When I reviewed the GoPro Hero 10 Black in September, I couldn’t help but heap praise on it. Though it’s clearly an evolutionary update to the Hero 9, the Hero 10 goes far enough to offer very real advantages over its predecessor. Between its 5.3K 60 frames per second, upgraded image stabilization, and impressive cloud storage integration, it’s certainly the most powerful action camera available right now.
However, GoPro hasn’t rested on its laurels over the past several months. Over that time, they’ve offered major firmware upgrades and even a post-launch hardware upgrade. With the Hero 10 so dramatically changed since its original launch, it’s worth taking a look at to see what else you can expect from the camera here at the tail end of 2021.
The GoPro Hero 10 features a 4:3 format sensor, but most video these days is displayed in a 16:9 aspect ratio. That typically means either cropping the image or putting up with black bars on the side of the display. GoPro’s Superview mode stretches the edges of the image so that you can take advantage of the entire 4:3 sensor area, but display it on a 16:9 screen at the cost of a fisheye effect.
The new Max Superview capability essentially removes some of the limitations on this mode in regards to resolution and frame rate. You can now shoot up to 5.3K resolution at 60 fps. I went out and filmed my herd of pet goats, and was impressed by how well the footage turned out.
24 frames per second
The ability to shoot at 24 fps is a welcome update to the Hero 10. This allows you to capture the same frame rate used in movies for a more cinematic look. It also provides a very practical advantage for low-light shooting, as the camera can gather more light at slower frame rates. Shooting at 24 fps really helped capture clear, low-noise footage of our new feral rescue kittens in the dim interior of the greenhouse where we’re raising them. I also tested it out by filming the holiday lights display in my front yard.
Another potential use I might have for it is recording time-lapse video when I want extra flexibility over speed and duration in post-processing. Using 24 fps reduces the amount of space the footage takes up for such time-lapse video.
Max Lens Mod support
If you want an even wider field of view than Superview can offer, as well as the capability to shoot Hypersmooth video at an ultrawide angle, then what you want is the Max Lens Mod. As promised, GoPro has added support for this accessory to the Hero 10. It gives you a 155-degree field of view and a horizon lock capability that will keep your horizon straight even if the camera turns 360 degrees around.
In October, GoPro introduced a greater range of options to increase the performance of the Hero 10 in different scenarios. Maximum video performance mode prioritizes frame rate, resolution, and image quality, while tripod video mode is designed for when the camera isn’t moving and thus isn’t being cooled by airflow. Extended battery mode puts limits on frame rate and resolution to allow the camera to eke the most recording time out of your batteries in order to maximize record time.
The Enduro battery works with both the Hero 10 and Hero 9 cameras and offers a significant performance boost in cold temperatures, as well as extended battery life in less extreme weather. This means that on average, in 14-degree Fahrenheit weather, the Enduro battery can deliver 56 minutes of 5.3K 60 fps video recording, 50 minutes of 4K 120 fps recording, 76 minutes of 4K 60 fps recording, and 115 minutes of 1080p 30 fps recording. In moderate temperatures, the Enduro battery delivers up to a 40% improvement over the standard battery, depending on resolution and frame rate.
Andy Zahn / Digital Trends
These updates really cement the Hero 10 Black as the most powerful action camera out there and show that GoPro is remarkably dedicated to listening to user feedback and supporting their products post-launch. I absolutely love this camera, and use it for everything from recording vlog style videos, to adventure footage, to capturing FPV drone footage. Even in our modern world of shockingly powerful smartphone cameras, there’s still a place for rugged and versatile action cameras such as the GoPro Hero 10.
If you already own a Hero 10 Black, now’s a great time to take advantage of its upgraded features if you’re out partaking in winter sports activities.