GoPro Hero10 Black – goes where no other video cam dares (review)

The GoPro Hero10 Black is a 4K 23MP action Cam with attitude – but it is so much more with its wide range of accessories and apps.

It is a religion, or so I have learnt from the hordes of knowledgeable action fans that use this handy little action cam to record life’s precarious (parasailing, base jumping, and otherwise terrifying moments).

Preamble

Reader Tim asked for a comprehensive review of the GoPro Hero10 Black. When I said there were better publications focusing on action cams and cameras, he responded that he had never used one before and wanted a review from a similar ‘newbie’ stance. He wanted to know if it would suit his needs as a rural firefighter – smoke, heat, dust, ability to upload live to the cloud etc. The last thing he wanted was to look at endless action/adventure shots.

I must admit that the Go Pro Hero10 has impressed yet scared me because I know I have only scratched the surface of this fantastic video camera, its Quik App, and its extensive range of accessories/mounts can do.

I think my ‘newbie’ discovery process is the best way to review this device, from unboxing to what it all does. And over time, we may add to this review, especially as I get the hang of editing videos in the Quik app.

Australian Review: GoPro Hero10 Black

WebsiteProduct Page / Accessories Page / Manual   
PriceRRP $819.94 or $529.95 with a new 1-year GoPro Subscription
Warranty1-year ACL and limited lifetime on accessories
Country of OriginChina
CompanyEst 2002 by Nick Woodman, a photo and video enthusiast searching for a better way to film himself and his friends surfing. It manufactures action cameras and develops its mobile apps and video-editing software.
MoreCyberShack GoPro news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.

What is the GoPro Hero10 Black, and why do I need it?

It is a small, ultra-tough, 10m waterproof, 5K/4K/2.7K/1080p, electronic stabilised video camera with a range of accessories that means you can use it or attach it almost anywhere. (Tim, it has an optional chest strap body cam accessory).

It uses a rechargeable battery and records to microSD cards. It downloads footage via Wi-Fi or USB cable to smartphones and computers. Finally, it has the Quik App that you need to thoroughly familiarise yourself with.

It comes with the camera, battery, USB-A-USB-C charge cable, a mounting screw, and a zippered hard-sided case.

You need it because it does things you dare not do with your smartphone camera. Attach it to your bicycle helmet as you hurtle down the mountain goat track. Or attach it to your car, boat, motorcycle, caravan – any moving object. The more I use it, the more I see its possibilities.

I even know of the GoPro Hero10 Black being used for

  • Wedding and event photographers that have abandoned uber-expensive 4K DSLR cameras and gimbal shoulder mounts for a GoPro Hero10 Black.
  • Vloggers use them, especially for outdoor work but also as webcams.
  • Journalists now use them for interviews, especially with the Camera Media Mod and Light mod.
  • Law enforcement for body cams, bicycle cams, and in-car cams
  • Wildlife specialists for capturing native life
  • Adventure – Skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, running, hiking, biking, surfing, kayaking, diving, Parkour…
  • Traveller – point and shoot record of your travels
  • If you have a USB connection to an internet-connected smartphone, you can 1080p stream directly to Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch or other platforms using an RTMP URL
  • Attach to drones
  • Real Estate agents using it for video walk-throughs
  • And many more non-action things like Slo-mo, time-lapse, stabilised hyper-smooth

But the thing to remember is that even the mighty GoPro has its limits, and you need to master the Quik App, or all you will get is masses of raw footage.

Let’s look at some of the GoPro Hero10 Bpack features that impress me

  • 23MP video with 19.6MP still image grab that rivals smartphone stills
  • 5.3K@60fps, 4K@120, 2.7@240 and 1080p@50 with HDR
  • HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilisation is excellent for handheld use. It is electronic image (not optical image) stabilisation that crops to the horizon (up to 45° tilt)
  • Front and rear LCD screens are responsive and easy to use
  • Live feed app to use your smartphone to see what the camera does
  • 1080p cabled Livestream
  • Natural and Vibrant colours and HDR details with lots of choices
  • The inbuilt Mic is good for 1-2 metres, but if you need better audio, get a Media Mod or third-party shotgun mic
  • SD card storage U3 speed to 1TB
  • Regular firmware updates (many of these work on the GoPro 9 as well)
  • Battery life depends on resolution and stabilisation (less if using a tripod)
  • It takes excellent images in day-and-office light (200-400 lumens) and is adequate in low-light
  • Wireless or USB-Cable download
  • Waterproof to 10m (but it sinks) with a hydrophobic ‘water-shedding’ glass lens cover. You can get floatation accessories
  • Shooting modes include Time Warp 3.0, Night-lapse, and Live Burst
  • And the range of accessories (get a spare battery and charger)

GoPro Hero10 Black in-depth

5.3K@60fps 4:3 or 16:9 format

Most will never shoot at this as it produces a larger file size and lowers the battery life. But it is nice to know it is there.

(Tim, I recommend you use 1080p@25 or 50fps (*) for what you want, especially as you want to live-stream it where bandwidth is an issue. If you shoot at higher rates, you won’t be able to Livestream. Still, you can edit and save footage at a lower rate on a Windows or Mac (you need third-party video editing software, but the MP4 files are accessible via USB-C cable in the DCIM folder).

File Size

The formula is Length in seconds × bitrate (kbps)/8 = file size. GoPro breaks the files into 4GB segments that you can join later.

Note that the maximum recording limit for 5K@60fps is about 20 minutes (to avoid overheating).

ResolutionFPSH.265 CompressionH.256 Mbps BitrateMB per minuteMinutes on a 64 GB card
5.3K506010075085
5.3K256010075085
5.3K246010075085
4K1006010075085
4K506010075085
4K256010075085
4K246010075085
2.7K2006010075085
2.7K1006010075085
2.7K506010075085
1080p2006078585109
1080p1004560450142
1080p504560450142
1080p254560450142
1080p244560450142

* Australia uses PAL (you must select this, or you will get a flicker on Australian devices) – not NTSC, so the frame rates are based on 50Hz – not 60Hz. The table above has Australian frame rates.

PALNTSC 
2424Cinematic
2530TV
5060Slo-mo 2x
100120Slo-mo 4x
200240Slo-mo 8x

Field of view – Pass+

  • Linear (90°) – no-fish-eye and suitable for interviews, Vlogs etc
  • Wide (120°) – wide-angle and slight fish-eye
  • SuperView (170°) Widest angle with pronounced fish-eye

Image quality – Pass+

You have the choice of Flat, Natural and Vibrant colour profiles (it is under each video resolution). Flat is probably the best, but you need to tweak it to get the best shots. Natural is mostly what you see is what you get. Vibrant is more saturated and probably what most will end up using. The HDR (high dynamic range) mode improved contrast and definition in dark and light areas.

(Tim, Natural is best for you – reasonable colour accuracy and decent HDR definition in light and shadows).

Still shots – Pass+

You can use it like any other still camera and take a still shot with SuperPhoto for an excellent ‘up to’ 19.6MP HDR shot. But unless you need that, why not simply grab the photos you need from the video. You can store images in RAW format for further editing if you want to.

Low Light – Pass(able)

The Light Mod is not a flash. It is a four-step, 5700K (it also has a diffuser) LED light that can add up to 20/60/125 lumens@1m. It is a cool white light (think office and workshops) and best for video shots.

The mod cold-shoe clips onto the Media Mod (top side) or the standalone big plastic magnetic  ‘bull-dog’ clip. It has an integrated rechargeable battery that gives 6/2/1-hours.

But there is a minor issue. The light has a separate USB-C charge port, and as it is a cold shoe, you have to turn it on and off – no remote firing.

The 200-lumen Overdrive mode works for 30 seconds, and there is a Strobe mode – both will chew battery life.

(Tim, I know 1m is not a big distance, but it may be handy to use the light to highlight darker areas).

Otherwise, the GoPro has an Auto Low light setting which adjusts the frame rate, making later editing difficult. In my opinion – best left off.

Other modes – Pass

  • Time-lapse still – set the interval (tripod only)
  • Night Lapse Video – as above
  • Night Mode – 2-30 second exposure (with a tripod)
  • Protune enables you to set things like shutter speed, ISO, white balance, sharpness, colour profile etc.

Stabilisation – Exceed

It is a tiny camera – 50 x 70 x 33mm and the temptation is just to wave it around. It has electronic image stabilisation, which means it shoots the full 23MP and uses the horizon as a reference point to crop the image on the fly. Remember, the higher the level of stabilisation, the lower the resolution.

(Tim – body cam footage will be stable). The 3-way tripod was perfect for me.

Audio – Pass+

The built-in mic performs as expected – 1-2 metres range at best before it is drowned out by background noise. You can increase the gain by turning off the Auto Audio control. You can record mono (1-mic) or stereo (if you have a stereo mic).

The Media Mod has a pop filter that reduces wind noise and the overall mic sensitivity. But it also has a 3.5m jack that you can plug a boom mic into (and that can clip on to the Media Mod). These range from Omni-directional (sound from 180°) to Uni-directional (sound from straight in front).

(Tim, I recommend a Uni-directional Rode Video mic like the VideoMicro that is just 42g and does not need external power. You need a GoPro Mic adapter.

Mounting – Exceed

GoPro uses a proprietary two-prong mount instead of a ¼” tripod hole (which you can buy as a third-party option, and I suggest you do).

Because stabilisation is so good, the need for a separate gimbal stabiliser mount is negated. The 3-way 2.0 3-in-one grip/arm/tripod is probably a necessity.

It can use suction cups, 3M curved and flat adhesive, helmet, dog, Magnetic swivel clip, gooseneck, tube, handlebar, wrist straps and more. These are all very reasonable <$100 prices.

(Tim, you can use the Chesty body cam mount because the head strap would likely interfere with your helmet).

Media Mod – Exceed

This has become my standard setup. It has a decent mic and pop-filter (windshield), dual portrait and landscape cold-shoe mounts, a 3.5mm port for an external mic, a mini-HDMI port (out) and a USB-C port for charging and data transfer.

(Tim, I think the Media Mod works with Chesty, but I am not sure you need it. It has been great for me as the mic adds just that extra range).

Battery – Pass but buy extra batteries and a charger

It uses a 3.85V/1.72A/6.62W rechargeable battery. There is also a similar capacity Enduro version, and you can get a USB-powered dual battery charger. But you need at least a 5V/2A/10W USB, preferably 5V/3A/15W, or use a USB-C PD 2.0 charger of at least 20W (specifically supporting 12V 1.67A).

A wall charger or 12V car utility socket with a 5V/3A/15W charger can directly power the GoPro – no downtime to charge batteries. Or use the optional Volta Grip with a 4900mAh battery and GoPro claim over four hours of 5.3K@30fps. Note: because this uses a USB-C cable, the Camera is rated only as weather resistant.

Or the easiest may just be to get a USB-C PD compatible Power Bank.

You must remember that higher video resolution, Wi-Fi and GPS drain the battery faster. I found that the following gave the best battery life

  • turning off Wi-Fi
  • turning off the front selfie screen
  • lowering the rear screen brightness (it defaults to 50%, and 30% is good except in bright sunlight)
  • Setting the rear screen saver to 1 minute
  • Shooting at 1080p@30fps and using extended battery mode (see *)
  • Setting Auto Power off to 5 minutes.

Charge time varies from two hours with a PD 2.0 charger to about 3 hours with 5V/3A/15W.

Run time – Pass but buy extra microSD cards

It is best to take these figures with a grain of salt, although our testing indicates you can achieve them

  • 5.3K@60fps about 60 minutes
  • 4K@60fps about 90 minutes
  • 4K@30fps about 120 minutes

* Extended battery mode limits the resolution/fps, lowers bitrates (half the maximum at each resolution), and disables some battery using features (except GPS). Maximum Video Performance mode is when you need higher bitrates. Set on the camera or in the Quik app

Quik App – Pass

Perhaps the scariest part is mastering the Quik app. So, here is how I see it.

It is the repository of videos and images downloaded to your smartphone. It has fit-for-purpose editing tools- adjust colour/light, trim video length, add themes, royalty-free GoPro backing music and more.

(Tim, if you need to email clips, this is good as it allows on-phone editing to enable you to send smaller clips)

But you can also use most PC/Android/Mac/iOS commercial video editors like the paid Adobe Lightroom as videos are saved as MP4 HEVC or H.264 compression. Still, images are saved as RAW, and you want to convert them to JPEG etc. There is an excellent article on free and paid PC/Mac video editing software here and Android/iOS here. Samsung and OPPO have quite functional video editors.

The key here is to master whatever program you use, and I am a very long way off that. For me, it is putting together clips, adding titles, background music and posting. Quik does that well.

Go Pro Subscription – Pass, recommended but you can live without it

I received a complimentary test subscription and have not yet used most of the features. It is A$69.99 per year, and you do need it.

The subscription includes (transferrable as well)

  • Unlimited cloud backup from the camera or app at 100% original quality. Be aware that this could kill your mobile data plan allowance. Use Auto-upload when Wi-Fi is available.
  • Livestream video to Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch or other platforms using a private link (ditto)
  • Advanced editing capabilities in the GoPro Quik app (special slo-mo, filters, themes, music
  • Livestream video
  • Discounts on additional GoPro cameras
  • 50% on most GoPro accessories
  • No questions asked exchange of camera twice a year (damage) but exchange fees (reasonable) apply
  • Annual auto-billing, but you can cancel at any time (no refunds)

It’s a no-brainer as the subscription costs less than the camera purchase price and offers a 50% discount on most accessories.

My findings – GoPro Hero10 Black requires commitment

At the beginning of this article, I said it scared me. Once you learn the fundamentals (settings), shooting video is simple and, given decent lighting, fool-proof.

Getting used to file sizes and battery use is the next challenge. I have two 64GB cards and 90-120 minutes is fine. But you need to keep an eye on the card capacity (it is shown as hours and minutes on the screen) and upload via USB-C cable or  Wi-Fi to a PC or smartphone.

I then realised that slipping the microSD into a card reader was faster and easier. But note that microSD cards a tiny and easily damaged, so use the much slower cable or Wi-Fi where you can.

I had two batteries that I could only charge in the camera. I frequently ran out so Buy the dual battery charger.

I discovered that 1080p@50fps was my friend for battery life and all that I wanted for resolution.

Most of the time, I shot in 1080p@50fps with the standard wide view – excellent. If you like action shots, then ramp the frame rate to 100fps. If you plan to make a movie, shoot in 4K@24/50fps and use software to produce lower-res copies.

But the thing I am not good at is the editing side. Quik is easy enough, but my finished videos were amateur at best. I guess some people have innate skills; I don’t.

Summary (for Tim)

  • Tiny
  • Rugged – go anywhere
  • Terrific mounting and accessory options
  • Point and shoot – automatic idiot-proof, as I like to say
  • Great day and office light videos and creditable for low light with the LED light attachment
  • Accurate colours (and adjustable in Quik if you shoot RAW .gpr files)
  • Uses relatively inexpensive U3 rating 100MBps microSD (that you can also plug into many smartphones and computers (or get a USB card reader for $10).
  • Remember that it chews lots of Gigabytes and your phone (or PC) needs to have the space to edit and store that. Or get a portable SSD hard disk.
  • Get a Dual Battery Charger and 1720mAH lithium-ion Enduro batteries (works off a USB port that you will have in the truck.
  • Upload to cloud, social media etc., if you have internet connectivity (warning – mobile data costs!)
  • Way more effective than a smartphone

Cons

  • No standard tripod mount, but you can get a third-party dual-prong/tripod accessory
  • It tends to take a slight fisheye image that you can edit out
  • It is fixed focus – no zoom – what you see in the viewfinder is what you get, so framing the shot you want may involve getting very much closer to the action
  • You are going to need extra batteries and microSD cards
  • Low Light does not compare to the OPPO Find X5 Pro or Samsung S22 phones
  • Limited pro settings
  • Sharing is via the smartphone – it is not quite instant
  • It is another device to carry and charge, and you need some accessories
  • And the big one – I have used this for over four weeks, and I am still not exploiting its capabilities. Take the time to learn and experiment.

Rating

This is my first attempt at reviewing a 5.3/4K action cam, and I have no reference points. I went into JB Hi-Fi, and while they had other products, particularly Sony RX0 II 4K (nice but lacking accessories and mounts), the DJI Action2 4K, the GoPro Hero10 Black did far more. Then it costs far more.

We won’t give it a formal rating. If you want an action camera, then this or even the Hero9 are the go.

Our main issue is that you need to learn video editing software (Quik is basic) or suffer from having lots of footage and no real way to make it shine. You can read about some of the best video editors for Mac and Windows.

The GoPro Hero10 Black gets our unreserved buy recommendation as long as you take the time to learn how to get the best out of this fantastic, flexible, action camera.

If you are really keen, below is a beginner’s guide – it os 45 minutes, and it helped me enormously.

More GoPro videos



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