There are plenty of different Gopro models around, and choosing the right one can get quite confusing – which is why we’re here!
Canny camera buyers have realized GoPro are not just for wild adventures, but are also among the best travel cameras around, not to mention the best waterproof and underwater cameras.
The key to choosing the right one for you is getting to know the big hitters in GoPro’s main range of action cameras, then deciding upon which features matter most to you and which you can live without or will simply never use.
Which is the best GoPro for me?
Bear in mind that the right GoPro for you may not be the most expensive model or the one capable of recording at the highest resolution. For instance, the ability to film high bit-rate 4K footage might sound appealing but remember you have to have plenty of disk space to store the footage and your laptop or PC needs plenty of power to process and edit the footage once you’ve got back to base.
Indeed, for most people, good-quality 1080p or 1440p footage still holds up well and it’s a lot easier to edit, move around and upload than 4K. The good news is that even the cheapest GoPro cameras can do that with the Hero 7 Silver able to capture at 1440p at 60fps or 4K at 30fps.
Best GoPro cameras 2020
1. GoPro Hero 8 Black: The action camera king
Weight: 126g | Waterproof: 10m | 4K video: up to 60fps | 1080: up to 240fps | 720: up to 240fps | Stills resolution: : 12MP | Battery life: 1-3hrs estimate
The biggest name in action cameras has done it again in producing what is, hands down, the best action camera in the business.
The Hero 8’s new HyperSmooth 2 stabilisation system is better than ever and the software is more responsive and reliable than it was in the Hero 7 Black, which is a feat in itself.
With video recording up to 4K at 60fps at up to 100Mbits/sec, a new MediaMods system that will let you add professional-level audio recording and attach a forward-facing display, the GoPro Hero 8 is the undisputed king of action cameras. For capturing your outdoor activities, there’s no better camera.
2. GoPro Max: The best 360 action camera
Megapixels: 16.6MP | Screen: Touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Max continuous shooting speed: 30fps | Max video resolution: 5.6K (30fps) | Waterproofing: 5m | Voice control: Yes | GPS: Yes
The GoPro Max is an action camera but not as you know it. With fisheye lenses mounted on the front and the back of the camera, it can shoot in all directions at once, including up and down.
We’ve seen 360-degree cameras before, of course, but the GoPro Max takes it to another level, capturing video at a superb level of quality and making it super easy to capture, edit and then share the resulting footage. Indeed, if you shoot in 360 mode the Max will stitch the footage together in-camera for you so you don’t have to process the 5.6K, 30fps video on your phone or laptop after you’ve transferred it.
You can also use the GoPro Max as a regular action camera, using either one of its two lenses. In this mode, the camera’s amazing “Max HyperSmooth” stabilisation and in-camera horizon-levelling comes into play, keeping footage incredibly smooth, stable and dead-level even if you turn the camera itself on its head.
3. GoPro Hero 7 Black: The best mid-priced GoPro
Megapixels: 12MP | Screen: 2in touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi (5GHz), Bluetooth | Max continuous shooting speed: 30fps | Max video resolution: 4K (60fps) | Frame rates: 60fps (4K), 240fps (1080p), 240fps (720p) | Waterproofing: 10m | Voice control: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 1-3hrs estimated
The Hero 7 Black was, until the Hero 8 Black came along, the best GoPro there had ever been. It’s no longer top of the tree but it has had a significant price cut and it’s still pretty amazing. Its first-generation HyperSmooth technology is incredibly effective, enabling the Hero 7 Black to capture super-stable footage that looks like it was shot by a camera on a motorised gimbal.
The big difference is that you can’t use HyperSmooth in all video modes as you can with the Hero 8; and there’s no super-high 100Mbits/sec bit rate mode, either. But for most people, this is the best GoPro to buy. It’s a fabulous action camera at a very reasonable price.
4. GoPro Hero 7 Silver: Solid specifications, reasonable price
Megapixels: 10MP | Screen: 2in touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi (5GHz), Bluetooth | Max continuous shooting speed: 15fps | Max video resolution: 4K (30fps) | Frame rates: 30fps (4K), 60fps (1080p) | Waterproofing: 10m | Voice control: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 1-3hrs estimated
The GoPro Hero 7 Silver is the cheapest GoPro and brings some of the features of GoPro’s more expensive action cameras down to a more affordable level. The Hero 7 Silver doesn’t have the front status LCD of the Hero 7 Black, can only shoot 4k at up to 30fps and lacks GoPro’s impressive HyperSmooth stabilisation.
It also has a built-in battery, so you can’t carry around multiples and swap out for longer shooting times. Video quality is pretty good, though, and it’s just as rugged and waterproof as its pricier sibling, so if you want a GoPro but can’t quite stretch to the Hero 7 Black, it’s worth considering.
5. GoPro Hero 7 White: The Cheapest of the Best
Megapixels: 10MP | Screen: 2in touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi (5GHz), Bluetooth | Max continuous shooting speed: 15fps | Max video resolution: Full HD | Frame rates: 60fps (1080p) | Waterproofing: 10m | Voice control: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 1-3hrs estimated
The main thing the Hero7 White has going for it is the price. We have seen some great prices on this recently-discontinued model – and this means you can get a thoroughly decent GoPro camera at an budget price. There’s no 4K and only the most basic stabilization (the Black edition’s HyperSmooth stabilization gets nowhere near this model) but for learning the basics, it’s a decent tool. Do some price comparison before you buy though; the Hero6 Black (see below) may be available for a similar outlay, and it does edge the Hero7 White in terms of video quality and a few other factors.