Is it that time of year again? It’s GoPro leak day? Yes it is. The German speaking site WinFuture has gotten a hold of the GoPro Hero 9’s packaging which reveals pretty much all of the specs. Why don’t you join me and have a look at what’s expected to come?
The GoPro Hero 9 has a high resolution sensor
The GoPro Hero 9 changes pretty much everything. I don’t even know where to start so we’ll get things going with the sensor. This year’s GoPro will have a 20 megapixel sensor. GoPro has been using a 12 megapixel sensor ever since the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition. That camera was released in 2012. Obviously resolution isn’t everything. And the sensors have continuously been improved. They’ve just stuck to the same resolution throughout the years. 12 megapixels are still more than just about any monitor can display. About 8 megapixels is what’s needed for 4K video.
Does the GoPro Hero 9 need a 20MP sensor?
So why would GoPro want to implement a higher resolution sensor? There are a few reasons besides being able to mention it on the packaging. What is known for sure is that the Hero 9 will be able to record 5K footage at 30 FPS. Does anybody really need 5K footage? That’s unlikely. But with smartphones touting 8K recordings I guess GoPro has to compete somehow.
The higher resolution will also be what powers the new HyperSmooth 3.0. The previous two versions found in the Hero 7 Black and Hero 8 Black were already pretty amazing so it’ll be interesting to see how GoPro can further improve their system. Once again GoPro is promising HyperSmooth 3.0 to give us gimbal-like results.
I’m guessing the higher resolution might also come in handy when using TimeWarp 3.0. TimeWarp, which is kind of a stabilised hyperlapse, is a really fun feature that was introduced with the Hero 7 Black. I’m guessing we’re going to have to wait until the units are in reviewers hands to find out how much better the new HyperSmooth and TimeWarp are.
Could the GoPro Hero 9 have a night mode?
And here’s my speculations. One would obviously hope that photos coming out of this camera will be much higher in detail compared to previous models. What could also happen is that GoPro implements some form of night mode, which has recently been popular in smartphones, using pixel binning or some other technology.
Let’s talk screens
The most noticeable change on the Hero 9 is obviously the repositioning of the front facing tally light. I’m kidding of course, it’s the front facing screen. GoPro has taken the biggest advantage the Osmo Action had over it and put it in the Hero 9. It’s about time too. The GoPro Hero 8 was meant to have a flip up screen you could add on to the media mod but I don’t think that was ever actually released. The good news is that the Hero 9 won’t need such a screen. It’s got it built in.
A bigger battery
The extra screen will of course be an additional strain on the battery but luckily the GoPro Hero 9 has thought about that too. The Hero 9’s battery will be 41% bigger than the Hero 8’s. That’s quite the increase. But whether it will result in a 41% increase in recording time remains to be seen. The bad news here is that your older batteries won’t work in the new model.
Does the GoPro Hero 9 have a removable lens cover?
I’ve not found any confirmation on this, so it’s purely speculation, but looking at the leaked images it looks like the Hero 9 might bring back the replaceable lens cover. The cover does look more like the one found on the Hero 7 than the one on the Hero 8. As someone who actually had to change the cover once, I welcome this change.
A new Media Mod
According to WinFuture a new media mod will be launched alongside the Hero 9. Let’s hope GoPro built an actual usable microphone this time because from all the samples I’ve seen the built-in microphone on the Hero 8 is better than the one found in the current media mod.
What won’t change?
Unfortunately the main display has only been made slightly larger. The Osmo Action still is the gold standard and I think it’s about time GoPro stretched that screen right out to the edges. But the camera will at least still be waterproof down to 10 meters.
It also appears that the GoPro Hero 9 will keep the excellent microphones that were introduced with the Hero 8. Hopefully they’ll even be slightly improved.