GoPro's advanced image stabilization, "HyperSmooth," really works, and steadies any shaky camera work. It's as durable as they come, and the user-replaceable battery means you can bring as many extras as you want.
It's pricey when compared to other GoPro cameras. A single battery charge only lasts one to two hours, depending on what type of video you're filming.
It's can shoot in an astonishing 5.2K; it's got multiple microphones on board for rich multi-channel audio; the 18MP camera takes museum-worthy shots.
It's missing some of the fun features found on other GoPro cameras, like live streaming or TimeWarp (their unique approach to creating time-lapse videos).
With new linear mode, you can remove all distortion. That, combined with additional resolutions, lets this camera produce the highest quality content.
Some hobbyist photographers don't find the new additions necessary and find the GoPro harder to use. Same battery as the HERO5.
4K video and 10MP photography with waterproof design. The Session's small size may make it more appealing to some users.
No touchscreen. Lower photo quality than some others.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
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.
Jaime Vazquez has been writing about technology and geeking out with gadgets since 2000. He loves trying the latest electronics so that his readers don't have to, and using his inner cheapskate to find the best bargains.
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.
We spent 15 hours researching 7 GoPro cameras before picking our top 5. We then purchased our favorite model and tested it in our lab.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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