GoPro HERO10 Underwater Review

A GoPro powerhouse that can shoot 5.3K/60fps and 4K/120fps - and a significant upgrade to the HERO9!
By Todd Kortte and Nirupam Nigam

Every year GoPro comes out with a better camera - often ranking as the top action camera for underwater video. As expected, the GoPro Hero 10 is top notch and a surprisingly significant upgrade from the GoPro Hero9. With higher frame rates, it will be easier to slow down video. Thus stabilization will no longer be the challenge that it is for underwater shooters. Moreover, our underwater tests of the GoPro Hero 10 clearly show that the color science built-in to the GoPro color profile is a significant improvement from the Hero 9. So is the Hero 10 worth the upgrade? After a week of diving with this little camera in the tropical waters of Belize, we think so... 

U.S. MSRP: $349.98




Jump to a Section

GoPro HERO10 Black Specs   |   GoPro HERO9 vs HERO10   |   Key Features

Recommended GoPro Settings & QR Codes  |   GoPro HERO10 Accessories

GoPro HERO10 Underwater Housings

GoPro HERO 10 Sample Video   |   Conclusion   |   Full GoPro Tutorial Series



GoPro HERO10 Black Specifications

Key Upgrades from the GoPro Hero10 Black

  • Better lens cover (hydrophobic and scratch-resistant)
  • Improved frame rates for better stabilization
  • Improved HyperSmooth Image Stabilization
  • Better GoPro color picture profile for underwater video
  • Better low light shooting

GoPro HERO10 Black Complete Specs


GoPro HERO9 vs HERO10

The GoPro HERO10 improves upon the HERO9 with better HyperSmooth image stabilization, better picture quality (and color), and higher frame rates. Bluewater Travel trip leader, Todd Kortte, put the two cameras side-by-side to show the difference. Check out the results!




GoPro HERO10 Key Features


High Frame Rate and High Resolution Video

The Hero10 is a unique action camera because it offers 5.3K video packed onto a small sensor. While most everyday viewing screens cap out at a 4K resolution, 5.3K video can be useful because you can crop your original footage down to 4K video and get even closer to hard-to-reach subjects. This is particularly useful for macro video shooters that may not be able to get as close to tiny critters as they wish. It's nice to have a 60fps frame rate at this resolution as you can still slow down your footage in post processing for additional stabilization. 

The real gem in the Hero10's video features is its 4K/120p video capability. If you film quick animals in rough ocean conditions, you'll be delighted to find that you can slow down your video over 4 times to extreme stabilization. Combined with HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilization, we never felt like our underwater video would be too shaky to use during normal dives. 

Now it's important to note that both 4K/120p and 5.3K/60p are filmed with high compression codecs. This means they can be difficult to play on some screens. To get around this issue, you can import your video into an editing software and re-export with an H.264 codec that is readable by more devices. 

Finally, the GoPro Hero10 offers 8x slow motion video at 2.7K - 240 fps! This incredible features will allow you to capture some of the world's fastest critters and slow down their actions to dramatic effect. 2.7K is still a very high resolution on most screens and is more than sufficient for most video shooters.

***Editor's Note - We have noticed that the Hero10 overheats on higher resolutions and frame rate, but turns itself back on. You can turn off the front LCD and turn down the brightness on the rear screen to help reduce heat.


Improved HyperSmooth 4.0 Stabilization

GoPro is well known for producing incredibly still footage with their HyperSmooth stabilization mode. Underwater video shooters should always try to make use of this feature as three dimensional underwater environments can be quite difficult to navigate without it. We found HyperSmooth 4.0 was so smooth it almost felt like our camera was on a gyrostabilizer.


Incredible Color Science

Color science may be an overused term, but it's clear that the GoPro Color picture profile has an ideal color science for underwater shooters. Our side-by-side tests with the HERO9 show just how accurate the HERO10's colors are. We even feel that HERO10 shooters no longer need to shoot in a flat color profile to edit their footage. GoPro color will do the trick with most shooters.



A Lens Cover for Surf & Snorkel Video

GoPro made the HERO10 lens cover hydro-phobic and scratch-resistant. This is perfect for surf and snorkel shooters who frequently enter and exit water as the camera is rolling. We noticed during our dives that the water seemed to roll off the lens cover after surfacing from a dive. 



Hindsight is a very useful feature that has been available in GoPros since the HERO8. It allows the camera to capture recordings even before you press the record button. Hindsight forces the camera to record continuously and then it adds 15 or 30 seconds of recoding to the beginning of the clip before you hit record. This setting does drain battery, but it can be worth using in case you witness a unique encounter.


A Rugged Design

GoPros have always been rugged cameras. In fact, I shot the Hero1 out of a rocket (don't try this at home) and when my parachute didn't deploy, it worked fine after a half mile fall back to earth. The GoPro HERO10 is built similarly but more importantly, it is waterproof down to 33 ft (10m). This makes it an excellent camera for snorkeling. It also means that if you do get a flood in your housing at depth, the HERO10 is better protected from water damage. 


Recommended GoPro Settings

Despite the HERO10 being able to capture 5.3K & 4K/120p video, we recommend shooting 4K video @ 60 fps, a wide field of view, with HyperSmooth image stabilization on. This is because 5.3K/60p and 4K/120p video require powerful computers to read their codecs and take up a lot of space on your card. If you have fast microSD cards and a powerful computer, you can consider shooting at 4K/120p video for fast subjects and 5.3K/60p video for scenes where you want to crop in post processing. 4K/60p or 2.7K/60p video is a good starting point because you can slow down your video 2 times for stabilization but you don't need as much processing power when editing the video.


Top Tips for Shooting with a GoPro Hero10

  • Lock the orientation before shooting underwater, and lock the screen!
  • If you shoot 5.3K@60p and your computer can’t handle HEVC, download the footage into an editor and export with an H264 codec
  • Use hindsight for dives with a lot of action (to make sure you capture everything), but it will eat up your battery
  • 100mbps bit rate
  • Try adjusting the shutter so it is double your frame rate
  • If you have a video light on a night dive or in a cave (with no ambient light), match the white balance with the color temp of the light
  • Play around with your ISO – on bright dives or dives with a video light set max to 800
  • Try a flat color profile if you are going to edit the footage in post – might not be the best option for blue water
  • Turn quick capture on if you don’t want to miss anything
  • Lower brightness to preserve battery lite
  • Crop in post processing for “B-roll”


GoPro QR Codes at Bluewater Photo

GoPro QR codes in the Field

If you have shot a previous GoPro model, you may have noticed that settings are controlled via a touch screen that cannot be accessed underwater. This means that you will not be able to change your video settings underwater. However, there is a simple solution. Bluewater Photo now offers QR codes that can be used to change your GoPro settings to different recommended presets for underwater video! Click here to check out the new GoPro QR codes.


Top GoPro HERO10 Accessories

SeaLife Aquapod

SeaLife Aquapod

Capture your best selfie yet with the extendable Aquapod. Made by SeaLife, the Aquapod is designed for underwater use. Not only can you capture that selfie, but you can get the camera closer to your subject, whether it is something small or something skittish that you can't approach. The aquapod can also be quite useful for immersing the GoPro into the water from a small boat.

SeaLife Aquapod


GoPro Multigrip Handle

Adding a handle like the Beneath the Surface Multigrip handle adds stability and is an easy way to hold your GoPro while diving, or any other activity. Often, if handholding your GoPro, you'll see your fingers wrap around into the picture. This problem is solved with the handle.

GoPro Multigrip Handle


GoPro Tray and Handles

GoPro Handles and Tray

Attaching your GoPro 10 to a tray and handles will make the camera easier to hold on to and much, much more stable underwater. In addition, the handles serve as a mounting point for video lights. Below are a few of our favorites:

Ultralight GoPro Wing Tray & Handles for GoPro

Beneath the Surface Angled Double GoPro Tray

Kraken Action Camera Tray


Video Lights

i-torch fishlite video light

Bring color back into the picture with the use of video lights. Even a high-powered light will only illuminate a subject a few feet in front of you, so these are most useful for macro and close focus wide-angle video. Adding a video light to your GoPro setup will allow you to shoot professional-quality video on your next dive! Below are a few of our favorites: 

Kraken Sports Hydra 4000

Light & Motion dual Light Value Package

Be sure to visit Bluewater Photo to learn about more video lights, whether professional high-lumen or small and affordable.


GoPro HERO10 Filters

Red and magenta filters can be an easy way to bring back color into your underwater GoPro video. This kit from PolarPro are our favorite filters for the GoPro HERO10. Check out our red filters test below.



GoPro HERO10 Underwater Housings

Isotta GoPro Hero 9 & 10 Housing

Isotta GoPro Hero 9 & 10 Underwater Housing

*Ferrari of the Sea, Stylish, Durable*

The Isotta GoPro Hero 9, Hero 10 Black Underwater Housing is an elegant and luxurious, Italian-made underwater housing. It is crafted from an anodized aluminum complete with a characteristic red finish that is the signature of the brand. Isotta housings are known for being extremely lightweight and compact. The housing features an easy-to-use, single-hand locking system and a double o-ring seal for added safety. 



Recsea GoPro Hero 9 & 10 Underwater Housing

*300m Depth Rating, Aluminum Housing, Built to Last*

The Recsea GoPro Hero9 & Hero 10 Underwater Housing is an excellent aluminum underwater GoPro housing which is built to last and can withstand a beating even in the harshest conditions. It has a depth rating of a whopping 300m. It also utilizes Recsea's secure locking system for easy opening and closing of housing. Record and mode buttons can be accessed through the housing.



Anglerfish GoPro Hero9 , Hero 10 Large Underwater Housing

*Simple and Reliable, Allows Larger Batteries*

The Anglerfish GoPro Hero9, Hero10 Large Underwater Housing is built from aircraft grade aluminum which makes it durable and light weight. The lass lens is built from sapphire glass lens and has AR coating. The housing also features 4 M14 bulkhead port for third party accessories. In addition, the housing also allows the use of larger batteries to minimize battery change.


Help support our content and shop GoPro HERO10 HousingsGoPro PackagesGoPro Accessories and more on Bluewater Photo for all the housing, accessory and shooting tips you need to bring home excellent underwater video.

Email if you have any questions about the gear!




GoPro HERO10 Sample Underwater Video




The GoPro HERO10 just might be the best action camera currently available. With 4K/120p and 5.3K/60p video, new horizons open up to underwater video shooters that want capability in a tiny package. Moreover, it's clear from our tests that the GoPro HERO10 performs better overall than the GoPro HERO9 - enough so that it is worth the upgrade.


GoPro Camera Reviews


GoPro Tutorials




Todd Kortte is an actor in Hollywood and has a passion for the underwater world.  He brings his experience and knowledge from working on over 150 different shoots in Hollywood to the underwater filming and editing genre.  Todd has published underwater films, has won 8 film festival awards with his underwater work, and is a 3-time winner in the Bluewater Photo SoCal Shootout for the Edited Video category


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