The best GoPro model isn't necessarily the newest in the range. That said, our current choice of GoPro is the latest Hero 12 Black, thanks to its increased battery life and user-friendly shooting modes. Below, you'll find T3's best GoPro ranking with all available models tested, reviewed, and ranked.
If you're considering investing, this guide is here to help you figure out where to splash your cash for the most satisfying results. Choosing the best GoPro cam is about deciding which features matter most to you and which you can live without or will never use. Read on for our complete guide to the best GoPro models right now.
Older and newer GoPros regularly pop up in our best action camera guide, although you're more likely to snag a cheap GoPro deal on a previous model than one that's new out. To learn more about the GoPro subscription, read our explainer here: Is the GoPro subscription worth it?
The best GoPro to buy right now
Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
If you want the best action camera, you need the GoPro Hero 12 Black. The new iteration builds on the two decades' worth of innovation that made GoPro the premier action camera manufacturer and adds some exciting new features that will delight amateurs and pros alike.
Better still, the Hero 12 Black is sold for the same price the Hero 11 Black was sold for GoPro Members, but this time around, you don't need the membership to unlock the lower price. Essentially, you get a more competent action camera for no extra money. That's a pretty good deal, people!
Of the new features, the HDR video is probably the one that'll make most people happy. It helps those #shotonGoPro videos even more exciting to look at. Not to mention the ability to record vertical videos on the camera, allowing you to create attention-grabbing footage for social media without post-processing in the Quik app.
Read our full GoPro Hero 12 Black review.
The GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini puts the action back into action cameras. It’s built all and only for use in tight situations where a set-and-forget approach can be taken, be it the handlebars of a bike, a body strap while skiing, or the edge of a surfboard.
While vloggers, Tik-Tokers and filmmakers can choose the pricier GoPro Hero 11 Black for its multiple displays, this slimmed-down action camera is one for extreme sports – arguably the main target market for action cameras. Despite the inconvenience of not having a removable battery and its relatively short battery life, all-around excellent video quality makes the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini hard to fault.
Read our full GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini review.
The HERO 11 Black packs a 1/1.9” sensor, which boosts the colour palette considerably – up to 10-bit (providing over 1 billion shades of colour vs. 16.7 million in 8-bit). This improvement will justify making the upgrade for some users, especially those who take advantage of the ‘Pro’ setting, which allows you to unlock presets such as Standard, Activity, Cinematic, Slo-Mo and more, and gives you the ability to fine-tune all modes, settings and features.
Read our full GoPro HERO 11 Black review.
The GoPro HERO 10 Black is slick and speedy, with a quicker boot and faster transfers (GoPro has also added the option of wired uploads and auto-uploading to the cloud during charging – but the latter only if you're a GoPro subscriber). There's a significant bump in image quality, with frame rates doubled over the HERO 9 Black at higher resolutions.
Video tops out at a massive 5.3K, 60FPS, 4K at a blistering 120FPS, and 2.7K/240p; stills are up to 23MP. The excellent HyperSmooth and TimeWarp have slightly improved, and the horizon levelling is more noticeable. Finally, one almost invisible improvement to the hardware is the hydrophobic, more scratch-resistant lens cover that works an absolute treat.
All this, combined with GoPro's famously intuitive interface, means this is an extremely easy-to-use camera for the beginner, as well as an astonishingly capable tool for the pro – an impressive combination.
Read our full GoPro HERO 10 Black review.
The GoPro HERO 9 Black extends many of the now-familiar tools from the HERO 8 Black and adds a big dollop of hardware improvement.. although it's not powered by the latest GP2 chip, which means it's not quite as smooth, slick and powerful as the newest flagship above. It scooped up a T3 Award in 2021 in the Best Action Cam category.
In style terms, the HERO 9 Black is visually identical to the HERO 8, just slightly larger on each axis, and – significantly – is the first in the range to add that all-important front-facing screen for vlogging action. The slick 'bunny-ears' mount is carried across, as is the 10m caseless waterproofing, while a removable lens cover adds potential for upgrade.
Under the hood, the big news is a hefty boost in the sensor (23.6MP) compared to the H8, which in turn opens the door to 5K/30 video and 20MP stills, while a 30% beefier battery means there's enough juice to use some of this power. This is also the first HERO to offer horizon levelling baked in (as opposed to the app in previous models), and while this version won't accept as much tilting as the H10, it's still pretty impressive.
Read our full GoPro HERO 9 Black review.
The GoPro HERO 8 Black was a big upgrade on the H7, introducing a dramatically improved body and a host of other innovations. Even though it's now practically an OAP in HERO terms, having been usurped twice in the lineup, the HERO 8 Black remains an excellent camera. It arguably delivers the best bang for your buck and is probably the best GoPro for most people's uses.
The HERO 8 Black's body is sleeker, and it has cleaner lines and a lens that’s not quite as proud. The main difference, though, is that unlike its predecessor, the HERO 8 Black doesn't need to be seated in a frame attached to be connected to a mount. Instead, two 'fingers’ fold out from its base, allowing you to fit it directly to a mount or any other compatible accessory.
While the HERO 8 Black has very similar shooting modes and features as the HERO 7 Black, the newer camera comes with improved software and additional extras. For example, the HERO 7 has GoPro’s highly impressive Hypersmooth stabilisation, but the HERO 8 comes with Hypersmooth 2.0 along with additional High and Boost settings to smooth out even the most rattly footage. Similarly, while both cameras can shoot in 4K at 60FPS, the H8 Black's higher bit rate results in better quality footage and gives it the edge over its stablemate.
Read our full GoPro HERO 8 Black review.
Released not long after the HERO8 Black, the 360-degree GoPro Max shares the same intuitive operating system and many design cues with its more conventional stablemate. It also uses the same frameless mounting system, consisting of two metal fingers that fold out from the base, in order to attach the camera to mounts and other accessories.
The new camera vastly improves on its predecessor (Fusion) in every respect and comes with many popular facilities found in the Hero range, such as Hypersmooth image stabilisation and TimeWarp moving time-lapsed video. While the Max’s 360-degree capabilities give you the ability to create some truly amazing content, the stitching together of the images taken by the front and rear-mounted lenses can be noticeable at times.
Vloggers will appreciate the ability to flip between front and rear views on the Max’s touchscreen, but the only way to see what you are shooting in 360-degree mode is via the feature-packed smartphone app – which handily also gives you access to the camera’s controls. The Max is a hugely versatile piece of kit that makes it easy to create stunning content. A combination of GoPro’s unmatched functionality and an excellent smartphone app makes Max stand head and shoulders above its 360-degree rivals.
Read our full GoPro Max review.
How to choose the best GoPro for you
The main things to consider before purchasing a GoPro are: 1. What will you be mainly using your footage for? and 2. How big is your budget? The good news is that there is a GoPro camera for all kinds of different applications and for a wide range of budgets.
The T3 5-star rated GoPro HERO 10 Black sits at the very top of our best GoPro guide. The flagship model is followed by the HERO 9 Black, then the HERO 8 Black in third place. They all look broadly similar; you'll usually find a significant change in every one or two models. For example, the H8 was the first to use the frameless 'bunny ears' design, the H9 added a front-facing screen, and the H10 has a new chipset that makes it run smoother and quicker.
As you move your way up the range, you'll also find the software and features get gradually better, with improvements in things like video resolution, image stabilisation, and horizon levelling. The bomb-proof build and caseless waterproofing to 10m are consistent across the current range, and the reality of the matter is that even first-gen Hypersmooth is pretty darn impressive, so for many people, one of the older generation cameras will be plenty good enough.
When making buying decisions on GoPro cameras, it's worth considering whether a GoPro subscription works for you, as it means fairly hefty discounts on your camera, as well as bonus extras like cloud storage and easy replacement if the camera is lost.
If 360-degree video is your thing, the fourth camera in the GoPro line-up is the twin-lensed Max, which can shoot mind-blowing 360-degree footage up to 5.6k (at 30fps) resolution and features many facilities found on conventional cameras.
What can you do with a GoPro?
Whether it's Kai Lenny surfing house-sized waves at Jaws, or Felix Baumgartner's epic skydive from space, if you're watching an action sports video, the likelihood is that at least some of the footage will have been filmed using a GoPro. All the action cams in the current GoPro range deliver top-level optics, image stabilisation, waterproofing and industry-leading usability.
GoPros are the ultimate accessory for mountain biking, surfing, white water rafting, skateboarding, or just about any action sport. However, their bombproof nature, excellent image quality and small size make them extremely versatile and helpful devices for situations in which you wouldn't want to risk using a regular camera. Their small size and range of mounts available (helmet mounts, handlebar mounts, even dog mounts) also allow you to record from a huge range of POVs.
In-depth: What can you do with a GoPro?