If you are an action sports enthusiast and like to record your activities with an action camera, at some point of time you must have heard of the biggest name in the action camera industry:
The GoPro Series
Specially built for action sports and with more and more features being added with each upgraded version, GoPro has been a market leader for some time in the action cameras industry.
However, there’s one thing that can be considered as an obvious drawback:
The price of the GoPro cameras.
With more and more people looking for cheaper alternatives to the high end sports action cameras like the GoPro, more and more budget sports video cameras are entering the market without compromising on quality. The software used and quality of the materials used may not be quite up to the level of your latest GoPro camera. However, as far as functionality and features is concerned, these sports camcorders are a serious competition to the other high end camcorders for sports.
Through this post, I’ll review some popular action cameras that are like GoPro but much cheaper. So let’s get on with it!
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Japanese action camera maker Akaso seems to have got almost everything right with their 4K full HD action camera EK7000. For obvious reasons, it has been a bestselling product on Amazon now for quite some time.
It has the ability to take 4K and 2.7K resolution videos as well as photos with incredibly stunning quality. Image quality is a lot better than traditional HD quality.
One problem with 4K video cameras is the rapid consumption of battery life. The high quality of the videos literally sucks out the battery life at a fast rate. With the AKASO EK7000,this problem is somewhat alleviated as it comes with two batteries of 1050mAh each which means each battery can last for 90 minutes.
It is waterproof upto 30m thanks to its durable waterproof case which can withstand extreme conditions. You can thus use it for deep diving and other water sports like drifting, surfing etc.
An excellent feature of this video camera is the wireless wrist remote control. With the help of this, you can start and stop recordings and much more just by pressing the button of the remote control. You do not need to get to the camera all the time for control.
- The built-in WiFi enables you to use your smartphone as a remote to control the camera.
- The camera lets you use many of the GoPro attachments like GoPro mounts etc
- Crisp video quality and reliable battery life
- Low light video quality could have been better
- Instruction manual might not suffice for all your queries and doubts. You'll have to read Q&A sections on Amazon or watch some YouTube videos.
APEMAN 4K Action Camera
The Apeman 4K action camera is a hot bestseller with a low price and tonnes of features. Manufactured by China-based company Apeman, this is the latest and most advanced action camera, the A80.
It has the option of shooting videos with 4K and 2K resolution and can take images upto 20MP. So if you’re used to taking snaps of your action while shooting the videos, you’re going to get some really good images.
Just like the AKASO EK7000, it is waterproof upto 30m, has built-in WiFi and has 2 rechargeable batteries that enable a longer shooting time. However, one added feature is its utlra-wide angle lens recording upto 170°.
The Apeman 4K Action Camera supports automatic as well as manual adjustment to the exposure and sensitivity by considering the light and shadow present at that moment. This helps it to get a clearer picture even in bright sunlight.
It is highly versatile with the ability to be mounted on bicycle mount, helmet and even tripods. So whatever the sport, you can use this camera with ease.
- It has a ton of accessories that you get when you buy the camera.
- Highly versatile at a very affordable price
- For this price, I don't see any significant drawback in this camera
SOOCOO 4K Action Camera
The SOOCOO 4K action camera is yet another addition to cheap GoPro alternatives that you can consider buying. This C30 model is ranked #5 in the camera and photo section on Amazon.
With a 2 inch screen and 170 degree ultra wide view, you can literally watch everything as you record the action with this camera. It records 4K at 24 frames per second, 2K at 30 fps and 1080 at 60 fps. So it is an action camera that gives you the power of choice with respect to the video quality.
The SOOCOO C30 action camera has a very good gyro stabilisation that makes shooting shots in high action scenarios a great experience. This is the reason you get clear video quality of high action sports and is preferred among many action sports enthusiasts.
It is waterproof upto 98 feet and can withstand harsh environments. Not sure what harsh environment you plan to take it to, but if you’re snowboarding or skiing using this camera won’t be a problem for you. Using the SOOCOO action camera while diving is a safe bet since the waterproof case is tightly shut and opening it even deliberately is not an easy task.
Like the predecessors in this list, it has built-in WiFi and can be accessed using your phone with an App.
- Tough build, can withstand harsh environments
- Image stabilization while moving is definitely a plus
- After sales support is pretty good
- The battery drains pretty fast if you plan to use it continuously. Intermittent use can last them for half a day. So it is advisable you carry some extra batteries when shooting for longer duration.
- There is a Loop Control feature in the camera that can be turned on or off. If it is on by default, it saves video every 5 minutes and then you have to edit and put the entire video together, which can be a tedious process.
Nexgadget 4K WIFI Action Camera EXPLORER4 Series
An added feature is the 2.4G wrist remote control that can control the camera from a distance of 15m to the maximum. Another feature I like is the burst photo and time and continuous lapse mode.
If you are aware of the other action cameras by Nexgadget like the Explorer 4 and the Explorer 3 series, you must have noticed the difference in the price tag. That is mainly due to the different sensors used in the different models. The Explorer 5 series has the latest sensors included and hence offers the most stunning video quality.
Being an action camera with built-in WiFi that can be mounted on most surfaces, it can be used as a YouTube camera too. Many vloggers use it for that purpose.
- Any accessory you might have in mind is included with this camera except a microSD card which you have to purchase like for any other camera; but then it is not an accessory, is it?
- It includes a charger with the pack.
- Unlike the EK7000 by AKASO, the wrist remote control is not waterproof, it is only splashproof.
- Although it is not a drawback, you cannot use the camera straightaway out of the box. You need to charge it first for atleast 3 hours just like for any electronic device.
Aokon New AR 4K WIFI Sports Action Camera
It comes with a 2.4G wrist remote control for easier access that works with WiFi even from a distance of 20m. I guess that’s the longest distance a wrist remote control can work from in the market currently. And the best part is it is completely synchronised with the camera, so you don’t have any lag in recording. You can also use your WiFi enabled smartphone to operate the camera using the AOKON app.
It is a great option for underwater sports since it is waterproof upto 30m and includes sensors that are specially suited to capture video underwater. The video and the sound recorded are completely digital so you can be assured of its high quality.
It includes the option of taking videos and photos in burst mode, while driving a car, continuous shooting mode as well as time lapse mode. It has an ultra-wide angle lens giving you 170 degree fish-eye views. Some of these features you won’t even get in a GoPro.
- It comes with a battery saver mode. A great feature because sometimes you might not need the full HD quality. And so you can operate this camera on low battery with pretty good video quality.
- It has an ultra slim design and is much lighter than other action cameras in this range
- The external micro SD card that you need to insert cannot be of more than 32 GB capacity.
- The wrist remote control cannot work underwater since it is only splashproof