We Tested The Best GoPro Cameras - Here Are The Ones To Buy

Vukasin Ilic 11 min read
Table of Contents

GoPro has long been considered by some as the best company for versatile cameras that you can take anywhere.

And while several competitors have appeared over the years, getting a GoPro for creating YouTube content is still well worth it.

But how can you choose the best one for your needs? There are so many models, from the original 35mm Hero (now a vintage relic) to the latest Hero 11.

They come with a variety of resolutions, bitrates, lenses, and capabilities, so picking one can be difficult.

So, here’s a list of the best GoPro cameras available today that can help you create fantastic videos for YouTube.

There’s one that stands out above the rest. Let's review that one first!

GoPro Hero 11 - The Best GoPro Camera For Content Creation On YouTube

The Hero 11 is easily the best GoPro camera available. 

There are plenty of reasons why, which are detailed later in this guide. However, here is a quick list showing off its impressive qualities:

  • Amazing video resolution - 5.3k60.
  • Best GoPro stabilization system available.
  • Horizon lock shots so you can spin your camera 360º.
  • 8:7 aspect ratio that can be converted to 16:9, 9:16, and more without losing quality.
  • Five digital lenses, including Hyper Wide and Linear.
  • Waterproof, rugged, lightweight, and compact.
  • Can record in 4k for over four hours with the Volta hand grip accessory.

Benefits Of Having a GoPro

Before diving into the detailed list of best GoPro cameras, here are some reasons why they are a great choice for vloggers and content creators.

  • Compact size
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Waterproof
  • Stabilized shots
  • High-definition footage
  • Smaller than DSLR cameras
  • Cheaper than (some) DSLRs and smartphones

GoPro has always advertised how amazingly versatile their cameras are.

This comes from how compact and light they are, as well as how sturdy they can be.

You can easily mount one on a helmet, surfboard, or ski for fantastic outdoor shots. They’re also waterproof, so can be used for recording footage underwater.

As the models have evolved, the stabilizing capabilities have increased.

You can easily create content that doesn’t shake and lose focus, while sticking to high-definition resolutions.

Finally, they are smaller and cheaper than other cameras on the market, including DSLRs and even smartphones.

They are obviously better for physical activities like bike riding, jogging, and swimming, but can also be used for studio environments.

The fish-eye effect which is common to most GoPros can be a disadvantage, but the latest versions have ways to reduce it.

The Best GoPro Cameras - Detailed List

All GoPros have their benefits and, despite the Hero11 sticking out as the current best action camera available today, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth looking into the others.

They have all been divided to highlight their main qualities. First, there is the best GoPro camera overall.

GoPro Hero11 (with Creator Edition) - Best Overall

GoPro Hero 11 - Best Overall

  • 5.3k60 video resolution
  • 27.13MP
  • 120Mbps bit rate
  • HyperSmooth 5.0 stabilization
  • Waterproof up to 33ft (10m)
  • 1080p live streaming
  • Stereo audio
Buy Now

The Hero 11 is the latest offering from GoPro.

It maintains the small dimensions common to GoPros but has amazing recording capabilities.

It can film up to 5.3k at 60fps, 4k at 120fps, and 2.7k at 240fps.

No matter which settings you choose, you’re going to get incredible footage that can be used for fantastic slow motion shots.

A great upgrade from previous versions is the 8:7 aspect ratio.

It lets you change to other ratios easily without losing quality. If you’re creating for YouTube, widen it to 16:9.

If you focus more on creating YouTube Shorts, changing to 9:16 won’t be a problem either. In fact, you can easily convert your videos to 4:3, 1:1, 7:8, and 3:4 as well.

The HyperSmooth stabilization has also evolved from older Hero editions.

There is an Autoboost feature that can further smooth out your footage, and also a horizon lock.

The Hero 10 could be tilted around 45º to either side while maintaining horizontal stability.

With the Hero 11, you can flip the camera a full 360º without the image moving at all.

There are also a few extra digital lens functionalities thrown in. You can choose from Hyper View, Super View, Wide, Linear, Linear + Horizon Lock/Leveling.

This defeats one of the main problems with GoPros of the past - the fish-eye effect. 

You can still choose it if it works well for the footage you’re recording, but you have the option to choose a linear lens for more standard shots.

There are many reasons why the Hero 11 is the best overall GoPro by itself, but there is another option that makes it stand out. You can buy the Creator Edition.

This edition of the Hero11 gives you some accessories that add lots of value to the camera. They are:

  • Volta hand grip
  • Light mod
  • Microphone mod

The Volta hand grip isn’t just a standard handle. It comes with extra battery power, function buttons like record and power, and two extra supports so it can be used as a tripod.

Then you have an LED light for extra lighting and an additional microphone.

The mic doesn’t have the best quality, so you wouldn’t use it for work in the studio.

But there is an input for an external microphone. So, if you have a preference for micing, you can team it up with this GoPro for the best quality content.

Overall, GoPro 11 is a fantastic camera that surpasses its predecessors. A lot of the functions are similar to the Hero 10, but there are enough improvements to make it worth upgrading.

The horizon lock is great for action shots, the pixel count has been raised to over 27MP, and the bit rate surpasses the Hero10 by an extra 20Mbps (120 from 100).

The Creator Edition is more expensive, but also adds plenty of great features that can make your filming process easier.

With the extra battery power, you can film in 4k for up to 4 hours.

GoPro Hero 10 (Close Runner-Up)

GoPro Hero 10 (Close Runner-Up)

  • 5.3k60 video resolution
  • 23MP
  • 100Mbps bit rate
  • HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilization
  • Waterproof up to 33ft (10m)
  • 1080p live streaming
  • Stereo audio

The Hero 10 is another great camera by GoPro.

It’s similar in plenty of ways to the Hero 11, which is why it can be considered a close runner-up.

Some of the features aren’t as evolved. This can make it inferior in some ways, but its own invention in others.

It has a 23MP photo resolution, but still has 5.3k60 video resolution.

The bit rate is 100Mbps, slightly less than the Hero11, but high enough for maintaining great quality.

You can still get the HyperSmooth stabilization system (in this case, 4.0), which is perfect for vloggers who enjoy outdoor sports.

You won’t need to worry about shaky footage as it will automatically be kept on the level.

The digital lenses include a horizon-leveling feature, so you can tilt the Hero 10 to around 45º without the image leaning to the side.

This is also handy for active vloggers who enjoy, for example, mountain biking or luging.

Diving is another option as the Hero10 is waterproof up to 33ft (10m).

You can get amazing underwater footage without having to worry about damaging the device.

Using the Hero 10 for live streaming is another reason why it’s great for YouTubers and vloggers.

Whether in the studio or outdoors, you can stream your footage in 1080p. It will be saved to the inserted SD card so you can watch it back later or upload it separately.

There isn’t a Creator Edition version of the Hero10, but the accessories from that bundle are compatible with it.

So, if you want to use the Volta grip, light mod, and extra microphone, you can.

You can also choose from the extensive list of other accessories from GoPro like different lenses, mounts, protective casings, and more.

So, while it might not match the overall quality of the Hero11, it comes close in terms of features and video resolution.

It’s slightly cheaper, so figuring out if you really need higher photo resolution, a better stabilization system, and a few more upgrades can save you some money.

GoPro MAX (Best 360 Camera)

GoPro Max (Best 360 Camera)

  • 6k30 spherical video resolution (5.6k stitched/1440p60 standard)
  • 18MP (16.6MP stitched)
  • 100Mbps bit rate
  • Max HyperSmooth stabilization
  • Waterproof up to 16ft (5m)
  • 1080p live streaming
  • 360/Stereo audio
Buy Now

GoPro’s first 360 camera, the MAX, ranks highly on the best devices for capturing 360º footage.

First released in 2019, it’s an innovative piece of gear that fits into this company’s range.

It records 6k footage at 30 frames per second, which ends up at 5.6k when stitched together. (This is what happens when you use more than one lens to make a video).

However, if you want to stick to regular “Hero-mode” settings, the resolution is 1440p60.

It’s considerably lower than the Hero 10 or 11, but having a 360 camera means you probably won’t be filming in a standard format as much anyway.

The bit rate and live streaming capabilities match the Hero 10, while the stabilization has a system of its own.

Max HyperSmooth is geared towards the 360 format and offers incredible stabilization.

A real highlight of the GoPro MAX is its audio recording system.

It has six microphones which allow you to capture sound from all around the device.

The final product will be in stereo but will change as you move the perspective of the video.

Overall, the GoPro MAX is an amazing device with an innovative recording system.

It works better than a lot of other 360 cameras and can add a lot of value to your social media presence.

The price is as high as the Hero 11, so it really depends on what kind of content you’re looking for.

Creators who want to use the 360º footage for showing off their extreme sports skills can benefit greatly.

If you’re mostly going to stick to standard footage, it’s probably not worth the cost.

You can get the Hero 10 for less and have a higher video resolution.

GoPro Hero 9 (Best Budget for 5k)

GoPro Hero9 (Best Budget For 5K)

  • 5k30 video resolution
  • 20MP
  • 100Mbps bit rate
  • HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilization
  • Waterproof up to 33ft (10m)
  • 1080p live streaming
  • Stereo audio
Buy Now

If you’re looking for a 5k camera but are on a budget, the GoPro Hero 9 is your best choice.

It’s $100 less than the Hero10 and has plenty of the same features.

The resolution is down a few points (5k from 5.3k), and so is the frame rate (30fps).

You still get high quality shots, better than what most social media platforms can show.

And it still ranks above smartphone cameras in terms of resolution, even though some phones are reaching amazing levels.

The stabilization system is an older version than the Hero 10, which can be linked to the processor.

The overall quality is lower because of the GP1 chip compared to the Hero 10 and 11’s GP2.

There are two screens, one more than previous versions.

At the rear, you have a 2.27-inch touchscreen for viewing your shots and making changes to the settings.

On the front, there is a smaller LCD screen that gives you live previews of what you’re shooting. Perfect for selfies and getting ready for recording.

The Hero 9 has the same digital lenses as the Hero 10, letting you flip from superwide shots to linear ones.

This is great for achieving the old-school GoPro fish-eye effect or a more standard flat look. It’s never 100% linear, but is good enough to let you use it in your studio.

The 1080p live stream capability is as good as the Hero 11, so if this is your main reason for buying a camera, the Hero 9 is the best GoPro choice in terms of value for money.

All of this adds up to it being a fantastic camera for vlogging.

You can capture amazing footage outdoors, from skydiving to swimming, or from the comfort of your home studio.

It’s similar to the Hero 10, with some less-advanced features but a lower price.

GoPro Hero8 (Best Budget GoPro Camera)

GoPro Hero8 (Best Budget GoPro Camera)

  • 4k60 video resolution
  • 12MP
  • 100Mbps bit rate
  • HyperSmooth 2.0 stabilization
  • Waterproof up to 33ft (10m)
  • 1080p live streaming
  • Stereo audio
Buy Now

The last camera on this list is the GoPro Hero 8. It’s around four years old now but stands up to many cameras and smartphones released in the last year.

It has a higher frame rate than the Hero 9 (60 instead of 30), but a lower resolution (4k instead of 5k). In this sense, it matches some of the best smartphone cameras available.

However, the photo resolution of 12MP is considerably lower than many phone cameras and other GoPros.

So, if you’re focusing on photos over videos, it’s likely that you’ll find something better for a similar price.

It has a good stabilizing system and many of the same digital lenses as the cameras listed above.

However, it doesn’t come with any horizon-leveling capabilities.

This means you’ll have to carefully balance the camera at the level you want or accept the fact that the image will move from side to side when you tilt the device.

It’s just as good as the more recent versions for live streaming. And if you want to take it underwater, you can still dive to 33ft (10m) without any issues.

Another issue is the battery life.

It’s considerably shorter than the Hero 9 and isn’t compatible with the Volta hand grip from the Hero Creator Edition, so you can’t boost the power.

You’ll need to frequently change or charge the battery.

If you want to enhance the Hero8, you can look into the accessories. There are the Light and Media mods so you can attach an LED light and extra microphone to it.

The Hero8 is a great camera, especially when kitted out with some of the mod accessories.

It has been surpassed by various models of GoPros, but still has enough positive features to make it worth buying.

So, if you’re on a strict budget and can’t afford the Hero 9, the GoPro Hero 8 might be the perfect fit for you.

Bottom Line - How To Pick?

GoPro has created some fantastic devices over the years.

Whether on their own or with accessories attached to them, they can make great cameras for physically active vloggers and studio creators.

The Hero 11 sticks out as the best GoPro on the market. It has great video resolution and enough new features like the horizon lock to put it well above its predecessor.

The Hero 10 is still a fantastic camera, with plenty of the same features. It’s a close second in this list.

The Hero 9 and Hero 8 both have their strengths too.

They get great shots and are similar enough to each version that came after them to make buyers think twice before deciding. They also come at a lower price, and are a great option for budget buyers.

Finally, the GoPro MAX stands out as an innovative piece of gear that isn’t for everyone but works really well in the world of 360º footage.

So, while the GoPro Hero11 is the best camera overall, you can’t go wrong with any of the other versions in this list. They can all be used for making amazing content and sharing your ideas with the world.


Join the conversation

More from YouTubers Hub

YouTube Growth Resources, Templates & Cheatsheets

Subscribe to get access to our weekly & monthly newsletters

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to YouTubers Hub.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.