GoPro Hero 10 Black Review

Two-minute review

The GoPro Hero 10 Black is the latest action camera from the brand that has become a synonym for the category.  It is the most powerful and most polished version yet, all thanks to the new  GP2 processor. Having said that, it is not a huge upgrade over its Hero 9 Black predecessor.

The latest iteration also comes with new frame rates and resolutions to shoot. You can now shoot 4K/120p and 2.7K/240p  slow-motion which is fun as well as usable 一 more than a novelty feature now.  

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 of its new talents. Some of the new shooting modes include 5.3K/60p, 4K/120p and 2.7K/240p options. 

Other improvements include a much more responsive touchscreen interface, 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. 

More significant for most people will be the fact that HyperSmooth 4.0 remains the best action camera video stabilization tech around, while watersports fans will enjoy the effective new hydrophobic coating on its toughened-up lens cover.

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 it’s the most user-friendly, powerful action camera you can buy in India today. 

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GoPro Hero 10 Black price and release date

The GoPro Hero 10 Black is priced at Rs 54,500 and will be available in India starting October 25. The camera is now available for pre-order on Tatacliq. Soon, the Hero 10 Black will be available on other platforms. 

The GoPro Quik app subscription is available for Rs 499 annually or Rs 99 per month. Currently, in India, the GoPro Hero 9 Black is available for Rs 35,350 and the Hero 8 Black is available for Rs 29,915 on Amazon.

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Design and display

  • New lens cover with water-repellent coating
  • Rear touchscreen and menus are far more responsive
  • Waterproof up to 33 feet

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

The GoPro Hero 10 Black looks similar to the Heo 9 Black 一 but, there’s only one change that you can see. The Hero 10 Black has a logo on the side and front written in blue while the last-gen camera has the same with grey. Apart from this, the Hero 10 Black is physically identical to its predecessor.

If you are a fan of watersports, you will be happy with the new tweaks that GoPro has made to its front lens. The lens cover now comes with a water-repellent 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. 

Further, the lens cover is also better at handling scratches and also reduces ghostings. Like with the last-gen, the lens is removable on the Hero 10 Black, but removing the lens might cost you a bomb in case something hits the lens directly. The device does support Max mod, but you can only use the Max mode after receiving an OTA update which is scheduled for mid-November. 

GoPro Hero 9 Mods and accessories are compatible with the Hero 10 Black

The lens cover held up well during the testing period with no scratches even when we used it for some adventure vlogging and it had to pass through some trees 一 the lens left no obvious marks on the lens.

The Hero 10 Black is actually 5g lighter than its predecessor, but it brings no practical advantages. Like before, the camera has folding ‘fingers’ in its base for mounting it directly onto accessories like a tripod, helmet mount, etc. 

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GoPro Hero 10 Black(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

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GoPro Hero 10 Black(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

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GoPro Hero 10 Black(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

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The GoPro Hero 10 Black action camera sitting on a wooden bench(Image credit: Future)

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The GoPro Hero 10 Black action camera sitting on a wooden bench(Image credit: Future)

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The GoPro Hero 10 Black action camera sitting on a wooden bench(Image credit: Future)

In terms of visuals, you get 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. Thanks to the higher frame rate, the screen now shows smoother visuals and keeping it along with Hero 9 Black will give you a good idea of how much better the front display on the Hero 10 Balck is. 

The improvement is far more noticeable on the 2.27-inch rear touchscreen. 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.

You also get 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 model. At the end of the day, this is by far the best screen GoPro has put on its action camera 一 we did not face any lag or stutter. 

Opening the side door might seem difficult at first, but you’ll get used to it

On the side of the Hero 10 Black, you’ll find the same 1,720mAh battery like the one used by its predecessor. Sliding and opening the flap also brings up the Type-C port and microSD card slot. The Type-C port can be used to charge or transfer media from the camera to other devices. 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, the Hero 10 Black is a hardy pocket camera that’s waterproof down to 10 meters(33 feet), and which feels a little more polished than its predecessor.

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Features

  • Same 23.6MP, 1/2.3-inch sensor as the Hero 9 Black
  • Now possible to livestream with HyperSmooth stabilization
  • 5.3K/60 new cinematic shooting mode

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

The GoPro Hero 10 Black is equipped with a 23.6MP, 1/2.3-inch sensor which is the same as the Hero 9 Black. However, there is a boost in the performance here as the new action camera is paired with a new GP2 processor that unlocks some handy new features.

The biggest upgrade for GoPros is the GP2 processor 一 the first change in SoC after four years. The GP1 struggled to cope up with demand for the Hero 9 Black and two screens and high res sensors. 

In terms of feature improvements, you get a significant boost in start-up speed and touch screen performance. There are also new frame rates that you can shoot with 一 making it a more versatile 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 and with a new 5.3K/60p cinematic mode as well.

(Image credit: Future)

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.

(Image credit: Future)

We did see a noticeable improvement in the definition of fine details on the Hero 10 Black. 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. 

A feature that most users would find handy is better in-camera horizon levelling and HyperSmooth 4.0. The option of automatic horizon levelling, which keeps your footage level even if you’re rocking from side to side, used to only be available in GoPro’s app. But the Hero 10 Black’s horizon-levelling skills are much more powerful, with the ability to correct footage that’s been skewed by 45 degrees, rather than just 27 degrees. This feature will come in handy while you are on a mountain bike or skydiving. 

GoPro Hero 10 Black offers excellent stabilization on any action cam

Another bonus is the 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). If you’ve been thinking of using a GoPro as your livestreaming camera, the Hero 10 Black brings that upgrade here – you can now stream with HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilization. But, there are a lot of restrictions here with the GoPro app. For instance, 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(not available in India). 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. 

Further, 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 best shooting modes, which creates a stabilized timelapse film) and Power Tools like hindsight, scheduled capture, liveburst, and duration capture.

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GoPro Hero 10 Black(Image credit: Matt Swider / Twitter)

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GoPro hero 10 Black(Image credit: Matt Swider / Twitter)

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The GoPro Hero 10 Black action camera sitting on a wooden bench(Image credit: Future)

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GoPro Hero 10 Black(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

One of our favourites, ‘Hindsight’, constantly buffers video so that when you press the shutter button you can record the previous 15 or 30 seconds of video. The schedule capture enables you to leave your GoPro set up to capture the sunrise or sunset. Lastly, in terms of usability, the GoPro Hero 10 Black offers a very user-friendly and easy interface to operate with. A long press on the side button will boot up the camera and on top of the camera, you will find the shutter button.

Swiping down from the brings up quick toggles, similar to most Android phones. In the second pane, you can set up connections and preferences. You can set up auto upload, voice controls, control brightness and customize the screen. You get three shooting modes – Timelapse, Video, and Photo. You can create your own custom modes as well by selecting your preferred resolution, lens, format, interval, duration, timer, zoom, and more. All of these work flawlessly and smoothly.

Lastly, the companion GoPro Quik app allows you to pair and control the camera or access your media from the app on the go. The revamped application allows you to edit videos easily and the process is now straightforward and simple with a bunch of options to play with.

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Performance

  • GP2 sensor brings faster performance 
  • Hypersmooth 4.0 for stabilization 
  • Faster wired and wireless transfers 
 

When we talk about the performance of the Hero 10 Black, most of the time, we will be referring to the new GP2 chipset. The latest chip brings 2x performance improvement, Hypersmooth 4.0, fast overall experience, 3D noise reduction for low-light, and faster wired and wireless transfer speeds. Unfortunately, the battery life and overheating take a hit. 

 

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.

 

Another traditional GoPro weakness, audio, also hasn’t improved from the Hero 9 Black. The microphones do produce good sound quality in quiet 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. 

On the positive 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-levelling and HyperSmooth stabilization, makes them one of the main reasons to upgrade from an older GoPro.

 

The transfer speeds are improved as well offering up to 30% faster speeds over Wi-Fi and 50% faster speeds over wired transfers. There’s also a new auto-upload feature that will automatically upload all your media to the cloud when you plug the Hero 10 Black to charge.  

 
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Video and image quality

 

There is a significant upgrade here as well, thanks to 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 of going for a more natural style out of the box. You get three colour settings to choose from. In addition to the GoPro and Flat colour options, you also get Natural profile which is the new default, and we’re pretty big fans of it.

 

You can shoot a still photo at 23.6MP and with screengrab, you get 19MP stills. In terms of video, as shown on the table, you can shoot up to 240fps slow-mo and up to 5.3K at 60fps cinematic shots.  

 

The sharpness has also been improved to medium by default, but we tended to shoot with it on ‘low’, and with the bit-rate set to ‘high’ 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.

 

You are unlikely to notice much difference in still images if you are coming from the Hero 9 Black 一 unless you’re really pixel-peeping. The 5.3K/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. But, you can get good cinematic shots with this.  

 

There’s undoubtedly still a softness to the video in the Hero 10’s slower frame rates of 120p and 240p (particularly with 240p), but the option of shooting 4K/120p and 2.7K/240p lifts them from novelty status to something genuinely usable as you can see from the sample footage, they come out really great. GoPro’s HyperSmooth also remains the best you’ll find on an action cam, while the boosts to horizon levelling are another welcome addition.

 

While not many people buy a GoPro to shoot stills – and while the Hero 10 is a passable, waterproof stand-in for your smartphone. In good light, the results are pretty crisp and colorful, while SuperPhoto can help you regain some highlight details from areas like sky. In tough scenes – including low light ones – it simply can’t compete with the computational pipelines of smartphones. 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 is 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. 

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Battery life

  • 1,720mAh battery
  • Unchanged battery life means it’s worth carrying spares

(Image credit: Future)

Lastly, let’s talk about battery life. As said earlier, the GoPro Hero 10 Black comes with a 1,720mAh battery which is the same as the GoPro Hero 9. This also means the battery was expected to drop even further with the new shooting modes included. 

In our battery test, with the camera shooting a continuous 4K/30p clip with HyperSmooth and GPS both turned on and the screen brightness at 70%, we managed to get about 85 minutes of recording from the Hero 10. Overheating is also an issue sometimes if you are shooting for too long without a break. Needless to say, the battery life varies on the modes, frame rates, resolution, and more. But, for any model,l don’t expect the battery to last more than 90 minutes for the continuous shoot. We recommend you get an additional battery and carry it along with you so that you can swap it. 

The battery life is a little less than we got from the Hero 9 Black. In a real-world test, during a visit to Coorg, our fully charged Hero 10 Black gave us three and a half to four hours before shutting down. 

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Should I buy the GoPro Hero 10 Black ?

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

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Buy it if…

You want the best action camera 

With not much competition, the GoPro Hero 10 Black is the best action camera you can buy in India today. The new processor, new shooting modes, and snappier performance is the best GoPro has to offer. 

You enjoy shooting slo-mo videos

Shooting slow-mo videos are fun. With new frame rates, the slow-mo videos shot on GoPro Hero 10 Black lift them from novelty status to something genuinely usable. The 4K/120p mode, in particular, is ideal for shooting cut-scenes. 

You need a tough, waterproof vlogging camera

If you like to shoot a lot of videos, enjoy travelling, and go on bike rides, 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. The camera is also waterproof which means you can take it underwater. 

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Don’t buy it if…

You want truly cinematic video

While you can shoot great videos from the Hero 10 Black with the right settings, the footage still tends to have that wide-angle look, without any pleasing bokeh. If you want a more cinematic look, get a compact APS-C or full-frame camera.

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 if you already own the GoPro Hero 9 Black, we’d not suggest you to jump for the GoPro Hero 10 Black as the upgrades aren’t significant in terms of shooting modes(unless you really want to explore new slow-mo).

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