The GoPro Hero 9 vs GoPro – Is it worth Upgrading?

GoPro Hero 9 – Is it Worth Upgrading?

The new GoPro Hero 9 black is upon us, and so is the hype! This article will cover what you need to know about the GoPro Hero 9 if you consider upgrading from a prior version.  After buying and testing the GoPro Hero 9, there’s a lot to like about it! The quick answer is that some features will make total sense for some people and not to others.

GoPro Hero 9 vs GoPro Hero 8
GoPro Hero 9 vs GoPro Hero 8

Is the GoPro 9 a good Upgrade over the GoPro 8?

The GoPro 9 has some features that make it far more user friendly over previous generations of GoPro cameras.  One of the clear advantages of the new GoPro 9 is the front-facing screen.

This screen makes it far easier to vlog with because you can easily frame your shot.  One of the most significant downsides to prior GoPro Hero releases was that it had no front-facing screen.  These previous releases caused issues with framing, especially in close quarters like in a car, for example.

Vlogging on a GoPro Hero 9 Black
Vlogging on a GoPro Hero 9 Black

Is the GoPro 9 better for Vlogging than the GoPro 8?

Yes! The front-facing screen and longer battery life make the GoPro 9 a far better choice if you are new to action cameras. If you already have no issues framing with the GoPro Hero 8, it is not worth the upgrade.

Horizon leveling is a great feature, but when you are walking around, it’s quite tough to spot the difference.  For those that like to run or go hiking, GoPro 9 is a better option in this scenario.

This video above showcases the main difference between the GoPro Hero 8 and GoPro 9 regarding vlogging. Get a GoPro on B&H or Sweetwater.

Other Benefits of the GoPro 9 over the GoPro 8

In addition to the front-facing screen, another critical feature for action/adventure users is ‘horizon leveling.’ This feature increases stabilization to no-end and works by keeping the horizon flat in the shot.

This additional level of stabilization will appeal to cyclists, motorbike riders, or anyone wanting a shot where the horizon doesn’t angle as you turn the corner.  If the price is a concern, then go for the GoPro Hero 8 Black.  See my full review by clicking on the link.

Crazy Thrillseekers and Action Adventure filming

The new GoPro Hero 9 is better than the GoPro Hero 8 for higher intensity sports and activity. GoPro decided to revert back the replaceable lens covers which prove to be a far better option for lens scratches.

Secondly, the Horizon leveling feature is a step above for high-intensity activity like motocross, cross-country skiing, or mountain biking.

Lastly, the future Max Lens mod will allow even better stabilization again! The Max Lens mod will open up even more opportunities to capture amazing footage with zero shakes.

The 5K Benefit

The GoPro Hero 9 now supports 5k video resolution.  While this resolution is not really ‘required,’ it’s an excellent addition for the right moment.  I don’t feel the need to shoot a Vlog in 5k, for example. There are times when you want optimum resolution for landscapes or environments where you may need to re-frame the image down to 4k or crop in.

If you don’t know what the above terms mean, you don’t need a 5k video. 5K video is for those who are right into video production and editing and already have a computer capable of editing the footage.

5K is not something that everyone will need, and it will fill your SDXC card a lot sooner. One of the trade-offs to shooting in 5K is that the front-facing screen will is reduced to 5 frames per second.  Consequently, because of the lower frames, you will only use it for simple framing.

My GoPro Hero 9 Black
Unboxing my GoPro Hero 9 Black

New to Action Cameras?

For those new to action cameras, I can highly suggest going for the GoPro Hero 9 over the previous cameras. There are several reasons why I recommend this path over the earlier models that I will cover below.

What if I own the GoPro 8 and Media Mod?

I have already purchased the GoPro 8 and GoPro 8 Media Mod.  Sadly, the Media Mod is not compatible with the Hero 9.  The latest GoPro 9 is not compatible with the GoPro 8 media mod.

If you are already getting great results with the GoPro 8 and Media Mod, it may be hard to justify the upgrade path.  I like the front-facing screen and extended battery life so much that I will undoubtedly end up buying the GoPro 9 Media Mod accessories.

The Media Mod allows you to connect up to two items to a cold shoe and allow for external microphone input.  Additionally, you also get access to a micro-HDMI connection.  The downside of the GoPro Hero 9 media mod is that its onboard microphones are terrible.  Secondly, by using the GoPro 9 media mod, your camera is not waterproof!

GoPro Hero 8 Media Mod
GoPro Hero 8 Media Mod is not compatible with the GoPro Hero 9

Photo Quality Improvements

I love taking photos with the GoPro cameras.  The reasons are the fields of view look great, and the timer mode makes getting selfies easy.  I couldn’t notice any significant difference between the GoPro 8 and GoPro 9 photographs in automatic mode.  In conclusion, the result is that the 9 is not better or worse than the superb quality we get from the GoPro Hero 8.

Battery Life Improvements

One of the advantages to the larger GoPro Hero 9 internal battery is that you get up to 30% longer battery life.  This will also be a huge advantage in any number of situations where changing a battery is not practical.  Sadly though the new GoPro 9 does not work with any prior generation of GoPro action cameras.

Yearly Upgrades – GoPro Hero 10

Take this into account if you are considering getting the GoPro Hero 9.  Odds are, that next year GoPro will release the GoPro Hero 10.  With yearly updates to any camera system, it’s the consent trap of either waiting for the next release or buying the current model.

With this in mind, no matter which way you go, your camera will be the old one in roughly 12 months time. My suggestion is if you are new to the action camera market just to get the latest release when you need it.

The great news is the GoPro Hero 9 Black is by far the best action camera on the market so I can highly recommend it.

My Action Cameras
My Action Cameras

Best Price on the GoPro Hero 9

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