The GoPro Hero 7 Black
Hands down the most popular action camera of all time has to be the GoPro. They’ve lead the charge in their niche and many have tried to copy their success… and thankfully so as it’s only pushed GoPro to create better and better iterations.
I have one of their newest models, the Hero 7 Black, which introduces a new feature called HyperSmooth which has almost rendered my handheld gimble useless.
The reason I believe that the GoPro Hero 7 is the best action camera for offroading is its amazing tech feature set and gigantic amount of accessory options.
In case your one of those people that just said: “Okay fine Levi, nuff said… I’ll take your word for it, just give me the link.” then here you go.
The GoPro Necessities
GoPros use a microSD card much like a cell phone and these memory cards are the size of a fingernail and can hold anywhere from 8Gb to 512Gb. The way technology changes a bigger cheaper one just hit the market while you were reading this.
The options of microSD cards are endless… what do I need? or which one will work? Well, there is a whole lot of technology behind these little bad boys and I’ll try to sum it up without making your head explode. The easy answer is that you need one with at least a small V30 or higher printed on it to record in 4K.
As these memory chips evolved so did the way they’re classified. It started with Speed classes like 2,4,8,10 and then there was the UHS Speed Class which is designated by a U printed on the card with the number 1 or 3 inside of the U. For this application you will just want to focus on the Video Speed Class which is designed by a V then the number like V30, V60, and V90.
Blah, blah, blah. Tech, tech, tech. Just give me the link to the best cheap one, please. Here you go: SanDisk 128Gb U3 V30
This will be the biggest limitation of your GoPro if you bought a big enough memory card as your GoPro will last approximately 45 minutes on one charge.
The GoPro has a removable battery and comes with a charging cable and so every time you run out of battery you have to use the device as a charger.
To get around this I highly recommend buying a dual battery charger that comes with an extra battery for around $50. Now you can charge two batteries at the same time while out using the GoPro if you own a third ($20).
Using Non-GoPro Brand Batteries
Huge disclaimer on using non-GoPro batteries. Don’t do it! I bought a used GoPro off of Facebook Marketplace for $250 that came with a knockoff extra battery and it seemed okay at first. But then once I got some time with it I noticed it was locking up quite a bit and I would have to pull the battery to shut it down.
I read the warranty info and one of the biggest things it talks about is using non-GoPro batteries and how it instantly voids the warranty. So don’t it. Seriously, they’re only like $20 and sometimes as low as $16 so just be safe and buy the GoPro brand batteries.
One of the biggest and best new features of the GoPro Hero 7 is HyperSmooth. I could explain it death but the video below is all the proof you need.
I have a handheld gimble for phones that I used to use for just goofing around with my kids making fun videos of us playing outside. But now that technology has come so far as to devices having built-in software that corrects for movement, I don’t even fool around with the gimble anymore.
This bad boy can go underwater down to 33ft (10m) without any extra hardware! That is just crazy as most action cameras require some kind of oversized clear case for anything water-related. Now you don’t have to worry about accidental splashes while offroading through mud and water.
The sound quality has been dramatically improved over the last two models (hero 5 & 6). If you’re looking for studio-quality you may still need to attach an external mic.
Speaking of sound, the Hero 7 has voice control so you can say any one of 16 commands like “GoPro, take a photo” and keep your hands on the wheel and stay safe while capturing your ride.
Another new feature with the Hero7 is the ability to live stream. Now you can stream your offroad adventure directly to YouTube or Facebook as long as you have cell service.
GoPro Mounting Accessories
This is another area where the GoPro really shines. GoPro’s work on a proprietary mount system and you can buy a mount for just about anything you can imagine sticking a camera on. Here are some good examples for an offroading application:
- Helmet chin mount
- Helmet swivel mount
- Head strap mount
- Tube mount (smaller handlebar)
- Tube mount (larger roll bar)
- Chest mount
- Tripod GorillaPod mount
- 3-way grip, arm, tripod
- Suction cup mount
- Headrest mount
- Flex clamp mount
- Backpack strap mount (could be used on four/five-point harness)
- Backpack shoulder strap (could be used on four/five-point harness)
Here is a 50-in-1 Accessory Kit on Amazon for roughly $20 with a ridiculously large amount of camera mount options for the money.
I personally like using the chest mount as it creates almost a video game type immersive experience being able to see my arms come into the frame on the sides. It’s also low enough to get a good feel for how fast I’m moving because the higher up you mount it the slower it ‘feels’.
I recently bought the tube mount so that I can hook it onto a sand rail or side by side. One accessory I wish I had was just a small case as I’m currently just throwing everything into a drawstring type backpack which I know isn’t the safest.
How To Get Great GoPro Footage
This is a great YouTube video that really breaks down GoPro’s and getting good footage.
GoPro Buying Options
All of these suggestions are for a GoPro Hero 7 Black. There are three editions of the Hero 7 which are the White, Silver, and Black or if it’s easier the 1080, the 4k, and the 4k with stabilization.
So, if you enjoyed this little write-up and are thinking this is the right action camera for your next offroading trip, then click through one of the above links to purchase a GoPro on Amazon.