Action cameras are the perfect solution for anyone looking to capture their adventures in the moment. GoPro makes some of the best quality action cameras on the market; however, they command a steep price tag. At the time of this writing Go Pro’s flagship model, the Hero7 Black, can easily run you over $300. Fortunately, since action cameras have experienced a sharp rise in popularity, there are a number of GoPro alternatives that won’t break the bank.
1. Yi 4K+
Chinese manufacturer Yi is making quite the splash in the world of action cameras. They have steadily gained a reputation for high quality products at a fraction of the price, and the Yi 4K+ might be their most impressive action camera yet. The Yi 4K+ is a bit pricier than other cameras on this list with a $199 price tag, but it’s incredible value when you consider what you’re getting.
First and foremost, the 4K+ utilizes a Sony IMX377 image sensor, giving it the ability to record 4K video at 60 frames per second (FPS). In addition, it can also capture 12MP RAW still images. To sweeten the deal, it also features advanced electronic image stabilization (EIS), eliminating blurry images and shaky video. Note: when EIS is turned on, 4K video capture is capped at 30FPS.
Furthermore, the Yi 4K+ packs a 1200 mAh battery for up to seventy minutes of continuous 4K video recording. It also features voice control, allowing you to issue commands to the camera without having to fiddle with buttons or an app. With fantastic image quality and premium features, the Yi 4K+ gives GoPro a run for its money.
2. Akaso EK7000 Pro
At first glance, the Akaso EK7000 Pro seems almost too good to be true. For roughly $75 you’ll get premium features like 4K video recording, 16MP still image capture, and electronic image stabilization. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also be treated to a whole slew of accessories and mounts, including a watertight case that can be submerged up to 130 feet. In addition, the Akaso EK7000 Pro also comes with a wireless remote that users can wear on their wrists. This enables users to issue commands to the EK7000 Pro without having to remove it from its mount.
We know what you’re thinking; what’s the catch? In a case of you get what you pay for, the image quality of the EK7000 Pro isn’t quite as good as the GoPro or the Yi 4K+. This may be because 4K video capture is capped at 25FPS. Despite this, the camera boasts excellent users reviews on Amazon, scoring a solid 4.4 stars out of 5. If you’re looking for an action camera that is feature rich but doesn’t lighten the wallet, give this one a try. Also, check out Make Tech Easier’s review of the Akaso V50 Pro.
3. Polaroid Cube
Chances are the first thing you think of when you hear the name “Polaroid” is instant photos. However, you’ll be pleased to know that Polaroid also manufactures a capable little action camera known as the Cube. At first glance the Polaroid Cube looks more like a novelty than a serious action camera, with its diminutive size and iconic rainbow stripes. However, the Cube packs some impressive features in its unassuming rubberized housing.
The Polaroid Cube is capable of recording 1080p high-definition video and 6MP still images. Furthermore, it features a 124-degree wide-angle lens to help ensure you capture more of the action. It also boasts electronic image stabilization to ensure your footage is crystal clear, no matter the terrain.
The Cube is super tiny, measuring in at just 1.4″ inches tall and weighing in at just 50 grams. Additionally, it has a rubberized housing to protect it against the elements and features a strong magnetic base, making mounting the camera super versatile. Granted, the Polaroid Cube doesn’t have some of the fancier features present in other action cameras, but at $30, you can’t fault it.
4. VTech Kidizoom Action Cam
If the name didn’t give it away, this one is strictly for kids. We won’t mince words here, the image quality of this camera is not fantastic. That being said, it does offer a few things that the other cameras on this list don’t have. First, the battery life of the VTech Kidizoom is excellent. Action cameras have developed a reputation for poor battery life, and for good reason. Most average about an hour of footage before they need to be recharged. However, the VTech can record for up to 2-1/2 hours, meaning your young daredevil isn’t going to be pestering you to charge it every hour.
As we mentioned before, the image quality is not great. The VTech Kidizoom will hit 480p, which is fine for young kids, but few else. The major advantage to the power resolution is that captured footage has a much smaller footprint. This means that kids can record tons of photos and videos on a relatively small microSD card. Finally, the VTech Kidizoom is only $40 and is built to take a thrashing.
What is your favorite budget GoPro alternative action camera? Let us know in the comments!