I am stubborn, and for some reason, the entire concept of a GoPro was lost on me, especially with the stellar video and photos shot on an iPhone. However, when I was in Hawaii for vacation last month, the need for a GoPro came about, and I grabbed one up from Best Buy to see exactly what all the hype was about. My wife had her heart set on a shark cage dive, and the GoPro 6 and 7 are waterproof out of the box. This was a no-brainer.
I experimented the first day, the day before the shark dive, with the GoPro 7 Black at the beach in Waikiki, and I was literally taken back by the ease of use and simply beautiful pictures and video this thing shot. The big new feature of the 7 is its gimbal-like video stabilization, a feature that is simply marvelous. My video came out silky smooth, much like the video I shoot on my awesome DJI Osmo for Mobile 2. It is done with a pretty nifty algorithm, and the results are quite impressive.
The big selling point on GoPro besides its water proof chassis over shooting on your phone, is the ease of use. Voice commands can do everything, from shooting video to shooting photos, time warps, turning the camera on, you name it. I use this feature a lot, as it is easier than mashing down the capture button featured on the top of the camera. Very slick.
The camera comes with a slick housing, the basis of which mounts the camera to virtually anything if you buy add-ons. My single complaint is replacing batteries or memory cards is impossible in the housing, but the housing serves a purpose so it isn’t a deal breaker. I immediately bought a 128GB memory card, two extra batteries, the USB-C smart fast charger, and floater handle that serves as a stationary handle, floating device if dropped in water, and a night club if you need to ward off a gang of GoPro hungry hooligans.
Photos are breath-taking. Its smart HDR-like feature is similar to the iPhone XS Smart HDR, and pro-tune gives you even more options. If you are shooting people, I strongly suggest a linear photo, or your wife could like round in a wide-angle shot. Wide angle, though is stunning for landscape shots, and really the only way to go. The HDR is only available on wide angle as well.
Video gives you a whole host of options as well, including time warp, as well as wide angle and linear shots all the way up to 4K 60fps. The video stabilization makes all the difference in the world here, and is quite something to see. Lovely.
GoPro 7’s interface is easy, as matches the ease of use of the camera in general, simply swipe left or right on the touchscreen to change modes, or down for preferences and up for your media gallery. The battery is good for about thirty minutes in 4K, so buy multiples.
GoPro 7 is the best camera for the money you can get today. Responsive interface, easy to use, and stunning video and photo output. I am now a major GoPro fan. Must buy.