Ah, the GoPro, the most trusty and well-known of all the action cameras out there. If you’re considering investing in a GoPro, whether it be for personal use or to add a new dimension to your video company, you might be wondering what is the best GoPro for the money.
GoPro has revolutionized the action cam market. With its small, handy yet powerful cameras, the American manufacturer delivers the right device, especially for sports and outdoor activities.
Up to the latest version, the GoPro Hero6, we have made a comparison between cameras and revealed which model is best for you.
GoPro – What You Need to Know
For many users, the term GoPro stands for action camera like Tempo for the handkerchief. Although the competition has caught up significantly over the years. However, GoPro continues to develop and create some of the best and most popular action cameras.
But what GoPro to buy?
The current top model is the GoPro Hero6. The predecessor model, the GoPro Hero5, is available in two versions with different features and pricing: Black and the Session. With the latter, the company gave us a real lifestyle camcorder, which stands out above all by its light and cube-shaped housing.
In addition, GoPro offers affordable entry-level models with the simple names Hero, Hero + and Hero + LCD at a competitive price. As well as that, two of the familiar models remain in the program, the GoPro Hero 3+ Silver Edition and the GoPro Hero 3 White Edition.
GoPro Hero6: differences and subtleties
A the top of the GoPro Evolution currently sits the Hero6. In all areas, the waterproof and impact-resistant camera marks a sophisticated development on its predecessor models. The most striking innovation can certainly be found in the resolution.
So the Hero6 now records with UHD and 60 frames per second, or optionally with FullHD and smooth 240 frames per second. Great shots even under adverse conditions, so nothing stands in the way.
But the GoPro Hero5 Session and the Hero5 Black can resist the kind of weather and environmental conditions that you’d expect a good action camera to be able to resist, as well.
Even without a housing, the small cameras are robust and, in addition, are dive-proof up to a depth of ten meters. For the Black GoPro also offers an optional protective housing, for a small fee, which can survive up to 60 meters water depth.
Another special feature of the Black version marks the 2.0-inch touch-LCD, which makes changing settings very easy indeed. Every good action camera needs a solid LCD screen and the Hero delivers in this area, making it a very strong contender for the best GoPro for the money.
Common to both models is the well-functioning voice control, which recognizes and executes commands such as “Record GoPro Video” and “Make GoPro Photo”. This is perfect for those moments where manually switching on the camera with your hands might not be the best idea. Like standing on a cliff ready to jump off, for example!
Technically, both GoPros are also at almost identical heights. Although the photo camera of the Hero5 session operates with 10 megapixels, the Black clocks in with 12 megapixels.
The razor-sharp and low-noise image quality, however, can be seen in both cameras. In addition, the duo record in ultra HD at liquid 30 frames per second. Slow-motion with 240 frames per second can be realized at 720p.
Now that we know a little more about the GoPros overall, let’s look at the best GoPro models in more detail.
With the latest addition to the family, GoPro elaborates all features of past products delightfully. The image quality with UHD / 60p impressed as well as the FHD slow motion with 240p.
Also, the improved dynamic range and good low-light performance and the practical extras such as new voice commands, optimized image stabilization, and faster Wi-Fi also score. Those who can pay the price for the GoPro Hero6 Black will simply get the best action camera on the market.
The Hero5 Black convinces you to love it with lush features such as touch LCD, voice control, and waterproof housing.
In addition, the ActionCam has an effective electronic image stabilizer. However, with this enabled, it can only reach 2.7K video resolution. With the clear and low-noise Ultra HD recordings, users must forego this comfort feature from time to time.
WLAN, Bluetooth, and GPS for route storage complete the camera.
The only disadvantage: The comparatively short battery life with UHD, which does not last 80 minutes.
Small, but extremely solid. The GoPro Hero5 Session impresses with its powerful performance in handy cube format.
The razor-sharp Ultra HD moving pictures are inferior to the big sister model in nothing, as far as we could see. An electronic image stabilizer, voice control as well as WLAN and Bluetooth are also on board.
Only the touch LCD is missing the video cube. The power storage with significantly more than 100 minutes of UHD video lasts significantly longer.
Even though it’s now an older GoPro model, this action camera for action professionals comes with the highest quality standards included.
You get a top quality picture up to Ultra HD level, you can choose from many recording formats and have numerous options for individual settings. However, you will have to pay more for the Black Edition of this GoPro line.
Criticism is only levelled at the relatively short battery life and the missing wireless remote control, which is still included in the Black predecessor models.
Liquid 60 frames per second in Full HD resolution, slow motion, long-lasting battery and Wi-Fi module: The GoPro Hero 3+ Silver Edition leaves you wondering what could actually be missing at first glance.
Not surprisingly, this is the technology from the top model of the previous generation. Compared to the sister model from the Hero 4 series, however, a display is missing. But that has a positive effect on the price, naturally.
If the price of the Hero6 and Hero5 is a little out of your range, this could be the action camera for you!
The second cheapest model of the GoPro range reduces the performance to a minimum. But even this framework provides a solid start in the world of action cameras.
Video in full HD resolution for the White Edition, although only at 30 frames per second. But if you screw down the resolution, you get twice the refresh rate.
The operation of the case sometimes seems fiddly. The combination of WLAN and smartphone proves to be much more comfortable.
Looking at some of the earlier GoPro models, the cheaper the price gets, the more you have to compromise. That should be obvious.
With that in mind, extreme bargain hunters should take a look at the GoPro Hero. If you’re looking for an entry level model, this is a really robust action cam, which captures all kinds of footage impressively.
The camera only stretches to a maximum Full HD and 30 frames per second. A screen as well as any radio links, however, didn’t make it into this model. Alas, this technology hadn’t been developed yet in this range of GoPro cameras.
What you do get is a sturdily built camera and 40-meters of waterproof housing.
The GoPro Hero +, performance wise, has a bit more to offer compared with the above GoPro Hero. The 8 megapixel photo options is a considerable step down from some of the top of the range models. On the other, 60 frames per second with Full HD video is twice as high as the already mentioned GoPro Hero.
Let’s also not forget about the GoPro Hero + LCD model. For an extra fee, there’s a permanently installed touchscreen. This greatly facilitates the motion control abilities and option settings. Otherwise, the camera corresponds to the technical level of the Hero +.
As we discussed with the earlier models, the introduction of the LCD screen was one of the big moves that GoPro made. Once you use it, it’s hard to go back!
Tips For Getting the Most out of Your GoPro Camera
Here are a few tips for getting the very best out of the powerful action camera you’re investing in.
Use a mount
It wouldn’t be a GoPro if you couldn’t, you know, stick it in different places. Get creative by mounting your GoPro on helmets, bikes, boats, trains, planes and automobiles. Actually, a couple of those might not be recommended!
Jokes aside, mounting a GoPro is the way forward. Here’s what Digital Trends had to say about the matter:
“Newer GoPro cameras offer a selection of crop modes, such as an ultrawide 170-degree angle of view, a medium 127 degrees, and a narrow 79 degrees. The new Hero6 Black even has as touch-to-zoom function that mimics a traditional zoom lens. Making use of different fields of view is another way to mix up your shots”
Attach it to a drone
Yes, attaching your GoPro to a drone is a lot of fun! In fact, we’d go so far as to say that the GoPro and the aerial drone are a match made in heaven. To take this analogy a little too far, the GoPro is the Sundance Kid to the drone’s Butch Cassidy. Ah, okay, too far.
Regardless, playing with your GoPro on a drone is almost an extreme sports video rite of passage at this point. Whether you’re using your GoPro for fun, or for business, aerial shots just take things to the next level!
Take a lot at our list of the best drones for filming to get some ideas.
From the GoPro 4 onwards, the company introduced a new feature called Protune. Protune give the user control over things such as white balance, saturation, exposure, ISO, etc. This, naturally, allows for lots more creativity at your finger tips!
Conclusion – The Best GoPro For the Money
To wrap this up, whatever your circumstances and use case, there’s a GoPro for you. GoPro make a range of different cameras to suit all uses, requirements and budget levels.
As well as that, the company are constantly redesigning and reiterating their products. So every new GoPro comes with awesome new features, as we’ve shown in this Buyer’s Guide.
The latest GoPro Hero 6 is our top pick, as it’s the best piece of kit GoPro have created and stands as the industry standard for a modern action camera.
However, with the newness of the product comes a slightly more hefty price tag. If you have a limited budget, you might want to look at older GoPro Heros like the 5, 4 and 3. Those are still powerful pieces of gear that will give you a lot of good service for many years to come.