Web, Tech and Tips

Which GoPro should you buy?

We tackle every GoPro model and the best accessories

Published Wed 23rd Nov 2016
By itsAdult / Web, Tech and Tips

Which GoPro should you buy?

Picking the right GoPro for you needn't be tricky, we rundown the best GoPro cameras and accessories available now

GoPro and the action camera has changed the way we chronicle our lives. Without the advent of the GoPro or various other action cams on the market, we’d never be able to show the rest of the world just how much of an extreme-sports nut we really are.

Whether it’s high-octane, adrenaline-fuelled skydiving videos, chaotic white-water-rafting snaps or bone-chilling basejumping shorts, the action cam has made filming them possible. Thanks to their ruggedised shells and waterproof cases, action cams bring the ability to film extreme sports and situations to amateur filmmakers everywhere.

Nobody will argue that GoPro is the undisputed leader of the pack when it comes to action cams. Essentially taking the medium to the mainstream, GoPro has become the go-to choice of professional athletes and videographers, even being used in film and television – including such blockbuster projects as the last The Hobbit film. If you want to see what kind of footage you can capture (granted with the right know-how and editing ability), GoPro’s own YouTube channel is a good place to start.

GoPro’s current flagship range – the Hero4 – is now in its fourth iteration, but there are many alternatives if you don’t want to go for the top-of-the-line camera. The now-discontinued, entry-level GoPro Hero range is a great place to start for those curious about action cams, but our comprehensive list of GoPros and their most popular accessories (over on page 2) is sure to help you work out the right GoPro for you.

So which GoPro is for me?

No matter how much detail this list goes into, it will never be able to definitively answer which GoPro is the right one for you. That is, unfortunately, something you’ll have to figure out for yourself.

One simple test is that the Hero is generally a little underspecified for most users, while the Hero4 Black is likely to be far more over-spec for many. The Hero+ LCD is a great all-rounder, but if you’re after something more professional – say if you run a YouTube channel, or partake in extreme sports – you may benefit from something a bit more heavyweight.

By reading our guide, you should be able to quickly work out which is the best GoPro device for you.

Which GoPro to buy

 

1. GoPro Hero: The everyman’s action cam

The GoPro Hero range is the now discontinued entry-level series from GoPro. Starting at around £95, this basic set of cameras gives you all the functionality you’ll need when getting started. It’s worth noting that every Hero camera comes fixed inside a waterproof case resistant to 40m, and doesn’t come with a swappable battery as in GoPro’s Hero4 range.

GoPro Hero

The Hero’s sub-£100 price reflects its standing as the most basic model in GoPro’s catalogue. Capable of 1080p at 30fps, or 60fps if you drop the resolution to 720p, the Hero’s video capabilities are really the bare essentials. With bit-rate capture at only 15Mbits/sec, along with a fixed Ultra Wide field of view, this isn’t the best option if you’re looking to record hectic extreme sports or capture slow-motion footage.

The Hero can also capture 5-megapixel photos – the lowest resolution of all GoPro’s current cameras – and is limited to intervals of just 0.5-seconds on time-lapse photos. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to easily see, edit and share your images and videos thanks to a lack of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

GoPro Hero+ / GoPro Hero+ LCD

Because the Hero+ and Hero+ LCD are exactly the same – aside from the addition of an LCD screen – it makes sense to lump them together. Currently both models are available on Amazon for a similar price, so there’s really no reason not to go for the LCD model if the Hero+ sounds appealing.

Compared to the Hero, both models are capable of capturing 1080p at 60fps and record all footage at up to 25Mbits/sec. Photos can be taken with an 8-megapixel resolution, and time-lapse photos now have the option for intervals from half-a-second up to 60-second intervals. Both models have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for easy uploading and sharing of content. As with the Hero, both modes can only shoot in an Ultra Wide field of view and aren’t suitable for slow-motion video.

The touchscreen also brings added extras, including a more intuitive camera settings menu and the ability to edit clips into 15- and 30-second videos to upload directly onto Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

2. GoPro Hero Session: The oft-forgotten cuboid camera

Initially launched as a premium camera to supplement the Hero4, GoPro quickly used the Hero Session to fill the entry-level gap left behind after the discontinuation of the GoPro Hero.

Now available for around £160, the Hero Session is the smallest and lightest camera GoPro has ever built. It doesn’t require a separate waterproof case, thanks to having its own water resistivity to 10m, and it comes with two attachments for more flexible filming. However, it doesn’t have a replaceable battery for longer filming sessions, and that 10m restriction means you can’t go diving with it.

When it comes to video capability, the Hero Session can make use of a Superview, Ultra Wide or Medium field of view. Superview gives you a more vertical perspective to your videos, while Medium creates a narrower frame than the Hero range. The Hero Session can also record in 1080p at 60fps or in Superview at 48fps. You can even go up to 1440p at 30fps or hit 100fps by dropping resolution down to 720p – perfect for slow-motion capture.

Hero Session also comes with auto image rotation so you can film with the cuboid camera any way up and it still has a bit rate of 25Mbits/sec for sharp images even in the busiest situations. Like the Hero+, the Hero Session can take stills at 8-megapixels and is capable of incremental time-lapse photos. The Session also benefits from noise reduction in audio recordings thanks to dual microphones.

3. GoPro Hero4 range: Perfect for professionals

If you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to GoPro’s action cameras, the Hero4 range is where it’s at. Coming in two varieties, Silver or Black, these action cams come with K video capabilities and a whole load of bells and whistles – including completely replaceable and swappable batteries. Both devices can also create time-lapse videos in-camera – as opposed to other models that require you to stick them together yourself – and are capable of being waterproof to 40m when encased in their removable waterproof housings.

GoPro Hero4 Silver

At around £250, the GoPro Hero4 Silver sits one below the top-of-the-line Hero4 Black. Containing the GoPro LCD Touch BacPac as standard – an optional extra for the Hero4 Black – the Hero4 Silver has the same benefits as the Hero+ LCD’s back touchscreen panel.

In terms of capturing capabilities, the Hero4 Silver has three different field-of-view settings, Ultra Wide, Medium and Narrow – far more than you’ll find on the basic Hero range. You’ll also get 4K at 15fps recording as the top option, with 2.7K at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps. You can drop the resolution down to 720 to capture 100fps for slow-motion footage, but if you’re happy to take a WVGA resolution (848 x 480), you can record at 240fps for superior slow-mo capture. Still images can be taken at 12 megapixels too, for some sharp photos.

Compared to the lower-tier models, the Hero4 Silver comes with some advanced features out of the box. Not only is it capable of night-photo and night time-lapse modes, it can record video and capture photos at intervals along the way. It also has an impressive 45Mbits/sec bit rate for silky-smooth and sharp videos, and allows you to connect an external microphone for improved audio capture.

GoPro Hero4 Black

Representing the top of GoPro’s action camera range is the Hero4 Black. Priced around£300, despite lacking the LCD Touch BacPac found on the Silver, it’s packed with headline features and a whopping 60Mbits/sec video bit rate.

With the Hero4 Black, you’ll be able to record 4K video at 30fps or cinema-grade 4K at 24fps in Superview. At 2.7K, you can record at a silky-smooth 60fps, and if you decide to drop the resolution any lower, the frame rate increases making it the perfect pocket-sized slow-mo camera. Of course, with such a range of video modes, the Hero4 Black is arguably overkill for many – especially as you’ll need a powerful PC to edit and 4K content and a 4K TV or monitor to view it on.

Source: ExpertReviews.co.uk Click HERE for Hero Cam range of accessories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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