GoPro Hero 10 Black is here, and it’s everything the Hero 9 should have been

The GoPro Hero 10 Black on a blue background
(Image credit: GoPro)

The GoPro Hero 10 Black has just been announced and it squeezes 5.3K60fps video, 23MP photos and a brand new processor into an easier-to-use action camera than last year’s Hero 9. GoPro is already offering deals, too – if you opt for its cloud service subscription.

Our GoPro Hero 10 Black review dives into what it’s like to capture pixel-dense 5.3K video at 60fps (up from 30fps), 4K video at 120fps (up from 60fps), 2.7K video at a maximum slow-mo speed of 240fps (up from 120fps). The result? Cleaner footage at smoother frame rates.

Packing 15.8 million pixels into a video frame, the Hero 10 Black allows you to walk away with larger useable screengrabs if you can’t decide between taking video and stills: up to 15.8MP grabs when recording in the 16:9 aspect ratio, or 19.5MP if you’re a monster and record in a 4:3 aspect ratio. Dedicated photos are 23MP with this action camera, up from last year’s 20MP.

The GoPro Hero 10 Black look hasn’t changed year-over-year aside from blue accents on the GoPro name on the front and ‘10 Black’ insignia on the right side.

It has does have a new lens cover with hydrophobic-watershedding glass that GoPro says reduces ghosting and is more scratch-resistant (a much-needed upgrade, but too late for this editor’s original Hero 9 Black lens cover, which endured a tiny scratch immediately when his GoPro, mounted to an RC card tumbled off a small ridge).

The rear screen of the GoPro Hero 10 Black

(Image credit: GoPro)

GP2 gets its gee-wow moment

Behind the scenes, the Hero 9 Black is using a brand new processor: the GP2, finally replacing the G1 System-on-a-Chip that debuted in the GoPro Hero 6 way back in 2017. This is what allows the camera to double last year’s frame rates, but there are a lot of other perks.

The GP2 chip uses more complicated algorithms to apply advanced local tone mapping and 3D noise reduction. So even when you’re capturing video in low-light situations, it looks cleaner out of the camera and that calls for less time editing video in post.

GP2 is also the brains behind the Hero 10 Black’s HyperSmooth 4.0, the next generation of GoPro’s in-camera electronic stabilization that keeps everything steady at 5.3K30fps, 4K30fps, and 2.7K120fps. Going along with that, the handy Horizon Leveling feature has seen its tilt limit increase from 27 degrees to 45 degrees when recording off-angle video up to 4K60fps.

Then there are the little things that fix big problems: the front LCD has higher frame rates for more fluid live previews, boot times are quicker and the familiar rear 2.27-inch LCD touchscreen is more responsive (an issue that dogged the Hero 9 Black until just recently).

WiFi speed is 30% faster, but what may be the best small GP2 quality of life bonus: there’s a new wired offload option that allows you to transfer media directly to your phone at 50% faster speeds than wireless. No need to pop out the tiny SD card and risk losing it to get the fastest transfer rates.

GoPro Hero 10 Black

(Image credit: Future)

Analysis: Should you buy the Hero 10 Black with a subscription?

GoPro really wants you to join its subscription service, and that makes the actual Hero Black 10 price a bit complicated – bear with us. Luckily, that can be a good thing if you want to take advantage of its perks like unlimited cloud backups at original quality, damage replacement services and 50% off GoPro-made accessories. 

Let’s figure out how much it’ll cost for this year’s action camera in the US and UK. We’ll update the pricing for other regions once we have that information.

In the US, the Hero 10 Black retails for $499, but you shouldn’t pay that much because it goes for a more reasonable $399 if you opt for a subscription, which costs $49.99 a year. That’s a total of $349, and seems like a no-brainer.

In the UK, there’s a similar pricing structure: the Hero 10 Black costs £479.99 at retail, but £379.98 with the subscription. GoPro’s subscription service in the UK costs £49.99, bringing the true total to £429.97. 

Why stop there? Both regions are also incentivizing accessory bundles: it’s $449 / £429.98 with the accessories and subscription, and $549 / £529.99 with the accessories but without the subscription. In the US, existing GoPro subscribers can upgrade to the bundle at $399, a $150 savings.

In Australia it's pretty much the same deal, AU$599.95 for the Hero 10 Black with the included 1 year GoPro subscription, or $749.95 for those that are adamant about not signing up. Seeing as you can cancel the AU$70 per annum subscription at any time, it seems like a no brainer. 

If your head is spinning and in need of HyperSmooth 4.0, you’re not alone. Of course, you can read our GoPro Hero 10 Black review and watch samples video of the camera to see if it’s worth your money and time figuring out the complex pricing structure.

Matt Swider