I’ve been lucky enough to have the HERO9 for a couple of weeks now and I can safely say the introduction of a front-facing display is fantastic. The second display really benefits you when framing up shots.
For those of us who shoot video in confined spaces, like inside a car, it’s not always easy, or possible, to see the rear display and at times, using remote view via the mobile app is not practical.
Having the ability to quickly review your positioning before tightening down the mount, ensures that you capture the right thing, the first time.
Given the dual-display does eat more battery, you can configure how you want the display to work. It is possible to turn the front-display off completely, put it in Status only mode, Actual screen, or Full screen.
Personally I found myself going between the Actual screen mode and Full screen option. Actual screen mode not only shows you a live feed of what the camera is seeing, but also contains the regular data you’d get on the rear screen. This mode includes details like the video quality, battery life, storage remaining (in minutes) and which mode you’re in (photos, video, timelapse).
If you configure the camera first using the rear display, or your mobile app, then this level of detail on the front display will be unneccesary and full-screen may be the better option.
Overall the extra screen is really welcome and such a great addition to the GoPro series. That extra power draw is countered by the inclusion of a 30% bigger battery.
The downside of a larger battery pack is that those existing Hero owners, won’t be able to use their old battery in the latest camera.