The Best GoPro Alternative for Action and Underwater Shooting in 2019

action camera

You would've been hard pressed to find any, much less the best GoPro alternative a few years ago. The creator of the innovative little camera, Nick Woodman, carved out a niche market, ripe and ready. For a decade, GoPro was the choice for capturing surfing, BMX biking, and skydiving. You name it, if you wanted to document your world on the move, GoPro was the best choice.

These days, the options for an action camera are as abundant as knockoff handbags from shady street vendors in New York. Still, GoPro is the standard in the industry. And despite some significant failures over the last couple of years, Woodman and his team continue to make innovations.

What's New About the GoPro7?

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The white, silver, and black GoPro7 all have slightly different features. Black is the top of the line and has the upgraded “gimbal-like stabilization.” In side-by-side comparisons to previous GoPros, the video is significantly smoother. Another outstanding feature that we haven't come across on another action cam is the voice control option.

Other than that, Wi-Fi, 4k resolution, waterproofing, live streaming, and fantastic still photography are all things you'll find in most action cams. Another thing that's good to know is that the Black offers 12-megapixel photography, and some of our picks go all the way up to 16mp, for incredible photo capture.

What's the word from customers?

The good and the not so good

The GoPro 7 Black only managed a 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon with a little over a hundred reviews. Although, picture quality did score a 4.6.

Customers agree that the stabilization is a feature that was needed and made a significant improvement in their video footage. The learning curve is pretty steep, however, and may get a bit frustrating because if you've never owned a GoPro, it's not terribly user-friendly.

What does a GoPro cost?

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You can get a GoPro white, silver, or black online in prices ranging from $180 to a whopping $450. The leader in the industry is significantly more costly than its alternatives.

How We Determined the Best GoPro Alternative

GoPro is synonymous with action cameras, and for years it was the name that everyone knew. Even now, if someone has another action cam, they're likely to refer to it as a GoPro. But there are plenty of alternatives, and if you know what to look for, you may not have to spend as much money to get a camera that will suit your needs.

The best GoPro alternative requires a few basic features, such as 4k resolution, a waterproof casing, at least 12-megapixel photographic quality, and Wi-Fi or a remote. To that end, we picked the best GoPro alternative for value, one for above water action, a substitute for best 4k resolution, and one for recording underwater wonders.

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We picked the Dragon Touch 4k as the best GoPro Alternative to give you the most bang for your buck. It shoots 4K at 30 frames per second with 4 times the zoom capacity. You also have the option of 1080p at 60 frames per second, and the 16-megapixel photo resolution makes for exceptional picture quality. There are multiple functions as well that include driving mode, for use as a dashcam. And, you can shoot in slow motion to capture the drama of a sports event.

The Dragon touch also has exposure settings and white balance, which will come in handy with variable lighting conditions. Additionally, there's a wearable watchband type remote control for use when you're wearing the cam on your helmet, for example. Keep in mind though that the remote is not waterproof.

What's the price tag?

You'll be able to purchase this little 4k wonder for $50 to $100 online.

What's the word from customers?

Reviews on Amazon rake in a 4.3 out of 5 stars from close to 700 buyers.

The good and the not so good

People don't see any difference between the earlier GoPros and this little number. They're thrilled with the price, picture quality, and time-lapse photography. Another convenience is that it works with all the GoPro accessories. As far as the downside, people have a hard time with the set-up, which seems to be true across the board. Action cams have a learning curve.

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Our pick for the best GoPro alternative for capturing the action is the Campark ACT74. It's waterproof, making it an excellent choice for watersports on a bright sunny day. Record the waves while you're surfing. Or, take ACT74 to the lake when you're fishing, so they'll know you're not making it up when you excitedly rehash pulling that 10-pound bass from the lake.

The little camera has a 170-degree wide-angle lens and Wi-Fi that connects to your phone. You can shoot in 4k, at 30 frames per second, all the way down to 720P. Plus, there are photographic image resolution options of 16, 12, 8, 5 and 2 megapixels. The ACT74 comes equipped with Wi-Fi and connects to your phone for easy social sharing. Time-lapse, loop recording, and slow motion mode give this little jewel a whole lot of flexibility too.

What's the price tag?

You'll find the Campark ACT74 online in prices ranging from $54 to $135.

What's the word from customers?

Campark ACT74 hauled in 4.3 out of 5 stars with close to 3,500 customers commenting. Everyone agrees that the camera takes gorgeous daylight photos and that the video is acceptable for the price. It's also user-friendly and easy to set up, except for the Wi-Fi. A few people found getting the connection between the phone and the camera working to be a bit tricky.

One customer found a solution and shared it in his review. He suggests six steps to get up and running. First, activate the Wi-Fi on your camera. Next, go to the Wi-Fi settings on your phone and hit connect. Then enter the password. Make sure to turn your phone to airplane mode with only the Wi-Fi active, and watch to see that it reconnects to the action cam.

Now, open the camera app on your phone, and there will be a list of Wi-Fi connections. You can now connect to the Campark ACT74. Finally, go back to the main page, and your phone will display the same image as the camera, confirming that it's connected. Once it's set up, you can load photos and video on your phone for social sharing. If you have trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, you will usually need to set the phone on airplane mode no matter what action camera you're using.

The good and the not so good

The best GoPro alternative for capturing the action, the Campark ACT74 takes stunning stills, shown in many of the reviews. Video footage is dazzling in the sunlight and decent, with some pixelation underwater, where the color and light balance is lacking. Campark Act74's low light capabilities are not so good compared with what it can do in bright daylight.

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Our best GoPro alternative for underwater adventures, the Akaso Brave 4 is built to travel to depths of 100 feet, with a waterproof case that's removable for other activities. It's 4k and 2.7k with video capture at 30 frames per second and still photo capabilities of 12 megapixels.

A wireless wrist remote control is included to help frame shots or start to record video without having to move the camera. Use the remote control to select the mode you're recording and shift from video, photo, burst photo, to time-lapse with a press of a button. Fair warning: The remote is not waterproof. You can download the iSmart DV app for your phone and iPad to set up remote wireless as well.

What's the price tag?

This little gem is a steal online from $60 to $100.

What's the word from customers?

There are close to 8,000 reviews on Amazon, indicating that the Akaso Brave 4 is a popular purchase for adventurers. Reviews yield a 4.3 out of 5 stars. The underwater video rating was slightly higher at 4.4 stars, in the overall assessment.

The good and the not so good

Customers rave about the video quality and the excellent deal they got with the Akaso Brave 4. They think it's a whole lot of camera for the money and it comes "highly recommended" by over 200 people. On the other hand, there were over 600 negative reviews, which were mostly complaints about Wi-Fi connectivity, plastic components, and pixelated playback.

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Our pick for the best GoPro alternative overall is another Akaso, a brand name that's a popular alternative to GoPro. The V50 Pro has built-in image stabilization for smooth 4k video resolution and fast-action photography. It also supports an external microphone, which is great because the built-in microphones on action cameras still leave a lot to be desired.

Other fantastic features include diving mode, slow motion, white balance, and distortion calibration. Not to mention the 2-inch, highly responsive IPS touchscreen, making setup, previewing, and shooting a whole lot easier.

What's the price tag?

Prices range from $110 to $190 on Amazon for the popular Akaso V50 Pro.

What's the word from customers?

There are just a little over 500 reviews on Amazon, giving the V50 Pro a 4.4 out of 5-star rating.

The good and the not so good

People love our pick for best GoPro alternative overall. The image stabilization and touchscreen are winners. Video quality is fantastic, even in low light. Plus, it's a great value. The not so good comments are regarding unexpected crashes, where the camera shuts down. Also noted were poor time-lapse photography and a waterproof case that didn't do its job.

Ready, Set, Action!

Product

Details

Rating

Price

Dragon Touch

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Video Mode
4K 30fps
4X zoom
1080p 60fps

Photo Mode
16 MP

Features
Driving mode, use as a dashcam
Slow motion
Exposure settings and white balance
Watchband-type remote control

Compatibility
Works with all the GoPro accessories

4.3 out of 5.0

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Campark ACT74

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Video Mode
4K 30 fps

Photo Mode
16 MP

Lens
170-degree wide-angle lens

Features
Time-lapse, loop recording
Slow motion mode
Waterproof

Connectivity
Wi-Fi

4.3 out of 5.0

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Akaso Brave 4

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Video Mode
4K 30fps
2.7K 30fps

Photo Mode
12 MP

Features
Waterproof up to 100 feet
Wireless remote control
Burst photo, time-lapse

Connectivity
iSmart DV app

4.3 out of 5.0

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Akaso V50 Pro

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Display
2.0" highly responsive IPS touch screen

Video Mode
4K 30fps

Photo Mode
20 MP

Features
Built-in image stabilization
Supports external microphone
Diving mode, slow motion, white balance, and distortion calibration

4.4 out of 5.0

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There are tons of options if you're looking for the best GoPro alternative, which means there's no reason not to try one. These cameras have their quirks though; no matter which one you buy, one thing to remember is that if you're sharing directly to social media with the Wi-Fi function, it's pretty straightforward once you get the Wi-Fi set up. If you decide to edit your footage, be prepared. Editing isn't always user-friendly. You need to know a few things about the video output on your camera and its codec before you attempt editing, to avoid frustration.

Don't be afraid; take some time and get to know the options because you may find that the best GoPro alternative opens doors of creativity that you never imagined. And, for the price, it's totally worth trying out.

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Last update on 2021-01-11 at 15:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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