10 BEST GoPro Alternatives – Buyer’s Guide (Reviewed Sep. 2018)
Want to shoot vlogs, outdoor sports or underwater excursions but sure that GoPro isn’t good enough?
Then you’re in the right place.
Because today I’m going to show you the exact Best GoPro Alternatives that worth your money.
The best part?
I also prepared cameras for you that are not only better but cheaper than GoPro.
And all of them work GREAT in 2018.
To answer this question I reviewed 10 different model in each price segment.
And I must say that choosing the right action camera like GoPro is a difficult task, mainly because of the variety of available options and your own preferences.
For me, it is really interesting to observe how the market of action cameras is growing. Manufacturers are struggling, coming up with something new in order to take their piece of cake from the famous GoPro.
So, let’s take a look at all the amazing best GoPro alternatives in 2018.
|AKASO V50 Pro||30m with case||4K/30FPS||20MP|
|Yi 4K+||40m with case||4K/60FPS||12MP|
|AKASO Brave 5||10m w/o case||4K/24FPS||20MP|
|Sony FDRX3000||60m with case||4K/30FPS||12MP|
|Campark ACT74||30m with case||4K/30FPS||16MP|
|Yi 4K||40m with case||4K/30FPS||12MP|
|YI Lite||40m with case||4K/20FPS||16MP|
|TomTom Bandit||40m w/o case||4K/15FPS||16MP|
|Garmin VIRB Ultra 30||40m with case||4K/30FPS||12MP|
|Olympus TG Tracker||30m w/o case||4K/30FPS||7.2MP|
1. AKASO V50 Pro Native Action Camera – Best Cheap GoPro Alternative
AKASO Company is a strong player in the market of action cameras. Someone could hear about the good and cheap AKASO EK7000 (6k+ customer reviews on Amazon), but not that long time ago there was a new and improved model called AKASO V50 Pro.
The camera is insanely small and light, compared to the previous version of AKASO V50, the display became larger due to the fact that it now occupies the entire surface of the camera.
In a word, the camera has become more compact and pleasant.
And want to note that the camera is already supplied with necessary accessories. Waterproof case, two batteries, a remote control and a lot of mounts. And I’m really glad that you do not need to buy additional accessories.
AKASO V50 Pro has built-in Wi-Fi. This allows you to manage your device from your smartphone or remote control.
This is very convenient.
Another interesting feature is the ability to set the viewing angles yourself according to your needs between Super Wide, Wide, Medium and Narrow.
Let me say that in spite of the fact that AKASO V50 Pro is cheaper than the famous GoPro Hero 6 almost 4 times, the quality of shooting is really at a decent level.
You can shoot video in 4K at 30fps that can only please for such price. However, the best quality will be in Full HD 60fps.
If you plan to shoot a lot of content in 4K, you obviously need more memory, I advise you to buy a good memory card, about 64GB, this should be enough.
The AKASO V50 Pro uses Electronic Image Stabilization with a 6-axis gyroscope and I want to say that it really works great. Agree with me, that it’s really important, for example, to drive a bicycle and have a smooth image.
One of the weak points of the camera is shooting in low light. But you should understand this because it’s a cheap action camera and for its price, V50 Pro shoots in a high quality.
It is worth noting that AKASO created a really great and affordable camera for many people, which more than justifies its price.
And I gotta say that It can be suitable for both beginners and professionals.
2. YI 4K+ Action Camera – Top Specs
The company Xiaomi is known for selling great products for a very small price. And this time they released a camera with fantastic opportunities.
This model has received many improvements compared to the previous YI 4K camera. Ability to shoot in RAW format, electronic image stabilizer for shooting 4K videos.
And I’ll be honest with you. This camera is a direct competitor to GoPro Hero 6, which has almost similar characteristics but at a lower price.
Such great performance, YI 4K Plus got because of the powerful Ambarella H2 processor and the ability to shoot 4K video at a frequency of 60 frames per second. And this is the first time when such a processor was installed in action cameras.
Advanced EIS allows you to shoot in the highest quality without distortion. Video and photos are clear even if the camera shakes. This greatly simplifies the process of using the camera, allowing you to focus on really important moments.
A little bit about battery life.
YI 4K+ Action Camera uses a battery with a capacity of 1400 mAh.
Here the data on which you should pay attention:
- 4K 60FPS – 70 minutes
- 4K 30FPS – 105 minutes
- Full HD 120 FPS – 100 minutes
- Full HD 60 FPS – 105 minutes
Another one thing, YI 4K+ that it is much cheaper (and better!) compared to the newer GoPro models (Hero 5 and Hero 6).
But as always, the camera has cons.
No built-in waterproofing (which in my opinion, must be a standard nowadays). You have to buy a waterproof case along with the camera which will cost a bit, trust me you will need it.
Xiaomi YI 4K+ is the successor of YI 4K. It received a number of improvements, for example, the ability to shoot video at a frame rate twice that of its predecessor. Which is certainly its main advantage.
A new system of Superb Image Stabilization will create the best quality photo and video materials. The camera allows you to photograph in RAW format, which is useful to professionals, has USB Type-C, which is faster than the ports of the previous generation.
With the new camera from Xiaomi, you can perfectly capture all the beauty of the surrounding world, without fear for the quality of your future videos.
3. AKASO Brave 5 Action Camera – Great Value For Money
If you were serious about finding a good cheap alternative to GoPro, then you definitely found the famous AKASO Brave 4, which at one time was the best cheap alternative to GoPro.
And it was difficult to argue with that.
But today, 2018 and AKASO released a new Brave 5.
Why is this camera so good?
It can record a good video in 4K/24fps, 2K/30fps 1080p/60fps, 20MP photos and the wide angles lens which you pick from 90 to 170 degree.
The quality of the picture is amazing, crystal clear at the highest resolution setting and the video looks pretty realistic.
It seems incredible for the price of $ 99.99, isn’t it?
Trust me, it is.
The main feature of AKASO Brave 5 is its design, which allows you to capture perfect underwater footage up to 33ft (10m) without a waterproof case.
Naturally, there are some disadvantages.
The camera does not have an external mic jack, but don’t worry the sound still pretty good. Also, the Micro SD card is not included in the box. Class 10 Micro SD is highly recommended by the manufacturer, support up to 64GB.
For example, Sandisk Ultra 64GB Micro SDXC UHS-I Card seems to be a great choice.
Also, I don’t like the fact, that batteries don’t last very long, so it’s good to have a few backups.
This is a decent camera for the price. If you don’t want to spend big money on YI 4K+ or GoPro, then Akaso is a great choice. The video and image quality is pretty good. And I really like the fact that it is waterproof without the case.
4. Sony FDRX3000 Action Camera – The Boss Of Image Stabilization
The camera body is made of glossy white plastic, in a well-recognizable and typical for Sony design.
Dimensions 1.2 x 1.9 x 3.3 inches, and weight 4.2 ounces. Presented form factor allows you to fix the camera on almost any surface.
Also, the special shape of the case allows you to conveniently and securely hold the camera, shooting video from your hands.
Best image stabilization on the market.
The Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization is amazing and it is the biggest selling point of this camera. I really do not even understand how Sony squeezed this stabilizer into such a small format.
It allows you to take sharp pictures and video without distortion. This is especially useful when taking pictures in motion and dealing with vibrations, when the camera can be installed on a remotely controlled airplane, or when you are driving in a boat, car or quad bike.
If competitors can compete with image quality, then Sony doesn’t have equal in stabilizing the image.
Качество видео is excellent. И я не вижу особо смысла писать подробно об этом, тк эта камера очень высокого ценовго сегмента и касаемо изображения Sony нет равных.
Sony FDRX3000 has excellent noise reduction to reduce interference by wind and water, which of course will be appreciated by many users.
Also, you can watch live via your phone or with the optional Live-View Remote. Which is really helpful.
With the supplied waterproof case it’s dustproof, shockproof and waterproof to 60 meters.
The only problem is:
This is a price of the device. And in my opinion, this is the biggest drawback of this great camera.
Here’s a deal:
After getting to know the Sony FDR-X3000, we can say that the company made an excellent action camera.
It excellently shoots in any conditions and is suitable for a variety of usage scenarios, whether it is active rest or recording a vlog.
High-quality video, sound, excellent stabilization and convenient ergonomics. All this leaves the closest competitors behind.
For those who do not need to shoot 4K-video and want to save a bit on buying, you can purchase a simpler version, for example, SONY HDR-AS300. In any case, making your choice to Sony you will not lose.
5. Campark ACT74 Action Camera – Best Budget Choice
The Chinese company Campark Electronics specializes in video and audio products, including action cameras. As you know, Chinese products are famous for their cheapness and Campark ACT74 is not an exception.
It really is a terrific camera for its price.
But, let’s take a closer look.
Campark ACT74 is a waterproof camera and you can take it on vacation at sea, make an amazing underwater shooting or how you are water skiing.
And it’s available only due to the fact that the kit contains a waterproof case.
Also, I like that:
In addition to the waterproof case, you will receive a helmet mount kit, 4 bandages, 1 handlebar mount and more, so you do not have to buy the necessary accessories.
The camera has Built-In WIFI and allows you to connect to your smartphone. Therefore you can control the camera in real time, view video or photos on mobile devices, set camera functions and recording modes.
Moreover, it allows you to instantly share photos and videos to anyone on social networks.
The main thing.
As for video quality, it is great for its price.
But not everything is cool.
For example, shooting at a resolution of 4K leaves much to be desired. Despite 30fps, the quality of video recording is still worse than you can expect.
In any case, 720p or 1080p is enough.
Also, I would like to say a few words about the sound. It can be a little messy and you need to be ready for it.
A little bit about battery life.
When shooting 1080P at 60fps the camera can work up to 90 minutes thanks to a 900mAh battery. And, you will like that there are two batteries in the kit, which doubles cameras lifetime.
Campark ACT74 cannot be called a professional camera, so if you are going to get acquainted with the world of action cameras and use it for yourself, then believe me, for such a price it’s really a good choice.
This is the best budget action camera in a market.
6. YI 4K Action Camera – Tiny But Powerful
So, let’s see.
The camera is positioned as a direct competitor to GoPro HERO5.
YI 4K Action Camera built with the new generation Ambarella A9SE75 chip, working with the Sony IMX377 image sensor. Maximum shooting resolution 4K at 30 frames, without interpolation. Supports 120 frames for Full HD.
The YI 4K Action Camera has a battery with a capacity of 1400 mAh. Based on the tests, it is enough for almost 2 hours of continuous shooting in 4K-resolution. In the winter, problems with rapid discharge were not noticed. The running time is shortened with Wi-Fi turned on.
Not bad, but.
The body of YI 4K Camera is poorly suited for adventure and you still need to spend a lot of money on accessories, many of which are already included with GoPro.
However, the design is happy.
YI 4K Action Camera has become a great device, offering one of the best combinations of features and capabilities, making serious competition to models of the high price segment.
This camera is much cheaper than GoPro HERO5. At the same time, it offers excellent electronic stabilization, shooting in 4K, FullHD 60-120 FPS, an excellent touchscreen, simple UI settings and very battery life.
If you for some reason do not want to take HERO5 then this camera is for you.
7. YI Lite Action Camera – Perfect For Beginners
YI Lite is designed to reduce the differences between mass budget and expensive action cameras.
The body is made in the company’s minimalist design. The material is high-quality, very durable plastic. It is promised that it will be resistant to the influence of adverse factors that contribute to the appearance of scratches and rubs.
Device’s weight is not much at all, only 2.88 ounces. A compact body does not take up much space in the backpack, the dimensions are 2.4 x 1.7 x 0.8 inches. All this will allow using it during long trips or practicing extreme sports.
Let’s take a look at its features.
And helping with a shaking image will be an advanced electronic image stabilization system.
But, EIS only works when recording video to 2K resolution, at 30 frames per second.
The camera has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, for wireless control of the camera, or picture output to an additional device.
Photo and video opportunities.
The photos are even better than YI 4K+. The modes for video recording are available a lot, up to HD at 120 fps, but at 4K only 15 fps.
It’s very difficult to work with such a resolution, but here you decide on your own. I highly recommend using Full HD increasing the speed of shooting to get a smooth picture.
Also, note that for this resolution electronic stabilization works.
YI Lite Action Camera has become better compared to the first generation, but also more expensive. It will be interesting to those who plan to shoot only in Full HD resolution and do not have the money to buy an expensive action camera. And, in my opinion, it is more efficient to spend extra resources on buying an electronic stabilizer or other accessories.
8. Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Action Camera – For Professional Sport
If Sony, GoPro, YI and other brands work for different audiences, then Garmin decided to satisfy the extreme sports lovers, athletes, and travelers. The company offers the user a whole set of sensors and software to process the captured video.
The product really turned out to be original and interesting.
The benefits of the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 are quite decent: WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS and ANT, high-sensitivity microphone, 1.75-inch LCD Color Touchscreen display, and an electronic stabilizer that works with resolutions up to 1080p 60fps.
The most interesting feature added by Garmin is G-Metrix. This technology records performance data like speed, elevation, heart rate and G-force.
G-Metrix distinguishes Garmin cameras from GoPro and others.
The Garmin Virb Ultra 30 includes 5 sensors: an accelerometer, a gyro, a compass, a barometer, and GPS. Together they provide information on speed, acceleration of gravity, time in the air and much more.
Garmin sells additional sensors that can be connected to Virb to collect more data, such as temperature and heart rate.
Shooting 4K Ultra HD.
This is the first action camera from Garmin, which can take pictures in 4K Ultra HD, and the photos are clear and of excellent quality.
The video quality compared to the previous generation model has improved significantly.
A short battery life when recording in Ultra HD resolution is a maximum of 73 minutes. This is the main drawback of this camera.
Garmin Virb Ultra 30 can compete on an equal footing with the action cameras like GoPro and Sony. G-Metrix, 4K resolution, voice control, LCD Color Touchscreen.
The camera is not perfect, and stabilization is limited to 1080p, but it’s a good alternative to GoPro.
9. TomTom Bandit Action Camera – Best Mounting System
TomTom Bandit camera is of excellent quality. The body is made of plastic, but the material is very dense and gives rise to confidence. The matte surface and the impression are a little rubberized, so the equipment has no chance of slipping out of hand.
The camera has GPS sensors to automatically find and tag exciting moments based on speed, altitude, G-force, acceleration, and heart rate.
As a result, you can monitor speed, pulse, rotation speed, acceleration, braking and more.
TomTom Bandit uses its own mounting system. This solution makes the installation very simple. In addition, the mounting mechanism is located on a special surface that can rotate around the camera.
The camera has a built-in microphone and full-size USB 3.0 port, Wi-Fi connection and Bluetooth. TomTom also makes it easy to edit videos using a mobile application.
The quality in 1080p is very, very low, and 720p is almost unusable. Compared to competitors from GoPro and Sony, Full HD TomTom looks really bad.
Nevertheless, TomTom is able to record good videos.
And now I’ll tell you how.
It’s just worth switching to Cinematic mode, which offers 4K or 2.7K records. We get the best details in 4K mode, but in practice, this is not suitable for recording because of the speed, which is only at 15 frames/second. The ideal compromise is the 2.7K mode, with 30 frames/second.
The image here is slightly worse than 4K but much better than 1080p. Unfortunately, we are losing the ability to record at a speed of 60 frames/second.
The TomTom Bandit action camera is an affordable alternative to GoPro and other similar cameras, thanks to the easy editing function, universal mount system, long battery life and multiple shooting options.
10. Olympus TG Tracker Action Camera – For Lovers Of Adventure
At first glance, it is noticeable that the Olympus approach differs from GoPro, Sony, Garmin and other competitors.
Tough TG-Tracker is a miniature video camera with a flip out screen. In addition to the usual functions, there are many additional features, including GPS, compass, accelerometer, thermometer, and barometer.
The camera waterproof up to 30 meters without a case.
Intuitively simple control and portability allow you to quickly take a picture in any conditions. Three-prong mount adapter Steady Grip is included, which further improves ergonomics.
With dimensions of 3.7 x 1.4 x 2.2 inches and a weight of 6.4 ounces, the Olympus Tough TG-Tracker is not the most compact and lightweight action camera, it can make it difficult to use in a tight space.
Okay, but what about image quality?
The image quality as a whole leaves much to be desired, but 5-axis electronic image stabilization (EIS) is impressive. Unlike GoPro Hero 5 and Garmin Virb Ultra 30, stabilization in the TG-Tracker works well even in 4K mode.
Shooting 4K at 30 frames per second (fps) is standard for this class of cameras, but 60 fps in 1080p is not enough compared to 120 fps Hero 5. To make 240 frames per second, you’ll have to lower the resolution to 720p.
However, it should be noted that many of the features that are not ideal for Olympus, competitors do not have them at all.
There is why you should think about buying this camera:
The Olympus Tough TG-Tracker stands out thanks to the design, controls, and sensors. It is designed primarily for hiking and climbing. It is crushproof and waterproof, which is a huge advantage.
Although the image quality is not high enough, in general, the camera is excellent for its tasks.
You are probably wondering:
What technical characteristics should the action camera have?
These characteristics will be slightly different from the traditional camera and today I will introduce them to you.
First of all, pay attention to the image quality.
Here are the main parameters:
Frames per Second (FPS)
FPS affects how smooth the video is. The higher, the better. In the main, in the action cameras are used at 30 and 60 fps.
Modern action cameras have a resolution of 4K. This is four times more than the traditional Full HD format. But in order to fully enjoy this quality, you will need a suitable TV or monitor that supports this resolution.
In addition, processing a video shot in 4K requires a considerable amount of performance from the computer.
Let’s dive in.
The purchase of an action camera supporting this resolution will be justified if it is used for aerial recording from a quadcopter or as a for professional videos.
Resolution Full HD or 1080p allows you to shoot a completely high-quality and rich picture. Video files occupy little storage on the memory card, and they can be processed on not powerful computers.
This is the most acceptable resolution for shooting vlogs.
720p is used in many action cameras for shooting at the maximum frame rate. Basically to get the slow-motion effect.
To understand what to choose, decide why you need an action camera:
1. You want to shoot videos for yourself, or friends on a screen with a Full HD resolution, and you do not want to mount anything and do any kind of correction, or the main task of the camera is to be a car recorder, then you will be fine with action cameras with the maximum resolution up to 1080p and 30 fps.
2. If you are a blogger or are looking for a camera for vlogging, then remember that the main content with Youtube is viewed with a resolution of not more than 1080p. However, one of the good moves can be a slow-motion effect. To achieve it, you will already need cameras that can shoot 1080p at 60 fps. As a rule, the maximum resolution of video shooting in such cameras is not lower than 2K.
Mid-level action camera like YI 4K is good for this kind of work.
3. Well, if your task is to shoot quality videos with unique angles and high details, for example, panoramas from a quadrocopter, and then mount them with material from professional cameras, then you definitely need an action camera 4K. Plus, having 4K, you can always crop an image under 1080p without losing quality.
There I would recommend only YI 4K+ which is perfect for professional shooting.
While shooting video from hands, your camera will shake, because you are physically unable to keep the action camera in such a way as to avoid it.
This is very important if you shoot the vlog and keep the camera in your hands all the time. Who wants to look at the shaking screen?
Everyone wants a smooth video.
Also, if you are going to shoot as you descend from the mountains, snowboarding, cycling through the forest, doing a new trick on the skateboard etc. The smooth picture will be a huge advantage.
To solve this issue, manufacturers use Built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS).
The best example of a camera with perfect stabilization system is Sony FDRX3000.
For diving under water and extreme shooting, most action cameras require a protective case. Some cameras have built-in protection against water, but in this case, the maximum depth of immersion will not be more than 5 – 10 m against 30 – 40 m in the protective case.
It is worth noting that the vast majority of action cameras do not have built-in memory, so they need a memory card with a good write speed. For recording video in the format of Full HD and above, memory cards with Speed Class at least 10 is required.
Also, pay attention to the mounts. The more mounts will be included inside the box the wider will be the possibilities of video shooting.
In the AKASO V50 Pro Native the largest set of accessories.
Due to the compact size of the action camera can not boast of a long battery life. On average, on a single charge, the camera can shot about 90 minutes of video.
Most models allow you to charge the camera and take pictures, which makes it possible to use them with external batteries.
Now It’s Your Turn
So those are my best action cameras available on the market, for getting the most out of your future videos.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
Which camera is most attractive to you?
Are you going to buy AKASO? Or maybe you want YI with top specs first?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
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