Can GoPro’s new sub-$300 ac­tion cam­era meet the de­mands of adren­a­line junkies, or will it bow out when the go­ing gets rough?

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Cap­ture your an­tics with the new GoPro – this puppy even re­sponds to voice com­mands (most of the time)

GoPro has dom­i­nated the ac­tion cam­era world for years, pro­vid­ing adren­a­line sports leg­ends and en­thu­si­asts alike with the tools to con­fi­dently cap­ture wild footage from unique an­gles. Aim­ing to ex­tend their au­thor­ity into the bud­get mar­ket, the en­try-level Hero bor­rows pre­mium fea­tures from GoPro’s flag­ship Hero 6 and wraps them in a stream­lined, wal­let-friendly pack­age.


The Hero’s de­sign is iden­ti­cal to the Hero 5 and 6, mak­ing it com­pat­i­ble with GoPro’s ex­ten­sive mount and hous­ing range. The cam­era is also shock­proof and wa­ter­proof (to 10 me­tres). The re­spon­sive, sun­light-friendly two-inch touch­screen pro­vides rapid ac­cess to play­back and set­tings, with the re­place­able bat­tery dish­ing out around two hours of use per charge.

Voice con­trol first ap­peared on the Hero 5 and it’s in­cluded here. If the GoPro is mounted to your crash hel­met or you’re do­ing an ac­tiv­ity that lim­its cam­era ac­cess, lo­cat­ing the shut­ter but­ton can be a pain. Film­ing is now as easy as say­ing, “GoPro, start record­ing” and wait­ing for the beep. Voice recog­ni­tion is, on the whole, in­cred­i­bly re­spon­sive, though our Hero wouldn’t pick up com­mands over the sound of crash­ing waves when we went surf­ing.

Keep­ing things sim­ple, the Hero of­fers just two film­ing res­o­lu­tions: 1440 or 1080p at 30 or 60fps, as well as 10MP stills. Granted, most cam­eras and smart­phones now of­fer 4K as stan­dard, but we would rather take a GoPro sky­div­ing. From board to bike, footage is crisp and vi­brant, and Video Sta­bil­i­sa­tion mode helps keep clips smooth when things get tur­bu­lent. Auto Low Light mode works in­cred­i­bly well when shoot­ing in darker sit­u­a­tions, like un­der a tree canopy; switch these modes off and you’ll quickly re­alise the dif­fer­ence they make. Au­dio re­pro­duc­tion is noth­ing to get ex­cited about but it does the job. The bud­get price tag also means GoPro had to cut a few cor­ners, so you won’t find a slow-mo­tion video op­tion in the menu.

If you live for cliff div­ing or base jump­ing and need to make bang­ing ed­its to share pub­licly, you’ll prob­a­bly find the Hero’s lack of 4K res­o­lu­tion a tad lim­it­ing. How­ever, if you’re a part-time adren­a­line junkie need­ing a re­li­able HD cam­era to shoot YouTube-ready footage of your ad­ven­tures (eas­ily edited into shape us­ing GoPro’s Quik Sto­ries app), the GoPro Hero is big-name bud­get ac­tion shooter to beat.

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