Best GoPro Cameras

Updated April 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

103 Models Considered
15 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
123 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best GoPro cameras

Last Updated April 2019

Much like Band-Aids or Kleenex, GoPro makes products so good that their brand name is synonymous with the product itself. GoPro’s portable video cameras set the standard for action cameras: they’re durable enough to withstand just about any outdoor activity, they’re easy enough for anyone to use, and they include features typically reserved for far pricier cameras.

Whether you’re looking for a straightforward video camera to capture memories on your next family adventure, or you want to document every step of the way toward your next triathlon in 4K video, a GoPro is the perfect recording companion.

Ready to jump into the world of GoPro cameras? Here’s everything you need to know to pick the right one for yourself. And when you’re ready to buy, take a look at our top recommendations.

Even if you don’t own a 4K TV, it’s still worth it to get a GoPro that records videos in 4K. The videos will still play on a standard HDTV but be downscaled for lower-resolution screens. And taking 4K videos now means you’ll have plenty to watch when you upgrade to a 4K set.

Key considerations

All the different GoPro cameras take high-quality video, but each model is designed with specific use cases in mind. Before you start comparing GoPros, consider these questions about how you’ll use yours, then find the model that best matches your needs.

Do you need a camera that can survive multiple days away from a power outlet?

Some GoPro cameras have user-replaceable batteries, and some don’t. If you need a camera for camping or several days away from home, you’re going to want the former. If you buy a GoPro camera with a swappable battery, you can keep extras with you, so you’ll never miss filming the perfect moment. On the other hand, if you’ll only be using your camera for an hour or two at a time, you can save money by getting a model without a user-replaceable battery.

Do you want to tag your videos and photos with GPS locations?

Plenty of outdoor adventurers love geo-tagging their content so others can see the exact locations of their footage. Having a library of geo-tagged content can be fun for tracking all of the different locations you and your GoPro camera visit, but it’s not supported by every model, so keep track of which models do (and don’t) have GPS.

Is 4K video critical to you?

Most GoPro cameras can film in 4K (3840 x 2160), but older models are limited to standard HD (1920 x 1080). Premium models can film in 4K at higher frame rates like 60 frames per second (fps), which results in smoother, more realistic video. If you need superior 4K video quality, you’ll need to look at the more expensive GoPro cameras, but if you need great but not amazing video, you can save a decent amount of money by getting a prior-generation model that records in HD.

Rugged and smart

The HERO7 Black is the best action camera available, bar none. It checks all the boxes when it comes to features, delivering incredible 4K, 60 fps video and taking vibrant photos with its 12MP camera. If you want a durable camera you can take anywhere, and you want the best the market has to offer, this is the only one to look at.

GoPro camera features

All GoPro cameras cover the basics of action cameras: they’re portable, waterproof, and rugged enough to tag along on any outdoor adventure, and they also take high-quality video. Beyond that, however, there are some big differences across the product line, including some features that are worth paying extra for. Here are the GoPro camera capabilities to consider keeping on your short list.

Spherical capture

GoPro is leading the charge toward consumer-created virtual reality (VR) environments, and their first VR-ready cameras make it happen with what they’ve dubbed “spherical capture,” which is pretty accurate, given the 360° field of view they record. VR is still a nascent technology, but it’s definitely the future. If you’re an early adopter, you’ll want to pick up a GoPro with spherical capture.

GoPro cameras are incredibly durable, which might explain why they don’t come with a carrying case, but we recommend getting one. It will help you keep all the camera accessories together while protecting your GoPro.

Multi-microphone processing

GoPro cameras are great at recording audio, too, and they each use multiple microphones to capture sound, so you get an accurate sonic mix of both your subjects and their environments. Naturally, the more microphones, the better the resulting soundtrack. If you’re serious about audio, you’ll want to get a GoPro with multiple mics.

Live streaming

Some GoPro cameras were made for connecting on the web and even support live-streaming video, so you can broadcast your adventures to all your friends. Whether you’re into video blogging your latest rock-climbing trip or just updating your followers with what you’re up to, you can do it on some GoPros.

EXPERT TIP

Read the manual before you start using your GoPro – it could save you a lot of time. Cameras can be complicated, and it can take a minute to figure out each of the features and how to use them. Read all about what the GoPro can do before you start shooting and you’ll take much better images.


Staff  | BestReviews

GoPro camera prices

Inexpensive: Between $200 and $300, you’ll find GoPro cameras that are perfect for most people. There are great 1080p models and some decent 4K models in this price range, and if you’re willing to look at last-generation models, you’ll find a lot to like here. If you absolutely need bleeding-edge features like spherical capture or live streaming, you’ll need to look at more expensive models, but if you just want an action camera that can take gorgeous video and go just about anywhere, you don’t need to spend more than $300.

Expensive: Between $300 and $600, you’ll see GoPro’s most impressive hardware: cameras that can shoot 4K, 60 fps video, or spherical capture for creating virtual reality environments. If you’re itching for GoPro’s most innovative features, you’ll need to spend more.

In-Depth Look: GoPro Hero 6 and Accessories

Tips

  • Look online for GoPro videos. If you’re having trouble deciding between GoPro cameras, look online for sample videos posted by current owners. GoPro owners frequently post demo videos on various video-sharing sites, giving you an opportunity to see what video quality is like under real-world conditions. Watch as many sample videos as you can to get a sense of what each model is capable of.
     
  • Sign up for a cloud-based service. All GoPro cameras are set up to transfer photo and video files to your computer or smartphone, but if you’re serious about backing up your content, consider subscribing to a cloud-based backup service. Cloud-based services, such as GoPro Plus, safely keep copies of your media files and allow you to access them from other devices as needed, which can be a lot more convenient than carrying all of your content around with you on your phone.
     
  • Check out GoPro’s official accessories. GoPro offers a full line of accessories, ranging from dual-battery chargers to tripods and hand grips. The official accessories work seamlessly with GoPro hardware; for example, the company offers multiple camera mounts that help you produce stable, jitter-free video.
DID YOU KNOW?

Many GoPros accept voice commands, which is perfect in situations where your hands aren’t free. All you have to do is say one of the predetermined commands, like “GoPro, take a photo.” Familiarize yourself with the list of terms ahead of time.

Portable power

Don’t let its size fool you. The GoPro HERO5 Session may be small, but as a camera, it’s mighty. It focuses on portability without sacrificing power: it’s only an inch and a half tall, but it records in 4K and it’s completely waterproof. While it doesn’t have the touchscreen interface that other GoPro cameras do, it’s the only GoPro that can fit in your pocket.

Other products we considered

The GoPro HERO7 White is the company’s entry-level model, although the term “entry-level” is a little hard to apply to a camera so powerful. The HERO7 White has most of the same features as the other HERO7 models, with one big difference: the camera is limited to HD (1080p) video and doesn’t shoot in 4K. That’s not as big of a deal as it sounds. The resulting video is still excellent, and the price break more than justifies the concession in resolution. The GoPro HERO7 Silver is another good option for anyone looking for a good middle ground between the HERO7 White and HERO7 Black. It records in 4K at 30 fps, and it even has on-board GPS like its more expensive counterpart. If you need a dependable, affordable 4K camera and you don’t mind that the battery isn’t user-replaceable, the HERO7 Silver is your best option.

GoPros with live-streaming features work with multiple websites. If you want a GoPro camera for live streaming, look for a full list of video sites it supports. With the right model, you can upload videos directly to Vimeo, Twitch, YouTube, and other sites.

FAQ

Q. Can I wirelessly transfer photos from a GoPro camera while it’s underwater?
A.
No. WiFi doesn’t work underwater. While all GoPro cameras are great at taking underwater shots, they’re all land-lovers at heart and need to be above water to do any wireless transferring of files.

Q. Are GoPro cameras good for deep-sea diving photography?
A.
Not without some extra gear. All GoPros have a waterproof rating that’s expressed as a depth; for example, most of them are rated as waterproof to ten meters, meaning you could swim about 30 feet down with your GoPro camera and it would still work. However, some users want to push those limits even farther, and for them, GoPro makes the “Super Suit,” a reinforced plastic housing designed to withstand water depths to 60 meters. If you’re shopping for equipment for deep-sea photography, plan on getting a Super Suit for your GoPro.​​​​​​​

Q. How much video can I take with a GoPro camera?
​​​​​​​A.
It depends on how big of a memory card you use with your GoPro. GoPro cameras work with standard SD cards, which are affordable and come in all different quantities. In most cases, it pays to get a memory card with plenty of storage. GoPro videos, especially those shot in 4K, can produce especially large files that can eat up storage faster than you think. We recommend getting an SD card with at least 128GB of available storage.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alice
    Alice
    Web Producer
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Production Assistant
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jaime
    Jaime
    Writer
  • Jeff
    Jeff
    Editor
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Vukan
    Vukan
    Post Production Editor

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey