The GoPro Hero 9 Black has officially landed, and it comes bearing gifts that include a new 23.6MP sensor and a front screen for extreme vloggers. (Looking for the full verdict on GoPro's new flagship action camera? Read our in-depth GoPro Hero 9 Black review).
Neither of those features is a huge surprise given the leaks we've seen in the run-up to the launch, but they do confirm that the Hero 9 Black is perhaps the biggest redesign of GoPro's flagship action camera since the Hero 5 Black.
That new sensor means the Hero 9 Black is capable of shooting 5K/30p video, a first for a GoPro, and taking 20MP photos. The new 1.4-inch color display on the front is a direct response to the DJI Osmo Action, which was the first action camera to arrive with that vlogging-friendly feature when it landed in May 2019.
While it looks very much like a GoPro, the Hero 9 Black also brings a completely new body that's around 10% bigger than the GoPro Hero 8 Black. The main reason for this is so it can house a new 1,720mAh battery, which GoPro says will boost the Hero 9 Black's stamina by about 30% compared to its predecessor.
Another improvement is the return of a removable lens cover, which the Hero 8 Black lacked. This is handy when it comes to replacing broken lenses, but it also supports a new accessory that GoPro calls the Max Lens Mod.
When it arrives in October, this new Mod will apparently provide a super-wide 155-degree field of view and support Max Hypersmooth video stabilization, which we first saw on the GoPro Max.
- Read our in-depth GoPro Hero 9 Black review
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So what other extreme treats does the GoPro Hero 9 Black bring? The rest are all mainly software-based, with new HyperSmooth 3.0 image stabilization now bringing the tech's most powerful Boost mode to all frame rates and resolutions.
There's also in-camera horizon leveling – a feature that corrects crooked horizons in your videos, and which has previously only been available in the GoPro app – and a TimeWarp 3.0 hyperlapse mode.
The Hero 9 Black also builds on GoPro's recent moves into new territory, with a 1080p webcam mode and some new 'Power Tools' that we first saw in its new GoPro Labs platform. These include handy additions like scheduled capture (which lets you set a time and date for it to start filming) and HindSight, a feature that lets you grab video from the 15 or 30 seconds before you hit the shutter.
The big question, then, is what all these new features mean for the Hero 9 Black's price. The GoPro Hero 9 Black is available to buy now for $449.99 / £429.99 / AU$699.95, which represents an 11% price increase on the Hero 8 Black's launch price.
However, you can get a sizable discount on the Hero 9 Black if you get it with a one-year GoPro subscription. Take this route, and the GoPro Hero 9 Black is available to buy for $349.99 / £329.99 / $559.95, including the subscription.
Formerly known as GoPro Plus, the latter brings advantages like unlimited cloud storage and camera replacements (up to two per year). While GoPro is clearly hoping you'll carry on paying the $49.99 / £49.99 / $69.99 annual subscription beyond the first year, it is possible to cancel the auto-renewing service. Does this make it good value? Check out our full GoPro Hero 9 Black review to find out.
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