This GoPro Hero10 Black review takes a closer look at the latest in a long line of action cameras from a brand whose name has become synonymous with the genre. A firm favourite with vloggers and adventurers alike, GoPro has become the go-to option for anyone who doesn't want to think too hard – almost like an iPhone of the action camera world.
Like Apple, GoPro has been consistent with its quality, and it's released products that are excellent at what they do. However, the GoPro Hero 10 Black may trigger a sense of déjà vu on paper. The camera has the same sensor as last year's Hero9 Black. It also captures 23MP photos, and HyperSmooth footage. So what's new?
Well, the Hero10 Black introduces a snappier processor, the GP2. It also updates the software, smartening things up and adds a few new features. Does this make it worth buying the Hero10 Black when the Hero9 Black looks fairly similar on paper? Let's take a look.
GoPro Hero10 Black review: design and screen
It's déjà vu in more ways than one with GoPro's latest flagship action camera. It's virtually identical to the Hero9 Black on the inside too with its soft touch, rubberised-style finish on the front and back and hard metal frame. A familiar design isn't a bad thing, however, especially when you consider the fact GoPro's cameras support an arsenal of accessories. And with near enough identical dimensions to the Hero9 Black, the new GoPro will slide into a lot of mounting and housing you may already have.
On the front of the camera, there is a big, bold wide-angle lens that juts out. The camera's front panel is recessed slightly behind the lens, and is where you'll find the front screen and a bold, blue GoPro insignia. Unlike the Hero8 Black, the lens and core body of the 9 and 10 Blacks are two separate pieces, so you can replace the lens if it gets damaged.
On the back of the camera is a touchscreen that's perfect for previewing the action thanks to its widescreen aspect ratio. While it's the same resolution as the Hero9 Black, unlike its predecessor, the Hero10 Black is very responsive to the touch thanks to the new processor.
Both the front and rear screens go nice and bright, so are easy to see in all but the sunniest environments, but set your brightness before your adventure. GoPro's action camera doesn't offer auto-brightness like your smartphone probably does, and switching up settings at minimum brightness in direct sunlight is not fun. This is something we'd love to see in the future to help save power and awkward brightness adjusting.
On the bottom of GoPro's Hero8, 9, and 10 are flip-out feet, and these make mounting the camera onto traditional action cam mounts much easier, zapping the need for a mounting case. While we were dubious when these flip-out feet first appeared (moving parts on an action camera sounded like a recipe for disaster), we've actually found them to be durable enough to cope with bumps, knocks, and one unfortunate bike crash – they certainly fared better than my knees. They're also easy to swap out, so even if you do end up breaking them, that isn't the end of your GoPro's mounting capabilities.
The are just two buttons on the Hero10 Black: one on one side, which toggles modes and powers on the device, and the record button up on the top. This means that even if you can't access the touch screen, you can still control the core elements of your Hero10.
Finally, on the opposite side to the power button is a removable door, which slides open to reveal a battery slot, an SD card slot, and a USB-C port. This is used for data and charging. If you want to hook up the Hero10 Black to a MediaMod – more on that later – it connects via the USB port after you detach the door. While the camera is waterproof at up to 33ft, that's only the case when the door's connected.
Set against the DJI Action 2, GoPro's Hero10 Black is a much more traditional take on an action camera and doesn't look or feel as premium. It's more like a rubber toy – and it's also a fair bit bigger. That said, it's an all-in-one device whereas the DJI Action 2 requires an accessory to add a selfie screen.
The Action 2 is waterproof to depths of 10m, but not if you attach the selfie screen or battery pack. Additionally, with myriad mounting options and a bigger screen to swipe and preview content, anyone who isn't fussed about shiny design might actually prefer GoPro's more utilitarian build.
GoPro Hero10 Black review: shooting modes and software
If you're thinking that the fancy new GP2 processor's super powers might only go as far as to boosting screen responsiveness, think again. While the Hero10 Black sticks with the 23.6MP sensor introduced on its predecessor, it now supports up to 5.3K resolution video at 60 fps, 4K resolution video at 120 fps and 2.7K resolution at 240 fps.
If you're shooting in 5.3K resolution, a screen grab will be a healthy 15.8MP in resolution at 16:9, and in 4:3 aspect ratio, you can grab 19.6MP stills from a video recording – easily sharp enough to print and frame. Meanwhile, if you're keen to up your Zoom game, the Hero10 Black's webcam streaming and live streaming support will be welcome. Whether you're a conference caller, vlogger or gaming streamer, you can use your GoPro as your main capture device. Supported live streaming platforms include Facebook, GoPro's proprietary streaming tool, Twitch, and YouTube as well as RTMP, which can be plugged into other services.
GoPros are known for capturing stable footage, and the Hero10 is the most stable yet thanks to its incredibly clever HyperSmooth 4.0 software. If you own a Hero 9 Black, you might not see a noticeable difference, but compared to the Hero 8 Black and earlier models, it's a serious upgrade.
The Hero10 Black also introduces better Horizon Levelling than last year's GoPro. This is a feature that zaps camera tilt, so your horizon always looks level, even when you tilt the camera from left to right. This now works at up to 45 degrees versus 27 degrees on last year’s Hero 9 Black. It's a seriously powerful feature, and you can take it even further with a Max Lens Mod, which gives you 180-degree tilt compensation.
More than just a video camera, the Hero10 Black also captures stills in a few modes: automatic, night, SuperPhoto (which brackets multiple shots for a better end result), and RAW capture.
GoPro's app experience has been improved, with support for USB file transfers – a game-changer for anyone who has had to endure wireless transfers crashing their app. Through the app, you can also live stream and fire up a remote viewfinder, which has been hit or miss during our time with the camera. GoPro also includes a mini editing suite, so you can turn your clips into shareable videos complete with music and text – a welcome value add.
GoPro Hero10 Black: Photos and videos
If you're not an all-action adventurer, you might wonder, why would I need a GoPro if my flagship smartphone can take such great shots and videos? But while smartphones' main cameras are usually very good, the super-wide-angle cameras often aren't (exceptions to the rule include the OPPO Find X5 Pro).
Here, GoPros do something that most smartphones don't: match an expansive, super-wide field of view with some smart software and a decent camera system. This means that, provided the light is right, your GoPro's probably going to out-perform the ultra-wide camera on your smartphone when it comes to video, and probably when it comes to photos too.
The Hero10 Black has the same sensor as the Hero 9 Black, but the new processor and tuning dial back grain in shots and footage taken in dark environments. Nighttime and indoor footage looks bad on any action cam, and the GoPro's no exception, but the fact that low light performance has been slightly improved should be applauded.
Clips taken in good light showcase punchy colours that look accurate yet vibrant. The camera can struggle in very high contrast scenes – a backlit window will be a big ask: the foreground will be a silhouette, and there's a good chance it'll be quite a noisy one if the backlighting is severe. That said, most video recorded before sunset outdoors or in well-lit indoor spaces look very good.
You can also get some really striking results with GoPro's TimeWarp 3.0, which is like a traditional timelapse, speeding up time, but also slowing it down to half speed on command, providing for some seriously dynamic playback.
GoPro Hero10 Black: Battery and accessories
The GoPro Hero10's new processor and higher-quality footage all takes a toll on the battery, and on the box, you get the same 1720mAh battery used by the Hero 9 Black. It lasts between one to two hours if you're recording long videos, and you'll get through a day if you're just capturing occasional clips, which is how we tend to shoot – but if you leave it recording, it's lights out. This is especially true when your camera's screen brightness is high, or if you're shooting high frame rate footage.
If you need better battery life, GoPro has launched the Enduro battery since the Hero10 Black was announced. That costs £24.99 and lasts around 20 percent longer than the default cell. It also withstands more challenging temperatures.
You don't have to rely on the GoPro Hero10 Black's battery when on long shoots, provided you don't mind sacrificing the action camera's waterproofing. The battery door unclips, exposing the USB-C port on the side, so it's easy to use a power bank or accessory to charge it. The tidiest option is the GoPro Volta grip, pictured above. This all-in-one tripod, grip, and Bluetooth remote control also triples your GoPro's battery life.
You can also pick up a host of mods that add smart functionality to the camera, from the MediaMod, which adds a higher-quality microphone and useful ports (a microphone jack and micro HDMI port), to the Max Lens Mod, which adds an even wider field of view to the Hero10 Black's photo and video capture.
GoPro Hero10 Black review: should you buy it?
The GoPro Hero10 Black might look like an incremental refresh when set against the Hero9 Black, but in real-world use, it's a game-changer. The sluggish interface of old has been sped up, and with a host of shooting modes, accessories, charging options, and an easy-to-use interface, there can be no doubt that the Hero10 Black is a great action camera.
GoPro hasn't nailed night video, and the app experience could be a bit smoother, but both are better than they were when the GoPro Hero9 Black launched, so things are moving in the right direction. With stiff competition from the DJI Action 2, the GoPro Hero10 Black might not look as sleek, but when it comes to the quality of footage, accessory compatibility and robustness, it's a clear winner and our choice as the best action camera of 2022.