Nomad
Posts: 1,156
Re: Hero 9 for telemetry
[ Edited ]

I got a new Hero 9 unit and tested its GPS capabilities alongside my 8. 

Summary:

- Some Hero 9 units perform much better than others. So there could be a hardware factor. While my first Hero9 was unusable for GPS use, this one is acceptable quite often.

- This one performed "well", but still not like the Hero 8.

- The way you mount the camera (hand-held, mounted on metal or on plastic) does not seem to have an impact on GPS performance (like it did with touchscreen sensitivity). So probably no grounding issues are involved (at least with this unit)

- Firmware versions (1.0 vs 1.22) did not make any noticeable difference.
- The 9 seems to report more bad data samples (even when the coordinates are good), but also include more extremely bad samples as valid ones.

- The 9 shows a bright white GPS icon ("GPS is ready") much earlier than the 8, even when the GPS is obviously not ready, judging by the results.

Tests (Hero 8 is always on the left, Hero 9 on the right):

The first batch of tests were hand-held. With firmware 1.0 (just unboxed, no updates) on the Hero9. I mounted the camera on different accessories (metal and plastic, which seemed to make no difference).

 

c28.png
- H9 is slightly worse (reports more bad locations).

a2.png

- H9 is slightly worse (reports more bad locations), but usable.

 

a3.png

- H9 is better! Unlike the H8, it does not randomly cross the road.

a4.png

- H9 is slightly worse (more reported bad locations and some actually bad), but usable.

Here I switch to a side-by-side mount on my motorcycle gas tank. Still 1.0 firmware.

 

b1.png
- H9 is unusable despite showing a "GPS ready" icon much much earlier than the H8. H9 labels bad locations as good. H8 is average but usable.

b2.png
- H9 is slightly worse (more bad locations and some good ones reported as bad), but close to usable.

b3.png

- H9 and H8 are both good.

b4.png
- H9 is slightly worse (reports more bad locations) but close to usable.

b5.png
- H9 is unusable when crossing under a bridge. H8 is great despite that.

b6.png
- H9 is slightly worse under challenging conditions (narrow streets). But ok all things considered

Here I update the Hero 9 to firmware 1.22. Still motorcycle mount.
c1.png
- Both good. H9 very marginally worse (reports some bad locations).

c2.png
- H9 is slightly worse (reports some good locations as bad). But usable.

c3.png
- H9 is slightly worse (reports some good locations as bad). But usable.

c4.png
- H9 gets confused under bridges again, but not by much. Close to usable.

I have not included clips where both cameras were unusable due to bad conditions (buildings, foliage...). There were no instances where the H9 was usable and the H8 was not.

Ok, so I'm keeping this Hero 9 (and the 8), but looking forward to firmware improvements!