Anyone keen on an action camera will have probably first turned to GoPro’s Hero stable of options, and many will have no doubt balked at the price of the most desirable flagship Hero 7 Black. It may well be a fine digital camera, but the fact that it costs the same as some DSLRs won’t sit easily with everyone.
So it makes sense that Silver and White alternatives should fill the void beneath this, with the former slipping above the White option but beneath the Black one. While it can’t quite pull all the fancy tricks as its older brother, it’s priced far closer to the budget White version in some territories than you’d expect, once you see just how much tech you still get.
Check Out: GoPro Hero7 Black
GoPro Hero 7 Silver: Price
Check Out: Best Action Cameras
This includes stabilized 4K video recording – albeit to 30p rather than 60p and without the impressive HyperSmooth system we saw on the Black version – and waterproofing down to 10m, together with a 2-inch touchscreen on the back and Voice Control that allows you to instruct the camera to perform almost all main functions without you raising a finger.
GoPro Hero7 Silver Specification
- 4K video: up to 30fps
- 1440p video: up to 60fps
- 1080p video: up to 60fps
- Still images: 10MP (JPEG only)
- Rear screen: 2.0-inch touchscreen
- Image stabilization: Yes
In terms of images, a 10MP sensor captures images with the help of Wide Dynamic Range technology, and bursts of images can be shot at up to 15fps. So long as you’re happy shooting in Full HD, you can do so at 60p for 2x slow-motion output too.
The camera is straightforward to use, although the touchscreen can sometimes be a little hesitant and requires a firm press or swipe here and there. The Voice Commands also work well and simplify general operation, although it’s a shame you can’t turn the camera on this way (though you can turn it off).
When shooting scenes with moderate or high contrast, the WDR feature does well to ensure that details are retained in both shadows and highlights. You do need to keep an eye on overall exposure and balance this accordingly, but this is easily done. Images show a reasonable level of detail considering the size of the sensor, although noise and artefacts can be seen when examining them at 100%, particularly in flat areas such as skies.
Video quality is very good, with crisp details when shooting in 4K and good motion when the camera is usually static. The camera will reasonably well to maintain stability while it’s moving, although it cannot quite iron out the general bumps and knocks when running with the digital camera or when shifting across uneven terrain. Audio quality is very good, though, and the time-lapse option is not only fun but capable of perfectly pleasing results.
GoPro Hero7 Silver: Image Quality
- 15fps burst shooting
- 10MP images with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)
- Works with QuikStories app
Aside from its burst and timer settings, the Hero7 Silver only provides a few basic controls over image capture. You can adjust exposure by pressing the LCD where the main subject appears – much as you would on a smartphone – and you can also call upon a spot meter and use the Touch Zoom function to zoom into the scene, but that’s about it.
The WDR system kicks in where necessary, and you may see its attempts to better balance trickier scenes. Scenes with moderate contrast end up very well exposed and it’s good to see plenty of highlight detail retained. The camera also does better than expected in high contrast, although you do need to keep an eye on publicity and compensate for this where necessary.
Details aren’t too bad in high-frequency areas, and close-up subjects fare well, although artefacts are prevalent across flatter places such as skies, pavements and so on. This becomes more of an issue when using the Contact Zoom functionality, whereby the zoomed-in image is upsized to bring it up to 10MP. Incidentally, using this feature is the only way to capture images without most of the fisheye-esque distortion from the lens, which is great for expansive scenes but less so for anything with straight lines and edges.
Detail in 4K footage is very good, and artefacts are usually kept to a minimum, while motion is captured with a pleasing fluidity when the camera is relatively static. Sound quality is also relatively clear and well balanced, without any obvious bias towards bass or treble.
The stabilisation system will a decent job to keep things steady as you move with the camera, although you perform tend to see the occasional dropped frame and constantly alternating exposure. The difference between the stabilisation system here and the advanced HyperSmooth feature found inside the Black model is obvious, so if you know you’ll be moving across bumpier land with any frequency you’re better off saving your pennies for that model.
The time-lapse feature is good fun, and you will opt to capture this in either 4K or at a lower resolution in conjunction with the Touch Zoom feature. Slight bumps and movements from whatever the digital camera is mounted on are more apparent in the footage, although if you’re travelling in or on something that’s shifting smoothly, the results are perfectly pleasing.
GoPro Hero7 Silver: Design
The basic GoPro Hero design hasn’t changed much over the years, although the company has reserved the front-facing LCD screen for its more senior Black model. Here, the front plate bears nothing more than just the optic and a small status light that flashes when you’re recording, while a 2in touchscreen takes up the whole of the rear.
The camera feels robust enough to withstand the odd knock or scrape, although you can also slip it inside its bracket for additional protection or for when you want to mount it somewhere. Operation largely takes place through a combination of the two physical controls (mode and shutter buttons) and the touch screen, although you may also use the Voice Control feature for most main tasks. The tiny touchscreen isn’t the friendliest for those with larger digits, and the screen can be a little unresponsive at times, but otherwise it works well enough.
The camera’s battery is integrated into its design, and it’s charged through a USB-C port that sits next to a microSD slot at the camera’s side. These two are well protected by a door that’s a little awkward to open easily, but this is no doubt necessary to maintain waterproofing, which is rated at the same 10m depth as the Hero’s Silver and Black siblings.
GoPro Hero7 Silver: Specifications
|Body type||VR/Action camera|
|Effective pixels||10 megapixels|
|USB||USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||116 g (0.26 lb / 4.09 oz)|
|Dimensions||62 x 45 x 28 mm (2.45 x 1.77 x 1.11″)|
Gopro Hero 7 Silver: Conclusion
The GoPro Hero 7 Silver might not provide the more ambitious user with the kind of control they’d want over capturing their exploits, but it’s easy to use and capable of pleasing results.