What is the best GoPro Alternative?

September 18, 2016
March 2017

Take a look at our latest article for an updated list of GoPro alternatives.

GoPro is a household name synonymous with the best action cameras, but the action camera market has exploded in recent years, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the amount of choice and vast differences in price and features. Read on as we take a look at some of the best GoPro alternatives.

While GoPro’s Hero4 series certainly dominates the market in picture quality, weather-proofing, and popularity, there are other viable options on the market. Depending on your needs, other cameras may even be the better choice.

To make your decision easier, this article will reveal the best alternatives for the Hero4 Black, Silver, and Session.

Our Pick

Updated March 2017

Sony FDR-x3000

Our top GoPro alternative pick, the Sony FDR-X3000
From
$368.00 on amazon.com

Our top pick for the very best GoPro alternative is the Sony FDR-x3000 , a camera capable of amazing 4K video.

Small details like mechanical image stabilization in 4K video (a feat not many action cameras can claim), great battery life and a solid on-board microphone make this camera more user-friendly for beginners, while experienced videographers will be thrilled with the FDR-X3000’s selection of advanced manual settings.

GoPro Hero5 vs Sony X3000 video ccomparison

Sony X3000 Features

1/2.5-inch 16:9 Exmos R CMOS sensor4K resolution up to 30fps
Zeiss Tessar multicoated lens1080p up to 120fps
Balanced Optical SteadyShot (B.O.SS) stabilisation4K timelapse
Bluetooth and Wi-FiLive-View Remote included
GPS sensor (with support for speed and route information overlays)

 

If our top pick isn’t right for you, take a look at our other selections for a variety of the best action cameras available today.

Hero4 Black Alternatives

Since its release in 2014, the Hero4 Black  has remained the action camera of choice for unbeatable 4K resolution and versatility. Compact at just 41mm x 59mm x 30mm, this camera is still able to record 4K video at up to 60fps, with exceptional bitrate options up to 64Mb/s. It also allows users to capture 12MP stills, and slow motion footage of up to 120fps in 1080p, or 240fps in 720p.

Of course, the Hero4 Black is also waterproof down to 131ft (40m), and is extremely durable while in its casing. It’s not easy to find cameras to rival these impressive specs, but here are our top three GoPro alternatives.

SJCAM SJ5000X Elite

SJCAM SJ5000X Elite

SJCAM SJ5000X Elite
From
$113.99 on amazon.com

This is an interesting camera with a unique combination of features. It does record in viable 4K, but only at 24fps. Of course, you could use 1440p30 or 1080p60 instead, but it would be nice to have those extra 6 frames of 4K. The SJ5000X Elite   makes up for it, though, with vivid UHD stills and a 2” LCD screen.

With the waterproof housing, this camera can also go up to 98ft (33m) underwater. Perhaps the best feature of this camera is its price, coming in at less than half the cost of the Hero4 Black.

Comparison Video SJCAM SJ5000X vs GoPro Hero4 Black

Features

Pros

  • Wide selection of viewing angles, from 70-170 degrees

  • Very affordable

  • Extremely lightweight, 74g (2.6oz)

  • 2” LCD screen

Cons

  • 4K at just 24fps

  • Just 80 minutes of battery life when recording in 1080p

Image Quality

8

Video Quality

7

General Features

7

Durability

8

Sony FDR-X1000V

Sony FDR-X1000V

The Sony FDR-X1000V
From
$498.00 on amazon.com

The Sony FDR-X1000V  is a lot like the Hero4 Black, save for a few small details. The first is color quality, where Sony has decided to favor saturation over dynamic contrast. This leaves a bit to be desired in post, but is the better option for people who want to simply shoot and upload without hassle. Advanced stabilization (unavailable in the Hero4 series) is another great feature, making your action shots look smooth and professional.

Comparison Video Sony FDR-X1000 vs GoPro Hero Silver

Features

Pros

  • Brilliant image and video quality rivals and even surpasses the Hero4 Black

  • Up to 100Mb/s bitrate

  • Image Stabilization

  • Superior microphone

Cons

  • No manual exposure

  • Average still image quality
  • Slow menu response times on camera
  • Short 30ft underwater depth

  • Short battery life

Image Quality

9

Video Quality

8

General Features

7

Durability

6

Olympus Tough TG Tracker

Olympus Tough TG Tracker

Olympus Tough TG Tracker
From
$279.00 on amazon.com

If you really need a camera to stand up to the elements, the Tough TG Tracker   was made for you. While maintaining 30fps in UHD, this camera is waterproof in depths of up to 100ft, shock resistant up to 7ft, dust-proof, and able to withstand temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 Celsius). All this without any clumsy casing! This camera also records the outside temperature, your speed, altitude, and location. It then uses this information to alter camera settings automatically and sends the metadata to your phone.

Comparison video Olympus Tough TG Tracker vs GoPro Hero 4 Black

Features

Pros

  • Ultra-wide 204-degree angle

  • Advanced tracking

  • Highly resistant against the elements and human error, safe up to 100ft (33m) underwater

  • No housing required

Cons

  • 7.2MP sensor

  • Relatively heavy

  • Basic exposure options

Image Quality

7

Video Quality

7

General Features

9

Durability

9

Hero4 Silver Alternatives

The Hero4 Silver is arguably the most popular selection from the Hero4 series, not least of all for its convenient LCD touchscreen and highly functional video capture. Sure, it doesn’t have the 4K capabilities of its big brother the Hero4 Black, but for most people 1080p HD is plenty, and you still get all the frame rate and exposure options that make this series so versatile. Besides those small details, very little has changed from the Hero4 Black to Silver, which is to say they are both industry leaders.

Here are the alternatives that come closest to rivaling this great camera.

Drift HD Ghost-S

Drift HD Ghost-S

Drift HD Ghost-S
From
$16.00 on amazon.com

With the Ghost-S, there seems to have been an executive decision to drop some professional video features, and instead focus on user-friendly features. We get a nice sized 2” display, a convenient remote, and all the ruggedness of a GoPro, but lose advanced angle, exposure, and frame rate options. Despite this, the Drift HD Ghost-S  creates beautiful HD video, as well as impressively detailed still shots. Be sure to provide this camera with enough light to work its magic, though, or you’ll be left with a grainy, pixelated mess.

Comparison Video Drift Ghost S vs GoPro Hero 4 Silver

Features

Pros

  • 12MP sensor

  • 2-Way remote

  • Solid battery life

  • Large, 2” display

Cons

  • Poor low-light capture

  • Short 30ft (10m) underwater depth

  • Limited mounting options

Image Quality

8

Video Quality

7

General Features

5

Durability

8

Muvi K-Series K2 Pro

Muvi K-Series K2 Pro

Muvi K-Series K2 Pro
From
$190.99 on amazon.com

This little camera is quite capable despite its tiny 60mm x 40mm x 23mm, 3oz. frame. We especially like the option to shoot at 2.7K at 30fps, just like the Hero4 Silver. This gives you more versatility when you’re working without 4K. This camera’s WiFi is easier on the battery and is more dependable at long range than the Silver’s. It also features a nice 10x zoom, but it’s digital so use it at your own discretion and expect some distortion.

Comparison Video Veho Muvi K-Series K2 Pro vs GoPro Hero 4 Black

Features

Pros

  • Small and lightweight

  • Great battery life, up to 3 hours

  • Comes with (4) different mounts and (2) different cases

  • Removable LCD screen

Cons

  • Limited viewing angles

  • Waterproof casing is optional at extra charge, and makes the camera bulky

Image Quality

8

Video Quality

7

General Features

8

Durability

6

Hero4 Session Alternatives

Two features make the Session  stand out against the other cameras in its series. The first is its unbelievably compact size, measuring just 38mm x 38mm x 38mm (1.5” all around), and weighs only 74g (2.1oz). Second, it has all the durability and weatherproofing you’d expect from GoPro, without needing a special case.

This little cube can record up to 1440p at 30fps, or 1080p60 if you prefer. It’s safe underwater at depths of 33ft (10m), and can be mounted inconspicuously almost anywhere. The Session is one of the best ultra-compact action cameras out there, but here are its nearest competitors.

SJCAM M10

SJCAM M10

SJCAM M10
From
$79.99 on amazon.com

At about half the price of the Session, the SJCAM M10 is an amazing value. It features a 12MP sensor as opposed to the Session’s 8MP, though it can only record full HD at 30fps. It’s actually lighter than the Session, measuring 43mm x 44mm x 48mm and weighing just 64g (2.5oz). Note that you’ll have to put this camera in special casing for waterproof features. That’s because this camera has more buttons, as well as an unsealed 1.5” LCD screen.

Comparison Video SJCAM M10 vs GoPro Session

Features

Pros

  • Wide, 170-degree angle

  • 12MP sensor

  • 1.5” LCD screen

Cons

  • Needs casing for durability and weather/water-proofing

  • Poor battery life

  • Relatively low HD framerate

Image Quality

8

Video Quality

6

General Features

7

Durability

6

Polaroid Cube

Polaroid Cube

Polaroid Cube
From
$85.00 on amazon.com

Don’t be fooled by this cute, little cube’s exterior; it’s one of the best action cameras on the market, even with the rainbow racing stripes. At 35mm x 35mm x 35mm, the Polaroid Cube  is actually a bit smaller than the Session, and weighs an insignificant 1.6oz. Like the Session, it has just one button and no screen, but is weatherproof without casing. Unfortunately, it follows in the footsteps of the SJCAM M10 by only offering 1080p at 30fps. Its 124-degree lens is a bit more limited than the others, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as too wide an angle causes fish-eye distortion that needs to be fixed in post.

Comparison Video Polaroid Cube vs GoPro Hero4 Session

Features

Pros

  • Splash-proof, all-weather, and shockproof out of the box

  • Magnetized bottom for convenient placement on metal surfaces

  • Both smaller and lighter than the Session

Cons

  • Poor battery life

  • Relatively low 1080p framerate

  • 6MP sensor

Image Quality

6

Video Quality

7

General Features

7

Durability

7

Conclusion

GoPro still makes the best action cameras on the market, especially after their new release of the Hero5 line. That doesn’t mean that other manufacturers aren’t worth taking a look at, though. Many trusted companies, like Sony, Polaroid, and Nokia make comparable cameras for at or below the price of a new GoPro. Whichever camera you select, just make sure you’re investing in the camera, not the brand.

Did we miss one of your favorite GoPro alternatives? Leave your comments in the section below to tell us which action camera should have made the list, or share your experiences with any of the cameras in this article.

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