We tested the GoPro Hero7 Black. For capturing exceptional, high-quality footage in any conditions, it was our Testers Choice in the 2019 ScubaLab Action Camera Test.
We tested the Hero7 Black during regular ScubaLab tests as well as staff travel, where test divers rated the camera in 5 categories including ease of setup, ergonomics and intuitive operation. After filming, testers rated the camera’s video footage in 6 categories including clarity, color and framing.
“Wow” was the typical reaction to Hero7’s crisp, clear underwater video. “Nice combo of clarity and color—stunning.” One diver said. This camera has no dive-specific modes or features, but it took the top spot for color against cameras with color-grading and underwater white-balance features, all of which worked very well. Don’t get us wrong, at depth the Hero7’s video was blue. But the footage has enough variation in contrast and hue to create a natural looking image where other cameras under similar conditions would result in a monochromatic haze. Add to this the GoPro’s excellent digital-image stabilization and the result is high-quality footage that was nearly unmatched. However, when it came to ergonomics, the Hero7 ranked near the bottom. Using the dive housing requires prying off the lens cover, which hurt its score for setup. The display is clear and colorful, but the touchscreen is inoperable inside the housing. Changing settings underwater requires you to use camera’s front-facing display, and that isn’t a quick process. “Pain to setup and use,” one diver commented, and others agreed. We were curious if any of the other cameras in the test would knock GoPro from its pedestal. Some came close, but none succeeded. Despite its wonky ergonomics, testers were won over by the Hero7’s unmatched video quality. The GoPro Hero7 Black was our Testers Choice for action cameras.