- GoPros are excellent cameras but aren’t always suitable for everyone’s needs. There are some great alternatives.
- When choosing alternatives to the GoPro, consider the following: sensitivity and post-processing, price, mounting, form factor, ruggedness and battery life.
- The DJI Osmo Action is waterproof up to 10 meters and has a range of 48 meters with 30-minute battery life. It can also connect to your phone for video stabilization and editing. Being rugged, it can easily withstand hard drops in water, snow, dirt, and sand.
- Sony FDR X3000R is a budget GoPro alternative with built-in Image Stabilization and weatherproofed lenses. It has many features that appeal to action-crashers and general enthusiasts, including 4K video recording, awesome imagery, and even an HD recording mode for those who desire more flexibility.
GoPros have ruled the realm of action cameras for many years, but they are not without their challengers. And those contenders are making a real run for the throne, attracting consumers looking for more compact cameras. While not perfect, GoPros work great – even if they have a reputation for being sensitive to sudden movements. Mounting them can be challenging, especially when you don’t want the camera poking out.
Here are 5 best alternatives to the GoPro in 2022:
- Best Overall: DJI Osmo Action
- Best Budget GoPro Alternative: Sony FDR X3000R
- Best High-End Alternative: Akaso V50 Pro
- Good All Round GoPro Alternative: Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
- Best Alternative For Extreme Sports: Olympus TG Tracker
Best Overall: DJI Osmo Action
- KEY FEATURES: 1/2.3" CMOS 12 Megapixel Sensor | Front and Back (Dual) Screens | 4K HDR-Video |8x Slow Motion | RockSteady Stabilization | 4K60p UHD Image Quality | Waterproof up to 36 Feet Deep (11M) | Custom Exposure Settings | Timelpase | Timed Shooting Mode | SnopShot | Voice Control | Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Enabled | ISO Range 300-3200 | Operating Temperature 14-104 F (-10 – 40 C) | Dimensions H x W x D 1.65 x 2.56 x 1.38(42×65×35 mm) | Weighs 4.38oz (124g)
- Whether you want to record your world from behind a lens or be the star of the show, Osmo Action’s dual screens allow you to capture it all with the touch of a button. A vivid front screen lets you frame yourself effortlessly in any setting, while the back screen delivers a crystal-clear, hyper-responsive display. This durable, versatile action camera is jam-packed with advanced technology that lets you spend less time worrying about equipment and more time living the action.
- Dramatically enhance the dynamic range of your footage when recording with HDR video. This shooting mode delivers natural transitions between light and dark areas, capturing rich details that are often lost in environments with complex lighting. RockSteady combines EIS with complex algorithms, delivering stable, shake-free footage no matter how heavy the action gets. Osmo Action packs a high-quality punch with 4K/60fps at 100Mbps video.
- The Quick Switch button ensures modes and settings are easily and quickly accessible. It has multiple capabilities including options that let you flip between the front and back screen, change modes, and select custom settings. WARRANTY: DJI Authorized Reseller. Includes a DJI 1 Year Warranty (6 Months on Battery)
The DJI Osmo Action, a personal favorite of mine, is one of the newest cameras as part of the DJI Osmo Action family of cameras. This is a very affordable alternative to the GoPro and has come at an excellent time for customers who have been waiting for something new from GoPro.
The Osmo Action offers many of the same features as the GoPro Hero,. These include a still camera with a resolution of 12 megapixels and the ability to record 4K video at a frame rate of 120 frames per second. Bluetooth connectivity, voice control, and built-in Wi-Fi are other features.
The Osmo Action is waterproof up to 10 meters and has a range of 48 meters with 30-minute battery life. It can also connect to your phone for video stabilization and editing. Being rugged, it can easily withstand hard drops in water, snow, dirt, and sand.
The Osmo Action has an excellent user-friendly operating interface with a unique DJI UI. You can control it with a smartphone app, and even stabilize shaky video on your phone. Videos are typically saved in mp4 format, with the option to take time-lapse sequences.
The DJI Osmo Action is a top camera for action and is popular with extreme sports enthusiasts. Swimmers, surfers, divers, skiers, bikers, and adventure seekers will, without a doubt, benefit from this camera.
Check out the DJI Osmo Action on Amazon.
Best Budget GoPro Alternative: Sony FDR X3000R
- Ultimate image stabilization from Balanced Optical SteadyShot Professional 4K with ZEISS lens and Exmor R CMOS sensorCamera control, viewing w/ smartphone or supplied Live View Remote
- Splash-proof body or use incl. waterproof housing down to 197ft.Selectable viewing angle: Wide, Medium or Narrow and 3x zoomHigh quality 12MP still images and up to 10 fps in burst mode
- Interval record at 8.3MP for stills and 4K time-lapse videoHigh Quality stereo sound with wind noise reductionBuilt-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, HDMI, USB and mic jack
- Intuitive interface, 3x rec. lights and adjustable beep volume
- Shoot at desired angle with adjustable FOV and zooming
The Sony FDR X3000R is a budget GoPro alternative with built-in Image Stabilization and weatherproofed lenses. It has many features that appeal to action-crashers and general enthusiasts, including 4K video recording, awesome imagery, and even an HD recording mode for those who desire more flexibility.
The X3000R also has a Wi-Fi function, so sharing is easy and fast. NFC connectivity makes it easy to upload recordings straight from the camera. The X3000R also has an excellent white balance system that adjusts with changing lighting conditions.
As a fairly small camera, the X3000R won’t take much space, so it’s suitable for travelers. What’s more, it comes with a waterproof case for underwater use. However, it’s not all sunny skies, though. The Sony FDR X3000R Action Cam is plagued by the same possible issues as GoPro cameras. Ensure you mount it securely so it can do its job properly.
Check out the Sony FDR X3000R on Amazon.
As of July 19, 2023, this product is currently unavailable on Amazon. Please check back later.
Best High-End Alternative: Akaso V50 Pro
- Excellent image and footage quality
- Built-in image stabilization ensures stable videos
- Adjustable viewing angle (from super wide to narrow)
- Easily connect to a TV via Built-in HDMI output or Wi-Fi
- Helmet accessories kit, including charger
The Akaso V50 Pro is an advanced action camera with an all-around good finish. It comes with a range of convenient features, many of which are absent on the GoPro and other comparable cameras.
The V50 Prp is waterproof up to 100 feet deep and can go down to temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The camera also comes with a built-in GPS that tracks the location of the device, making it easy to find the device if lost. Photographers who want to know the exact location they took certain photos will find this feature handy too.
The camera comes with various accessories, including wireless remote control, a tripod mount and quick-release buckle, and a waterproof bag for keeping the device dry. The included wireless remote allows you control your camera from a distance when shooting or recording videos.
Check out the Akaso V50 Pro on Amazon.
Good All Round GoPro Alternative: Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
- ULTRA HD VIDEO - Crystal clear 4K/30fps footage, 1080p/120fps, or slow motion capability at 720p/240fps
- G-METRIX - Built-in GPS and external sensors with connectivity to Garmin devices to capture performance data like speed, elevation, heart rate and G-force
- LCD COLOR TOUCHSCREEN - 1.75-inch display is easy to operate; fully functional in and out of waterproof case
- VOICE CONTROL - Shoot hands-free by using voice commands to start/stop recording, take a photo or tag footage
- 3-AXIS IMAGE STABILIZATION - Captures steady footage up to 1080p/30fps
If you are looking for a good, all-round action camera that is not a GoPro, the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is an excellent alternative for those that aren’t ready to jump on the GoPro bandwagon but want something with similar features and a setup that is familiar to GoPro users.
The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 has some great features out of the box that makes it a worthy competitor to the GoPro. It is waterproof to 10 meters and has a 4K video capture mode with stabilization. The Ultra 30 also has a built-in GPS which adds extra functionality, like the ability to track your movements on Google Maps and information about any jumps you make or races you run.
It’s also got a touchscreen, either built-in or on the side, so you can swipe right and left to go through the videos you have recorded. The best thing about the Ultra 30 is that it’s a solid action camera with a familiar interface at an affordable price.
Check out the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 on Amazon.
Best Alternative For Extreme Sports: Olympus TG Tracker
- 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
- 5 Built-In sensors capture movement: GPS, eCompass, Accelerometer, Thermometer, and Barometer
Olympus has been making inroads into the action camera niche some sturdy and waterproof cameras, including a rugged range for extreme sports enthusiasts. One top choice for GoPro users is the Olympus TG Tracker. It comes with some accessories, including straps and mounting clips, making it more compatible than your average action camera.
The build quality of the Olympus TG Tracker is very good. With an IP64 rating, the camera is dustproof and waterproof down to 3.3 feet/1 meters. While not rugged as the GoPro, it’s decent for shooting in the rain or when boat or jet skiing.
The camera has a 5-megapixel sensor, lower than the average action camera. Because it lacks some of GoPro’s advanced features like image stabilization, this camera is best for stills than video. However, it’s 120 FPS slow-mo mode is pretty good. A 15x optical zoom means you can still get decent shots when closer to the action.
The 1.5-inch LCD display is big and clear. With an odd resolution of 400×240, don’t expect the best quality picture on the display. The camera is easy to control, though.
Check out the Olympus TG Tracker on Amazon.
How To Pick The Best GoPro Alternatives: Step by Step
Plenty of GoPro alternatives are just as well-suited for everyday use, but they may be more compact or more rugged. So how do you know which of the rival cameras will be best for you? There are a few things to consider:
- Sensitivity and Post-Processing
- Form Factor
- Battery Life
Let’s review each one in more detail.
Sensitivity and Post-Processing
What sets GoPros alternatives apart from their competitors is how sensitive they are. This can be good when capturing action sequences that would otherwise go unnoticed on the small sensors of action cameras. Expect to do some post-processing for the footage to look good.
The GoPro has a unique mounting system that lets you attach the camera to just about anything you want to film, but it does have limitations. A third-party solution may be needed if there is no official GoPro mount for something you want to film. The alternative cameras may offer official mounts more suitable for filming with the device in mind.
Some action cameras can be quite bulky and unwieldy, so it may be more comfortable to carry something a bit smaller. You may also have a higher level of control over what the camera captures, or perhaps even better visibility into when and where it is recording. A compact camera may be easier to pop into a pocket or even wear on a hat.
Worth pointing out is that the cameras on this list aren’t that cheap. So, you will want to research and ensure you get the best value. It’s possible to find high-end models of GoPro alternatives for less than $200 in some cases. However, expect to pay more in post-production to make it look good.
If you intend to use your action camera in rough conditions, you want to ensure that it isn’t fragile or too bulky to carry around.
If you won’t be shooting for several weeks or months, battery life is less of a concern. Find something that can keep recording on the go if you’ll be surfing or skiing. But if you are planning to get a trickier shot or a prolonged sequence, battery life is crucial. Either way, it’s nice to have a camera that won’t run out of charge fast.
What To Know Before Buying the Best GoPro Alternatives
A lot of GoPro alternatives have their own requirements and benefits. Some require a better camera or the ability to shoot slow-motion videos. The best GoPro alternative ought to have a wide-angle lens, many shooting options, and a sturdy build. A few models are waterproof and can provide a wider view of trekking routes. There is one alternative that can do all that. It just needs to be small enough to take on a hike or biking trip yet powerful enough to make great shots when exploring new territory. Avoid bulky cameras as handling can be a nightmare
Using the Best GoPro Alternatives: What it’s Like
The best GoPro alternative is easy to use and carry. You can take the cameras for adventure without worrying they could get damaged or break. Shooting with these cameras can be fun if you know how they work. Most GoPro alternatives can deliver a better experience to the user. The shooting experience is what it’s all about, which is why you are getting a GoPro alternative in the first place. Handing over your camera to someone else or even holding it yourself is not as good as being able to control and get the shots you want from any angle.
- iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Full Comparison: Which phone takes the best pics? Find out!
- 35mm vs. 70mm Film: How Do They Compare?: If you want to go old school you need to learn about film. This article is a great place to start.
- Can You Really Shoot a Movie on an iPhone?: If you can – it would be a convenient way to get started. Find out everything you need to know!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Customdesigner/Shutterstock.com.