GoPro Hero 9 Launch
As we always do with new camera launches, this page will serve as a rolling collection of information for the new GoPro Hero 9 camera being announced on 9/16/2020 (posts prior to launch dates are purely speculative). Scroll to the bottom and work your way up if you are new here:
1.) Fully compatible with LynkSpyder. As with all GoPro cameras, make sure to select the Tripod Mount addon unless you already have one.
2.) Adjustable FOV's even at 5K. Wow!
9/19/2020 @ 9:23 PM Central (Torture test with 100f heat complete)
Applied heat to the booth at the same settings as the previous test. See the results here:
9/19/2020 @ 5:27 PM Central (Initial torture test complete)
We were able to get the camera in a torture test today. See the results of that test here (5K30, Battery, Room Temp):
9/16/2020 @ 10:00 PM Central (Initial hands on test summary)
While there is still much to test, after playing with this new device for a few hours, there is a lot to like. There are some things we see early on that are concerning. So lets get the bad out of the way first:
1.) No changes with the major streaming issues we pointed out with both the HERO7 and 8. You are only presented with the wide Field Of View (FOV...but GoPro now calls them "lenses") and you must stream to a WiFi source and not your phone's data directly. You can stream to a phone hotspot, but here's the problem with that. We use Verizon and have unlimited data. We do have a hotspot option, but it is not unlimited. So streaming to the hotspot would max the data out and/or incur additional charges. Mevo uses the phones data (you can configure to external WiFi connection if you choose), so it is possible.
2.) Once again the USB port is behind the single side door that holds the battery in place. So a replacement door is going to required before we would suggest using this at the ball field. To compound the issue, because the camera is bigger than the HERO8, the replacement door that was developed by Ulanzi doesn't fit. So now we wait. It will happen but is frustrating.
3.) Retractable fingers that were released on the HERO8 as still available. I'm mixed on this one. On one hand, I really like that I don't have to deal with an external case, just to connect the tripod mount. But even when locked down tight, there is some side to side slop in the camera. This really is only an issue when manually starting and stopping the recording. When you press the button to stop, you will generally see the horizon tilt a split second before recording ends. Not huge, but exists. This can be fixed by using one of the aluminum external housings that we have suggested in the past (usually Puluz). But again, we must wait for one to be made. These have threaded tripod sockets in the bottom and can be fixed directly to the Slyder bar for a very rigid mount.
That's about all of the bad that really stands out. Here's what we love so far:
1.) All of the FOV options that are available at various resolutions. Even at the new max of 5K (30 fps) Linear FOV is available. I can't express how huge this is. GoPro missed the boat out of the gate on the HERO8 with this issue. They later fixed it with a firmware update adding a couple FOV options for 4K. But there are even way more options. Well done GoPro!
2.) The replaceable lens cover is a great design. Very easy to add and remove and appears to seal with an o-ring. This also opens the door for future mod lenses and filters. In a related note, GoPro is coming out with a "Max" lens mod. This will be a combination of a fish-eye lens mounted to the front of the camera and a software adjustment to let the camera know it is there. The GoPro Max is a 360 camera that essentially has this design on both sides to capture a full 360 globe. We've tested 360 cameras and it really doesn't make sense when recording games (unless you want to also capture the crazies behind the fence). It is sort of wasted tech with the camera on the back. But this new concept would take advantages of the benefits of the Max on the game side of the fence. The primary benefit would be post production zooming into action, including outfield. My research says that only 2.7K is available in this mode. But I have to think with a 5K sensor, zooming into action will be very usable for a final 1080p video. Can't wait to try and appears to be available in October.
3.) Front facing LCD doesn't have a lot of uses at the field but I can think of a few. But just as important, when it isn't needed, GoPro gives you the ability to turn it off to save resources. This is very nice. Will save battery, but more importantly help to reduce heat. Although I am concerned about the LCD absorbing heat in the front lens...or glare back to the field (I'm sure Coach Jack Wagon already has protest papers in hand). Easy to cover in redneck fashion, but there might be a couple options available when it comes time.
Gosh that's really it at this time. Crazy busy day. In short, we like the camera so far. The ultimate test is how it handles in the field when we introduce heat. We will simulate in the torture chamber at many of the various resolution settings. Stay tuned.
9/16/2020 (Summary notes from after the launch)
Really liking these quick drama free (well, drama reduced) launches. 2:20 video showing the new device and features and camera is now available. Here's the video if you are so inclined:
In summary, here's what we know and feel are important items of discussion:
1.) Camera is now available for order at $499 (they monkey with the pricing if you choose their cloud service)
2.) The replaceable lens covers were a huge item on our list. It does have them again, which is great. But they also listed a couple "Lens Mods" that appear to offer some additional viewing options. I suspect that some of this might be ND filters which may or may not be helpful in our field. They also reference a wide angle mod. Not really useful for us, but will see.
3.) That square on the lens side of the camera that we had hoped was a USB door is not. The USB port is still tucked under the side door that houses the battery and SD slot. This is a huge disappointment. But as with the HERO8, 3rd party vendors will come out with a replacement door exposing the port while still covering the battery. We are hoping the old one will fit.
4.) Front facing LCD might be helpful for those who want to check their setup from the inside of the fence. But the rear LCD is the only of the 2 that is touch enabled.
5.) Standard camera comes with a clam shell zipper case.
6.) Slightly larger in all areas than previous cameras.
7.) Higher resolution available. 5K 30fps and 4K 60fps. And right out of the gate, GoPro is finally offering narrow FOV at high resolutions (including 5K30,24). This is great! 1080p 240fps is also now available. Not sure I would shoot an entire game at 240, but would make for some great slow-mo shots.
8.) Streaming was briefly mentioned but no discussion on what FOV will be available.
9.) Media mod is immediately available. Says it is "weather resistant" but not water proof. Has a 3.5mm audio port, and HDMI out port. But no mention of external USB port. Not really useful in our field without it.
That's about all we have at this point. As product manuals are released, we will review and update the list with additional information. When we are able to present information from the physical camera, we will update here as well.
9/16/2020 (Live notes from the launch)
Here we go....
In a new "leak" I saw a shot of (what appeared to be the new camera) with the side door off. Still has the USB C port in this area. I hope that is not the case as it will once again require a new special door to allow USB external power when recording.