GoPro cameras are great for hands-free, point-of-view recording — but that doesn’t mean they can replace a camcorder or larger DSLR or mirrorless camera. For advanced users, a GoPro’s lack of fully manual control may be problematic (you can set exposure compensation using the Protune feature, but you have no direct control over aperture and shutter speed). The lack of buttons and dials also means you’ll have to rely on the touchscreen or your smartphone to make changes, which is fine for set-it-and-forget-it adventure filming, but isn’t great if you need to make adjustments on the fly.
GoPro's new HyperSmooth feature eliminates pretty much any doubt about the stabilization, and the new Boost mode might help future-proof GoPro's position here. If you really appreciate the front-facing "selfie" screen on the DJI, the Hero 8 doesn't have anything to offer here (until the screen mod comes out, but that'll cost extra). For me, the GoPro offers a much more "complete" experience, and the Hero 8's additional usability really seals the deal.
The reason I ask what you will be using it for is to determine which set of features you need. If you're going to be using it for simpler activities, don't go all out for a Black edition with a 60fps, 1080p cam (all HERO3's are 1080p, anyways). The reason the Black Edition is so expensive is because of the crazy quality it has, and if you're using it for a more simple basis I wouldn't worry about the difference. The Silver or even White is perfectly fine for you. The main difference between these two is the white's camera has a 5 megapixels with 3fps burst while the silver is 11 megapixels with a 10 fps burst -- is that worth $100 to you?
There’s really only one criteria that should matter when it comes to buying GoPro accessories such as the ones profiled here and that is this: does it enhance the quality of your adventure footage? Just as fashion accessories like a bracelet or broach will activate an outfit or the right lens will help you get the most out of your DSLR, GoPro accessories should allow you to get more from your adventure cam. They should open up new documentary as well as expressive pathways and present your activities in new and unexpected contexts that conjure the much sought after “Oh wow!” response from your audience.
To get right to the point of my writing: I can't give you a definite answer. What I can definitely tell you right now is that we are to focus on the GoPro HERO4 and HERO3+'s (and I will touch base on a few HERO2 and original 3's as well), as it is the best technology and provides options for numerous consumers. With the recent announcement of the HERO4's especially, we'll tackle the main features of those to help you decide if that hefty price is worth it.
GoPro Hero5 Black
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Somehow the cancellation of the original camera order failed so I later on received both cameras and was charged for both. Naturally I contacted them and as requested sent one of them back in order to receive the £285 of the £570 I just spent. By tracking the return I saw it was delivered back to them safely. After waiting for a month I realised that I never was given back the refund and instead had been charged another £285.... I have at this been charged £855 for one GoPro Hero8.
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We suppose it was easier for GoPro to simply remove options from the menus rather than recode the software to take away the menus entirely, but it does make the Hero’s interface feel a bit like a rush job. It’s also just confusing, and initially led us to believe there was something wrong with our review unit or that it needed a firmware update. Imagine being handed a menu at a restaurant with a single item on it, and then your waiter asking if you needed some time to make a decision.
If you're lamenting the lack of hardware upgrades, the Hero 8 still has something for you. Alongside the new camera, GoPro is announcing a line of "mod" accessories, similar to Motorola's Moto Mods. At time of writing, these include a Media mod (a frame with shotgun mic built in, HDMI connectivity, 3.5mm audio in and two cold shoes); a light mod (200 lumens, tuned for video); and a Display mod that adds a fold-out screen so you can frame yourself while looking at the camera. (As a bonus, it has its own battery built-in.) Mods will cost between $49 and $79 each.
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I contacted support who said there was nothing they could do and the problem was with the courier. Well given that I’ve had no confirmation and no money taken from my account I’m assuming you haven’t got to the courier stage yet. They placed an escalation on my case but advised me support aren’t in charge of escalations and couldn’t tell me who was. They couldn’t advise me when I would hear back, when my camera would be delivered or if my camera would be here before Christmas and they are now closed for the weekend - fantastic.
Frankly, we’re not bothered by the lack of 4K or high frame rates. For what action cameras are typically tasked with, 1080p is just fine — it’s the content that matters, not the pixels. Yes, we enjoy having the option for 4K when it’s there, but if you’re a casual user, you probably don’t need to worry about this. What’s more, 1080p means you can fit more footage onto the same MicroSD card, and it will take up less space on your phone or computer when you transfer it. This isn’t just a positive side-effect; it could be a real advantage for some users — the same users who would choose to set their Hero5 or Hero6 cameras to 1080p mode for this reason.
Boost mode, on the other hand, needs to be used judiciously, I feel. I tested it while hiking, for example, and the lack of lateral movement almost makes your video feel like it's running in slo-mo. It's useful for situations where there's a lot of high-impact, sudden movement. Or, conversely, minimal movement (like blogging or talking to camera), but for certain activities, it might make the action feel muted. There's also that crop I mentioned earlier to consider -- if you need the wide field of view, which action sports generally do, you're losing some here. Either way, it's nice to have the option.
This digital ghost town extends to the mobile app, where, again, you’re given the illusion of having more options than you actually do. For example, put the camera into time-lapse mode and you will see what looks like the option to change the shooting interval. However, bringing up the interval menu reveals the default, 0.5-second option as the only option. It’s the exact same story in burst photo mode: You can open the burst rate menu, but 10 fps is the only setting you’ll find.