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Is GoPro the best camera for travelers and Backpackers?

Ever since I came back from my trip, I got asked information by many people interested into buying a GoPro.  Travelers want to share their experience with their friends and family; pictures and videos are such an amazing way to get people in your world. For me GoPro was a great choice but is it for you?

Why I Bought A GoPro For My Trip

Last year, I was traveling with a Contour camera that I replaced with a Silver 3+; the Hero 3+ family outperformed the Contour cameras by far at that point. I equipped myself with a GoPro to produce epic videos and document my travels with this blog. My focus was entirely on filming the entire trip and it kind of became a second nature to ”GoPro” everything that had an editing potential.  I knew that during the trip around South America I wouldn’t have to worry about taking pictures as my friend would be the one in charge of taking pictures during the trip. I knew we would do extreme activities, sports and spend some time filming under water.  I knew there would be dust, sand, mud on my camera and I had to take that into account.

gopro camera

So I chose GoPro because it was the type of camera that allowed me to do what I really wanted. I did not want to take pictures and record sound; I wanted time-lapse, action shots and to carry it around in my pocket. It seems however that many people buy the GoPro for the wrong reasons. They end up disappointed and realize they could have bought something to suit their needs better.

Is Gopro Right for You? (Or any action camera as a matter of fact)

GoPro is a great company, they make quality product and keep investing massive amounts in research and developement to preserve their place as a leader in their action camera field. Gopro got the best marketing strategy out there; video marketing. Everyone has seen these wicked YouTube videos where epic people push their limit through sports and other activities, always  in beautiful environments, in 1080p (now 4k also!). ”Be a Hero” pretty much sells the dream!

First thing you need to ask yourself is “What will I do with that Camera?” Most people just seem to forget there are many camera choices out there on the market. I would only recommend a GoPro if the following criteria’s fits your need.

Buy a GoPro if these are your criterias:

·         Motivated to make a great video

·         Have video editing skills

·         Ready to travel with some mounts and gear

·         Do extreme sports and be in extreme environments

·         Have patience to film many times and make a good filming setup

Don’t buy a GoPro if the following apply to you

·         You want good sound quality and protection at the same time

·         You desire to take good pictures and not just videos

·         Wanting to film in-doors and in dark environments

·         Wanting a Zoom option

 I love my GoPro so much; but would I recommend it to most friends wanting to leave on a trip. The answer is No.

You got to keep in mind that if you put the cover on the GoPro (I have it on all the time so the lenses doesn’t get scratched) you will barely ever hear any sound.

Fields where the GoPro Camera dominates

Durability: Almost impossible to destroy

Size and weight: Very small and Light

For almost everything else there are better cameras out there. Actions cameras being so compact reduces greatly the performance to achieve their goal: Durability, small size and little weight. So if you don’t plan on doing extreme sports all the time and strapping it to your helmet, bike and tripod then you should consider another camera.

The pictures of the GoPro have decent quality in areas with good lighting but it is completely obsolete in darker places and far from professional (even the Hero4 is still far from wonders in low light conditions.)

Price of the GoPro

The Gopro is somewhat expensive and to use it well an additional investment of at least 150$ for mounts, batteries and memory cards will be required. Also I would not recommend anything under the GoPro Silver 3+ because earlier models spec really aren’t as great and quality will be far lessened.

You want a camera to film, take amazing pictures in extreme environments

Well really, if you don’t intend to strap your camera on your head or you don’t have much of a reason to buy a GoPro. As a traveler switching from pictures to videos and requiring sturdiness and durability, you can find way better options out there.

The Sony DSC TX30

sony tx camera


My friend got his Sony DSC TX30 from eBay for a great price and it was one of the most amazing travelling camera I have ever seen; and surely the best in that price range.

The camera offers high quality image in any type of light exposition. Also, it is dust proof, water proof (10 meters) and shock proof; the dream of any traveler.

The quality of the videos are even better than the ones from the GoPro BUT it would not do as well strapped on your head at extreme speed and for extreme sports; it is less sensitive to movements but gives much sharper and vivid images.

So whats your choice?

Good luck buying your new camera and I recommend buying the GoPro or the Sony on Ebay. Let me know in the comments what you think and what you will buy.



My name is Paco and I traveled more than 70 countries in the past 10 years. Currently trying to balance traveling to new places, working and being the father of a beautiful little girl.

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