GoPro has made action cameras over the years but I’ve been reluctant to recommend any for mud runs since the 5th model. But I am recommending the Hero Black 7.
There’s 4 immediate reasons why, if you’re a mud runner, you will want this camera for your next event:
1) The stabilization is next level.
Gimbal level quality specifically. In comparison to my last 2 models, the Hero 4 and 5 Black, there was no stabilization on the 4 and very little of it on the 5, being that it was first introduced on the 5th one, but with the latest 7th version, that stabilization is astounding and you may as well consider it gimbal level.
Just imagine running through all the obstacles on your next mud run. With the previous action camera (at least the ones I’ve had), there was crazy up and down bouncing going on all the time and in fact, I considered that to be acceptable, but with the introduction of gimbal sticks and then that perk being modified on cameras to be available WITHOUT the gimbal being necessary, you will now be able to catch all the stable details of any obstacle you do, on any mud run and let me tell you, that makes watching it later and showing it off to friends that much better, because they’ll be able to see everything, not get dizzy from watching it and who knows, maybe they’ll join on the next event you do (just make sure they are in good shape).
Now add that stabilization in combination with this camera being waterproof and VERY resilient and you’ve got a lot of potential. And in fact, don’t even limit yourself to mud runs when using this, use it for mountain biking, snowboard, jogging through the woods, your name it.
2) Camera quality is very nice.
While I still very much love the quality I get from my 4th and 5th models, let’s be honest, you’re probably not going to be taking many pictures on mud runs, and you’ll probably be using it more for taking videos. Well considering the Hero 7 Black shoots at up to 4K at 60 frames per second, mix in that buttery stabilization and you can capture awesome shots.
For just picture taking purposes, I’d still say you get similar quality from the 4th, 5th and 6th models, but it’s the video quality where the 7th version excels.
3) Less bugs, more action, more fun.
While you have seen me mention owning the 4th and 5th models, you will notice I said nothing about the 6th, and that’s because I didn’t like it.
To date, the 6th model might have been the king of bugs and issues, but the 7th model has so far been minimal in that regard and doing well in having you enjoy it right when you charge up the battery for the first time.
4) Sound quality is great.
Who doesn’t love to hear how people laugh and “woo” on mud run obstacles. While there’s plenty of good action cameras that record sound well, most of them (including old GoPros) “muffle” the sound quite a bit and that’s because the actual microphone is inside the body of the camera and that already makes it harder to hear what’s going on when you’re recording videos.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still fully make out what’s up, but that added muffled effect on everything you’re recording just sucks.
Well the Hero 7 Black is great at fixing that since the recording of the sound is great, far greater than the previous GoPro’s out there, although my protective side still suggests getting an extra plastic body to protect the already protected camera itself, but that’s your call.
Now I want to make something clear about the 7th model, as there are 3 versions of it:
There’s a silver, white and black version, with the latter being the best. I don’t own the silver and white versions but from what I have seen reviewed, most people are disappointed by them and only like the Black version.
In fact, if you own a 4th, 5th and 6th model, you don’t really have any reason to buy the silver and white versions, and I would say your current models are better, so keep those.
What if I can’t afford the Hero 7 Black?
Currently, the price of this camera is $399, which is actually quite awesome, but still, that’s a few $100 some people may not have.
If picture and video quality are important to you, then even getting a Hero 4 Black should be more than enough for you and I’m the owner of one so I can say that. That one costs about $200, about 2x less than the 7.
And the 5th model which has OK stabilization (just not as good) is a little bit more expensive at $200+, but still FAR cheaper and I’m also the owner of one and am relatively happy with it.
As far as video and picture quality goes, these 2 models are VERY close to each other (see comparison) and in comparison to the 7, it’s also close enough to be tough to tell the difference.
The only real drawback of those older models is that their stabilization is not on the same level as the 7, so if that’s important for you (and for mud run people who like to document their events, it should be a priority), here’s another option:
Just get it at a Best Buy or Amazon, but finance it.
You can probably knock the $400+ in small monthly payments and pay for it that way if you really want it. I don’t know how many people may have an issue with the $400, considering most mud run events are already pretty expensive just for admission, but who knows, if you have these money problems and REALLY want the 7, again, finance it.
One last option to consider if you can’t afford the 7 is getting a waterproof gimbal for the previous models, at least then, you can basically replicate the same gimbal stabilization you’d get from the 7. Here’s a waterproof one that’s decent, but it’s about $100-$200.