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This annual GoPro Hero 9 Black highlights reel is ludicrously exciting for 2020

GoPro Hero 9 Black
(Image credit: GoPro)

The GoPro Hero 9 Black may have arrived in the middle of a global pandemic, but that hasn't stopped GoPro fans from shooting some incredible videos with the action camera – as the company's new crowd-sourced 'Million Dollar Challenge' video emphatically shows.

The annual GoPro competition sees the company request short clips shot on its latest action camera, this time the Hero 9 Black, from its worldwide fan base – the winning videos are then cut together into a two-minute explosion of action sports and adventure, with their creators netting a cut of the $1 million prize pot.

Despite the limitations of an 80-day window to capture their shots (the Hero 9 Black only arrived in September) and the restrictions of a global pandemic, GoPro owners have done another spectacular job – and have clearly been leading more exciting lives than us this year.

There are two possible responses to the Million Dollar Challenge video – undiluted envy of the filmmakers who seem to have unlimited skydiving, skiing and windsurfing opportunities on their doorsteps, or a renewed vigor to start planning more adventures in 2021. Once we've got over the former, we'll let you know.

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What's slightly odd about the 2020 edition of GoPro's Million Dollar Challenge video is it feels like it's from another time – despite the lack of festival crowd shots, the action isn't dissimilar to non-pandemic years.

But while travel has been badly hit for most of us, the sports that are spectacularly filmed in the highlights reel (including mountain biking, ice climbing and diving) are all perfect, socially-distanced release valves from the restrictions many of us have had to live with for many months.

In this way, the video is an uplifting reminder of the hobbies and activities that are still possible – and it's had an uplifting effect on the winners' bank balances, too. Each of the 56 filmmakers who had a clip used in the video received a handy $17,857. Not bad considering there were 29,000 submissions from 125 countries.

This is the Million Dollar Challenge's third year, so expect to see another one open for entry when the GoPro Hero 10 Black presumably arrives in late 2021. Hopefully by then we'll all have a wider choice of places to take our new action camera.

Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is the Cameras Editor for TechRadar at Future. He writes and oversees reviews of the latest camera gear on TechRadar and looks after all the photography tutorials. Mark was previously Digital Editor (Cameras) at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine.