As we’ve started bopping around the country again this summer, I’ve found myself swapping out my cumbersome DSLR camera kit and lenses for something lightweight that fits in my pocket and doesn’t weigh me down: specifically, my GoPro HERO Black.
As you’re documenting your own summer adventures, here is why you should get a GoPro—and also learn your way around its accompanying editing app, Quik.
The GoPro HERO10 Black is now out. You can purchase this new model here.
It’s waterproof for all your summer needs
I remember getting the very first GoPro HERO before our wedding more than a decade ago. Back then, I used it primarily for action shots and adventure sports—skiing and diving, mainly—but I had to snap it to its accompanying waterproof housing in order to do so and often forgot the necessary housing when I packed for trips.
Well, no more: The GoPro HERO9 Black is waterproof right out of the box for depths up to 33 feet, so all I need to jump in the water is the camera itself. (If you want to go deeper, GoPro does make a protective waterproof case that works up to 196 feet.)
Check special pricing for the GoPro HERO9 Black here
This makes capturing kiddos in the pool, at the beach, out in the sprinkler or doing anything summery so much easier—not to mention, if you’re shooting video, the audio isn’t muffled by housing. It’s also very sturdy, meaning you can let the kids in your life use it, too. My three-year-old niece Charlotte is always asking to “take a picture with your little camera” and my tween cousins and friends’ kids have loved adding this GoPro to their summer pool play.
It’s easily portable
I’m a carry on-only kind of traveler, and while traditionally I take a 30-pound camera bag as my personal item on all flights, I’ve left it home on the last few trips and just popped my GoPro in my purse instead. This makes airport travel, in particular, far less stressful, and my back and shoulders are thanking me for the break.
I have collected many GoPro accessories over the years—from a three-way grip/arm to both chest and wrist mounts—and for this project, I got both the Shorty Mini Extension Pole + Tripod and clip light with my GoPro to try out; these items also are compact, light and easy to tuck in my backpack. Over the years, particularly with how often we have used our various GoPros to document mural installs, I’ve loved having a compatible tripod that I can attach the GoPro to and ensure that every second of our projects are documented.
It’s easy to conceal, making for easier candid photos
While I own my share of heavy DSLR equipment, it’s very hard to capture candid moments when the subject can see a monster lens pointed right at his or her face. With the small, sleek design of the GoPro, I can shoot on the fly and capture more of those candid moments of the ones I love, my niece and nephew particularly, instead of only posed ones.
If you are looking for posed shots, the GoPro HERO9 Black also has a front display in addition to the back screen, meaning you can take better selfies by knowing where you are in the frame.
The photo and video quality are ridiculously high
Having owned six of the nine GoPro HERO models to date, I’ve watched in awe as each new version comes with more features and capabilities for capturing high-resolution content. The quality of my HERO9 Black photos is every bit as high as the photos I’ve shot with my DSLR as the camera shoots 5K video with 14.7MP frame grabs, as well as 4K, 2.7K, 1440p or 1080p if you prefer smaller file sizes.
The HERO9 Black also has multiple modes you can shoot in, including Slo-Mo—which captures up to 240 frames per second for astonishing eight times slower than the actual footage (making for really fun action footage!).
On the still front, I love the various options for taking photos—and the fact that they are 20MP, which is large enough to blow up on a canvas that takes up your entire bedroom wall. I typically default to Burst, which captures 25 photos in a single second and makes sure I don’t miss that perfect moment because somebody blinked (or because Charlotte was a blur in front of the camera!).
It’s now got an easy app integration
If you’re like me, you take all the photos and videos with the intention to edit them, then never get around to it. As someone who never has fewer than 25,000 photo and video files on her phone, organizing that footage after a trip can be insanely tricky. GoPro’s Quik app not only links directly to your camera via Bluetooth, but it also allows you to easily categorize photos into different Murals (that’s really what it’s called!) so you can quickly sort through footage by trip, friend or, yes—for us—mural installs like our Bertha the Octopus project by Nashville muralist Tara Aversa.
The purpose of Quik is to eliminate the infamous blackhole of your camera roll; Mural makes the frustration of scrolling through endless images to find the one you want by putting your selected favorites all in one spot. Quik works with all photo and video content, whether it’s shot on a smartphone, DSLR or GoPro—or a combination of all three as is often the case with my personal archive.
The app is also a cinch for photo- and video-editing thanks to the many filters, fonts, themes, music and tools that it comes with. If you’re also someone who doesn’t want to put a lot of time into the editing process, you can let the app do all the work for you as Quik auto-generates videos from your Mural wall, adds the music and transitions and spits out a completed product, no further work on your end required. I’ve been using it nonstop for my Instagram Reels, Stories and TikToks this summer!
The app is free to download in your Apple or Android app store, and if you want to access Quik’s premium tools, filters, music and other fancy features, the subscription to plus-up is only $9.99 a year.
Now tell me: Have you ever owned a GoPro? How are you incorporating photography in your summer adventures?