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?

GoPro HERO 7 Black

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?

GoPro HERO 7 Black
  • HyperSmooth Video Stabilization Get gimbal like stabilization without the gimbal. HERO7 Black predicts your movements and corrects for camera shake to deliver insanely smooth footage
  • Time Warp Video Capture super stabilized time lapse videos while you move about a scene. Increase the speed up to 30x to turn longer activities into shareable moments
  • Super Photo: Get the best photos automatically. With Super Photo, HERO7 Black intelligently applies HDR, local tone mapping or noise reduction to optimize your shots
  • Rugged + Waterproof: Share experiences you can't capture with your phone. HERO7 Black is rugged, waterproof without a housing to 33 feet (10 meter) and up for any adventure
  • Voice Control: Stay in the moment. Control your HERO7 Black hands free with voice commands like "GoPro, take a photo" and "GoPro, start recording

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.

Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera 16MP Vision 3 Underwater Waterproof Camera 170° Wide Angle WiFi Sports Cam with Remote 2 Batteries and Mounting Accessories Kit
  • 4K ACTION CAMERA with 4X ZOOM: Professional 4K/30FPS, 2.7K/30fps, 1080P/60FPS video and 16MP photo resolution enables you to capture exciting moment for you. This action camera also features zoom range from 1.0X to 4.0X.
  • WIRELESS WRIST REMOTE CONTROL: Put the remote control on your wrist while installing the sports camera on your helmet, convenient to record moments in places you can't reach. Wireless range up to 10m(33ft), the remote is not waterproof.
  • WIFI ACTION CAMERA with 2" SCREEN: Save and share your sports action camera moments on the phone/tablet with App XDV, WiFi signal ranges up to 33 feet. 2'' screen allows you to preview the video in action camera.
  • 100FT WATERPROOF CAMERA with FREE ACCESSORIES: Place your camera into the waterproof case and securely fasten it, you can dive below 30 meters. This underwater camera is ideal for water sports such as swimming, surfing, diving, etc. This underwater camera also comes with 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries, charger and accessories which available for most action camera even Gopro.
  • VERSATILE BUT COMPACT: This action camera features multiple functions including driving mode, image rotation, time-lapse, loop recording, slow motion, dramashot, exposure and white balance. Bringing this sports camera to more applicable conditions beyond your expectation. This action camera is not Mac compatible.

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.

Campark ACT74 Action Camera 16MP 4K WiFi Underwater Photography Cameras 170 Degree Ultra Wide Angle Lens with 2 Pcs Rechargeable Batteries and Mounting Accessories Kits
  • Super 4K recording +Sony sensorcampark 4K sports action camera records video footage in 4K/30Fps and takes photo at 16M. Campark action cameras help you capture and share your world in a fantastic resolution.
  • 170° + Optional view angle lensThis Action Cam with 2 Inch HD Screen and 170 degree lens, You can also adjust view angle in the camera, Multiple view angles can be selected, give you a different visual experience, you won't miss out on any background details.
  • Wi-fi remote controlaction cameras compatible with iOS and Android System.The sports camera allows you control camera via the phone in real time, what is more, instantly send Pics and videos via email or Share them on social media easily.
  • Waterproof up to 30m(98Feet) depththe waterproof case design for underwater world.Waterproof up to 30 meters.Ideal for water sports like swimming, drifting, surfing etc.
  • Dual recharger batteries + mounting Accessories kitsincreased long battery life up to 180 minutes (Dual rechargeable lithium batteries) shooting timee along with tons of free accessories. Multifunctional accessories enable you to mount your camera to helmet, bicycles, wrist, etc ( carrying case not included )

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.

AKASO EK7000 4K WiFi Sports Action Camera Ultra HD Waterproof DV Camcorder 12MP 170 Degree Wide Angle
  • 4K Ultra HD action camera. Professional 4K 25Fps & 2.7K 30Fps video with 12MP photos at up to 30 frames per second for incredible photos, which is 4 times the resolution of traditional HD cameras.
  • Wireless wrist remote control sports camera. With a wrist 2.4G remote, you can capture the world in an all-new way. Controlling the camera, framing shots or recording video is convenient.
  • Longer battery life. AKASO EK7000 action camera comes with 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries. Each battery can record up to 90 minutes. No more worry about the recording time for this Action camera.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi & HDMI, edit & share YOUR action in minutes. Just download App(smart DV) on your phone or tablet and connect with this action camera. Wi-Fi signal ranges up to 10 meters.
  • 100 Feet waterproof camera. AKASO EK7000 is designed to withstand extreme environments, together with durable waterproof case. With the accessories, transform it for indoor and outdoor activities.

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.

AKASO V50 Pro Native 4K30fps 20MP WiFi Action Camera with EIS Touch Screen 100 feet Waterproof Camera Support External Mic Remote Control Sports Camera with Helmet Accessories Kit
  • SUPERB IMAGE QUALITY: Featuring 4K/30fps and 20MP image, your AKASO V50 Pro action camera can capture every detail of your wonderful outdoor adventures and present an immersive footage of you and your world.
  • ELECTRONIC IMAGE STABILIZATION: Built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) with 6-axis gyroscope detects position and motion changes. When the camera tilts, moves, shakes or experiences impact, this action camera can still produce stable videos.
  • OPTIONAL VIEW ANGLE: You can adjust the view angle of this action camera according to your needs between Super Wide, Wide, Medium and Narrow. This action camera also has the distortion calibration feature, which offers image distortion improvements.
  • BUILT-IN WIFI AND HDMI OUTPUT: Just download App(iSmart Pro+) on your phone or tablet and connect it to this action camera, you can share your wonderful moment on social media instantly. With HDMI Port allows you to connect it to TV.
  • FREE VALUABLE ACCESSORIES: This underwater camera comes with 2 rechargeable 1100mAh batteries, chargers and remote control wristband and lots of accessories kits. The kits fit most cameras even Gopro.

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

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

Campark ACT74

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

Akaso Brave 4

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

Akaso V50 Pro

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

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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