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Best GoPro 2021: Which GoPro is right for you?

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Confused about which GoPro is best? Here's our comprehensive guide to the best GoPro cameras you can buy today

At its best, the GoPro is a fantastic piece of kit. These small and incredibly rugged little action cameras offer excellent-quality video and audio, and can often be had for a very reasonable price. And, while GoPro has built its reputation off of documenting some of the most extreme sports, their versatile line of cameras are just as at home with vloggers, commuters and holidaymakers. 

If you're new to GoPro action cameras, you're probably taken aback by the sheer number of models available, but don't panic: we're here to help you choose the best GoPro for you.

If you're a seasoned action camera veteran looking for a comprehensive list of the best GoPro action cameras on the market, feel free to scroll further down the page, where you'll find our top picks. Newcomers, however, should start with our brief guide that explains how to buy the best GoPro for you.

GoPro has just launched the Hero 10 Black flagship action camera

GoPro has just released their latest flagship action camera, the Hero 10 Black. The Hero 10 features an all-new processor and an impressive list of specs, with 5.3K video recording at up to 60fps, 4K at up to 120fps and 2.7K at up to 240fps. It can also shoot 23-megapixel stills and comes equipped with GoPro's latest HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilisation. We're yet to publish our full Hero 10 Black review but you can expect to find it on our Best GoPro round-up shortly.
GoPro
Now £380

Read next: The best GoPro deals


The best GoPro action cameras at a glance


How to choose the best GoPro for you

GoPro's current lineup consists of the Hero 9 Black, Hero 8 Black and the dual-lens GoPro Max 360 camera. Older Hero 7 cameras are also still readily available, and although no longer cutting edge, can still provide plenty of bang for your buck.

When shopping for your ideal camera it can be worth bearing in mind that the best GoPro for you may not be the most expensive model or the one capable of recording at the highest resolution. The ability to film high bit-rate 4K footage might sound appealing but remember you have to have plenty of disk space to store the files and your laptop or PC needs plenty of power to process and edit the footage once you've got back to base. 

Indeed, for most people, good-quality 1080p or 1440p footage still holds up well and it's a lot easier to edit, move around and upload than 4K. The good news is that even the cheapest GoPro cameras can do that with the Hero 7 Silver able to capture at 1440p at 60fps or 4K at 30fps.

What the more expensive models do offer, however, is GoPro's impressively effective HyperSmooth stabilisation. While the Hero 7 Silver does offer basic stabilisation, it can't quite match the impressively steady results of the HyperSmooth stabilisation found in the newer Hero 8 and Hero 9 and Hero 19 Black models. Higher-end GoPros also offer higher frame rates for more extreme slow motion recordings and compatability with GoPro's range of Accessory Mod attachments.

These days all GoPros are natively waterproof right out of the box but the older Hero 7 cameras still require a cage for mounting.

READ NEXT: Best action cameras

The best GoPro cameras to buy in 2021

1. GoPro Hero 9 Black: The best GoPro action camera yet

Price: £330 | Buy now from GoPro

With more screens, more resolution and more stabilisation, the Hero 9 Black is GoPro's best action camera to date.

While its silhouette may look familiar, the Hero 9 Black has received a top-to-toe revamp. It features an all-new 23.6-megapixel sensor, allowing video to be recorded at up to 5K 30fps and stills to be shot at 20MP. The battery has also seen an upgrade, with 30% increased capacity over the previous model. And, finally, the Hero now packs a front-facing screen, making vlogging and selfie-style shooting a breeze.

The Hero 9 Black retains the natively water-proof design of its predecessor, along with the in-built mounting prongs, but you can now also replace the lens housing. This means the lens can be swapped out if it picks up any scratches, and GoPro is set to launch the Max Lens Mod which will allow you to interchange the regular lens with a 155-degree ultrawide one that supports Max Hypersmooth stabilisation.

Speaking of stabilisation, the Hero 9 packs the new and improved Hypersmooth 3.0. Simply put, Hypersmooth 3.0 is the best action cam stabilisation we've seen and allows you to easily record smooth, jerk-free footage. Hypersmooth 3.0, along with the boost mode is available in all resolutions and framerates, so you can keep your footage consistent. GoPro has also added the Horizon-Leveling feature first found in their 360 cameras, which means not only can you keep your footage stable, but it'll be level too.

While the retail price of the GoPro Hero 9 is £430, you can currently pick it up bundled with a free memory card, case and one year GoPro subscription for just £330 if you buy direct.

Read our full GoPro Hero 9 Black review for full details

Specs – Sensor: 1/2.3in CMOS; Sensor pixels: 23.6 megapixels; Max recording resolution: 5K (30fps); Size (WDH): 71.0 x 33.6 x 55.0mm; Weight: 158g; Warranty: One-year RTB

Buy now from GoPro


2. GoPro Max: The best GoPro 360 action camera

Price: £380 | Buy now from GoPro

The GoPro Max is an action camera but not as you know it. With fisheye lenses mounted on the front and the back of the camera, it can shoot in all directions at once, including up and down.

We’ve seen 360-degree cameras before, of course, but the GoPro Max takes it to another level, capturing video at a superb level of quality and making it super easy to capture, edit and then share the resulting footage. Indeed, if you shoot in 360 mode the Max will stitch the footage together in-camera for you so you don’t have to process the 5.6K, 30fps video on your phone or laptop after you’ve transferred it.

You can then either upload to YouTube as an interactive 5.6k, 30fps 360 video that viewers can pan around themselves or process it using GoPro's “reframe” tool. This lets you choose a specific angle from the 360 footage and turn it into regular 1080p footage. You can even choose different angles from the same clip and cut between them – it’s like having multiple cameras in one.

That’s not all, though. You can also use the GoPro Max as a regular action camera, using either one of its two lenses. In this mode, the camera's amazing “Max HyperSmooth” stabilisation and in-camera horizon-levelling comes into play, keeping footage incredibly smooth, stable and dead-level even if you turn the camera itself on its head.

With six onboard microphones recording top-quality audio and a built-in touch screen, the GoPro Max is the cleverest and most flexible action camera we’ve ever used. For outright quality, it can’t match the GoPro Hero 9 Black but it does so much that that barely matters.

The GoPro Max is available on its own for £470, but if you buy direct from GoPro bundled with a one-year GoPro subscription you can save and pick one up for £380.

Read our full GoPro Max review for details

Specs – Sensor pixels: 18 megapixels; Max recording resolution: 5.6K (30fps) 360-degree video; Size (WDH): 64 x 24 x 69mm; Weight: 163g; Warranty: One-year RTB

Buy now from GoPro


3. GoPro Hero 8 Black: The best mid-priced GoPro

Price: £260 | Buy now from GoPro

While it may no longer be the flagship, if you can live without the front-facing screen or 5K recording capabilities of the Hero 9 Black, then the Hero 8 Black is an excellent option at a reduced price point.

It can record video at up to 4K at 60fps at up to 100Mbits/sec. And, while it may no longer be GoPro's premier stabilisation, Hypersmooth 2.0 still produces exceptionally smooth results. With improvements made to the microphone and processing, the audio quality is excellent too.

The Hero 8 Black features a redesigned body that's natively waterproof and has mounting prongs built right into the base, eliminating the need for an external cage. For added versatility, there's also a range of attachable mods available that add microphones, ports, lights and even an external screen.

While the Hero 8 Black will set you back £340 at retail, like the Hero 9 you can save by buying it bundled with a one year GoPro subscription for just £260.

Read our full review of the GoPro Hero 8 Black for more details

SpecsSensor: 1/2.3in CMOS; Sensor pixels: 12 megapixels; Max recording resolution: 4K (60fps); Size (WDH): 66.3 x 28.4 x 48.6mm; Weight: 122g; Warranty: One-year RTB

Buy now from GoPro


4. GoPro Hero 7 Silver: Best budget GoPro

Price: £200 | Buy now from Argos

The GoPro Hero 7 Silver has recently been discontinued but is still currently available for at a budget-friendly price and brings some of the features of GoPro's more expensive action cameras down to a more affordable level. The Hero 7 Silver doesn't have the front status LCD of the Hero 7 Black, can only shoot 4K at up to 30fps and lacks GoPro's impressive HyperSmooth stabilisation.

It also has a built-in battery, so you can't carry around multiples and swap out for longer shooting times. Video quality is pretty good, though, and it's just as rugged and waterproof as its pricier siblings, so if you want a GoPro but can't quite stretch to the Hero 8 Black, it's worth considering.

SpecsSensor: 1/2.3in CMOS; Sensor pixels: 10 megapixels; Max recording resolution: 4K (30fps); AV connections: None; Size (WDH): 62 x 28 x 45mm; Weight: 97g; Warranty: One-year RTB

Buy now from Argos


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