Action cameras have revolutionized the way we capture memories during outdoor adventures. Nowadays there are many brands and features available but the undisputed champion in the action cam market is the GoPro. They revolutionized the camera industry in 2004 with the introduction of their initial camera. At the time, it was a 24mm camera in a waterproof housing that could be mounted on a helmet, backpack or just about anywhere else. It was modest technology in today's terms, but it was a groundbreaking concept that would soon open a new sector of the outdoor gear marketplace.
In this article, we will take a look at GoPro's impressive lineup of cameras. We'll break down the various options and price points on ten of their top products and give you our top pick based on performance and value. To choose a favorite, we dug deep into the technical specs of each camera on the list and laid out some pros and cons to help you choose a camera that meets your needs.
1. What Is A GoPro Camera?
A GoPro is a small digital camera that is marketed specifically for sports and outdoors enthusiasts. They offer a range of different cameras in various sizes with a mix of different functional options. Some have ultra-high resolution and power while others have lower-tech specs but a lighter price tag.
2. What Does A GoPro Do?
These cameras essentially function like a traditional digital camera. What sets them apart, however, are their low-profile housing and action-oriented features.
3. How Do These Cameras Work?
These cameras are most commonly seen housed within a mount and attached someplace close to the action. This can be on top of a bike helmet, at the end of a surfboard, on the dashboard of a race car, or on a sky diver's wrist. They are often triggered from a remote location like a wrist strap or and hand unit, but can also be triggered with timers and, in some cases, motion activated sensors.
4. Where Can You Buy GoPros?
These are usually available through a mix of online and brick and mortar retailers. Since they occupy both the sports and tech spaces, you may find them in either sporting goods stores or technology retailers. The best deals are often available through Amazon.com.
How We Reviewed
For this article, we checked out ten of GoPro's top offerings and picked one overall standout. To make our final selection, we compared each unit's overall specs and price. Additionally, we considered warranty coverage offered by the manufacturer for each product as well as overall availability in the market.
Models We Reviewed
GoPro Hero7 Black
- HyperSmooth Video Stabilization Get gimbal like stabilization without the gimbal. HERO7 Black predicts your movements...
- Time Warp Video Capture super stabilized time lapse videos while you move about a scene. Increase the speed up to 30x to...
- Super Photo: Get the best photos automatically. With Super Photo, HERO7 Black intelligently applies HDR, local tone...
The Hero7 Black takes over from the Hero6 as the brand's newest flagship camera. It's a powerhouse unit in a small package boasting true 4K as well as raw footage potential. They have upgraded this unit with some user-friendly features like an expanded touch screen, voice commands, HyperSmooth image stabilization, and 10 meters of water protection. Still resolution hits a solid 12MP and 4K can shoot at up to 60fps, so it's a solid choice for semi-pros and weekend warriors.
GoPro offers an impressive 30-day satisfaction guarantee on all of their cameras. They can be returned for any reason within that period for a full refund. They also cover their cameras against manufacturer defects for one year.
- HERO6 Black automatically sends your footage to your phone where the app turns it into a QuikStory an awesome edited...
- With 4K60 and 1080p240 video,HERO6 Black delivers 2x the performance compared to HERO5 BlackWith an all new GP1 chip...
- With our most advanced video stabilization yet, HERO6 Black captures super smooth footage, whether it’s handheld or...
The Hero6 Black was the reigning king of the GoPro line until the arrival of the Hero7. This camera offers many of the same technical features as the Hero7 Black including 4K video at 60fps and 1080 at 240fps. This camera does not include some of the new bells and whistles like the improved image stabilization, but that could be a feature worth passing for this camera's decreased price.
This camera is covered by GoPro's 1-year warranty and 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
- Stunning 4K video and 12MP photos in Single, Burst and Time Lapse modes Charger not included
- Durable by design, HERO5 Black is waterproof to 33 feet (10 meter) without a housing
- Additional GoPro HERO5 Black Features + Benefits below on item page Time Lapse Photo Intervals: 05, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60...
The Hero5 Black features 4K video at 30fps, 1080p at 120fps and 10 meters of water protection. This is quite a bit less resolution than the Hero7 Black and Hero 6 Black, but it's still probably more than enough power for the average user. Like the other elder statesmen of the lineup, the price has dropped considerably on this camera making it a good choice for someone who wants top-notch features but also wants to save a little cash. It also features a 2-inch touchscreen, an early version of their voice commands and GPS.
Like the Hero7 Black and Hero6 Black the Hero5 Black enjoys a 1-year warranty and 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
- 2 Inch touch screen quickly switch between modes, frame The perfect shot and check out your footage on the 2 inch...
- Waterproof + durable built tough and waterproof down to 33 feet (10 meter), Hero goes where your smartphone can't to...
- Voice control control your hero hands free with simple voice commands like “GoPro, Start recording” and...
The Hero is a simpler offering to the lineup, but not by much. The main difference between the Hero and the Hero 5, 6, and 7 Black editions is that the hero does not shoot 4K. This could be an issue for those seeking the very highest level of video. For most users, however, the Hero's 1080p at 60fps will give beautiful HD results. This camera is also housed in the same body as its more expensive cousins so it will give waterproof performance down to 10 meters.
The Hero is backed by a 1-year warranty as well as the same 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
GoPro Hero 5 Session
- Stunning 4K video and 10MP photos in single, burst and time lapse modes.
- Durable by design, Hero5 Session is waterproof to 33ft (10M) without a housing.
- This model does not feature an LCD screen for real-time video viewing
The Hero 5 Session has the same video specs as the Hero 5 Black, but it's in a smaller housing. This camera has no visual screen but rather just a big button to stop and start the video. All of the monitoring on this camera is done via a wifi app connected to a smart device. It has a slightly lower battery life at around 2 hours, but it's also nearly half the weight of the full-size Heroes.
This has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a 1-year warranty.
GoPro Hero7 Silver
- 4K30 Video get stunning 4K video that's as amazing as the moment itself. You can also shoot time lapse videos to turn...
- Rugged + Waterproof Share experiences you can't capture with your phone. HERO7 Silver is tough, tiny, totally...
- Intuitive Touch Screen with a touch screen and simple, streamlined capture modes, it's easy to jump right in and get...
The Hero7 Silver packs nearly all of the power of the Hero7 Black and withholds only a few features. The Silver will shoot 4K, but only at 30fps compared with 60pfs on the Black. Still image quality also drops to 10MP on the Silver compared with 12 on the Black. Two other key differences are that the Black offers the HyperSmooth image stabilization and live streaming. Neither of these are available on the Silver.
This camera has a 1-year warranty and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
GoPro Hero7 White
- Rugged + Waterproof Share experiences you can’t capture with your phone. HERO7 White is tough, tiny, totally...
- Intuitive Touch Screen With a touch screen and simple, streamlined capture modes, it’s easy to jump right in and get...
- Full HD video HERO7 White records beautiful Full HD video. You can also shoot unique time lapse videos to turn longer...
The Hero7 White simplifies things down again from the Hero7 Silver. This camera maxes out at 1080p at 60fps, 10MP stills, and 2X slo-mo. While it has the same waterproofing and 2-inch touchscreen, it lacks WDR mode, GPS chip, HyperSmooth, and live streaming. Making it an affordable choice for someone coveting a current model camera at a lesser price.
This camera is backed back the same 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects and 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
- Spherical video + photos capture incredible 5.2K videos and 18MP photos of everything around you by shooting in every...
- OverCapture Turn 5.2K spherical videos into traditional 1080p videos from any angle right on your phone. Full...
- Transform spherical photos into traditional shots Crop 18MP spherical photos any way you want to create standard...
The Fusion represents the highest-end camera on our list. This camera is a 360-degree VR machine that is waterproof and loaded with a spherical lens. It will capture video at a stunning 5.2k which can be downgraded as far as 1080p. It will also shoot 18MP stills and is compatible with most smart devices through built-in wifi. This is a powerful device and comes at a cost, tipping out at the very top this range.
This has a one-year warranty plus a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
GoPro Hero4 Black
- Professional 4K30, 2.7K60 and 1080p120 video, 720p240 video for super slow motion playback and 12MP photos at up to 30...
- Built in Wi Fi and Bluetooth support the GoPro App, Smart Remote and more
- Improved camera control and built in video trimming lets you create and save short video clips right on your camera
Like the other representatives on this list from the Hero family of cameras, the Hero4 Black is powerful and easy to use. It boasts 4K30, 2.7K60 and 1080p120 video, and 720p240. It also captures 12MP photos and includes a smart interface that allows for quick video editing on the fly. Unlike the Hero7 there is no option for the HyperSmooth image stabilization here or live streaming. Being a much older model, however, the Hero4 Black could be a great choice for those focused on 4K video at a fraction of the price.
Despite this product's old age, it is still covered with a 1-year warranty and 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
Since their introduction to the market, GoPro has rolled out an impressive selection of action cameras. Today's marketplace features a wide selection of products from the company ranging from the comparatively humble Hero through the cutting-edge Fusion. There are a lot of competing brands and replicas out there, but in our opinion, you're better off sticking with the genuine article.
Out of the various cameras on our list, we think the number one overall choice is the Hero7 Black. It's at the higher end of the price spectrum, but we feel this feature rich camera is worth every penny. When compared with the other cameras in the Hero7 line, the Black packs a huge punch for not that much more money. While the GPS functionality and streaming features are nice, the true power of the Hero7 Black is the 4K60 video camera and 12MP still camera. The added bonus of HyperSmooth image stabilization makes this camera worth the extra cash.
Bottom Line: You may have budget constraints or specific functions in mind when seeking an action camera. If you're in the market though, we recommend you take a close look at GoPro's complete line. There will almost definitely be something there that meets your needs and fits within your budget.