And sure, those options could include your waterproof and crack-resistant smartphone, but keep in mind that the best action camera is designed for this kind of shooting. Plus, just because your phone is tougher, it doesn't mean you should risk losing or damaging the thing that keeps you connected to work, family and friends. It's also way easier to mount one of these to your body, car, bike or anything else than your phone. 

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GoPros can be used as standalone cameras, but thanks to a great mobile app, they also pair perfectly with Android and iOS devices, allowing you to add more functionality and versatility. Using built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, users gain full control over their GoPro camera and can even display a live feed of what’s being captured right on their mobile device.

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A. Not without some extra gear. All GoPros have a waterproof rating that’s expressed as a depth; for example, most of them are rated as waterproof to ten meters, meaning you could swim about 30 feet down with your GoPro camera and it would still work. However, some users want to push those limits even farther, and for them, GoPro makes the “Super Suit,” a reinforced plastic housing designed to withstand water depths to 60 meters. If you’re shopping for equipment for deep-sea photography, plan on getting a Super Suit for your GoPro.​​​​​​​
Inexpensive: Between $200 and $300, you’ll find GoPro cameras that are perfect for most people. There are great 1080p models and some decent 4K models in this price range, and if you’re willing to look at last-generation models, you’ll find a lot to like here. If you absolutely need bleeding-edge features like spherical capture or live streaming, you’ll need to look at more expensive models, but if you just want an action camera that can take gorgeous video and go just about anywhere, you don’t need to spend more than $300.

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Inexpensive: Between $200 and $300, you’ll find GoPro cameras that are perfect for most people. There are great 1080p models and some decent 4K models in this price range, and if you’re willing to look at last-generation models, you’ll find a lot to like here. If you absolutely need bleeding-edge features like spherical capture or live streaming, you’ll need to look at more expensive models, but if you just want an action camera that can take gorgeous video and go just about anywhere, you don’t need to spend more than $300.

Look online for GoPro videos. If you’re having trouble deciding between GoPro cameras, look online for sample videos posted by current owners. GoPro owners frequently post demo videos on various video-sharing sites, giving you an opportunity to see what video quality is like under real-world conditions. Watch as many sample videos as you can to get a sense of what each model is capable of.
This is the best single-lens action cam you can get from GoPro at the moment in features and performance. Compared with the Hero 7 Black, there are a lot of feature tweaks and updates that make it just generally easier to use and a better camera, regardless of what you're shooting. But for those who use a GoPro regularly, things like the redesigned waterproof body that allows you to attach the camera directly to GoPro mounts, a customizable interface with shooting presets and improved image stabilization all add up to a worthwhile update. The lens is now made with Gorilla Glass that's twice as impact-resistant as the glass on past Hero models. Read about the GoPro Hero 8 Black.

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All GoPro cameras cover the basics of action cameras: they’re portable, waterproof, and rugged enough to tag along on any outdoor adventure, and they also take high-quality video. Beyond that, however, there are some big differences across the product line, including some features that are worth paying extra for. Here are the GoPro camera capabilities to consider keeping on your short list.

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Nearly as good as the GoPro Hero 7 Black in features and video quality, but it's just $220 with a waterproof dive housing included. Its electronic image stabilization isn't quite as good as GoPro's HyperSmooth, but it's definitely better than nothing. You also get shooting options like 4K video at 60 fps (with image stabilization at 30 fps), slow-motion video at 1080p at 120 fps or 720p at 240 fps, time-lapse photos and videos, live streaming and raw photo capture. You don't get anything more than the camera, a battery, the housing and charging and external mic cables, but if your main concern is getting good photos and video for less than a GoPro, this is a safe bet. Read more about the Yi 4K Plus.

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GoPro is leading the charge toward consumer-created virtual reality (VR) environments, and their first VR-ready cameras make it happen with what they’ve dubbed “spherical capture,” which is pretty accurate, given the 360° field of view they record. VR is still a nascent technology, but it’s definitely the future. If you’re an early adopter, you’ll want to pick up a GoPro with spherical capture.

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