Every person wants to get the best bang for their buck, especially with culture-shifting products like the GoPro Hero5 on the market. GoPro’s cameras have revolutionized industry standards for smaller action cameras. This innovation comes with a hefty price tag. Luckily, we found the 5 best GoPro alternative options that are budget-friendly.
Our Best Alternative To Gopro For 2021
Last update on 2021-04-17 at 13:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
How To Choose An Action Camera
When searching for an action camera, it’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon. Take a step back and decide what qualities are most important to you. Is it affordability? Do you want 4K resolution? How about the battery life? Each action camera alternative will prevail in a different way, but at the core, you want a stable, high-resolution camera that’s simple to use. We all want to improve our craft, and having the proper tools to do so plays a major role in that.
Everyone has different technical needs depending on the adventure. Sailing through the ocean might require a lot more stabilization of your camera than taking a safari tour. Referring to this list will be most helpful if you have an itinerary for your vacation or planned adventure. Choose an action camera that caters to your needs. What’s important to you may be extraneous to another photographer.
Advantages Of An Action Camera Vs. Average Camera
In comparison to a regular camera, which may require different lenses and function changes to get the shot you want, an action camera allows you to capture a broad field of view without all the hassle. These cameras are made to be simple and portable, and some are even WiFi-enabled, making device uploads a breeze. If you’re a surfer or speedboat enthusiast, many action cameras come with waterproof casing.
Qualities To Consider
When assessing the attributes that differentiate one camera from the next, consider what you’ll mainly be using this for. Are you skiing down mountains? Jumping off a cliff at an exotic island? Do you plan to allow your kids to film with it? While action cameras generally take the adrenaline junkie into consideration, there are also options for younger or beginner photographers.
Best Way To Use Camera
No one really reads the instruction manual nowadays, but doing so can help you get the maximum utility out of your camera. If you’re not a fan of perusing through fine-printed booklets, you can opt for watching a YouTube tutorial or product review of your camera. Knowing your camera’s strengths and weaknesses will allow you to capture quality video that you’ll be proud of down the line. Experimenting with your camera prior to your vacation is also a great way to become familiar with its capabilities. Be sure to charge your batteries and insert your memory cards beforehand, so you’re not stuck with a functionless action camera the day of your exciting adventure… especially if you’re jumping off that cliff in Costa Rica.
Addressing The Controversy
Many people question whether the best GoPro alternative can really match up with the best-selling brand. Can a $40 action camera really match up with a high-end GoPro? Consumers have put these less popular options to the test, and been pleasantly surprised. For less than $50, you can find a device that will capture full 1080 HD videos at 30fps, includes a rechargeable battery, be waterproof up to nearly 200 feet, and have WiFi built into the camera! If you’re willing to do away with the trendiness of excellent branding, you can get the job done for 1/10th of the price!
Prerequisites To Using The Product
Despite their small, portable sizes, action cameras do require a level of attention when mounting the product to a moving surfboard or water ski, etc. Be sure to have a properly charged battery, or else your camera will be useless for completing the one job it had. Other than a few basic logistics, your action camera should be pretty straightforward to use. Prior to purchasing your action camera, it is recommended that you spend time looking at the differences between any alternative action cameras on the market. Are they all the same? Is one worth the extra $10?
The internet is flooded with tech articles and magazines bombarding readers with options upon options. Having too many options can be quite overwhelming, so we’ve narrowed it down to just a handful of 5 cameras.
Reviews Of The Best Alternative To Gopro For 2021
This action camera is capable of shooting 4K videos that are mostly found in the higher tier of this product segment. The Thieye T5e action camera is also integrated with the latest essential technology for outdoor photography enthusiasts. However, the T5e introduces 4K video capture functionality in the mid-tier segment. This action camera is perfect for those looking for a 4K capable action camera without breaking the bank. It comes with many essential features including:
- 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries.
- Each battery can record up to 90 mins of footage.
- Built-in 1/2/5 min screensaver to conserve power.
- Wireless remote control for extreme activities.
- Waterproof up to 100 feet.
- Some users report consistent freezing.
- WiFi app doesn’t directly share to social media.
The SJ5000x Elite is another budget camera from SJCam, a Chinese brand known for releasing powerful action cameras at low prices. However, this action camera sets itself apart from the company’s other offerings by being suitable for video recording while mounted on a helmet or a moving vehicle. The SJ5000 was designed to be easily mounted to any accessory. By adding it to an accessory, it can allow you to capture all kinds of adventures including when you are riding downhill, snorkeling in the Bahamas or attending your favorite band’s concert.
- Bright, colorful and sharp video
- No dropped frames
- Fantastic 2-inch screen
- More buttons mean the camera is easier to control
- Solid build quality
- Good assortment of included mounting hardware
- 4K at 24FPS is not enough
- Gyro stabilization is less effective than competitors
- Using stabilization crops the image significantly
- Aren’t that great in low light
The Akaso EK7000 really delivered in its ability to record high-definition 4K videos and its ease of use. It was able to deliver well-detailed, sharp, clear images in both video and picture modes. While there are some users raising issues over its color accuracy, that happens on a case-to-case basis based on my experience.
In terms of ease of use, its in-package wireless remote is a bomb. It connects through Wi-Fi and allows you to easily control the action camera even while you are in the middle of shooting and it is placed on a mount.
- Ultra high-definition 4K video quality
- 170 degrees wide angle
- Wireless remote
- Two-inches display
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Remote is not recommended for use near water.
- Video and picture quality tends to be blurred when using underwater.
- Battery life is short.
Created with a Sony sensor, this camera can record photos at 16M. Also included is a 170 degree lens, which means you won’t miss any details in the background. This may be a great option for those seeking sharpness in photos and/or videos, ideal for swimming and surfing.
While the product is advertised to be of the utmost quality in regards to video quality, the audio quality may not be as reliable. Some users mentioned poor or average sound quality. Take this into consideration if you are going to a festival, show or want to hear the subjects in your video speaking. The human memory isn’t the most reliable, so having quality audio recordings is important.
- 4K video recording capability.
- Affordable price tag.
- User-friendly interface.
- Longer than average battery life.
- Only capable of recording sound in Mono.
- No accessories included.
Very similar to the previous Campark option, this waterproof camera allows you to take high-resolution footage in wet situations. The price tag for the Crosstour Underwater Action Camera also happens to be much cheaper than the former alternative. How much of a difference is there?
Though a price cut from the second product on this list sounds appealing, you may be losing out on an important capability. Most people record special moments with the intention of sharing them, but this camera does not streamline that process. Some users claim the quality is not up to par and that the battery is not reliable. This is my least favorite options because any chance of the camera malfunctioning is a turn off. Add to that the longer sharing process, and I personally find this camera untrustworthy.
- HD photo and video resolution at 12MP.
- Rechargeable high-capacity batteries.
- Real time phone control.
- Waterproof up to 98 feet.
- Sharing does not appear to be a seamless process.
- Not ideal for social media junkie looking for instant upload to personal channels.
Our Top Pick
Out of all the options mentioned above, it appears that one really stands out from the bunch and that is the Thieye T5e Action Camera. In comparison to the cheaper alternatives that are a bit cheaper, the 4K video capture functionality seems to be worth it.
What technical features do you look at when deciding if a camera is right for you? The search for gear can be intimidating to a beginner, but photography is a hobby every person should be able to enjoy. Action cameras tend to be simpler to use than modern day DSLR cameras with zoom lenses and different f-stops. Not everyone has time to take a photography course just to figure out how to take nice vacation pictures. An action camera is meant to make your life easier, so you can enjoy yourself. If you’re looking to brag about zip-lining in South America or snorkeling in the Maldives, this camera appears to be the best GoPro alternative, for a quarter of the price.