GoPro Comparison: Which GoPro Should You Buy In 2020?

Confused about which GoPro to buy? Our 2020 GoPro comparison covers everything you need to know about new and discontinued GoPro models.

Welcome to our GoPro comparison guide.

By the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly which GoPro to buy based on your budget, and the type of filming you want to do. We review the new GoPro range, and also take a look at older models which are still available.

Summary: Which Is The Best GoPro In 2020?

There are 3 cameras in the new GoPro range, the HERO 7 Black (top), the HERO 7 Silver (mid range), and the HERO 7 White (entry level). Last year, we picked the mid range HERO 5 Black as our top GoPro, but this year, we feel that the new features of the top of the line HERO 7 Black (including Gopro’s best stabilisation to date) make it the best buy.

Update: GoPro have now launched the HERO 8 Black, which although not a major upgrade, still manages to up the game from the HERO 7. So if you have the $, the HERO 8 is the camera to go for.

GoPro HERO 8 and HERO 7 Reviews

Below we have full reviews of each of the available camera’s in GoPro’s 2020 range. Click the “Show More” buttons to expand a section.

GoPro HERO 8 Black Review

hero8-black

We Liked…

  • Improved HyperSmooth stabilization
  • Improved TimeWarp for time lapse
  • Improved battery life
  • Upgrade HDR for more pop in your stills
  • Live streaming

Room For Improvement…

  • With the HERO 7 being such an impressive camera, the HERO 8 feels more like evolution than revolution

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GoPro HERO 7 Black Review

gopro-hero7-black-1

We Liked…

  • Great value for 4K video recording
  • 1080p at 240fps for smooth slow-mo playback
  • GoPro’s best stills camera
  • Incredible stabilization
  • Live streaming

Room For Improvement…

  • Battery life hasn’t improved, however, this may be down to the enhanced image processing

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GoPro HERO 7 Silver Review

gopro-hero7-silver-1

We Liked…

  • 4K video recording
  • Stabilization has been improved
  • Stills camera has been upgraded
  • Great value for money

Room For Improvement…

  • Max frame rate of 30fps in 4K
  • Not a huge upgrade from HERO 6

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GoPro HERO 7 White Review

hero7-white-1

We Liked…

  • 1080p at 60fps
  • 10MP stills with 15fps burst
  • Built in stabilization
  • Voice control
  • Very affordable

Room For Improvement…

  • We would have liked to see 4K shooting in GoPro’s entry level HERO

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The 2017/2018 GoPro Range

We tested the 2017/2018 GoPro range (and have used most of the older models over the years). We also took into account online customer reviews and the opinions of other trusted camera and tech sites.

Overall we feel the best value for money in last year’s lineup is the HERO5 Black. It’s $100 cheaper than the HERO6, and you’re not really losing much in terms of features. It’s also a clear step-up from the entry level HERO.

Of course, if you need 360 degree shooting, you’ll need to fork out $650+ for the Fusion. In fact, we would choose either the HERO5 or the Fusion (if you want fully immersive shooting), and skip the HERO6 altogether.

But that’s just us, so let’s dig a little deeper.

We’ll start with a quick rundown of the 4 cameras in last year’s GoPro lineup

GoPro HERO 6 Black Review

hero6-black-1

We Liked…

  • The 4K at 60fps looks great
  • Slow-mo playback was super smooth when we captured at 1080p, even at 10x slower than regular speed
  • The stabilization is impressive
  • The best GoPro from their 2017 lineup

Room For Improvement…

  • You’ll still probably want to plug in an external mic if you want crystal clear audio

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GoPro HERO 5 Black Review

The GoPro HERO5 Black - 2019 edition

We Liked…

  • Great value for 4K video recording
  • 1080p at 120fps for smooth slow-mo playback
  • External mic port
  • Built in GPS

Room For Improvement…

  • If you want smooth slow-mo playback in 4K, you’ll have to go for the HERO6 or a HERO7 camera

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GoPro HERO Review

We Liked…

  • Pretty impressive specs for the price
  • No need to fiddle about too much with settings
  • Full HD video at 60fps
  • The touch screen, voice control, and connectivity

Room For Improvement…

  • 120fps would be nice, even in a lower res
  • Battery life isn’t incredible. We got just under 2 hours at 1080p/30fps (they claim 3.5hours)
  • Inserting the battery is a little fiddly

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GoPro Comparison Charts

Below, we’ve created various GoPro comparison charts including:

GoPro Video Quality Comparison

Video quality is the biggest difference between the new GoPro range and the old one.

So, let’s do a direct comparison between the three action cameras in their 2019 range, and one from 2017.

Which GoPro Has 4K?

4K is a resolution that takes footage from the amateur level, into the semi-pro and professional level.

The HERO and HERO 7 White don’t have 4k ability. But, you’ll get 4K with the HERO5 Black, HERO6 Black, HERO 7 Silver, and HERO 7 Black.

ModelMax ResolutionOptimum ResolutionYear
HERO 7 Black4K / 60fps1140p / 120fps2019
HERO 7 Silver4K / 30fps4K / 30fps2019
HERO 7 White1080p / 60fps1080p / 60fps2019
HERO6 Black4K / 60fps1440P / 120fps2017
HERO5 Black4K / 30fps1440P / 80fps2017
HERO1440P / 60fps1440P / 60fps2017

GoPro Video Stabilization

I know what you’re thinking. It’s all about resolution, and nothing else.

Well, it’s not.

It’s pointless being able to shoot in high resolution, if the footage isn’t stabilised.

ModelVideo Stabilisation?Year
HERO 7 BlackHypersmooth2019
HERO 7 SilverAdvanced2019
HERO 7 WhiteYes2019
HERO 6 BlackAdvanced2017
HERO 5 BlackYes2017
HEROYes2017

Not all filming scenarios need video stabilization.

At times, it’s not noticeable. But the harsher the conditions, the more it becomes a factor.

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, there’s a good chance you need a camera with video stabilisation.

Fortunately all GoPros in the 2019 range have stabilisation built in.

Need video stabilisation on a pro level? You’ll need the HERO 7 Black, which features HyperSmooth Stabilization.

GoPro Wind Noise Reduction & Audio Quality

The single biggest factor affecting quality of the audio on GoPros, is the wind noise reduction system.

All cameras in the new range get a degree of noise reduction…

ModelWind Noise Reduction SystemYear
HERO 7 BlackAdvanced2019
HERO 7 SilverAdvanced2019
HERO 7 WhiteStandard2019
HEROStandard2017
HERO 5 BlackAdvanced2017
HERO 6 BlackAdvanced2017

For some reason, there’s not a single action sports camera brand that has managed to get this right.

There’s the lower end brands that have almost no wind noise reduction at all. 

Then there’s the higher end brands like GoPro, where the wind noise reduction system can be intrusive. It kicks in so harshly, that it makes sound throughout a shoot inconsistent.

That said, there’s an enormous difference between the standard wind noise reduction system offered by the GoPro HERO, and the advanced wind noise reduction system offered by the HERO5 Black, HERO6 Black, and HERO 7 Black.

The HERO wind noise reduction system covers little more than a light breeze.

The HERO5/HERO6/HERO7 wind reduction system is much more advanced, allowing for higher quality audio throughout a shoot.

The wind noise reduction system can be controlled, thanks to the GoPro Wind-Slayer foam (additional purchase).

GoPro Quality Of Stills Comparison

Like every feature in the new action cameras, you’ll see progression in quality as you move up the range.

ModelResolutionYear
HERO 7 Black12MP / 30FPS Burst with advanced HDR2019
HERO 7 Silver10MP / 15FPS Burst Time Lapse2019
HERO 7 White10MP / 15FPS Burst2019
HERO10MP / 30FPS Burst Time Lapse2017
HERO5 Black12MP / 30 FPS Burst Time Lapse2017
HERO6 Black12MP / 30 FPS Burst Time Lapse with HDR photos and touch zoom2017

Let’s face it. Most people don’t but a GoPro to take stills. But, if you’re travelling light, it’s nice to have the ability to do so with your GoPro, rather than taking a separate camera for stills.

The time lapse feature allows videographers to become photographers, creating beautiful videos like this one:

And, this is one of the features many GoPro owners overlook. If you want to create time-lapse videos using stills like the one above, 8MP is certainly not going to make the grade.

10MP is borderline, but 12MP is where you need to be at.

There’s a good reason why this is one of the only 8MP time lapse videos on YouTube, the quality of the stills just doesn’t cut it.

WIFI & Bluetooth

With the older GoPros, you’d only get both WIFI and Bluetooth with the higher-end camera; the HERO4.

You’d be limited to just WIFI with the HERO3, and the original HERO had neither.

Luckily, GoPro have upgraded the entire range.

So, all now come with WIFI and Bluetooth.

Touch Display

Touch display isn’t a new feature for GoPro, but it’s been improved considerably.

ModelTouch Screen?Year
HERO 7 BlackYes2019
HERO 7 SilverYes2019
HERO 7 WhiteYes2019
HEROYes2017
HERO 5 BlackYes2017
HERO 6 BlackYes2017

The new HERO/HERO5/HERO6 Black has a 2-inch touchscreen. 

The new scrolling menu replaces the old clickable display. If you’ve ever used a clickable display with cold and wet hands, you’ll know this is a welcome upgrade.

Menu items are bigger too, and the whole menu has been simplified. That means quicker and easier navigation.

Waterproofing

Gone are the days when you need to pay more than $500 to get a waterproof action camera. All GoPro cameras are waterproof up to 33ft (10m).

This is possibly one of the biggest overhauls of the range.

Previous GoPros needed an additional waterproof housing.

Not only does this add to the bulk of the camera, meaning you catch extra wind and decrease sound quality, it also added weight.

Voice Control

Voice control is another cool feature introduced by GoPro.

So, who is it designed for? 

Well, if you’re using a chest mount, or your GoPro is easily accessible, there’s a good chance you can live without it.

It’s really designed for those mounting a GoPro in hard to reach areas.

A few mounting examples might be:

In the heat of the action, you’re not going to be able to change what your GoPro is doing without stopping altogether.

You’ll need to get out of your car, get off your bike, take off your helmet or jump off the swell; not good.

Which GoPro Action Cameras Have Voice Control?

ModelVoice ControlYear
HERO 7 BlackYes2019
HERO 7 SilverYes2019
HERO 7 WhiteYes2019
HEROYes2017
HERO 5 BlackYes2017
HERO 6 BlackYes2017

Does Voice Control Work?

Like any new piece of technology, voice command by GoPro isn’t short of problems.

Wind Noise – GoPro Won’t Recognize Command

If you engage in a sport where you pick up speed (and wind noise), you’ll sometimes find it hard for your GoPro to recognize your command. 

A common way of rectifying this problem is to use the Wind-Slayer foam.

This eliminates an element of background noise, making it easier for the camera to recognize the command.

Not Sure If GoPro Recognized A Command

Now, this is the real problem. When a GoPro recognises a command, it will make a beep. That’s confirming you’re good to go.

External wind noise is unavoidable. If you’re flying down a Piste, surfing in rough conditions, or on a motorcycle, there’s a good chance you won’t hear that beep.

The solution? The GoPro Remo. A wrist mounted device that connects you and your voice, to your GoPro.

Voice Control Commands List

There’s a tonne of voice control commands you can use from starting recording, through to starting and stopping a time lapse.

Just shout out any of the voice commands below:

  • GoPro Start Recording
  • GoPro Stop Recording
  • GoPro Take a Photo
  • GoPro Shoot Burst
  • GoPro Start Time Lapse
  • GoPro Stop Time Lapse
  • GoPro Video Mode
  • GoPro Photo Mode
  • GoPro Time Lapse Mode
  • GoPro Burst Mode
  • GoPro Turn Off

GoPro Battery Life & Recharging

Battery life is a key concern for us action sports junkies.

It’s going to be affected by the mode you’re shooting in. A lower quality mode means more battery life.

If you’re looking to film for less than an hour at a time, you’re good to go.

ModelBattery LifeRemovable Battery?Year
HERO 7 Black1h – 1h 50mYes2019
HERO 7 Silver1h – 1h 50mNo2019
HERO 7 White1h – 1h 50mNo2019
HERO1h 20m – 2hNo2017
HERO5 Black1h 20m – 2h 20mYes2017
HERO6 Black1h – 1h 50mYes2017

Improving Battery Life

The options for improving battery life are minimal.

However, we’ve found that turning off WIFI and Bluetooth when they are not being used can give an additional 10-15 minutes.

Removable Batteries & Charging

The Session and HERO5 Session don’t have removable batteries. So, if you need more than 1.5-2 hours of film, you’ll need to charge on the move. 

If you can’t live with 1.5-2 hours and can’t charge on the move, the HERO5 Black/HERO6 are the only option options; they’ve got removeable batteries.

You’ll get the same 1.5-2 hours of filming time. But, GoPro sell genuine spare batteries too.

So, you can switch them out; fast.

Take a handful with you and you’ve got a full day of filming.

And they’re rechargeable, so set them charging over night and you’re good to go for day two.

Which GoPro Is Right For You?

Choosing which GoPro to buy boils down to two simple things.

#1 – Cost

GoPros start at around $150 (for low-end refurbished models), to over $700.

That’s a big jump in price, and most people are going to be restricted by budget.

#2 – Video Quality & Features

In this life, you get what you pay for; GoPros are no different.

The more you spend, the more you’re going to get out of your action camera.

And, one of the big deal breakers for the cheaper Session, is that it doesn’t shoot in 4K.

Let’s face it. Every action sports junkie wants to show off their latest adventure in 4K.

Do you?

Ready To Take Your GoPro Footage To The Next Level?

Thanks for reading our 2019 GoPro buyer’s guide.

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