In recent years, GoPro has become one of the market’s most popular action camera brands. Their products are known for their high quality and durability, making them a go-to choice for many adventure seekers. With so many different GoPro models to choose from, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.
In this article, Staaker.com will be comparing the GoPro Fusion vs Hero 7, two of the brand’s most popular cameras.
Compare GoPro Fusion vs GoPro Hero 7 Sports & Action Camera
Thankfully, GoPro’s first 360° camera shoots in a resolution higher than 4K. It does, however, record video at 5.2K resolution and 30 frames per second. Alternatively, at 60 frames per second in 3K resolution (3008×1504 pixels). It captures still photos at a resolution of 18 MP. All of this is good, albeit the Yi 360 VR and the new Insta360 One X both manage 5.7K resolution.
So, what distinguishes it from other 360° cameras? Fusion’s main feature may have nothing to do with the 360° format. Fusion’s over-capture software lets you capture the full surrounding scene first, then post-frame it as a conventional Full HD widescreen video.
You could, for example, shoot a complete freestyle ski area and then edit a movie of one skier performing tricks and jumps. Alternatively, create a widescreen movie that follows your bike ride in first person, or the biker in front of you, but also peels away to display your surroundings. It also means you can quickly share 360-degree videos with anyone on any platform.
Is GoPro taking a chance? Is it genuinely dedicated to the 360-degree format? We believe so because over-capture is basically about one thing in videography: never losing a second of the action.
For the time being, it may appear to be a new function, but we are confident that over-capture will become a common, must-have feature in any video recording equipment in the future. The Insta360 One’s FreeCapture and the Garmin Virb 360’s HyperFrame are competitors.
Fusion also features many more sensors, improved audio, and voice control, unlike other 360° cameras. However, there are a few notable exclusions from its comprehensive feature list: there’s no 100fps slo-mo mode, and 360° live-streaming isn’t an option.
Is there anyone that broadcasts live 360° video over the internet? No, they don’t, and it’ll be a long time before it becomes widespread. As a result, we don’t believe this is a significant concern.
The Fusion is one of the few 360° cameras that can withstand the elements. For starters, it’s waterproof to a depth of five meters, allowing you to use it in the water. Anyone planning to utilize it for extreme water activities or skiers who want to capture the action from the slopes in a wraparound style should be pleased. It appears to be quite durable with a rubberized outer shell, rounded corners, and side panels with a built-in grip strip.
The Fusion, which measures 73 x 75 x 23mm and weighs 226g with its 2,620mAh lithium-ion battery installed, is designed for the outdoors. Its square design also makes it more difficult to fit into a pocket than other 360° cameras.
The Fusion is unique in genre because it contains a slot on either side of the battery for microSD cards, one for each lens. The Fusion comes with two complimentary 32GB SanDisk Extreme microSD cards. That’s a thoughtful gesture from GoPro. Another little hatch conceals the USB-C charging port.
A universal tripod thread (1/4-inch) on the Fusion’s undercarriage is possibly the most critical connection. It may be used to mount the Fusion to any tripod or GoPro mount, albeit the Fusion Grip Mount, a 23cm-long baton that unfolds into a 53cm-long tripod with short feet, is included in the box. Attaching the Fusion to it is a little problematic, owing to the undercarriage interfering with the screw.
In use, it nearly achieves its goal of elevating the Fusion above the ground to create a 360° video with plenty of balance; however, it’s no sound on rugged terrain, and we weren’t secure using it in high winds. A semi-hard box that can wrap around the Fusion even when linked to the Fusion Grip Mount is also provided.
The Fusion is all about simplicity when it comes to operation; there are just two buttons: the power button and the shutter button. There’s also a tiny LCD screen with menus that can be navigated with those two buttons.
The Fusion enjoys being spoken to, and while voice control is restricted, it performed admirably during our testing. The app and the GoPro Fusion Studio software were two main points of dispute, as was the camera itself.
When you’re out and about, however, you can merely utilize the in-camera controls, and the Fusion dependably produces fantastic footage. The resolution isn’t awe-inspiring; 5.2K suffices, and there’s plenty of room for more pixels. The picture stabilization, which works quite well, was one of our favorites. Similarly, selfies can easily be edited to remove the selfie stick.
At first, the over-capture function is simple to operate. Fusion Studio allows you to import a 360° video file (saved as an MP4 file by the Fusion) and dynamically adjust the film’s perspective. Re-framing and cropping are simple in the software, but it’s a little more difficult on the app.
There is, however, one disadvantage to over-capture mode, at least for the time being: resolution, or rather, the lack thereof. Filming at 5.2K resolution may appear a sophisticated feature, but cropping down to a 16:9 image leaves you with a Full HD definition video that seems dated.
Over-capture loses too many pixels in the process. Thus it’s unlikely to be a compelling reason to acquire the Fusion until 8K or even higher resolutions become available.
Fusion’s over-capture films are now crisp and colorful, with excellent image stabilization. JPEGS can be taken intentionally or from recordings, and they benefit from 360° features like ‘small planet’ mode and the drone-like ‘angel view.’
However, the specifications led us down a couple of rabbit holes: ISO6400 suggests that the Fusion would be ideal for shooting an all-sky film at night to watch the movement of stars in the sky. We tried it, but the results were disappointing.
Software & App
The GoPro app is simple. In some ways, this is beautiful, although it lost connection to the phone several times throughout our test. Inane demands to make decisions on personal data, establish notifications and enable auto cloud backup disrupted the pairing process and didn’t help matters.
After restarting the app and manually entering the password on the fourth attempt, the Fusion and phone were eventually connected, which is precisely what is not meant to happen. But, oh well.
When it works, the app displays a low-resolution live broadcast from Fusion, but it also allows you to modify settings and afterward upload the results to YouTube and Facebook… if you have the time. It takes such a long time to process. Now the app can export full-resolution images and videos, complete with stabilization.
In the app, you can do a simple over-capture, but it’s limited to zooming and essential pans. It failed to show thumbnails of films and photos that had already been taken during our test, so deciding which files to modify required a lot of guesswork.
It was difficult to edit on such a little screen, but the app was almost worthless due to the continual loss of WiFi connection to the Fusion.
Fusion Studio 1.3 does everything the software does, plus a lot more. It’s a fantastic program, but it’s prolonged. So sluggish. When you connect the Fusion to a computer, the program will spend 10 minutes ‘preparing media.’ The videos on the microSD cards take another five minutes to load.
Finally, once you’ve completed all the modifications you want – thorough and straightforward – it begins rendering. You’ll have some entertaining footage after hours and hours of your PC being frozen. As a result, only render what you need and leave it running overnight. The Fusion is remarkable and provides excellent video quality, but it’s a bit hard and time-consuming to use.
GoPro HERO7 Black Camera
While some may be dismayed that many of the core features are nearly identical to those of the Hero6 Black, GoPro’s focus for this model was on enhancing the experience of using the gadget rather than upping frame rates and packing more pixels.
This means, for example, that the Hero 7 Black retains the same 12MP sensor and wide-angle lens, as well as the top video specs of 4K at 60fps and Full HD at a maximum 240fps for 8x slowed-down footage. However, the numerous additional sweeteners make this a far more potent camera than previously.
The most important of these is HyperSmooth, which GoPro compares to using a gimbal in video stabilization. This was designed in response to user feedback that this was the number one request – and it gives a clear advantage for anyone who finds using a gimbal for their preferred activity uncomfortable.
GoPro isn’t hesitant about boasting about its capabilities, stating that it has the finest in-camera video stabilization technology of any camera, not just action cameras. Furthermore, the methods of operation are believed to have no negative impact on battery life.
Unlike the Hero 6 Black, which can only apply standard stabilization to 30fps when recording in 4K, the Hero 7 Black’s HyperSmooth may be utilized to capture 60fps footage at full quality (albeit not at 4:3). The only other occasion you won’t be able to use it is when shooting Full HD video at 240fps or 120fps; however regular stabilization is accessible at the latter frame rate.
TimeWarp video is a new function on the Hero 7 Black that blends frame-by-frame time-lapse shooting (which you can still do individually) with HyperSmooth – essentially a stabilized hyperlapse. In essence, it allows you to create time-lapse films while completely controlling the Hero 7 Black. That’s right: no tripod required, and you may move around as much as you like.
Voice Control is back, recognizing 12 different requests like GoPro snap a photo and GoPro start video recording, which cover all primary functions.
The Hero 7 Black’s audio performance has also been improved. GoPro increased the microphone’s dynamic range, resulting in more natural bass tones and brighter mids, and modified the microphone membrane to reduce vibrations, allowing it to capture more subtle noises than before.
Easier to take photos
SuperPhoto, which works similarly to a scene-intelligent auto option on a more traditional camera and automates several valuable things you would not think to enable when taking images, was another new feature on the Hero 7 Black.
When shooting situations with a broad dynamic range, instead of calling on HDR, it will do it for you if you want it to. Similarly, the Hero 7 Black uses multi-frame noise reduction in low-light situations if it deems it is necessary.
ProTune will allow you to alter things like exposure compensation, white balance, ISO range, sharpness, and so on for those who want to intervene and get creative. On the Hero 7 Black, you can take raw photographs and JPEGs. You can also shoot bursts of images at a maximum of 30 frames per second by telling the camera how many images you want to capture over time.
The GoPro Hero7 Black is also the first Hero model to include built-in live-streaming capabilities. This currently only works with Facebook, but it is expected to expand to include YouTube and other channels in the near future.
Want to start a photo career, see some instructions to have an overview about it: How To Get Into Photography
Build and Handling
The GoPro Hero 7 Black has the same robust and fully rubberized body as the Hero 6 Black, although the sides are smooth rather than ridged. This also means that the old two-tone design is no longer available, but since you’ll almost certainly be using the GoPro in a case, it won’t make much of a difference.
The Hero, 7 Black’s build quality is comparable to that of the Hero 6 Black. Although the design is essential to provide waterproofing, the two doors to the battery/card and USB/HDMI compartments can be a little cumbersome to access. Without housing, the camera can safely travel 10m/33ft underwater (as before), while the optional Super Suit allows you to go even deeper.
A thin plastic frame wraps around the GoPro Hero 7 Black and clips into place. This may be put on an adhesive stand to keep the camera in place, as well as a variety of different mounts for helmets, handlebars, and other surfaces.
One of the benefits of the newer GoPro Hero 8 Black is that it comes with built-in mounting prongs so that you won’t need this frame. Indeed, first-time users of the Hero 7 Black are likely to be careful and find some of this fiddly, as everything needs to be tight to stay in place when used in common conditions. However, you quickly get used to how tough you have to be with it.
When you turn on the Hero 7 Black, you’ll notice how much GoPro has changed from its predecessor. The user interface has been updated, with critical information like the current frame rate and resolution condensed into a smaller space and green icons for battery life and remaining card capacity that are easier to see against brighter backgrounds than the old white icons.
The Hero 7 Black also operates like a smartphone, with simple directional swipes to access different settings, collected footage/images, and other features. With a push of the Mode button on the side, you can still switch between shooting modes, but you can also swipe.
When you position the Hero 7 Black in portrait mode, the UI changes to make it easier to use. You may turn it off if you believe it’ll be more of a bother than a benefit, but it doesn’t appear sensitive enough for the usual user to need to do so.
In case you want to consider other cameras, we provide some articles to compare:
- GoPro Hero 7 Silver Vs Black vs White
- The GoPro 5 vs The GoPro 6 Vs GoPro 7
- GoPro Fusion Vs GoPro Max
Ultimately, the GoPro Fusion and Hero 7 are two great options for anyone looking for an action camera. They both have a lot of features that make them ideal for capturing footage of your adventures, and they both offer great-quality images and videos.
If you’re undecided about which one to buy, read our comparison article to decide which one is the best for you.