GoPro vs. DSLR

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Vacations, hiking, snowboarding, camping, fishing, and other outdoors and special occasions – you will need a camera that can help capture all the important angles and moments. However, we know it is a tough decision to choose which camera is the best one for you.

Believe us, we know exactly why you want to read this post. For sure, you are planning to travel or do outdoor activities. You do not want to travel and just shoot some pictures using your smartphone. That is because you want your photos to be fantastic and epic.

However, you are still undecided. You want to know the best option between GoPro vs. DSLR for travel. You might be wondering whether you will get the small, easy-to-carry GoPro along with cool accessories or grab the DSLR to achieve those high-quality images.

Don’t stress! We have got it figured out for you. So, there is no way for you to get confused the next time you will buy a camera. We have weighed all the necessary details of GoPro vs DSLR to help you pick the best camera based on your needs.

We know it would be a tough decision, especially if it is your first time buying a camera. But, we are here to help you with your buying decision. In this detailed comparison of DSLR vs GoPro, we will go through all the ins and outs and shared features and weaknesses of the two cameras so that you will end up with the most satisfying option.

Both GoPro and DSLR have several settings, but it does not necessarily mean that they are equal as the review we have conducted shows. These two cameras might share some similar features, but they also have significant differences.

To get a clearer view of a smart buying decision, just keep reading to discover the answers to all your questions in mind about GoPro vs DSLR. We made these camera comparisons to be detailed along with tables so that you can easily understand what we want to convey as well as make your buying decision much easier.

One more thing, we have also included different models of GoPro and DSLR like GoPro Hero 5, GoPro 5 Session, Nikon D700, Nikon D3400, and others. That is to give better comparison and understanding since not all GoPro and DSLR camera models are created equal.

GoPro vs. DSLR Which One You Should Buy

Head-to-Head Comparison of GoPro vs DSLR

GoPro Hero 5GoPro Hero 5 SessionNikon D7200Nikon D3400
Best ForCapturing action footageCapturing action footageCapturing highest quality imagesCapturing highest quality images
PriceSee Price on AmazonSee Price on AmazonSee Price on AmazonSee Price on Amazon
Max Sensor Resolution12 megapixels10 megapixels24.2 megapixels24.2 megapixels
ISO RangeAuto, 100-1600Auto, 100-800Auto, 100-25600Auto, 100-25600
BurstsUp to 30 photos/secondUp to 30 photos/secondUp to 6 photos/secondUp to 5 photos/second
Video Capture Resolution4K4KFHD 1080pFHD 1080p
Wireless Communication TechnologyWiFi, BluetoothWiFi, BluetoothBuilt-in WiFi, with NFC____
Batteries1 lithium metal battery needed1 C battery needed1 lithium-ion battery needed1 lithium-ion battery needed
Dimensions1.8 x 2.4 x 13 inches1.4 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches5.3 x 3 x 4.2 inches4.9 x 3 x 3.9 inches
LensesSmall/fixed lensesSmall/fixed lensesLarger and more optionsLarger and more options
AccessoriesMore optionsMore optionsTraditional tripodTraditional tripod
Weight4.2 oz/118 g2.6 oz/73 g1.49 lb0.87 lb

GoPro vs DSLR Shared Features

To start the comparison of GoPro vs DSLR, let’s take a look at their shared features. Although there are only a few features that these two cameras have in common since they are built for particular purposes, there are still features that think valuable to be shared.

As we compared the different models of GoPro and DSLR, they have WiFi connectivity for instant sharing of thrilling and beautiful moments. This means that you can share your photos or even videos with no hassle, even when you are on the go.

Once you are connected to a WiFi network, you can then use any of your mobile devices to browse your photos on your camera. After that, you can share your favorite images by text message, email, or even post them to your social media network. You may also like Canon Rebel T5i vs. Canon Rebel T5.

Besides WiFi connectivity, you also have an option to shoot subjects in a RAW file format. This type of image format allows you to achieve better control when it comes to editing on the monitor when compared to the JPEG file format. This also means that you do not worry about your image storage space.

If you are not into a RAW image file format, you can opt for JPEG files. Both GoPro and DSLR offer this image format, which is a default file format. So, if you are a novice and not quite familiar with RAW files, you can still easily edit and enjoy your photos.

Although DSLRs are not initially designed for videos, they also have incredible video features such as GoPro. Both these cameras are considered by many DIY filmmakers to be budget-friendly. When it comes to video quality, both of them will amaze you.

Types of Photography that Both GoPro vs DSLR Can Do

Types of Photography that Both GoPro vs DSLR Can Do

Before finalizing your buying decision between GoPro vs DSLR, it is also a nice idea to discover where these shared features can take you.

That way, you can explore more interesting things about these cameras and make the best out of GoPro and DSLR. Apart from being cameras for travel, below is the list of different photography types that both DSLR vs GoPro is good for.

Street Photography

If you are interested in street photography, these two cameras can help you capture everyday life more creatively. The cameras will let you achieve the important elements of street photography such as patterns, gestures, positions, moments, and lights.

Portrait photography

When shooting a portrait of a person, both GoPro and DSLR become the second nature of delivering your connection to the subject. Thus, the cameras will help you to hone the necessary composition techniques and utilize the light effects for creating the necessary mood of the portrait.

Landscape/Travel Photography

Although most of the landscape or travel photography’s important elements are said to be out of control, GoPro and DSLR cameras can make it possible to capture crisp, vibrant images of landscapes and other interesting views during your travel.

Using the cameras, you can capture the mood of your subjects since they can effectively interpret elements like weather and light.

Sports Photography

Even if GoPros are created for action cameras, DSLRs can also fairly give you the best shots when it comes to sports photography. That is because DSLRs come with excellent shutter speed along with flexibility when capturing fast-moving subjects.

Daily Photography

Both DSLRs and GoPro cameras are ideal for shooting high-quality photos as well as shooting HD videos. So, you can expect that they can match your everyday photography needs.

Camera Body Comparison

When it comes to finding the best camera that will suit your photography needs, it is also a good idea to consider both the size and weight. To help get a better decision, we will present you with a detailed camera body comparison of GoPro vs DSLR.

Although upon seeing the actual look of GoPro and DSLR, you can immediately tell the differences, still we want to make it more detailed for you. So, we will be discussing here the size and weight of the two cameras.

For a better comparison, you can check the dimensions and weight of each camera below:

GoPro Hero 5GoPro Hero 5 SessionNikon D7200Nikon D3400
Weight4.2 oz/118 g2.6 oz/73 g1.49 lb0.87 lb

When comparing the size of the two cameras, GoPros are obviously smaller than standard DSLRs. This means that they may offer several advantages regarding the portability, placement, and ease to bring with them.

You may find GoPro cameras to be portable, where you can carry them easily even along with the necessary accessories. As for the camera placement, you can place the cameras almost anywhere. That is why these cameras are popular among videographers since they can comfortably capture moving people or objects, use selfie sticks, and more.

With this kind of camera, there is no need for you to use a large bag to bring them anywhere you want. In fact, you can just put your GoPro straight into your pocket or bag.

As for the weight comparison, there is also a great difference between DSLR vs GoPro. The weight of GroPro ranges from 2.5 oz to 4.2 oz, while for the two DSLRs, the weight ranges from0.9 lb to 1.5 lb. This comparison shows that DSLRs suit more serious amateur or professional photographers.

Meanwhile, it is also good to know whether both cameras’ casing or housing is waterproof or not.

GoPro cameras are designed to be waterproof. The GoPro Hero 5 is waterproof down to 10m or 33 ft without a separate casing. However, you can use a dive housing so that you can go down to 60m or 196 ft.

DSLR cameras are not meant to get wet. Unlike GoPros, they are very open, along with sensitive and complex electronics. Although some manufacturers attempted to address the issue, it remained to be difficult because of the design itself.

If you want to shoot underwater subjects, you can get a waterproof cover to protect the camera. However, you need to risk your money just to grab that cover. Since serious photographers focus more on image quality, they instead use underwater housing.

black goPro brand camera

Why Consider the GoPro Over the DSLR?

The DSLRs may have some similarities with GoPros, but several features or characteristics can convince you to choose a GoPro camera over a DSLR.

When shooting videos, GoPros are considered to be the golden standard. They are well-known to be shockproof and waterproof. This means, that even if you accidentally drop a GoPro, all you need to do is to pick it up, do some dusting, and then continue your stuff.

Due to their durability, they became the favorite cameras of most people who love to shoot extreme sports like paragliding, base jumping, or surfing. You will find these action cameras to be relatively cheap, rugged, and small. You can even attach them to handlebars, chest harnesses, and helmets. So, if you are making vlogs, you can give your viewers clear, up-close-and-personal views of your outdoor activities.

GoPros like the black models of Hero3+ and Hero 7 come in 12 megapixels. You can easily enlarge the 12MP images to at least 24” x 36” prints with great image quality. As for the silver models, they are designed with 10 megapixels, which are still fantastic quality.

Furthermore, a GoPro camera has a fixed 170 degrees lens. This means that you can shoot both wide-angle photos and videos. At 170 degrees, you can already capture almost everything you desire in front of your camera.

Wide-lens really matter because you can just point your GoPro and then capture every subject you want. This feature gives you the fish-eye effect as well as lets you capture subjects all at once, from sports events to travel to special occasions.

If you love taking photos while traveling, GoPro cameras give you complete convenience. As you know, traveling can be tough, especially if you have a lot of things to be packed. Good thing, these cameras are lightweight, manageable, and compact. They give you a great way to avoid heavy bags and stress out yourself every time you need to move from one location to another.

As mentioned, GoPros are completely waterproof, so you can bring them anywhere you want regardless of the weather or location that would be. You can get vibrant, crisp images underwater.

Although GoPro cameras are not 100% ready to use after you open the box, you will find it quite easy to learn how you can use them. Once you have read the instructions after a few minutes, you can learn almost half of the things you need to know.

As a traveler, you will find the video capabilities of GoPros are awesome. Whether you will go swimming or walk through the streets, you can shoot interesting scenes with ease. The video format of GoPros is quite favorable if you also focus on video quality. Being action cameras, they have been optimized to take action videos along with a wide variety of frame rates and video formats.

GoPro Hero 5Nikon D7200
4K at 30, 25, 24 fps1080p (1920 x 1080) at 60, 50, 25, 24, fps
2.7K (2704 x 1520) at 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps720 p (1280 x 720) at 60, 50 fps(640 x 424) at 30, 25 fps
1440p (1920 x 1440) at 80, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps____
1080p (1920 x 1080) at 120, 90, 80, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps____
960p (1280 x 960) at 120, 60, 50, fps____
720p (1280 x 720) at 240, 120, 100, 60, 50, 30, 25 fps____
480p (848 x 480) at 240 fps____

We find the time-lapse feature of GoPro very interesting and cool. The time-lapse provides by these cameras allows you to place them somewhere and they shoot photos every 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, or even 60 seconds.

If you do not feel like tapping your camera because you want to focus on some captivating scenery, all you need to do is just to set your GoPro on time-lapse and it will do its job of capturing high quality images. Not only that, the neat features of these cameras set them apart from DSLRs.

These features include auto image rotation, continuous photo, burst photo, night photo, and more. To take an example, you can check the video format comparison of GoPro Hero 5 and Nikon D7200.

Why Consider the DSLR Over the GoPro

Why Consider the DSLR Over the GoPro?

After you have discovered the advantages of GoPros over DSLR cameras, now it’s time for you to know what separates DSLRs from GoPros.

Though DSLRs tend to be heavier and bigger than GoPros, they are primarily designed to shoot high-quality images and are feature-packed. They come in elegant curves that are perfect for long-term handling, which allows you to have a controlled, lengthy, and continuous shooting.

Being the descendants of SLRs, DSLR cameras are the result of in-depth, decades of research, innovation, and development. As a result, they deliver an obvious advantage when it comes to image quality, ergonomics, and lend availability.

Unlike GoPros which have fixed lenses, these cameras are designed with interchangeable lenses. This means that you can achieve all types of shots, be it extreme close-up macro shots or wide-angle vistas.

As a traveler and photographer, if your goal is to capture the highest quality images, then you should go with a DSLR camera. If looking for dependable, high quality, and affordable equipment that can accompany you throughout your adventure, you can consider Canon Rebel T3i by your side. This DSLR camera will help you capture truly breathtaking images.

Furthermore, DSLRs are well-known for their larger pixel size and image sensors, shutter speeds, and superior ISO. Even if you are an amateur photographer, you can still capture really good photographs. Using these cameras, it becomes easier for you to highlight the interesting details of subjects, thanks to their impressive depth of field.

Apart from that, the images produced by the cameras are characterized by great colors, excellent depth, and sharpness. Then, you just need to add a little photo editing, and you will feel like you are already a professional photographer.

If your thing is cityscapes or landscapes, DSLRs can do better than GoPro cameras can. That is due to their super high quality images. GoPros were designed and built to be video action cameras, wherein the capturing of quality images is just secondary. Their sensor is half the size of the DSLRs, which means that you will only capture half of the image detail.

Interestingly, DSLRs have an ISO setting that can go a lot higher, making it possible for the cameras to capture superior image quality even in low-light conditions. Apart from that, you can also shoot hand-held without worrying about shaky effects.

Since DSLRs have larger lenses, it means that there will be more light and a 24MP sensor. You are free to choose which lenses you may want to use based on your photography needs. Unlike the GoPro cameras, DSLRs allow you to add a zoom so that you can capture details or even take photos from far away. Apart from adding a zoom, it is also possible for you to add wide-angle lenses that are perfect for shooting action and landscapes.

With DSLR cameras, you can use lenses with low F-stops. These lenses allow you to create the famous blurred background effect. Although you can use software with a GoPro to achieve the blurred background effect, however, the quality is not the same as DSLRs offers.

GoPro vs DSLR Shared Weaknesses

We are not yet already done comparing GoPro vs DSLR for travel. After learning the shared features, the advantage of GoPros over DSLRs, or the advantage of DSLRs over GoPro, you can also learn there are also weaknesses that these two cameras share.

Remember, no camera is 100% perfect. Each camera has its own upsides as well as drawbacks. In this section of the GoPro vs DSLR comparison, we give you the shared weaknesses that these two cameras have. That way, you can have a smarter buying decision.

DSLRs allow you to do the handheld shooting with no shake, while GoPros have built-in stabilization that is EIS or software-based to eliminate the annoying motions. However, they are still far from perfect.

When it comes to lenses, both DSLRs and GoPros have downsides. The GoPro cameras are fixed, so the image quality is affected. As for the DSLRs, although they have larger lenses that are excellent for getting the highest quality images, these lenses may contribute to the weight of the camera.

So, it would be better if you opt for digital point and shoot cameras. These cameras give you complete convenience when it comes to changing the lenses but in a more compact or smaller form factor.

What the Reviewers Say

Both DSLRs and GoPros have their own strengths and weaknesses. So, it is not surprising why many are torn between the two. To help you decide, let’s take a look at the online reviews for the DSLR vs GoPro.

Some reviewers suggest that if you are into capturing action footage along with an advantage of an extremely light package, it is better to get a GoPro. However, if you want to get high-quality images even in a low-light environment, you cannot go wrong with a DSLR.

Many photographers find GoPro to be easy to carry, compact, and versatile. This camera is ideal for you if you are always on the go and love to travel without a large bag. But, you have limits when it comes to lenses, unlike with DSLRs having interchangeable lenses.

DSLRs are the top options if your focus is on image quality. These cameras have bigger sensors, which means that you can shoot RAW still images and get better optics. On the other hand, if you wish to bring your DSLR underwater, you will need waterproof housing that is known to cost more than the camera itself. So, for underwater adventure, your top pick must be the GoPro cameras.

The Verdict

When planning to purchase a new camera, whether you are a novice or a professional photographer, it is always a good idea to compare different cameras. That way, you will learn the advantage of one camera over one another, the similarities of the cameras, or even their shared weaknesses.

Once you discovered these factors, it becomes easier for you to decide which camera will suit your needs and offer you satisfying images.

In the comparison between GoPro vs DSLR, you have figured out that each of them is designed and built for specific purposes – GoPro is an action camera and DSLR for capturing the highest quality images. So, your choice will depend on your needs and budget.

If you are looking for an affordable yet effective companion during an adventure, you can go for GoPro. But, if you have an extra budget for more epic images, then DSLR will work best for you. We hope that after reading this camera comparison, you have finally decided which camera is best for your travel activities. Have an exciting journey!

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