In the world of action cameras, GoPro has emerged as a prominent brand, captivating adventure seekers and photography enthusiasts with its exceptional optical performance and sleek design. Over time, GoPro has expanded its product line, offering a wide range of choices, which can be overwhelming.

This GoPro comparison aims to unravel the mysteries of the GoPro product line, guiding you through each model’s capabilities.

Are all these cameras cut from the same cloth, or do they cater to diverse needs?

This guide will navigate you through GoPro’s offerings, whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a fisherman seeking the perfect companion for your adventures.

Prepare to dive into the world of GoPro, discover which camera will become your trusted sidekick, and document life’s extraordinary moments. This guide will also highlight the current official product line from GoPro, providing insights into the most likely choices for continued support and updates.

Let’s dive in and find the perfect GoPro camera for your needs!

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Key Takeaways

  • Evolution of GoPro: GoPro has come a long way since its inception, continually pushing the boundaries of action camera technology.
  • Current GoPro Lineup: The current “official” GoPro product line includes the GoPro Hero12 Black, Hero11 Black, Max, Hero10 Black, Hero9 Black, Hero8 Black, and Hero7 Black.
  • Choosing the Right GoPro: The best GoPro for you depends on your specific needs and budget. Consider factors like performance, price, and the types of adventures you plan to capture.
  • Alternatives: Don’t limit yourself to GoPro; explore third-party alternatives that may surprise you with their capabilities.
  • Creativity and Adventure: Ultimately, your choice of a GoPro or action camera should enable you to capture and share your unique perspective, preserving remarkable memories and adventures.
  • Long-Term Investment: Consider investing in more recent GoPro models for ongoing support, firmware updates, and warranty coverage to ensure your camera lasts for the long haul.

GoPro Comparison Chart

GoPro comparison chart

GoPro Models by Year

  • The GoPro Hero12 Black (2023)
  • The GoPro Hero11 Black (2022)
  • The GoPro Max (2019)
  • The GoPro Hero10 Black (2021)
  • The GoPro Hero9 Black (2020)
  • The GoPro Hero8 Black (2019)
  • The GoPro Hero7 Black (2018)

While these are far from the only options out there, they are the cameras most likely to receive continued support and updates from GoPro. If longstanding product support is important to you, it’s probably best to pick one of the options above in our opinion.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the Hero7 Black is likely to be pushed off this line of promoted products relatively soon; the Hero10 isn’t miles away. We’ll run through the four main cameras that are still officially promoted by GoPro below.

GoPro Hero 12 Black

The GoPro Hero 12 Black is the latest addition to the GoPro Hero lineup, and it packs a punch with a plethora of powerful features. In recent years, GoPro has made significant advancements in features like wind noise reduction and image stabilization, and the Hero 12 Black is a testament to that progress. While it may not come at a budget-friendly price, this camera is designed to justify its cost through exceptional performance.

In our assessment, if you have the means, investing in the GoPro Hero 12 Black is a decision well worth making.

While raw specifications don’t always tell the whole story of a camera’s capabilities, they provide a crucial point of comparison, especially on a GoPro comparison page. Here are the key specifications of the GoPro Hero 12 Black for you to evaluate:

  • Video Capture: 5K at 30fps, 4K at 60fps, 1440p, and 1080p
  • Photo Sensor: 20 megapixels for still photos
  • Waterproof: Up to 33 feet
  • Image Stabilization: “HyperSmooth 3.0” – advanced electronic image stabilization
  • Slow Motion: 8X Slo-Mo
  • Display: Touch screen
  • Time Lapse: Capable
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi/Bluetooth enabled
  • Battery Life: Up to 101 minutes (when filming at 1080p)

Compared to older GoPro Hero models, these specifications represent a substantial upgrade in power and capability. Notably, the Hero 12 Black boasts a 30% increase in battery life compared to its predecessors, providing extended shooting time for your adventures.

When you opt for a value pack that includes an additional battery, you can count on this camera to keep up with your explorations.

Enhance Your GoPro Hero Experience

One of the defining features of the GoPro Hero 12 Black is its adaptability and expandability. It offers a range of optional accessories to elevate your GoPro experience. For those seeking cutting-edge image stabilization and optical performance, the “Max” lens mod is a valuable addition.

If you’re looking to push the boundaries of audio recording, consider adding an extra microphone to your setup. And for photographers who appreciate ample composition flexibility, an extra-large display mod is available to expand your viewing space.

The GoPro Hero 12 is designed with versatility in mind, growing with you as your needs evolve. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a passionate enthusiast, this camera has the potential to enhance your creative capabilities.

Streaming and “Smart” Features

The GoPro Hero 12 Black places a strong emphasis on streaming and “smart” features. Setting up a live stream in 1080p is a breeze with this camera, making it an appealing choice for YouTubers and content creators.

One standout feature is LiveBurst, which records 1.5 seconds of footage before and after each shot, providing flexibility in selecting the perfect image. Additionally, features like Hindsight capture 30 seconds of video before you even press the shutter button, increasing the likelihood of capturing your desired moment.

These “intelligent” features, coupled with the camera’s outstanding time-lapse capabilities, position the GoPro Hero 12 Black as one of the premier choices among GoPro models.

Pros:

  • Exceptional optical performance
  • Optional mods to enhance your experience
  • Enhanced wind noise reduction
  • Impressive “smart” features including voice control

Cons:

  • Average battery life
  • Considerable price tag

GoPro Hero 11 Black

The GoPro Hero 11 Black continues the legacy with a blend of power and features. It excels in capturing stunning moments with its 5K video and 27.3MP photos. While not the cheapest option, its performance justifies the investment.

Key Features

  • Video Capture: 5K at 60fps, 4K at 120fps, and 1080p at 240fps
  • Photo Sensor: 27.3MP for still photos
  • Waterproof: Up to 33 feet
  • Image Stabilization: Hyper Smooth 5.0
  • Slow Motion: 8X Slo-Mo
  • Display: Front and Rear Touchscreen
  • Battery Life: Approximately 1720mAh
  • Notable Upgrades: Improved image stabilization, higher photo resolution, and Full Horizon Lock

Pros:

  • Outstanding optical performance
  • Upgraded image stabilization
  • Impressive slow-motion capabilities
  • User-friendly touchscreens

Cons:

  • Average battery life
  • Considerable cost

GoPro Hero 10 Black

The GoPro Hero 10 Black raises the bar with its exceptional performance. With 5K video at 60fps and 23.6MP photos, it’s a powerhouse for capturing your adventures. While it’s not the most budget-friendly option, its features and capabilities make it a worthwhile investment.

Key Features

  • Video Capture: 5K at 60fps, 4K at 120fps, and 1080p at 240fps
  • Photo Sensor: 23.6MP for still photos
  • Waterproof: Up to 33 feet
  • Image Stabilization: Hyper Smooth 4.0
  • Slow Motion: 8X Slo-Mo
  • Display: Front and Rear Touchscreen
  • Battery Life: Approximately 1720mAh
  • Notable Upgrades: Enhanced processor, improved video capabilities, and 3D Noise Reduction

Pros:

  • Outstanding video and photo quality
  • Impressive image stabilization
  • Enhanced slow-motion features
  • User-friendly touchscreens

Cons:

  • Average battery life
  • Higher price point

GoPro Max

GoPro MAX — Waterproof 360 + Traditional Camera with Touch Screen Spherical 5.6K30 HD Video 16.6MP 360 Photos 1080p Live Streaming Stabilization

Perhaps confusingly, the GoPro Max isn’t necessarily the most powerful GoPro model in terms of RAW performance. Don’t get us wrong; it’s certainly a capable machine. It’s just that its “Max” functionality comes more from its additional lenses than its sheer power.

The four lenses and three microphones on this model are built to take stunning 360° videos and 270° panoramic stills. For truly immersive camera work, the GoPro Max is worth considering. The built-in “Hero Mode” also lets users shoot traditional GoPro videos.

Model Specs

They’re not the whole picture, but the GoPro Max technical specifications can be found below:

  • 360° Video (6K Source), 5.6K Stitched (3K Source), Stitched HERO Video options: 1440p, 1080p
  • 18 megapixel source lens or 16.6 megapixel stitched photos
  • Waterproof up to 16ft
  • 2X slow-mo
  • Time lapse capable
  • Wind noise reduction
  • Electronic image stabilization
  • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth features
  • Touchscreen
  • 85 minutes of battery for 360 videos and 105 minutes for 1080p video

Max HyperSmooth

GoPro boasts that this is the best level of image stabilization they’ve ever produced. This model is designed to create buttery-smooth images in even the shakiest of conditions. This feature is especially noticeable if you film footage of your bike treks.

HyperSmooth has existed for several years now, but the GoPro Max improves the tech significantly.

Digital Lenses for Every Occasion

This is one option in this GoPro comparison with four camera lenses to choose from. The available options are “Narrow, distortion-free Linear, Wide and Max SuperView”. In short, this gives users new levels of versatility when filming on the go. The Max is built to capture it all, no matter how big your subject is.

Reframe

The companion GoPro app that takes advantage of this model’s Wi-Fi functionality makes it possible to tweak your 360° footage. The Reframe app can modify your clips and present them as if you shot them with a “normal” camera. It also lets users add some pretty awesome “ultra-fisheye” effects to their work.

Pros:

  • Stunning 360° videos
  • The Reframe app is really cool
  • Four digital lenses to choose from
  • Brilliant video stabilization

Cons:

  • Only waterproof up to 16ft
  • The battery life isn’t great

GoPro Hero 9 Black

The GoPro Hero 9 Black is a powerhouse in the action camera world, delivering exceptional video quality with features that cater to both beginners and professionals. With 5k/30fps, 4k/60fps, and 1080p/240fps video options, it offers versatility for various shooting scenarios.

Key Specs:

  • Video: 5k/30fps, 4k/60fps, 1080p/240fps
  • 1080p Live Streaming
  • Photo: 23.6MP
  • RAW
  • Image Stabilization: HyperSmooth 3.0
  • Photo Burst: 12MP at 30fps
  • TimeWarp 3.0 (Real Speed and Half Speed)
  • 3 Microphones
  • LCD Touchscreen with Touch Zoom
  • Waterproof: Up to 33 feet (10m)
  • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
  • Protune (photo and video)
  • Removable 1720 mAh Battery
  • Voice Controls
  • GPS
  • No HDMI Port

Hottest New Features:

  • Enhanced 12-megapixel sensor
  • 5K/30 Video Resolution
  • Approximately 30% longer battery life
  • Interchangeable lenses with removable lens cover
  • Full-color front-facing live preview screen
  • HyperSmooth 3.0 for incredibly smooth video
  • New live streaming options (including Twitch)
  • Scheduled Capture and Duration Capture

The Hero 9 Black stands out with its upgraded sensor, providing more detailed and vibrant images. It excels in video resolution, offering 5K capabilities. The improved battery life ensures extended shooting sessions.

Moreover, the option for interchangeable lenses and the front-facing live preview screen make it versatile for various shooting styles. The HyperSmooth 3.0 feature ensures your videos are incredibly stable, and the addition of new live streaming options broadens your creative possibilities.

Overall, the Hero 9 Black is a versatile and powerful action camera suitable for capturing your adventures.

GoPro Hero 8 Black | Best Budget GoPro Hero

The GoPro Hero 8 Black is the go-to choice for those seeking impressive performance without breaking the bank. Offering remarkable video quality and a feature-packed experience, it’s a great value for money.

Key Specs:

  • Video: 4k/60fps, 1080p/240fps
  • Photo: 12MP
  • RAW
  • Image Stabilization: HyperSmooth 2.0
  • Photo Burst: 12MP at 30fps
  • TimeWarp 3.0 (Real Speed and Half Speed)
  • 3 Microphones
  • LCD Touchscreen with Touch Zoom
  • Waterproof: Up to 33 feet (10m)
  • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
  • Protune (photo and video)
  • Removable 1220 mAh Battery
  • Voice Controls
  • GPS
  • No HDMI Port

Hottest New Features:

  • HyperSmooth 2.0 (includes Boost and available in every mode)
  • Redesigned exterior with an integrated mount
  • New Mod Accessories
  • TimeWarp 2.0
  • Live Burst Photos
  • RAW Photos
  • 100Mbps bitrate for 4K and 2.7K
  • New Capture Presets

The Hero 8 Black impresses with its 4K/60fps video capability, delivering fantastic video quality for its price point. HyperSmooth 2.0 ensures steady footage, while features like TimeWarp 2.0 and Live Burst Photos add creative versatility.

The camera’s redesigned exterior and integrated mount make it more user-friendly, and the availability of Mod Accessories enhances its adaptability. With RAW photo support and improved bitrates, it’s a solid choice for both beginners and budget-conscious enthusiasts.

Hero7 Black

GoPro Hero7 Black — Waterproof Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K Ultra HD Video 12MP Photos 720p Live Streaming Stabilization

We’re now at the end of the “officially supported” line of GoPro Hero cameras. The Hero7 Black is perhaps beginning to show its age in areas like wind noise reduction, but it’s still a very capable camera. If your needs are casual in nature, this one probably won’t disappoint.

GoPro Hero7 Black Specs

  • 4k (60fps), 1080p (240fps) video
  • 12 megapixel sensor
  • Time lapse capable
  • Wind noise reduction
  • Roughly 150 minutes of battery life
  • Improved HDR performance
  • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth functionality
  • Touch screen
  • Waterproof up to 33ft

HyperSmooth 1.0

The GoPro Hero7 Black introduced us to the HyperSmooth stabilization we now know and love. It promises “gimbal-like smoothness without the gimbal”. While this marketing language is probably an exaggeration, it does a great job of keeping your videos smooth.

Is it worse than HyperSmooth 2.0 or 3.0? Yes, but you’re unlikely to notice too much of a difference. If you literally held the Hero7 Black next to the 8 or 9 for a direct GoPro to GoPro comparison, you’d be able to see that HyperSmooth has been improved over the years.

In day to day use, though, the original iteration of the technology still does a great job.

Voice Control

The GoPro Hero 7 also introduced new, intelligent voice control features. Users can control their camera just by speaking to it. Up to 16 commands are available and they do a great job of increasing user control when you can’t get to the touchscreen.

SuperPhoto

Another great introduction with the Hero7 Black was “SuperPhoto”. This is basically an enhanced approach to HDR which dramatically improves the color correction and noise reduction capabilities of the GoPro line. Features like this help your photos really “pop” when using your GoPro Hero 7.

Pros:

  • Way cheaper than new models but still packs a punch
  • Voice controls work well
  • Slightly better battery life than its newer counterparts
  • Still tough and waterproof

Cons:

  • No adjustable lens or mod functionality

Older More Affordable Options

But what about the Hero5 Black or Hero4 Black? There are some older GoPro models that are still worth considering. In fact, some of these options actually out-perform newer versions when it comes to battery life.

As they’re a little older, we’ll provide a brief overview of these GoPro models below.

Hero6 Black

GoPro HERO6 Black + Extra Battery - E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization

The optimized GP1 processor on the Hero6 Black means it can still hold its own when it comes to frames per second and general image processing. This processor alone means the 6 represents a significant jump when compared to the older Hero5 Black.

One of the main things the Hero6 Black has going for it is its comparatively affordable price.

GoPro Hero6 Black Specs

  • 4K (60fps), 1440p, 1808o video recording
  • 12 megapixel still photos
  • Waterproof up to 33ft
  • WiFi-/Bluetooth functionality
  • Wind noise reduction from multi-microphone array
  • Touch screen

Hero5 Black

GoPro Hero5 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos

The GoPro Hero 5 Black can still perform fairly well, but it’s around this point where these cameras really start to show their age. This is most notable in image processing and the frames per second for 4K video performance. Still photos and videos can still look great, but expect a choppier, noisier experience overall.

We think the Hero5 Black would make a great companion camera to mount to your helmet if you regularly ride a motorcycle. It will also still hold up as a decent adventure camera, but don’t expect next-level performance.

Hero5 Black Specs

  • 4K(30fps), 2.7K, 1440p, 1080p video recording
  • 10 megapixel stills
  • Waterproof up to 33ft (no case needed)
  • Touchscreen
  • Built-in stabilization
  • Time lapse capable
  • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth enabled

Hero5 Session

GoPro Hero5 Session

The Hero5 Session is a tiny, ultra-portable GoPro with a few key differences from the Hero5 Black. One of the most notable differences is the approach to battery storage. The Hero5 Black has a removable battery. The Hero5 Session does not.

Another key difference is that the Hero5 Black has an LCD touchscreen, while the primary way to interact with the Hero5 Session is via a single shutter button. The session iteration of this GoPro is designed to be as compact and “invisible” as possible for shooting on the go.

Session Specs

  • 4K (30fps), 2.7K, 1440p, 10080p video resolution
  • 10 megapixel stills (slightly smaller sensor than the 5 Black)
  • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth features
  • Time lapse mode
  • Waterproof up to 33ft
  • No touchscreen

Hero4 Black

GoPro Hero4 Black

The GoPro Hero 4 line was the first to introduce 4K video recording at 30fps. This is something to keep in mind when looking for a new action cam, as older GoPro models record 4K at a far choppier 15 frames per second.

The Hero4 Black isn’t terrible by today’s standards at all, but once you’re into this price range, you might be better off picking up an action camera from a different brand; there are some great third-party options out there.

Hero4 Black Specs

  • 4K (30fps), 2.7K (60fps), 1008p video recording
  • 12 megapixel still photos
  • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity
  • Time lapse mode
  • Waterproof up to 131ft
  • No touchscreen
  • No voice commands

Hero4 Silver

GoPro Hero4 Silver

The most important GoPro comparison between the Hero4 Silver and Black models is that the Hero4 Silver has a built-in touchscreen. In fact, it was the first GoPro model to use one. The drawback of this feature is that the Silver actually burns through its battery considerably quicker than the Black.

GoPro Hero 4 Silver Specs

The Silver iteration of these GoPros represents a step down in terms of video and still image performance:

  • 4K at 15fps (very choppy), 1080p at 60fps
  • touchscreen LCD
  • 12 megapixel still photos
  • Waterproof up to 33ft
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features (Bluetooth was introduced with the 4 line)
  • Time lapse function
  • No voice commands

Hero3 Silver, Black and Before

GoPro HERO3: Silver Edition

We’ve now entered a significantly older territory of GoPro models. To be clear, these options can still perform well in good conditions, but they’re now overshadowed by cheaper third-party options in our opinion.

We recommend considering options like the Hero3 Silver for use as a spare webcam or dashcam; they’ll do great in this context.

GoPro Hero Models – Cheat’s Comparison Guide

This section will run through some key action camera features that group these GoPros together.

Which GoPro Cameras Are 6K Capable?

This is something of a trick question. Only the GoPro Max is capable of 6K. It’s also the only GoPro model to offer 360 video.

Which GoPro Hero Cameras Film 4K at 60fps?

For buttery-smooth 4K video at 60 frames per second, you’ll need:

  • Hero 9 Black
  • Hero 8 Black
  • Hero 7 Black
  • Hero 6 Black

Which GoPro Models Have Some Form of 4K?

The following is a list of GoPro models with some form of 4K performance. It’s worth noting that less than 30fps is generally considered very choppy:

  • Hero 9 Black (6ofps)
  • Hero 8 Black (60fps)
  • Hero 7 Black (60fps)
  • Hero 6 Black (60fps)
  • Hero 5 Black (30fps)
  • Hero 5 Session (30fps)
  • Hero 4 Black (30fps)
  • Hero 4 Silver (15fps)
  • Hero 3+ Black (15fps)

Which GoPro Models Have Voice Commands?

Voice commands are a super-convenient way to control your Hero when you can’t reach the screen. The following Hero models (including the GoPro Max) offer voice control:

  • GoPro Max
  • Hero 9 Black
  • Hero 8 Black
  • Hero 7 Black
  • Hero 6 Black
  • Hero 5 Black
  • Hero 5 Session

Are All GoPro Cameras Waterproof?

All current GoPro models are waterproof. The thing to remember is that they don’t all stay waterproof up to the same depths. Most notably, the GoPro Max is only waterproof up to 16ft. Some older models, like the Hero4 Black, can go as far as 131ft.

Since around the Hero4 Silver, 33ft of waterproofing has been the most common depth available.

Which GoPro Options Have a Touchscreen?

A touchscreen is something we take for granted these days, but there was a time when its introduction to the GoPro line of cameras was noteworthy. The following models have a touchscreen:

  • GoPro Max
  • GoPro Hero 9 Black
  • GoPro Hero 8 Black
  • GoPro Hero 7 Black
  • GoPro Hero 7 Silver
  • GoPro Hero 6 Black
  • GoPro Hero 5 Black
  • GoPro Hero 4 Silver (not black)

Which is the Best GoPro to Get?

This depends largely on your use case, but we absolutely love the GoPro Max. Our main reason for this is its killer 360 video and 6K features. This is the first GoPro to offer options like this and the level of optical performance you get with them is seriously impressive.

If you still want killer performance but are less bothered by the Max’s “gimmicks”, we’d recommend either the Hero 8 or the Hero 9.

Which is the Best Value GoPro?

Again, this depends entirely on which features you most value. That said, the Hero6 Black still holds its own while being significantly cheaper than newer options. While we’re on the subject, anything older than the 5 Session probably isn’t worth your time.

There are so many third-party options these days that it’s probably worth looking there too.

Check out our GoPro alternatives page for more details.

Conclusion

As our adventure through the realm of GoPro cameras comes to a close, we find ourselves standing at a crossroad of choices. Amidst the staggering array of options, it becomes crucial to make a wise decision—one that ensures longevity and a delightful user experience.

For those seeking a camera that withstands the test of time, the Hero 7 Black and its successors emerge as the shining stars. By opting for a more recent model, you unlock the doors to future firmware updates and ongoing warranty support, securing your investment for the long haul. But don’t limit yourself to just GoPro’s offerings; venture into the realm of third-party alternatives, as they have come a long way and may surprise you with their capabilities.

As you embark on your journey with your chosen camera, we wish you endless joy and excitement in capturing life’s extraordinary moments. Let your creativity soar, immortalizing adventures, achievements, and cherished memories. Whether you’re carving through mountains on a snowboard or casting your line into the deep sea, may your camera be your faithful companion, faithfully preserving every detail.

Remember, the world is your canvas, waiting to be painted with your unique perspective. Choose wisely, embrace the possibilities, and may your GoPro be the lens through which you share your remarkable story with the world. Happy shooting!