If you’re the type to spend a lot of time outdoors, then the chances are you own or are considering a GoPro to capture your adventures. Each year there is a new release and this year we see a couple of welcome tweaks to the Hero 8 and some great new features.

Let’s get the biggest rumour addressed first about the front-facing screen. Yes, the GoPro Hero 9 does have it which makes the camera ideal for Vlogging. But there are a huge number of improved features too that make the Hero 9 hugely attractive as an upgrade or for first-time buyers.

The update this year includes 5K video capture and 20MP photos. Video capture is aided by HyperSmooth video stabilisation, which almost removes the need for an expensive gimbal. Even hammering through winding roads, or down a mountain bike track, the horizon levelling has delivered excellent and exceedingly stable results.

Moving to the physical hardware — as already mentioned — a new front-facing display will be welcomed by Vloggers who actively use GoPro hardware and may well entice new buyers from that cohort. There’s a larger rear display which helps with setting your shots and particularly with menu navigation. A problem GoPro has had for years is that the battery life has been underwhelming. The Hero 9 Black gives users a reported 30% more battery life which (in our upcoming review) we’re happy to confirm is accurate.

More mods

It wouldn’t be a GoPro release without some new mods and the Max Lens Mod is one that can take your recordings up a level. It’s a bit cliche to use “Max” with everything, but here we go… Max HyperSmooth video stabilisation and Max SuperView ultra-wide-angle photo are functions that you’ll get on the HERO9 Black with the new lens. One particular feature I’m fascinated by, but terrified to try, is the horizon lock.

Max Lens Mod also allows for horizon lock even when the camera is rotated a full 360°. This enables mind blowing creative versatility for social media producers, film and television professionals and weekend warriors, alike.

The Hero 9 Black also has updates to last years mods including ​a Light Mod (AUD$84.95), Media Mod​ (AUD$129.95) and Display Mod​ (AUD$129.95). Each of these mods open their own possibilities, but personally I’m not sure the display mod will get a huge uptake given the front facing screen on the new Hero 9 Black.

Hero9 Black​ is available instore and online for RRP AU$699.95 or AU$559.95 with a one-year ​subscription to GoPro​. Existing GoPro subscribers can also take advantage of the AU$559.95 pricing at GoPro.com. Let’s be honest, the discount with subscription makes it a no-brainer, but make sure you cancel before renewal.

What features have captured your interest in the brand new GoPro Hero 9 Black?