Home Articles & Reviews Which is better for video: GoPro or DSLR or a Mirrorless camera?

Which is better for video: GoPro or DSLR or a Mirrorless camera?


A few years ago, comparing a GoPro to a DSLR could have sounded like an unfair comparison. GoPro cameras are quickly becoming the go-to camera of choice for professional filmmakers who appreciate its compactness and adaptability, especially since the advent of the Hero5 Black.

In terms of image quality, the Hero9 Black rivals with many interchangeable lens cameras. However, if video is your main priority, bigger isn’t always better…

Review of the GoPro Hero9 Black:

Video Quality of GoPro Versus DSLR
The system that will best serve your needs depends on the subject you wish to film, just as it does with still photographs. The GoPro, on the other hand, is likely to be the superior pick due to its size and some of the sophisticated features launched with the Hero5 Black and later.

If you’ve been shooting with a DSLR for a while, this may seem heretical, but hear us out!

Let’s go over a list of things every filmmaker should think about before a shoot, and we’re confident you’ll agree that a GoPro is a superior video camera than a DSLR.


A simple side-by-side comparison of a DSLR and a GoPro reveals how much smaller and lighter the GoPro is. DSLRs, on the other hand, are significantly smaller than normal pro camcorders. They are, therefore, quite useful tools, but not as adaptable as a GoPro.

With a GoPro camera, you can video from perspective points and locations you’ve probably never seen before. For filmmakers who tether them to Frisbees, arrows, dogs, and other objects, their size has opened up a whole new world of creative possibilities.

In contrast, your DSLR allows you the ability to upscale with lenses and accessories, which is important because it provides you more control. However, this feature adds to their size and necessitates storage. A DSLR camera package may easily fill a photo backpack and be fairly weighty to carry about.

Meanwhile, a GoPro setup, stabiliser, card, batteries, and the camera itself may all be comfortably stored in a side pocket of your bag.

The process of stabilisation:

In-camera picture stabilisation has advanced in leaps and bounds over the last few years. Many classic interchangeable lens cameras feature 5-axis image stabilisation, allowing photographers to shoot handheld at shutter speeds previously unthinkable.

Despite these advancements, filming with a dedicated stabiliser gear, like as the DJI Ronin, is the best method to ensure smooth, professional-looking video footage.

In addition, the GoPro has built-in digital image stabilisation, which crops your frame slightly to provide the appearance of stability. It’s only gotten better with time. GoPro’s increased in-camera EIS is known as HyperSmooth, and it essentially means that GoPro has figured out how to give the footage a little bit more headroom to allow for more cropping into the image for the electronic image stabilisation. This means it’ll work in 4K with a 16:9 aspect ratio but not in 4K with a 4:3 aspect ratio.

How does HyperSmooth handle aspect ratios?
The aspect ratios of GoPro cameras are also affected by the HyperSmooth function. With the Hero6 Black, a 4:3 option at 4K and 2.7K was introduced. You may now switch between 4:3 and 16:9 on the Hero7 Black by touching the symbol in the top left corner of the camera’s LCD.

The GoPro will then indicate whether or not HyperSmooth will be used. HyperSmooth will be active in 4K 16:9 but not 4K 4:3. If you shoot 1080p, you can film at up to 60 frames per second with HyperSmooth, then 120 frames per second with regular stabilisation, and nothing at 240 frames per second.

At 240 frames per second, you’ll also get a notice that the camera is transitioning to HEVC, which is a newer codec, so make sure your machine can handle it.

The new frame rates and features, together with the various HyperSmooth, Standard Stabilisation, and aspect ratios, do add a bit more complexity to GoPro control, but it’s mostly simple to figure out.

You’ll be alright if you stick to 16:9, which is the most popular TV aspect ratio. If you want to crop into the shot, switching to 4:3 offers you a bit more area.

There are various options on the market for handheld stabilisers to use with your GoPro camera, in addition to HyperSmooth, which is built in.

Control over the imagination:

This is a significant advantage of a DSLR over a GoPro. You have complete control over your aperture and shutter speed, as well as lenses, using a DSLR – or any interchangeable lens camera. With these exposure parameters at your disposal, you may alter the appearance and feel of your movie to get a very specific appearance.

Frame rate and resolution:

This may come as a surprise, but in a GoPro vs DSLR showdown, the plucky action camera comes out on top. Yes, many DSLRs can shoot HD and 4K video at 30 frames per second (and many mirrorless cameras can shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second), but the GoPro has been able to do so for quite some time, and each year the firm raises the bar even higher.

The Hero6 Black maintains the same maximum resolution of 4K as the Hero5, but increases frame rates to 60fps (from 30fps) and boosts 1080p to 240fps. GoPro nearly quadrupled the previous generation’s headline frame rates. You can now record 5K at 30p, 4K at 60p, 2.7K at 120p, 1440 at 120p, and 1080 at 240p with the GoPro Hero9 Black. That is a pretty astounding array of choices.


The ability to shoot video at such high frame rates gives up a plethora of creative possibilities, such as slow-motion movies that capture a fast-paced action scenario in stunning clarity. In practical terms, this means that you can now capture slow motion footage that stretches 1 second of film across an incredible 8 seconds.

The complete list of resolutions and associated frame rates is remarkable, but GoPro also discreetly lowered the number of lower resolution options in the menu system with the Hero7 Black. For example, 480p is no longer available, as are all of the other 720p frame rates, and 960p is no longer available.

This dilution of alternatives is reasonable. It’s best to keep things simple. That way, when accessing the settings and options, you can quickly and easily select the ones you want and use most often without having to wade through all the other options you’ll never use. We might even see a personalised menu one day that allows you to choose only the options you use the most.

Time Lapse video:

Many DSLRs have built-in time-lapse capabilities, ranging from entry-level devices like the Canon EOS 250D / SL3 to premium models like the Nikon D850. Furthermore, you frequently have the choice of recording your time-lapse series as a batch of photographs or as a single movie file that automatically makes a video of your sequence – particularly in Nikon cameras.

Why would you desire a collection of photographs instead of having the camera create a time-lapse for you? It provides you more control over the scenario, allowing you to eliminate frames where a little child may have raced through it. A DSLR comes in handy for this.

TimeWarp video, TimeLapse Video, TimeLapse Photo, and Night Lapse Photo are the four time-lapse modes available from GoPro.

TimeWarp is simply a timelapse mode on GoPro cameras starting with the Hero7 Black, but when combined with HyperSmooth, you get a new ultrasmooth motion time-lapse that hasn’t been possible before. TimeWarp, which is new to the Hero7 Black, is simply a timelapse setting, but when combined with HyperSmooth, you create a new ultrasmooth motion time-lapse that hasn’t been possible before.

Live Streaming:

The other major benefit that GoPros have over DSLRs since the Hero7 Black is, of course, live broadcasting. This can be accessed via the app.

Once the app has loaded, scroll across the bottom of the screen until you reach Live mode to activate the live view.

Once you’ve logged into your Facebook or YouTube account, you’re ready to start broadcasting to the rest of the world.

Mirrorless Camera vs. GoPro

A comparison of GoPro with mirrorless cameras is a fascinating case. While not quite as small as a GoPro, most mirrorless cameras are known for their small, light bodies. Long-term filming with them will be easier on your arms and shoulders than with a DSLR, but mirrorless cameras will be more difficult to use than the pocket-sized GoPro.

In addition to 5-axis stabilisation, many mirrorless cameras have in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) systems. They won’t be as good at smoothing out jerky movements as GoPro’s Hypersmooth, but the image quality will be better.

As previously stated, HyperSmooth works by cutting into your frame to provide the illusion of stability, whereas cameras with IBIS physically move the sensor along with the camera. Furthermore, if your mirrorless camera has IBIS and is partnered with an IS-equipped lens, your footage will be even more stable. When used with an IS-equipped RF lens, the Canon EOS R5 or EOS R6 offers up to 8 stops of image stabilisation.

When it comes to video, there are advantages and disadvantages to both GoPro and mirrorless cameras. It depends on your requirements and what you intend to do with your movies in the end.

GoPro vs DSLR: Photos

GoPro cameras are designed for videographers on the go and are engineered to be versatile. They’re ready for action and can capture fast-moving subjects and sequences almost anyplace – even underwater.

On the other hand, a DSLR or mirrorless camera is larger and less versatile. From stabilising the camera to its controls, recording video with an interchangeable lens camera is more of a process (GoPro cameras going back to the GoPro Hero6 Black and Hero5 Black all offer voice-activated controls).

This is due to the fact that DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are built to capture still photographs, and if you want to capture still photographs of your action sequences, an interchangeable lens camera offers a distinct edge.

GoPro implemented a new intelligent SuperPhoto mode for stills starting with the GoPro Hero7 Black, which allows the camera to read the scene and apply adjustments to exposure, colour, and contrast to produce the greatest quality picture possible from the GoPro. Basically, HDR.

Furthermore, the GoPro Hero9 Black offers 20-megapixel stills with the ability to shoot in both Raw and JPEG formats.

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