The GoPro Hero 11 Black may have taken its flagship status, but the Hero 10 Black arguably offers better value for most people. If you don't need the vertical video and 10-bit recording offered by the Hero 11 Black, this offers most of the same features for less money. A more user-friendly and refined version of its predecessor, it offers snappier menus, new slow-mo frame rates and small image quality improvements over the Hero 9 Black, making it a really enjoyable waterproof companion for adventures and b-roll footage. Its rivals now offer larger sensors and lower price tags, though.
Snappier menus and interface
Powerful GP2 processor
New 4K/120p mode is fun
Same small sensor
Still not a low-light king
Budget rivals offer better value
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The GoPro Hero 10 Black is now the middle child in GoPro's action cam family, following the launch of the Hero 11 Black. While this means it's missing a few features compared to GoPro's flagship – most notably an 8:7 sensor that's ideal for shooting vertical, TikTok-friendly videos – it's arguably now the sweet spot for value. The GoPro Hero 9 Black is cheaper still, but this model's GP2 processor means it offers a more polished overall experience.
Despite its momentous name, the Hero 10 Black wasn't one of those GoPros that represented a big leap forward for the series. For example, we saw bigger step changes when the GoPro Hero 5 Black arrived with case-free waterproofing, or when the GoPro Hero 7 Black introduced HyperSmooth stabilization.
Instead, the Hero 10 Black refines (and fixes) most of the new features we saw on the Hero 9 Black, while adding a sprinkling of new shooting modes and better usability. This makes it the best action camera you can buy right now, as well as one of the best video cameras you can buy.
The Hero 10 Black is built around the same 23MP 1/2.3-inch sensor as its predecessor and is waterproof down to 10 meters. But it's that new GP2 processor that unlocks most its new talents. Chief among these are some new shooting modes, including new 5K/60p, 4K/120p and 2.7K/240p options.
As we discovered during our GoPro Hero 10 Black review, the latter two are fun, slow-mo affairs that are perfect for social media cut-scenes or b-cam footage, particularly as GoPro's revamped Quik app will happily do some of the editing for you.
Other improvements include a much more responsive touchscreen interface (the Hero 9 Black fell down here), a handy new wired data transfer mode for phones, and some under-the-hood image quality boosts, including local tone mapping and improved low-light noise reduction. There are certainly some small improvements to video quality as a result, but the Hero 10 Black can still only do so much with its relatively small image sensor.
Max video resolution: 5.3K/60p (100Mb/s bit-rate)
Slo-mo video: 4K/120p, 2.7K/240p
Photo resolution: 23MP
Screen sizes: 2.27in (rear), 1.4in (front)
Stabilization: HyperSmooth 4.0
Battery: Removable 1720mAh lithium-ion
Battery charge time: 3 hours
Waterproofing: 10m (33ft)
Memory card slot: microSD
More significant for most people will be the fact that, despite the arrival of HyperSmooth 5.0 on the Hero 11 Black, this model's HyperSmooth 4.0 remains some of the best action camera video stabilization tech around. Watersports fan will also enjoy the effective new hydrophobic coating on its toughened-up lens cover.
It's a shame the Hero 10 Black didn't move up to a larger sensor like the Insta360 One R 1-Inch edition, while GoPro's recent moves into webcam and livestreaming continue to come with limitations on resolutions (still only 1080p) and platform support (although it is now possible to livestream with HyperSmooth stabilization).
Despite its relatively conservative upgrades, though, the GoPro Hero 10 Black does nicely refine the image-quality strides made by the Hero 9 Black, and alongside GoPro's new flagship it's the most user-friendly, powerful action camera you can buy. Its feature set also makes it one of the best YouTube cameras available right now, and for adventurers, it's also one of the best travel cameras you can buy.
GoPro Hero 10 Black price and release date
The GoPro Hero 10 Black has now dropped slightly in price since the arrival of the Hero 11 Black. You can now buy it for $349 / £349 / AU$549 with a GoPro Subscription, which you can cancel at any time, or for $450 / £449 / 699 on its own. That means it's $50 / £30 / AU$50 cheaper than its original launch price in September 2021.
The GoPro Subscription, formerly known as GoPro Plus, costs $49.99 / £49.99 / AU$69.99 per year when bought separately. If you buy the Hero 10 Black with a Subscription, you will be set up to auto-renew annually. But you can avoid this by cancelling the subscription at any time during the first year.
Given that you're not obligated to renew the subscription, it's likely the best way for most people to buy the Hero 10 Black. Included in the GoPro Subscription is unlimited cloud storage for videos and photos at full quality, automatic uploads, full access to the Quik app's editing tools, 50% off all accessories (up to 10 per year), live-streaming support, and replacements for broken cameras (for a fee, depending on the camera).
The Hero 10 Black is now the middle model in GoPro's official range of three Hero action cameras. The Hero 9 Black ($299 / £299 / AU$499, with a Subscription) sits below, while the Hero 11 Black ($399 / £399 / AU$649.95) is the range's flagship.
GoPro Hero 10 Black: Design
- New hardier lens cover with water-repellant coating
- Rear touchscreen and menus are far more responsive
- Otherwise physically identical to the Hero 9 Black
Since this model launched, GoPro has also introduced the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini. This compact action cam has the same sensor and processor as the standard Hero 11, but its size makes its more suitable for mounting on helmets. Compared to the Hero 10 Black and Hero 11 Black, the Mini is about 21g heavier and 20mm wider. This is something to bear in mind if a small action cam is your priority, though the downside is that you lose the front and rear screens.
The GoPro Hero 10 Black is, physically, nigh-on identical to its predecessor and its Hero 11 Black successor. The only external difference from the Hero 9 Black is the new model's fancy blue logos on the front and side.
GoPro made a couple of subtle tweaks, though, and the big one for watersports fans is the new lens cover. This now has a water-repelling hydrophobic coating, and it really works – we ran the Hero 10 Black and its predecessor under a tap, and the new lens cover was significantly better at repelling water, leaving no droplets to obscure your view.
This lens cover also apparently has greater scratch resistance, which was trickier to try out on our loan sample – although an unplanned test when our head-mounted GoPro flew off after a heavy zip-line landing and came to rest in some jagged wood chips resulted in no obvious marks on the lens.
Like the Hero 9 Black, this lens cover is also removable and replaceable if it does suffer serious damage, like a direct hit from an Airsoft pellet, or if you want to add ND (neutral density) filters.
The Hero 10 Black is actually 5g lighter than its predecessor, although we can't tell exactly where GoPro has made this weight saving, and it brings no practical advantages anyway. Like before, the camera has folding 'fingers' in its base for mounting it directly onto accessories. These first appeared on the Hero 8 Black, and mean you don't need to fiddle around with an extra housing to bolt the camera onto your helmet.
If you're not familiar with the Hero 9 Black, here's a quick refresh of the other design features the Hero 10 Black has inherited. There's a 1.4-inch front LCD for vloggers, which GoPro says is now a little smoother when showing movement than before, thanks to higher frame rates enabled by its GP2 processor (more on that later). although this screen is so small that we honestly couldn't tell the difference from its predecessor.
Far more noticeable is the improved 2.27-inch rear touchscreen. Again, GoPro says this has "improved touch sensitivity", but the real difference comes from the power of the GP2 processor. The Hero 9 Black's sluggish, unresponsive rear screen was one of our biggest criticisms of that model, and while it did improve with a recent firmware fix, it's still nowhere near as snappy as the Hero 10's touchscreen.
Let's be clear – this is how the Hero 9 Black should have performed from the outset, so it's hardly a win for its successor. But the faster startup times (it's typically ready to go in under five seconds, compared to eight seconds for the Hero 9 Black) and smartphone-like snappiness do make it far more enjoyable to use than last year's often frustrating experience.
Open the Hero 10 Black's side door and you'll find the same 1,720mAh battery as the one used by its predecessor. Like the 1.4-inch front LCD, this was another change that was introduced on the Hero 9 Black, so it's something to be wary of if you're upgrading from an older GoPro – your older 1,220mAh batteries won't work here.
Flanking the battery cover are a microSD card slot and USB-C port. The latter is used for charging, but it can also be used to directly transfer footage to your Hero 10 Black via wired transfer (this is about 50% faster than wireless transfers). It's a simple enough process with Android phones, which just need a USB-C to USB-C cable, but iPhone users will need the Apple Lightning-to-USB camera adapter, plus a standard USB-A to USB-C cable.
Overall, then, the Hero 10 Black is a hardy pocket camera that's waterproof down to 10 meters, and which feels a little more polished than its predecessor.
GoPro Hero 10 Black: Features
- Same 23.6MP, 1/2.3-inch sensor as the Hero 9 Black
- GP2 processor unlocks significant boosts to shooting modes
- Now possible to livestream with HyperSmooth stabilization
Back in 2020, the GoPro Hero 9 Black introduced a new image sensor. It was the same-sized sensor as those in previous GoPros (1/2.3-inch), but had a higher resolution that enabled that camera to be the first GoPro to shoot 5K video. The Hero 10 Black has this same image sensor, but pairs it with a new GP2 processor that unlocks some handy new talents.
The GP2 chip (now also in the Hero 11 Black) was the first big processing upgrade we'd seen in GoPros for four years, and was long overdue. The GP1 struggled to cope with the increased demands placed on it by the Hero 9 Black's dual screens and higher-resolution sensor, and its successor is behind pretty much all of the improvements you'll find in the Hero 10.
What are these improvements? Alongside the aforementioned boosts to start-up times and touchscreen performance, there are also some useful new frame-rate modes that make it a more versatile action camera. You can see a summary of the new modes in the table below, but the particularly fun ones are the slow-motion options – including a long-awaited 4K/120p mode.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||GoPro Hero 10 Black||GoPro Hero 9 Black|
|Video (up to)||5.3K/60p||5K/30p|
|Video (up to)||4K/120p||4K/60p|
|Video (up to)||2.7K/240p||2.7K/120p|
|Photos (up to)||23MP||20MP|
|Stabilization||HyperSmooth 4.0||HyperSmooth 3.0|
|Frame grabs||19.6MP from 5K 4:3 video||12MP fro 4K 4:3 video|
The headline video improvements are those high frame-rate modes, but there are also some more enhancements. GoPro has been doing some algorithmic tinkering, and its GP2 chip brings local tone-mapping – an HDR processing technique for improving dynamic range – from its photo mode to video as well.
In theory, this enhances contrast in specific areas of the video (rather than globally, across the whole frame) to bring out more detailed textures. In a similar vein, GoPro says it's improved its '3D noise reduction' to boost the Hero 10 Black's low-light performance in dimly-lit scenes (think woodlands, dusk or your home).
Do these work? In a side-by-side comparison with the Hero 9 Black using the same settings, we did see a noticeable improvement in the definition of fine details (trees and grass, for example) on the Hero 10 Black. Look closely, and footage from its predecessor looked a little smudgy by comparison. This may only be noticeable to pixel-peepers though, and the noise reduction improvements were less obvious. It's a subtle rather than a dramatic difference.
Probably more useful to most people are the final GP2-related improvements: better in-camera horizon leveling and HyperSmooth 4.0. The option of automatic horizon leveling, which keeps your footage level even if you're rocking from from side to side, used to only be available in GoPro's app. The Hero 9 Black introduced an in-camera version, but the Hero 10 Black's horizon-leveling skills are much more powerful, with the ability to correct footage that's been skewed by 45 degrees, rather than just 27 degrees.
This is a handy feature for mountain bikers or skiers who want smooth footage that won't give viewers motion sickness. Another bonus on this front is HyperSmooth 4.0, which brings the stabilization's powerful 'High' mode to the Hero 10 Black's most demanding modes (5.3K/30p, 4K/60p and 2.7K/120p). Rivals like the Insta360 One R 1-Inch edition might have trumped GoPro with their larger 1-inch sensors, but in our experience HyperSmooth (now boosted to HyperSmooth 5.0 on the Hero 11 Black) remains the best form of stabilization on any action cam.
Finally, if you've been thinking of using a GoPro as your livestreaming camera, the Hero 10 Black brings one other upgrade here – you can now stream with HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilization.
Unfortunately, there are still all sorts of restrictions on live-streaming with a GoPro, depending on your preferred platform – for example, Twitch is iOS-only, while YouTube requires you to have a channel with 1,000 subscribers, and you can also only create a private livestreaming link to send to friends if you're a GoPro subscriber. But the addition of HyperSmooth certainly makes it a much more useful tool for those who want to create action-packed streams with lots of movement.
Naturally, the GoPro Hero 10 Black also inherits all of the special shooting modes we saw on the Hero 9 Black. These include TimeWarp 3.0 (one of our favorite modes, which creates a stabilized timelapse film) and 'Power Tools', which were first teased in GoPro Labs. This group of features, which still feel a little 'beta', bring some specific modes that are collectively very useful.
One of our favorites, 'Hindsight', constantly buffers video so that when you press the shutter button you can record the previous 15 or 30 seconds of video; no longer will your dog's impromptu japes go unrecorded. Another 'Power Tool' includes 'scheduled capture', which enables you, for example, to leave your GoPro set up to capture the sunrise; it's not exactly earth-shattering, but it all boosts the Hero 10 Black's versatility. We'd note, though, that many of these features are also available on the older Hero 8 Black once you've loaded the GoPro Labs firmware onto the camera.
GoPro Hero 10 Black: Performance
- Unchanged battery life means it's worth carrying spares
- Built-in microphones are the same as on the Hero 9 Black
- New slo-mo modes are a bonus for cut scenes
While the Hero 10 Black's GP2 processor does make it a more polished, fun camera to use than its predecessor, some aspects of its performance are still typical GoPro.
One of these, unfortunately, is battery life and overheating. The 10 Black has the same battery as the Hero 9 Black, which at 1,720mAh is larger than the batteries in all previous GoPros. But much of that capacity is drained by the Hero 10 Black's more demanding dual screens and high frame-rate modes.
In our battery test, with the camera shooting a continuous 4K/30p clip with HyperSmooth on and the screen brightness at 50%, we managed to get 72 minutes of recording from the Hero 10, which included two breaks for overheating, when the camera shut down under the strain.
This is actually a little less than we got from the Hero 9 Black, and similar to the result for the Hero 8 Black, so it's clear that the old GoPro adage is true: make sure you carry a spare battery or two with you.
In a real-world test, during a visit to an adventure park, our fully-charged Hero 10 Black gave us three and a half hours before conking out. That was a taxing afternoon for the camera, with lots of menu swiping and changing of frame-rates, but this is also a typical day out for a GoPro. Because it was exposed to moving air, we also didn't experience any overheating problems.
Another traditional GoPro weakness, audio, also hasn't improved from the Hero 9 Black. The microphones do produce acceptable sound quality in quieter environments, while voice isolation and the handling of wind noise are certainly superior to older GoPros. But if you want to guarantee audio that matches your video quality, then we'd recommend getting the Media Mod accessory, and either plugging in a lavalier mic, or getting a wireless option like the Rode Wireless Go II.
On the plus side, though, the Hero 10 Black's new slow-mo modes (4K/120p and 2.7K/240p) are a lot of fun, and a great way to bring a change of pace to your social media videos.
As always, there is a noticeable quality drop when shooting in these modes, particularly if you find yourself in anything other than bright sunlight, but the versatility these modes give you, particularly when combined with horizon-leveling and HyperSmooth stabilization, makes them one of the main reasons to upgrade from an older GoPro.
GoPro Hero 10 Black: Video and image quality
GoPro made some changes to the default video settings on the Hero 10 Black. The action cam maker has seemingly outgrown the signature saturated look it's leaned towards previously, instead going for a more natural style out of the box.
There are actually now three color settings to choose from. Previously you either had the option of a 'GoPro' color profile (which produced punchy, bold colors) and a 'flat' one that you could grade afterwards. But now there's an additional 'Natural' profile, which is the new default, and we're pretty big fans of it.
GoPro has also dialed down the 'sharpness' to medium by default (another good move), but we tended to shoot with it on 'low', and with the bit-rate set to 'high' (or 100Mbps) for maximum image quality. When compared to footage shot on the Hero 9 Black with the same settings, the results were similar, but with subtle improvements that are likely down to that new local tone mapping.
Still, the Hero 9 Black had already made the big advances in areas like detail over older GoPros with that new sensor, and you're unlikely to notice a huge difference here unless you're really pixel-peeping. The 5K/60p mode is a nice-to-have, if not ideally suited to action scenes due to the more limited stabilization that's available, but it's the new slow-mo modes that are the most fun.
There's undoubtedly still a softness to the video in the Hero 10's slower frame rates of 120p and 240p (particularly the latter), but the option of shooting 4K/120p and 2.7K/240p lifts them from novelty status to something genuinely usable. GoPro's HyperSmooth also remains the best you'll find on an action cam, while the boosts to horizon leveling are another welcome bonus.
On the other hand, not many people buy a GoPro to shoot stills – and while the Hero 10 is a passable, waterproof stand-in for your smartphone, it has been left a little behind on this front by rivals.
In good light, the results are pretty crisp and colorful, while SuperPhoto can help you regain some highlight details from areas like sky. But the 3MP resolution boost from the Hero 9 Black won't be noticeable to most, and in tough scenes – including low light ones – it simply can't compete with the computational pipelines of Apple, Google and Samsung.
You do get the option to shoot in raw, but this is only available in the 'wide' fisheye view and shadow recovery is limited with a 1/2.3-inch sensor.
Perhaps the more sensible approach to GoPro snapping is to simply accept the sub-smartphone quality, and embrace the convenience of 'frame grabs', which now let you grab slightly improved 15.8MP stills from 5.3K video (or 19.6MP from 5K 4:3 footage). The kind of shots you get from doing this are unlikely to be found in your phone's camera roll, and the GoPro's ability to venture into dangerous territory remains one of the main reasons to buy one.
Should I buy the GoPro Hero 10 Black?
Buy it if...
You want a polished, super-versatile action cam
The Hero 10 Black isn't one of those seismic leaps that GoPros occasionally makes, but it is a sensible step up from the Hero 9 Black and much the same as the Hero 11 Black. Its touchscreen and overall usability are significantly improved, while the new video frame rates make it an ideal social media workhorse.
You enjoy shooting slo-mo videos
While there have been small improvements to the Hero 10 Black's video quality compared to the Hero 9 Black, the more fun upgrades are its new slow-mo frame rates. The 4K/120p mode, in particular, is ideal for shooting cut-scenes or family frolics. This is a key advantage for this model and the Hero 11 Black over the rest of the GoPro family.
You need a tough, waterproof vlogging camera
If you like to shoot a lot of videos to camera, and also enjoy traveling to places with inclement weather or a high chance of mud, the Hero 10 Black could be your ideal vlogging companion. Its front screen is useful for framing shots, while the Media Mod is on hand to serve up access to a higher-quality microphone.
Don't buy it if...
You want truly cinematic video
While it is possible to squeeze some excellent video from the Hero 10 Black with the right settings (the 'High' bit-rate mode, low sharpening, and the 'Natural' color profile), footage still tends to have that wide-angle look, without any pleasing bokeh. If you want a more cinematic look, give the Hero 11 Black's 10-bit video mode a try – or get a compact APS-C or full-frame camera.
You're looking for an action cam bargain
The Hero 10 Black is many things, but cheap isn't one of them. That's understandable, as it's one of the most feature-packed, user-friendly action cams out there. But if you're just looking for an affordable workhorse that can still shoot decent 4K video, then there are some better-value options in our best cheap action camera guide.
You already have the GoPro Hero 9 Black
For those with older GoPros – the Hero 6 Black or earlier – the Hero 10 Black would be a huge upgrade. But the situation is more complex for owners of its predecessor –while we've really enjoyed the Hero 10's enhanced usability and slow-mo modes, it's otherwise largely the same action cam as the Hero 9 Black.
If our GoPro Hero 10 Black review has you considering other options, here are three more action cams to consider...
GoPro Hero 8 Black
If you can't quite stretch to the Hero 10 Black, the now entry-level Hero 8 is still a fine buy if you can find stock. You don't get the front color display or new GP2 chip seen on the latest model, but its video and image quality is certainly on a par.
Check out our GoPro Hero 8 Black review
Insta360 One R 1-inch Edition
It's expensive, but for outright image quality the One R 1-inch Edition has the edge on the Hero 10 Black. Our tests found its low-light footage to be brighter, cleaner and more detailed than its GoPro rival, though it lacks the point-and-shoot simplicity of the Hero series.
Check out our Insta360 One R 1-inch Edition review
DJI Action 2
The Action 2's modular design is a mixed blessing – it lets you build the style of action camera you need (for example, with a screen or not) and delivers a very intuitive magnetic mounting system. But the Action 2 also overheats quickly, so is only for those who are looking to shoot short, five-minute clips.
Check out our DJI Action 2 review
First reviewed: September 2021