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/At A Glance
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.
Last update on 2018-12-09
GoPro HERO 7 Black
The new top of the line GoPro HERO 7 Black has a lot going for it. Not least of which is the fact GoPro have managed to add a raft of new features, while keeping the price the same as last year’s top model, the HERO 6.
Pretty impressive, and easy(ish) on the wallet. So, let’s talk about those new features.
Firstly, GoPro have really upped their stabilisation in the last few years, and they’ve smashed it out the park here. GoPro is calling their new stabilisation technology HyperSmooth, and, well, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
They’re still using electronic stabilisation (EIS), but it’s a big improvement on the HERO 6 (which was already pretty decent), with the camera’s tech supposedly predicting your swerves and jerks, and compensating accordingly. Sounds a little too good to be true, but whether the camera is clairvoyant or not, the results are what matters. And the results are the most stable, and smooth, footage we’ve seen from a GoPro to date.
Next up: live streaming.
It’s true that you’ve been able to live stream from your GoPro before, but it was a bit fiddly, and not something built into the camera. Now? If you want to stream live video from your new Hero 7 Black, it’s as simple as firing up the GoPro app and clicking a button. We’ll definitely be annoying our friends with this feature over the coming months.
There’s not a huge change in video shooting, with max resolution remaining 4K/60fps. But what is new is something GoPro is calling “TimeWarp”. In a nutshell, this tech will add stabilisation to your time lapse videos, making them super smooth (yes, there’s a theme here) and easier on the eye. We do shoot a lot of time lapse footage, particularly on longer bike runs, so this is something we’ll be playing around with. And initial results look impressive.
For super smooth slow-mo, you can shoot in 1080p at 240fps.
One other video upgrade worth mentioning is the ability to set your HERO 7 to record for a specific time (say 15 or 30 seconds). It’s a small add on, but one that can be useful, saving you having to fiddle around looking for the stop button while you’re in the moment, and going easy on your memory card.
Where GoPro have made significant upgrades is in stills shooting. GoPro are calling their new tech “SuperPhoto”, which is basically an enhancement to the camera’s HDR. If you’re just interested in the results, the bottom line is more detail and definition in your images. If you’re interested in the “how”, the HERO 7 Black achieves this by using local, rather than global, tone mapping.
The HERO 7 Black snaps photos at 12MP, with a maximum burst of 30fps.
Finally, there are some UI upgrades worth mentioning. You can now navigate between modes by swiping up, down, left, and right, which really does make things quicker and more intuitive (once you get used to where everything is). And we also liked the fact that that the HERO 7 Black allows you to shoot natively in portrait mode, saving you having to flip the image in post.
All in all, the HERO 7 Black is the best GoPro to date, and the fact that they’ve kept the price the same as the HERO 6 Black, makes this our #1 choice from the 2018/2019 range.
GoPro HERO 7 Silver
The GoPro HERO 7 Silver is GoPro’s new mid-range action camera and replaces the HERO 5 Black.
Last year we picked the HERO 5 as our top choice, but this time we do feel it’s worth shelling out the extra for the top of the line HERO 7 Black.
But with that being said, if you opt to save yourself a hundred bucks and go for the Silver, you’ll still be getting a lot of camera for your money.
Video wise, you’ll get 4K shooting, but you’ll only get a maximum frame rate of 30fps as opposed to the 60fps you’ll get with the Black. Although if you need to up the frame rate for slow-mo, you can always go down to 1440p/60fps, which is still pretty decent resolution wise.
You won’t get the HyperSmooth stabilisation of the HERO 7 Black, but the built in stabilisation is pretty good, and slightly improved on the HERO 5.
The stills camera is solid, if unspectacular, with 10MP photo capture and a burst rate of 15fps (as opposed to 12MP/30fps with the HERO 7 Black).
We’re perhaps being a little harsh here. Don’t get us wrong, the stills camera is good. In fact, it’s very good, but when compared with the Black there is a marked difference.
And overall, that’s our feeling with the HERO 7 Silver. We like the camera, it’s great. And if you buy one, you won’t regret your purchase one bit. But if you have a HERO 6 (or perhaps even a HERO 5), we don’t feel it’s necessarily worth upgrading, whereas the HERO 7 Black packs in enough new features to make the upgrade feel almost essential.
Our verdict: A great camera, with impressive features, and an attractive price point. But not an essential upgrade this time.
- 4K30 Video - Get stunning 4K video that's as amazing as the moment itself. You can also shoot time lapse videos to turn longer events into short, shareable moments.
Last update on 2018-12-10
GoPro HERO 7 White
Finally, we have the entry level camera in GoPro’s 2018/2019 range, the GoPro HERO 7 White.
We must admit we were a little disappointed not to see 4K this time. GoPro have been upping the specs on their entry level cameras each year, so we did expect that the HERO 7 White might have been the first “budget” GoPro with 4K. But for those looking to dip their toe into the water (literally or figuratively) of the action cam world, 1080p at 60fps will shoot perfectly acceptable footage, even if it lacks a little of the professional sheen of the HERO 7 Black/Silver.
Like the HERO 7 Silver, you’ll get stills shooting at 10MP with a 15fps burst rate, and built in stabilisation.
And like last year’s HERO, you’ll get an LCD touch screen for controlling the camera. And again, we’re impressed that GoPro is able to offer this in their entry level model.
Overall, the HERO 7 White does everything you need an action camera to do. It’s rugged, it’s waterproof (up to 33ft), it shoots HD video, it can capture nice stills, and it even has voice control. If you want to get into GoPro, the HERO 7 White is a good place to start.
Our verdict: A step up from last year’s HERO, and the best entry level GoPro to date. 4K would have been nice, but perhaps we’re being greedy (and were spoiled with the HERO 7 Black).
- Rugged + Waterproof - Share experiences you can't capture with your phone. HERO7 White is tough, tiny, totally waterproof-and up for any adventure.
Last update on 2018-12-10
Last Year’s GoPro Range
We tested the latest 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.
Last update on 2018-12-10
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.
This is the new entry level camera from GoPro, but it’s MUCH improved on their previous lower end options (like the HERO Session).
You won’t get 4K shooting, but you will get 1440p at 60fps. And let’s be honest, for most of us that’s going to be plenty. Slow-mo isn’t going to be supersmooth, but you can just about get away with it at 60fps. Anything other than half speed though is going to start getting a bit jerky.
You’ll also get a (2 inch) touch screen, which is pretty impressive for a GoPro at this price point. And in case you’re wondering, yes, this is the first time that a touch screen has been included in the “budget” GoPro.
Indeed, the fact you have a screen at all is a big plus for the HERO. Last years’ “HERO Session” was basically a grey cube that you could hit record and stop on. If you wanted to review your footage, you’d have to use the app. It was ok for what it was, but this is a big step-up in quality.
Yep, you’ll get waterproofing to 33ft, video stabilization, and a 10MP stills camera.
Not too shabby at all for a GoPro that’s going to cost you just under $200. If you don’t need 4K and are just looking to capture your ride, run, or whatever sport you’re into, then it’s a pretty decent option that you won’t be disappointed with.
(oh, and you’ll also get Wi-fi + bluetooth connectivity built in)
GoPro HERO5 Black
We’re glad that GoPro decided not to ditch the HERO5 Black when they launched the HERO6. Why? Because it’s a truly awesome action cam. In fact, it’s our #1 action cam in 2018.
You’ll get 4K shooting at 30fps, and full HD at 120fps, meaning you can slow down your video in post up to 4x and still have it playback super smooth.
And talking of 4K, it is truly glorious. We know it’s not really needed for most amateur footage (ok, it’s overkill), but when we played back our recordings on the big screen here in the office there were a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’.
We’ll be honest: 4K is really the big differentiator between the HERO5 and the entry level HERO. As we already covered, they’ve chucked a 2” touch screen into the HERO, and you’ll get the same one in the HERO5. You’ll also get the same connectivity options (Wi-fi + bluetooth),
Admittedly, you will get a 12MP stills camera instead of 10MP on the HERO. And you’ll get some control over the exposure (you don’t in the HERO) if you’re into that sort of thing. You can also plug in an external mic, which you can’t do with the HERO.
But that being said, all in all, we really think forking out the extra $100 for 4K (and the above extras) is worth the money if you can afford it. If nothing else, it’s going to future proof your footage a bit. Because let’s face it, resolutions are only going to improve over the next few years. Which means that eventually 1080p footage is going to start to look a little dated.
And that’s why the HERO5 Black is our favorite GoPro from last year’s range.
GoPro HERO6 Black
The HERO6 is the top of the tree in the 2018 lineup (we class the fusion as a specialist camera). And there’s no denying, in terms of quality, it is the best GoPro in the current range.
We picked the HERO5 as our #1 camera this year, but that’s really because we feel it offers the best value for money. If you want the actual best GoPro, then you’ll want to shell out for the HERO6.
Where does the HERO6 beat the HERO5?
First up you’ll get 4K video at 60fps (as opposed to 30fps with the HERO5), and you’ll also get up to 240fps at 1080p. So frame rate is basically double for the 2 primary resolutions. Needless to say, regular speed footage is ridiculously good quality, and slow-mo is simply gorgeous.
The stabilization in the HERO6 is also a step-up from the HERO5. We found that even the bumpiest of rides (we tested it out on the Nevis range MTB track in Scotland, home of the world cup) looked super smooth in playback.
Under the hood, the HERO6 is powered by GoPro’s new GP1 chip, which delivers both enhanced image quality (in addition to the upped resolution) and the additional stabilization.
But really, just like the choice to make the step-up from the HERO to HERO5 is about whether you need 4K, the choice here is whether you want 4K in slow-mo and the best video quality on an action cam this year. If you do, and you have the budget, then the GoPro HERO6 is the camera you need to buy.
GoPro’s tagline for the Fusion is “All it shoots is everything”, and they’re not exaggerating. The GoPro Fusion captures a full 360 degree panorama of your surroundings. The big advantage of that? VR playback of your recordings.
But while VR is (super) cool, there’s another big plus of capturing “everything”. The footage can be converted back into regular “flat” footage in post production. And as you’ve captured the whole scene, you can choose which angles (or indeed directions) you want to include in your finished video.
And by the way, all that footage that’s captured… it’s not in 4K. It’s in an incredible 5.2K (30fps). Trust us, that’s next level quality. We didn’t think we’d be able to tell the difference. We were wrong.
Like the HERO6, the stabilization in the Fusion is truly impressive. GoPro claim it is actually slightly enhanced, but we’ll be honest, they seemed pretty equally matched to us. Although that’s far from a negative.
Want a more detailed breakdown of the features in each GoPro? Check out our GoPro comparison charts. Or if you’re looking to grab a bargain, we’ve picked out some of the best discontinued (but still available) GoPros here.
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