The GoPro Hero 9 was released in 2020. Since then, two more GoPro Heros have come out. The Hero 8 was the predecessor to the Hero 9, which came out in 2019. So with a yearly release schedule, how much different can these cameras be? GoPro is likely the first brand that pops into mind when you think of an Action camera, which is for a good reason. They have raised the bar for other action cameras with their iconic design. In this article, Hero 8 vs Hero 9 action cameras go head-to-head. Ultimately, you will see which model comes out on top.

GoPro Hero 8 vs. Hero 9: Side By Side Comparison

SpecsHero 9Hero 8
Weight158 Grams126 Grams
Dimensions71 x 55 x 33.6 mm66.3 x 48.6 x 28.4 mm
Screen Size2.27 inches1.95 inches
Front DisplayColor DisplayMonochrome Display
Image Sensor20 MP12 MP
Resolution5K / 30fps
4K / 60fps
1080p / 240fps
4K / 60fps
1080p / 240fps
Image StabilizationHyperSmooth 3.0HyperSmooth 2.0
Battery1720mAh1220mAh
Sale
GoPro HERO9 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5K Ultra HD Video, 20MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization
  • 5K Video - Shoot stunning video with up to 5K resolution, perfect for maintaining detail even when zooming in
  • 20MP Photo with SuperPhoto: Capture crisp, pro-quality photos with 20MP clarity. And with SuperPhoto, HERO9 Black can automatically pick all the best image processing for you
  • Front Display plus Rear Touch Screen: A new, larger rear touch screen with touch zoom on HERO9 Black and a dazzling new front display makes for easy framing and intuitive camera control
  • Live Streaming plus Webcam: Live stream in 1080p on social, get HyperSmooth stabilization as you broadcast
  • HyperSmooth 3.0: Experience the ultimate smoothness with our most advanced video stabilization ever.TimeWarp 3.0: Record mesmerizes time lapse scenes as you move on the road, on foot or anywhere else.Rugged plus Waterproof: Shoot in the gnarliest conditions imaginable. HERO9 Black can take it. It's tough as nails, and waterproof down to 33 feet right out of the box

GoPro Hero 8 vs. Hero 9: What’s The Difference?

Design

The Hero 9 Black is around ten percent bigger than the Hero 8 Black. Weighing 158g, the Hero 9 feels heavy as soon as you pick it up. It has a width of 71mm and a depth of 33.6mm. Of the two, Hero 8 is the smaller action camera. Both are easily pocketable.

If you upgrade from an older model like a Hero 6 or 7, the 8 will still be compatible with your old cases, but not the newer Hero 9. However, the Hero 9 shares the same design with the newer models like the Hero 10 and 11. So, 9 is a good starting point to jump off from and keep the same cases.

The most prominent upgrade in the design will probably be the easiest to notice. That is the selfie screen on the front of the 9. It’s now a full-color screen that you can use for live-view. The smaller front screen on the HERO8 Black is black and white, only for status.

Video and Photo Capture

GoPro Hero 8 Black action camera mounted on a ball head
GoPro Hero 8 cameras, like the one pictured, typically have a touchscreen and MicroSD flash memory.

The 20MP sensor on the Hero 9 almost doubles the pixel count of the Hero 8 at 12MP. Of course, now, more megapixels do not necessarily mean a better image or video. But we have seen more detail from Hero 9 than the 8.

Frame grabs from the Hero 9 are 14.7MP and look usable for social shares and small prints, provided there’s no motion blur. This might sound like a huge deal, but the Hero 8 Black shoots in 4K and captures 12MP stills.

The Hero 9 Black shoots with both Hypersmooth 3.0 and Boost active at full 5K resolution. This is an improvement on the Hero 8 Black, whose Boost capped at 4K/30p. HyperSmooth 3.0 and 2.0 do not perform as well as 4.0 or 5.0 on Hero 10 or 11. But thanks to the in-camera stabilization, it is pretty incredible.

Battery

The Hero 9’s battery capacity was upped to 1720mAh from 1220mAh on the Hero 8. This prolongs the life of Hero 9 by about 30%. So, you get significantly longer performance with the Hero 9 Black. The bigger battery also allows the Hero 9 to perform in extremely cold weather better than the Hero 8. However, some users have experienced overheating issues with the 9 while recording 5K video.

The battery life of the Hero 9 Black is rated by GoPro at 101 minutes when filming in 1080p, while the Hero 8 Black manages 75 minutes. Both of these numbers are slightly under Hero 10 and 11, but those numbers are still very respectful for older models.

Price

Because both the Hero 8 and 9 are a couple of generations back at this point, it is harder to find them new, but it can be done. For the Hero 8 new, you can expect to pay around $299 and the Hero 9 around $329. We highly recommend looking at the used markets for these cameras for the best deal, though.

Ensure the camera is working correctly before purchasing. You can save a lot of money when you buy used instead of new ones. The new Hero 11 was just announced, and some people will be trying to sell their older models to upgrade.

GoPro Hero 8 vs. Hero 9: 4 Must-Know Facts

  • The Hero 9 has a 20MP sensor, and the Hero 8 has a 12MP sensor.
  • The Hero 9 has a full-color screen that you can use for live-view. The smaller front screen on the HERO8 Black is black and white, only for status.
  • GoPro slightly tweaked and refined the menu and settings display for the Hero 9 to make it easier to navigate.
  • Hero 8 and 9 do not share body sizes, so cases cannot be shared between them.

GoPro Hero 8 vs. Hero 9: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

As older cameras, the Hero 8 and Hero 9 are both excellent options for someone looking to save money and still have a great experience. With the higher resolution and more features, we are leaning more towards the Hero 9 as the better camera, but that doesn’t mean the Hero 8 is not a buy.

If you are looking for an incredible budget action camera, especially on the used market, you cannot go wrong with the Hero 8. But if you want that bump in resolution to 5K and the slightly longer battery time, the Hero 9 will be the better option.

Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

GoPro Hero 8 vs. Hero 9: Which is Better? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is it worth getting Hero 9?

If you don’t currently own a GoPro and are looking for a camera that you can use in various environments, then the HERO9 is worth buying.

Are GoPro hero 8 and 9 batteries the same?

Although they look similar, the two batteries will not fit into the other camera. The Hero 9 and 10 do use the same batteries, though.

Does the Hero 9 overheat?

The GoPro Hero 9 does have a problem with overheating, but we do not think it is a huge deal breaker. Most people experience this problem when recording in 5K for more extended periods of time.

Does Hero 9 need a case?

The GoPro HERO9 is waterproof without needing a waterproof case or housing. By itself, the camera is rated for 33 feet / 10 meters. But you can add a case for more protection and deeper water levels.

Is 32GB enough for GoPro Hero 9?

A 32GB SD card will definitely work on a GoPro Hero 9, but you will probably find it filling up very quickly. So we reccomend using a card that has 128GB or 256GB capacity for a more robust option.

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