I often get asked whether GoPro cameras make good travel cameras and whether you may take a GoPro exclusively and leave the bigger traditional cameras in the home.
It’s an excellent question. GoPros have a whole lot going for them that produce them an attractive substitute for throw in the backpack for a travel adventure. Even though I’m focusing here on with them for photos, their video quality is great for the purchase price and size. They’re small and light, rugged, and the image quality is remarkably good. And they’re very simple to use.
GoPro is owning a good deal on the HERO8 Black. You can aquire it for $299.98, and which includes a 1-year subscription to GoPro. They’re also throwing in a free of charge 32GB SanDisk Extreme Sdcard.
The subscription to GoPro offers you unlimited cloud storage, discounted no-questions-asked camera replacement, or more to 50% off GoPro accessories.
You can find the offer at GoPro.com.
But additionally, there are downsides, so before you rely exclusively on your own GoPro for that once-in-a-lifetime trip, here’s a rundown of what I see as the key pros and cons.
HERO5 Black / Pushing through the ice pack north of Svalbard, Norway.
I’m focusing here on the GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO4 Silver (for reasons I make clear further down this post), however in many respects, the same principles make an application for the GoPro cameras.
I should also explain that I’m talking here about non-professional travel photography. That’s, when you aren’t creating the photographs for clients, editors, or stock agencies. All those have a different quality level and technical requirements that GoPros mostly can’t meet-at least, not yet.
Cut to the Chase
I go into a lot more detail below, but if you’re just looking for a few quick recommendations, they are the models from GoPro’s current lineup that I’d recommend as everyday and travel cameras. You can go through the links to find the current price on Amazon.
GoPro HERO6 Black. It’s their flagship model and has all of the bells and whistles.
GoPro HERO (2018). It looks identical to the HERO6 Black, nonetheless it includes a simplified feature set and can be a lot more affordably priced.
Both of these models have screens on the trunk and work with a lot of the same accessories. I’ve a more detailed break down of how they compare here.
GoPro HERO7 Black / Isle of Palms, SC
Utilizing a GoPro as Everyday or Travel Camera: THE NICE
They’re tiny. They’ll easily fit into your pocket. So there’s no issue with looking for space in your luggage or exceeding carry-on limits. No security guard will probably stop you from by using a “professional” camera.
They’re rugged. GoPros are designed to go in places that cameras haven’t any business going. Heading on a beach holiday? Sand and water is no issue. Going to Southeast Asia during monsoon season? GoPros will handle the downpours without breaking a sweat. (I’ve come up with some techniques for using GoPros around water in another post.)
Point and shoot. The computerized settings aren’t perfect for each and every situation, nonetheless they work surprisingly well across an amazingly broad spectral range of shooting. And with the brand new night modes, which includes nighttime and low light aswell.
Wide-Angle. GoPros include that distinctive ultra-wide-angle fisheye look. It’s possible to improve the settings to a narrower perspective, but that’s just cropping the image. But wide-angle could be a double-edged sword. It’s wonderful for big subjects or when you can enter very, very near take the shot. It could create an excellent immersive look that especially suits action shots. If you wish to fully capture the immense scale to be under the key dome of St Paul’s Cathedral or the cramped quarters in a Antarctic expedition lifeboat throughout a drill, wide-angle may be the strategy to use. But almost all of enough time it’s pretty terrible for wildlife if you don’t can get close up and personal with the animals, and it’s often not great for folks shots unless your subjects don’t mind being somewhat stretched.
The guideline is that you’ll have to get in very near your subject or it’ll be small in the frame. And you will take away the fisheye effect in post-processing.
To compare it with a perspective you may already be very acquainted with, here’s an example weighed against the perspective from an iPhone 6.
Here’s another example. These were both extracted from the same spot, with the cameras one along with the other, and haven’t been cropped at all in post-processing. You’ll also spot the completely different in-camera results-I haven’t applied any post-processing or color correction to either of these.
Utilizing a GoPro as Everyday or Travel Camera: The Not-So-Good
Battery Life. That is a biggie. You’re likely to spend lots of time managing the battery life of your GoPro. In ideal conditions, you can find a few hours useful if you’re lucky, or possibly a bit more. But almost all of the time you’ll go out of juice prior to a day has gone out despite having conservative shooting.
There are strategies you can utilize to overcome that. You can swap the battery out (Silver and Black only, however, not HERO4 Session), use an external battery power, or put in a long-life battery (again, Silver and Black only), but ensuring your camera is preparing to go when it’s needed will demand some planning and dedication while you’re traveling and will probably become a lttle bit of a pain at some time. So have an idea in place prior to going.