GoPro Hero9 or Hero8: Which One Is Right for You?

GoPro made its mark on the industry by creating ultra-durable, highly portable cameras that could withstand the rigors of outdoor sports like surfing and mountain biking. Today’s GoPro cameras still do that quite well. The company continues to add to an already rich and impressive feature set with proprietary features like HindSight, TimeWarp and HyperSmooth video stabilization.
These aren’t DSLR cameras, and you won’t get the same kind of richness in still images. Of course, if you tried to use a DSLR like most people use GoPros, your DSLR would end up smashed to bits. But if you’re looking for a simple way to capture deeply impressive video footage, especially in active settings, GoPro is the clear market leader in the action camera category.
Two of the core cameras in the GoPro lineup are the Hero8 Black and the Hero9 Black. Both are impressive and highly praised in reviews, but there are some key differences to know. If you’re considering a purchase, you probably want to know the differences, and if it’s worth getting the more expensive Hero9. We outlined what you need to know in this comparison guide.

Photo and Video Resolution

GoPro Hero8:

  • 12 MP photos
  • SuperPhoto with HDR
  • 4K resolution at 60 frames a second

GoPro Hero9:

  • 20MP photos
  • SuperPhoto with HDR
  • 5K resolution at 30 frames per second

Video Features

Both cameras offer HyperSmooth video stabilization, but the Hero9 offers a newer and more impressive version of this tech. The same goes for GoPro’s TimeWarp time-lapse function. Both cameras have it, but it’s better on the Hero9. The Hero9 also adds in-camera horizon-leveling, while you’ll have to go into the GoPro app to get that function for the 8.

Hardware Differences

The Hero9 adds a 1.4-inch color LCD on the front of the camera, giving you a live selfie or vlog preview, plus very helpful status info. The Hero8’s front screen is status only, with no image. This front preview screen alone is worth the extra $100.
The rear screen on the Hero9 is also slightly larger than the one on the Hero8.
The Hero8 has a quality fixed lens. The Hero9, on the other hand, has a removable lens cover that allows you to add GoPro’s Max Lens Mod for even higher quality footage.

Hero9 Exclusive Features

The GoPro Hero9 Black also adds a trio of exciting exclusive features that you simply can’t get on the Hero8.
HindSight: Through some technical wizardry, the Hero9 can retrieve 30 seconds’ worth of footage prior to when you hit record. If you start recording just after the big moment, HindSight can save you — so long as the camera was pointing in the right direction prior to hitting record.
Scheduled Capture: This feature allows you to schedule your GoPro to turn on and start recording without your having to be around. (Sunrise time-lapse, anyone?)
Duration Capture: With the Hero9, you can set the length of time you want the camera to capture footage before stopping and turning off. When used in combination with Scheduled Capture, Duration Capture allows for some interesting automation possibilities.


Prices vary depending on the sale of the moment, but the older Hero8 Black typically runs around $299. If you buy from GoPro directly, you can get a one-year GoPro subscription for no extra cost at the moment.
The Hero9 Black typically runs around $399. However, you can get it right now for just $349 — if you pay for a year subscription at $49.99.

Which One Should You Get?

As you’ve seen here, the Hero9 adds a lot in terms of functionality, software and hardware. If you can afford it, the Hero9 is clearly the better choice. But if $399 is out of reach for now, you’ll still get a highly capable device in the Hero8.

Protect Your GoPro With an Upsie Extended Warranty

Whichever GoPro Hero model you choose, you’ll have plenty of great times recording and sharing your adventures.
But here’s one thing to consider: as durable and impressive as GoPro cameras are, they aren’t impervious to damage. They also are just as prone to mechanical failure and component defects as anything else on the market.
The point: despite their legendary durability, it’s still a good plan to protect your GoPro Hero with an extended camera warranty from Upsie. If you want no-nonsense coverage that’s easy to understand and way, way cheaper than the competition, Upsie is the way to go.
Ready to get protected? Pick up an Upsie extended warranty now.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.