GoPro offers a wide variety of models these days, so choosing the right GoPro action camera can be a difficult decision. What you need to know is that across their various product lines, there are three main models of GoPro (with a couple variations off of those, which can be a bit confusing at first). Here’s our GoPro buyers guide for 2016 to help you choose which GoPro is right for you.
If you want the cheapest GoPro available:
If you’re concerned about getting the most affordable GoPro on the market, the choice is clear: the GoPro for you is the GoPro Hero.
The GoPro Hero is the cheapest GoPro in their lineup and the good news is, it shoots great video at impressive specs that were top-of-the-line not too long ago. The GoPro Hero shoots 1080p video at up to 30 frames per second, or 720p video at 60 frames per second (which can be converted to some pretty slick slow motion footage using their bundled software).
If you want the smallest and lightest GoPro available:
Some applications call for a really small camera, and for those uses, the GoPro Session is perfect. It’s small and comes in a nifty new square design. It’s also easy to use and works with the GoPro app on your cell phone for simple controls. It’s also waterproof up to 33 feet and shoots up to 1440p HD video.
Another benefit of the GoPro session is that it may also be easier to mount in some smaller cramped spaces, depending on what your needs are. It’s also a bit lighter than a normal GoPro, so if you’re attaching two of these to a helmet for instance, you’ll be able to tell the difference.
If you want the highest quality GoPro available:
The GoPro Hero 4 Black is the undisputed quality champion when it comes to HD action camera quality. The GoPro Hero 4 Black sits atop the GoPro lineup and beats just about every other compact video camera on the market today. What makes the Hero 4 Black so special? Well for starters it has a more advanced sensor than the other GoPro cameras (and those of their competitors too). Another thing that sets the GoPro Hero 4 apart is that it shoots ultra high definition 4K video. One cool advantage of 4k HD video is that you can stabilize it using software after your video has been shot so it turns out glossy-smooth.
If you want the best all-around value:
The GoPro Hero 4 Silver is a fantastic all around action sports camera. It shoots in 2.7K resolution (higher than HD though not quite 4K like the GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition), and its footage looks gorgeous. Plus it offers an LCD screen which can help with menu navigation and shot framing, which even the Black Edition doesn’t offer.
It’s not quite as pricey as the Hero 4 Black but its footage is often comparable. Like the Black Edition, the Silver GoPro version also features the ability to shoot in ProTune, an advanced color mode which can allow for more extensive tweaking once you’ve loaded it on to your computer (a feature not available in cheaper GoPros).