Action cameras are great! They can be used for a whole multitude of things and the one company that seems to be dominating this market is GoPro. They make some of the most popular action cameras available today, the GoPro Hero 7 Black is the latest on the market currently. There’s only one issue getting a GoPro doesn’t come cheap! It will set you back half a thousand dollar which for many is a lot of money for a camera they’ll probably end up losing.
So what does one who can’t afford a GoPro do? That’s simple get a GoPro alternative! There are still other alternatives or knock-offs to the GoPro that are just as good! The best part? You can get them at a fraction of a cost! If you’re simply looking for something to just bring along on a trip that will do its job then you need to consider getting a GoPro alternative.
I have divided this article into products ranging from high price to low price I have classifies this as High-End GoPro alternatives and Cheaper GoPro alternative options.
Before I dive into the details below are the Top GoPro alternatives for 2018:
Top High-End GoPro Alternative: Garmin Virb Ultra 30
|Reason to Buy:||Top Features:||Things I do not like:|
|A feature-rich action camera|
Fast high fps footage for sports, adventure sports.
Runners Up: Yi 4K+ Action Camera
|Reason to Buy:||Top Features:||Things I do not like:|
|Better & Cheaper than a GoPro Hero 5|
Features that rival a premium action camera
Decent Option: Sony FDR-X3000/R Action Cam
|Reason to Buy:||Top Features:||Things I do not like:|
|Feature-rich action camera with the best quality materials|
Made by a branded company (Sony)
This device is probably one of the strongest alternatives to the GoPro.
Top Entry-Level GoPro Alternative: Akaso V50 Pro Native
|Reason to buy: ||Some Major features:||Things I don’t like:|
Runners Up: CAMPARK 4K ACTION CAMERA
|Reason to buy: ||Major features:||Things I don’t like:|
Value for Money: DBPOWER N6 4K
|Reason to Buy:||Top Features:||Things I do not like:|
Decent Option: FITFORT 4K ACTION CAMERA
|Reason to Buy:||Top Features:||Things I do not like:|
Best GoPro Alternatives 2018
Why you should consider getting a GoPro Alternative
The problem with GoPros are it they’re not for everyone. Some of us are simply looking for an action camera that will do its job I don’t really need something high end like a GoPro. Moreover, there are some better options than the GoPro for a slightly cheaper price which come with some high-end features. This is why it is not recommended to blindly just get a GoPro without considering other options.
Read Next: GoPro Comparison 2018
What you also need to consider in an action camera is what the functionality you need is or the specification you are looking for. Whether you really need something high end and will be using the action camera a lot or whether you just need something to try out for a short trip. This will determine whether you are looking for a high-end action camera, mid-range action camera or an entry-level action camera. If you are considering this fact then you will realize the infamous GoPro really isn’t for you and maybe you should be looking at something else maybe something cheaper more entry level for just personal use or maybe something mid-range that will just do the job at a good price.
What you also need to know is the GoPro is a device vulnerable to getting lost! All those fancy underwater shoots look great on the screen but the divers are trained to use action cameras for their professional work and invest in expensive GoPro mounts to get the work done. Even then you never know what can happen. My point is GoPros get lost easily! Can you afford that liability? If not you’re better off with something cheaper that will get the job done.
I know this seems like a lot of information but that’s what we’re here to do. This article will cover all the three tiers of action cameras to guide you towards an action camera suitable to your lifestyle. This comprehensive article will go in depth covering all the action cameras at every single tier and will be all you need to read to make that final decision of investing in an appropriate action camera for you.
What is an action camera and how does it work?
An action camera is a small and lightweight video camera that can produce really high-quality footage with wide-angle video in almost any dam environment even in the ocean!
They are either ruggedized (weatherproof) or attain ruggedness by sitting inside a housing usually to make it waterproof/dustproof. An action camera also supports quite a large number of mounts that enable them to be fixed to almost anything like a surfboard, a helmet, your chest, ski and so on. For this reason, they’re very popular with adventure sports like diving, skiing, skydiving etc.
Action cameras are designed to be simple to use. A typical setup would be of just three buttons the power button, start button and one to stop recording and settings although there may be more complex options. Now Action cameras are booming in popularity as they are small powerful and easily attachable to almost anything! They are getting smaller and much more powerful. They are also extremely simple to use and does not require any skill to get used to.
Important FAQs of an Action Camera
Common Action Cameras FAQs: These FAQs will help you understand what an action camera is and how it works be sure to go through it well.
- How Long Can It Shoot?
This depends on the battery life and the camera manufacture but most devices shoot between one to three hours of use. This also varies based on the quality of the footage. A pro tip is to carry extra battery packs to extend the life of the device.
- What does it shoot?
MP4 is the standard format for most action camera these can be directly uploaded through the in-built Wi-Fi to the cloud options.
- Can it capture fast moving footage?
You can this is why the name “action camera” to help you capture fast moving action which is great if you are into sports. Just be sure to check what FPS your device records at to prevent tearing.
- Are Action cameras waterproof?
Yes, most action cameras come with an external housing to make them waterproof. Some, however, are waterproof without the housing.
- How do I attach actions cameras to my bike and stuff?
Most action cameras come with bundle packs of accessories which make it easy to attach on almost anything. There are bike mounts, helmet mounts, and chest mounds almost anything!
- Are action cameras reliable?
YES! Although they may seem small and tiny if you get a good action camera you can be on the same level as that of a DSLR. Some devices include image stabilization and CMOS image sensors to take the footage quality to a whole new level not forgetting the ability to shoot in 4K!
What to look for in a good Action camera?
An action camera isn’t some device you would just buy off a shelf. It is something you could use for commercial purposes or something you would rely on to capture your precious travel memories. Naturally, you need to know what to look for in a good action camera. The reason for this section is to give you a clear idea of makes it a good action camera. It will tell you how to buy one and give you the right mindset you need to have whilst making that decision of investing in an action camera. After all, you won’t be looking to normally buy another action camera. So here is it the top features or things to look into before buying or investing in a good action camera:
- Waterproofing: Naturally you would want your action camera to work wherever you go even the water. This is important to have if you are going to be traveling close to the shore. Moreover, underwater shots look great so why not.
Also, we’re not just talking about some splash proof here legit waterproof which means it would have a certain depth mark. It can be useful to have greater depth if you will be diving or if you are looking for something more shallow then look for a waterproof casing. Which will often do the job too?
- Battery life: You don’t want to get an action camera that will not last long. The last thing you need is to keep having to charge the damn thing on your trip so it’s best to get something with a better life of at least 3 hours and most importantly has the option of removable battery packs. This is important because you can easily get 2-3 battery packs and not worry about the action camera dying. There are many GoPro knockoffs that have this option.
- Durable materials: You will be using the action camera are unpredictable situations. You never know what can happen on a trip which is why it is important to have one that will stand the test of time. If you get something that is not made of durable materials that will result in your action camera getting spoiled so be sure to check for information on how well it works against natural things like snow, dust, hail, cold temperature, and heavy rain. You want to be able to capture every dam thing with that device!
- Recording Video/Image quality: Let’s face it no one likes pixelated pictures so it’s best to get something that will not be a potato and actually get some good images/videos. You are looking for something with 1080p Full HD recording options or even better a 4K recording option. If you have these then rest assured all your footage will seem like that by a professional.
- Frame rates: This how well your action camera captures fast motion image through its lens. The best on the market right now is the Yi 4K+ capturing around 60 FPS equivalents to the GoPro Hero6. This is quoted in the form of frame rates by action camera manufacturers are expressed as fps or frames-per-second. It simply tells you the number of still images put on the screen every second passed. Ideally, it should be around 50 to 60 fps, the same as that from a TV picture, but many action cameras are bad on this and offer only about 10 or 15 fps for 4K resolution video. This produces flickery videos and images. So you need to watch out for this when buying an action camera. There is an inversely proportional relationship with resolution and frame rate.
- Field of View: This is also called FOV which every action camera has the ability to provide through it wide-angle lens. The focal length is in the region 17mm to 20mm. Depending on the sensor you can get a field of view of around 140 degrees. However, beware this gives a “fish-eye” effect where straight lines become curved the nearer they get to the edge of the frame. This can be simply removed through an editing application.
- Image stabilization: This is a relatively high-end feature but it is important to know what it does being so important. It is what basically eliminates camera shake and if you think about it that’s very important if you are moving mostly you will be if you are cycling, climbing or skiing. The problem is with a moving camera/video the result is blurred frames, making the result jittery and wasting all of that 4K resolution.
- Mounting Options: This is often something overlooked by many but it is a very important option as you will want to get a device that is easily attachable to multiple parts of your body through mounts. No most travelers do not roam around with selfie sticks that are so touristy and annoying, to be honest. So you best get something with good support for mounts for the head, chest etc.
So now that you know what to look for in an action camera you will know how to buy your action camera. I have gone further and taken that extra step in applying these criteria and picking some of the best action cameras that meet the checklist. I have divided this into entry-level, mid-level and top-level action cameras with everything you need to know about them keeps reading to learn more about these awesome products.
Review of Top High-End GoPro Alternatives
GoPro alternatives don’t necessarily need to be cheap! What most people don’t realize are that there are other companies that make quality Go Pro cameras that are just as good if not better than the infamous Go Pro. These are high-end GoPro alternatives with some of the best technology make them a very good option for even those who can afford to buy the GoPro. I have covered all the options in detail so that you can pick the best high-end GoPro alternatives of your pick!
Our Top Pick: Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
Runners-up: Yi 4k+ Action Camera
Other Decent Options: Yi 4K Action Camera
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 – High-End GoPro Alternative
Reason to buy: Garmin’s flagship device with features very similar to the GoPro if not better. You buy this action camera if you are looking for something better than the GoPro Hero 5 in terms of functionality and features it supports. It is best suitable for capturing fast-moving footage or high FPS content during sports etc.
Some Major features:
- Robust waterproof chassis
- 4K and high-speed shooting options
- ANT+ and Bluetooth sensor connectivity
- Voice activation control for extra functionality
Things I don’t like:
- No image stabilization in 4K
- Needs a case to be waterproof
- There are no mount points without padding
- The display is also a touchscreen, so obviously, this won’t function through the casing
The Garmin Virb Ultra 30 is the flagship action camera by Garmin which is a very strong competitor to the GoPro. Like the VIRB XE, it uses a GoPro-like form factor. The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is an upgrade over the previous generation with some distinct upgrades G-Metrix features that gave Garmin’s action cameras something unique compared to the competition.
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Review
Waterproofing: The action camera comes with a waterproof case that will keep it dry to a depth of 40m, as it uses a double-locking mechanism. It does not have a waterproof rating. There is no IP ratings quoted, but 40m is good enough depth unless you are diving with it. It even comes with anti-fog features to prevent any condensation on the inside. How cool is that?
You need to note that the casing is what makes it waterproof without the removable casing it will cease to be so making sure you keep the waterproofing case at all times. The casing can be switched for another there are plenty of options available.
Battery life: The battery life varies as per the use of the device. The battery life will vary whether the action camera is shooting in FULL HD or 4k video. The VIRB Ultra 30 it will last about 2 hrs and 15 minutes when shooting in FULL HD which is a little longer than the XE. This is a shorter time compared to the original 3 Hours of the original VIRB. The duration drops by an hour in 4k. The battery is removable which means you can carry extra battery packs for commercial shoots that will last longer or simply for an extra bit of juice.
The Device: Although the Ultra 30 may seem bulky at first this is because of the huge waterproofing casing it comes with. Outside of its housing the VIRB Ultra 30 is actually pretty tiny. There are ports for micro-HDMI and micro-USB and an extra trio of contacts on the bottom for unreleased accessories. The microphone connects through a port that then connects to the outer casing providing better audio when inside waterproof housings.
Functionality: Although the Ultra 30 is a touchscreen it has inbuilt voice activation. Simply say the command “OK Garmin” and later tell the device to “Take a picture”, “Start recording”, “Stop recording” or “Remember that” (to mark highlights) and it will do that conveniently for you.
Shooting Quality: The devices come with 12-megapixel resolution and a sizeable 1/2.3-inch sensor. you can shoot in 4K with a Garmin action camera comes with a significant increase in enhancement which results in 30 frames per sec.
You can also shoot at 2.7K video quality at 60 frames/sec, 080p at 120 frames/sec, 720p at 240 frames/sec, and 480p at 300 frames/sec. This matches the GoPro Hero 5 in quality!
Other important features like image stabilization through the pixel-shifting on the sensor, however, this will not work in 4K.
Mounting Options: The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 already comes with a decent selection of mounting options included in the box. The waterproof case screws onto a mount. There is also an option of standard and vertical mount adapters, and an additional short and long extension arms. The Garmin has a healthy wide range of accessories available. The Garmin’s waterproof mount is also compatible with all the GoPro accessories so you can get them for your Garmin too!
Image Quality: Before the VIRB XE model did not have a 4K image now the VIRB Ultra comes with Amazon 4K recording options making it one of the best action cameras on the market presently. The 4K footage looks crisp and detailed, with great color. The image performance is on par with the GoPro Hero 5 but the audio quality may not be as good.
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 vs GoPro
The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is definitely an accomplished action camera with features that almost rival the GoPro. However the GoPro is going to be pretty hard to knock off its pedestal of best action cameras, but the Ultra 30 has all the most key features that the GoPro Hero 5 Black has to offer and for a similar price tag, alongside a wealth of sensor connectivity capabilities that the latter doesn’t offer.
Garmin now has one of the best action cameras on the market in the shape of the VIRB Ultra 30, particularly for extreme sports thanks to all of the extra telemetry data. The VIRB Ultra 30 makes for a solid alternative to the GoPro Hero 5 Black. The VIRB Ultra 30 is the best action camera from Garmin so far, adding great 4k and plenty of high-speed options and a whole multitude of bonus sports features.
Sony FDR-X3000/R – High-End Runner up
If having shake-free footage is your number 1 concern than the Sony FDR-X3000 might just be the camera for you! It combines brilliant 4K resolution with Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization for advanced camera-shake compensation!
Sony FDRX3000 Review
The biggest selling point of the Sony FDRX3000 is the best in class image stabilization, unlike all the other cameras in this list and even the GoPro Cameras the Sony FDRX3000 doesn’t come with digital image stabilization instead it uses a Balanced Optical SteadyShot Professional 4K with ZEISS lens and Exmor R CMOS sensor camera control
Balanced Optical SteadyShot is significantly more effective at cutting the effects of camera shake internally, the camera’s lens and sensor are joined and moved together controlling the entire optical path as one floating unit! Thanks to which you get shake free 4k Clear Videos!
The FDR-X3000 is splashproof and freezeproof. With the supplied Waterproof Housing it’s dustproof, shockproof and waterproof to 197ft / 60m. Other great features include High-Quality stereo sound with wind noise reduction!
Sony FDRX3000 vs GoPro Hero
The Sony FDRX3000 is significantly more expensive than any other camera on this list! At nearly $400 it’s a tough sell to anyone, however, if shake free video is a huge concern then maybe this might be the camera for you!
The Sony FDRX3000 isn’t really a “Cheap GoPro Alternative” it’s more of a professional grade GoPro!
Sony FDRX3000 Video Review
Reason to buy: You are looking for a feature-rich action camera with the best quality materials and recording made by a branded company (Sony). This device is probably one of the strongest alternatives to the GoPro.
- : Ability to take 4K videos even in time-lapse at 30 fps.
- Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS and HDMI
- Waterproof housing which is included
- Remote monitoring
- Tripod Thread with plenty of accessories provided
Things I do not like:
- It is bulky in size and looks like a camcorder.
- Short battery life
- Highly priced compared to competitors
- 3x zoom lacks autofocus
Image quality: The images from this device are Ultra-sharp and colorful 4K in bright conditions with Full HD at 60mbps which does not fail to impress.
8.2 megapixels with Balanced Optical Steady Shot (B.O.SS) image stabilization, which works across all resolutions and recording modes. Action cameras rarely allow you to get close-ups but the FDR-X3000R is equipped with a 3x zoom which makes it possible to get closer than a regular action camera. However getting to focus is tricky as there is no auto-focus feature.
Some of the other shooting functions include loop recording, burst shooting for stills, 4K Timelapse capture, high-speed recording in Full HD for slow-motion action though that does require some work post-editing, and also the ability to do live streaming via Ustream.
Video Quality: Ability to take 4K videos even in time-lapse at 30 fps. Although the device can do wide, medium and narrow shots, you’re restricted to just wide 16:9 widescreen whilst recording 4K videos, for time lapses, and for slow-motion. footage
Battery Life: The battery life is slightly lower compared to most competitors. It comes with a Lithium-ion 1,240mAh battery of about 1 hour for XAVC S quality or 50 minutes if live streaming over Wi-Fi or 135 minutes for Full HD.
Build and Make: Sony has provided underwater housing which makes the device waterproof up to 60m, by default.
Accessories and more: It weighs a mere 114g with battery inserted which implies it is slightly bulky in weight. The device does not come with a lens cap which is odd.
Connectivity: You can control and share via Play Memories mobile app and also there is a Built-in GPS for auto-mapping.
Suppose you’ve pointed your phone at the device. You can use the devices own NFC and Wi-Fi Direct network to gain connectivity so you’ve got a fast, easy-to-use and full featured control hub – which is more than can be said about the unreliable live view using the remote. However, do remember to turn off Wi-Fi on the FDR-X3000R when you’re not using it, because it will drain the juice out of the battery fairly fast. Ditto the collection of GPS data; its presence on an action cam seems overkill.
You can use the app as it is possible to transfer photos in full resolution as well as in sharing-friendly two-megapixel or even basic VGA sizes of 640×480. You can place gridlines on real-time previews from the camera and also delve into everything from a PAL/NTSC toggle view, and even activate or cease all the lamp operation. That app is also by far the fastest way to be able to switch between Image formats and qualities.
There is a lot that is good about the Sony’s FDR-X3000R’s, however, I believe for the price you are paying there are better options in the market. If you are used to handy cams then you will love this product as it is a more evolved version of its predecessor. It has a great image and video recording features that make it a good product to be considered but there are drawbacks as well that may not fit well with some people. Overall this is a good device if you want something made by a quality brand with good support. As this is a very good make product with decent features.
So while the Sony FDR-X3000R remains a cool, even a uniquely-skilled action camera. If you forget that live view remote; if anything it turns this action camera into an inaction cam. Instead of going for the more affordable Sony FDR-X3000, which comes without the remote but also with the waterproof casing, and use the PlayMemories app on a smartphone I think handlebar mount for a smartphone will do the same job! So go for the basic package and spend extra money on battery packs! As it is much needed in this product due to the bad battery life.
Yi 4K+ Action Camera – Decent Option
The YI 4K+ is one of the world’s first action camera that records video at 4K/60fps. It also comes with Electronic Image stabilization at 4k/30fps so you are guaranteed smooth footage without the need for high-end stabilizers or post-production editing.
YI 4k+ Review
YI 4K+ is one of the most advanced action camera available today, with amazing features including Live Streaming, Voice Control, RAW image capture, EIS (4K/30fps) and the ability to shoot in 4K/60fps makes YI 4K+ one of the best action camera, ever.
The accompanying app for the Yi 4k+ makes using this action camera an incredibly easy task! However, one major downside I find with the YI 4k+ is the lack of built-in waterproofing which is present on the GoPro Hero 5 Black which is almost priced at the same point!
Yi 4k+ vs GoPro Hero 6 vs Akaso V50 Pro
It’s a little pricey compared to the other GoPro Alternatives in this list however for the featured offered it’s kinda price is understandable. The video on the YI 4k+ is comparable to the GoPro Hero 6 as can be seen from the video review of the YI 4k+ below
I would only recommend the Yi 4k+ for someone who wants to grab footage for a semi-successful youtube channel. A hobbyist is better off buying the Akaso Pro V50 Pro for half the price of the YI 4k+
Yi 4k+ Action Camera Video Review
Reason to buy: You need an action camera that is better than a GoPro Hero 6 and cheaper than it. Something with features that rival a premium action camera
- Records 4K video footage at whopping 60fps
- Excellent vibrant color quality reproduction
- Incredible level of detail in images
Things I do not like:
- A little Mediocre level of audio quality
- It isn’t waterproof without its waterproof case
- No GPS for mapping
Basically, if you know GoPro, you know what the Yi 4K+ is all about. It’s a pocket-friendly action camera that records up to 60fps in 4K resolution, up to 120fps in 1080p and up to 240fps at 720p, making it the world’s first 4K 60fps action camera, although it’s now been joined by the recently announced GoPro Hero6 in that respect.
Review of Entry-Level GoPro Alternatives
In most cases, you don’t need a crazy high-end action camera. There are a lot of options for those looking for something cheap or for a GoPro knock-off. The pricing is unbelievable cheap starting at $50 but you have to watch out for bad products in this segment as sometimes it’s too good to be true. This is why we’ve created a separate section to review the top Entry-Level GoPro Alternatives to help you pick something that will actually work and do the job!
Best Budget Pick: Akaso V50 Pro Native
Value for money: DBPOWER N6 4K
AKASO V50 PRO Native – BEST Budget Alternative
If you are serious about finding a good cheap GoPro alternative then look no further than the Akaso V50 Pro action camera. In the past few years, Akaso has made a massive name in the action camera space as a GoPro competitor by providing great alternatives to the GoPro cameras at a fraction of a cost.
Akaso is taking things to the next level in 2018 with the Akaso V50 Pro Native! Not only does the camera look amazing but it comes included with all the accessories (like spare batteries, multiple mounts, a waterproof case and even a remote control all for FREE) you will need for all the incredible shots you plan on taking with your Akaso V50 Pro!
Great Features include built in WIFI so it makes it so much easier to share your pictures on your Instagram!
Also optical Angle View that lets you adjust the view angle of this action camera according to your needs between Super Wide, Wide, Medium and Narrow. This action camera also has the LDC image correction feature, which offers image distortion improvements.
Akaso V50 Pro Native Review
The video on the Akaso V50 Pro is absolutely amazing featuring video of 4K at 30 frames per second. It can record fast-moving action shots with clear and crisp quality thanks to the built-in EIS (ELECTRONIC IMAGE STABILIZATION) with a 6-axis gyroscope making the Akaso v50 Pro the best GoPro Alternative in 2018!
Akaso V50 Pro Native vs GoPro Hero 6
So how does the Akaso V50 Pro fare against the GoPro Hero 7? Well, consider that it’s nearly 1/4th of the price of the GoPro Hero 6 Black, the Akaso V50 holds up amazing against the Hero 7 as can be seen from the Video review below!
It also has features that you like the red light filter built in which is still unheard of on any GoPro Camera!
One of the weak points of the camera is it’s a little weak compared to the GoPro Hero 7 Black in shooting in low light. But considering the price in the sub-100 dollars, I find that’s fare for the Akaso v50 Pro.
Akaso V50 Pro Native Video Review
Yi 4K Action Camera – Decent Entry Level Alternative
Xiaomi’s Yi camera raised a few eyebrows when it was announced, the new YI 4k Action Camera is an amazing upgrade that solved all the issues of the previous generation. The original YI camera was rated the best value your money in 2016 and Xiaomi has just improved on that in this edition making it a great GoPro Alternative for half the price! Having been a Xiaomi user in the past, I am always impressed by their products and this one is no different, a few of my close friends use this camera.
YI 4k Action Camera Review
The YI 4k Action Camera has a 12MP Sony IMX337 Sensor with a 155-degree wide angle lens that can record video in 4K at 30fps and 720p at up to 240fps. It has a 330ppi high-resolution display on the back with a high sensitivity retina touchscreen for an intuitive experience. The screen is also protected by Gorilla Glass which really helps to resist scratches and daily impact.
The battery is also amazing, it has the world’s leading rechargeable 1400mAh high-voltage 4.4V lithium-ion battery that can record up to 2 hours worth of 4K/30fps video on a single charge. With Built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) and Lens Distortion Correction (LDC) the YI 4K action camera is a steal at its price, the only negative would be that the camera needs an additional case to be waterproof.
Other features include WiFi (dual-band), low energy Bluetooth, microSD support and YI Action App for instant photo and video editing.
YI 4k vs GoPro Hero 5 Black
YI 4k Action Camera Video Review
Reason to buy: If you want an action camera but don’t want the GoPro the Yi 4K Action Camera is definitely genuinely good alternative to the GoPro with a very nice design,
- Records 4K video resolution at 30FPS with a 155-degree wide-angle lens
- Built-in speaker with dual microphones
- Rechargeable battery with continuous 120 minutes recording.
- Easy to use software interface
Things I do not like:
- You don’t get any accessories in the box just the camera. Nor are there any bundles which come with something like a selfie stick or remote control. So it’s worth spending extra for the GoPro Hero 5 session.
- The waterproof housing is sold separately and also can’t change settings due to waterproof housing.
Yi 4K Action Camera is definitely one of the higher end action cameras. With an ability to shoot video in 4K resolution and some high-end features. The Yi is almost exactly like a GoPro it looks like a GoPro and event the font in the menu is suspiciously familiar. It can also shoot at the same high speeds as the Hero4 Black. Also, the pattern of the beeps for starting and stopping recording is the same. So what is the difference then? The price! The Hero4 Black costs about around $500 whereas the Yi 4K costs around $250. But wait, there’s more.
The Hero4 black does not have touch screen often whereas the Hero4 black has a touchscreen on it. The Yi 4K Action Camera has a touchscreen on the back and looks like the Hero4 Black. The catch is there is only one button on the Yi 4k which is used to start/stop recording. To change modes you have to go through the touchscreen.
The Yi is also made of durable materials and is the same height and depth as the Hero4 it is slightly wider than its muse. The extra width is made possible to accommodate a slightly larger battery.
Battery Life: One of the best features on this device is the battery. It can run up to 2 hours 48 minutes and has a continuous recording for a good 120 minutes that too on 4k. This is longer than the Hero4 Black’s 1 hour 38 minutes.
Design and build: It certainly doesn’t appear or feel cheap and there are many color options like the Night Black mode, Pearl White, and Rose Gold Colors. Although this is a Chinese product the Yi 4K Action Camera is quite intuitive and has a good software menu covered by Gorilla Glass.
Image quality: The images are a 4K at (3840×2160) which is limited to 30fps the wide-angle lens has a wide 155-degree view and the camera also offers a fixed aperture of f/2.8. You can further digitally straighten the image if you want your footage without the distortion.
Video quality: At 4K you can record at 30 frames per second but can record for longer than any other action camera for a whopping 120 minutes without break. You will need a reasonably large memory card to do this with a fully charged battery. The Yi 4K Action Camera can also shoot in 2.5K, 1440p, 1080p, all the way down to 480p at 240fps.
The Yi 4k Action camera is an accomplished device it had good design, easy functionality, and good durable build It can provide excellent quality photos and videos and even though it might save you some compared to the GoPro models the devices comes with no accessories and is missing different FOVs. If accessories are not huge for you then this is a decent option else I recommend trying out other options in this article.
CAMPARK Act74 4K ACTION CAMERA – Great GoPro Knockoff
If you are really tight on your budget and just want a cheap GoPro alternative? Then the Campark Act74 is exactly the camera you are looking for. At less than $60 this camera is the best value for money for someone on a tight budget.
Campark Act74 Review
With the Campark Act74, you pretty much get what you pay for. It is a 4k Sports Action Camera that records video footage in 4K/30fps and takes photos at 16M, there’s nothing great that can be said for the video footage but it isn’t terrible either!
A few great features also include 2 Inch HD Screen, a WIFI Remote Control, Waterproof (with a case as well as dual long-lasting batteries which is great for a camera at this bargain
Campark Vs GoPro
The Campark Act74 is best compared with the GoPro Hero (2018) edition which is currently about 4 times the price of the Campark. The GoPro Hero costs $200 but only takes video at 2k/60fps while the super budget Campark Act74 records video in 4k for about the same amount of money the majority of us might spend on coffee a week or maybe that’s just me ;)!
For what it is ie A cheap GoPro Knockoff, the Campark does the job! Just don’t expect too much and if you can spare a little more cash, you’re still better off getting the Akaso Pro V50 or the Ek7000 which is reviewed below!
Campark Act74 Video Review
Reason to buy: At around $55 it the Campark is an affordable reliable action camera that will do everything you expect an action camera to do. The camera is ideal for sports activities and also has some good quality recording options for the price it is simply a steal!
- 6MP camera
- a Wi-Fi remote control
- waterproofing up to 30 feet of water
- The kit comes with a whole bundle of accessories and mounts
- 170 Degree Wide Angle Lens
Things I don’t like:
- Battery life seems to drain faster than most competitors
- The device experienced heating issues after continuous usage
This action camera comes in a good bundle includes waterproofing case and can be used to capture sports activities.
Video quality: It can shoot 4k resolutions at 25 frames per second.
Image Quality: It is equipped with a cool 170 Degree ultra-wide angle lens which is on par with GoPro Hero5 and the device can take photos up to 12 Megapixel. This is perfect for diving and those looking for depth footage like on mountains etc.
The Verdict: This is one of the best action cameras in its range. It is feature rich and can provide many options for capturing some sports footage. The camera and video quality will not disappoint for the price I recommend the Campark 4k as a good GoPro Alternative.
DBPOWER N6 4K Action Camera – Decent GoPro Knockoff
Reason to Buy: You need something cheap to take with you scuba diving at depths reaching even 98 feet. It’s a good action camera for boating, snowboarding, motorbiking or some other action event. The ultra-wide lens is a great view of products It is a very user-friendly device that can help anyone make professional looking footage regardless of their skill level.
- Extremely cheap pricing option at $36
- 4K Video recording with looping video option with Sony image sensor
- Waterproof with IP certification of IP68
- Wi-Fi & HD Output
Things I did not like:
- The battery on this device is extremely weak which will give you only 70 minutes at 1080p recording. However, there are two added battery packs to be used as spares
- Charging time is individually 3 hours through the action camera so it will take some dedicated charging to have all the spares to full 100%
The Battery: The batteries which come with the action camera are of both 1050mAh lithium. You will get about 70 minutes of use time at 1080p which is less than most competitors. It usually takes about 3 hours to charge full which is kind of long for a small battery. Also, they do give you two batteries which make it better for you to use it for long periods as spares. The added battery doubles the use time. Charging it may also be a slight issue for you since you must also charge each battery separately. This means 6 hours of downtime charging time. It would be great to see a dual charger for this camera. Or even a charging dock. You will also have to charge each battery by plugging the cord into the camera which is very inconvenient as there is no way to charge the battery separately.
Mounts and accessories: The device comes with a whole lot of accessories. There are several mounts ranging from handlebar mounts to helmet mounts with three tethers and wire ties. You also get a waterproof case.
Recording quality: The DBPower N6 4K action camera is a compact action camera it can record at the 4K quality at 25 FPS and at 2.7k at 30 FPS. You can also record at 720p at 120FPS.
Remote control: The device can also be remotely controllable over Wi-Fi by using the CamKing app which also offers instant photo/video editing options. The Wi-Fi signal ranges up to 10 meters.
Build and Design: The camera has a stylish look with an LCD touchscreen option. The touchscreen comes with gorilla glass so it has higher resistance to scratches. It is also very slim design and very sleek along with a banging appearance. The DBPOWER N6 4K Wi-Fi action camera can also be easily handled and has a long-lasting battery life. The overall sophisticated, stylish appearance looks great for something that only costs $35!
The verdict: For the price of $35 you really cannot go wrong with this product. It has some really interesting features like waterproofing up to 90 meters that can compete with some premium products. I think this is a really good option for those who are diving and don’t want to risk taking a $500 GoPro with them in the ocean.
FITFORT 4K ACTION CAMERA – Good Sub $50 Camera
Reason to buy: Slightly cheaper at $50 you can get yourself a sweet 4k video action camera. Its specs may not be as impressive as the GoPro but the Fitfort still does a decent job at 25 fps at 1080p footage at 60fps. It is also not for sport but simply for those who want to capture their travel and don’t plan on using for adventure sport.
- 4K video recording capability
- 170-degree wide-angle lens
- 2x 1,050mAh batteries, each of which provides up to 90 minutes of life.
Things I don’t like:
- The storage is limited to 32GB which is less compared to most competitors that allow you to store up to 128GB
- The FPS on 4k videos is only a 25FPS which will cause tearing for fast-moving sports footage.
- No voice control options which is available by most competitors
- No touchscreen display. Most of the control is through buttons.
The Fitfort is for those who are just simply looking to get something that works like an action camera but doesn’t care or need high specifications. They just need something for leisure and don’t plan on using the device as much. The Fitfort 4k will do everything an average action camera can do and does have some notable features but don’t expect to do something extraordinary.
- Video Quality: The Fitfort 4k can capture excellent video at up to 4k/25fps which is slightly lesser than competitors but again for the price you cannot complain. Both GoPro’s are going to come in with higher frames per second with 4K/60fps (Hero6) and 4k/30fps (Hero5) but the price is also considerably higher than the Fitfort at USD$500+ for the GoPro 6.
- Photo Resolution: The Fitfort offers excellent premium 12MP picture resolution, which is on par as both GoPros.
- Waterproof Capabilities: The Fitfort is not waterproof alone but comes with an IP68 Certified Waterproof Housing along with which the device can be waterproof. The device can reach up to 100 feet. The GoPros do not require a waterproofing case to go in the ocean but you will not get far as they are only certified up to 33 feet of depth and will require a housing if you are diving with.
- Storage Capacity: You can use up to a 32GB card in the Fitfort cameras whereas the GoPros can handle up to a 128GB MicroSD Card.
- Display: The Fitfort has an LCD color display, which is NOT touchscreen like the GoPros touchscreen displays.
- Batteries: The Fitfort includes 2 rechargeable 1050mAh Li-ion batteries whereas the GoPros each only come with one removable 1220mAh Lithium-Ion battery. So the Fitfort actually gives you a longer battery life considering the extra spare battery.
- Mounting and Accessories: The Fitfort includes in the box the action camera, waterproof housing case, a wireless remote control band for the wrist, two spare batteries some charging cables, and a selection of mounting options like clips, mounts, and brackets. It all comes bundled in a cool plastic carrying a briefcase for traveling.
The Verdict: The Fitfort has some quality features but I feel like it lacks in other important areas like video recording in 4K. Maybe if this isn’t something you need then definitely this is a good option to go for. For the price, you simply cannot go wrong.
Honorable GoPro Alternative Mentions
Akaso Brave 5 – Great Hero 5 Alternative ~$100
In 2017 the Akaso Brave 4 was my go-to recommendation of the best GoPro Alternative in 2017, however, as the year came to an end Akaso released the new Akaso Brave 5 giving a massive and releasing a great camera at the $100 mark!
Akaso Brave 5 Review
With an incredible camera that takes the 4K/30fps, 2K/30fps and 1080P/60FPS video resolution and 20MP photos, the Akaso Brave 5 at the sub-100 price gives the new GoPros a run for their money.
Great features worth pointing is the built-in gyroscope for anti-shaking and image stabilization so that your video is much smoother and you aren’t giving all your Instagram followers a migraine from watching your snorkeling videos, combined with the built-in waterproofing (without a case) the Akaso Brave 5 is a great camera to pick up if you spend a lot of time snorkelling or kayaking!
The Brave even comes with a touch screen display to put them on par with the new GoPro along with wireless connectivity so you can copy your pictures to your phone in an instant.
Akaso Brave 5 vs GoPro Hero 6 Black vs Akaso V50 Pro Native
So how does the Brave 5 compare with the Hero 6? Well, in all honesty, it’s more like an alternative to the GoPro Hero 5 rather than the GoPro Hero 6.
If you aren’t that worries about the lack of a mic port (which I’m sure most of you won’t) you are fine getting the Brave 5, but if have a few more dollars and want a real alternative to the GoPro Hero 7, you’re better off the with V50 Pro Native.
Akaso Brave 5 Video Review
AKASO EK7000 – Budget Alternative to GoPro Hero 5
With a rating of 4.5/5 stars on Amazon, the Akaso is favorite among many action sports athletes. Just a quick look at the box gives you ‘GoPro’ vibes as this is the greatest knockoff you can get for the GoPro. I mean just look at the box! But at less than 100$, at a quarter of the price of the latest GoPro, Akaso EK7000 is a huge bargain for its functionality!
Akaso EK7000 Review
With 4K ultra-HD video recording at 30fps and a 12MP Lens, Akaso is exceeding expectations with the EK7000 of what is possible in the > $100 market. It includes 2 batteries, each with a record time of 90 mins.
The camera comes equipped with Wifi and includes a wifi remote control, however it lacks Bluetooth and it does include a 2″ LCD display however it isn’t touchscreen. The surprising part is that it comes with a bunch of accessories included in the box, from a waterproof case up to 100m underwater to Bike mounts and Tethers.
Akaso EK7000 vs GoPro Hero 5 Black
The Akaso EK7000 was my go-to pick as a GoPro Alternative at the start of 2017, given that it’s a little outdated you might be better off with the V50 but since it’s an older model you can usually get it for an amazing deal on Amazon!
Akaso EK7000 Video review
Reason to buy: You aren’t a serious cinematography and need something cheap or a GoPro knockoff I should say that will have good features like 4k recording to still be able to capture decent footage. It looks like a GoPro, feels like a GoPro and the real kicker is it’s at a fraction of the GoPro.
Some Major features:
- 4k video recording
- Uses the same mounting as GoPro
- Excellent Battery life on 4K recording with two extra 1050mAh batteries
- Remote Control for extended functionality.
Things I don’t like:
- It is only waterproof with the housing
- It lacks an image stabilizer and is bad for high movement footage like sport
- It lacks voice control
- It isn’t innovative and seems like a rip-off of a GoPro.
From the design of the device to the materials it comes packed with the Akaso EK7000 Action Camera has a striking resemblance to the GoPro. It is definitely a GoPro knockoff. It even uses the same GoPro mounting system.
The Akaso is definitely one of the better low-cost GoPro competitors which have taken off in popularity because of the amazing features it has to offer.
Battery Life: It is a known to action cams to have bad battery life somewhere around 2-3 hours. With this one, you will get around 1 hour and 40 minutes, give or take at 4K which is surprisingly higher than competitors. At 1080p which demands less, you should have around 2 hours. Overall the battery life isn’t amazing you won’t be blown away but then again it also has a removable battery. So you can just buy another battery pack to add to the battery life.
Video Quality: It shoots 4K video and takes 12MP still photos. The frame rate you will receive is 25fps which is quite decent considering the price. There is also a 120fps setting in the 720p size. If you shoot at 2.7K you get 30 FPS, at 1080p you get 60fps and at 720p you get 120fps which is quite excellent.
Image Quality: You can shoot photos up to the quality of 12MP measuring at 4608×2592 pixels and are in the aspect ratio of 16:9. You can also reduce the file size down to a 4MP. The files come out as a standard JPGs. There’s only the one field of view which is a standard Wide mode. It’s not as wide as with the GoPros however for the price you pay it barely matters. There is a burst mode which takes 3 photos over the course of only 1.5 seconds. Other modes like Timelapse Photos exist which means you capture a series of JPG photos.
Functionality: The basic controls are simple and very similar to the GoPro actually it’s a bit simpler in some ways because there are more buttons. So it’s much more intuitive for moving through menus. The menu is very simple but should get the job done. You can simply scroll through to change the settings and modes nothing fancy just enough. There is even a mobile app called the iSmart DV app which is compatible with iOS and Android. It looks a lot like GoPro app. It’s not perfect you will lose connection but that’s normal. For the most part, it should work.
Memory cards: It originally doesn’t come with a memory card, so you will have to pick one up separately. It takes a microSD card (both microSDHC and microSDXC). I recommend at least a U1 card as the class 10 cards are too slow for video recording. It is expandable up to 128GB microSDXC with no issues.
Mounting and Other Accessories: In terms of accessories you can use many of the GoPro accessories like harnesses, clips, harnesses, selfie-sticks, float grips, and clamps etc.
For water-proof housings, you can get some of the housings for the HERO4 and black models however there is a slightly different alignment for the lens so I would look into that.
The battery is not the same as GoPro you can find spare battery’s in most stores online.
The Akaso EK7000 isn’t going to be something with creativity or innovation. In many respects, it’s quite basic and a knockoff of the GoPro. So if you’re comparing it to the latest GoPros like the HERO6 Black or the HERO5 Black, there are a lot of features it does not have like there’s any voice control or built-in stabilization. Also, it requires a separate case to be waterproof the waterproof housing which adds to the bulk. So in a way, it lacks the bells and the whistles of higher-end action cameras like the GoPro but then again the kick is in the price.
It scores a lot of value when it comes to value for money as it is priced at a fraction of most GoPros sell for.
So if you’re after an action camera and aren’t looking to get into hardcore cinematography and also want something much more budget-friendly and can do without the crazy technology from the latest and greatest action cameras, the Akaso EK7000 is well worth a look. It is honestly for the price a really good option and probably the best in the range.
GoPro Alternatives Buyers Guide 2018
There are some basic factors to consider before buying an action camera especially if you’re going to buy a GoPro Alternative. Here are the factors I consider when making my purchases or recommendations for the cameras below.
- Brand: is it a brand new brand or has it been around the space for a while? It’s possible to right now go to aliexpress and buy some cheap ass GoPro knockoffs, but how trustworthy are they really going to be. Brands like Akaso and Yi have been around for a while and are trustworthy enough that you can trust them
- Battery Life and Spare Batteries: You won’t always have a charging port next to you at all times. A portable power bank can extend the battery life of your action camera, but nothing is worse than waiting for the perfect shot only to find that your battery is dead when it’s time to take the picture of you swimming with that cute little turtle.
- Reviews: I always read reviews from past users and from professional photographers before I pick any gear. I wouldn’t know what people in the past did, but now I have Amazon reviews and I can read what people who used it in the past have to say about it. I personally recommend reading the good and bad reviews which deciding on a purchase, also sometimes the 3-star reviews tend to good when it comes to giving you an overview.
- Specifications: Lens quality and size makes a ton of difference. Other factors like waterproof, durability and photo specs are very important when it comes to picking a new action camera.
I hope that this list of the best cheap GoPro alternatives in 2018 helps you pick a cheap budget action camera that provides you great bang for your buck and helps you find one that fits your needs. Let me know what you think about the suggestions in the comments below.