We know what you’re thinking- with any other camera in the world to choose from, why would I vlog with a GoPro?
We get it. And that really was the case for previous models in the GoPro Hero lineup. Enter: The GoPro Hero 7 Black. A sleek and sophisticated camera that might actually be the unsung hero, a hidden gem, if you will, among the myriad of options for vloggers everywhere. Don’t knock it until you try it- and here are 7 reasons to:
*disclaimer, this post is only referring to the GoPro Hero 7 Black edition, which does offer more features than the silver or white edition. If you want to try out the Hero 7 Black, you can rent it here!
1. Form Factor
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first- GoPros are tiny. They fit in the palm of your hand, and take up less space than pretty much any other camera you could find. So, doesn’t that make it perfect for vlogging? Holding a camera out in front of you all day, the Hero 7 weighs in at under 5oz (while a Sony A7III weighs around 1.5lbs, not including the lens)
From the palm of your hand, to your pocket, to your backpack, or anywhere else- you aren’t taking on a lot of weight. And while only have a limited range of focal lengths (6mm – 49mm, depending on FOV settings), you don’t have to lug around lenses either.
2. Wide Angle
Speaking of focal length- GoPros are known for their fish-eye effect, because the field of view is so wide. Depending on your field of view settings (FOV in menu), you can either shoot in Wide, which will give you 15-30mm, or Linear, which will give you 24-49mm. This gives you a little more creative control over the look, even with a fixed lens.
That being said- don’t be afraid of the wider angles! Vlogging is all about where you are and what you’re doing- the GoPro allows so much of your scene to be captured in frame, so your viewers will get a better view on whatever you’re shooting.
3. Upgraded Stabilization – HyperSmooth
This is probably the thing you’ve heard the most about when it comes to the Hero 7- the HyperSmooth stabilization. And we’ve gotta say- it’s worth the hype (no pun intended!)
With such a small camera and such a wide angle, every single movement is noticeable. GoPro previously offered some standard stabilization in camera, but it wasn’t anything incredible, especially given the typical use and movement of a GoPro (ie, dirt biking- lots of movement). Vlogging also is typically a lot of moving around, walking and talking. HyperSmooth is actually a game changer- it claims to offer gimbal like stabilization by analyzing what the camera is shooting in real time. This is unlike previous versions, which would take already shot footage and apply a stabilization after the fact. We think that’s pretty impressive for this little camera!
You can find out more about HyperSmooth and what resolutions can be used with it on GoPro’s website.
4. Time Lapse Video – TimeWarp
Perhaps a niche feature, I find a lot of vloggers using timelapse videos for transitions from place to place in a video, or transitioning from one time of day to another. In previous GoPro models, you could achieve a time lapse by taking photos at various intervals. This worked, but was difficult to achieve a smooth looking time lapse, unless the camera was still.
Now, the Hero 7 offers something better- HyperSmooth + Time Lapse Video = TimeWarp. These videos are processed in camera, allowing you to adjust speeds and create sharable time-lapse videos without a ton of post-processing, and without tons of files.
5. Improved Audio
GoPro cameras have never had great audio- and that’s putting it nicely. Between waterproof housing, mic placement and build, and the nature of most GoPro content (underwater, mountaintops, etc), it was just…bad .
However, GoPro has actually changed the membrane that covers the microphone in the camera- which supposedly has made for usable, quality audio! While it’s still not perfect, and while in camera audio can’t replace an on camera mic for sound, having decent in camera audio for those in a pinch situations, or even if you just want a lighter, more minimal setup for the day, is critical.
6. Resolution Options – Up to 4K60fps
We won’t spend a ton of time on this one, as it’s pretty simple. The Hero 7 has many different resolution options, offering up to 4K 60fps, and up to 1080 240fps. See all of your options on this chart from GoPro!
7. Portrait Mode
Say it with me: “Portrait mode is good! I can take video in portrait mode!”
Ok ok, jokes aside, I know portrait mode can be a pain. But, for things like Instagram stories, or IGTV, or even Facebook Live videos- portrait mode is becoming more and more necessary. The Hero 7 makes this super easy- just turn the camera into portrait mode, and all of the menu settings turn with the image! Now you can real quick grab some portrait mode content on the go, easily!
All in all, I think the GoPro Hero 7 is worth a try. Is it the perfect vlogging camera? No, but I don’t think there really is one. If you’re someone who’s always on the go, and needs something simple, minimal, or even affordable, this is definitely worth checking out.
If you’re still not convinced, one of our LPTG members has taken to vlogging with this minimal setup:
As always, if you’re looking to try out the GoPro Hero 7, click here to rent it!