If you are looking to upgrade from a Hero8 to a Hero9, then you should read this comparison of GoPro Hero9 Black vs Hero8 Black action cameras.

When it comes to the action camera industry, you must have heard about GoPro as a leading brand in this space.

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In October 2019, GoPro released the Hero8 Black action camera alongside the GoPro Max which is a 360° camera. GoPro has now made the Hero9 Black release in its line of action cameras.

SEE ALSO: GoPro Max vs. Hero8 Black

Both cameras are powered by GoPro’s proprietary GP1 Processor although the Hero9 Black has a 23.6-megapixel sensor that is capable of capturing 20MP stills.

A major upgrade that has been seen with the GoPro Hero9 Black is the introduction of a front-facing color screen that replaces the traditional LED status screen that rocked the GoPro cameras for a long time.

The front screen means that you can now get a smoother vlogging experience.

We now have HyperSmooth 3.0 and TimeWarp 3.0 with the new Hero9 Black.

HyperSmooth 2 was a nice EIS that gave out almost wobble-free footage from rugged actions. We expect HyperSmooth 3 to deliver even better results.

The Hero9 Black has a detachable lens, something that was not there with the Hero8 Black.

This feature has made it possible for GoPro to introduce an accessory named Max Lens Mod which will give you a very wide FOV.

GoPro Hero9 Black has improved pixels, capable of recording videos with a maximum resolution of 5K at 30 frames per second. Hero8 Black only managed 4K at 60 frames per second.

GoPro Hero8 Black comes with the advantage of having a lower price tag because it is a year old now.

If you are stuck in a dilemma of choosing between these two cameras, continue reading my comparison post because I will touch on all important aspects of the two cameras.

If you have a GoPro older than Hero8 then you can check my ultimate GoPro comparison article.

Let me start with a detailed comparison table that highlights the technical specifications of both cameras side by side.


GoPro Hero9 vs Hero8 Comparison Table

SpecsHero9 BlackHero8 Black
Video
Lens aperturef/2.8f/2.8
Video Resolution & Frame RatesVideo 5K30 + 4K60, Wide FOVUp to 4K60fps
Video StabilizationHyperSmooth 3.0HyperSmooth 2.0
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)100Mb/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
LiveBurstYesYes
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, TimeWarp 2.0
Night Lapse Photo YesYes
Slo-Mo 8x8x
Design 
Dimensions71.0 W x 55.0 H x 33.6 D (mm)66.3 W x 48.6 H x 28.4 D (mm)
Weight (Camera + Battery)126g126g
Removable LensYesNo
Lens11
Rear Screen2.5 inches touch screen displayTouch screen
Front ScreenYesNo
Chip GP1GP1
HDMI PortNo. Media Mod for Hero9 Black neededNo. Media Mod for Hero8 Black needed
USB PortUSB-CUSB-C
3.5 mm Audio Mic InNo. Media Mod or USB-C to 3.5mm adapter neededNo. Media Mod or USB-C to 3.5mm adapter needed
Memory Storage1 microSD1 microSD
Microphones23
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 Reduction2-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)

From the comprehensive table above, we can see that both cameras share a lot of specifications and features.

GoPro Hero9 Black has more improved features thanks to the new 23.6-megapixel sensor and firmware version.


Improved Unboxing Experience

The Hero9 Black has an improved unboxing experience since GoPro ships the camera with a little bag case that can be used to store the camera later or when you are on your trips.

Hero8 Black only came in the traditional box that is disposable.


Design & Components

Weight and Dimensions

Putting both cameras side by side, you will immediately notice that the Hero9 Black is slightly bigger.

Hero8 Black has a body dimension of 66.3 W x 48.6 H x 28.4 D (mm) whereas the Hero9 Black measures 71.0 W x 55.0 H x 33.6 D (mm).

GoPro Hero8 Black Dimensions
GoPro Hero8 Black Dimensions
GoPro Hero9 Black Dimensions

The Hero9 Black has more measurements in all the body aspects compared to the previous model.

Having that in mind, the Hero9 Black will feel chunkier in the hand.

The camera weighs 158 grams against Hero8’s 126 grams. The new Hero9 is even heavier than the GoPro Max which has a weight of 154 grams.

This does not however mean that the new GoPro is not portable, far from it.

I was able to keep it in my jacket pocket without any inconveniences. Mounting the camera on your body will therefore not present a challenge in your actions.

Dual Screen vs. Single Screen

The Hero9 Black has a dual-screen set-up featuring a small front color screen whereas the Hero8 Black has one rear display touchscreen with the traditional status screen on the front.

Unlike other action cameras that have introduced this set-up, both screens on the Hero9 can function at the same time.

Akaso Brave 7 LE, Campark V40, and DJI Osmo Action are among the first action cameras to rock a front screen.

The front screen on the Hero9 camera is good for framing your shots which makes it a perfect choice for webcam and vlogging.

There are various options that you can choose for the front screen display.

GoPro Hero8 Black Touchscreen
GoPro Hero8 Black Touchscreen
GoPro Hero9 Black Back Side_Touchscreen
GoPro Hero9 Black Touchscreen

You can have it on Full Screen, Actual Screen, or Status Screen. If you need to save some battery power, you have the option to put the front screen OFF.

Just like we expected, the front display is not touch-sensitive. However, the rear screen on the Hero9 Black is touch-sensitive similar to what we have seen with previous models.

The touch sensitivity on both cameras is great, I have not experienced any major lagging issues concerning the responsiveness of touch control.

This makes controlling the camera more enjoyable and less cumbersome than using the physical buttons.

Detachable vs Fixed Lens

Another huge difference between these cameras is in the lens system.

The Hero9 Black has a detachable lens setup while the lens on Hero8 Black is fixed.

A removable lens is always good because it gives you a leeway of the kind of lens you may wish to attach to your camera.

On that note, GoPro has introduced a Max Lens Mod which is compatible with the Hero9 Black and will give you an ultra-wide 155˚ Field of View.

GoPro Hero9 Max Lens Mod
Source: GoPro.com

Other than that, having a removable lens is also good because you can detach the lens from the camera and store it in a safer place.

The Hero9 Black has five digital lenses, namely; SuperView, Wide, Linear, Linear + Horizon Leveling, Narrow Lens whereas the Hero8 Black has four; SuperView, Wide, Linear, Narrow.

Both cameras have an f/2.8 lens aperture.

Ports and Sockets

Both cameras use a USB Type C port for charging and data interface.

This port is also used to connect the camera to the Media Mod. Please note that each camera has its own Media Mod version.

Both cameras have a memory card slot which is enclosed by the battery door.

None of these cameras have an HDMI output port nor an external microphone jack. If you intend to make use of the two features, you need to purchase the Media Mod.

SEE ALSO: GoPro Hero9 Black Media Mod Review

SEE ALSO: GoPro Hero8 Black Media Mod Review

I was a bit disappointed that the Media Mod for Hero8 Black is not compatible with Hero9 Black camera.

This is mainly because the Hero9 Black is slightly bigger than its predecessor.

Microphones

Both cameras have a total of three microphones strategically located around the camera’s body.

The Microphones are key in capturing stereo audio which gives some sort of immersive experience.

How does the Audio Compare?

Both cameras produce the same audio quality. I have not noticed any difference comparing audio from Hero9 and Hero8 Black. GoPro did not make any upgrade to this department.

You can attach an external microphone to both cameras although there is no dedicated audio input port.

You will need to purchase the GoPro USB C to 3.5mm adapter or the Media Mod for either cameras to use an external microphone.

gopro usb c to 3.5mm microphone adapter
USB-C to 3.5mm adapter

Waterproof

Both Hero9 Black and Hero8 Black are waterproof without the need for a waterproof housing.

The cameras can withstand water up to 10 meters / 33 feet in depth. This rating is good enough for an average diver. You don’t need to worry about accidental splashes and rain.

If you are a deep diver and you intend to film your actions in more depths, then you can consider getting the dive case for each camera.

GoPro Hero8 Black Waterproof Case
GoPro Hero8 Black Waterproof Case
GoPro Hero9 Black Waterproof Case
GoPro Hero9 Black Waterproof Case

Both cameras have waterproof housing that will push the depth limit to 60 meters / 196 feet. That is more than enough rating for most people.

A nice feature that has been added to the Hero9 Black is a Microphone drain which will be used to drain off water from the microphone after your underwater adventure.

This means that you can start recording audio in a shorter time after underwater adventures compared to the Hero8 Black.


Controls and Buttons

Both cameras can be controlled by the touchscreen, buttons, smartphone App, and GoPro Smart Remote.

Please note that the previous GoPro Smart Remote will not work with the Hero9 Black. I hope GoPro will fix this with a new firmware update.

Voice control can be used in both cameras; this is a good feature to use when your hands are engaged e.g. when cycling.

There is a Mode/Power button that is located on the right side of both cameras. This button is used to power the camera ON/OFF as well as change modes.

The other is the Shutter button which is used to start/stop recording as well as capture stills. This button is located on the top side of both cameras.

The touchscreen on both cameras has good sensitivity to touches and it is bright enough to be used on a sunny day.

Accessing Menus and Modes

Accessing modes in both cameras is straightforward by a single swipe. You can swipe right or left to switch between Photos, Videos, or TimeLapse.

GoPro Hero8 9 Black touchcreen controls

You can simply tap on the touch display to select an item.

You can adjust exposure on both cameras by tapping on the area you wish to do so on the touch screen.

Voice Control

You can use your voice to control both cameras following the predetermined voice commands.

There are 2 types of commands in both cameras, action commands & mode commands.

The following action commands are available for both cameras.

  • 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.
  • 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 (To use this command, the Wake on Voice must be ON in the camera settings).
  • GoPro, turn off – Turns your camera off.

There are three mode commands which essentially are meant to switch to the available modes in both cameras.

After uttering a mode command, you can follow on by saying ‘GoPro capture’/ ‘GoPro start recording’ or press the shutter button to take a photo / start recording

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

For more information on voice control, check my detailed article here.


Remote Control

The Hero8 Black can be controlled remotely by the smartphone App or GoPro Smart Remote.

The Hero9 Black is not compatible with the GoPro Smart Remote, hopefully, this will be fixed with a firmware update soon.

The GoPro App can be downloaded from Google Play or App store depending on your phone’s operating system.

After downloading, you will then use the camera’s Wi-Fi to connect with your smartphone.

For effective use of the GoPro App, it is always important to ensure that your camera runs on the latest software version. You can visit the official GoPro website update section to learn more.


Video

Moving on to the Video segment, I will show you how both cameras compare in terms of the video specs and quality.

I will take you through video resolution, frame rates, video formats, codecs, and many more.

Video Resolution

The GoPro Hero9 Black has a maximum resolution of 5K whereas the Hero8 Black maxed out at 4K.

If you own a monitor that playbacks 5K videos, you will appreciate the clarity and sharpness of videos shot with this resolution.

As a tradeoff, GoPro has ditched the 720p resolution in both the Hero9 Black and Hero8 Black.

How does Video Quality from both cameras compare?

The video quality shot at the same resolution and frame rates for both cameras are strikingly similar.

Not a lot has changed with the Hero9 Black but it generally looks good compared to the previous model.

The heavy contrast that was there in the Hero8 Black has now been turned down giving a slightly bright video.

The colors are also less saturated in the Hero9 Black hence the videos look closer to reality.

The video quality recorded using the same resolution has small improvements that you cannot justify the upgrade based on that alone.

5K@30fps Video Quality

Using the Hero9 Black to record videos in 5K at 30 frames per second, you will immediately notice that the video appears sharper with a lot more details.

This high resolution is very effective when you want to zoom in your shots, you can now do that without worrying about losing details of the video.

Here is a 5K video by KabyNougat showing the video quality and stabilization of the Hero9 Black:

And another video shot by SoCal Attractions 360 showing the Hero8 Black in action:

Low-Light Videos

As expected with most action cameras, the low-light performance is not impressive.

I was disappointed with the Hero9 Black because I expected it to outshine the Hero8 Black hands down!

My expectations were high because the Hero9 Black has a new image sensor with an improved software update and not to mention the high price tag.

The night videos taken with Hero9 Black are a bit less noisy compared to the Hero8 Black but they are darker.

Both cameras do not impress in night filming.

Frame Rates

Both cameras can manage a maximum of 240 frames per second. This directly translates to 8x slow-motion video recording.

In the Hero9 Black, 5K resolution can only be used at 30 and 24 frames per second.

There is a wide range of frame rates to choose from in both cameras.

Bitrates

This is a term used to define the amount of data used in recording a second of video. Bitrate is measured in Megabytes per second (Mbps).

Both cameras have a maximum bitrate of 100Mbps.

On the Hero9 Black, 100Mbps can be used when recording with 2.7K, 4K, and 5K resolutions, 1440p, and 1080p are not compatible with the maximum bitrate.

On the GoPro Hero 8 Black, you can use 100Mbps only when recording with 4K and 2.7K resolutions than a maximum of 78Mbps when recording in 1440p and 1080p.

Video Codecs

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

You have the choice to use both codecs in all resolutions supported by the cameras.

Personally, I prefer choosing the H.265 because it provides better compression for the videos without taking up much memory card space.

Slow Motion

As I pointed out earlier, both cameras can shoot up to 8x slow-motion video thanks to the 240 frames per second rate.

In 4K resolution, you can only use 60 frames per second, meaning that you will only get 2x slow-motion videos.

Electronic Image Stabilization

GoPro uses EIS to remove shakes and wobbles from your footage hence resulting in a much smoother experience.

GoPro brands its EIS technology as HyperSmooth and now with the Hero9 Black, we have HyperSmooth 3.0 which essentially should perform better than the previous generation.

HyperSmooth 2.0 vs. 3.0

The HyperSmooth 3.0 that rocks the Hero9 Black is a more improved version of EIS, first of all, I am impressed because now you can use boost stabilization with all resolutions.

In HyperSmooth 2.0 and former versions, you could not use the HyperSmooth boost with all resolutions.

In terms of stabilization, the Hero9 Black does a better job than the Hero8 Black.

This does not mean in any chance that the Hero8 Black performs poorly in stabilization, we all know how good it is.

It is only that GoPro has made some tweaks and software updates that have seen the HyperSmooth 3.0 perform even better.

When you get the Max Lens Mod for the Hero9 Black, you will get incredible stabilization thanks to the 155-degree FOV.

New Video Feature: HindSight

The Hero9 Black introduces a new feature known as HindSight.

This future will enable you to only save the previous 15/30 seconds of video and audio when you press the shutter button.

This feature appears like a combination of loop recording and Live Burst video.

HindSight has a major hit on the battery because the camera is continuously recording both audio and video until you press the shutter button then it will save the previous 15/30 seconds file.

Protune for Video

This refers to the advanced video setting in GoPro cameras. I will highlight a comparison table that will show you how both cameras measure up in this category.

PROTUNEGoPro Hero9 BlackGoPro Hero8 Black
BitrateLow & High (100Mb/s)Low & High (100Mb/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
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
Wind noise reductionAuto (default), On, OffAuto (default), on, off

Digital Lenses or Field of View

As you might or might not know, GoPro uses the name Digital lenses instead of FOV.

GoPro Hero9 Black has five Digital Lenses whereas the Hero8 Black has four.

A big digital lens means that the camera lens will capture more scenic actions and vice versa.

Digital Lenses on GoPro Hero9 Black

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

The below table will show you which digital lens can be used with which resolution on the Hero9 Black:

Video ResolutionFPS (NTSC/ PAL)FOVScreen ResolutionAspect Ratio
5K30/25
24/24
Wide, Linear,
Linear + Horizon
Leveling, Narrow
5120x288016:9
4K60/50Wide, Linear,
Linear + Horizon
Leveling, Narrow
3840x216016:9
4K30/25
24/24
SuperView, Wide,
Linear, Linear +
Horizon Leveling,
Narrow
3840x216016:9
4K 4:330/25
24/24
Wide, Linear,
Linear + Horizon
Leveling, Narrow
4096x30724:3
2.7K120/100
60/50
SuperView, Wide,
Linear, Linear +
Horizon Leveling,
Narrow
2704x152016:9
2.7K 4:360/50Wide, Linear,
Linear+ Horizon
Leveling, Narrow
2704x20284:3
1440p120/100
60/50
30/25
24/24
Wide, Linear,
Linear + Horizon
Leveling, Narrow
1920x14404:3
1080p240/200Wide, Linear,
Linear + Horizon
Leveling, Narrow
1920x108016:9
1080p120/100
60/50
30/25
24/24
SuperView, Wide,
Linear, Linear +
Horizon Leveling,
Narrow
1920x108016:9

Digital lenses on GoPro Hero8 Black

  • SuperView: 16mm
  • Wide: 16-34mm
  • Linear: 19-39mm
  • Narrow: 27mm

And the below table will show you which digital lenses can be used with which resolutions on the Hero8 Black:

Video ResolutionFPS (NTSC/ PAL)FOVScreen ResolutionAspect Ratio
4K60/50Wide, Linear3840x216016:9
4K30/25
24/24
SuperView, Wide, Linear3840x216016:9
4K 4:330/25
24/24
Wide, Linear4096x30724:3
2.7K120/100Wide2704x152016:9
2.7K60/50
30/25
24/24
SuperView, Wide, Linear, Narrow2704x152016:9
2.7K 4:360/50Wide2704x20284:3
2.7K 4:330/25
24/24
Wide, Linear, Narrow2704x20284:3
1440p120/100Wide1920x14404:3
1440p60/50
30/25
24/24
Wide, Linear, Narrow1920x14404:3
1080p240/200Wide1920x108016:9
1080p120/100
60/50
30/25
24/24
SuperView, Wide, Linear, Narrow1920x108016:9

We can see that the Hero9 Black has introduced a new FOV known as Horizon Leveling + Linear.

This means that you can keep your camera view straight when it is not on a flat surface.

Also, it is effectively used when you have a mount that is not straight.

The only downside is that it is only compatible in Linear Mode, otherwise, it is a nice in-camera feature to have.

On the Hero8 Black, you can use Horizon Leveling in the Smartphone App.


Photo

Photo Resolution & Formats

The Hero9 Black has a new 23.6 megapixel that can capture 20MP stills.

That is a major upgrade from 12MP which has rocked the GoPro cameras for some time including the Hero8 Black.

How does the Photo quality compare on both Cameras?

Both cameras can capture great photos during the day. I did not notice any huge difference between the two except that Hero9 Black has sharper and brighter images thanks to the new Image Sensor.

Low-Light Photos

This is no difference to what we had in the low-light video segment. Both cameras have nearly the same performance in night photos and the result is not impressive.

Smartphones can generally capture more impressive night photos than action cameras.

Action cameras are not designed to be used in the dark, they are meant to capture actions that generally are performed outdoors during the day.

Photo Formats: RAW & JPEG

Both cameras support RAW and JPEG photo formats.

I prefer using the RAW format because it produces a file that is not compressed hence giving me more flexibility during editing.

Have in mind that RAW photos processing requires specialized software like Adobe Lightroom.

When you select RAW, the camera will save two photos; one with .gpr extension and the other with .jpeg extension.

Digital Lenses (Photo)

As I mentioned earlier in the Video segment, digital lenses will determine how much of the scenic view your camera will capture.

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

  • Wide – 16-34mm
  • Linear – 19-39mm
  • Narrow – 27mm

The ‘wide’ digital lens will get a huge scenic view whereas ‘Narrow’ will do the opposite.

Photo Modes

Both cameras have four presets in photo mode, they are normal photo, live burst, burst, and night.

You can choose your preferred preset by navigating through the touchscreen.

The preset performs the same function for both cameras and they have the same specific settings for the respective modes.

Read my GoPro Hero9 Black and Hero8 Black review to learn more.

On-Screen Shortcuts

Both cameras have similar on-screen shortcuts, the following options are available to choose in the presets for each camera: Photo timer, Digital lenses, Output, and Zoom.

Exposure Control

You can use your fingers to tap on the specific area you would wish to adjust the exposure on your photo.

Both cameras will provide you with either Auto Exposure or Manual Exposure. You can learn more about those two by following this link.

Protune Photo

You can adjust specific parameters under the Protune for photo in both cameras. I will show you a table comparing what each camera has to offer 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
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

In as much as we can see the parameters have similar value, the Hero9 Black may perform better because of the new Image sensor and software upgrade.


Time-Lapse

In this mode, the camera will capture frames at a set interval then combine them to form a short video.

The GoPro Hero9 Black has 3 presets in Time Lapse Mode: TimeWarp Video (Default) Time Lapse and Night Lapse.

The Hero8 Black on the other hand has Time Lapse Video, Time Lapse Photo, Night Lapse Photo, and TimeWarp Video.

TimeWarp 3.0 vs. 2.0

The Hero9 Black has TimeWarp 3.0 which is an improvement from TimeWarp 2.0 that is there in Hero8 Black.

In this preset, you can move along with your camera as you capture the frames at the set interval.

The difference between TimeWarp and TimeLapse video is that for the latter, the camera has to be steadily mounted on a fixed location.

For both cameras, you can have the following options to choose for the TimeWarp speed: Auto, 2x, 5x, 10x, 15x, or 30x

Speed Ramp is the feature that allows you to reduce the TimeWarp speed back to normal by simply tapping on the screen.

Both cameras do a decent job at shooting timewarp videos, here’s a TimeWarp video by GoPro:

Source: GoPro.com

Time Lapse Video

In this preset, you can capture frames at s set interval when the camera is on a fixed location. It is a good option for shooting sunrise/sunset, flowers budding, activities, people walking downtown, and such events.

For both cameras, the time interval can be set to 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 seconds, or 1, 2, 5, 30 minutes, or 1 hour.

Here’s a video by GoPro showing the time lapse video in action on the Hero8 Black:

Source: GoPro.com

Time-Lapse Photo

This preset is only available in the Hero8 Black. It allows you to capture a series of photo frames following a predetermined time interval.

You can later choose the files you would like to delete and keep the ones you plan on using to convert them into a short video.

The main difference between TimeLapse video and photo is that the latter will save individual photos in the memory card first whereas the former will save the video file from the frames.

This preset uses the same time interval as the TimeLapse video.

Night Lapse

This preset is available for both the Hero9 Black and the Hero8 Black.

It is very similar to TimeLapse Video, the only modification is that it is tailored to be used in low light conditions.

This preset will adjust the shutter speed to allow more light to enter the camera lens hence resulting in somewhat brighter images.

You have the following time intervals to choose from in both cameras: Auto; 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 seconds; and 1, 2, 5, 30, and 60 minutes. As you can see, the interval differs from TimeLapse Video.


Battery

Both cameras use rechargeable and removable Lithium-Ion batteries.

Hero9 Black has a battery with a capacity of 1720mAh whereas the Hero8 Black battery capacity is 1220mAh.

Physically, the Hero9 Black battery is slightly bigger than that of Hero8 Black.

This means that you cannot use the batteries interchangeably. Also, the battery charger for Hero8 Black cannot be used to charge the Hero9 Black battery.

These are some of the disadvantages that come with improved battery capacity.

Although GoPro says that you are assured of 30% improved battery life, the Hero9 Black pack some upgrades that have a hit on the battery consumption.

The front color display on the Hero9 Black consumes more power than the traditional status screen on the Hero8 Black.

If you are in dire need of saving some juice, I suggest you keep the front display OFF.

Recording in 5K, the Hero9 Black was able to last for 90 minutes on a single charge although the camera heated up.

Recording with 4K@60fps, the Hero8 Black lasted nearly 90 minutes on a single charge.

We can see a slight improvement in battery life and that is a welcomed idea.

Keep in mind that factors such as resolution, frame rates, accessories used, temperature, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and LED lights have a major hit on battery life. Be sure to check out what you need most during your adventures.


Why you Should Choose/Upgrade to the GoPro Hero9 Black

  • The camera comes in a free carrying case that you can use later.
  • The front screen is good for vlogging and framing up shots.
  • The rear screen is slightly larger than that of Hero8 Black.
  • The Microphone drain knob is effective in removing water lodged in the camera’s microphone hence you can start audio recordings quicker.
  • The removable and replaceable lens is a nice feature to have meaning you will get more lens options in the market.
  • The Hero9 Black has improved battery capacity and performance.
  • You can now capture pictures in 20MP which is an improvement from the 12MP that we had for a very long time.
  • Filming in 5K resolution is good for capturing lots of details and maintaining a good amount the same even when cropping.
  • HyperSmooth 3.0 gets very smooth footage and it is an improvement from the previous EIS.
  • The in-camera Horizon leveling which is only usable in linear mode is a good way of ensuring you get clean footage even from a slanting camera placement. I hope GoPro will introduce this feature to other digital lenses as well.

Why you Should Choose/Remain with the Hero8 Black

  • Same Audio experience with the Hero9 Black.
  • The video and photo qualities are almost similar to the Hero9 Black.
  • It has reduced in price since it is almost a year old now.
  • Slightly smaller body size; The Hero9 Black is bulkier hence many accessories that you might already have may not fit.

Conclusion

From my above summary, you can see that GoPro has made a step in the right direction with the Hero9 Black.

However, the Hero8 Black is still a very solid camera with bleeding-edge technology and performance.

If you own a Hero8 Black, it might not be necessary to upgrade if you do not intend to use the front screen and 5K resolution.

I would recommend the Hero9 Black particularly to people who would like to make full utilization of the front-facing screen.

However, I am disappointed that GoPro keeps raising the price of its launch-products. It would be more satisfying to see GoPro maintaining a specific range for their new cameras.

Also, the fact that I need to buy another Media Mod for the Hero9 Black doesn’t sound convincing. GoPro could have easily ensured that the new camera fits in the previous Media Mod.

I will recommend GoPro Hero8 Black to anyone who would like to save some money and get a good GoPro camera. The camera is now more affordable.

Going with my GoPro Hero9 Black vs. Hero8 Black comparison, I can say that it has been a tough contest for both and I think Hero9 Black will suit vloggers more than any other category of users.



Thank you for reading through my comparison article.

If you have any questions about both cameras, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.