In this GoPro Hero9 Black vs GoPro Max comparison, I will talk about the differences and similarities of both action cameras so you have all the details you need to make a decision about which camera suits you the best.

The GoPro Hero9 Black was released on 16th September 2020 and it is the successor to the GoPro Hero8 Black which was released in October 2019.

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The GoPro Max was announced alongside the Hero8 Black in 2019 and it is the successor of GoPro Fusion.

Check my GoPro Max detailed review.

Check my GoPro Hero8 Black review.

As you already know, GoPro Max is a 360-degree camera but it can also be used to shoot standard videos in Hero Mode.

SEE ALSO: GoPro Hero8 Black vs. GoPro Max comparison article & GoPro Fusion vs. GoPro Max Comparison.

GoPro Max has received important software updates since its release and that has helped a lot in improving the user experience of the camera.

You might wonder why I am comparing a 360-degree action camera to a regular one.

Well, I also use the GoPro Max to shoot standard videos in Hero Mode. This comparison will help you know what to expect from both cameras in terms of performance quality.

The GoPro Hero9 Black has a new 23.6 megapixels image sensor that captures photos with a maximum resolution of 20MP.

Check my GoPro Hero9 Black review.

GoPro Max on the other hand has an 18-megapixel sensor that is capable of taking 16MP photos both in 360 degrees and standard.

GoPro has introduced HyperSmooth 3.0 to the Hero9 Black and it is a very good upgrade from HyperSmooth 2.0 that was there with the Hero8 Black.

We already know how Max HyperSmooth is, also adding to the fact that 360 cameras have good stabilization.

I will give you more details about the stabilization later on in this post, be sure to check that out and see which one performs better.

GoPro Hero9 Black has introduced a front-screen which is so handy for vloggers and Youtubers, GoPro Max has a one touchscreen display with no additional status screen.

There are many things to talk about in this post, follow along with me as I will highlight every important aspect of both cameras giving you my thoughts and takes.

First, let us have a look at the technical specifications of both cameras highlighted side by side.

SpecsHero9 BlackGoPro Max
Lens aperturef/2.8f/2.8
Video Resolution & Frame RatesVideo 5K30 + 4K60, Wide FOVHERO Mode 1440p60 / 1080p60
Spherical Video resolutionN/AUp to 6K30 Source. 5.6K30 Stitched
Video StabilizationHyperSmooth 3.0Max HyperSmooth
TimeWarp Video SpeedAuto, 2x, 5x, 10x, 15x, 30xAuto (HERO Mode Only), 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)100Mb/s in 2.7K & 4K
Digital lenses SuperView, Wide, Linear, Linear + Horizon Leveling, Narrow LensMax SuperView, Wide, Linear, Narrow
ISO Video100 to 1600100 to 1600
Megapixels20MP + SuperPhoto With Improved HDR12MP + SuperPhoto With Improved HDR
Burst RatesYes (up to 30fps)N/A
Time Lapse Photo IntervalsN/AHERO Mode: 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds
Continuous Photo Capture YesYes
SuperPhoto Yes, with Improved HDRNo
Photo Timer YesYes
RAW Photo Capture YesNo
Exposure Control YesYes
ISO Photo100 to 3200100 to 3200
Night Photo YesYes
Shooting Modes
Looping YesNo
Time Lapse Photo NoYes
Time Lapse Video YesYes
TimeWarp Video Yes, TimeWarp 3.0Max TimeWarp
Night Lapse Photo YesNo
Slo-Mo 8xHERO Mode 2x
Dimensions71.0 W x 55.0 H x 33.6 D (mm)64 W x 69 H x 25 D (mm)
Weight (Camera + Battery)158 grams154g
Removable LensYesNo
Rear Screen2.5 inches touch screen displayTouch screen
Front ScreenYesNo
Chip GP1GP1
HDMI PortNo. Media Mod for Hero9 Black neededNo.
3.5 mm Audio Mic InNo. Media Mod or USB-C to 3.5mm adapter neededNo. USB-C to 3.5mm adapter needed
Memory Storage1 microSD1 microSD
BatteryRemovable and Rechargeable with a capacity of 1720mAhRemovable and Rechargeable with a capacity of 1600mAh
Rugged + WaterproofYes. Waterproof up to 10 meters / 33 feet.Yes. Waterproof up to 5 meters / 16 feet.
Voice Control YesYes
Wake on Voice YesNo
Live Streaming YesYes, 1080P
GPS YesYes
Advanced Metadata YesYes (in HERO Mode only)
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 mic6-Mic Processing
Stereo AudioYesPremium
RAW Audio Capture YesWAV formatHERO Mode Only
Wi-Fi + Bluetooth®YesYes
Damaged Camera ReplacementIncluded with GoPro PLUS Subscription (US Only)Included with GoPro PLUS Subscription (US Only)

What’s in the Box?

You will get the following items stuffed in the retail package of the respective camera.

GoPro Hero9 BlackGoPro Max
A 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
A GoPro Max Camera Unit
1 x rechargeable battery
1 x USB-C charging cable
1 x microfiber camera box
MAX protective lenses
MAX lens caps
1 x curved adhesive mount
1 x quick-release mounting buckle
1x thumbscrew

GoPro has introduced a new box for the GoPro Hero9 Black. There is also a carrying case included where you will find the items packed.

This is a very noble step by GoPro because I will use the carrying case effectively when going around with my GoPro.

Design and Components

Weight and Dimensions

GoPro Hero9 Black is heavier than the GoPro Max with a weight of 158 grams whereas the Max weighs 154 grams.

The GoPro hero9 Black has a body dimension of 71.0 W x 55.0 H x 33.6 D (mm) whereas the GoPro Max has a dimension of 64 W x 69 H x 25 D (mm).

GoPro Hero9 Black dimensions
GoPro Max dimensions

Despite the weight and dimension differences, both cameras are portable and will not offer a burden in mounting on the helmet/chest.

GoPro Hero9 Black is heavier mainly because of the additional hardware and increased screen size and form.

GoPro Hero9 Black is bigger than its predecessor which is larger than the Hero7 lineup.

Both the Hero9 Black and the Max have folding fingers on the bottom of the camera hence they can be mounted easily without the requirement of an extra frame/housing.


The Hero9 Black has a dual-screen setup which features a small front display that replaces the traditional status screen for the GoPro Hero cameras.

The rear display is touch-sensitive and it is slightly bigger than that of the GoPro Hero8 Black.

GoPro Hero9 Black front screen
GoPro Hero9 Black back screen

You can use the touchscreen display to control the camera by changing modes, accessing menus, and so on.

The front-screen on the Hero9 Black is a good addition for people who love vlogging and taking selfies.

You can now frame your shots with ease thanks to the secondary display on the Hero9 Black.

There are four options that you can select for the front display on the Hero9 Black, you can have it as Fullscreen, Actual screen, status only, or Screen OFF.

If you intend to save battery power, it is prudent to put the front-screen OFF.

The GoPro Max has a single screen which is a touch-sensitive display. There is no status screen on Max.

GoPro Max Touchscreen

GoPro Max has the advantage of being a 360-degree camera because you can flip on either side of the camera on Hero Mode to make use of either lens.

This gives you the leeway to use the camera’s display as a front screen when you are vlogging.


GoPro Hero9 Black has a single camera lens with an aperture of f/2.8 sheltered with a replaceable lens cover.

GoPro Max, on the other hand, has a dual-lens set up that enables the camera to shoot spherical videos in 360 Mode.

The lenses in GoPro Max do not have a replaceable lens cover hence you need to be more careful when handling the camera since you cannot replace the lens cover.

GoPro Max has 4 Digital lenses / FOV, namely Max SuperView, Wide, Linear, Narrow.

The GoPro Hero9 Black has 5 Digital lenses namely Wide Lens, Linear Lens, Linear + Horizon Leveling, and Narrow Lens.

The Max Lens Mod is an accessory made by GoPro that will let you increase the Field of View on the Hero9 Black. You will have to buy it separately.

GoPro Hero9 Black Max Lens Mode

Other than that, we expect many third-party replaceable lenses that will be on the market for use on the Hero9 Black.

Ports and Sockets

For both cameras, there’s a USB Type C port that will be used to charge the cameras’ batteries as well as for data transfer.

The USB Type C port on the Hero9 Black will also be used to connect the camera to the Media Mod for Hero9 Black.

Both cameras have a microSD card slot where you can insert a card up to a maximum capacity of 256GB. 

None of these cameras have an external microphone jack, you can use the USB to 3.5mm adapter to connect an external microphone.

Both cameras don’t have an HDMI out port, for the Hero9 Black, you can purchase the Media Mod and get access to HDMI connectivity.

Microphones and Audio

The GoPro Hero9 Black has 3 microphones similar to its predecessor.

On the GoPro Max, we have a total of 6 microphones dotted strategically around the camera’s body. The six microphones are to aid the GoPro Max in capturing 360 audio.

Both cameras have wind reduction technology that helps reduce the background noise in your recordings.

I have found that the GoPro Max does an overall better job than the Hero9 in wind-noise reduction.

The Media Mod for the Hero9 Black has a foam wind cover for the microphone.

Audio from the GoPro Max is less audible than that from the Hero9 Black.

This is because the Max records with 9DB, you can bump that to 11DB in post to get louder and clearer audio.

As I pointed out earlier, both cameras do not have a dedicated port for the external microphone but you can use the USB to 3.5mm adapter or the Media Mod (for Hero9 Black Only) to connect an external microphone.


GoPro Hero9 Black and Max are waterproof without the need for waterproof housing.

The difference is in the waterproof ratings.

For the Hero9 Black, you can go underwater up to a maximum of 10 meters / 33 feet whereas for the Max you can go up to 5 meters / 16 feet.

The Hero9 Black has a new microphone drain knob that is used to drain off water from the camera’s microphone after underwater activities.

This means that you can resume recording your audio faster as opposed to the Max where you have to slowly wait for the microphone to dry before re-embarking on audio recordings.

If you are a deeper diver and you intend to go further down in your underwater expedition, you can consider getting the protective housing for each camera.

For the GoPro Hero9 Black, you can get the official HERO9 Black Protective Housing + Waterproof Case which will protect your camera down to 60 meters /196 feet underwater.

GoPro Hero9 Black Waterproof Case

GoPro has not yet made a proprietary waterproof housing for the max, but you can get the case from Sruim Store which will push your underwater depth limit to 30 meters / 98 feet.

GoPro Max Waterproof Case

Controls and Buttons

It is an easy and straightforward task in controlling these cameras.

Both cameras have a Mode/Power Button which is used to change the modes as well as power ON/OFF the camera.

There is also a shutter button on both cameras that are used to capture stills as well as start/stop video recording.

You can control both cameras in several ways. You can use the buttons and touchscreen, use the voice commands, use the Remote controls, or use your Smartphone via the GoPro App.

Accessing Menus and Modes

For both cameras, you can select an item on the touchscreen by simply making a single tap.

Both cameras have three modes; Video, Photo, and TimeLapse modes. You can change the modes by using any of the aforementioned methods of controlling the cameras.

You will swipe the screen from the upper edge to access the dashboard. Swiping up from the bottom edge of the touchscreen will open the media gallery.

You can also use the touchscreen to adjust exposure by tapping on the area of your photo/video on the screen.

Controlling a GoPro

Voice Control

This feature is available on both the Hero9 Black and the Max.

Voice control is a good way of controlling your camera when your arms are fully engaged e.g. when riding a bike.

Both cameras have a series of predetermined voice commands that can be used to effect control.

The GoPro Hero9 Black has wake on voice command which is not available on the Max.

There are 2 categories of voice commands, Action Commands and Mode Commands. The former is used to tell the camera to perform specific actions while the latter is used to switch between modes.

The following Action Commands are available:

  • GoPro, start recording – Starts recording video.
  • GoPro, HiLight – Adds a HiLight Tag to your video during recording.
  • GoPro, stop recording – Stops recording video.
  • GoPro, take a photo – Takes a single photo.
  • GoPro, shoot burst – Takes burst photos. (Only for Hero9 Black)
  • GoPro, start time-lapse – Starts capturing with the last time-lapse mode you used.
  • GoPro, stop time-lapse – Stops capturing time-lapse.
  • GoPro, turn on – Turns your camera on, Only for Hero9 Black (To use this command, the Wake on Voice must be on).
  • GoPro, turn off – Turns your camera off.

The following Mode Commands are available for both cameras:

  • GoPro, Video mode
  • GoPro, Photo mode
  • GoPro, Time Lapse mode

For more information on voice control, check my detailed post.

Remote Control

You can use the GoPro Smart Remote to control the Max and the GoPro App to control both cameras.

The Hero9 Black is not compatible with the GoPro Smart Remote, we expect a release that will be compatible with the camera soon or a firmware update.

Using the GoPro Smartphone App

Both cameras have Wi-Fi that permits them to connect to a smartphone.

You will first download the GoPro App from either Google Play or App Store then install it on your device.

After successfully installing the App, you will then switch the Phone’s Wi-Fi on and search for the GoPro W-Fi on the list.

When the smartphone and camera are connected, you can now use your it to control the camera.

I like the versatility that is offered by the App when dealing with the GoPro Max. You can use your phone to reframe 360-degree footage into standard videos.

Using the Smart Remote

As I mentioned earlier, the GoPro Smart Remote is NOT compatible with the Hero9 Black. I hope there’s a different version coming up for the Hero9 Black.

GoPro Smart Remote for GoPro Max

The smart remote can be used underwater since it is waterproof up to 10 meters / 33 feet. It can also be used with up to 50 cameras at a go.

You can also wear the smart remote on your wrist similar to what other companies offer, the operating distance is 180 meters / 600 feet.

The Remote has an LCD that is useful in displaying important information such as recording time.


Video quality and features are the key things according to me that will make a user choose an action camera over another.

GoPro has been leading the park in the provision of nice video features to their action camera users.

GoPro Max is a 360-degree camera whereas the Hero9 is regular, in this segment I will give you a comparison of both cameras in terms of resolution, frame rates, video bitrates, codecs, and many more.

Video Resolution

The Hero9 Black can shoot videos with a maximum of 5K resolution and a minimum of 1080p.

The GoPro Max on the other hand can only manage 1440p and 1080p in the Hero Mode.

You cannot shoot 4K regular videos using the Max Hero Mode, if you need that resolution from the Max then you can shoot a spherical video then later reframe it in the GoPro App.

360 Mode

Just by tapping on the screen, you can switch between the Hero and 360 Modes on the GoPro Max with ease.

In 360 Mode the Max reaches a resolution of 6K which goes down to 5.6K after the in-camera overlaps and stitches.

6K video is compatible with 30 frames per second. Following the software update released on the 6th of May 2020, you can now shoot 3K videos at 30 frames per second in this mode.

How are spherical videos made? Both camera lenses record videos separately then the GoPro Max stitches the pieces together via the GP1 processor.

After stitching and reframing are done, the maximum resolution of the resulting spherical video is 5.6K.

Check this video by Sam Sheffer shot with a GoPro Max:

And another 5K video by KabyNougat shot with a Hero9 Black:

Video Formats

Both cameras save the videos in the MP4 format and store them in the memory card.

Frame Rates

The Hero9 Black has a maximum of 240 frames per second which is compatible with 1080p resolution. For the GoPro Max, the camera can only manage 60 frames per second in Hero Mode.

This means that you can shoot 8x slow-motion videos on the Hero9 Black whereas the Max can only manage 2x slow motion in Hero Mode.

In 360 Mode, 60 frames per second is compatible with 3K resolution.

Both cameras have 24 frames per second as the lowest resolution.

In this category, I am impressed with the Hero9 Black because there are a lot of resolutions and frame rates to choose from.


The Hero9 Black has a maximum video bitrate of 100Mbps (Megabits per second) which can be used with resolutions of 2.7K, 4K, and 5K. When using 1440P or 1080P, the High bitrates are not supported.

Moving on to Max, the highest bitrate is 78Mbps.

I am impressed with the GoPro Hero9 Black in terms of supporting high writing speeds.


Video codec in the action camera context refers to the technology used to encode or compress a digital video.

Both the Hero9 Black and GoPro Max have two encoding technologies; the H.264 (AVC) and the H265 (HEVC). The latter is the latest technology in this field.

I prefer choosing the H.265 codec when recording my videos because it offers better compression and results in a video file with a much-reduced size without compromising on the quality. It is also a good means of saving on memory card space.

Slow Motion

Both the Hero9 Black and Max can record videos in Slow-motion but not with the same rates and resolutions.

With the Hero9 Black, you can shoot up to 8x slow-motion videos thanks to the 240 frames per second supported in 1080P resolution.

In 4K, you can shoot 2x slow-motion videos with the Hero9 Black since the rates supported are 60fps.

For the GoPro Max, you can only shoot 2x slow-motion videos on both the Hero and 360 Modes. For the Hero Mode, the maximum resolution supported is 1440P.


Both the Hero9 Black and Max use Electronic Image Stabilization to achieve smooth footage from rugged situations.

The Hero9 Black uses HyperSmooth 3.0 which is an updated version of the one we saw with Hero8 Black. GoPro Max uses Max HyperSmooth.

HyperSmooth 3.0 vs. Max HyperSmooth

Being a 360-degree camera, we expect the Max HyperSmooth to function exceptionally well beating the HyperSmooth 3.0 hands down.

I was however impressed with how the Hero9 Black was able to match up against the Max HyperSmooth in the Max.

Both the Hero9 Black and Max produced nearly similar videos in terms of stabilization and smoothness.

There are more rugged instances where GoPro Max did a slightly better job than the Hero9 Black but that is given to the massive FOV present in the Max.

However, when you use the Max Lens Mod on the Hero9 Black, the HyperSmooth 3.0 performs even better and is now at par with the GoPro Max in terms of stabilization.

Here’s why: the Max Les Mod increases the FOV of the Hero9 to nearly match up that of the GoPro Max. With a wide FOV, stabilization is improved because there’s more room to crop a video.

An important upgrade with the Hero9 Black is that you can now use boost HyperSmooth in ALL resolutions.

Protune for Video

This feature is available for both cameras, it lets you adjust important video parameters to see if you can have your preferred settings for them.

In the Hero9 Black, you can use Protune for all modes except for Looping and LiveBurst Modes.

Below is a table that highlights the Protune for each camera side by side;

PROTUNEGoPro MAXGoPro Hero9 Black
BitrateLow & High (78Mb/s)Low & High (100Mb/s)
ColorGoPro color, FlatGoPro color, Flat
White balanceAuto (default), 2300K, 2800K, 3200K, 4000K, 4500K, 5500K, 6000K, 6500K and NativeAuto (default), 2300K, 2800K, 3200K, 4000K, 4500K, 5500K, 6000K, 6500K and Native
ISO100, 200, 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 3200, 6400100, 200, 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 3200, 6400
Shutter1/30, 1/60, 1/120, 1/240, 1/480, 1/9601/30, 1/60, 1/120, 1/240, 1/480, 1/960
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), Med, HighOff (default), Low, Med, High
MicrophonesStereo (default), Front, Back, Match LensNA
360 audio360 + Stereo (default), StereoNA
Wind noise reductionAuto (default), on, offAuto (default), on, off

Digital Lenses or Field of View (FOV)

As you are aware by now, GoPro uses the name Digital lenses to refer to the FOV of the camera lens.

There are five Digital lenses for the Hero9 Black, they are;

  • SuperView 16mm
  • Wide 16 – 34mm
  • Linear 19 – 39mm
  • Linear + Horizon Leveling 19 – 39mm
  • Narrow 27mm

The GoPro Max has four Digital lenses:

  • Max SuperView: 13mm
  • Wide: 16mm
  • Linear: 19mm
  • Narrow: 27mm

All the four Digital lenses are available for video in Hero Mode and Photos.

Horizon Leveling

Horizon leveling is a term that means your GoPro camera will correct the lens rotation and tilting.

This mostly applies when you have mounted or placed your camera on an unstable surface. The camera will keep the lens upright and record videos normally.

Both the Hero9 Black and the Max support Horizon leveling. On the Max, this feature is only available in the Hero Mode.


Let us now dive into the Photo Mode of both cameras. I will walk you through the photo resolutions, photo formats, shooting modes, and many more.

Photo Resolution & Formats

GoPro Hero9 Black has a new 23.6 Image sensor that can capture photos with a maximum resolution of 20MP.

As for the GoPro Max, it can capture 360-degree photos with a maximum resolution of 18 megapixels and 5.5 megapixels in Hero Mode.

Having the GoPro Max has the advantage of shooting 360-degree photos, otherwise, if you only care about resolution, then the Hero9 Black has more.

GoPro max 360 photo


Moving on to photo formats, the Hero9 Black supports both JPEG and RAW formats. I am so impressed with this since I like using the RAW format.

When you switch to RAW, the camera will take two photos, one with .gpr extension and the other with .jpeg extension.

RAW photos have a huge versatility when it comes to post-editing on desktop software.

Since RAW photos are not compressed, they possess a huge file size compared to the JPEG counterpart. Confirm that you have a memory card with enough available capacity before taking many RAW photos.

As for the GoPro Max, it only supports the JPEG format.

All photos saved in either format are stored in the memory card.

SuperPhoto and HDR

The GoPro Hero9 Black has a SuperPhoto option with improved HDR. This feature improves the quality of your 20MP stills via an advanced image processing performed by the GP1 processor.

HDR will automatically combine several photos to give you one photo with improved details.


This is a feature in the GoPro Max that makes good use of the dual-lens setup.

Here, the camera will take a 270-degree panoramic photo at once without the need of moving your camera to the sides. This is a good feature to capture a landscape without losing the sequence.

Protune Photo

Similar to the video mode, we also have Protune for Photo which is a feature that allows you to adjust several photo parameters on your GoPro.

Adjusting the parameters appropriately will more often than not bring out another good version of the photo in terms of quality.

Below is a table that highlights the Protune photo parameters for each camera.

ColorGoPro color, FlatGoPro color, Flat
White balanceAuto (default), 2300K, 2800K, 3200K, 4000K, 4500K, 5500K, 6000K, 6500K and NativeAuto (default), 2300K, 2800K, 3200K, 4000K, 4500K, 5500K, 6000K, 6500K and Native
ISO100, 200, 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 3200, 6400100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
ShutterAuto, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 and 1/2000Auto, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 and 1/2000
Exposure value compensation-2.0 to +2.0-2.0 to +2.0
SharpnessHigh (default), Medium, and LowHigh (default), Medium, and Low

Exposure Control

This is a feature that allows you to adjust the exposure for certain areas of your photo.

Both cameras have exposure controls. You will be required to first tap on the touchscreen on the area where you would like the camera to adjust the exposure.

After you have made your area selection, you can choose between Auto exposure and locked exposure.

When you select the latter, the camera will lock exposure of the selected area until you turn OFF.


This shooting mode is available on the Hero9 Black and not on the Max. In burst mode, the Hero9 Black camera will capture several selected photos at a set interval.

The following are the options you have to choose from in this mode:

  • Auto (up to 25 photos in 1 second based on lighting conditions)
  • 30 photos in 3, 6, or 10 seconds
  • 25 photos in 1 second
  • 10 photos in 1 or 3 seconds
  • 5 photos in 1 second
  • 3 photos in 1 second

Live Burst

This mode is also available on the Hero9 Black and not on the Max.

Here in this shooting mode, the Hero9 Black camera will start capturing stills 1.5 seconds ahead of pressing the shutter button and 1.5 seconds after pressing the shutter.

This mode shoots photos in the wide-angle digital lens only.

Continuous Photo Capture

This feature is a little bit confusing with the photo burst, but I will try and explain.

In continuous photo capture, the camera will capture several photos in series per second and the maximum is 30 photos per second.

This mode differs from photo burst in that, here you will press and hold down the shutter button while in burst you only press the shutter button once.


Both cameras have the TimeLapse shooting mode.

TimeLapse Video

In this mode, the camera will capture video frames at a specific time interval then later combine to form a short video.

On the GoPro Max, you can use TimeLapse video on both the Hero and 360 modes. You can set the time interval to any of the following: 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds.

The Hero9 Black also supports TimeLapse video, the intervals are as follows; 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 seconds, or 1, 2, 5, 30 minutes, or 1 hour.

You can select your desired video resolution in the timelapse video settings.

Time Lapse Photo

Similar to TimeLapse video, here the camera will capture several photos at a set time interval.

On the GoPro Max TimeLapse photo is available for both the Hero and 360 Modes. The time intervals are: 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds.


This preset is available on the GoPro Hero9 Black. It is similar to TimeLapse video only that it is suited to be used in low light conditions.

It works by altering the shutter speed to allow more light to enter the camera sensor then later works with the set intervals to produce impressive videos.

For the Hero9 Black, the intervals are; Auto; 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 seconds; and 1, 2, 5, 30, and 60 minutes.

TimeWarp Video

This preset is similar to the TimeLapse video. The only difference is that in TimeWarp, you can move along with your camera as you record.

TimeWarp makes use of HyperSmooth to remove wobbles in the video because the camera is not still as compares to TimeLapse video

The preset is available for both Hero9 Black and GoPro Max. In the Hero9 Black the preset has been improved to TimeWarp 3.0

You can use TimeWarp in both Hero and 360 Modes for the Max. In Hero mode, the resolution is limited to 1440P and 1080P.

The TimeWarp speeds for both the Hero9 Black and Max are; Auto, 2x, 5x, 10x, 15x, or 30x.

You can use the speed ramp feature to reduce the speed of the TimeWarp recording to half by simply tapping on the screen during the recording.

This ia a 360-degree TimeWarp video shot by The 360 Guy with the GoPro Max:


Both cameras have rechargeable and removable Lithium-Ion batteries.

GoPro Max has a battery with a capacity of 1660mAh whereas the Hero9 Black has one with a capacity of 1720mAh.

In terms of physical size, the Hero9 Black has a bigger battery and this came as a disadvantage to many considering that you can no longer use previous GoPro batteries on your new Hero9 Black camera.

Otherwise, it is a good move because the battery capacity has now been increased significantly.

However, it is important to note that Hero9 Black has a dual-screen setup hence the camera itself is power-hungry. Aside from that, the high video and photo resolutions will also have a hit on battery life.

Nonetheless, I was able to get 90 minutes of 5K recording with the Hero9 Black although the camera increased in temperature a little bit.

The Max on the other hand will give you not more than 90 minutes of continuous recording.

There is a definite call to adopt habits that will save battery power whenever you are on an adventure with your action cameras.


After you have unboxed either of these cameras, you need to charge the battery to full before using.

Both cameras use the USB Type C charging cable to juice up the batteries. You can also use an older battery charger to charge the GoPro Max battery but the Hero9 Battery will not fit because of the size difference.

When the battery is fully charged, the red light indicator will turn OFF. I recommend not using the camera while it is charging, this will improve the long-term battery health.

The charging time over the wall is approximately 2 hours.


I recommend using Adobe Premiere Pro when doing post-editing on any work you recorded with a GoPro camera. It is so nice, especially when working on 360-degree videos.

To Conclude – GoPro Hero9 Black vs GoPro Max, Which one should you buy?

As I pointed out in the beginning, I am doing this comparison because many people including me use GoPro Max to record regular videos in Hero Mode than the 360 Mode. In fact, 360 video is just an added feature for me in the Max.

Having said that, the Hero9 Black offers very stiff competition to the Max thanks to the improved software and Hardware.

The carrying case that comes in the box of Hero9 Black is a welcomed move and GoPro did a good thing in going along that direction.

The GoPro Max could be my ever perfect camera if it had 4K recording in Hero Mode as well as a replaceable lens cover. I find the resolution choices offered in Hero Mode being too narrow.

This does not mean that Max performs poorly, in fact, the video and photo quality is still top-notch going with 2020 standard. The GoPro Max does a better job of eliminating Background wind noise.

I recommend the Hero9 Black to anybody who would like to make use of the front screen as well as 5K resolution.

If you do not fall in that category, you can as well skip the Hero9 Black because there is no other major update that you will be looking for that’s missing in the Max or even the Hero8 Black.

Thanks for reading through my GoPro Hero 9 Black vs GoPro Max comparison article. If you have any questions, just leave a comment below.