GoPro Hero 8 Black: Leaks, release date and all the latest rumours about GoPro’s next flagship action camera
GoPro’s relatively easy life as king of the action cam hill came to an end when DJI’s Osmo Action parachuted into our lives in Spring 2019.
But now it seems GoPro is ready to fight back with a Hero 8 Black. The new action camera was already on the cards for a September 2019 release, and now an apparent leak has revealed some more specific details.
So how will the Hero 8 Black tackle the DJI Osmo Action’s skills like a front-facing screen and versatile manual shooting? Here are all the latest rumours.
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.
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GoPro Hero 8 Black price and release date: when will it be announced and how much will it cost?
GoPro usually launches a new flagship action cam in September and the latest apparent leak, picked up from China by Photo Rumors, is that this will indeed be the case.
While there are no rumours about its sibling cameras yet, it would be a surprise if GoPro didn’t also introduce new Hero 8 Silver and Hero 8 White models at the same time.
After all, CEO Nick Woodman said in GoPro’s Q1 earnings call in May 2019: “I’m happy to share that we’re planning an exciting refreshed lineup at all price points in Q4”.
What those price points will be remains to be seen, but it’ll be interesting to see GoPro responds to DJI’s fairly aggressive pricing of the Osmo Action. That camera’s RRP is £329, which is £50 cheaper than the original asking price for the Hero 7 Black.
You can get now get that camera for £319, of course, so perhaps the Hero 8 Black will debut for closer to that price as part of its counter-attack on the Osmo Action.
GoPro Hero 8 Black design and features: what will it look like and what new skills will it have?
Those recent leaks from China, discovered by Photo Rumors, have filled in a few more details about the GoPro Hero 8 Black’s design and features list.
As expected, there aren’t huge changes to the Hero 7 Black’s basic design, but what we’ll likely get instead is a new housing that’ll add as few new accessories. These will include slots for an impressively neat-looking microphone, an LED light, and an external 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.
While you can already attach external microphones like the Rode VideoMicro to GoPros, this isn’t always the most compact combination – so GoPro’s case accessory could be a more portable solution for improving the audio quality of your extreme videos.
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 certainly has a big chance of regaining the number one action spot from the DJI Osmo Action.
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 Hero 7 Black and 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