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The best GoPro cameras in 2022: from the new Hero10 Black to thrifty older models

(Image credit: Jakob Owens on Unsplash)

The best GoPro is without the latest edition - the GoPro Hero 10 Black, however, all its fancy features might be overboard for what you need and you can save yourself a pretty penny by investing in an older model. Every GoPro since the GoPro Hero 6 features Rocksteady stabilization so even if you go back four generations you can be sure your footage will still be pretty smooth. 

If you're just shooting videos to share on social media, you probably won't need the 5.3K resolution offered on the Hero 10. If you can settle for 4K which still looks amazing, you can spend the money you would save on some of the best GoPro accessories (opens in new tab) such as a chest mount, a 3-way arm or even the GoPro Fetch which you can attach to your pet. 

One of the main benefits of GoPro's is how durable they are. For people who do a lot of action and adventure sports, investing in a camera that can withstand a bit of rough and tumble is always a sensible idea. After all the last thing you want is to break your camera a couple of days into a climbing, skiing or cycling holiday. Since they are shockproof and waterproof they're ideal for all terrains and the Rocksteady stabilization is getting better and better with each new version. 

The best GoPro camera for you might be different from the best GoPro camera for someone else. As well as the standard action cameras, GoPro also makes some of the best 360° cameras (opens in new tab) that enable you to capture video with an entirely different perspective. 

GoPro's are without a doubt some of the best waterproof and underwater cameras (opens in new tab)you can buy and many of them are waterproof down to a whopping 10 meters (if you do need to go deeper the Nikon Coolpix W300 (opens in new tab) can reach 30 meters)! While GoPro's are mostly aimed to be used for sports and action, they are also great cameras for vloggers, content creators or even just someone who wants to be able to record their holiday hands-free using the various mounts available. We've also included one in our best YouTube cameras (opens in new tab) guide which goes to show how versatile they really are. 

A few of GoPro's older models have now been discontinued so if you want to get your hands on one earlier than a 7, eBay will be your best bet. The advantage of investing in an older model such as the Hero8 Black is that as new models are released, the previous ones get cheaper. 

Now, without further ado, let's get to the cameras...

The best GoPro camera in 2022

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)
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The most advanced GoPro camera there is offers 5.3K video recording and exceptional stabilization

Specifications

Weight: 153g
Waterproof: 10m
5K video: up to 60fps
4K video: up to 120fps
1080P: up to 240fps
Stills resolution: 23MP
Battery life: 1-32hrs estimate

Reasons to buy

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Faster user interface
+
Increased frame rates
+
Hydrophobic lens coating

Reasons to avoid

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Incremental upgrade on Hero9 Black
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-Bigger than the Hero8 Black and Hero7 Black
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Not compatible with older batteries

The GoPro Hero 10 might be a little more than you need if you just want a helmet cam for safety purposes, but if you're looking for a camera that's going to record super-smooth high-quality video this can't be beaten. It might look a lot like the GoPro Hero 9 but it is a pretty significant upgrade. It features the new G2 processor which makes the interface super responsive, doubles the frame rates and fuels the best image stabilization tech available in action cameras. 

The stand-out feature is its ability to record 5.3K 60p using GoPro's new HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization. It also has the ability to shoot 23-megapixel photos and is has the best low-light performance of any GoPro yet. You can buy a wealth of accessories separately so as well as mounting it on your helmet, you could attach it to your chest, your head or even onto one of the best selfie sticks (opens in new tab).

GoPro Subscription explained: what you get, and is it worth it

(Image credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)
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We think the Hero 9 Black is excellent value since it shoots 14.7MP stills and 5K video

Specifications

Weight: 158g
Waterproof: 10m
5K video: up to 30fps
4K video: up to 60fps
1080P: up to 240fps
Stills resolution: 20MP
Battery life: 1-3hrs estimate

Reasons to buy

+
Superb image stabilization system
+
Excellent 5K video
+
Built-in accessory mounts

Reasons to avoid

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Bigger than the Hero8 and Hero7
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Not compatible with older batteries

The most obvious difference between the GoPro Hero 8 and GoPro Hero 9 is the addition of a front-facing LCD screen. Now, if you use it mostly mounted to a helmet, your chest or your handlebars you probably won't find it all that useful, however, if you're using it for vlogging, as a webcam or for selfies it's a great addition. It also boasts a 20-megapixel sensor and can shoot up to 5K video which might be a bit overkill but it's certainly nice to have! You can also capture 14.7-megapixel still grabs from the video which is ideal for sharing on social media. 

The 2.27-inch rear screen is larger than that found on the Hero 8 black and its Hypersmooth 3.0 video stabilization has also benefitted from improvements. Thanks to its removable lens over, there's also the option to add a Max Lens Mod accessory to the GoPro Hero 9 Black which adds a few GoPro Max (opens in new tab)-style features such as 360-degree horizon lock and ultra-wide 155-degree Max SuperView mode. It's a fantastic bit of kit that will help you capture moments to remember in high definition. 

• Read more GoPro Hero 9 review (opens in new tab)GoPro Hero 8 vs 9 Black

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)
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The GoPro Max has gone a little under the radar but it's an excellent but of kit and very fun to use

Specifications

Megapixels: 16.6MP
Screen: Touchscreen
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Max continuous shooting speed: 30fps
Max video resolution: 5.6K (30fps)
Waterproofing: 5m
Voice control: Yes
GPS: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Super-stabilized 360 footage
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Video quality is customizable

Reasons to avoid

-
No 4K video capture
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A little pricey

Unfortunately for GoPro, the Hero Max has been slightly eclipsed by the Insta360 despite the fact it's actually a really good bit of kit. The GoPro Fusion was the original GoPro 360 camera but the Max benefits from some significant improvements such as 5.6K video in all directions making it a professional movie-making tool. It has four digital focal lengths, horizon leveling, HyperSmooth stabilization and ProTune video editing software. It doesn't have the same raw resolution as the Hero 8 but since it has so many other things going for it, we can let it slide. The GoPro Hero Max could even change how people Vlog and create YouTube videos - we just need more people to know about it first!

Read more: GoPro MAX review (opens in new tab) •  GoPro Max vs Hero 8 (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: GoPro)
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It might've been released 3 years ago but the Hero 8 can still shoot 4K and it'll save you money which is a big yes from us

Specifications

Weight: 126g
Waterproof: 10m
4K video: up to 60fps
1080: up to 240fps
720: up to 240fps
Stills resolution: 20MP
Battery life: 1-3hrs estimate

Reasons to buy

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Great image stabilization system
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Excellent 4K video
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Great range of frame rate options
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Built-in acccessory mounts

Reasons to avoid

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Screen is smaller than some rivals
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No front-facing screen

Despite now being surpassed, 2019’s GoPro model remains one of our favorite action cameras (opens in new tab) available. Sure, it doesn’t do 5K and it has an older image stabilization system, but like the Hero 9 Black it has the mount built-in. Like the Hero9 Black, you can accessorize the Hero8 Black with a series of bespoke optional extras called Mods; Media Mod improves the production value of your videos, Display Mod adds a second monitor that’s perfect for vloggers, and a Light Mod LED light adds illumination. These add-ons cost you more, but if you’re looking for a good value action camera and you don’t need 5K or a front-facing screen, then the Hero8 Black is a great option. 

• Read more GoPro Hero8 review (opens in new tab)GoPro Hero 7 vs 8 Black

(Image credit: GoPro)

6. GoPro Hero10 Black Bones

This stripped back version of the Hero 10 is designed to be used with FPV drones

Specifications

Weight: 54g
5K video: up to 60fps
4K video: up to 120fps
1080P: up to 240fps
Stills resolution: 19MP

Reasons to buy

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Only 54 grams
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Built for FPV
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Ready out the box

Reasons to avoid

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No screens
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DIY soldering is required 

Just launched, the GoPro Hero 10 Black Bones is a fully stripped down FPV dedicated action cam, which shares most of its features from the GoPro Hero 10 Black. This FPV focused drone only weights a mere 54 grams, yet records in stunning 5.3K widescreen at either 24, 50 or 60p and offers amazing slow-motion capabilities up to 240 frames per second at Full DH 1080p resolution. 

But, weight reduction comes at a price and you will not find any front or rear screens on this GoPro model, you have to make do with reviewing all your FPV cinematic footage on your computer by removing the memory and transferring the old fashioned way. You will also be expected to do some soldering to actually get your newly required camera to work and turn on when mounted to your drone, but with its intended market GoPro assume you will have the knowledge base  to carry this out.

(Image credit: GoPro)
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7. GoPro Hero7 Black

The first GoPro to benefit from HyperSmooth stabilization and it's still a worthy choice

Specifications

Megapixels: 12MP
Screen: 2in touchscreen
Connectivity: Wi-Fi (5GHz), Bluetooth
Max continuous shooting speed: 30fps
Max video resolution: 4K (60fps)
Frame rates: 60fps (4K), 240fps (1080p), 240fps (720p)
Waterproofing: 10m
Voice control: Yes
GPS: Yes
Battery life: 1-3hrs estimated

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous 4K video
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HyperSmooth feature impresses

Reasons to avoid

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Voice commands need refining
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Occasional unresponsive screen

Ok, so the GoPro Hero 7 might've been released in 2018 but it's still a pretty good camera. If you don't have the funds to fork out for the latest GoPro, it's worth considering an older model. The GoPro Hero 7 was the first camera to feature GoPro's HyperSmooth stabilization which enables smooth, steady, handheld video. Before the GoPro 7, it was really hard to get usable footage and HyperSmooth has completely changed that. You can create time-lapses while moving with TimeWarp and increase speed up to 30d for short, shareable clips. Considering its now four years old it still has some nifty features and it's a much more tempting price. 

Read more: GoPro Hero 7 vs 8 Black (opens in new tab)

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For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specialising in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound and many more for various advertising campaigns, books and pre/post-event highlights.


He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected in to BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 


He is familiar with and shows great interest in medium and large format photography with products by Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa and Sinar and has used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI and everything in between. His work covers the genres of Equestrian, Landscape, Abstract or Nature and combines nearly two decades of experience to offer exclusive limited-edition prints to the international stage from his film & digital photography.