ClickLikeThis helps adventurers get the most from their GoPro. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Should I Get a GoPro? 13 Things to Know (Before You Buy) Pros / Cons

GoPro Tutorials

If you’re asking: “Should I get a GoPro?” this post will help. I’ll cover 8 pros and 5 cons to buying a GoPro. Is GoPro worth it? By the end of the post, you’ll know if this is the right type of camera for you, and if it’s worth buying (and learning) a new GoPro.

Should I get a GoPro?

You want one but don’t know if it’s worth the splurge. In this post, you”ll learn about the good (and not-so-good) things of the GoPro.

First, I’ll cover why you may want to buy one. And later in this post, I’ll write about why you may decide not to.

What is the best GoPro? The current GoPro models are: Hero8 Black (flagship model), GoPro Max (360 degree camera), and Hero7 Black.

Learn more about their features and differences in our GoPro Comparison Guide.

Should I Get a GoPro?

Why Should I Get a GoPro? 8 Reasons

Let’s talk about portability, durability, and wearability. Here come the pluses.

1. Size and Weight

This is a very small, light camera. It looks like a child’s toy, at least that’s what I thought the first time I saw one.

Its small size makes it portable and easy to pack. This is great for backpackers concerned about weight in their packs.

Here is a size comparison shot. This is an average sized pencil.

GoPro Hero4 small camera

Moms will also love how small it is because it won’t take up much space or weigh down their purse/diaper bag.

Most of the mounts and accessories are small too. See the size and weight of every GoPro model in this chart.

2. Waterproof

This is one of the main reasons people get a GoPro.

Since the Hero5 (released in October 2016), all GoPro cameras are waterproof without an external case.

But add the waterproof housing, and it’s good up to 131 feet (40 meters). With a dive housing, you can go even deeper, 197 feet (60 meters).

This means it’s a great fit for water sports enthusiasts and families at the beach.


I love not worrying about sand and salt water ruining my camera. The GoPro makes capturing beach time worry-free.

Not Our First “Waterproof” Camera: All of the other waterproof cameras we’ve owned have busted (leaked) after a few uses, but not the GoPro.

We bought our first GoPro back in 2012 (shot 100,000+ images and 100’s of hours of video) and it’s still going strong.

The GoPro also makes rain and snow worry-free.


Learn how to keep water drops off your GoPro lens, eliminate lens fog, and get half underwater shots.

3. Tough

Inside its waterproof housing the GoPro is super tough.

It’s been put through some pretty crazy tests and come out with no (or almost no) damage.

GoPro Shock Test: Dropped from a car at 40 mph

Watch on YouTube

GoPro Shock Test: GoPro Vs Explosives

Watch on YouTube

The durability of the GoPro also makes it a great camera for kids.

4. Wearable

Its small size, light weight, and durability come together to make the GoPro easy to wear.

There are a lot of wearable mounts available. You can wear it on your head, chest, wrist, helmet and even in your mouth.

Check current price of wearable mount kit

Wearability means you’re free to control your mountain bike or climb a mountain.

It also allows you to capture your babies first steps while leaving your hands free to catch them during that first tumble.

You can even let your baby wear it. 🙂

Baby Wears GoPro While Being Tossed in the Air

Watch on YouTube 

5. Quality Still Photographs

Every GoPro (Black model) since the Hero3+ (including the Hero7 Black) are all 12-megapixel cameras. You can enlarge a 12-megapixel image to at least a 24″ x 36″ print with really good quality.

The silver models shoot 10-megapixel images, which is still very good.

Take a Screenshot from GoPro VideoCheck out this chart for megapixel enlargement information.

Learn how to take screenshots from GoPro video. And how to get the best color capture with your GoPro.

Here are 16 tips to improve your GoPro photography

6. Wide-angle

GoPro cameras have a fixed 170-degree lens. This allows for wide-angle photos and videos.

Basically, at 170-degrees, it will capture almost everything in front of the camera. To get absolutely everything, it would need another 10-degrees.

Why a wide-lens matters: Because of the wide angle lens, you can just point the camera and know that it’ll capture it all. Now you can focus on the adventure at hand.

It’s this wide-angle that gives the fish-eye effect GoPro is famous for.

The GoPro’s wide-angle is wonderful for anytime you want to capture a lot, all at once: sporting events, hiking, travel, and parties.

Should You Get a GoPro

More of the action and atmosphere is captured than with a traditional point and shoot or video camera.

7. 4K Video Capabilities

This is the GoPro’s strongest feature. 4K video capture is available on all GoPro models.

Since the Hero4 (released July 2015) all GoPro cameras in the Hero line shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second (fps) or better. Learn more about shooting video in 4K.

Here’s what the current (and previous) models can shoot:

  • Hero7 Black: 4k 60/30/24fps (3840 x 2160) with Wide field of view (FOV). Superview FOV available at 30 and 24 fps. Shoot 4K looping video at 30fps. This setting is useful when using your GoPro as a dashcam.
  • Hero6 Black: 4k 60/30/24fps (3840 x 2160) with Wide field of view (FOV). Superview FOV available at 30 and 24 fps.
  • Hero5 Black: 4k 30fps (3840 x 2160) with Wide FOV.
  • Hero4 Black does 4K (that’s 3820 x 2160 resolution) at 30 fps (frames per second) and 2.7K at 50 fps.
  • Hero4 Silver captures 4K at 15 fps.
  • Hero 3+ Black does 4K at 15 fps and 2.7K at 30 fps.

Learn more about GoPro settings.

You may not need that high of a capture (yet) but it’s nice to know you’ve got it.

Tip: When you shoot at such high resolutions, you have the luxury of cropping the footage and retaining HD video quality.

GoPro cameras shoot some great time-lapse and slow-motion video as well. Learn more about how to zoom with GoPro.

8. WiFi Capabilities

Wi-Fi makes the GoPro really user-friendly.

No matter where your GoPro is mounted (unless it’s underwater – WiFi doesn’t travel well through water) you can monitor what’s happening from you phone or tablet.

gopro sunset timelapse

You don’t have to physically touch the camera to make changes, you can do it via Wi-Fi.

So if you’re in the water with your kids (GoPro mounted to your head) your spouse can switch from shooting video to shooting stills, without getting up from their beach chair.

Are You Convinced?

So, are you convinced now? Are you ready to order your new GoPro?

Well, there’s still more to say. Let’s look at some reasons why you may decide not to get a GoPro.

Why Shouldn’t I Get A GoPro? 5 Reasons

Let’s talk about fixed focal length, time investment, awkward handling, and picture quality. Here come the minuses.

9. Fixed Focal Length

With a GoPro you can’t zoom in and you can’t adjust your aperture setting.

Any closer than 12 inches and things start to get fuzzy. You can work around this by using a macro lens to bring things closer and get some blur going on in the background.

Read more about GoPro macro photography.

GoPro Macro Photo Miniature Rose

Shot with the Hero4 Black and Orea 12.5x magnification macro lens

But you can’t use a GoPro like a DSLR. You have to find other ways to get creative with a GoPro.

Like with the following image. I used natural light and a backdrop. I also measured 12 inches from the lens, used the Wide field of view setting, shot in Protune Flat and did some editing.

Read more indoor GoPro photography tips.

take indoor gopro photos

10. Time Investment

GoPro’s are different than a traditional camera – so there’s a learning curve.

This will take some time.

The instructions that come with the camera are super basic, so you’ve got to do some extra digging to sort things out. Which means more time.

There are some great books available and lots of online resources to help. And once you learn how, the camera is easy to use and the footage is easy to edit. But you’re going to need time to figure that stuff out.

11. Awkward Handling

The GoPro is so small, that it can be awkward to use. You can’t easily use it like other point and shoot cameras.

Sometimes my hand starts to cramp up from trying to hold it and press the buttons at the same time. It’s also hard to keep your fingers out of the shot because of the super wide-angle lens.

This awkward handling can be overcome by putting the camera on a selfie stick (extend pole) or one of the many mounts available.

You can also set the GoPro to take time lapse or burst photos so you don’t have to keep pushing the buttons.

Connecting it wirelessly to your phone is another way around this, but holding it in your hand like a point and shoot will not work very well.

12. Photo Quality

GoPro cameras only shoot JPEG images. This is not ideal if you’re for a photographer looking to sell your images (video quality is a different story, no worries there).

  • JPEG files are compressed as soon as they are captured, and continue to degrade a little as they are opened, edited and shared.
  • RAW images (shot in DSLR cameras) on the other hand, contain much more detail and have more potential in editing. RAW files maintain all their integrity and don’t degrade.

This may not be important unless you are looking to do some really serious editing. You can’t get the same results from a GoPro JPEG as you could a DSLR RAW file. You’ll be able to edit and crop, but not to the same extent.

Many people shoot JPEG files even with their DSLR camera, so this may not be a deal-breaker but it’s something to consider.

Shooting in Protune Flat is more like a RAW image because it captures more detail in the highlights and shadows than the GoPro Color option. It will give you more to work with in editing. I’ve been impressed with it.

Here is an example of Protune Flat versus GoPro Color. Both received the same edits.


13. No Viewfinder, Short Battery Life, and Monitoring Lag Time

I grouped these three together because they are more annoying than problematic.

When you are used to shooting photos by looking through a viewfinder, not having one feels really weird. You can work around that with the GoPro app (see #8), but it will take some getting used to.

Batteries drain fast with the GoPro. We use Wasabi batteries because they last longer, and we always have 2 or 3 charged up.

When you are using your phone or tablet to monitor your GoPro there is a lag time. It looks weird, but we’re not that bothered by it. We find it funny and goof around with it a little.

Try flashing a quick smile, and then seeing yourself flashing that smile two seconds later, it’s pretty funny. We primarily use the app for composition and to adjust the settings.

Should You Get a GoPro? Summing It All Up

We love our GoPro because we can use it pretty much anywhere and we don’t have to worry about hurting it (inside its waterproof housing).

We also love the way capturing video, time lapse, and slow motion help bring back memories in a more lively way than still photos.

So if you were to ask me “Should I get a GoPro?” I would say “Yes”.

What is the best GoPro? The current GoPro models are: Hero8 Black (flagship model), GoPro Max (360 degree camera), and Hero7 Black.


You can capture amazing video with it. It captures decent stills. And you can mount it almost anywhere, wear it, and let your kids use it. It’s also a great travel camera because it’s so tough and portable.

The more I use it, the more I like it.

Should I buy a GoPro?

Your Turn

What do you think: will you get a GoPro? If you already have one, what do you love about it? Let us know by commenting on this post.

You might also enjoy:

Hi, I'm the Author!

Dena Haines is co-editor of ClickLikeThis: GoPro tutorial blog. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of Storyteller.Travel and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with ClickLikeThis.

22 comments… add one
  • Mike Sep 5, 2016, 9:40 am

    Fantastic article! I’m looking to buy a GoPro and this was the best Pros & Cons reading yet! I know some people who have a GoPro (all kinds) and they never say anything bad about them. As good as a product can be there are some flaws and it’s good that you stated some that you see are worth noting. I’m definitely leaning towards getting one because I hike a lot and want to capture a more immersive feel when others ask me about my adventures. Thank you!

    • Dena Haines Jan 17, 2017, 5:43 pm

      Thanks so much for your thoughts on the article Mike! 🙂

      • Nel aicolec Aug 13, 2019, 9:36 am

        Hi mam, i have bougth my gopro 7 black, when i use a video it is normal to got heat the unit?

        • Bryan Haines Aug 13, 2019, 11:34 am

          Yes, it’s normal for the cameras to heat up when filming. Nothing to worry about.

  • pamela Feb 20, 2017, 10:35 pm

    I just bought a go pro 5 sessions and whilst I’m not the most computer savvy I do live in silicon valley and usually have no problems with set up or instructions HOWEVER this is not the easiest camera to set up and learning all the functions by trial and area as apposed to good go pro pages on line I find this very frustrating and am considering returning it. A company that doesn’t give good service as in being able to contact them by phone to troubleshoot in my eyes do not deserve my business. I really wanted one of these because I cycle a lot all around the world and to capture my views without stopping would be a godsend especially when I’m downhilling at great speeds. Having said that if I try again for hrs and don’t find this more user friendly then it will go back to the store.

    Also to have only a voice remote with a remote button costing an additional $79 I think is just not acceptable.

  • Todd Weiler May 1, 2017, 1:28 am

    There remains a fundamental flaw with the Go Pro camera system and that it over heating. Used in a normal exposed daylight summer environment it will overheat in minutes and shut down. There are YouTube posts warning this and the problems persist into the new Hero 5 line as well. Amazing no one has filed a class action suit as this is such a fraud. The camera requires cooling through movement or water to function. Great for winter, lousy for summer.

  • Jun Jan 16, 2018, 2:05 am

    Hi Mike,

    I have to agree that this is the best review so far. I’ve been reading articles, watched youtube videos, and even asked friends who are gopro users but nothing and no one really tells me the good and bad side of it, which the most acceptable (or technical) reasoning. Your article really gets to the fine line if you are to buy or not, given the many cool pros and some cons to consider too. All in All, I think I am heading to the nearest Go Pro shop now and buy the Hero 6. I am more excited than worried. After all, I might be liking it the more I use it… Should I let you know? 🙂
    This is education at its finest 🙂


  • Sahil Apr 10, 2018, 11:12 pm

    Great article! However, I still can’t decide whether to get one or not. I’m going to be traveling abroad for like 2 months and I’ll be doing a lot of bicycling, both off-road and on road. But is it worth investing $200 in a Hero 2018? Should I get the GoPro or a generic brand? I mainly want good image quality and good stabilization. But as I said, I don’t know whether it’s worth investing in a GoPro or something cheaper.
    Again, great article! It gave me a lot of clarity, but it has also conflicted my decision, so please give your opinions…

    -Sahil K.

    • Bryan Haines Apr 11, 2018, 9:04 am

      Good question. For me, if it’s worth shooting – it’s worth shooting well. If you can afford it, it’s best to buy GoPro quality. It would be pretty disappointing to check your images and see that they are subpar.

      GoPro has a solid reputation – the less expensive knockoffs might work but they will be less reliable. I hope you have a great trip!

  • John Lancaster May 14, 2018, 3:33 pm

    I bought a hero 4 silver for some underwater vacation videos and the go pro was 150% amazing. Whale sharks, turtles, fish, reef and just the pool. Top quality, total satisfaction.

    Lets be truthful here though – as a camera its total pants. That fish eye is awful, the quality is very disappointing. Sure at the beach or on a boat or where durability or conditions are too severe for your proper camera then thats the go pro environment. But for normal environments your phone is really far better option, or a basic point and shoot like an Ixus. Horses for courses.

  • Peter John Rhys Lewis Feb 18, 2019, 6:08 am

    Ive owned my Hero 4 Silver for nearly three years, and it is now the only camera i use on a daily basis.
    Depending on which micro sd card you use, the photographs are superb, and the videos, especially in 4k are the stuff of dreams.

    My GoPro is so good for general photography, that my camera bag full of expensive Nikon lenses, and DSLR camera, has not seen the light of day since Christmas 2015.

    The GoPro is so lite and portable, that hulking around a heavy and cumbersome DSLR makes little sense.

    On a recent holiday touring the Scottish North Coast 500 route, it was my GoPro that went along for the trip, and the photographs i took look amazing.

    I am so fond of my Hero 4 Silver, that ive bought a refurbished 4 Black.

    I am not a convert to the latest rubberised Hero Models, and anyway, the more gimics you have such as GPs and voice control, the more energy the battery consumes.

    Anyway, i prefer the Hero 4 series, because a lot of my kit is not interchangeable with the later models.

    I thought originally, a GoPro would never take over from a top end SLR camera, how wrong i was.

    Just love my Hero 4 silver, just a great allrounder.

  • Abigail Dec 10, 2019, 8:31 am

    I have just bought a hero 7. The video playback on my phone is very jumpy at high resolution. This is very frustrating as it makes the 4k not worth having. My phone is an android, but not old. Other than that, I quite like it. Any suggestions for fixing the jumpy play back?

  • Jerry Elsner Dec 14, 2019, 2:34 pm

    You said you use the Wasabi aftermarket battery’s. The description from the manufacturer says that some advanced features does not work on the Gopro 8. What features would that be?

    • Bryan Haines Dec 16, 2019, 11:47 am

      Since Hero5, GoPro released a firmware update that caused all non-GoPro brands to stop working. The camera wouldn’t even powerup. I don’t know of any positive features with GoPro batteries – but they have disabled aftermarket battery compatibility in the past.

      This isn’t unheard of. A few years ago, Canon did the same thing with a video camera we were using.

  • Sam Yates Jul 13, 2020, 11:45 pm

    I do a lot of sports in new Zealand such as skiing, wake boarding, mountain biking as well as rugby and football. I have always thought about getting a go pro to capture my experiences but I’ve never really followed through with it. I’m considering the hero. Should I get one as I haven’t really used this stuff before.

    • Sam Yates Jul 13, 2020, 11:46 pm

      Hero 8*

    • Bryan Haines Jul 14, 2020, 9:47 am

      For sure – a GoPro captures the feel of the moment better than anything else. They are easy to use – here’s a summary of all our GoPro guides.

  • Lauren Jul 16, 2020, 12:26 am

    Liking my Hero 7 so far. I agree that for “normal” activity, my iPhone takes far better pictures. But it’s been great to have for hiking and other outdoor adventures. Question – what’s up with the battery life? Anyone else finding that the battery dies really quickly or did I get a faulty one?

    • Bryan Haines Jul 17, 2020, 6:59 am

      Battery life depends on the model and the settings. Higher resolution video will drain faster than lower resolution. Generally speaking, you should get 45 to 90 minutes per battery. Here’s the full breakdown of battery life for every model.

  • Vandana Midha Dec 1, 2020, 1:57 pm

    Want for still photography..any worth

  • JenSun Jan 2, 2021, 2:21 am

    Great help! I especially appreciated the detail to the pros and cons. I may still get the GoPro, and if I do, it’s with a feeling that I know what I’m buying.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.