GoPro, it’s over, I can’t take anymore disappointments. I got the Hero 7 Black yesterday and today it’s going back. Read this review to see why this is happening.
Now this is a drone site, and if you know about the Karma, made by GoPro, you will know that since the Hero 4 Black has been out, you could swap cameras on the Karma gimbal and use it on their drone. But I did try that drone out and I have had problem after problem with this company as a whole ever since I upgraded from the 4.
Aside from the first time I got my hands on the Hero 4 Black (and I still like it), it’s been a bumpy and downhill ride since. Let me rehash the history…
I must be a defect magnet or something when it comes to GoPro products:
I had to go through 3 different Hero 5’s to get one that actually works without issues.
Found that the 6th one shot images less sharper than the 5 (it shoots better videos though) and I have a comparison here on the Mavic Pro and Karma, see for yourself. Plus when I first got it on day one when it was released, the area where the battery is inserted got stuck consistently. So I got rid of that one.
With over 5 issues I had over the years with this company, when the Hero 7 Black came out, I said, nope, I’m not buying it, no way. I thought that there had to be a defect, there’s always something that goes on with these cameras.
So I waited for many months, until I saw a $50 discount advertised on Instagram for it. I figured this discount must mean they are losing sales or the 8th version must be coming out soon, but by this point, my anger and frustrations over GoPro products subsided a bit so this was a good excuse to start anew with them.
I elected to buy it from my nearest Best Buy, rather than the GoPro site because having a bad feeling something bad was going to happen (again), I figured it’d be easier to return it to Best Buy than go through GoPro customer support.
So I went into Best Buy, pointed to the clerk that I wanted the Hero 7 Black and even asked them if they knew of any defects. They said no and that no one has even returned one yet. Wow, that’s a relief I thought, and so I got it.
Then the defect magnet struck again! Here’s what happened to my GoPro Hero Black 7:
I came home, inserted the battery that came with the camera, turned it on and saw it was at 3%. No problem, it just needs to be charged, but I got a few minutes to check out the touch screen, the footage, the menu options and so on and I was impressed.
The touch screen was very responsive and the navigation seemed easier than the previous models.
3 hours went by.
I turned on the camera again, expecting to see it at 20-30% by this time (my experience with these cameras is that they charge slow, but then last for quite a few hours). What did I see?
Oh, here we go again, I thought. It’s another defect and of course, it happened to me, again.
So I tried another experiment. I did some YouTube browsing for this charging issue and saw I wasn’t the only one. In fact, the issues I mentioned above apparently hit quite a few people, and we’re not just talking about the Hero 7 Black, we’re talking about it and the other, previous models too.
Anyway, the suggestion I saw was to switch batteries and luckily my Hero 5 Black uses the same battery, so I swapped it, and it was at 74%. I got to play around with the 7 a bit more and did enjoy the experience, but then I saw that the battery was draining pretty quickly, about 1% every minute or so.
I figured this must have been because I was attempting to shoot at 4k @ 60 FPS, so I decided to turn it off, go to sleep and plug it into the charger. When I did that, it was at 72%.
8 hours later, I wake up, turn on the camera and wouldn’t you guess it:
It’s still at 72%. And before you say I didn’t charge it correctly, I clearly saw the red charging light on whenever I looked it. This was clearly a charging issue and it wasn’t due to the battery. I had 2 batteries to test this out and it seems pretty clear it’s the camera at this point.
I had enough, I packed up the camera and now as I write this, it’s sitting in the same bag I got with the receipt, ready to be returned.
Why I decided not to exchange it for another Hero 7 Black:
The thought of getting a new one, possibly a NONE lemon had crossed my mind, and I had every intent to do that, until I took to YouTube and looked at image comparisons of the Hero 5 Black and the Hero 7 Black. Here is what I discovered…
When it comes to images (not video), I see VERY little difference in quality between them. In fact, here is the exact video I am citing for you to draw your own conclusions:
Is there a difference? Yes. The 7 is a bit sharper and colder in color. I’d even say it’s slightly better but to justify another $300+ for essentially a similar image? No thanks.
The only thing that I liked about the Hero 7 Black is the video quality & gimbal:
Despite the mess of an experience I’ve had with the Hero 7 Black, I cannot take away the fact that it TRULY has amazing gimbal like quality and that the VIDEO footage is very noticeably better than the 5. Here is a citation for that:
Indeed there is FAR more detail in it, it is truly sharper and definitely worth it IF you are actually going to use it for outdoor, action things. It also has better sound.
But considering you are luckier than I am and can find a none lemon, like I’ve been consistently finding over my years with GoPro, go for it.
For me, I’m still sticking to my 5 because the images aren’t that much better. For my cases, I’m just going to use my Osmo Pocket and that one is awesome.
GoPro, this needs to stop:
This consistent lemon issue across the cameras has to be fixed, enough of this nonsense. I’ve been trying to give this company shot after shot and I TRULY want to own one of their cameras and really enjoy using it, but more times than not, it’s been a disappointing experience for me.
I can’t do it anymore, see you Hero 7 Black, perhaps they’ll “finally” fix things when the 8 comes out.