Is GoPro’s annual subscription service right for you?
Spend any amount of time shopping for a new GoPro camera or accessory and you’re bound to come across a promotion for GoPro’s subscription service. Originally launched in 2016 as cloud storage for action camera photographs and video clips, the service now offers much more than just a place to store your files.
While cloud storage is still an integral part of GoPro’s subscription service, subscribers also gain access to hefty discounts, worry free replacement for damaged devices and expanded features in the GoPro Quik app.
The biggest reason to sign up, however, is that buying a GoPro bundled along with an annual subscription is by far the most affordable way to pick up a new Hero 9 Black, Hero 10 Black or Max action camera. This should essentially make it a no-brainer for new GoPro users.
GoPro subscription explained: How much does it cost?
Buying a subscription through GoPro.com costs £50 per year, while buying through GoPro’s Quik smartphone app also gives you the option to pay in £5 monthly instalments. Alternatively, if you’re looking to buy a new GoPro, subscriptions are available bundled with all cameras on GoPro’s online store.
Buying a camera and a one-year subscription in a bundle results in instant savings of up to £100 off of the camera’s regular retail pricing, making it the cheapest way to pick up a new Hero 9 Black, Hero 10 Black or Max action camera.
GoPro subscription explained: Can you cancel the subscription?
The subscription is renewed automatically after a year, which is something to keep in mind if you got your first year bundled for free with a new camera. The subscription can, however, be cancelled at any point and you can continue to take full advantage of the subscription’s benefits until the year runs out.
To make the cancellation process as straightforward as possible, GoPro provides clear, step-by-step instructions on its website.
GoPro subscription explained: Do you need to subscribe?
If you simply want to know whether you need a subscription to use one of GoPro’s action cameras then the answer is a resounding no. All GoPro cameras, from the original first-generation Hero right the way up to the current flagship Hero 10 Black will work completely independent of a subscription. The GoPro subscription only comes into play should you want to take advantage of the additional discounts or services that it offers.
GoPro subscription explained: GoPro camera and accessory discounts
Some of the most tangible benefits of GoPro’s subscription are the hefty discounts available to subscribers in GoPro’s online store. In addition to big discounts on cameras, subscribers can also save on accessories.
You can save 50% on certain mounts, housings and replacement parts, 30% on mods and 20% on the latest generation of spare batteries. For a complete roundup of the discounts available, see GoPro’s official breakdown.
GoPro subscription explained: Camera replacement
GoPro’s action cameras have always been pitched as go-anywhere devices with rugged shells and waterproof designs. However, should your camera take one knock too many, the GoPro subscription also offers users a camera replacement service.
While this is no doubt reassuring, there are a few caveats. The first to be aware of is that it’s technically a part-exchange service so you’ll be out of luck if you lose the camera entirely. Also note that replacements are capped at a maximum of two per year – or, two per year of subscription. And, if you dig into the small print, you’ll discover there are additional fees as well. Replacement Hero 9, Hero 10 and Max cameras cost £115, while a replacement Hero 8 will set you back £95. For a complete roundup of these prices, see GoPro’s official breakdown.
GoPro subscription explained: Cloud storage
Cloud storage has always been a core element of GoPro’s subscription service, allowing you to safely back up all of your photos and videos online. Files can be backed up using your smartphone via the GoPro Quik app, using your computer via GoPro.com or over Wi-Fi straight from the camera. In fact, if you’re using a Hero 5 or newer you can set the camera to automatically backup your footage every time you charge it within range of your home Wi-Fi.
Files backed up to the cloud are stored at 100% quality, so there’s no degradation when you pull the photos and videos back down to your computer or phone for editing. It’s also unlimited, so you can store as many files as you want.
The only caveats are that they have to be GoPro files and so photos and videos shot with other brands of camera or your phone won’t work. There’s also no support for the prohibitively large files produced by the GoPro Fusion 360 camera.
GoPro subscription explained: GoPro Quik app
The base version of GoPro’s Quik smartphone app is free and allows you to edit and share your GoPro footage on the move. Subscribers, however, can unlock a premium version of the app, gaining access to more advanced editing tools, themes, filters and royalty-free background music. An active subscription also allows the app to automatically back up your edits to the cloud.
The premium version of the Quik app is also available as a standalone subscription for £2 per month or £10 per year.
GoPro subscription explained: Live streaming
With the GoPro Hero 7 and newer you have the ability to live stream directly to your Facebook profile, Facebook page, YouTube or Twitch account. If you’re a GoPro subscriber you can also stream to GoPro.com where you can generate a private watch link that can be shared.
GoPro subscription explained: Is it worth it?
If you’re shopping for a new GoPro then getting a subscription makes a whole lot of sense. Right now, buying a Hero 8 Black, Hero 9 Black, Hero 10 Black or Max 360 camera with a bundled subscription can save you up to £100. With 50% off accessories as well and it easily stands out as the cheapest way to pick up a new GoPro.
After the initial 12 months, or if you’re looking to pick up a subscription standalone there’s still plenty of value to be found, especially if you use your GoPro all the time. Unlimited cloud storage is a painless way to keep on top of your file management, the premium version of GoPro’s Quik app makes light work of on-the-go editing and the total-camera replacement service, even with its extra frees, provides some welcome peace of mind.