GoPro Hero 8 Black: Leaks, release date and latest rumours
GoPro may have become the byword for action cameras, but even the most dominant tech titans are vulnerable to being dethroned by an upstart. And that’s exactly what happened when the DJI Osmo Action paraglided into our lives in Spring 2019.
The Osmo Action isn’t perfect, but it does bring a few crucial advantages over the GoPro Hero 7 Black, including a handy front screen for vlogging, a superior UI and a lower price tag.
But it looks like GoPro is preparing to strike back with a new action camera called, you guessed it, the Hero 8 Black. An apparent leak in August 2019 suggested that this model will indeed be arriving in late September 2019, and now a further leak has possibly spilt the beans on some of its features and accessories.
So what exactly can we expect from the Hero 8 Black and how will it take on the DJI Osmo Action? Here’s everything we know so far.
GoPro Hero 6 Black – Price drop
The lowest ever price for the Hero 6 Black, this is an excellent deal for what is still one of the best action cameras around. It shoots 4K video at 60fps, 12-megapixel stills and has superb image stabilisation.
GoPro Hero 8 Black price and release date: when will it be announced and how much will it cost?
GoPro’s flagship action cameras usually arrive like clockwork every September – and a leak from China, picked up by Photo Rumors, suggests this will be the case.
We’re obviously already quite far into September 2019, but an announcement later this month remains on the cards according to the latest rumours.
This fits CEO Nick Woodman’s statement in GoPro’s Q1 earnings call back in May 2019, where he said: “I’m happy to share that we’re planning an exciting refreshed lineup at all price points in Q4”.
Whether that includes three different flavours of the GoPro Hero 8 plus the GoPro Max 360 remains to be seen, but it appears we’ll be treated to at least two new models – the refreshed flagship plus the spiritual successor to the GoPro Fusion.
What these cameras’ price tags will be still isn’t known, as we haven’t seen any leaks from retailer leaks. It’s possible that GoPro will respond to the DJI’s generous pricing for the Osmo Action, which had an RRP of £329 when it launched.
That’s a sizeable £50 less than the Hero 7 Black’s original asking price, so its successor will hopefully get at least halfway down to meeting that tag. If not, we’ll be keeping a close eye on GoPro Hero 7 Black prices to let you know if that’s shaping up to be the better value action cam.
GoPro Hero 8 Black design and features: what will it look like and what new skills will it have?
The original leaks of the Hero 8 Black, discovered by Photo Rumors in August 2019, revealed that the GoPro Hero 8 Black will likely be getting a few new accessories, courtesy of a new housing. And now a more recent leak, broken by German site WinFuture, has filled in some details.
A housing that’s apparently called the Media Module will let you attach external accessories, including a Light Mod with ten LED lights, a much-requested external microphone to help your audio match the Hero 8 Black’s video quality, and a screen.
That screen doesn’t look quite useful as the DJI Osmo Action’s built-in front-facing display, which is handy for shooting videos to camera, but it will likely be bigger and have a higher resolution.
And while it’s possible to plug in external mics like the Rode VideoMicro to GoPros, this is far from the slickest or most compact combo. GoPro’s Media Module could be a more portable solution for improving the audio quality of your extreme videos.
Another big detail leaked by WinFuture is that the Hero 8 Black will have a built-in mounting plates on the underside of its body – that would be a pretty big deal, as that’d mean you’d no longer to fit it into its slightly clunky housing to mount it on helmets or tripods.
Otherwise, the Hero 8 Black’s new features appear to mainly be internal, according to both of the main leaks so far. The size will apparently remain the same as will the sensor’s megapixel count, staying at the 12-megapixels we’ve seen on the last two models.
Another unchanged feature will be the battery, which appears to be the same 1,220mAh unit we saw on the Hero 7 Black. That doesn’t necessarily mean that battery life will be the same though – some software tweaks could help the Hero 8 Black squeeze more than the 45 minutes of 4K/60p video recording we were able to get from its predecessor.
So what else is new? As we predicted, another likely inclusion is a GP2 processor. The GP1 was only introduced on the Hero 6 Black in 2017 and helped power the Hero 7 Black’s HyperSmooth image stabilisation, so it remains to be seen what extra features its successor will help unlock. One thing that is missing from the Hero 7 Black is the ability to shoot HyperSmooth videos with HDR, so that’d be a very welcome combination.
According to the latest leaks, the Hero 8 Black will also boost its image quality with a new lens. And as we predicted it looks like it’ll get a framerate boost, with the ability to shoot 4K at 120fps and full HD at 480fps.
Other common GoPro feature requests include improved stabilisation in low light and support for external microphones over Bluetooth (rather than via the 3.5mm adaptor accessory). That new case accessory suggests the latter is a possibility, though it doesn’t look like a 960fps slo-mo mode is coming in this generation.
GoPro Hero 8 Black early verdict
If the leaks so far are to believed, the Hero 8 Black has a good chance of regaining the number one action spot from the DJI Osmo Action, despite its relatively minor upgrades.
It’s unlikely to be a radical reinvention of the action cam, with new physical features likely to be added in the form of that optional mount, but if the GP2 processor can bring video quality improvements like combining HyperSmooth stabilisation with HDR video, then it could well be worth upgrading from an older GoPro.
There isn’t a huge amount to choose between the GoPro Hero 7 Black and DJI Osmo Action, so these tweaks could be enough to give it the edge. They should also help the Hero 8 Black offer video shooting advantages over your smartphone and less rugged alternatives like the DJI Osmo Pocket.
One final important factor, though, could be price – the DJI Osmo Action’s RRP was £50 lower than the Hero 7 Black, so hopefully that’ll convince GoPro to launch its new flagship at a similar price.
We’ll bring you all the official news as soon as we get it.
Related: GoPro Hero 7 Black review