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The best GoPro cameras in 2020: from the latest Hero8 Black to the thrifty Hero 5

best GoPro
(Image credit: GoPro)

Want to know which is the best GoPro camera for you to buy? Well that all depends on how much you want to spend, whether you really need the latest tech, and whether you're ready for the next big thing – 360 imaging!

Canny camera buyers have realised GoPro are not just for wild adventures, but are also among the best travel cameras around, not to mention the best waterproof and underwater cameras

There are plenty of different Gopro models around, and choosing the right one can get quite confusing – which is why we're here! Like other camera makers, GoPro keeps older models on sale at steadily falling prices, so that while the latest GoPro Hero8 Black and GoPro Max have all the latest features, they are also the most expensive. At the same time, a lot of the older cameras can represent a fantastic bargain, with prices significantly slashed since launch, and it's often worth browsing these older models before deciding which one to pick.

So which is the best GoPro? It mostly depends on what you're looking for and what your budget is. We reckon that the Hero8 Black is now the best that's currently available, with its sophisticated HyperSmooth 2.0 image stabilisation system. However, previous models from the Hero7 on backwards are still widely available, and many can be picked up for a great price. If you're willing to compromise on certain features, you can find a great deal. 

The other big story right now is the new 360-degree GoPro Max, which is a huge step forward from the previous GoPro Fusion in both ease of use and the results you get. You might also want to check out our guide to the best 360 cameras right now.

While there is a lot of competition out there in the best action camera arena, it's still the case for now that if you want the best, it's worth picking something with that GoPro trademark on it.

In our rundown of the best GoPro cameras on the market we've included models new and old, including a few outliers like the 360-degree Fusion. With the best deals on every model, we're confident we'll have the best GoPro camera to fit your budget (and you might also be interested in our look at the best dash cam models available right now). 

The best GoPro camera in 2020

(Image credit: GoPro)

1. GoPro Hero8 Black

The ultimate action camera has got even better!

Weight: 126g | Waterproof: 10m | 4K video: up to 60fps | 1080: up to 240fps | 720: up to 240fps | Stills resolution: : 12MP | Battery life: 1-3hrs estimate

Superb image stabilization system
Excellent 4K video
Great range of frame rate options
Built-in acccessory mounts
Screen is smaller than some rivals

The latest flagship GoPro model is our favorite action camera available right now. A key difference from its predecessor (and especially the less expensive Hero7 Black) is that there are fold-out feet, giving you the advantage that the camera mount is now built in. Furthermore, you can accessorise the Hero8 Black with a new series of bespoke optional extras called Mods – we particularly like the Display Mod, which adds a second monitor that is perfect for vloggers, but there are plenty of others, including a Media Mod for improving the production value of your videos, and a Light Mod LED light too. These add-ons cost you more – but if you are looking for the very best action camera, and the best GoPro for image quality and features, then the Hero8 Black is it.

• Read full GoPro Hero8 review

(Image credit: GoPro)

2. GoPro Max

The latest 360-degree GoPro model and perhaps the best 360 cam of all

Megapixels: 16.6MP | Screen: Touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Max continuous shooting speed: 30fps | Max video resolution: 5.6K (30fps) | Waterproofing: 5m | Voice control: Yes | GPS: Yes

Super-stabilised 360 footage
Video quality is customisable
No 4K video capture
A little pricey

A genre-bending, category-redefining one-man-band of a camera, the GoPro Max is a significant improvement on the previous 360-degree GoPro camera, the Fusion, and brings 360-degree video into the realm of being a potential professional tool, rather than a gimmick. The Max shoots 5.6K video in all directions, offering a little less raw resolution than the Hero 8 but making up for it with plenty of other tricks: including four digital focal lengths, horizon levelling, HyperSmooth stabilisation and ProTune video editing software, to name a few. We've been really impressed with the Max in our initial tests, and we don't think it's an exaggeration to say that it could really change the look and feel of YouTube and vlogging in the near future.

Read more: GoPro MAX review

(Image credit: GoPro)

3. GoPro Hero7 Black

Last year's model, but now really great value

Megapixels: 12MP | Screen: 2in touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi (5GHz), Bluetooth | Max continuous shooting speed: 30fps | Max video resolution: 4K (60fps) | Frame rates: 60fps (4K), 240fps (1080p), 240fps (720p) | Waterproofing: 10m | Voice control: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 1-3hrs estimated

Gorgeous 4K video
HyperSmooth feature impresses
Voice commands need refining
Occasional unresponsive screen

While the GoPro Hero8 is out grabbing headlines, the Hero7 Black is still worthy of attention for its debut of HyperSmooth, an impressive new image stabilisation technology that brings a smooth, stable, flowing look to even handheld video. If that's a huge step forward, so is TimeWarp. A refinement of HyperSmooth, TimeWarp enables you to create a TimeLapse while walking around a scene, but also increase the speed by 30x for short, shareable and silky-smooth TimeLapse videos. It's enabled by a massive increase in the memory inside the GoPro Hero7 Black, which also gets a fresh new user interface. Add gorgeous video footage and the Hero7 Black is the current benchmark for action cameras, particularly if you're after the best 4K camera in action cam form.

Read more: The best GoPro accessories

(Image credit: GoPro)

4. GoPro Hero7 Silver

With a new low price, this action cam is now great value

Megapixels: 10MP | Screen: 2in touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi (5GHz), Bluetooth | Max continuous shooting speed: 15fps | Max video resolution: 4K (30fps) | Frame rates: 30fps (4K), 60fps (1080p) | Waterproofing: 10m | Voice control: Yes | GPS: Yes | Battery life: 1-3hrs estimated

Great value
4K video quality
Lacks high frame rates of more expensive models
No HyperSmooth option

The younger brother to the Hero7 Black, the Hero7 Silver is still a current model, and has been reduced in price following the launch of the Hero8. Key difference between this and the Hero7 Black are that it lacks HyperSmooth recording, only offers 60fps in 4K shooting mode, and has a non-removable battery (so you can't carry a spare around with you). If you can afford the more expensive Black version then it's definitely worth doing so, as that HyperSmooth stabilisation is a real game-changer, but if not then this makes for a solid budget alternative.

(Image credit: GoPro)

5. GoPro Hero7 White

The cheapest Hero7, missing a fair few bells and whistles

Megapixels: 10MP | Screen: 2in touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi (5GHz), Bluetooth | Max continuous shooting speed: 15fps | Max video resolution: Full HD | Frame rates: 60fps (1080p) | Waterproofing: 10m | Voice control: Yes | GPS: No | Battery life: 1-3hrs estimated

Highly affordable
Still has some stabilisation
No 4K
Generally basic functionality

The most stripped-back, newbie-oriented of the Hero7 clan, the main thing the Hero7 White has going for it is the price. For less than £150 you can get a thoroughly decent GoPro camera – there's no 4K and only the most basic stabilisation (the Black edition's HyperSmooth stabilisation gets nowhere near this model) but for learning the basics, it's a decent tool. Do some price comparison before you buy though; the Hero6 Black (see below) may be available for a similar outlay, and it does edge the Hero7 White in terms of video quality and a few other factors.

(Image credit: GoPro)

6. GoPro Hero6 Black

One of the best bargain GoPro cameras

Megapixels: 12MP | Screen: 2in touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi (5GHz), Bluetooth | Max continuous shooting speed: 30fps | Max video resolution: 4K (60fps) | Waterproofing: 10m (60m with Super Suit housing) | Voice control: Yes | GPS: Yes

High-quality 4K video
12MP stills and RAW shooting option
Comparatively expensive

The arrival of newer cameras means the Hero 6 Black is where to head to save money. Your sacrifice will be minimal. Thanks to its GP1 chip that allows it to far exceed the capabilities of the previous GoPro Hero 5 Black, the Hero 6 Black boasts the ability to shoot 4K video at a frame rate of 60fps, or Full HD video at up to a super slow 240 frames per second. There’s also voice control for hands-free operation, GPS functionality and advanced audio processing that captures audio in stereo. For stills shooting, you have the option of capturing your 12MP stills in RAW format, allowing for post-capture tweaks at the computer, and there’s also HDR Photo mode for maximizing detail in the highlights and shadows. Maximum burst speed is 30fps. The camera sports a touchscreen LCD and can be used underwater to depths of 10m without a housing, making this a great option is you're looking for a waterproof and underwater camera.

Read more: The best cheap GoPro HERO6 Black deals

Best GoPro: GoPro Hero5 Black

(Image credit: GoPro)

7. GoPro Hero5 Black

Perhaps the ultimate budget GoPro camera

Megapixels: 12MP | Screen: 2in touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Max continuous shooting speed: 30fps | Max video resolution: 4K (30fps) | Waterproofing: 10m (60m with Super Suit housing) | Voice control: Yes | GPS: Yes

Spec sheet still rivals Hero6
4K video tops out at 30fps
Some features missing (Touch Zoom, HDR Photo)

If you don’t need the absolute highest standards of video quality and fancy saving yourself a quick £100/$100, then the Hero5 Black is well worth a look. It still shoots 4K video but only at 30fps, and its slow-motion Full HD video tops out at 120fps, but honestly this should be more than adequate for most people’s GoPro needs. You still get voice control, the same level of waterproofing as the more recent Hero models, stereo audio and GPS. You don’t get HDR Photo or touch zoom; video stabilization is less advanced than the Hero 6, and the Wi-Fi functionality is standard, as opposed to the 5GHz functionality for fast offload to phone that the Hero6 and successors have. 

Best GoPro cameras: GoPro Fusion

8. GoPro Fusion

The first 360° marvel from GoPro now looks distinctly clunky

Megapixels: 18MP | Screen: No | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Max continuous shooting speed: 30fps | Max video resolution: 5.2K (30fps) | Waterproofing: 5m | Voice control: Yes | GPS: Yes

Twin-lens setup for 360° videos/images
'Overcapture' function expands filmmaking possibilties
Reduced waterproofing
Complex prospect for average user

Though now eclipsed by the GoPro Max, the Fusion represents the first real departure for GoPro cameras. While Hero cameras have a single lens facing forwards to capture the action, the GoPro Fusion carries two wide-angle lenses facing in opposite directions, and with these it captures 360° images and videos of everything that surrounds it. What’s more, though, is the Overcapture functionality, which allows you to ‘pull’ 1080p Full HD videos from anywhere in the 360° frame, meaning you can effectively create complex camera moves and perspective changes from the same static shot, without once moving the camera. You can choose to shoot your 360° video in 5.2K 30fps or 3K 60fps, and you can capture 18MP 360° stills. It’s honestly bursting with features across the board, more than we have space for here, though it’s worth noting that it’s only waterproof to 5m, and isn’t compatible with the Super Suit housing to extend this. Otherwise, the Fusion is pretty over-specced for the average user, but it's still one of the best 360 camera options, even if it's not at the top of the list any more.

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