I wanted to find a way to record my travels and catch every time I went surf fishing. That way, I can share it with friends and family and make them part of the whole experience.
After giving it some thought, I realized the best way to do that is with an action camera because manufacturers build them with that purpose in mind.
However, one of the main problems is capturing stable videos, and I’ve tried some action cameras before and was left pretty disappointed. I wanted a camera that will allow me to capture the dynamics of catching the fish. So I started researching what may be the best surf fishing action camera.
This was when I stumbled upon the new line of GoPro cameras. What interested me was the high-quality photo and video capabilities.
What To Look For When Buying Action Cameras
Action cameras are one of the best products for anyone that is into dynamic and high-action sports like surfing, diving, mountain biking, snowboarding, and more. They are tiny and lightweight (we are talking about dimensions like 2.45″ x 1.76″ x 1.29″ at 116 grams for the GoPro HERO7 Black for example).
For their small size, they can offer exceptional video quality.
Action cameras can be a bit more expensive due to the nature of their use so they may not be suitable for casual recording of videos.
Even though action cameras may look small, they can be very different from one another. And there are certain features and specifications that action cameras have to offer. Keeping these in mind will allow you to make a well-educated decision on what you need.
- Battery life. Although you cannot expect to get multiple hours of footage, longer battery life is crucial. If you are diving, for example, you may not be able to change or recharge your battery.
- The picture and video quality. An action camera that supports shooting a 4K video is almost a must nowadays. This doesn’t mean that the quality will be better, though.
- The type of lens sensors. Although the lens is also an important factor when it comes to picture quality, the type of lens sensors is just as if not more important.
- The video format and bit rates are also an important aspect that will affect the quality of the recorded videos and streams.
- Overall durability. Action cameras have to go through a lot of abuse, so their toughness is of utmost importance. The cameras need to be dustproof and waterproof, especially since you will be surf fishing.
- Stabilization technology. The type of stabilization technology used is one of the most important features in action cameras. If you are performing dynamic and quick movements, you want to have a good stabilization in order to have good quality videos.
- Mounting capabilities.
- Microphone quality.
- Field of view.
- Can you operate the camera remotely and is it user-friendly?
Why I Choose GoPro HERO7 Black
With the introduction of their new HERO7 Black, GoPro wants to solidify their position as the leaders on the market for action cameras.
First, it is important to make a particular distinction. The new line of GoPro HERO7 series comes with three different models. They are color-coded, something that GoPro has been known to do with older models too.
The three models are Black, Silver, and White, and these are respectively the high-end, mid-range, and the entry-level models.
However, here I’d like to focus your attention on the Black edition. Most people will be interested in this model as it offers a very good bang for the buck.
With their new high-end model, GoPro wants to double down on the stabilization capabilities to provide as smooth videos as possible. They claimed it to offer a: “gimbal-like stabilization – without the gimbal.“
- Superb video stabilization.
- High-quality photos.
- It can shoot 4K videos at 60 fps.
- Time-lapse videos and Slow-mo videos.
- Ability to live stream.
- It is waterproof up to 33ft without a housing.
- Poor battery life.
- No mic output.
- Some of the features and menus are not user-friendly and self-explanatory.
Features of GoPro HERO7 Black
GoPro definitely did go through some rough times. Every fan of the brand knows that.
But GoPro is fighters; maybe they have taken it from the mentality of their fans – every pro adventurer knows that giving up is not an option.
I am a proud owner of a GoPro Hero 7 Black which I use every time I am on a surf fishing trip. It allows me to record and capture my catch and at the same time, take some stunning photos.
But let’s take a more in-depth look at the new features of the HERO7 Black.
1. HyperSmooth Stabilization
There are no second thoughts on this – the new hyper smooth stabilization feature GoPro is offering is going to leave you impressed.
GoPro did advertise it as being as good as an actual gimbal. And it is available only on the HERO7 Black.
Anyone that is into some dynamic or extreme sports knows that the stabilization is probably the most important thing. Nobody is going to enjoy looking at shaky footage where all the action is blurred and hard to distinguish.
The GoPro HERO7 black uses a GP1 chip and 2 GB SDRAM for processing the video and clearing out any unwanted shakes and vibrations.
Just to have a taste at what you can expect from it feel free to check this video from GoPro:
2. 4K at 60 FPS Video
The HERO7 Black can shoot 4K videos at 60 frames per second (FPS). The higher FPS means that the video will look incredibly smooth.
The quality of the video will leave most of the people very impressed. The resolution of the 4K video is 3840 x 2160 pixels, and the aspect ratio is a 16:9.
Coupled with the excellent stabilization, you can expect to have very clear and smooth high-resolution videos.
After having enough time to test out my HERO7 Black, I can say that I have good news and bad news for anybody interested in buying this action camera.
The battery life is my main complaint. On average, I can get about an hour and a half to two hours of footage.
It may seem okay at first, but for a lot of people will not be enough. If you are right in the middle of the action, you may not want to, or you may not even be able to recharge your battery. This is the department where GoPro needs to up their game.
I was able to find a solution to this that allows me to record with practically unlimited battery life.
Okay, now the good thing. The battery of the GoPro HERO7 Black is removable. Recently we all have seen that the trend is to have non-removable batteries. It happened with most smartphones, and it is happening with some action cameras, too.
Luckily, this is not the case with the HERO7 Black. This means that we can always have one or two extra batteries that we can just swap and continue recording.
4. SuperPhoto Mode
The SuperPhoto mode is another new feature that is available only on the HERO7 Black.
There are two modes you can pick from – High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Auto.
- HDR works by taking three shots very quickly and then uses them to create one image that has its colors optimized.
- The Auto mode offers photos that have better quality than HDR. Depending on each specific photo the camera will automatically apply four different options: Local Tone-Mapping (perfect for removing blurs due to movement), HDR, Multi-Frame Noise Reduction (Ideal for low-light scenes), or no image processing.
The quality of the photos is very good for such a small camera and will remind a lot of people that GoPro cameras can take stunning photos, too.
You can check a direct comparison between having the SuperPhoto mode turned On and Off here.
5. Live Streaming
Live streaming is one of the newest features that can be found only on the HERO7 Black.
Up until recently, it was really hard, if not impossible, actually to stream your adventures and trips online.
GoPro wants to show that they know what is important and allow us to live stream to Facebook Live from directly from the camera.
6. Time Warp
Time Warp is again a new feature that is available only with the HERO7 Black.
From what I can see, maybe not everybody will be using it all the time. But the Time Warp options is a welcomed feature that can be really fun while surf fishing.
You can choose from 5 different options starting from 2x speed and going up to 30x speed.
GoPro HERO7 Black vs. HERO7 Silver and HERO7 White
If the HERO7 Black seems a bit too expensive, you may be interested in getting yourself the Silver or the White models.
The lower price means that you will be making some sacrifices.
- Both come with a non-removable battery. This can be a deal-breaker for some people. A non-removable battery is bad because it limits your ability to shoot longer footage. When the battery dies, you need to recharge it before getting back into the action.
- Both cameras have standard video stabilization.
- Other features like Live streaming, SuperPhoto, Time Warp are only available to the HERO7 Black, too.
- The HERO7 White can shoot videos at maximum 1080p at 60 fps.
- The HERO7 Silver can shoot at maximum 4K at 30 FPS.
- They don’t have a front LCD screen.
- HERO7 offers 8xSlo-Mo videos compared to the 2x on the Silver and White models.
All three cameras share some features:
- Vertical shooting.
- Waterproof up to 10M without the need for housing.
- LCD touchscreen.
How Does GoPro HERO7 Black Compare to Older Models
HERO7 Black vs. HERO6 Black
They do share a lot of the same features like a removable battery, a 12 MP camera, similar weight, 4K/60fps capabilities, and more. There are no extreme changes between the two models.
However, as we have seen, some features can be found only in the HERO7.
One of the things that are making the HERO7 a worthy upgrade over the previous model is the quality of the videos, photos, and great stabilization.
HERO7 Black vs. HERO5 Black
HERO5 can shoot videos at 4K at a maximum of 30 fps. Its stabilization is standard, and it cannot really compare to the hyper smooth stabilization from HERO7.
HERO5 also lacks other features like photo timer, time warp, the super photo processing, live streaming capabilities, and vertical shots.
Most of the things the HERO5 can do, HERO7 can do better, especially when it comes to the video stabilization.
Also, some of the older GoPro models like the GoPro HERO3 and HERO4 didn’t really have a proper image stabilization, which means you need to get yourself a gimbal. This is going to put off a lot of people because it is just one more accessory that we need to carry.
It is usually very hard, or there may be no way to attach your gimbal to say a helmet or something else.
The superb stabilization features of the HERO7 Black are definitely placing it one step ahead from the older models.
Final Thoughts on HERO7 Black
The HERO7 Black has its downsides. Still, it is a solid leap in the right direction. This little action camera is ideal for anyone that wants to capture, record, and even live stream stunning videos and images.
What separates the HERO7 Black from the rest is the incredibly smooth videos that can rival having a gimbal and high-quality photos.
You can find more information and the price of the camera on Amazon by clicking here