Hello lovelies! Today I want to talk to you about our GoPro vlogging setup, let you know where you get can it, and talk about whether an upgrade from the GoPro Hero 8 to the 9 is worth it. You can also check out our vlog about this exact same topic!
First of all, Brandon and I have been shooting short videos for a while now, but just recently started to turn those into vlogs and then posting them on YouTube. It's something we had planned to do earlier this year, but COVID ruined those plans for us, so we are getting a late start. Anyway... I didn't want to use my Canon 5D Mk IV to vlog, because it's big and heavy and my dedicated photography camera. Brandon didn't want to use his Fujifilm X-T2 for similar reasons. We wanted small, easy to use, decent quality, and inconspicuous.
At first we were making all our videos (usually only shared to Instagram Stories at that point) with our iPhones, and that's a pretty good option for those of us just starting out. Especially with the iPhone 11 or higher. The video capabilities in these phones just keep getting better and better. You can shoot in 4k 60, for those sweet slow motion takes, which are all the rage. But we wanted something dedicated to vlogging, without breaking the bank, that could also shoot 4k, and something rugged enough to endure a drop or two. Enter the GoPro Hero 8 Black.
We purchased the GoPro Hero 8 Black knowing that a GoPro Hero 9 Black would be released later this year, and knowing that the 9 was rumored to have a front facing live view screen. But we needed something then, and we figured if the 9 turned out to be all that great, that we'd just pick it up at a later date, and then we'd both have a dedicated vlogging camera. Win win, sorta.
The Pros & Cons of the GoPro Hero 9 Black
As expected, the 9 had the coveted front facing screen, which after this weekend's vlog, we know we'd love to have. Other than that, I'm not sure it's worth the $150 price jump to go out and buy one just yet.
Yes, it has 5k vs the 8's 4k, but to be honest, most people don't even have the capability of viewing anything 5k. So that's not exactly a pro yet. On the other hand, Shooting in 5k and downgrading to 4k in post gives you better resolution than shooting in 4k and downgrading to 1080 in post. Meh.
It has a higher megapixel count of 23.6 vs the 8's 12, but again this isn't exactly a pro in my book. Yes, it allows GoPro to up the quality to 5K, but as I've already pointed out, 5K is kind of pointless at this time. It does give you the ability to have a higher megapixel photo, but are we really using GoPro for photos? Don't get me wrong, the resolution of your video will be slightly improved, but is it enough to warrant an upgrade?
It's body and battery are bigger. Both pro and con here. As far as the body goes, this means cages you owned for older models won't fit this GoPro. But a bigger battery is a welcome change! It is said to give you about 30% more battery life, which is nice, considering these batteries don't last long at all.
It has hypersmooth 3.0 vs Hypersmooth 2.0. Again, only a slight improvement. Though the 9 does have some bells and whistles such as in-camera horizon levelling which is pretty cool. It also has the detachable lens, which most people missed on the 8.
In the end... it's a personal choice. Are the improvements enough to warrant an upgrade in your gear? Maybe, but it just depends on what price point you are at. If the extra $150 doesn't bother you, and this is your first GoPro, go for the 9. If you already own the 8, you may want to wait.