As one of the industry leaders, GoPro have paved the way when it comes to action sport-based photography. Introduced to the world back in 2004, GoPro camera’s have become a staple feature for many adventurous documenters as well as amateurs looking for the perfect way to capture their memories. It wasn’t until 2005 that the HERO range launched and we were all introduced to a fixed-lens camera with a compact and hardwearing casing which could be strapped on to helmets, handlebars and wrists for on-the-go-filming. Speed forward to 2018 and the GoPro Hero has become a firm favourite in the photography community.
The recent launch of the GoPro HERO6 Black is noted as the most advanced and purpose-built model to date – and with that comes a price tag of nearly £400. So, is the HERO6 really worth all the hype? And, what alternative models are there that stack up to this universal favourite. In this article, we’re looking at the GoPro and comparing it to the other branded sports cameras so you can make an informed buyers choice regarding your near purchase
Let’s Take A Look At The Latest Gopro
The GoPro HERO6 is a brand new compact camera that claims to provide twice the performance of it’s predecessor, the HERO5. Primarily, it is noted for its exceptional image quality – claimed to be the best that GoPro has created to date – and its advanced image stabilization. Perfect for extreme off-road cycling, mountain climbing and trekking, this durable camera is built with the same strength as other GoPros but with an exceptional waterproof design that provides protection up to 33ft (10m). The camera has been built for the modern age, with a fully compatible app that automatically uploads and transforms your footage into a primed and polished video – ready for presenting to friends and family.
The GoPro HERO6 features the all-new GP1 chip which has been specifically optimised for GoPro capture. This allows it to counteract the harsh bumps, impacts and jolty movements that would once ruin the perfect shot and provide you with the best-ever image quality. For those who have already made the plunge and purchased the HERO6, it is the image stability which seems to provide the most delight. GoPro claim it to be their most advanced form so far, providing super smooth footage whether the camera is hand held or mounted on to your kit.
Another feature that has seen much appreciation is the voice control function. Imagine you’re manoeuvring a steep country path and suddenly you come across the most breathtaking view. The HERO6 can jump straight into action with the sound of your voice and the simple commands you provide – perfect for keeping you safe in precarious situations.
In general, the HERO6 seems to be a universal option for professionals and amateurs alike. Those who make their living from beautiful photography enjoy its easy functionality, lightweight design and higher quality results than the previous model. Some even opt for this GoPro as a second camera for professional events in place of point-and-shoot models or smaller DSLRs. For the hobbyist photographer, they have an easy-to-use design that requires minimal research before use and can provide exceptional quality images and videos with the sound of your own voice.
- 4K60 and 1080p240 video quality
- All-new GP1 chip optimised for GoPro capture
- Waterproof to 33ft (10m)
- Responsive, touch-screen 2” display
- 5GHz Wi-Fi
- Uploads photos and videos to phone 3x faster than the HERO5 Black.
So, that’s the GoPro HERO6 Black but what are the other alternatives available on the market? We’ve pulled together 8 options and given you the low down on each to help ensure you make the most informed purchase decision this year
Gopro Alternative Comparison Guide
Best GoPro Alternative
If you’re looking to save a few bucks, the Yi Action and Sport Camera is the perfect alternative to the pricier HERO6 Black. Along with a compact body and sleek black design, it boasts many of the exceptional features of the GoPro but at under half the price. A built-in Sony IMX377 image sensor creates exceptional image quality at a range of different resolutions (including 4K and 1080p – just like the HERO6). The advanced image stabilisation mirrors that of the GoPro and performs best at 2.7K/60fps. In contrast to its expensive counterpart, the YI is noted for its long-running battery life which can easily record up to 120 minutes of 4k/30fps video with a single charge. Although a brilliant challenger to the industry leader, this camera does require the buyer to put their trust in a widely unknown brand. The smaller price tag is ideal for those looking to stick to a budget but when it comes to camera quality, it is sometimes worth investing more money to guarantee the slickest footage.
- A 4k action camera
- Records video st 4k/30fps (10mbps), 2.7k/60fps, 1080p/120fps and 720p/240fps.
- Captures still images in 12MP
- Up to 120 mins charge life
- 2” LCD touchscreen
- 5GHZ/2.4GHz Wi-fi
Sony Gopro Alternative
If you’ve always classed yourself as a Sony person, then the HDRAZ1VR Action Camera is a brilliant alternative to the GoPro. Noted as being the brand’s smallest splash-proof camera, it is compact and lightweight. However, as you may have guessed, it is only splash-proof and therefore no competition on the HERO6 should you be looking to dive into the corals below. On a positive, this camera has a much lower price tag while still boasting a number of features seen on the GoPro. It can be controlled using the brand’s own voice command system, freeing up your hands to keep you safe and in control while on the move. The low-light performance has been heightened with the help of the Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor and SteadyShot image stabilisation – another factor that has many people racing for the HERO6. One thing that does make this model stand out is the addition of a built-in stereo mic – eliminating the GoPro’s issue of clumpy and expensive dongle adaptors. The Sony HDRAZ1VR is a slightly bulkier model than the HERO6, but it comes at a much cheaper price tag and with the reassurance of a well established technology brand.
- 5 video modes including 1080/60p, @50Mbps, HD and 2 slow motion functions
- Built-in stereo mic for high quality sound recording
- SteadyShot image stabilisation
Sony’s smallest splash-proof camera
Kodak Gopro Alternative
The Kodak Playsport is a great alternative to the GoPro HERO6 if you’re on a restricted budget or looking to add to your already extensive collection. It has been manufactured by a brand leader in high-quality photography and, with that, boasts good functionality for amateur photographers. The slim case is more rectangular than the traditional box GoPro but still compact enough to become an inconspicuous travel companion. With the smaller price tag does come some sacrifices in terms of function – the Playsport is only waterproof up to 10ft as opposed to the HERO6 Black’s 33ft. It also has quite a low resolution when capturing still images (5MP) so may not be suitable if you’re aiming to capture outstanding landscapes. However, the Playsport has a similar sized digital screen (2”) and a range of features including the LCD Glare Shield that help you take better photos. It can easily record up to 10 hours of HD footage with the help of an expandable SD/SDHC card and shares quickly to your social media sites with the built in software and USB cable. In addition, if you’re someone who loves technology to suit your style, the Playsport is available in a range of colours so you’re not restricted to just black, as with the HERO6.
- Records in full 1080p HD video
- 2” colour display screen
- Captures 5MP HD stills
- Waterproof up to 10ft (3m)
Nikon Gopro Alternative
If you want to hold on to the GoPro’s square and simple design, the Nikon KeyMission 170 is your perfect alternative. With it’s compact design, it is just as portable as the GoPro alternative with the addition of an ultra-wide angle lens to capture even more of the scene. There isn’t a huge deal of difference in price between the KeyMission 170 and the HERO6 Black, so the choice really will come down to the features included or your preference for one brand. With the Nikon, you are able to record your footage in 4K Ultra HD along with the help of an electronic vibration reduction system for image stability. The KeyMission is durable – perhaps even more so than the GoPro – and is waterproof to 33ft, freezeproof to 14-degrees centigrade and shockproof for drops up to 6.6ft. It also promises to be both dust and grit resistant too. These factors are correct of the uncased model – those looking to scuba dive with the KeyMission 170 can add the brand’s WP-AA1 waterproof housing which extends its waterproof suitability up to 131ft. Similar to the Sony, it also has a built-in stereo mic – something that the GoPro HERO6 is lacking, so take this model into account if sound is important to your footage.
- An ultra-wide angle NIKKOR lens of F2.8
- Records up to 4K Ultra HD video at 30p
- SnapBridge support with Wifi
- Electronic vibration reduction
Panasonice Gopro Alternative
The Panasonic DMC TS30 is our Polaroid GoPro alternative. Unlike the others on our list, this device is bulkier and has a more traditional point-and-shoot camera design. This means it is nowhere near as compact as the GoPro and lacks certain functions including the voice command and high quality video recording (the Lumix can only record at 720p). However, it is a highly functioning sports camera and one that again comes at a fraction of the price of the HERO6 Black. This durable model is waterproof up to 8m/26ft, shockproof to a drop of 1.5m/5ft and freezeproof to -10-degrees centigrade. Although it does have image stability in the form of Panasonic’s MEGA O.I.S, this only counteracts hand-shake which indicates that it is probably not best suited to the impacts of off-road cycling or hiking. But, if you’re looking for a camera to offer you high quality still images along with a range of additional functions including Creative Panorama, the Lumix DMC-TS30 is an educated choice. It also comes in a range of different colour options for those that like to match their technology to their style.
- 1MP ½.3” CCD Sensor
- 4 x Optical Zoom 25 – 100mm DC Vario Lens
- MEGA O.I.S counteracts hand shake
- Records to 1280 x 720pxl at 30fps in HD
Cheap Gopro Alternative
The Campark ACT74 Action Camera is the ultimate GoPro alternative if your budget is on the smaller side. It manages to offer you a pretty identical functionality package to the GoPro at a fraction of the HERO6’s £400 price tag. The compact square design mimics that of the original while also allowing the device to be waterproof to an astounding depth of 98ft – more than the HERO6 Black. It can comfortably record at 4k/30fps and captures still photos at 16MP. The digital screen is the same size at the HERO6 (2”) while the addition of a 170-degree Ultra Wide angle lens ensures you’re able to capture the entire scene without issue. The Campark ACT74 is compatible with both iOS and Android and uses a seamless connectivity which allows for smooth file transfer. In a similar way to the GoPro HERO6, this camera is perfect for extreme sports and stands back to ensure you capture life’s moments with ease.
- Records in 4k/30fps
- Capture still images at 16M
- 2” colour HD screen for viewing
- 170-degree Ultra Wide angle lens
- Fits Micro SD cards up to 32GB
Gopro Alternatives Buyers Guide
So, by now you’ve seen the vast number of alternative GoPro options there are on the market. However, before making your purchasing decision, it is very important to understand what you’re looking for in a sport/action camera. You want to make sure that your hard earned money goes on the perfect device for you and avoid having to repurchase in a few years time when your chosen camera fails to live up to expectations. See below the main factors you’ll need to consider before choosing your action camera.
- Image Stability
When you’re flying across bumpy terrain or swimming down into the deep blue, you’ll want to make sure the footage you capture is as stable as possible. No one wants to watch a video where everything bumps and jolts around in your face – cue the motion sickness kicking in – so considering how important image stability is is vital for finding the perfect camera. Take into account the type of activity you want your device to capture. If you’re just looking for something to capture your little one’s football games or swimming classes with, the camera may spend the majority of it’s time in one place and won’t need such high tech stabilising software. However, for those with more active recording needs, carefully researched and crafted stability software is an absolute must.
Action cameras are usually designed to withstand the rough rigours of active use. Whether this means being waterproof enough to scuba dive with or simply resistant to both dust and dirt, this durability is essential if you’ll be taking your camera off road. Here, consider again what activities you need the camera to function during. Waterproof camera’s are great but the most protective ones usually carry a much higher price tag. So, if you’re looking to stick to your budget, ask yourself whether you really need 33ft of waterproof function or if you can get away with a splash-proof model instead.
- Weight and size
For the majority of the time, action cameras are made to be transported along on your latest adventures. You’ll want to take into account the weight and size of the model you choose. After all, the last thing you want is to be weighed down by a clunky camera or, alternatively, find that your bulky gloved hands are unable to hold the compact device you’ve chosen. There are cameras across the field that offer durable functionality for action recording and come in a variety of different weight and size options so make sure to do your research.
- Compatible fixings and adaptors
Do you want to mount your camera on a helmet or cycle handlebars? Then, you’ll need to consider what fixings and adaptors your chosen model comes with. Many of the more compact models – including the GoPro HERO6 Black and the Campark have been designed to sit comfortably on your gear and allow you to get on with enjoying the sport at hand. But don’t forget, these adaptors can add up in cost so if you’re not likely to use them regularly, they may not be a sensible option within your budget.
- Battery Life
Finally, a key aspect for most camera purchases but especially action models, consider the battery life. You’ll want to make sure that the supplied battery is suitable for the length of the trips or adventures you plan to take the camera on. However, it is worth noting that longer battery life can sometimes correspond with a higher price tag. It is therefore important to consider your realistic expectations of the camera and find the perfect battery life to suit this
Did you enjoy reading this post?
Was it helpful?
If you have any comments, questions or if we have left some valuable information about the best gopro alternatives post please let us know
The best way to contact us for a fast response is through our Facebook Page