12 Best Gopro Alternatives (and cheaper) in 2017

Whenever you think about action cameras, GoPro is the number one brand that comes to mind. Over the years, GoPro has brought action cameras into stardom. GoPro action cameras have some unique features that have made recording action and sports activities easier and better. However, not everyone prefers the pricey GoPro action cameras.

GoPro cameras are available in three different models, which consists of the base Hero model with a starting price of $200. That’s quite costly, we know. Like most cyclists and adventure enthusiasts, you might have complained about its bulk price and encountered some problems with its mount accessories. So right now, all you care about might just be an affordable GoPro alternative.

In this article, we are going to consider some affordable 12 best GoPro alternatives.

Due to popular demand and the awareness created by GoPro, there has been an influx of action cameras like GoPro in the market recently. Below is a list of the twelve best GoPro alternatives. Although, there are several cameras like GoPro in the market, we selected these based on some criteria such as quality, price, features, and durability.

12 Best GoPro Alternatives

Here is a list of the top 12 cameras like GoPro based on their affordability and quality:

Best GoPro Alternatives
Action Camera Sensor 1080p 4K Battery Display WIFI Price
Garmin VIRB XE 12.4 MP 60fps N/A 980 mAh Yes Yes $319
Olympus TG-Tracker 7.2 MP 60fps 30fps 1350 mAh Yes Yes $319
Drift Stealth 2 12 MP 30fps N/A 1500 mAh Yes Yes $299
TomTom Bandit 16 MP 60fps 15fps 1900 mAh Yes Yes $286
Sony AS50 11.1 MP 120fps N/A 1240 mAh Yes Yes $199
Garmin Virb Elite 16 MP 30fps N/A 2000 mAh Yes Yes $199
Kodak Pixpro SP1 14 MP 30fps N/A 1250 mAh Yes Yes $172
SJCAM SJ5000x 14 MP 60fps 24fps 900 mAh Yes Yes $109
Polaroid Cube+ 8 MP 60fps N/A 600 mAh Yes Yes $99
Xiaoyi Yi Action Camera 16 MP 120fps N/A 1010 mAh Yes Yes $69
Mobius 3.5 MP 30fps N/A 820 mAh No No $69
HTC Re 16 MP 30fps N/A 820 mAh Yes Yes $54

Now, let’s consider each of these GoPro alternative cameras. I have summarized the basic info you need about each one of them. So you can make sound decisions based on the features and quality of each camera.

Garmin VIRB XE

Listed Price $319. (Check Latest Price)

Key Specs: 1/2.3in CMOS with 12.4 megapixels. MP4 recording at up to 1440p at 24Mbits/sec. Built-in GPS receiver and accelerometer. Sensor and peripheral connectivity via ANT+ and Bluetooth. Wi-Fi remote control functions.

Presently, this is one of the best action cameras. Garmin Virb initially introduced motion sensors and GPS tracking to action cameras. Like the TomTom Bandit, it captured the action better and faster. Building on the solid foundation of the original Virb, Garmin has revisited the design, losing the bullet shape and remodeling the camera around the popular ‘box’ style. As a result of the new concept, chest mounting is now easier. Also, it has an amazing built just like the original. It has waterproof without an additional case. Other features include Wi-Fi with a compatible app and software.

If you have other Garmin or ANT+ devices that are compatible with the Virb, then it’s an easy choice. The video quality is an exception. Although, it is limited to 60fps at full HD the quality at 720p at 120fps; it is still an excellent choice. I personally love the locate camera, GPS and motion sensors because they add an extra glamour to video capture.

My Opinion:

In summary, it is an excellent choice and a quality action camera. It is also a good alternative to the GoPro Hero4 and GoPro Hero5.

PROS CONS
  • Excellent Video & Still Quality
  • Compatible with GPS & motion data
  • Provide Pro Recording Modes
  • Limited Resolution
  • Limited Framerates
  • Software quality

 

Olympus TG-Tracker

Listed Price $319. (Check Latest Price)

Key Specs: 4K 30P Video capture; 204 Degree Extreme Angle f2.0 High-Speed Lens; Waterproof to 100 feet / 30 meters without housing; Built in Wi-Fi ; Built-In sensors capture movement: GPS, eCompass, Accelerometer, Thermometer, and Barometer

The TG-Tracker’s futuristic design is hard to miss with an ultra-wide 204 degree lens fronting a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor. It has headline video resolutions of 4k at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps and an impressive 240fps at 720p for slow motion capture. It has a small built in LED video light. One of its primary features is the Sensors for the Tracker with GPS, compass, acceleration sensors plus a barometer and thermometer all capturing data from inside the compact case. The Intel from these can be displayed when viewing back the footage, or in the video edit so you can show just how extreme you are. What’s more, it’s waterproof to 30m, features built in stabilization and can withstand temperatures down to -10C.

My Opinion:

This action camera is designed to capture basically anything. With a flipable monitor, a 60-lumen built-in light and great video quality, the Olympus TG-Tracker is considering on the same par as a GoPro.

PROS CONS
  • Excellent Color
  • Built-in video light
  • Foldable monitor
  • Body is bigger than competitors
  • Hard to change recording angle
  • Fog will sometimes build up

 

Drift Stealth 2

Listed Price $299. (Check Latest Price)

Drift Innovation has been a household name for almost a decade now. The Ghost S and Stealth 2 are some its amazing products. However, we like the Stealth 2 more for its ability to be mounted almost anywhere. It is a lovely and affordable piece of action camera with amazing features such as the 300-degree rotating lens. The Stealth 2 is actually “stealth” in design, thanks to its portable size and the 12 MP camera with a 7-element lens that captures videos in up to 1080p and slow-mode videos at 720p. Sadly, you will need a casing as the body isn’t waterproofed.

Other features include a 1.3-inch mono graphic LCD for camera status and modes. The Drift app allows you to control the camera remotely from your smartphone and use the WiFi connection to share media quickly. It also has support for time-lapse videos, car DVR mode and more. The action camera has a 1500 mAh non-removable battery that guarantees video recording for up to 3 hours. As for the memory, the camera does not come with a microSD card out of the box, but it supports cards up to 32 GB. The Stealth 2 box contains a Stealth 2 camera, micro USB cable, universal clip, goggle mount, flat & curved adhesive mount and a quick guide.

My Opinion:

A bullet type low profile, weather resist full HD action camera. It’s size and usability stands out. Rotating Lens will be VERY useful in some situations.

PROS CONS
  • Excellent Video & Still quality
  • Easy to Mount
  • Lens Can be Rotated
  • Limited to 30FPS
  • Need Additional Waterproof Case
  • App Doesn’t Provide Real Time View
  • Only support memory card up to 32GB

 

TomTom Bandit

Listed Price $286. (Check Latest Price)

Key Specs: CMOS with 16Mpixels. MP4 recording at up to 4K and 15 frames/sec at 28Mbits/sec. WiFi remote control functions via smartphone app. Built-in GPS receiver. Bluetooth Smart connectivity.

Bullet shape cams would have become obsolete if not for GoPro and its box-shaped cameras. But the TomTom Bandit bucks is the main deal. It is equipped with amazing features that other manufacturers will have to copy if they are to compete favorably in the market. TomTom innovation took GPS several years to develop. Ever since, it has built in a series of sensors that record location, speed, and G-force correctly. Whenever these sensors sense anything any exciting moment, they automatically tag the footage. You can edit the footage automatically for upload by just shaking your phone, provided the app is open and connected. I find this action camera an amazing piece due to the built in motion sensors, GPS, manual tagging and its friendly user interface. You don’t have to go through the hassles of editing with the shake-to-edit feature. You can just upload your movies instantly without stress.

My Opinion:

Easy to use, and affordable. It’s also come with GoPro mount. You can also edit the video on the fly and upload. A really good choice for first timers.

PROS CONS
  • Quality Material
  • GoPro Mount Option
  • Builtin Display
  • Remote Control via App
  • Heavier Than Rivals
  • Needs a waterproof lens cover
  • Limited resolution and FPS

 

Sony AS50

Listed Price $199. (Check Latest Price)

Sony has a vast portfolio of action cameras like GoPro. If you need a camera with unique features, then Sony AS20 will be a great choice. On the specifications front, it features an 11.1 MP Exmor R sensor with Zeiss 170-degree lens and Steady-shot image stabilization. This camera shoots videos in 1080p up to 120 fps, and there’s also support for 4K time lapse videos.

Sony AS50 action camera has a monochrome display and an interface you can directly control using the buttons. It has a micro SD slot, micro HDMI port, mic and a micro USB channel that aid connectivity. Other features include WiFi sharing support for easier files sharing and transfer. It also has an inbuilt Bluetooth that enable you to control the camera through an app on your smartphone. Sony also separately offers a cool watch-style remote control dubbed Live View. So you can monitor and control the camera from your wrist. Moreover, you can even choose to stream real time video captures through UStream.

The battery front is equipped with a rechargeable battery that enables sound recording up to 150 minutes. Due to the supplied case, the Sony AS50 action camera is water-proofed (up to 60 meters), dust-proofed and shock-proofed. It is a good alternative to GoPro as it has a base model that comes with the Live View wrist remote ($348). The base version includes the camera, tripod mount, waterproof case, and manuals.

My Opinion:

In summary, it is an excellent choice and a quality action camera. It is also a good alternative to the GoPro Hero4 and GoPro Hero5.

PROS CONS
  • Excellent Video & Still Quality
  • Removable Battery
  • Long Battery Life
  • Still images are very good
  • Software is top-notch
  • Harder to mount on the center of your body
  • Heavy with the waterproof case
  • Not good in low light performance

 

Garmin Virb Elite

Listed Price $199. (Check Latest Price)

Garmin’s Virb Elite is not just an affordable alternative to GoPro. I will only consider it as an excellent choice because it has similar features and a better camera like GoPro. The action camera packs in a 16 MP CMOS camera sensor with support for multiple video resolution modes up to 1080p and a field of view of 146-degrees. One of its unique features is a 1.4-inch chroma display that lets you control various camera modes and preview captured stills & videos.

Other features include digital stabilization, time-lapse support, ANT+ connectivity (to integrate with other Garmin devices) GPS, WiFi, micro SD support and more. You can comfortably capture up to 3 hours of video with its massive 2,000 mAh battery. While the action camera is IPX7 certified and it’s water resistant up to 1 meter which can also be extended using the “Dive case.”

It has almost same video quality compared to the GoPro Hero5. Garmin’s action camera deserves a spot on the podium. Plus, you can link this camera to fitness devices, and overlay data from your adventures ― like speed and altitude ― onto the videos. The Virb has voice commands like the Hero5, but it wasn’t as precise or as extensive. Despite all these, it still requires a case to make it waterproofed. But, that isn’t a problem, as the unique features are more than enough to make us forego this limitation.

However, the Garmin Virb cannot perform some functions such as the ability to zoom and real time streaming like others. The Garmin Virb Elite box is equipped with action camera, user manuals, Garmin sticker, micro USB cable, mounting brackets, curved sticky mount for helmets and a flap mount for normal activities.

My Opinion:

Garmin Virb is in the same tier with GoPro Hero4 and Hero5, but cheaper. I would recommend an intermediate users to go for this choice.

PROS CONS
  • Excellent Video & Images Quality
  • Remote Connectivity
  • Wifi Functions
  • GPS Data
  • Waterproof in only shallow water
  • No Zoom
  • Harder to swap memory cards

 

Kodak Pixpro SP1

Listed Price $172. (Check Latest Price)

Unlike the Hero4 Silver and Hero4 Black, this action camera doesn’t necessarily need a case to be waterproof. It has a water resistant up to 33 feet down. Aside from the Hero4 Silver, we found out that the Pixpro SP1 is the only camera that offers a color LCD screen. It comes with a panel that ensures framing shots and settings becomes easier and better.

My Opinion:

Kodak’s action camera is an excellent alternative to GoPro. It is affordable, and the video quality is just as good as the GoPro Hero4 and Hero5.

PROS CONS
  • Excellent Video Quality
  • Already Waterproof
  • Builtin Display
  • Easy Wireless Control
  • Boxy Heavy
  • Limited to 1080p 30fps
  • Buggy Android App

 

SJCAM SJ5000x

Listed Price $109. (Check Latest Price)

SJCAM SJ5000x is a very trendy brand with amazingly rich features and an affordable price, even lesser than the base model of GoPro. SJ5000 comes with a 2-inch HD display for viewing and capturing moments. Its specs are similar to the Novatek and Panasonic’s 14 MP CMOS camera with 170-degree wide-angle lens, 4X zoom and video capture at 1080p. The camera supports multiple photo modes like time-lapse, burst and more.

Aside these, it supports HDMI HD & USB-AV output and WiFi, which allows users to control the camera remotely through an app on Android and IOS devices. The SJ5000x has a modest battery of 900 mAh capable of recording only 70 minutes of video. However, the battery is removable, so you can always keep a spare one if you don’t want to run out of battery.

SJCAM SJ5000x has an action camera that comes with more than ten accessories and mounts out of the box. This includes the waterproof housing, bicycle stand, tripod adapter, helmet base, etc, which makes it an excellent choice.

My Opinion:

A good quality action camera with well-round features. The most thing is it is a lot cheaper than it’s rivals. It should be in everybody’s wish-list if you are going for the budget route.

PROS CONS
  • Affordable
  • Good Videos & Stills Quality
  • WIFI builtin
  • 4K at 24fps
  • Some Tricky UI
  • Can’t stream video to mobile app (yet)
  • Video output has a cool tone (slightly Blu-ish tint)

 

Polaroid Cube+

Listed Price $99. (Check Latest Price)

Here is another popular brand of action camera maker. Initially, we were confused as to which brand to include in the list between the Cube+ and XS100i. We later realized that the Cube+ is more of a GoPro alternative, with its reasonable price, compact design, and its wireless features. The XS100i include 8 MP camera with a wide-angle 124-degree lens that lets you record videos in 1440p with support for slow & fast motion capture. The device is also waterproof up to 30 feet without a case, which is pretty amazing.

Other features include a micro SD support (that comes with an 8 GB card), micro HDMI and a microUSB port. You can use the inbuilt WiFi support to control the camera and watch videos in real time from a smartphone.However, the app controls most functions of the action camera and there are only two hardware buttons on the Cube+, which lets you capture and turn on/off the Cube+.

We found out that the battery on the cube+ doesn’t last long when it records videos in 1080p which isn’t particularly impressive. But it can record even when it’s charging. The Cube+ has a ton of accessories out of the box including an HDMI cable, USB cable, helmet mount, handlebar mount and more.

My Opinion:

In summary, it is an excellent choice and a quality action camera. It is also a good alternative to the GoPro Hero4 and GoPro Hero5.

PROS CONS
  • Easy to Use
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easily mounted to anything metal
  • Video & Still quality is sub par
  • Need to purchase mounts separately

 

 

Xiaoyi Yi Action Camera

Listed Price $69. (Check Latest Price)

Key Specs: Super HD 1,296p action/dashboard camera; 2.7-inch widescreen with 426 x 240 pixels; Wi-Fi and smartphone app; Six-way G-sensor; ADAS safety features.

This brand of YI Technology is known for its premium quality and affordability. The YI action camera is the best among all the action cameras we have reviewed. It packs a 16 MP Sony camera sensor with a 155-degree wide-angle lens, which supports 1080p video recording at up to 120 fps. The camera supports different modes like Time-lapse mode, Timed photo, timed video and more. The hardware doesn’t look so beautiful and there is no display and water resistance feature. So it will require a casing to enable you to capture underwater moments.

The camera comes with a 1,010 mAh removable battery (with an LED to notify you periodically about battery status of the camera). It also supports WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and micro SD up to 64GB (not included in the box). The WiFi can connect even up to 100 meters. You can easily share the pictures and videos from the camera to your computer. Moreover, the camera supports Bluetooth remote control, app and also includes a micro HDMI port that supports live video previews while recording, which is pretty amazing for an action camera.

Although, the quality is good; The only down-side we found with this action camera is the lack of water resistance and visible mounts out of the box with the camera. However, you can buy various mounts and accessories like the waterproof casing, silicon casing, chest mount, wrist strap, head mount and more. YI Technology offers the Xiaoyi action camera is available in two types, one has a camera and a USB cable while the other comes with an additional selfie stick.

My Opinion:

Xiaoyi Yi action camera is THE camera as good as GoPro. It has exactly the same form factor as a GoPro Hero, and also shares the same GoPro mount. Quality is excellent, and more affordable.

PROS CONS
  • Excellent Video & Still Quality
  • Easy to Use
  • Affordable
  • Has GoPro Mount
  • Need to Purchase Additional Waterproof Case
  • Rubber Port Cover is Easily Lost
  • App language is mixed between Chinese and broken English

 

Mobius

Listed Price $69. (Check Latest Price)

Key Specs: Can be used as a Dash Camera (Start / Stop Recording); The video format is .MOV with H.264 compression codec; 1080p HD Video & Audio Recording; Records in Loop Recording or Still Images.

The Mobius camera is a wonderful GoPro alternative. It can be considered as a spy camera due to its small size. It is also reliable and well known for its portability. When considering an add-on to drones and aerial devices, this action camera fits in perfectly. However, just like the Xiaoyi Yi cameras, it lacks waterproof resistance. So you will need a casing to use it anywhere underwater. It also lacks display or any connectivity options like WiFi or Bluetooth but supports micro SD cards. So, you’ll have to rely on the conventional ways of transferring recorded videos and photos.

On the camera front, it records 1080p videos at 30 fps and 720p videos at 60 fps along with audios at 512 Kbps. Apparently, the camera resolution is pretty low at a mere 3.5 MP, so don’t expect amazing quality out of it. Mobius also includes a cool Time-lapse mode, which automatically takes time-lapsed images.

On the bright side, it features an LED light to notify the user about various camera modes. Yellow, Red, and Blue indicate different camera modes, while Green indicates the camera is charging. Mobius is affordable compared to other action cameras. It comes with a modest battery life that allows you to record up to 80 minutes of footage and that might be a deal breaker for some. The camera allows you to record videos even when it’s being charged through a power bank, so that the low battery capacity won’t be a huge challenge.

Generally, the Mobius action camera is an excellent choice. It comes with some mounts like Velcro, car windshield mount, bike handlebar mount, helmet mount along with other accessories like attachment sleeve, mini tripod, USB cable and a car adapter.

My Opinion:

Mobius is one of the lightest camera in this list. It’s widely used in aerial photography. It’s so popular that it has a 1,300 pages+ user discussion thread on rcgroups.com. If aerial photography is your niche, give it a try.

PROS CONS
  • Small & Lightweight
  • Good Video & Still Quality
  • Affordable
  • No Display
  • Hard to Use

 

HTC Re

Listed Price $54. (Check Latest Price)

Key Specs: IPX7 water resistance. 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor. 146-degree ultra-wide-angle lens. 8GB on-board storage. Bluetooth 4.0. Wi-Fi. microSD card slot; iOS or Android app.

We consider HTC Re to be part of the top cameras like GoPro because it has a periscope equipped with a 16 MP Sony CMOS camera sensor and a 146-degree ultra-wide angle lens. It can record videos in 1080p up to 30 fps, supports 4x slow-mo videos, time-lapse videos and grip sensor (turns on when gripped). The hardware is rated IP57 for water (up to 1m of submersion) and dust resistance and the rating increases to IPx8 when the cap is put on.

The camera has a large connectivity front that includes WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 5-pin micro USB, micro SD slot (that comes with 8 GB card and supports up to 128 GB cards) and a Tripod hole. Users can easily control the camera through the Android and iOS smartphone app because of WiFi and BLE connectivity.

Another beautiful aspect of the action camera is the great battery capacity up to 820 mAh. Users can enjoy as much as 100 minutes of continuous video recording and 1200 16 MP photos. The HTC Re box comes with the Re action camera, USB cable, lanyard and a quick start guide. While it lacks any mounts or accessories out of the box, you can buy them separately. There are different mounts available like bar mount, suction mount and more. However, the HTC Re doesn’t have some key features like the GoPro, and the battery is the non-removable battery type. But it is still a considered in the top list of GoPro alternatives.

My Opinion:

It is a good choice if you are searching for a reliable action camera that will fit your pocket. It’s form factor makes it unique with it’s own uses.

PROS CONS
  • Very small
  • Wide Angle Lens
  • Water Resistant
  • Best to Carry in a Pocket
  • Video & Still Quality is Average
  • Awkward Form Factor
  • Buggy App

 

Like these GoPro alternatives?

Apparently, you have seen how amazing GoPro cameras can be with flawless features and perfect conditions. However, you might find them rather too expensive for an action camera. Well, that’s where these alternatives come into play. The fact is, these action cameras are by no means inferior to the GoPro camera.

If you buy them, you would love them.

For me, I would personally go for Xiaoyi Yi, SJ5000x, and a Mobius as my GoPro alternative.

  • Yi because of the sensor quality and same mount as GoPro, that means I will be able to use the same accessories with my GoPro.
  • SJ5000x because of it’s sensor quality, and also the same mount as GoPro.
  • Mobius because of it’s light weight, and the price is right. I would use it as a disposable camera on any wild kamikaze projects I could imagine.

How about you? Are you planning to buy one of these camera like GoPro? Which is your favorite GoPro alternative? Let us know in the comments section below.

Author: Kain Harvey

I'm a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan. My background is engineering, so I'm good with numbers and settings. I try to focus on my strong point and give it my all. I hope you will find the benefits of my skill.

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