Here is the list of best action cameras in the market for all budget segments to capture precious moments on the go…
GoPro is without any doubt the best Action Camera in the market, but certainly, it has faced serious competitions with some other Action Cameras from different companies which are somehow better in some ways than GoPro itself. So, yes though GoPro is widely selected by the adventure sports lovers around the world, it has some powerful alternatives, which also can be considered by many of the Action Camera users.
Why people Choose GoPro over others?
GoPro is not just a company which produces good quality Action Cameras, but GoPro is a very big brand and every adventure sports lover dream to be a part of the team. If you compare then, GoPro is like the iPhone in the industry of Action Cameras. Apart from the brand value, the build quality is the best in quality form GoPro among all other competitors. The picture quality is also the best you can imagine even at the dawn of 2020. After built quality, and picture quality comes the image stabilization part, which the most crucial part for any Action Camera. The image stabilization is the best in quality when it comes to GoPro.
Why should we look for GoPro alternatives?
When you are looking for an alternative to the best product, you must have some kind of logic in mind. People do look for alternative of GoPro for a couple of reasons only.
- You may be one of those who like to explore a different kind of gadgets in the market. While GoPro is very common among the Action Camera users you may be thinking of trying something different product from some other company.
- There is satisfaction guaranteed with the GoPro products, but it comes for a huge price. Yes, we all know the fact that GoPro is really damn expensive, actually the most expensive one in the Action Camera’s market. So, if you are looking for something in cheap price or in some different budget segment, then you must go for an alternative of GoPro.
- You may be an occasional tourist you do need an Action Camera for a small period of time only, thus spending a huge amount on a camera itself is not worth it, so you must look for an alternative of GoPro.
While there are hundreds of Action Cameras are available both in an online and offline store, most of them are very cheap in quality and made by some sub-quality Chinese manufacturer, which do not worth the money. So, before choosing an alternative you must know about the quality products which actually can be considered as GoPro alternative and as a viable Action Camera at all.
Here is a list of action camera for various budget segment upon which you can put your trust in.
For High-end Budget Segment
Garmin Virb Ultra 30 / Garmin Virb XE
If you are a professional vlogger or an adventure sports enthusiast then you must have heard the name of Garmin Virb. Garmin is a very big brand in electronics gadget, and just like GoPro, Garmin is very well known for its brand value and Garmin products also does not come cheap. If you compare GoPro with Garmin, you definitely gonna give it an extra though whether it is about the photo quality or the video quality.
- Controlling the Garmin features and the whole camera unit is very easy as it features, touch control over the 1.75-inch LCD, voice control and Mobile connectivity. Though I personally found that the Voice command quality is not as good as GoPro, but usable.
- Garmin Verb Ultra 30 comes for around $600 and the Garmin Virb XE comes for around $450 at amazon.
- Garmin Virb records 4K at 30FPS, 1080p at 120FPS and 720 at 240FPS, it has also the slow-mo video capture and time-lapse video capture features.
- It features a battery which can run 1 hour while recording at 1080p and can run around 309 mins while recording at 4K/30FPS.
- The waterproof feature works out of the box, you can also add some extra casing for more rigorous underwater usage, also Garmin Virb is a good combo with a good quality drone as well for airborne video captures.
Sony FDR X3000 4K action camera
Sony is a brand upon which you can put your trust blindly. Sony FDR is producing the FDR series action cameras way before the craze of action camera came to limelight.
- It not just record videos at 4K but also the higher bit-rate make the video recordings in a crystal clear resolution and all the higher bit-rate processing is done by the device itself on the go.
- Sony features some advanced function like Moire and Aliasing which removes the false-colour artefacts from the objects which in turn make the video more flawless.
- Using Sony FDR X3000 video recordings can be done in extremely low light just like GoPro Hero 5 and Hero 7.
- Sony FDR can shoot video at 170-degree stiff angle as well.
- Sony features an automated image stabilization technology with Sony FDR X1000 and X3000 which helps to overcome the blurs and any vibrations, so you can use it for sports-related purposes as well as you can mount it upon a drone also, and you will get vibration-free shake-free Video quality.
- Instead of mobile connectivity, Sony featured a Live-view wrist wrapped remote for monitoring and control purpose, which is sold separately and also as a combo pack.
- It comes with 1240 mAh battery which runs for 60 mins while recording at 1080p.
- The price is around $520 for the Action camera itself and $570 for the combo pack with the housing case and the live-view remote.
- The two disadvantages this product has, are the size of the camera is like Sony Handy-cam products, which is quite big as an Action Camera, and the camera without any waterproof cover is not waterproof at all.
Olympus TG Tracker camera
You may not hear about this product or the company before, but this is one of the high-end alternative solutions when it comes to action cameras. Olympus TG Tracker features all the good and necessary features which are needed by adventure lovers and content creators.
- Olympus TG Tracker features a 1.5″ LCD screen, which can be tilted a little bit for better viewing angle and the display is fold-able as well.
- Olympus TG can record 4K videos at 30 FPS rate and 1080p at 60 FPS.
- The lens of Olympus TG covers the angle up to 204 degrees, so the corners will not be missing out in the video.
- Olympus features a 5 axis based electronic image stabilization method for vibration-free videos.
- Like all other action cameras you can click You can click still photos as well but in of 8MP clarity only.
- While TG tracker also looks like Sony FDR in architecture but TG tracker is designed in a way to be waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, freezeproof, so it will ensure you focus on your sports instead of the camera safety.
- The data log mode enables this device to be connected and share data with smartphones. The Wi-fi connectivity is also there. The batteries are dependable as well.
- The price is around $460 for the Olympus TG tracker.
- The only negative point with this camera is, it needed to be a little smaller just like GoPro or Garmin.
Yi 4K Plus camera
Yi is a new brand which made his mark in the industry in a very small period of time due to their innovative products. There are very few action cameras in the market which can give you 4k at 60FPS capability even at the high-end products. While Yi 4K manages to record video in 4k while maintaining the 60 FPS for best quality videos. In this manner, one can say that Yi is the closest competitor of GoPro if you compare their approach and technology.
- Yi uses image sensor from Sony, which is Sony IMX377 1/2/3” and 12 Megapixel Lens. Uses the Ambarella H2 chipset, for better performance.
- Features a 2.2” touch screen LCD, which is good enough for viewing the video and controlling the interface.
- Can record videos up to 155-degree angle.
- Features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB type C for all-round connectivity solution.
- Comes with 1400 mAh battery which is good enough for 4K at 30FPS recording for up to 90 Mins.
- You can record videos in 4K at 60/50/30 FPS, 2K at 60/50/30 FPS, 1080p at 120/100/60/50/30 FPS and also in the lower resolutions in higher FPS.
- Time-lapse videos can be recorded via in 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30,. 60s interval.
- Slow-mo videos can be captured in 720p at 60/120/240 FPS.
- Self-timer mode, built-in speaker, photo burst mode are some other cool features just like GoPro.
- It also has a built-in stereo mic and also supports external mic attachments.
- Also features 3 Axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer for best quality electronic image stabilization, to produce vibration-free videos.
- Built quality is pretty solid and can be used 40m underwater with the waterproof case, though the product itself is also waterproof for a couple of meters water pressure. The product is dustproof as well.
- The price is around $400 in amazon.
For Mid to Low Range Budget Segments
Yi 4K / Yi Z15 Action Camera
If you liked the Yi 4K Plus, the budget does not permit you to go for it, then here comes other products from the same company with the same technology and features but in the lower mid-budget price segment but with some cut down of course.
- Uses the same Image sensor i.e. Sony IMX377 1/2.3” 12 megapixels, but uses a low-end Processor i.e. Ambarella A9SE chipset.
- Features the 2.2” touch screen LCD to control the UI and to monitor the video. The LCD is of the same quality as the Yi 4K Plus, so the product does not feel cheap in hand.
- Up to 155-degree viewing angle for recording.
- Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB Type C support, and mobile connectivity for both Android iOS mobiles.
- 1430 mAh battery with 90 mins recording time in 4K at 30 FPS and 2 hour recording time in 1080p at 30 FPS.
- 40m underwater performance with the waterproof case on. Though the product is advertised as waterproof but for underwater operation additional casing is a must.
- Built-in Stereo mic & speaker can be found on this product.
- The main negative point is with the waterproof case on, the whole operations are needed to be operated with a single button, which is really hard to do.
- The main cut down is the lack of 4K 60 FPS support and the absence of the external mic support.
- The Yi Z15 does not support 4K at all, it works in 1080p/60FPS at max, all other features and built quality is the same as the Yi 4K itself.
- The price for the Yi 4K and Yi Z15 are between $130-$160 in amazon. In offers, you may get the product even at cheaper price.
SJCAM Action Cameras
SJCAM is a very popular and the most viable choice for the budget segment action cam buyers. SJCAM has various types of products and almost all of them are the same apart from the supported video capturing quality. The main products which you will find from SJCAM are SJ9 MAX 4K, SJ8 Pro 4K, SJ5000X Elite, SJ4000 etc.
- The SJ9 Max and SJ8 Pro use Sony IMX177 Processor which is reasonable in this budget.
- SJ9 supports up to 4K 30 FPS video recording and at max, it supports 240 FPS in 720p as well.
- The aspect ratio is 16:9 which is the standard, so no stress about down-sampling while editing the video.
- Supports almost all the common video and image format, that’s a plus.
- 100 mAh battery is not the best, but a necessary cut down to bring down the price. With this battery 1080p 60 FPS videos can be recorded for up to 2 hours.
- Features a 2.3” very sensitive LCD touch screen with an SJCAM UI, which is not bad from any aspects.
- For connectivity, it supports Wi-Fi and USB connections. Only SJ9 Max features Mobile connectivity.
- It also has a built-in mono microphone, but external mic also can be attached in SJ9 Pro.
- Yes, even in this price segment SJCAM provides a 3 axis image stabilization gyroscope, for vibration control. Though the image stabilization is far from the quality you get in GoPro or in the other alternatives in this list, but it will do in this cheap price segment. Most importantly, if you go in the even lower budget than SJCAM itself, then you may end up with a product with no image stabilization or with a fake image stabilization system. If you are looking for a product even cheaper than SJCAM then you are about to waste your money for sure.
- SJCAM is a waterproof action camera, but taking it underwater without the waterproof case on is not advised at all, even at the depth of 5 meters.
- You can connect to social media directly via Wi-fi to share the images and videos instantly.
- Supports time-lapse video, slow-mo video, car mode, drone mode and live streaming are also supported.
- The price for SJ9 Max and SJ8 Pro is around $200 and the SJ5000X can be bought for $100 which has no 4K support, and the SJ4000 is priced around $80 which supports 1080 at 30FPS max.
If you are opting for an SJCAM, then I would recommend you to buy a handheld 3-Axis Camera Stabilizer for better shake less and vibrationless video. Though using an action camera with a stabilizer can not be done in all situations, but this is how you will have a good quality video at the end. You do not need to buy a Gimbal Stabilizer for that, you can go for an alternative in there too.
But I personally do not recommend anyone to buy any action camera which is under the price range of $150, to ensure minimum acceptable quality. As I myself use an SJ9 Max, I never advise anyone to go for it. So, before buying think twice about your budget and the quality of the product as well, at least go for a product like Yi 4K Plus if you can not afford, GoPro, Sony or Garmin.