recent H.265 (HEVC).

You can toggle between the codec you prefer with all the resolutions present in either camera.

H.265 video codec is my favorite because it does a better job in video compression and results in video files with a reduced file size while still maintaining good quality.

Slow Motion

There are various instances where you might prefer using slow motion rather than the normal video shooting e.g. skateboarding.

With both cameras, you can shoot up to 8x slow-motion videos thanks to the 240 frames per second supported.

When using 4K video resolution, you can only manage 2x slow-motion videos because the resolution only supports a maximum of 60 frames per second.

Electronic Image Stabilization

Both cameras use EIS to stabilize videos shot under rugged situations. The Hero7 Black uses HyperSmooth while the Hero9 Black uses HyperSmooth 3.0

HyperSmooth vs. 3.0

You might remember well that HyperSmooth stabilization was first introduced with the Hero7 Black.

Hero8 Back has the 2nd generation called HyperSmooth 2.0 whereas the Hero9 Black has the 3rd generation called HyperSmooth 3.0.

HyperSmooth was marketed as a next-level EIS that will bring a smoother experience and true to its words, it performed great.

HyperSmooth 3.0 performs significantly better than the 1st generation HyperSmooth in the Hero7 Black. The wobbles that could be seen when taking a sharp corner are now significantly reduced.

This does not imply that the Hero7 Black is bad when it comes to video stabilization, it is only that GoPro has done an even better job with HyperSmooth 3.0

HindSight Video Feature

This is a new video feature that is present with the new Hero9 Black.

As the name suggests, the camera will be able to record the previous 15/30 seconds of video and audio when you press the shutter button.

An easier way of trying to understand this feature is by looking at it as a combination of loop recording and Live Burst video.

This feature will however drain your battery tremendously because what it means is that the camera is in a continuous recording mode and when you press the shutter button, it only picks the previous 15/30 seconds video and saves it.

Protune for Video

For those who may not know, Protune GoPro’s way of giving you more control over how you use your camera in taking videos and photos.

I will highlight the protune options for both cameras side by side to give you a better look.

PROTUNEGoPro Hero9 BlackGoPro Hero7 Black
BitrateLow & High (100Mb/s)Low & High (78Mb/s)
ColorGoPro color, FlatGoPro color, Flat
White balanceAuto (default), 2300K, 2800K, 3200K, 4000K, 4500K, 5000K, 5500K, 6000K, 6500K and NativeAuto (default), 2300K, 2800K, 3200K, 4000K, 4500K, 5500K, 6000K, 6500K and Native
ISO100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200100, 200, 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 3200, 6400
ShutterAuto, 1/30, 1/60, 1/120, 1/240, 1/480, 1/9601/30, 1/60, 1/120, 1/240, 1/480, 1/960, 1/1920, 1/3840
Exposure value compensation-2.0 to +2.0-2.0 to +2.0
SharpnessHigh (default), Medium, and LowHigh (default), Medium, and Low
Raw audioOff (default), Low, Med, HighOff (default), Low, Med, High

Digital Lenses or Field of View

GoPro uses the term Digital Lenses to refer to Field of View. We have five digital lenses on the Hero9 Black while there are three on the Hero7 Black.

Hero9 Black has a new FOV known as Horizon Leveling + Linear. This means that the camera will align itself when placed in a slanting level or when it is being rotated.

On the Hero7 Black, you can only do the Horizon Leveling from within the Smartphone App.

Digital Lenses on GoPro Hero9 Black

·     SuperView 16mm

·     Wide 16 – 34mm

·     Linear 19 – 39mm

·     Linear + Horizon Leveling 19 – 39mm

·     Narrow 27mm

The table below will give more details on the compatibility of digital lenses and the resolution with the aspect ratio.

Video ResolutionFPS (NTSC/ PAL)FOVScreen ResolutionAspect Ratio
5K30/25 24/24Wide, Linear,Linear + HorizonLeveling, Narrow5120×288016:9
4K60/50Wide, Linear,Linear + HorizonLeveling, Narrow3840×216016:9
4K30/25 24/24SuperView, Wide,Linear, Linear +Horizon Leveling,Narrow3840×216016:9
4K 4:330/25 24/24Wide, Linear,Linear + HorizonLeveling, Narrow4096×30724:3
2.7K120/100 60/50SuperView, Wide,Linear, Linear +Horizon Leveling,Narrow2704×152016:9
2.7K 4:360/50Wide, Linear,Linear+ HorizonLeveling, Narrow2704×20284:3
1440p120/100 60/50 30/25 24/24Wide, Linear,Linear + HorizonLeveling, Narrow1920×14404:3
1080p240/200Wide, Linear,Linear + HorizonLeveling, Narrow1920×108016:9
1080p120/100 60/50 30/25 24/24SuperView, Wide,Linear, Linear +Horizon Leveling,Narrow1920×108016:9

Digital Lenses on GoPro Hero7 Black

  • Wide 16:9 FOV: 6mm (min) – 33mm (max)
  • Wide 4:3 FOV: 15mm (min) – 30mm (max)
  • Linear FOV: 24mm (min) – 49mm (max)

The table below shows you the digital lenses that can be used with the resolution available on the Hero7 Black alongside the aspect ratio

Video ResolutionFPS
(NTSC/ PAL)
FOVScreen ResolutionAspect Ratio
4K60/50Wide3840×216016:9
4K30/25 24/24Wide,SuperView3840×216016:9
4K 4:330/25 24/24Wide4096×30724:3
2.7K120/100Wide2704×152016:9
2.7K60/50 30/25 24/24Linear, Wide,SuperView2704×152016:9
2.7K 4:360/50Wide2704×20284:3
2.7K 4:330/25 24/24Linear, Wide2704×20284:3
1440p120/100Wide1920×14404:3
1440p60/50 30/25 24/24Linear,Wide1920×14404:3
1080p240/200Wide1920×108016:9
1080p120/100 60/50 30/25 24/24Linear, Wide,SuperView1920×108016:9
960p240/200 120/100Wide1280×9604:3
720p240/200Wide1280×72016:9
720p60/50Linear, Wide1280×72016:9

Photo

Photo Resolution & Formats

As you well know by now, the Hero9 Black has a new 23.6 Image sensor that is capable of capturing 20MP photos.

The Hero7 Black and White can manage 12MP photos while the Silver model can only take 10MP.

Higher resolution photos mean that the camera can capture lots of details which is very nice when it comes to post-production and editing.

Photo Quality comparison on both cameras

The Hero9 Black produces sharper and brighter images than the Hero7 Black.

However, the Hero7 Black still has a solid performance in terms of photo quality because the images are clear and bright enough to give a good impression.

There’s only a slight difference in the photo qualities of both cameras.

If you care so much about image resolution then Hero9 Black is for you, otherwise, if you just need a camera that will get you good and clear images then the Hero7 Black will serve you as well.

Low-Light Photos

Both cameras show an average performance in the low-light segment of photos. Night photos from action cameras will generally not give you impressive results, I recommend you use a smartphone for the same.

Here are some unedited photos shot with the Hero7 Black.

GoPro Hero7 Black Photo Test Day time 2
GoPro Hero7 Black Photo Test Underwater

and some unedited photos shot with the Hero 9 Black:

GoPro Hero 9 Black Photo test 1
GoPro Hero 9 Black Photo test 2

Photo Formats: RAW & JPEG

Both cameras have RAW and JPEG photo file formats.

I always go with the RAW format because the images are not compressed hence giving me more flexibility in post-editing.

When you are using RAW format, you will require specialized software like Adobe Lightroom for post-production and editing.

You will get two photo files when using the RAW option, one with .gpr extension and the other with .jpeg extension. This will have a hit on your memory card space.

Digital Lenses (Photo)

Digital lens will give you a determination of how much your camera lens will be able to capture at any given time when selected.

Both cameras have the same options to choose from for digital lenses in photos:

·     Wide – 16-34mm

·     Linear – 19-39mm

·     Narrow – 27mm

Photo Modes

You will get four presets in photo modes for both cameras, namely: normal photo, live burst, burst, and night.

You can select your preset of choice by navigating through the touch screen controls.

Read my full GoPro Hero9 Black and Hero7 Black review to learn more about Photo Modes.

Protune Photo

You can adjust specific parameters under the Protune for photo in both cameras. The table below shows you a comparison of both cameras in this category.

PROTUNE PHOTOGoPro Hero9 BlackGoPro Hero8 Black
ColorGoPro color, FlatGoPro color, Flat
White balanceAuto (default), 2300K, 2800K, 3200K, 4000K, 4500K, 5000K, 5500K, 6000K, 6500K and NativeAuto (default), 2300K, 2800K, 3200K, 4000K, 4500K, 5500K, 6000K, 6500K and Native
ISO100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
ShutterAuto, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, and 1/20001/30, 1/60, 1/120, 1/240, 1/480, 1/960, 1/1920,1/3840
Exposure value compensation-2.0 to +2.0-2.0 to +2.0
SharpnessHigh (default), Medium, and LowHigh (default), Medium, and Low

You can easily notice that both cameras have nearly the same settings for each parameter.

However, the GoPro Hero9 Black will perform better than the Hero7 Black because of the new Image Sensor and updated software.


Time-Lapse

Time Lapse is a mode that is used to capture frames at a set interval then later combines them to create a fast-moving video.

The GoPro Hero9 Black has three presets in Time Lapse Mode: TimeWarp Video (Default) Time Lapse and Night Lapse.

The Hero7 Black on the other hand has Time Lapse Video, Time Lapse Photo, Night Lapse Photo, and TimeWarp Video.

TimeWarp vs. 3.0

The Hero9 Black has the 3rd generation of TimeWarp named TimeWarp 3.0.

The only difference between TimeLapse video and TimeWarp is that on TimeWarp you can move around with your camera as you do the recordings whereas on TimeLapse the camera has to be on a stationary mount/surface.

Both cameras have the following options for TimeWarp speed: Auto, 2x, 5x, 10x, 15x, or 30x.

If you need to reduce the speed on the TimeWarp recording back to normal, you will simply tap on the screen to activate a feature known as Speed Ramp.

I am impressed on how both cameras perform in the TimeWarp recording, the difference will only narrow down to video resolution and quality.

Time Lapse Video

Time Lapse Video is a great way of capturing captivating moments such as sunrise and sunsets.

Here, the camera will save video frames using the set time interval and later combine them to give a fast-moving video recording.

Both cameras have similar options to choose from for the time interval; 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 seconds, or 1, 2, 5, 30 minutes, or 1 hour.

Time-Lapse Photo

This preset is available on the Hero7 Black but missing on the Hero9 Black. Here, the camera will capture photo frames at the set time interval then save them individually in the memory card.

You will later have the option to delete the photos you do not need and save the ones you like.

Time Lapse Photo uses the same intervals as Time Lapse Videos.

Night Lapse

Night Lapse is very similar to Time Lapse only that it is specifically designed to be used in low light conditions.

This works by keeping the lens open for quite some time hence permitting more light to enter.

The following are the intervals available for both cameras in this category; Auto; 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 seconds; and 1, 2, 5, 30, and 60 minutes.


Battery

Both cameras are powered by removable and rechargeable batteries with differing capacities.

The Hero9 Black has a battery with a capacity of 1720mAh whereas the Hero7 Black battery capacity is 1220mAh.

Due to the increase in battery capacity, the Hero9 Black’s battery is slightly bigger making it incompatible with previous GoPro cameras.

The vice versa is also applicable, you cannot use previous GoPro batteries to power your Hero9 Black.

GoPro claims that the Hero9 Black battery will offer 30% extra performance from the previous cameras.

While that might be true by just looking at the capacity, it is important to note that the Hero9 Battery gets a lot more drained than any other GoPro camera.

The new image sensor, 5K recording, and secondary display will all have a hit on the battery capacity.

Looking at the battery performance, I was able to manage 90 minutes of 5K30fps recording on my Hero9 Black on one charge.

For the Hero7 Black, I managed 60 minutes of recording with 4K resolution at 60fps with Protune and GPS.

It is always a good idea to carry along some spare batteries when you go out with either camera.


Why you should Choose/Upgrade to the GoPro Hero9 Black

  • The camera includes a free carrying case that can serve you later on
  • A secondary display on the front is very good for vlogging and framing your shots.
  • The rear touch-sensitive display is slightly bigger than that on the Hero7 Black.
  • HyperSmooth 3.0 is a nice upgrade that smoothens very rugged video recordings
  • 5K video recording is good for people who need sharp videos that can later be copped.
  • The in-camera horizon leveling feature is a nice thing to have.
  • The battery capacity on the Hero9 Black is upgraded.
  • You can now shoot 20MP photos with the Hero9 Black.
  • The microphone drain knob works well in ensuring that water is eliminated from the microphone after underwater filming.
  • You can connect the Hero9 Black to a Media Mod which will give your camera a modular design where you can attach display and light mods.

Conclusion

Two years is surely a long time in the world of technology and GoPro has managed to make use of that time well. We can see that Hero9 Black has major design and software changes.

However, Hero7 Black is still a good camera that can serve the average person out there.

If you own the Hero7 Black, several reasons may convince you to upgrade including the increased memory card capacity support and new image sensor.

The good thing is that you can now purchase the Hero7 Black at a reduced price tag.

If you own the previous GoPro cameras, making a direct upgrade to the Hero9 Black is worth it but you can as well choose the Hero7 Black and make huge savings.

I strongly recommend the Hero9 Black to people who will make use of the secondary display and 5K video recording.

It is sad to see that GoPro keeps on raising the launch price of their cameras each year, I will be happy to see the company maintain a specific price tag for their new products.

Going with my GoPro Hero9 Black vs Hero7 Black comparison, I must give it to GoPro for coming up with upgrades that will change the user experience generally.




Thank you for reading my comparison post.

If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below and I will surely get back to you.