GoPro has, for a long time now, been setting high standards in the action camera technology field.
The company has been on the market for several years, and the GoPro Hero is considered the benchmark among similar devices.
But their domination is starting being tested.
There are now a huge number of GoPro alternatives on the market. Moreover, GoPro is sometimes not adequate for certain situations; and is often too expensive.
This then leaves the consumer with a difficult choice.
Do not worry though, you are in the right place to make an informed decision as we will be discussing which products are worthy of your money in 2019.
The Best GoPro Alternatives
- The Best GoPro Alternatives
- 1. AKASO V50 Elite – Best Overall
- 2. Campark ACT74 – Best Budget Choice
- 3. DJI Osmo Pocket – Most Advanced Camera
- 4. YI 4K+ – Universal With Top Specs
- 5. Akaso Brave 4 – Balance of Price and Quality
- 6. Sony FDRX3000 – Premium Choice
- 7. Dragon Touch Vision 4 – Great Potential
- 9. FITFORT 4K – Great Build Quality
- 10. Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – Best Solution For Sport
- GoPro alternatives Buying Guide & FAQ
- How We Chose Our Selection Of Action Cameras
- Features to think about
1. AKASO V50 Elite – Best Overall
Are you looking for a cheaper alternative to GoPro Hero 6 that still retains the great functionality and beautiful picture?
Then this is the model for you.
AKASO is a strong player in the market of action camera devices. Many have heard about the successful and relatively cheap V50 Pro, but not so long ago there was a new and improved model called AKASO V50 Elite.
This new and improved camera has become a lot more functional due to its powerful voice control system.
How does it work? Let’s take a look.
You are required to wear a remote control on your wrist with Bluetooth turned on, allowing you to control the device. The device responds almost instantly – in a split second. Just say “Action Photo” – you will immediately receive a snapshot, making it incredibly convenient.
And now for the most important thing; video quality.
Although the AKASO V50 Elite is much cheaper than the famous GoPro Hero 6, the shooting level of the former is still really high quality.
This is down to the V50 Elite being equipped with a processor and a lens from the company SONY. Currently, SONY produces the best components in the world, therefore, providing consumers of this camera with ultra-high definition photography.
But that is not all.
Akaso V50 Elite records 4K video at 60 frames per second, which in itself is a cool figure. However, the device can create 1080p video 120 FPS – a real monster in the world of Slow Motion. At the same time, the quality of the video is just incredible. Add to this photo with a resolution of 20MP.
This is perhaps the best alternative of GoPro for your money.
It is worth noting however that if you intend to shoot a lot of content in 4K, you will obviously need a large memory. I advise you to buy about 64 GB which should be enough.
The AKASO V50 Elite uses electronic image stabilization and from testing, I can say that it works great. It must be agreed that the ability to produce a smooth image is highly important.
Another interesting feature is the ability to independently adjust the viewing angles to suit your needs between Super Wide, Wide, Medium and Narrow which provide the user with a great deal of options.
Let’s look at some of them in more detail.
Included are two 1050 mAh batteries. Not only do you not need to purchase an extra battery, but you also get an extra 90 minutes of video recording.
Furthermore, a cool waterproof case comes with the camera with an immersion depth of up to 30 meters. This case has a great design and it’s beneficial that you don’t have to pay separately for it. The set also contains a huge number of different mounts for the camera. Cool, right?
However, if we’re talking about the disadvantages, then one of the weak points of the camera is shooting in low light. Yet, understandably it is a cheap action camera, and for its price, the V50 Elite is a worthy competitor to GoPro Hero 6.
It is worth noting that AKASO has updated a really great and affordable V50 Pro. This line of models remains very popular and is perhaps the best GoPro alternative solution among budget cameras.
Additionally, it can be seen that the V50 Elite is suitable for both beginners and professionals.
Excellent 4K video at 60 FPS
2-inch touchscreen display
Voice control system
Advanced image stabilization
Slow down video 8 times
Wi-Fi Remote Control
Video Resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.6 x 1.2 inches
Weight: 1.3 pounds
2. Campark ACT74 – Best Budget Choice
For a long time now, China has been in a powerful position in the global market and this domination stretches over into their gadget making.
Campark Electronics is engaged in video and audio products, including action cameras. Chinese products have a reputation for being cheap, and Campark ACT74 is no exception. It is an amazing camera for the lower price range.
But let’s talk about everything in more detail.
Firstly, Campark ACT74 has built-in Wi-Fi and allows you to connect to your smartphone. You have the ability to view photos and videos on your mobile devices and set the camera functions and recording modes.
Moreover, the Wi-Fi feature allows you to instantly share photos and videos with anyone through social networks which is super cool! However, there are even more interesting features.
The video quality is very high for the price of the camera. The Campark ACT74 has a matrix from the company SONY installed within it. As we said earlier, SONY matrixes are currently the best in the world, therefore making this camera worthy of interest.
The picture in 4K mode is fantastic. The colors are incredibly clear with great image clarity. I myself, shot a couple of 4K videos and watched them on a huge Bravia TV and was very pleasantly surprised with the result. Of course, this is not a DSLR, but the quality is still very decent.
And that’s just awesome.
The camera has advanced shooting modes which I love.
If we’re talking about optics, then the viewing angle of this camera is 170 degrees. This is very significant as you do not miss a single detail in your plots.
A little bit about battery life now.
When shooting 1080P at 60 frames per second, the camera can work up to 90 minutes thanks to a 900 mAh battery. There are also two batteries which therefore doubles the life of the cameras.
Worth noting as well is the fact that there is a waterproof case included. And it fits very well into the design of the device itself.
Take your camera with you on vacation to the beach, do amazing underwater photography, or use it doing water sports.
However, with Campark ACT74, you can safely dive to great depths. There is also a pair of helmet band kits, 4 bands, and 1 band case.
It is worth noting the fact that when using the camera at the maximum viewing angle there are strong distortions.
Also, it must be said that the sound can be a little messy sometimes on the device.
What is the conclusion?
Campark ACT74 cannot be called a professional camera. However, among action cameras, this is a very good model.
Therefore, if you are going to get acquainted with the world of action cameras and use the device for yourself, then believe me, for such a price, this is a really good choice.
I’m sure this is the best budget action camera on the market.
Rotate the display 170 degrees vertically
Interval video shooting mode
Excellent 4K video with SONY matrix
Immersion depth up to 30 meters
Two rechargeable batteries included
Video Resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
Dimensions: 2 x 0.9 x 1.5 in
Weight: 2.12 ounces
3. DJI Osmo Pocket – Most Advanced Camera
Do you think a professional camera should be really big? I doubt it. We can all see that smaller and more unusual devices are appearing on the market. For advanced users, compact cameras are already well known but I want to introduce you to a unique camera. DJI recently released the Osmo Pocket. This model, I argue, is the most sophisticated in our list. In terms of its functions, the model is perhaps not appropriate for an action segment. However, because of its small size, I thought it would still be relevant to include it on this list as this device is one of the most compact in the world!
Let’s think about how small the camera is: its main module is a cube with a side of 1 inch. Add to this, its SteadyCam which is only 2 times larger. That is incredible!
This miniature camera is very convenient to shoot in difficult conditions due to its small size. No one would ever guess that you are holding in your hand a full-fledged device for video filming. In this case, DJI Osmo Pocket contains functions that vastly distinguish it from its competitors.
Let’s take a closer look.
The camera has a combination of electronic and optical stabilization. This engineering solution allows you to create a very smooth video, and there is no shaking at all. It could be argued that the picture is as smooth as the GoPro Hero 7 Black.
The device allows you to record video in 4K format. Let’s be honest – not all action cameras show a good picture in this format. However, everything is very good. Nice color, good quality – everything as needed.
However, we can look even further.
We know that DJI makes excellent drones for shooting video from above. Because of this, they were able to implement ActiveTrack function in the camera which allows you to track moving objects.
At the same time, the FaceTrack option allows you to recognize faces, and focus only on familiar objects.
Also, FPV Mode disables camera locking in one position. Steadicam in this mode will monitor every turn of its owner.
A few words about how best to use the device.
The DJI Osmo Pocket grip is well held in the hand because of the well-made body. The buttons are very convenient – everything is fine and cool here.
It is worth noting though, that due to its insanely small size the screen is of course very small. However, the picture is clearly visible.
Camera capabilities can be expanded with additional accessories. You should also understand that you can attach a smartphone, giving it a bigger display.
The camera comes with a battery of about 900 mAh. You can record videos with it for 2 hours. However, I would recommend that the owner purchases a spare pair of batteries.
Let’s talk about the shortcomings of the device.
We must understand that the beneficial aspects of the camera’s small size can be counterbalanced by the disadvantages. For example, its small size often means that shooting with a lack of lighting leaves much to be desired.
It should also be said that the device does not have an optical zoom. For some, this will be an issue.
I also want to inform you that most of the additional accessories you need to buy separately.
Let’s be honest. DJI Osmo Pocket is not just a camera, it is one of the most successful solutions on the market for all types of cameras. In the action segment, it will have few competitors.
I, however, chose to not put this camera in first place as it has not yet gained a popular reputation in the market. I am sure though, that its time will come.
DJI OsmoPocket has both a good picture and advanced stabilization. A worthy alternative, in this case, is a good Mirrorless / DSLR with a cool SteadyCam. But of course, it will be much more expensive.
If you want maximum features, very high-quality image stabilization, advanced features, and at the same time good compactness – I am sure this camera will suit you perfectly.
Image stabilization along 3 axes, in combination with compact dimensions
Remote control of the camera using the Mimo application
Ability to connect your smartphone as a large display
Lens with aperture 2.0, and a viewing angle of 80 degrees
Video Resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
Dimensions: 1.4 x 1.1 x 4.8 inches
Weight: 4.2 ounces
4. YI 4K+ – Universal With Top Specs
Xiaomi is known for selling great products for a very small price. And this time they released a camera with fantastic features. If you are looking for a really good GoPro competitor, then look at this model.
The Yi 4K+ camera has received many improvements since the previous YI 4K camera. The ability to shoot in RAW format and an electronic image stabilizer for 4K video shooting.
And, in my honest opinion, this camera is a direct competitor to GoPro Hero 6 as it has almost similar characteristics, but at a considerably lower price.
Such a great performance YI 4K Plus was due to the powerful Ambarella H2 processor and the ability to shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second. This is the first time that such a processor has been installed in action cameras. You also have the option to shoot in RAW format. This gives ample opportunity when editing the footage.
What about stabilization? In this area too, everything is very good.
An advanced EIS system allows you to shoot with very high quality without distortion. Videos and photos are clear, even if the camera is shaking. This greatly simplifies the process of using the device, allowing you to focus on the really important points.
A little bit about battery life.
YI 4K+ Action Camera uses a 1400 mAh battery.
Here is the significant data, the consumer should pay attention to:
4K 60FPS – 70 minutes
4K 30FPS – 105 minutes
Full HD 120 FPS – 100 minutes
Full HD 60 FPS – 105 minutes
Do you see how long a video can be recorded? I think this length of time is really great for an action camera! In addition, three of the four modes work almost equally. By purchasing a spare battery, you will forget about the short recording time.
There is also a voice control camera function, meaning that you can start and end your video by saying special commands which can be very convenient.
Additionally, the camera can be remotely controlled or displayed on a large screen and has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules which I think is a very useful feature.
Going on to design, it is made very well, without unnecessary details. The device is assembled with very high quality. The display of the Xiaomi YI 4K+ comes with a protective glass Gorilla Glass. It will provide complete camera protection against damage which is very important.
Another significant point that I mentioned earlier is the price. The YI 4K+ is much cheaper compared to the more popular GoPro models (Hero 5 and Hero 6).
However, the device still has drawbacks.
First of all, the camera does not have built-in waterproofing (which, in my opinion, should be the standard now). Of course, you can just buy a waterproof case for the camera, but this is an additional cost. However, believe me, you need this protection.
Also, the voice control feature does not always work well.
Xiaomi YI 4K+ is the heir to YI 4K. He received several improvements, for example, the ability to shoot videos with a frame rate twice as large as that of its predecessor. That, of course, is its main advantage.
The new system Superb Image Stabilization will allow you to create photos and video materials of the highest quality. The camera allows you to shoot in RAW format, which is useful for professionals, has USB Type-C, which works faster than the ports of the previous generation.
With the new camera from Xiaomi, you can perfectly capture all the beauty the world has to offer, without fear of losing the quality of your videos.
Shooting in 4K at 60 FPS
Advanced stabilization when shooting at 4K 30 FPS
Photos resolution of 12 MP
The possibility of voice control
Video Resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
Dimensions: 2.56 x 0.83 x 1.65 in
Weight: 3.2 ounces
5. Akaso Brave 4 – Balance of Price and Quality
This camera has gained a good reputation quickly. Why is this camera so good? Let’s figure it out.
AKASO Brave 4 can record 4K / 24fps resolution, 2K / 30fps 1080p / 60fps, 20MP photo and wide-angle lens. And you choose the viewing angle yourself. From 90 to 170 degrees. This is a unique feature.
But it doesn’t stop here.
Image quality is amazing, crystal clear at maximum resolution. The color video is realistic and provides clear and beautiful images.
It all seems unbelievable, right? Believe me, though, this camera does what it claims.
The design of the AKASO Brave 4 is, in my view, very successful.
The microphone is very sensitive. For example, in the footage I took, you can hear people talking even when the camera was inside a waterproof case.
When enabled, Brave 4 starts recording automatically after a couple of seconds. This automatic recording feature will be extremely helpful in certain filming situations and also for those less able-bodied.
Naturally, though, there are some drawbacks. For example, the Micro SD external memory is not included. Micro SD Class 10 is highly recommended by the manufacturer and supports up to 64 GB.
Furthermore, the included remote control is not waterproof which is going to be an issue for many people.
In addition, the recording time does not last very long. For example, 2 extra batteries gave me about 40 minutes of useful life. Therefore, it is good to have some spare with you.
This is a very decent camera for its price. Why?
Incredible functionality, easy to use.
Excellent video and acceptable photos. Many features and accessories.
Therefore, it is a great choice. Video and image quality are pretty good. And I really like the camera case.
Shooting in 4K 30 FPS format, and in 2K 24 FPS format
Built-in gyroscope to prevent shaking
Comes with 2 rechargeable batteries
Interval Video Capability
Video Resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
Dimensions: 2.32 x 1.57 x 0.91 in
Weight: 5.6 ounces
6. Sony FDRX3000 – Premium Choice
When it comes to Sony, you can be sure of the quality of their products.
Are you wanting high-quality image stabilization? Or maybe you want to have great sound and noise reduction? Do you want a really cool looking device?
Then I present to you the Sony FDRX3000.
Let’s get to know this camera in more detail.
Firstly, the FDR-X3000 combines superb 4K resolution with powerful SteadyShot optical stabilization for improved camera shake compensation. Compared to digital image stabilization, such a system smooths the picture much more successfully.
And why is this? Let’s explain.
The fact is that the lens and the camera sensor are connected and moved together, controlling the entire optical path as one connected element. This is a unique technology.
It allows you to take clear pictures and video without any distortion. This will be useful when shooting in motion and with vibration. For example, when the camera is mounted on a remote-controlled plane or when you’re riding a boat, car or quad bike – the video quality will still be smooth.
It really has no equal with regard image quality. However, the camera is in the higher price range.
Also, the FDRX3000 has excellent noise reduction to reduce wind and water interference – which, of course, will appeal to many users.
In addition, you can watch live video via the phone, which is really useful.
A few words about design.
The camera body is made of glossy white plastic, well recognizable and typical for Sony. The design also allows you to mount the camera on almost any surface. Moreover, the special shape of the case allows you to conveniently and securely hold the camera while taking video from hands.
Everything is done to the highest quality, making this camera one of the best out there.
On another note, we must also talk about the quality of underwater photography. Engineers really tried to revolutionize technology on this model, and they excelled. Sony FDRX3000 is protected from dust, shock, and thanks to the enclosed box in the kit, the camera is waterproof up to 60 meters.
With the Sony FDR-X3000, we can say that the company made an excellent action camera.
It shoots very well in any conditions and is suitable for various usage scenarios, whether it is an active vacation or a video blog entry.
High-quality video, sound, excellent stabilization, and comfortable ergonomics. All this leaves the closest competitors far behind.
The only problem is the high price of the device. And in my opinion, this is the biggest drawback of this wonderful camera.
For those who do not need to shoot 4K video and want to save a little on the purchase, you can purchase a simpler version, for example, SONY HDR-AS300. In any case, by choosing to purchase your camera from Sony you will not be wasting your money.
Advanced image stabilization system
Clean and high-quality picture with Carl ZEISS lenses
Remote control device
Ability to select viewing angles
The possibility of interval photo resolution of 8.3 MP
Interval video shooting
Video Resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
Dimensions: 12 x 10 x 9 inches
Weight: 4 pounds
7. Dragon Touch Vision 4 – Great Potential
Are you interested in a camera like GoPro that has an abundance of great functions and a very smooth picture – and all this at an affordable price? Take a closer look at Dragon Touch Vision 4.
This device contains so many features that initially you may not be able to discover its full potential. Therefore, let’s look at them in detail and help you do this.
Starting with the quality of the shooting. The camera, like many other devices, records video in 4K format. The video is recorded at a frequency of 30 frames per second with a 4-fold zoom for shooting far-away objects. Reducing the resolution to Full HD, you can record 60 frames per second. Additionally, the device allows you to take photos in 16 megapixels using a very good matrix.
Very cool, right?
Built-in electronic image stabilization (EIS) also detects changes in position and movement. When the camera is tilted, moved, shaken, or impacted, this action camera can still record a stable video. But that’s not all. Vision 4 has a stability control system that compensates well for wind noise and vibration.
What is the result?
Combined with a powerful EIS, this gives you amazing opportunities to record great videos in any situation, in any weather.
Moving on to discuss sound; this action camera comes with an external microphone that captures all the sound surrounding it well and efficiently, with clear detail, from all sides.
Let’s talk about the components.
First of all, it comes with an underwater case. In this case, the camera is waterproof up to 30 meters, allowing you to shoot various underwater scenes.
Also included are many other accessories. For example, a charger and 2 rechargeable batteries. Each battery allows you to record video up to 90 minutes. In addition to a waterproof case, there is also a remote control which allows you to control the camera using voice commands: for skiing, walking, riding a bike, base jumping, this accessory will be perfect. The range is also quite good – up to 10 m. I think this will satisfy most people’s primary goals.
The camera is also delivered with a wide range of mounting accessories. You can use these to shoot from a bicycle for example. The viewing angle of 170 degrees means you have a wide shot and will not miss important details. Many of the accessories are also compatible with most cameras (even with GoPro).
Of course, this action camera can also connect to your smartphone via the built-in Wi-Fi, which gives you the opportunity to share photos and videos directly on social networks. Also, Dragon Touch Vision 4 can be used as a DVR. You just need to switch the mode and flip it.
Some disadvantages are:
It is impossible to remotely control the camera under water.
Also, in the complete set of supplied accessories, there is no strap on the head although I do not think this problem is a huge issue
Dragon Touch Vision 4 is very versatile, with many features. There are several options for shooting, as well as a great deal of accessories – all this at a great price.
Built-in electronic stabilization
Compatible with an external microphone
Interval video shooting
The possibility of slow-motion video
Video Resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
Dimensions: 2 x 0.9 x 1.5 in
Weight: 2.12 ounces
8. YI Lite – Simplicity And Ease Of Use
Are you interested in GoPro knockoff with a combination of quality features and simplicity?
Then pay attention to Xiaomi YI Lite which I think represents the middle ground of these products.
Xiaomi company decided to please their fans by presenting a completely new model for a wide range of users. YI Lite was made to reduce the differences between the mass budget and expensive action cameras. How did they achieve this?
Let’s start with the design.
The camera body is made in a minimalist style. The material is high quality and durable plastic. It is very resistant to various factors. The size is small and its weight is very light meaning it does not take up much space in the backpack. All this will allow you to use it during long trips or practicing extreme sports.
Let’s look at the features of the camera.
Xiaomi YI Lite is a powerful new-model update of the old model Xiaomi YI. Therefore, many features have been improved.
For example, the quality of shooting.
The video from Xiaomi YI Lite is even cooler than the very popular YI 4K +. There are a range of modes available for video recording – there is even Slow Motion 120 FPS (at 720p resolution). Add to this an advanced electronic image stabilization system, and you get the perfect picture for your action camera.
Okay, what else?
The device has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for wireless control of the camera or image output to an additional device which is now the standard for these cameras, but it is still worth mentioning as it is a useful feature.
Also, Xiaomi YI Lite has a built-in 2-inch LCD touch screen with protective glass Gorilla Glass. Combined with the well-made case, you no longer have to be afraid about dropping your device – nothing will be broken.
As for the battery life, in Full HD mode at 60 frames per second, the camera can work for 130 minutes. This is a very good amount of time but of course, with the additional purchase of two or three additional batteries, you are able to shoot videos all day long – which is really great, isn’t it?
It is worth noting though that electronic image stabilization works only when recording video with a resolution of 2K and a frequency of 30 FPS.
To summarize, YI Lite is better compared to the first generation, but also more expensive.
This model will be interesting to those who are looking for a balanced solution. In my opinion, it is more efficient to spend additional resources on the purchase of a steep stabilizer, or other accessories.
If you do not want to spend a large amount of money on your purchase by buying a premium action camera, then this model will suit you well.
Ultra-wide 6-ply lens in the lens
High-tech matrix SONY Exmor
Built-in 2 inch LCD display
Shooting at 4K 20 FPS, Full HD 60 FPS, 9 video modes
Battery life – 130 minutes
Video Resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.7 x 0.8 inches
Weight: 2.4 ounces
9. FITFORT 4K – Great Build Quality
When shooting videos, we can face difficult conditions and, in such situations, it is necessary to have a camera with expanded capabilities.
Furthermore, if you are wanting a camera with lots of accessories included or maybe you are a professional athlete, and you are less interested in thinking about the settings then you should pay attention to FitFort 4K.
This device was designed specifically for active sports. It allows you to record cool videos and easily share them with your family as well as with friends.
And I argue that this is a very worthy GoPro competitor. Why do I think so?
Let’s go over the significant points.
You can record your adventures in 4K format. And it should be noted that FitFort 4K creates professional-quality video UltraHD, thanks to the latest software and excellent optics which I will expand on in further detail later.
There is no need to worry about image quality. You get one of the best 4K videos on the action camera market at a really small price.
Let’s talk about using the camera.
FitFort 4K can be waterproof. However, you need to separately purchase a case for underwater shooting. You can then use this device for boat rides and scuba diving without worrying that the device will be damaged by water.
The camera can be attached safely to your wrist to capture the moment when you are using it in an unsteady environment; perhaps surfing on a big wave for example. Convenient, isn’t it?
Let’s look at the basic functions.
As I mentioned above, the camera uses advanced technology when recording 4K video (Ultra HD format).
Video recorded in this format means it can be watched on large TV screens. The image will look very clear and beautiful even at close range. Thus, the quality of the video camera is one of the best on the market at this price.
Moving on, FitFort 4K has a wireless remote-control function with a radius of 11 meters. However, in my experience, this number is more accurately 10 meters in practice- but this is still an excellent result. The remote worked very well and was reliable.
As for accessories, the camera comes with a kit that contains 19 different positions. This is very cool as it gives the recorder lots of options and possibilities when recording videos.
We can now discuss some of the device’s drawbacks.
The camera takes pictures with a resolution of 12 megapixels. For the modern market, this is a rather low level. However, we all understand that this is not a camera – the device was created for video recording.
It is worth adding that the camera has no internal memory meaning that an additional high-speed SD card purchase is required.
This camera can be recommended to extreme sport lovers as it is robust and simple to use which gives you the opportunity to not think about the recording itself and completely spend all your time on the sport.
Wireless control system from a smartphone
Water Resistant 30 meters
170 cm ultra wide lenses
2 extra batteries included
19 accessories come with the camera
Video Resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
Dimensions: 2.3 x 1.6 x 0.9 inches
Weight: 2.24 ounces
10. Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – Best Solution For Sport
If Sony, GoPro, YI and other brands work for certain consumers, then Garmin decided to please fans of extreme sports, professional athletes and travelers.
Meet the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30.
The company offers the user a whole range of sensors and software for processing captured video.
The product really turned out to be original and interesting. Why?
Functions of Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 are very good. First of all, it has a set of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and PS. Also, the camera has built within it a highly sensitive microphone.
Add to this a 1.75-inch color LCD touchscreen and an electronic stabilizer that works with a resolution of up to 1080p 60 frames per second. Therefore, you are getting a very serious machine.
The most interesting and unique feature added by Garmin is the G-Metrix. This technology records performance data such as speed, altitude, heart rate, and G-force. G-Metrix technology distinguishes Garmin cameras from GoPro and others. This device is really made for people who care about their health and separates the device from others available on the market.
Garmin Virb Ultra 30 also includes 4 sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and barometer. Together they provide information on speed, acceleration of gravity, time in the air and much more.
I’ll add that Garmin sells separate sensors that can be connected to Virb to collect additional data, such as temperature and heart rate. This data can be super interesting for an athlete to know and keep recorded.
A very cool thing is shooting 4K Ultra HD. VIRB Ultra 30 is the first Garmin camera that can shoot in 4K Ultra HD. Of course, the photos are clear and of excellent quality. The video compared to the previous generation model has improved significantly.
The main disadvantage of this camera is the short battery life when recording in Ultra HD resolution. It is a maximum of 73 minutes. But as mentioned in the other reviews, the purchase of extra batteries solves this problem.
My verdict: Garmin Virb Ultra 30 can compete on equal terms with such action cameras as GoPro and Sony. G-Metrix, 4K resolution, voice control and color touch screen are very high-quality functions.
The camera is not perfect though, and stabilization is limited to 1080p, but it is still a good alternative to GoPro.
Shooting in 4K format, 60 frames per second
3-axis image stabilization
Wireless voice control
Built-in health sensors
GPS data acquisition, G-Metrix system
High sensitivity integrated microphone
Video Resolution: 4K UHD 2160p
Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.2 x 1.62 in
Weight: 3.2 ounces
GoPro alternatives Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Action Cameras
We studied multiple reviews and pilot-studies of the most popular models, as well as the crash tests made by the manufacturers. Based on this, we compiled our list. When the device is used in difficult conditions, the quality of the design build plays a very important role. It is good when the action camera is able to be held confidently in your hand – nothing staggers, there are no button failures, the images are pleasant. The production should also always be reliable so you can enjoy your activities without being distracted by the maintenance of your camera’s settings all the time. It is also very important to observe the water resistance of the case which we will explain further later.
In recent time there has been a huge rise in the production of a variety of devices similar to GoPro. Having studied the modern market, we came to the conclusion that a large number of available models have significant quality in terms of comparing them with the GoPro. At the same time, most of these cameras are produced by relatively new and not so large brands. For example, AKASO is a small brand that has successfully announced itself in this area. It should be taken into account that these smaller brands do not have as big a reputation as companies like Sony and thus cannot rely on the hype surrounding them, thus their products really speak for themselves. Many of the cameras in the list we have compiled are like this.
It is necessary to understand that models in different price ranges have similar properties. If the price of the camera is high, it does not always mean that it justifies itself. Before selecting a particular model it is important to compare the prices. There are many devices with a lower price, which have very good picture quality. However, bigger, more expensive brands do sometimes add value and quality. We selected the specific cameras in our list as we believe they have the best price / quality in the market.
Before our own compiled reviews, we analyzed in detail reviews of past users, as well as reviews from professionals, before making our list. We personally recommend that you read positive and negative reviews before making your final decision as these will express the advantages and disadvantages of the product. This will, of course, help you spend your money in the best possible way.
In principle, each camera is unique with their own specific features. However, it should be understood that when it comes to choosing a particular model, it is important to compare all the technical characteristics: image stabilization, viewing angle, mounting options, and so on. For this, we have prepared for you a whole section below. Often this can play a big role in choosing one or another device. Before comparing any devices, it is necessary to determine what exactly you need. Will you be alpine skiing, scuba diving, biking, parachuting etc?
Features to think about
First of all, pay attention to the video quality. Here are the main parameters:
Frames per Second (FPS)
FPS affects how smooth the video is. The higher, the better. Most action cameras are using between 30 and 60 fps.
If you want to shoot intense sports, you will need videos in slow motion. There are cameras with a frame rate of 120 frames per second and 240 frames per second. As the FPS increases, the camera creates a slower effect. In addition, the cameras often have slow motion mode – allowing you to slow down the video after shooting.
Modern action cameras have a resolution of 4K. This is four times more than the traditional Full HD format. But, processing a video shot in 4K requires a considerable amount of performance from the computer. If you are using a video camera, it will be justified.
Resolution Full HD or 1080p allows you to shoot a high-quality and rich picture. It can be processed by the computer. This is the best resolution for shooting vlogs.
720p is used in many frames for shooting at the maximum frame rate, to get the slow-motion effect.
So, the main points for understanding what to choose are:
1. Whether you want to shoot with full HD resolution
2. If you will require a slow-motion effect. You can shoot 1080p at 60 fps. This is not lower than 2K.
3. If you’re looking at 4k. Plus, having 4K, you can crop it under 1080p without losing quality.
However, it is worth noting that there are additional advantages in using 4K format. Read more about this in the FAQ section.
The battery life is significant as it determines how long the camera can be used in the outdoors on a single charge. Most models however allow you to charge them with external battery supplies, although not all of them come with these additional batteries and therefore must be bought separately.
When you shoot a vlog, swimming in a regular pool, or swimming in the summer sea, you need to understand that your device must be protected from moisture ingress. Despite the fact that all action cameras are usually assembled to high quality, water can fall into the most unexpected places. We understand that everything depends on the weather conditions, as well as the level of water submergence.
Therefore, it should be noted that most of the action cameras that are on our list are waterproof only with an additional case. Therefore, we recommend that you purchase it for diving under water. With this accessory, you can even plunge to 30 meters (or more).
Dust / Dirt Protection
Protection against moisture also means protection against dust / dirt. The body should be assembled very tightly with cracks being absent therefore preventing small particles from entering the camera and interfering with the technology. Also, almost every action camera has shockproof housing. However, it is still possible to damage such a device with a strong force. Manufacturers take this into account: they make some chambers almost unbreakable, whilst others produce impact-resistant cases.
Who wants to look at the screen shaking? Image stabilization means if you’re wearing the camera you are able to shake your head freely which is very important as everyone wants a smooth video.
Also, if you’re going to shoot in shaky circumstances such as snowboarding, cycling through the forest, etc the image stabilization of the picture will be a huge advantage.
Built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS).
Please note that the use of this technology in cameras usually raises the price. The solution, however, is to purchase Steadicam which is an advanced tripod, which with the help of various mechanisms ensures the same position of the camera whilst filming even in unsteady filming situations.
Field of view.
Most action cameras have a field of view from 140 to 170 degrees – this is a very wide viewing angle. Some models only have one view, whilst others can switch between multiple viewing modes. Note that in most models, FOVs are very wide (so they can capture a lot), and that the fisheye effect is often a consequence. Most software allows you to correct this defect.
Protective Case: For diving under water and extreme shooting, most action cameras require a protective case to preserve the technology.
In some very difficult situations, you will need for inserts. They absorb moisture inside the case, holding it out of the lens and protecting the image.
It is worth noting how to use it. We recommend that you purchase the largest card your camera will read. There is nothing worse than a lack of memory space if you are wanting to record your adventure.
Our recommendation is that you use the device from the company Gorillapod. It has a built-in ball head – for ultra-fast adjustment and getting a horizontal level. This tripod is easily installed anywhere e.g. on a tree branch, railing or table top.
These are included in the box in the largest sets of accessories. We also note the fact that many GoPro mounts are suitable for ordinary action cameras.
Why consider a GoPro alternative?
Despite the fact that GoPro is a model for the action camera market, its scope is not endless. And it has measurable competitors. Now there are a large number of devices in the market that offer more advanced functionality, allowing you to get a picture of the same quality for a much lower price. There are also action cameras with a very large number of accessories included. To expand the potential of GoPro, you need to buy extra items whereas with some other cameras you don’t need to buy anything – everything is already there when buying the device.
What is the best alternative of GoPro?
Definitely Akaso V50 Elite.
Why do we think so?
There are so many different cameras on the market. However, this model is a cut above the rest. Voice control from the wrist, one of the best matrixes in the world and interchangeable viewing angles. Video 4K 60 FPS, unreal slow-mo in Full HD. A huge variety of accessories, as well as powerful image stabilization. This is probably the best alternative to GoPro for its price.
What is the battery life for my camera?
As we understand, a large amount of charge is required to create a photo or video. In order to make content for a long time, there is a need for an additional external battery. Also, as action camerasare often used in difficult conditions: in the cold, in heat, during storms, and so on, we recommend that you purchase several at once.
Can action cameras take photos?
Many models are currently equipped with a photographing function. In order to take a picture, just switch the mode and press the shutter button. It is worth noting the fact that the quality of the image will be quite good. Not as cool as on professional cameras, but decent. Moreover, modern technologies and a powerful processor allow us to take a series of photos at once, so as not to miss a quick moment. Considering also the fact that you can make good quality still images from the resulting video, sometimes a simple action camera can be much more efficient than a large camera.
Is the camera easy to use for sports?
The action camera is made specifically for sporting events: it is small in size so does not interfere as well as being durable and protected from water. The main advantage of the device is that it is not necessary to check the correctness of the shooting, you can simply connect it to the steering wheel, helmet, wrist, and to other places, press a button and the camera will record everything that happens. The modern market contains a large number of modifications of action cameras that will satisfy the most demanding customers.
What mounts should I buy?
It is good to buy an action camera, but you should not forget about accessories either, because its full potential can only be explored with the addition of fasteners. Let’s look at 3 types, I believe are the most significant:
Fastening for transport
There are many different clamps on different parts of the vehicle. For example, on a bike, you can mount the camera on the handles, on the wheels, on the body, or on the lower part of the body. Each mount can be placed on any part of the bike.
Mount to different parts of the body
The camera will always be on you, it will not fly away and will not move at the crucial moment of shooting. Fastening is usually easily adjustable and allows it to be used both on top of equipment and even down a jacket, as well as on top of a regular T-shirt, or on a naked body. Mounting the camera does not interfere with driving or when running, walking and other physical exercises.
Monopods are, in fact, an excellent stabilizer for shooting, because even the simplest one allows you to increase the quality of shooting compared to the situation in which you will just hold the camera in your hands – as shaking can cause the produced video to be impossible to watch. Also, with a monopod, you can easily shoot everything that happens on top of your head, namely those moments when it is difficult for you to have your hands free to film your surroundings.
Can it capture fast moving footage?
Yes, if you have high FPS support. As we said earlier, cameras can shoot video with a frequency of not only 30/60 FPS, but also 120, and even 240 FPS. And this is more than enough for shooting 90% of interesting scenes. At a frequency of 240 FPS, the movement slows down almost 9 times. This will definitely allow you not to miss the most significant moments of your filming.
Are action cameras waterproof?
Since many people using these cameras are active in extreme sports, many action cameras have a very high-quality build which more often than not also provides protection against water. Of course, waterproof housing does not allow the ingress of dirt, sand, and dust. In some cases (for example, during deep diving), it makes sense to purchase an additional waterproof box-case for exceptional camera protection.
Are action cameras reliable?
It is assumed that action cameras must be durable. Equally important is their size, shape, and weight, as well as the ability to install a camera on your body or some other object. Most of the action cameras today are built to a good standard and therefore can withstand strong forces and maintain their durable performance. Thus, it is safe to say that yes, in general, these cameras are very reliable.
What kind of memory cards do I need?
Cards differ primarily in the speed of processing and creating data. For cameras that do not use 4K video, it makes no sense to buy media over 32 GB. The optimal size is 16-32 GB.
The main types of memory cards: SD, SDHC, SDXC. SD memory supports up to 4 GB, SDHC – up to 32 GB, and SDXC – over 32 GB. Always give preference to micro SDXC, preferably 64 GB or higher. Also, the larger the class number of the card, the higher the recording speed. We recommend grade 10. However, the speed is now even higher: UHS Speed U1 / U3. The speed on such cards is up to 5 times higher than class 10.
We recommend a microSDXC UHS Speed U3 memory card. Which is time-tested and is preferred by a huge number of shooter camera users.
Can I use an action camera for Youtube videos?
Of course! Moreover, in difficult conditions, this device will often be the best solution. For video blogging (vlogging) action cameras are definitely suitable. The maximum viewing angle of the lens of a modern action camera simplifies the process of shooting; you will not miss anything. Camera coverage is almost 180 degrees, although be wary about extra material falling into the frame.
Our recommendation: Sony FDR-X3000. It has incredible video stabilization and immediately starts recording from the off state with very high-quality sound recording and also the ability to connect an external microphone. Forget not only about GoPro but also about many other mirrorless cameras. Sony FDR-X3000 beats them all in any usage scenarios.
Should I use 4k? Why?
Cameras that shoot in 4K resolution have already become the norm. And the 4K format itself is used very often and is high quality thus we would recommend.
Why is 4K better than 1080p?
If you wish, you can conduct a simple experiment. Find any beautiful 4K video on YouTube and open it on your “regular” FullHD display in 1080p resolution. And then switch the quality to 4K. Notice how the saturation and clarity has changed?
But there is another feature. This is a freeze frame.
Most 1080p video has such a low quality in each frame that their use is doubtful even for websites. 4K makes a difference. Most of these frames are good enough to profitably replace the standard screenshots that are used on the Internet. And many operators have already noted that such captured fragments are quite good even for printing.
Now it is obvious that the future is 4K. And don’t forget, this format will improve the videos you create, even if you simply upload them in this form to YouTube, without the need of delving into complex video editors thus making content creation simpler and more accessible for everyone.
Can I use an action camera as a dashcam?
The use of these action cameras as traffic recorders in cars started as people began to see their durability in extreme conditions (e.g. car crashes) so motorists began to adopt the action camera instead of the DVR. Manufacturers saw this growing trend and offered consumers a device with additional functionality.
If we compare the action camera with the DVR, then we can note some feature differences. High-resolution video with a large capture angle on the action camera allows for a better recording of the road.
Therefore, it can be argued that, yes it is certainly possible to use your action camera as a dashcam and in certain traffic or dangerous road situations it is even necessary.
Now It’s Your Turn
So, what do you think are the best action cameras available for you?
I’d like to hear from you:
Which camera is the most attractive to you?
Are you going to buy AKASO? Or maybe you want the Campark for a cheaper price?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below!
Buyer’s guides and Reviews: