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Should the GoPro Hero be your new action camera?

Action-camera market leader releases new cheaper model

Action-camera heavyweight GoPro has released an entry-level camera, simply called GoPro Hero. It costs £199 and is designed for people who don’t need all the bells and whistles of more advanced cameras. So is this the one for you?

Looking very similar to the GoPro Hero6 Black, the Hero is waterproof down to 10 metres and has a 2-inch touchscreen display, but it leaves out the 4K and slo-mo video recording.

Before running it through our rigorous tests in the Which? lab, we had some hands-on time with the camera to record our initial impressions. Here we look at what the GoPro Hero has to offer, along with low-cost alternatives that are similar in form and function.

Best Buy action cameras – rough-and-tumble cameras for all budgets.

GoPro Hero, £199

Designed for people who may have been intimidated by GoPro’s high-end cameras, or simply couldn’t afford them, the Hero looks set to entice a whole new generation of people who like to record their adventures.

It captures video at a maximum video resolution of 1440p (sometimes referred to as QHD or Quad HD), which equates to a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. It can also capture Full HD video (1080p) at a maximum 60 frames per second (fps), and 10Mp still images.

It features voice-control functionality, electronic image stabilisation, and built-in wi-fi and Bluetooth for transferring video and images to your smartphone or tablet.

To read our initial impressions, take a look at our GoPro Hero first look review.

Alternatives to the GoPro Hero

If you’re currently looking for an action camera like the GoPro Hero, we’ve rounded up a list of similarly priced alternatives to consider.

They may not have the same specifications, or be compatible with the same range of mount types, but we think they’re still worth a look.

Sony HDR-AZ1, £149

Less than 1.5 inches high and under three inches long, the HDR-AZ1 is a tiny action camera that looks like a pint-sized camcorder. Yet it’s shockproof, dustproof and splashproof, and you can even take it underwater to depths of 5 metres with the supplied waterproof case. It can also shoot Full HD 1080p video at 60 fps, and 12Mp still images.

It comes with a helmet attachment, plus both flat and curved adhesive mounts. It also includes near-field communication (NFC), which makes it easier to connect the camera to your smartphone or tablet, and you can control it through an optional, wrist-mounted remote control.

To see how it compares with other action cameras, see our full Sony HDR-AZ1 review.

Olympus Tough! TG Tracker, £199

The Olympus Tough! TG-Tracker is a 4K action cam with a 204-degree ultra-wide lens – great for catching a stunning sunset or mountain range. It has a rugged design, and is crushproof, freezeproof, shockproof and waterproof (down to 30 metres).

A compass, barometer, thermometer and GPS are also tucked inside Olympus’s action camera. If you submerge the gadget underwater, it will automatically adjust your video settings to ensure they’re the best they can be in those conditions.

Is this action camera ideal for your next adventure? See our Olympus Tough! TG Tracker review for all the details.

GoPro Hero5 Session, £169

Smaller and more subtle than other cameras in the Hero range, the Hero5 Session is ideal if you want to mount it to your helmet or on your body. The smaller size means it’s not so ‘in your face’, and is easy to use for recording any activity.

It can capture video and take photos at various resolutions, and it’s waterproof down to 10 metres without any external housing. But it doesn’t have a screen for video playback or accessing settings, just a small monochrome LCD screen located in the top of the camera that displays very basic information.

Like other Hero cameras, the Session has built-in wi-fi and Bluetooth for wireless communication. Plus, if you own any GoPro mounts from previous cameras, they all work with this one.

How does this GoPro fare against other cameras in the series? Read our full GoPro Hero5 Session review.

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