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To find the best GoPro available, we researched the company’s lineup of products, analyzing the factors that make an action camera great, including image quality, video stabilization abilities, battery life, and overall ruggedness. Depending on the situations you wish to use your GoPro, considering factors such as whether or not your GoPro is waterproof, and whether the camera will be able to handle the rough jerkiness of a mountain trail, the perfect option for you may differ. But don’t worry, we have taken the time to sort through all the options to bring you the best.
In our research, we found the best GoPro to be the GoPro Hero5 Black. Despite being a few generations behind the current release, the Hero5 Black offers excellent 4K Ultra HD video recording and waterproof construction that can handle harsh environments. The Hero5 also comes in at a killer price that helps it stand tall amongst the competition. If you’re looking for the best GoPro, the Hero5 Black is our top pick. Continue reading to learn more about the best GoPro and which option might be best for you.
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: The GoPro Hero5 delivers stunning 4K Ultra HD video recording in a rugged enclosure that can stand up to your next big adventure, all at a price that makes it hard to resist and allows it to win out over newer models.
The GoPro Hero5 Black isn’t the latest option in the GoPro arsenal, but it remains our favorite thanks to its strong technical abilities and jaw-droppingly amazing price. Able to record in 4K Ultra HD just like newer models, the Hero5 Black captures excellent quality video with the push of a button. Need to capture a photograph? The Hero5 can take 12MP photos in both single, burst, and time-lapse modes. If you plan on heading underwater you won’t need any additional accessories either, as the Hero5 Black features a waterproof housing down to 10-meters. On top of that, you get a bunch of goodies including built-in WiFi and GPS, touch-screen controls and editing, loop recording, time-lapse photo capture, and voice control that lets you simply speak your commands to the camera to free up your hands.
The Hero5 Black comes with a few mounts in the box which makes it easy to get started shooting your next adventure. We do wish that the Hero5 had the ability to record 4K at 60fps, it is instead limited to 30fps, but the performance should not be underrated. Just don’t grab this camera if you are interested in GoPro’s new Mods as they are only available on the newer GoPro Hero 8 Black – although that comes at a much higher price. Due to the GoPro Hero5 Black’s excellent value, it makes it one of the best GoPro for kids options. Speaking of kids, if you’re eager to capture your children’s sporting events on camera with great quality, then check out our best action camera guide.
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: The latest GoPro Hero8 Black doesn’t come cheap, but it does come packed to the brim full of GoPro’s latest technology, including a camera sporting improved HDR capabilities, a new LiveBurst mode, and a 4K 60fps video mode.
Read Full Review: GoPro Hero8 Black
The GoPro Hero8 Black is the company’s top of the line action camera, offering super-smooth 4K Ultra HD video thanks to its ability to record at 60fps and stabilize video with a technology that GoPro is calling HyperSmooth 2.0. Whether you are on a mountain bike or skiing down a slope, your video will look sharp without bumping and shaking. When you switch into photo mode, you’ll be able to capture 12MP HDR photos. You can even opt to do so in GoPro’s new LiveBurst mode which captures the action a bit before and after you hit the shutter button, so you can go back and pick the perfect shot.
We also love GoPro’s new Mods for the Hero8 Black, which allows you to easily throw on a lighting or microphone set up with a click. The Hero8 Black is hands down the best GoPro for family vacation, so you can capture the best memories. Additionally, the Hero8 is the only GoPro to feature Night Lapse video, making it the best GoPro for low light. Our only wish is that the Hero8 Black was a bit more affordable as it stands quite tall with its current price tag, the primary reason we opted for the Hero5 Black for our top pick.
Award: Best Bundle
WHY WE LIKE IT: No need to run around purchasing aftermarket accessories with the GoPro Hero7 Black; this excellent bundle includes extra batteries and extra storage so you can get started right out of the box.
Read Full Review: GoPro Hero7 Black Review
If you’re eyeing the GoPro Hero8 Black for all of its great features, you might want to step back and also take a look at the Hero7 Black. The previous generation, the Hero7 offers most features of the Hero8 Black, but at a lower price point. The GoPro Hero7 Black also fratures the voice control option to speak commands such as ‘take a picture or video’. Best of all, the Hero7 bundle includes a 64GB SD card and two extra batteries to get started – you won’t be running out of storage space of battery life on your next adventure!
While a few features of the Hero8 are missing, such as the aforementioned LiveBurst ability, new GoPro Mods – some of the best GoPro accessories, and an improved HDR mode, the Hero7 Black still shines strong. We do wish, however, that the Livestream mode to share content with family and friends could broadcast in full-HD, on the Hero7, it is limited to 720p.
Award: Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: GoPro has been known as a relatively expensive brand, making it unattainable for some individuals; however, the Hero5 Session defines that stereotype, providing an excellent GoPro at an even better price.
If you’ve been dreaming of a GoPro action camera, but haven’t been able to afford the high price tag, then the GoPro Hero5 Session might be the camera for you. An excellent little GoPro, seriously it is the smallest we have seen, the Hero5 Session features excellent 4K video recording and built-in digital video stabilization. The camera is incredibly easy to use thanks to its one-button press start/stop recording function. We also love the included mounting accessories included in the box, so you don’t need to make another purchase.
We do wish that the Hero5 Session offered a built-in screen for real-time video monitoring, but for those who want just to hit record and go, it still makes an excellent option. Additionally, GoPro no longer sells the Hero5 session through its site, but it can still be found easily from other online retailers.
Award: Best 360 Video
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Max is GoPro’s first camera to offer 360 video with its set of dual camera lenses so that you can capture the entire world around you; it even features multiple microphones to deliver full 360 audio capabilities.
Read Full Review: GoPro Max Review
Stepping into a new era of video recording, GoPro offers the Max as its first action camera capable of capturing full 360-degree videos. Able to capture spherical video at 5.6K 30fps once stitched, the Max brings forward an impressive offering. The Max is also the first GoPro camera to feature a horizon leveling system, so the video you record won’t end up titled or crooked when viewing back. The GoPro Max features other capabilities, including the ability to capture large 270-degree panoramic images with a single click – great for landscapes.
The Max does miss out on a few standard features of other GoPro models such as 4K video, the Max is limited to 1440p, and HDR for more vivid colors and contrast. Additionally, the Max is only submersible to 5-meters underwater. You don’t have to use the Max underwater though, as its 360 recording makes it the best GoPro for car videos, recording in all directions. If you plan on shooting 360 videos, the Max is your best option, otherwise, stick to one of our other suggestions for standard video recording.
GoPro has been around for quite a while, meaning that selecting the best GoPro took time and research, but we did it so that you didn’t have to do the same! Across all the GoPros we looked at, we considered a set of import factors, including each camera’s video quality, built-in video stabilization, battery life, and overall ruggedness. We then established minimum criteria for selecting the top choices, so no matter which option you choose, you’ll get a great GoPro action camera.
When it came to video quality, we ensured that all cameras we selected included a minimum of 1080p recording, with the majority of our selections featuring 4K Ultra HD. In fact, the only camera on our list not to feature 4K is the GoPro Max, but that is the result of its 360-degree video recording capabilities. Each camera also features GoPro’s digital video stabilization for smooth shots – a necessity on action cameras.
Battery life was also a determining factor when making our selection. Nearly every GoPro on our list features, minus the Hero5 Session, features a removable battery for swapping quickly, making sure that you never miss a bit of the action. Each GoPro lasts at least an hour and up to a maximum of 2 hours on a single battery. Additionally, we ensured that each GoPro featured a rugged design with a waterproof housing so you won’t need to worry about taking your camera on the go.
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