GoPro for snorkeling – Hero9 Black, Hero8 and Hero7

Using a GoPro for snorkeling is never a bad idea! If you are about to buy one of the latest GoPro models but don’t know whether the new Hero9 Black, the predecessor Hero8 Black or the previous Hero7 fits your lifestyle the most? Then this summary will definitely help you out! Read what features make GoPro’s flagship models the best action cameras these days and learn the differences between the 9, 8 and 7 series! Moreover, we give you some cool tips on what GoPro underwater accessories to use to get the best footage! Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Why you should get a GoPro for snorkeling?

Compact size, easy usability, stable and lively footage – you get all these from the latest GoPro Hero9 Black, Hero8 Black and Hero 7. These waterproof action cameras go beyond your expectations and record your adventures, no matter you explore under or above the water. Your footage will be always superb and ready to share with your friends.

Many people decide to choose buying a GoPro instead of a waterproof snorkeling camera thanks to its compact size, and pre-set modes that help you to create cool footage. Using a GoPro for snorkeling or diving provides you with outstanding image quality even if you don’t know much about photography.

GoPro in the pool
GoPro is an excellent choice if you film regularly in the pool or in the ocean

These action cameras are easy-to-use and waterproof without additional housing up to a certain depth. On top of these, they come with tons of features and accessories that help you to capture photos/videos that stand out from the crowd.

If you are looking for the best action camera that is lightweight, fits even the smallest carry-on bags, yet offers you the possibility of creating images and videos that you can use on any social platform, consider choosing one of the latest models!

GoPro Hero9 Black – More everything

5K videos, 20MP superb sharp still photos, colored selfie screen, extended battery life. If we couldn’t tell you more about the new Hero9 Black, maybe these extreme features were already enough to convince you that this newest addition is a big deal if you are looking to buy the best for a GoPro for snorkeling. But let’s see the details!

Hero9 Gopro
New GoPro Hero9 Black

The design remained the same with clear lines and well-known colors, but this GoPro got bigger than its predecessors. Hero9 Black has a slightly longer, taller, wider and heavier body, and new full color front touchscreen so it will be easily recognizable among other action cameras.

Besides these changes, the Hero9 brings lots of technical improvements too. 23.6MP sensor (almost double-sized compared to the Hero8) allows the user to capture 20MP still photos (the 8 Black does 12MP) and also grab 14.7MP images from videos.

Thanks to this new sensor, from now you can record life-like 5K30fps that is 7 times more detailed compared to a regular HD video.

New GoPro Hero9 Black

  • 5K30fps videos, 20MP still pictures
  • Increased battery life, 30% recording time
  • Dual LCD screens with colored screen on the front too
  • Upgraded TimeWarp and HyperSmooth
  • Waterproof up to 33ft/10m without housing

To support this increased performance, the 9 Black comes with 1720 mAh batteries that provide approx. 30% longer battery life, moreover work better in low-temperature environments (while skiing for example) too. The built-in mounting solution and the waterproof feature (33ft/10m) remains the same.

One of the most-waited changes is definitely the return of the interchangeable lenses. Like this, the Hero9 Black is capable to host Max Lens Cover so the popular feature of the GoPro Max, the 360º horizon locking becomes available and the camera can shoot at up to 2.7K 60fps resolution with a 155-degree field of view.

GoPro Hero9 vs GoPro Hero8

  • new design with bigger and heavier body (71X33mm, 158 g)
  • 5K video resolution
  • bigger back display (2.27 inches)
  • 23.6 MP, double size sensor, 20MP still photos, 14.7MP photos from videos
  • ~30% longer battery life (1720 mAh)
  • 1.4inch color front touchscreen to make video framing easy
  • removable lens with the possibility to add Max Lens Mod
  • TimeWarp now recording audio too
  • improved stabilization (Hypersmooth 3.0 and Boost active available at full 5K resolution)
  • Hindsight (buffer video), scheduled capture and duration capture (recording time setting) functions
  • integrated video conferencing options

GoPro Hero8 Black

GoPro released the Hero8 series in October 2019 that brought serious improvements to the market. The company completely redesigned their action camera concept and turned this little device into an attractive choice not only for athletes and adventurers, but also for professional digital content creators, vloggers and influencers.

GoPro Hero 8 in underwater housing
Hero8 Black – an advanced GoPro for real adventurers

Most changes are coming from software-side, but the new model got new design too: GoPro Hero8 Black is lighter and slimmer! This is the first GoPro that you can mount without using and additional housing or frame thanks to the built-in mounting fingers.

It has the same functions as the Hero7 Black such as HyperSmooth and TimeWarp, but all were upgraded to be even better. Moreover, some extra cool things were added like Night-Lapse, customizable video preset and the HDR and SuperPhoto also progressed.

Sale
GoPro Hero 8 Black

  • Slim, no-frame design
  • Built-in mounting point
  • Waterproof up to 33ft (10m) without housing
  • Upgraded HyperSmooth and TimeWarp
  • Mods: connect external microphone, light or display

Digital creators will love the most the possibility of attaching an external microphone, waterproof light. Or a display using the 3.5 mm mic-in, USB-C, micro HDMI out as well as 2 cold-shoes. With this, GoPro Hero8 Black got the power to become a competitor of popular compact vlogging cameras. The GoPro Hero8 Black has everything that creators need to record all their moments in awesome quality no matter the conditions.

GoPro Hero8 Black vs Hero7 Black key differences

  • Lighter and slimmer, no-frame design
  • Built-in mounting point
  • Hypersmooth 2.0 – upgraded stabilization now in all resolutions
  • HyperSmooth Boost
  • Maximum bitrate 100 Mb/s
  • Improved SuperPhoto and HDR
  • TimeWarp 2.0 that auto-adjusts to your speed
  • New wind-optimized front microphone
  • Digital lenses (narrow, liner, wide, superview)
  • Possibility to add Mod accessories such as external microphone, light and extra display (available from 2020)
  • New NightLapse Video mode
  • LiveBurst photos
  • 1080p Live Streaming
  • RAW file format in all photo modes
  • Customizable video presets

GoPro Hero7 Black

GoPro, the leading action camera manufacturer has launched the GoPro Hero7 series in Sept 2018 with 3 new models: Hero7 Black, Hero7 Silver and Hero7 White. The new cameras replaced the GoPro 6 models and came out with new modes as well as improved functions.

GoPro Hero7
Hero7 Black – a user-friendly budget GoPro

These models introduced some brand-new features and tons of improvements that make this tiny action camera a must-have for professional adventurers, and a perfect choice for hobby users who want to record high-quality footage.

The top highlight is the HyperSmooth in-camera image stabilization that was introduced in the Hero7 Black model along with the unique TimeWarp mode. It also got LiveStream and SuperPhoto functions, and an improved User Interface.

GoPro Hero 7 Black

  • improved functions and many new features
  • waterproof up to 33ft (10m)
  • HyperSmooth gimbal-like stabilization
  • TimeWarp timelapse video mode of moving scenes
  • Live Streaming, SuperPhoto, Voice Control and advanced UI platform

The system is designed to support you in creating the best footage that is clear, stable and lively, no matter the conditions. All the new features make the Hero7 Black a great all-rounder action camera, and a highly recommended GoPro for snorkeling!

Tip: The series other models, the Hero7 Silver  and Hero7 White  models are significantly cheaper, but due to the awesome features like Hypersmooth stabilization and 4K filming, in the long run, it is worth to spend some extra bucks on the Hero7 Black to get the advanced modes.

GoPro Hero7 Black features

  • 4K/60 fps videos
  • 12 MP photos
  • 8x slo-mo speed
  • waterproof up to 33ft (10 m) without underwater housing
  • HyperSmooth electronic “gimbal-like” stabilization
  • TimeWarp stabilized time-lapse videos about moving scenes
  • SuperPhoto Smart HDR mode
  • LiveStream to Facebook, Youtube, Twitch and Vimeo
  • Portrait vertical orientation
  • Short Clips to film shareable videos
  • Photo Timer with visible countdown
  • Voice control, GPS, QuickStories
Hero7 underwater images
GoPro Hero7 photos

HyperSmooth stabilization

The electronic image stabilization is the best built-in camera stabilization that replaces the use of expensive electronic gimbals. Getting smooth and stable footage is crucial. Nowadays, we prefer to film all everyday moments while walking, running, and biking.

To make on-the-move videos stable, you needed an electronic gimbal that is bulky and expensive. But this is the past! You will not only save money, but also the time spent on post-processing. Get sharp and stable HyperSmooth videos even while the roughest conditions! And it works underwater too!

HyperSmooth is an extremely useful option if you use your GoPro for snorkeling! When filming underwater, one of the biggest challenges is to hold your camera steady to avoid blurry footage. Since there is no waterproof gimbal on the market, it is almost impossible to get smooth footage while swimming on the surface if there are waves, and it is even more difficult underwater.

Thanks to the HyperSmooth stabilization functions, GoPro Hero7 Black is now one of best GoPro cameras for underwater usage that provides you with stable and sharp footage in all conditions!

TimeWarp

A ground-breaking feature in the new GoPro Hero7 Black! TimeWarp is able to create incredible stable time-lapse videos of moving scenes. Create awesome videos for example when moving your camera from left to right or while walking or biking. With the speed options between 2x and 30x you can increase the stability.

Livestream

With the new GoPro Hero7 Black Livestreaming function you can go live anytime on the biggest platforms like Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook and Twitch with the GoPro App. The LiveStream features 720p video quality and you can save your live videos to the SD card in 1080p 60fps.

SuperPhoto

The GoPro Hero7 Black SuperPhoto works like an HDR mode when the camera takes several photos so you can choose the best. This option not only applies HDR but also does some tone mapping and reduces noise.

Improved User Interface

The User Interface became more user-friendly with some useful quick functions. The new UI features Portrait Orientation to shoot vertical images, creating 15s or 30s Short Clips, Photo Timer with countdown function to capture the best selfies and action shots, as well as improved Playback option with the possibility of playing videos in slow-motion directly on the camera by dropping the frame rate to 30fps no matter how it was recorded.

Conclusion – What is the best GoPro to buy?

No coincidence, GoPro introduced serious upgrades in the latest models and took their action camera line to the next level. The improvements and extra functions make all 3 models we featured here (especially the 8 and 9) a good choice for everyday users but also for content creators who worked with compact cameras and DSLRs before.

Taking photos with a GoPro
The latest GoPro models are the best all-rounder compact size action cameras

If you are looking for a GoPro for snorkeling, in our opinion, all 3 models are worth to buy, the question is what quality you expect and much money you wish to spend on your new device. They feature similar image quality and are the same in terms of waterproof capabilities (you can take them underwater up to 10m/33ft without housing).

If you want the best action camera, today’s top choice is Hero9 Black. If we have to pick up the one that gives the best value for money, that would be the Hero 8 Black. Its improvements compared to the 7 worth the extra bucks, but on the other side, we wouldn’t give approx. 100 USD at this time for the new features of the 9.

Find on a short summary below what we think who should buy a Hero9, 8 and 7:

Hero9: recommended for pro users and for those who expect excellent image quality and are love playing around and capturing their moments using the best available techniques (reg action cameras of couse). --check the actual price NOW!-- 
Hero8: best value for money, a great choice if you look for a GoPro for snorkeling and a great allrounder action cam that the whole family can use in all situations from taking birthday photos to filming a vacation movie. --check the actual price NOW!-- 
Hero7: a budget GoPro with superb image quality. Recommended for users who won’t use an action camera in their daily life just occasionally when on vacation for example, but then want to capture quality videos and photos. --check the actual price NOW!-- 

Pro tips for using your GoPro for snorkeling

Read these GoPro snorkeling tips to know what extra GoPro underwater accessories you can buy to make the most of your underwater photos and videos!

Color correction red filter

A GoPro red filter can significantly improve your underwater video quality in instant! Using a red or magenta filter is a fast and simple way of color correction. You just need to attach a filter to your GoPro SuperSuit case so when you use your GoPro for snorkeling or diving and want to get a bright, naturally colored underwater footage, get a GoPro red filter kit!

underwater color correction filter sample image
This is how a color correction filter works

There are different types of dive filters that are all designed to be used in different conditions (blue water, green water) and at specific depths. Check out our detailed guide where we and tell you how exactly red filters work and what is the best GoPro filter for snorkeling.

GoPro snorkeling pole

Originally, GoPro doesn’t come with a stick so you need to buy a pole to mount your camera on. Like this, you can hold it more stable than using hand-held. There is a wide selection available from the simplest floaty hand grips to telescopic poles, so it depends on your filming habits what will work the best for you.

Turtle selfie in the Maldives
Using a selfie stick you can hold the camera more stable, moreover it comes easier to take cool photos like this one 🙂

The most important is that if you will use your GoPro for snorkeling, make sure to buy a waterproof selfie stick that can go into salty water. Alternatively, you can mount your camera on a GoPro snorkeling mask  too!

GoPro Dome Port for half underwater photos

It is so much fun to take over-under split photos with a GoPro camera! A half underwater GoPro photo is a cool-looking shot when a certain part of the image shows the underwater scene while the other half of the image displays the above the water level surrounding.

Split photo with fish
GoPro Split Photo

If you want to take such images, read our special tips on how to capture split images easily and see what best GoPro dome ports are!

As mentioned, all newest models are waterproof up to 10 m without any additional case, but to be on the safe side we recommend to get a dive housing if you will use your GoPro for snorkeling. For diving, the GoPro underwater case  is a must because you will go deeper than 33 ft (10 m) for sure, but also for surface swimming it is a safer set-up to prevent accidentally leaking.

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Gopro on a floaty underwater

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Anett Szaszi

Anett is a certified scuba diver, freediver and an expert in snorkeling with more than 10 years experience. She fell in love with the ocean when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea in 2008. Since then , she is traveling all over the world to discover our waters. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. Visiting mega-cities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. She is interested in sustainable traveling and marine conservation. She is hoping to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!

4 thoughts on “GoPro for snorkeling – Hero9 Black, Hero8 and Hero7

  • 2019-01-29 at 14:21
    Permalink

    Hi there, I love your post!

    I recently acquired a GoPro Hero 7 Black and am going on a snorkelling trip soon.

    With the Hero 7 black, do I need to use additional housing for simple snorkelling? Like the super suit?

    I guess I am wondering if the sea water could damage the native GoPro body.

    Your advice would be much appreciated, thanks!

    Reply
    • 2019-01-31 at 15:44
      Permalink

      Hi Alvin,
      Thank you for your message, glad to hear that you liked our post! Regarding your question, however the Hero 7 Black is waterproof up to 33ft without additional housing and can be used in salt water, to be on the safe side I would buy a housing to avoid accidental water damages. It is small money comparing to the value of the camera but gives protection up to 196 ft. You can buy the original GoPro Hero7 Supersuit or other waterproof case for GoPro. Hope this helps! Have fun,
      BR, Anett

      Reply
  • 2019-11-21 at 21:18
    Permalink

    Hi,

    At the moment I have a GoPro Hero 4 Silver. Should I not upgrade or upgrade to Hero 7 or 8?

    Regards

    Reply
    • 2019-11-23 at 14:42
      Permalink

      Hi Davy,

      I think the latest models have so many new features such as the stabilization, TimeWarp, better photo and video quality that make the upgrade reasonable. Don’t forget to get a waterproof case too so you can use it safely underwater (I know these models are waterproof without case too, but I trust more in the camera+case combo)

      Hope this helps,

      BR, Anett

      Reply

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