First sold in 2004 as a waterproof 25mm film camera for shooting action sports, the GoPro has gone on to become the world’s best-selling action camera. Current models like the Hero6 Black are small, lightweight and offer up to 4K video recording alongside a host of advanced stills and video recording features. GoPro cameras can be taken anywhere, and attached to almost anything.
But what’s the best GoPro camera? That depends a little on what you want from one of these action cameras, as they each offer something a little different, while they vary quite a bit in price.
Don’t worry though as we’ll take a look at each GoPro action camera, highlight the key features of each, and who they’re most suited to. Once you’ve picked out the perfect GoPro camera for you, we’ll take a look at some of the best accessories you can attach your GoPro too.
Best GoPro cameras
1. GoPro Hero6 Black
The king of action cameras
Weight: 118g | Waterproof: 10m | 4K video: Up to 60fps | 1080: up to 240fps | 720: up to 240fps | Stills resolution: 12MP | Battery life: 1-3hrs est
Slick 4K video at 60fps
Improved image stabilization
Voice controls not perfect
It might look the same as the Hero5 Black on the outside, but quite a bit has changed on the inside. This includes a new GP1 processing engine, which sees the Hero6 Black capable of shooting super high-quality 4K footage at 60fps. A first for a GoPro. The image stabilization system is now much more sophisticated, while the Hero6 Black’s voice control also now features a Wake On Voice function. For stills, dynamic range and low-light performance is better than the Hero5 Black, while you can shoot raw files as well. Like the Hero5 Black and Hero, the Hero6 Black is waterproof down to 10m without the need for an additional case, while there’s a pretty easy to use 2-inch touchscreen. If you want the best action camera, this is it.
Read our in-depth GoPro Hero6 Black review
2. GoPro Hero5 Black
Weight: 118g | Waterproof: 10m | 4K video: up to 30fps | 1080: up to 120fps | 720: up to 240fps | Stills resolution: 12MP | Battery life: 1-3hrs est
Easy to use
Great video quality
No longer the best
IS not available at 4K/30fps
It may no longer sit at the top of the GoPro range, but don’t discount the Hero5 Black as it still has a lot to offer. It might not be able to shoot at 60fps in 4K like the Hero6 Black, but most people should be more than satisfied with the 4K 30fps footage the Hero5 Black captures. It’s not short on other features either, with a 2-inch touchscreen, waterproof down to 10m without the need for a protective case, voice control and GPS. Simple to use, the QuikStories app (available of all GoPros) automatically transfers and edits your footage for you, meaning you can share footage before you’re even home. A great allrounder of an action camera that should be more than enough for most users.
Read our in-depth GoPro Hero5 Black review
3. GoPro Hero
GoPro goes back to basics
Weight: 118g | Waterproof: 10m | 4K video: N/A | 1080: up to 60fps | 720: N/A | Stills resolution: 10MP | Battery life: Up to 2hrs
Comprehensive and simple app
Good Full HD footage
4:3 ratio when shooting at 1440p
No sub-Full HD quality options
This is GoPro’s back to basics action camera. First off – it doesn’t shoot 4K. However, it does shoot nice and smooth Full HD footage. Using the same body as the higher priced models means its also waterproof down to 10m and supports a 2-inch touchscreen. There are better specified-action cameras out there for a similar price, but they don’t have the refined design and polished control of the Hero. The Hero is a great camera for the novice or casual user who just wants to capture the action without worrying about which frame rate or resolution they should be using.
Read our in-depth GoPro Hero review
4. GoPro Hero5 Session
Cube design isn’t for everyone
Weight: 74g | Waterproof: 10m | 4K video: up to 30fps | 1080: up to 90fps | 720: up to 120fps | Stills resolution: 10MP | Battery life: 1.5-2hrs est
Simple one button control
While the Hero5 Session is no longer in the GoPro line-up, it’s still widely available. Sharing many of the same features as the Hero5 Black, the Hero5 Session can shoot 4K video at 30fps, and comes with image stabilization, voice control and is waterproof down to 10m. There’s no rear display though, simply a large Record button on the top that starts and stops. If you want to see what you’re recording and set different modes and options, this is all handled by the app (though it does have a simple menu system if you wish). Back to basics, but still captures the quality of video that you’d expect from GoPro.
Read our in-depth GoPro Hero5 Session
Best GoPro accessories
Whether you’re a professional videographer, photographer or simply someone enjoying the convenience of a small camera, GoPros have opened up new possibilities thanks to the help of innovative accessories. This means the market for accessories is huge, and the options available potentially more diverse than any other camera system. From camera mounts to lights to microphones to filters to 360° time-lapse and more, there are almost infinite ways to pimp your GoPro.
1. Manfrotto PIXI Xtreme Mini Tripod with head for GoPro cameras
Solid support in a small and lightweight package
Small and lightweight
Low maximum height
Single leg position
The Manfrotto PIXI Xtreme is a version of the popular mini tripod designed for use with GoPros thanks to the addition of a GoPro tripod mount adaptor. The PIXI Xtreme weights just 197g so you won’t even know you’re carrying it, and with a folded length of 21.5cm it will fit into almost any bag or even a pocket. The extended height of the tripod is 16.5cm, with simple ball head offering 360° rotation for positioning the camera. To get the height you need in some situations the PIXI Xtreme will need to be positioned on a wall or table.
2. Removu S1
The world’s first rainproof gimbal for GoPro cameras
Hand-held and mountable
Grip could be more comfy
No record button on grip
If you’re fed-up getting shaky footage from your GoPro movies, you need a gimbal and the Removu S1 is a brilliant choice. The 3-axis stabilising gimbal is designed for use with GoPro’s Hero3, Hero4, Hero5 action cams, as well as its Session cameras. Delivering super-smooth footage and offering three main control modes (Pan, Follow and Lock), the Removu S1 is also rainproof, so you can carry on using it when the elements turn against you. It features a detachable handgrip, a removable battery, wireless remote control and is fully compatible with the GoPro range of helmet, body and bike mounts.
3. Rokk mini adjustable mount
A versatile and durable mounting system
Solid and versatile
Wide range of bases and plates
One of the appeals of GoPro action cameras is that they can be mounted remotely. If you want a tough, durable and dependable system, then the Rokk Mini is a great option. At its core is this adjustable mount, which you can then attach a wide range of bases to, including this suction cup pictured here. We tried this combo when attaching a GoPro to the bodywork of a car, with the rigid hold of the cup securely holding the camera in place. To complete the system, you’ll need to also invest in a top plate (there’s a dedicated GoPro top plate).
4. GoPole Scenelapse
Capture a 360° timelapse with unbelievable ease
Easy to use
Best used with a tripod
With the fantastic options shooting timelapse stills and video with GoPro cameras, a simple way to create dynamic results is to make the camera rotate during shooting. The GoPole Scenelapse allows you to do just that, offering a rotation of 360° over the course of 60 minutes. Simply set up your GoPro, wind the unit and let it do its thing. The GoPole Scenelapse is fully mechanical so no batteries are required, and it features a standard tripod screw on the bottom allowing you to attach it to a mini or full size tripod. On the top is a removable GoPro mount with a high torque thumb screw, so you can attach your GoPro or even a small DSLR or mirrorless camera. The small and easy to use unit weighs just 85g/3oz and is compatible with all GoPro cameras.
5. Tenba Shootout 14L ActionPack
Carry your GoPro gear in style with a dedicated backpack
Designed for action cameras
Rain cover included
No space for a small DSLR or CSC
Limited space for non GoPro items
The Tenba Shootout 14L ActionPack is designed to allow you to comfortably carry a large GoPro system while you’re participating in an action sport or simply exploring the city or countryside. At just 1.4kg the bag is lightweight and the padded straps with waist belt make it comfortable and secure. Inside the bag are four removable pods, and two wallets, so you can organise your kit and gain quick and easy access to exactly what you need. The capacity of the bag allows you to carry up to four GoPros, mounts, batteries, cables and other accessories etc. Plus there’s enough room to carry a small hydration pouch and food. There’s even a tripod attachment at the bottom of the bag large enough to accommodate a travel tripod.
6. GoPro Remo
Voice activation at a distance from your GoPro
Voice activated remote
Small and convenient
Noise can affect voice control
The GoPro Remo is a waterproof (up to 5m/16ft) voice controlled remote for the Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session cameras. This means that while both cameras offer built-in voice activation, the Remo is said to improve voice activation in noisy conditions and allows you to activate the cameras from a short distance, or works as a one button remote from up to 10m/33ft away. The Remo comes with a strap allowing it to be worn on your wrist for convenience. It can also be clipped to clothing. With 13 commands available the Remo certainly adds convenience to shooting but it’s not cheap for what it is. And unlike the older GoPro WiFi remote there’s no screen so you rely on voice commands and scrolling through functions.
7. Anker Powercore 20100
A huge amount of power for a small price
High capacity battery
Can even charge MacBooks
Charging time can be slow
Not the most compact
One of the problems of travelling with a GoPro is that battery life is obviously finite. You can of course buy an extra battery or two, but if you’re out in the field and away from a power outlet, charging can be difficult. Plus, if you’re shooting a long time-lapse you can’t change batteries part way through. While GoPro does manufacture its own portable power pack, the Anker Powercore 20100 provides a much higher capacity at a seriously low price in comparison. Anker claim the pack can charge smartphones up to seven times, and can even charge a MacBook using USB-C, so plenty of juice for GoPro cameras and you can even charge up to three devices at once! To ensure the safety of your devices the Powercore features smart-charging PowerIQ and current-stabilising VoltageBoost providing the fastest possible safe charge up to 2.4 A. Then there’s surge protection and short circuit prevention.
8. GoPro Pro 3.5mm microphone adapter
Use professional microphones with your GoPro
Improves sound quality massively
Creates a line input for mic or mixer
Bulky and awkward
Expensive for what it is
The GoPro Pro 3.5mm Microphone Adapter allows you to connect professional microphones with a 3.5mm jack to your Hero5 Black or Hero5 Session camera. This allows you to drastically improve sound compared to the camera’s built-in microphone. So whether you want to use a lapel, condenser or shotgun mic etc. this is an essential accessory. The adaptor connects to GoPros via, and is powered by USB-C, allowing for stereo sound to be recorded. It also features a 106dB stereo analogue to digital converter. With the GoPro Pro 3.5mm Microphone Adapter in use the GoPro side door will be open so the camera will no longer be waterproof, but this accessory is geared more towards vlogging than capturing great action sound.
9. GoPro Chest Mount Harness
Get a completely immersive experience
Need to turn whole body
Can pick-up unwanted wind noise
Whether you’re skiing, mountain biking, white water rafting, or any other activity, GoPro’s chest mount is a great piece of kit to not only capture the action. Fully adjustable to fit a wide range of adult sizes, the placement’s great for getting some unique angled shots, though you will have to move your whole body to change the framing.