At its best, the GoPro is a fantastic piece of kit. These small and fantastically rugged little cameras offer excellent-quality video and audio, and can often be had for a very reasonable price. If you’re new to GoPro action cameras, you’re probably taken aback by the sheer number of models available, but don’t panic: we’re here to help you choose the best GoPro for you.
If you’re a seasoned action camera veteran looking for a comprehensive list of the best GoPro cameras on the market, feel free to scroll further down the page, where you’ll find our top picks. Newcomers, however, should start with our brief guide that explains how to buy the best GoPro for you.
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.
What the more expensive models do have, however, is GoPro’s impressively effective HyperSmooth stabilisation. While the Hero 7 Silver does have stabilisation, it isn’t quite as smooth as that on the Hero 7 Black or the Hero 8 Black.
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Best GoPro cameras 2020
1. GoPro Hero 8 Black: The action camera king
Price: £329 | Buy now from Amazon
The biggest name in action cameras has done it again in producing what is, hands down, the best action camera in the business.
It might look like its predecessor – and it does have plenty of similar features – but the GoPro Hero 8 Black is, in fact, a massive, tip-to-toe overhaul. It has a new mounting system that lets you attach it without having to clip it into a cage; simply fold out a pair of prongs from the bottom and you’re ready to go.
It has an improved microphone, courtesy of both new hardware and a lower profile lens design that reduces wind noise at high speeds. 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.
Read our full GoPro Hero 8 Black review for full details
Specs – Sensor: 1/2.3in CMOS; Sensor pixels: 12 megapixels; Max recording resolution: 4K (60fps); Size (WDH): 66.3 x 28.4 x 48.6mm; Weight: 122g; Warranty: One-year RTB
2. GoPro Max: The best 360 action camera
Price: £444 | Buy now from Amazon
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 then either upload to YouTube as an interactive 5.6k, 30fps 360 video that viewers can pan around themselves or process it using GoPro’s “reframe” tool. This lets you choose a specific angle from the 360 footage and turn it into regular 1080p footage. You can even choose different angles from the same clip and cut between them – it’s like having multiple cameras in one.
That’s not all, though. 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.
With six onboard microphones recording top-quality audio and a built-in touch screen, the GoPro Max is the cleverest and most flexible action camera we’ve ever used. For outright quality, it can’t match the GoPro Hero 8 Black but it does so much that that barely matters.
Read our full GoPro Max review for details
Specs – Sensor pixels: 18 megapixels; Max recording resolution: 5.6K (30fps) 360-degree video; Size (WDH): 64 x 24 x 69mm; Weight: 163g; Warranty: One-year RTB
3. GoPro Hero 7 Black: The best mid-priced GoPro
Price: £275 | Buy now from Amazon
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.
Read our full review of the GoPro Hero 7 Black for more details
Specs – Sensor: 1/2.3in CMOS; Sensor pixels: 12 megapixels; Max recording resolution: 4K (60fps); AV connections: Micro-HDMI output; Size (WDH): 62.3 x 33 x 44.9mm; Weight: 117g; Warranty: One-year RTB
4. GoPro Hero 7 Silver: Solid specifications, reasonable price
Price: £149 | Buy now from Amazon
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.
Specs – Sensor: 1/2.3in CMOS; Sensor pixels: 10 megapixels; Max recording resolution: 4K (30fps); AV connections: None; Size (WDH): 62 x 28 x 45mm; Weight: 97g; Warranty: One-year RTB
5. GoPro Hero (2018): The best budget option
Price: £186 | Buy now from Amazon
The 2018 GoPro Hero is now discontinued by GoPro, but you can still get hold of one if you look hard enough. Despite some technical limitations, there are reasons to buy one over the GoPro Hero 7 Silver.
Its 10-megapixel sensor can only record at 1440p at 60fps compared with the Hero 7 Silver’s 4K at 30fps. However, its 1440p 60fps footage still looks pretty good and it’s just as water-resistant – all the way down to 10m, in fact.
And there are plenty of reasons to buy the Hero over the Hero 7 Silver, not least the fact that it has a removable battery, so you can carry spares when you want to shoot for longer.
It also has a monochrome front status display, more field of view options and the ability to remove the lens cover and replace it with, for example, a neutral density filter. It’s slightly pricier than the Hero 7 Silver but the removable battery alone makes it worth considering.
Read our full review of the GoPro Hero (2018) for more details
Specs – Sensor: Unknown; Sensor pixels: 10 megapixels; Max recording resolution: 1440p (60fps); AV connections: Micro-HDMI output; Size (WDH): 62 x 33 x 45mm; Weight: 117g; Warranty: One-year RTB