GoPro has become a name synonymous with action cameras and, historically, each year the company has launched a new range of its superb snappers in September. The GoPro Hero 6 Black arrived late September 2017, while the GoPro Hero 7 Black (along with its cheaper siblings, the Hero 7 Silver and the Hero 7 White) came along exactly a year later in 2018.
So it should probably come as no surprise that rumors and leaks of the next generation of GoPros have begun to emerge from the woodwork.
Today, photography news site Photo Rumors has unearthed images of what appears to be a GoPro Hero 8 snapper. While the leaked images aren’t particularly sharp, a grey figure 8 on the side of one does strongly hint that this is the next generation of GoPro camera. The pictures also indicate that GoPro has redesigned the Hero8 in order to accomodate new optional accessories, including a microphone, an external display and an LED light.
We have previously heard hints of a redesign. Back in May, GoPro CEO Nick Woodman revealed that the company was looking to refresh the entire range across all the price points. That could also imply we’ll see not just a radically revised GoPro Hero 8 Black, but possibly a Hero 8 Silver and Hero 8 White as well.
Expect even more buttery-smooth video
The upcoming GoPro Hero 8 range will retain its predecessors' 4K video shooting capabilities, but rumors suggest it will double the ante, with the Hero 8 Black potentially capable of recording at up 120fps at 4K (as opposed to the 60fps on the Hero 7 Black), while Full HD 1080p videos could be shot at up to 480fps.
It's also anticipated that the eighth gen action camera will house the brand new GP2 processor under the hood. If that’s the case, we should see a marked improvement in performance over the (admittedly already excellent) GoPro Hero 7 Black. The new processor could potentially improve the camera’s low-light performance and make the superb HyperSmooth image stabilization feature even more silky.
A 360-degree view
While discussing the company's Q1 2019 earnings results in May, Woodward also mentioned that it's expecting to announce a next-generation spherical camera in the fourth quarter of 2019. If that’s true, that's likely to be a successor to the GoPro Fusion that was released in mid-2018.
We haven’t had any word on what the Fusion 2 will be like, but the original is capable of shooting 5.2K resolution videos at up to 30fps. However, the current camera’s ‘over-capture’ feature – which converts 360-degree footage into regular widescreen videos – is quite time-consuming, meaning it's a product perhaps best suited to professionals. Hopefully, GoPro will make a follow-up more user-friendly to give it mainstream appeal.
All this is still speculation, of course, but if GoPro sticks to its usual routine, we’ll likely have an official announcement for the eighth-generation action cameras (and perhaps even the Fusion 2) sometime next month.