- Why would you change GoPro cameras?
- Insta 360 product line
- Subject lock
- Invisible stick
- Image quality
- Slow motion
- Akaso Brave 7 LE
- DJI Osmo Action
- Akaso EK7000
- Olympus Tough TG-6
GoPro has a wide range of models from Hero1 to Hero9 and each version has had its updates and improvements. GoPro is known for having unique features as well as performance. So why look for alternatives to such a great action camera? The fact is that along with GoPro there are new and gaining popularity brands among action cameras that give you the same experience as GoPro versions and some of them come at half the price of GoPro. In this article, we'll take a look at the top 5 cameras like GoPro with similar performance and features
Why would you change GoPro cameras?
GoPro may well be the world’s leading action camera brand. They are compact, robust, and very easy to use while also having excellent image and sound quality. But some people notice they have serious issues and consider never buying another one while looking for an alternative. Besides such major factors as price tag, people experiencing different sorts of performance issues across the entire product line call GoPro dreadfully unreliable. We did research gathering feedback on experienced action camera users and found out that some of these issues are very common and have a place in the discussion.
GoPro Hero3 suffered from a very common and already called classic issue such as freezing which could be met across many other models. The issue is that you record for about 30 seconds, and then it stops working thus the image stays still unless you restart it by taking out the battery.
Starting from Hero6, GoPro has implemented excellent image stabilization that provides silky smooth images. However, this feature caused weird split-screen artifacts that divide your image by half with a noticeable division line in the middle. Besides that, GoPro has an audio-video de-sync issue where it may record the sound out of sync with the video for about 3 seconds delay which requires you to do additional work in post to synchronize the soundtrack with a video track in editor software. Continuing on sound issues, some models could stop recording audio from time to time.
GoPro 7 was featured with Live-Streaming which also never worked properly or at all for some people even after replacement. All of those factors combined made the camera unreliable and willing to replace it with alternatives. So here is our list of cameras similar to GoPro which allow you to get the same experience and even more.
Insta 360 product line
We start our list of top action cameras with the Insta 360 product line. This brand has a wide product line range such as X1 to X3 and Insta ONE R with slight differences. GoPro 9 is undoubtedly a great action cam, but it lacks a 360 view which is a core feature of the Insta 360 product line. It blends the features of both an action cam and a trace to count together. Equipped with a large one-inch sensor Insta 360 ONE R is capable of recording 5.3K/30fps resolution video and 5.7K for the X3 version. Its one-inch sensor is made more powerful with HDR recording and gives you more vibrant-looking footage. Additionally, nighttime shooting is now clearer and noise-free thanks to its larger sensor size. As for its form factor, it comes with a rugged body, and it can go underwater for up to 16.4 feet.
The other essential feature of the Insta 360 is its image stabilization. It is called “Flow State” which provides smooth and stable footage no matter if you are riding a horse or racing with a bike. Combined with the Horizon leveling feature overall camera performance makes the camera stand out.
Apart from that, it also keeps your subjects locked and no matter how fast they move, the Insta 360 always keeps them tracked. Plus, its AI-infused editing provides you ready to share without hours of manual editing.
Besides, this camera also lets you clip out the selfie stick to produce drone-like shots. You can put the camera on the selfie stick and the camera’s clever algorithm will magically erase it out of the image, and it will look like the camera is just sort of floating in midair by itself. This is particularly useful to get 3rd person shots that look as if you have some drone or an operator following you from the angle of your liking.
The other fantastic feature of Insta 360 cameras is that you can change the shot angle in the post. All you have to do is to point the camera vaguely in the direction of whatever you want to capture and do not worry too much if you are pointing it incorrectly, because you can rotate the footage around in post.
For the sound you can attach a Rode voice recorder to the camera, and it also stays invisible in the frame.
With the appearance of the Insta 360-X3 version on the market, the image quality significantly improved, having a one-inch sensor provides impressive image quality results which are comparable to GoPro’s Hero 9.
Battery capacity for Insta 360 is 2-3 times better than GoPro’s, and you may need only 1 backup battery on your daily live Vlog compared to 2-3 GoPro’s.
There is also a wide range of accessories for the product, particularly mounts to place the camera wherever you need it to be which you can use even to place the stick on. Continuing on mounting capabilities a minor feature but still very pleasing is that Insta 360 has a mounting screw underneath it which allows you to mount it on a tripod for still video recording and photoshoots. In comparison to GoPro, which has its dedicated finger mount that requires a whole world of adapters, and the more you apply on it the less stable it is going to be, all of that makes the Insta 360 a more convenient option.
Finally, with cinematic slow motion (8x) and a lot of other unique features, the Insta360 ONE R can replace your need for the GoPro Hero 9 indeed. For the amazing functions and handy design, it is a value for premium action cam.
On the downside of the product line, the lens is very vulnerable to any damage that comes from falling, and it is non-replaceable. Another downside is that these cameras are not as spontaneous in use as GoPro, so you need to plan the way you mount it in advance and the way you are going to use it in general before the actual recording. All of that takes a little bit more time and thought. The third downside is that for editing Insta 360 footage you have to use a specific app from Insta 360 before importing it to your normal editing software which also takes time. All of these downsides create room for improvement. So it is good to have this camera but also have a GoPro Hero 9 at the same time as this version fixed almost all the listed issues earlier but still has freezing issues not fixed.
Akaso Brave 7 LE
This action camera can be fairly called a cousin of GoPro Hero 9 because of its similar build design. The camera is allowed to record up to 4K image resolution and 30 frames per second for normal video and up to 120 fps for slow motion video. This is lower than GoPro’s 9 5K@30fps video, but for everyday usage – this is more than you need.
Furthermore, the accounts of Brave 7 LE offer a fine color tone which is an extra benefit and the footage stays sharp enough. It has a similar 20-megapixel still image shooting mode.
For image stabilization, it can handle rough jerks or hops while walking with this in-camera 6-axis electronic image stabilization (EIS) which produces smooth footage.
As this camera has an additional front screen it would be a value for travel vloggers. Besides, it is IPX7 rated, and using the camera housing it can stay under 40 meters of water.
Overall, if you are looking for a similar action camera in terms of stabilization, and image quality like the GoPro Hero 9 then the Akaso Brave 7 LE can be a value for your budget as it comes at a very less surprise with the only trade-off for the max resolution and frame rate.
DJI Osmo Action
If you want a head-to-head competition against the GoPro this cam rings the bell. This camera can record up to 4k in 60 frames per second and other variable frame rates in similar quality. For slo-mo, you can take up to 240 fps at 1080 full-HD resolution to get stunning Instagram clips. Therefore, the main resemblance here is in the clarity of the videos. Also, the color in Osmo’s pocket looks the same as GoPro’s. Moreover, the stabilization of the two cams is also similar. Surprisingly, you can get the action cam for almost half the price of GoPro Hero 9 and the firmware of Osmo Action is more optimized. With a 145-degree field of view, the Osmo Action can shoot underwater with no issue at all. It can stay under 60 feet of water with housing and 11 meters with no protection for a certain time. So coming in a more affordable price and almost balanced features to Hero 9 the DJI Osmo Action 4K is your value for performance.
Akaso EK700 is a 4K resolution action camera that shoots video at 25 frames per second.
The camera uses SUNPLUS 6450 CPU and OV4689 Image Sensor and has a 170-degree field of view. Camera supplied with a waterproof casing which means it is good for underwater usage diving up to 30 meters. It also comes with a remote control in the package, so that you can start and stop recording without direct contact with your camera if it is set on a tripod for instance. There would also be a bunch of mounts for any cases with it. You can also control the cam via WiFi, for that you need to download a specific app called Ez iCam available on App Store and Google Play. This feature allows you to see everything your camera sees through your smartphone screen and also change settings for resolution and fps. In addition, the app allows you to start/stop recording and taking pictures and then download it right to your cellphone. As for the connection interface, you will find HDMI and micro USB ports on the left side with an SD card slot up to 32 GB.
Olympus Tough TG-6
We put this brand into our list of top 5 action cameras because this camera looks like a point-and-shoot but is a competitor for the name of action cameras. And the main selling point lies in its video recording specifications. TG-6 is a 12.7 megapixel with a 1 / 2.33 inch CMOS sensor that can record in 4K at 30 FPS with a slo-mo at 120-240 for 1080/720p resolutions. Having excellent Wi-Fi features allows you to remote control your shot and photo/video transfer for future footage editing with some glare effect for full immersion. But the core feature here is that Olympus TG-6 has a 4x optical zoom via a built-in lens of a 4.5-18 mm focal length which is equivalent to a 25-100 mm lens. EIS is also included as for all action cams out there. Waterproof rated at IPX8 for water depth of up to 50 feet it is also durable and survives at temperatures of 4 °C and shockproof to fall from 7 feet and crushproof up to 220 pounds of pressure. Even GoPro doesn’t have such durability levels.
So if you are looking for something unique and durable this cam is recommended for purchasing.
We reviewed 5 best action cameras of different brands with their product lines and all of them have similarities and unique features. Depending on your demands you can choose one over another and the main point here is that you do not have to stick to GoPro anymore having those alternatives that also stand out.
So here is our comparative analysis of the main features of top-rated action cameras which can assert a buying guide for you.
Most of the cameras have built-in 6-axis EIS and the main difference is in video resolution/frame rate plus some unique features
- As for those who would like to have a 360 action camera, the Insta 360 product line is the purchase. HDR allows you to spend less time on video color correction in the post and also has a feature to angle your frame perfectly even after recording.
- If you are looking for a unique experience – Qoocam EGO 3D will provide you with a wow effect on 100%.
- For high resolution plus astonishing slow-motion effects – the Sony DSC-RX0 II with its up to 1000 fps slo-mo feature will not leave you indifferent. A quite good replacement for a DSLR and mirrorless clunky cameras with additional features.
- Akaso Brave 7 LE is a nice and budget solution for diving deep under the water as it withholds its waterproof characteristics up to 40 meters underwater.
- If you want to take the best of both worlds having 4K and 60 fps with 1080p@240fps slo-mo and being allowed to shoot underwater – DJI Osmo Action is your choice.