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GoPro Comparison: Which GoPro Should You Buy In 2018?

Confused about which GoPro to buy? Our 2018 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/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.

Our choice
GoPro HERO7 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization
GoPro HERO7 Silver — Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 10MP Photos
GoPro HERO7 White — Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 1080p HD Video 10MP Photos
Model
HERO 7 Black
HERO 7 Silver
HERO 7 White
Max Resolution
4K / 60fps
4K / 30fps
1080p / 60fps
Optimum Resolution
1140p / 120fps
1440p / 60fps
1080p / 60fps
Video Stabilization
HyperSmooth
Noise Reduction
Stills Quality
12MP
10MP
10MP
Waterproof
Touch Display
Voice Control
Battery Life
1h – 1h 50m
1h – 1h 50m
1h – 1h 50m
Removable Battery
Our choice
GoPro HERO7 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization
Model
HERO 7 Black
Max Resolution
4K / 60fps
Optimum Resolution
1140p / 120fps
Video Stabilization
HyperSmooth
Noise Reduction
Stills Quality
12MP
Waterproof
Touch Display
Voice Control
Battery Life
1h – 1h 50m
Removable Battery
GoPro HERO7 Silver — Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 10MP Photos
Model
HERO 7 Silver
Max Resolution
4K / 30fps
Optimum Resolution
1440p / 60fps
Video Stabilization
Noise Reduction
Stills Quality
10MP
Waterproof
Touch Display
Voice Control
Battery Life
1h – 1h 50m
Removable Battery
GoPro HERO7 White — Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 1080p HD Video 10MP Photos
Model
HERO 7 White
Max Resolution
1080p / 60fps
Optimum Resolution
1080p / 60fps
Video Stabilization
Noise Reduction
Stills Quality
10MP
Waterproof
Touch Display
Voice Control
Battery Life
1h – 1h 50m
Removable Battery

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.

The GoPro HERO 7 Black features native portrait shooting

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 Black: Our Verdict

GoPro’s best camera yet, and our recommendation for your next action cam.

What we liked

  • 4K video at 60fps
  • GoPro’s best stabilisation to date
  • Improved stills shooting
  • Improved UI
  • GoPro’s best camera yet

Room for improvement

  • Battery life hasn’t improved, however, this may be down to the enhanced image processing
Sale
GoPro HERO7 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization
  • HyperSmooth Video Stabilization - Get gimbal-like stabilization-without the gimbal. HERO7 Black predicts your movements and corrects for camera shake to deliver insanely smooth footage.

Last update on 2018-12-09

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.

Sale
GoPro HERO7 Silver — Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 10MP Photos
  • 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).

Sale
GoPro HERO7 White — Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 1080p HD Video 10MP Photos
  • 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.

GoPro HERO — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 1080p HD Video 10MP Photos
OUR CHOICE
GoPro HERO5 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos
GoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos
Model
HERO
HERO5 Black
HERO6 Black
Max Resolution
1440P / 60fps
4K / 30fps
4K / 60fps
Optimum Resolution
1440P / 60fps
1440P / 80fps
1440P / 120fps
Video Stabilization
Advanced
Noise Reduction
Stills Quality
10MP
12MP
12MP
Waterproof
Touch Display
Voice Control
Battery Life
1h 30m – 2h 05m
1h 20m – 2h 20m
1h – 1h 50m
Removable Battery
Rating
GoPro HERO — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 1080p HD Video 10MP Photos
Model
HERO
Max Resolution
1440P / 60fps
Optimum Resolution
1440P / 60fps
Video Stabilization
Noise Reduction
Stills Quality
10MP
Waterproof
Touch Display
Voice Control
Battery Life
1h 30m – 2h 05m
Removable Battery
Rating
OUR CHOICE
GoPro HERO5 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos
Model
HERO5 Black
Max Resolution
4K / 30fps
Optimum Resolution
1440P / 80fps
Video Stabilization
Noise Reduction
Stills Quality
12MP
Waterproof
Touch Display
Voice Control
Battery Life
1h 20m – 2h 20m
Removable Battery
Rating
GoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos
Model
HERO6 Black
Max Resolution
4K / 60fps
Optimum Resolution
1440P / 120fps
Video Stabilization
Advanced
Noise Reduction
Stills Quality
12MP
Waterproof
Touch Display
Voice Control
Battery Life
1h – 1h 50m
Removable Battery
Rating

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.

GoPro HERO

GoPro Hero 2018
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.

GoPro HERO 2018 touch screen
we were impressed that GoPro were able to offer a touch screen in their entry level camera.

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.

Anything else?

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 HERO: Our Verdict

If you’re looking to shoot high quality footage, but don’t need 4K, then the GoPro HERO is an excellent choice.

What 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
Sale
GoPro HERO — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 1080p HD Video 10MP Photos
  • 2-Inch Touch Screen - Quickly switch between modes, frame the perfect shot and check out your footage on the 2-inch touch screen

Last update on 2018-12-10

GoPro HERO5 Black

The GoPro HERO5 Black - 2018 edition
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’.

GoPro HERO5 Black - rear display
The 2 inch display is the same as the one you’ll get on the HERO

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 HERO 5 Black: Our Verdict

4K at an affordable price makes the HERO 5 Black our pick for the best value GoPro in 2018.

What we liked

  • Great value for 4K video recording
  • 1080p at 120fps for smooth slow-mo playback
  • External mic port
  • Built in GPS
  • The best value GoPro in 2018

Room for improvement

  • If you want smooth slow-mo playback in 4K, you’ll have to go for the HERO6
  • (although that’s not really a negative)
GoPro Hero5 Black (E-Commerce Packaging)
  • This product is in manufacturer E-Commerce packing (see pictures). The product itself is identical to the one found in retail packaging & it is covered under full standard warranty.

Last update on 2018-12-09

GoPro HERO6 Black

GoPro HERO6 - 2018 edition
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.

gopro hero6 displayThe 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.

There’s also a touch zoom feature, which you won’t get on the HERO5, and 5GHz Wi-fi for uploading footage to your phone.

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 HERO6 Black: Our Verdict

If you want the best GoPro in 2018, and have the cash, this is the one to buy.

What we liked

  • The 4K at 60fps is simply stunning
  • Slow-mo playback was super smooth when we captured at 1080p, even at 10x slower than regular speed
  • The stabilization is the best we’ve seen in an action cam to date
  • It’s the best GoPro in 2018

Room for improvement

  • Not much
  • If anything, we’d say that you’ll still probably want to plug in an external mic if you want crystal clear audio
  • Optical image stabilization is on our wishlist for the HERO7 (but don’t get us wrong, the HERO6 has GREAT stabilization)
Sale
GoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos
  • HERO6 Black automatically sends your footage to your phone where the app turns it into a QuikStory-an awesome edited video

Last update on 2018-12-10

GoPro Fusion


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.

The GoPro fusion captures a fully immersive, VR ready view of your scene.
The GoPro fusion captures a fully immersive, VR ready view of your scene.

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.

GoPro Fusion: Our Verdict

If you want fully immersive, VR ready captures of your activities, in stunning 5.2K, then the GoPro Fusion is the camera for you.

What we liked

  • The 5.2K resolution is next level quality
  • Watch your recordings in fully immersive VR
  • Capture the entire scene

Room for improvement

  • 60fps at 5.2K would be nice. But perhaps we’re being greedy.
Sale
GoPro Fusion — 360 Waterproof Digital VR Camera with Spherical 5.2K HD Video 18MP Photos
  • Spherical video + photos - Capture incredible 5.2K videos and 18MP photos of everything around you by shooting in every direction at once

Last update on 2018-12-10

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.

Ready To Take Your GoPro Footage To The Next Level?

Thanks for reading our 2018 GoPro buyer’s guide.

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Written by
David McSweeney

NoobNorm co-founder David writes about golf, fitness, and photography. He regularly tests new golf training aids, swing theories, and the latest DSLR and action cameras.

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8 comments
  • Nice guide 🙂 I noticed you don’t have the new GoPro HERO in the comparison charts. Will you be updating the guide to include it?

  • Thanks for putting this together, the GoPro comparison charts were very helpful. Decided I didn’t need 4K (and wanted to save some money), so I went ahead and ordered the GoPro HERO. Looking forward to trying it out on my next 10K bike run!

  • Hmmm… so… should I buy the HERO5 or 6? Willing to spend the extra on the 6, but after reading this I’m not sure it’s worth it?

    • Depends really (sorry!). We think the HERO5 is the best value for money, but if you have the cash, then there’s no doubt that the HERO6 is a better camera in terms of footage. Your call really!

  • Woah. This took a while to read. Nice job though. I’ve been a bit mixed up as GoPro seem to upae their range every blooming week. This helped. Thanks.

Written by David McSweeney