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After more than a year of revolving lockdowns, action cameras are a great way to capture the moment this summer. GoPro cameras are the go-tos; they’re pint-sized, waterproof devices designed to perform on the go, whether you’re heading out on a road trip, hiking, playing sports, waterskiing, or scuba-diving. They’re moderately priced, starting at about $300, and we’ve outlined three of the top GoPro cameras to buy this summer. For more camera content, check out our list of nostalgic instant cameras and other must-have gear.
The GoPro Hero 9 is a step above the lower models with enhanced features and capabilities. This portable, waterproof camera shoots in up to 5K resolution — even when you’re zooming in and capturing 14.7MP per frame. It has crisp photo clarity of 20MP and a 23.6MP sensor. You can live stream in 1080p with HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilization to make sure the video remains stable, and TimeWarp 3.0 for recording time-lapse videos. GoPro Hero 9 features a new, larger rear touch screen with touch zoom, and a new front display making for easy framing and intuitive camera control. The bundle set includes a 32GB SD card, a magnetic swivel clip, floating hand grip, a camera case, and you’ll save $200 with a one-year GoPro subscription. The camera is available on Amazon and Walmart as well.
The GoPro Hero 8 is recommended for pro shooters. It features 4K resolution with 12MP, and most of the features of the Hero 9 to deliver amazing action shots and stunning video. The Hero8 is waterproof up to 33 feet; it has four lenses (narrow, distortion-free linear shooting, wide, and SuperView), and three microphones for high-fidelity audio with reduced wind noise.
LiveBurst mode captures 1.5 seconds before and after you hit the shutter button, and there are a bunch of video modes including TimeWarp 2.0 for time-lapse videos, and Night Lapse to use when the sun goes down. With its streamlined design the Hero 8 fits in your pocket, and swapping mounts is easy thanks to built-in folding fingers. The Hero 8 also includes SuperPhoto and improved HDR that turns up the contrast and voice command that works in 10 languages.
If you get a GoPro 8 from the GoPro website, you’ll get a discount of $279.98 with a one-year subscription to GoPro ($299.99 without the subscription) which includes unlimited cloud storage, total camera replacement, up to 50% off at GoPro.com, and a 32GB SD card. The GoPro 8 camera is available at Amazon and Walmart too, but expect to pay about $20-$25 more without the bundle deal.
GoPro Max takes essential features found in the other models and turns them up a notch. The camera lets you capture HERO-style video with maximum stabilization and 360-degree footage in 6K. GoPro Max comes equipped with multiple camera modes, spherical audio, six mics, four lenses, 2x slow-motion, plus you’ll get Max TimeWarp, MaxSuperView, Max HyperSmooth, and built-in mounting. The camera is waterproof up to 16 feet and like other GoPro models, it includes WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and you can connect it to the GoPro App to control the camera from your smart device. The GoPro Max bundle is $399.98 with a one-year subscription to GoPro ($499.99 without the subscription). Additionally, the GoPro Max Mega Accessories Kit (that includes lens caps, a handheld monopod, a chest strap, a microfiber bag, and a bunch of other necessities) is marked down more than 25% at Walmart.