I bought a GoProd Hero 8 back in August 2021. The sole justification was to attach it to my bicycle to capture events on my daily commute to and from Plymouth. The time has now come to say what I like and what I don’t like about it.
- Picture quality is fantastic. In fact, much too good and I dial down the resolution to extend recording time and battery life.
- Compatibility. GoPro has become an industry standard, much like iPhone. There are endless brackets and widgets for it. In my case, it mounts neatly under my SatNav using a K-Edge Mount.
- Build quality. In my case the camera is mounted on the front of my bike and exposed to everything the weather throws at it. It gets covered in muck and soaking wet but it’s still working fine.
- No timestamps. Some cameras put a date and timestamp on the video footage. If you need to use footage as evidence, this is extremely useful.
- No storage wrapping. Even on reduced resolution and frame rate this thing eats storage. It’s annoying having to frequently take the SD card out and wipe it. If I haven’t transferred the data off after a few days, I don’t want it.
- Battery life. It’s terrible! My commute takes about 40-50 minutes and I can only complete a single trip before recharging. This means I need a charger both at home and at work. Battery life is the principle reason I haven’t purchased another camera for rear views. Taking out and charging two batteries twice a day is too painful.
- Connectivity. The GoPro masquerades as a Wireless Access Point. I appreciate this means it can transfer high volumes of data directly to my phone but I never want to do that. I’d prefer it to connect as a client to my home WiFi and talk to my phone using Bluetooth.
- Mobile App. On the Android platform I find the GoPro Quik app far too heavy for my purposes. Does anyone really edit videos on a mobile phone? Maybe split out the configuration aspects from the editing so everyone is happy.
More dislikes than likes and that’s a little unfair. I’m only writing a Blog on it because of the irritating aspects. I have plenty of great tech that I’ve never written about because it does exactly what I want!
The GoPro Hero 8 feels like a jack of all trades device when it could be a master of them all. The picture quality is outstanding but it’s let down by a lack of seemingly simple functionality like timestamps and storage wrapping. I really hope they don’t take the cynical step of adding such functions to newer models, thus forcing people to buy again. It only needs a software upgrade!