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Did you know that there are more than 30 million GoPro cameras sold in over 100 countries worldwide?
This small action camera has always been jam-packed with new technology and has come to set the standards when it comes to high-quality action video for years.
However, GoPro cameras like the GoPro Hero 7 Black are quite expensive.
What if you want to film your descent on a dangerous mountain slope at your favorite ski resort, but you don’t want to blow all your budget on a GoPro camera?
Luckily, there are cheaper alternatives and some of them offer a performance in terms of image quality or features which is a least on par with a GoPro – if not better.
To find out which cameras we are talking about, keep reading this article and discover five affordable GoPro alternatives you should at least consider before spending your money on a GoPro.
We’ve ranked them by what we think offers the best quality and features for the money. And though we must say, that price and quality do seem to match, there are some nice surprises in there.
At the end of the article, you’ll find a table, which compares the features of each camera and also compares them to the features of GoPro.
That way we’ve made it easy for you to compare which features are the most important to you, and see if you should indeed pull the trigger on a GoPro, or if some of the more budget-friendly alternatives will actually suit your needs.
1. YI 4K+ Sports Action Camera – Our First Choice!
The first camera on our list comes from YI which is a popular manufacturer of action cameras.
The YI 4K+ Sports Action Camera comes with a 12-megapixel sensor capable of shooting 4K video at 60 frames per second (fps). And if you shoot at 30 fps the in-body Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) while making sure, you get smooth footage without micro jitters and shakes.
There are other shooting modes available such as full HD (1080p) at 120 fps and HD (720p) at 240 fps. These are ideal for cool slow-motion videos.
It also has a cool time-lapse feature where you can record a video and capture time-lapse photos at the same time.
And of course, if you know your way around a camera, you have the option to go in and tweak everything from white balance to ISO, and field-of-view manually.
You’ll also get a full-color retina touch-screen with a size of 2.2 inches. The display on a GoPro Hero7 is just 2 inches, so this model from YI gives you more screen space for your money.
The Gorilla Glass screen has high sensitivity and an intuitive interface, so you can easily find your way around the menus and options without much difficulty.
The YI 4K+ also features voice control, so you can take photos, record video or turn off the camera to save battery life. This is really nice you have it mounted on your helmet or somewhere else, which is hard to reach.
Speaking of photos, the YI 4K+ is able to capture photos in RAW format.
Connectivity: Wi-Fi and USB-C
Another strong point of this device is Wi-Fi compatibility. You can sync this camera with any iOS or Android smartphone to quickly transfer photos and videos without requiring a cable.
With that being said, the package contains a USB (USB Type-C) cable, so you don’t have to buy one separately, as well as 2 rechargeable batteries. With the USB Type-C, you can charge the camera, ad an external microphone, transfer your video footage and photos to your computer, and more.
Speaking of batteries, this model uses a 1,400mAh rechargeable one which can last for hours, depending on how you use your camera.
YI decided to upgrade the chip on the 4K+ (compared to the smaller sibling – the YI 4K), so you get more processing power and longer battery life at the same time.
You’ll get more battery life if you shoot at 30 fps compared to e.g. 60 fps. At 4K/30fps you can expect around 90 minutes. And if you “only” shoot at 1080p/30fps you can get more than 150 minutes. We’ve never seen any batteries last this long with any of the GoPro models.
Not Waterproof Without A Case
GoPros are waterproof (at least to some extent) without any extra accessories. The YI 4K+ is not.
You can easily go around this problem though, by buying a compatible waterproof case for those moments when you want to film cute turtles underwater!
We wouldn’t recommend diving or snorkeling with the GoPro without a waterproof anyway, so in that regards there really isn’t much difference. But it would have been nice if the YI 4K+ was at least dust and splash proof like GoPros.
The YI 4K+ could easily cost the same as a GoPro because of its features.
But the great thing is that it doesn’t, so you get a lot of similar features at a lower price. The image quality is excellent, and the fact that it offers 4K/60fps at this price point is amazing.
So if you can live with having to use a waterproof casing for diving and shots in the rain, then you should definitely give this camera a try.
2. AKASO V50 Elite 4K/60fps Touch Screen Wi-Fi Action Camera – Great Image Quality And Lots Of Features For The Price
The AKASO V50 is capable of filming 4K videos at 60fps and features a 20MP sensor.
This is really impressive since it costs much less than a regular GoPro camera.
You can also take advantage of other shooting modes such as HD (720p) at 240 fps, Full HD (1080p) at 120 fps and even 2.7K at 30fps and 60fps. In other words, there are a lot of opportunities for creating cool slow-motion shots.
Like the YI, the AKASO also has electronic image stabilization, which helps create smooth footage.
It has adjustable field of view up to 170 degrees.
Touch Screen, Voice Control, And Remote Control
The AKASO V50 Elite also comes with a small touch screen for accessing its main functions and options.
Unfortunately, the touch screen is a bit slow. Also the user interface on-screen elements don’t disappear as they do on a GoPro when you start recording. However, if you can live with these minor caveats, you still get a lot of camera for your bucks.
Also, you can control your Akaso camera using voice control.
Again, this is a handy e.g. when you’re wearing big ski gloves or have the camera mounted somewhere out of reach.
In the kit we’ve linked to, you also get a remote control. So if you want to film yourself from a distance while you do tricks on your skateboard in a busy street where voice control isn’t usable, you can use the remote control to start recording instead.
And when you’re ready to boast of your adventures, simply use the Wi-Fi connectivity to send pics and videos to your smartphone and then show off on Instagram!
Waterproof Up To 40 Meters
The camera also comes with a waterproof casing, so you don’t have to buy a case separately.
If you’re planning on filming underwater, this device is usable up to 40 meters deep. If you want to film something at the bottom of the sea, you can use the 8x digital zoom incorporated into this device.
The battery life of this camera is ok, but not great. You can expect about 35-45 minutes of filming in 4K 60fps and about an hour in 1080p.
And for some reason, your time and date will reset when you change batteries.
You do however get two batteries out of the box.
All-in-all, the AKASO V50 Elite action camera has some minor issues and caveats. No doubt the touch-screen could be better, and there are some annoyances in the design of the UI.
But if you can live with these small annoyances you get an incredible amount of features and power at a really fair price.
3. Campark ACT74 Action Camera – A Back To Basics Budget-Friendly Camera With Great Image Quality
If you’re looking for a really inexpensive model, check out the Campark ACT74.
This camera comes with a Sony 16MP sensor which is capable of filming high-quality video footage at 4K resolution at 30fps (no 4K/60fps though).
You also have multiple slow-motion shooting modes which allow you to record video footage at 60fps, 120fps, and 240fps.
You can see everything you’re filming on the 2” HD screen.
However, the screen isn’t a touch-screen. You control everything with buttons. So if a touch-screen is a must, this is not the camera for you.
The camera has Wi-Fi technology, so you can connect it to your smartphone or tablet and see what you’re filming in real time using Wi-Fi Share.
Lots Of Accessories
One of the biggest advantages of this camera is the sheer number of accessories you get in the package.
You get two batteries, a waterproof case, USB cable, a bicycle mount for your camera as well as a helmet mounting kit.
In other words, you have everything you need to shoot high-quality video footage right out of the box, whether you’re a bike rider, avid skier or scuba diver.
With the waterproof case, the camera is usable up to 30 meters underwater. It isn’t waterproof out of the box like GoPros though.
Speaking of battery life, the two included rechargeable batteries will last you between 60 and 90 minutes of shooting time, depending on the resolution setting you’re using, which is kind of average for action cameras.
The batteries can be recharged in around 2-3 hours.
The Campark ACT74 offers a lot of bang for your buck at a ridiculously low price.
In many ways, it offers all the basics of what is needed in an action camera – and nothing more.
It doesn’t have a touch-screen though, so if this is a must for you, then you should look elsewhere. It also doesn’t come with electronic image stabilization.
If you want both of these features still at an incredibly low price, you could take a look at its bigger sibling the Campark X20 instead, which also includes a remote control.
And the field-of-view is set to 170 degrees. So you can’t switch between narrow/medium/wide camera angles, as you can with the other on this list.
For the reasons mentioned above, the Campark ACT74 would be our third choice.
4. FITFORT Action Camera – Basic Action Camera With Touch Screen
We continue the list of affordable cameras with this excellent model from Fitfort. This is another example of an action camera which gives you a ridiculously amount of features at a very low price.
The Fitfort Action Camera features a 16MP sensor. It can shoot in 4K/30 fps (so no 4K/60fps unfortunately), 2.7K in 30 fps, or 1080p at 60 fps.
The field-of-view is set to 170 degrees, so, unfortunately, you can’t switch between a narrow, medium or wide angle.
Touch screen and remote control
The 2-inch touch screen makes browsing the menu system easy, and it has an intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface.
The screen is bright and clear enough so you can see what you’re filming or photographing.
The manufacturer also included remote control in the package. This allows you to control the camera by just pressing a few buttons and you can do that while you’re biking, hiking, skiing, etc.
It doesn’t have voice control though.
Waterproof Cage Included
Another great advantage of this camera is that you can safely submerse it underwater up to 30 meters as it comes with a waterproof case. But it isn’t waterproof out of the waterproof case like a GoPro.
It’s also equipped with Wi-Fi technology, so you can easily connect it to your smartphone or tablet to transfer photos or videos.
Lots Of Accessories Included In The Box
The package contains a multitude of accessories such as 2 rechargeable batteries, multiple mounts for helmets or bicycles, cables, straps and more.
There are up to 19 different accessories included in the box, so you get great value for your money.
We keep getting amazed by the number of features and image quality of these cheap action cameras, and the Fitford 4K Action Camera is no exception.
However, at this price point, you also have to sacrifice something. And in this case, it is the waterproofing of the camera itself, no 4K at 60 fps, no adjustable field-of-view, no voice control, and no electronic image stabilization.
However, the image quality and amount of accessories, which include wireless remote control for your wrist and a waterproof casing, you get at this low price point still makes this camera a great buy if you’re on a budget.
For those reason the Fitford 4K is our fourth choice on the list.
5. Dragon Touch Vision 4 – Basic Action Camera With EIS But No Touch Screen
The last camera in our list comes from Dragon Touch and is called the Dragon Touch Vision 4 Action Camera.
The Dragon Touch is an extremely affordable “4K” camera with a 16MP sensor, which has electronic image stabilization (EIS), which is hard to find at this price point. But if it is useful – well, that is another matter. Read on.
Also, keep in mind that the 4K is not true 4K but only 3200×1800 (true 4K is 3840×2160).
You can shoot high-quality video at 4K resolution in 30 fps, but unfortunately not 4K at 60fps. You can, however, film at 1080p at 60fps.
Remote Control – But No Touch Screen
Why the manufacturer of this camera has chosen to call it the Dragon “Touch”, we don’t know, because it doesn’t come with a touch screen.
It does, however, come with remote control included the package, which gives you the option to control your device from a distance. For example, you can mount the remote to your wrist with the included bracelet and simply press a button to start or stop recording.
Electronic Image Stabilization
The Dragon Touch has in-built electronic image stabilization technology.
Truth be told though, we haven’t been able to see much of a difference unless we’re talking about micro jitters. It isn’t able to handle big shakes like from dirt biking or running.
But it works fine as a dashboard camera for your car or motorcycle unless the road is very bumpy.
It certainly isn’t as good as the EIS in the GoPro Hero 7.
This action camera is also waterproof so it can be used while scuba diving. With that being said, keep in mind that the remote is not waterproof, so you shouldn’t bring that under water.
With the waterproof casing, the camera can be submerged up to 100 feet (33 meters) underwater which should be sufficient for most people to shoot amazing aquatic life.
Lots Of Accessories – Including An External Clip-On Microphone
You might be happy to find out that the manufacturer has included numerous accessories in the package such as two external batteries, mounts for helmets and bicycles as well as the waterproof case.
You also get an external microphone included. It’s not the best quality, but it is so cool that the camera has the option to use an external microphone – especially if you’re using it for travel vlogs.
And as the camera accepts standard 2.5mm jacks, you can just buy another microphone of better quality, to get better audio quality.
Keep in mind though, that you have to remove the waterproof casing in order to record audio.
The Dragon Touch Vision 4 sports some cool features when you consider the low price point.
However, we feel the EIS could have been left out without it made much of a difference. We also think the battery life could be improved upon (you can expect about an hour of recording time).
However, the EIS found in action cameras often can’t keep up with all the… well, action. That’s why it is always recommended to use a gimbal – either a handheld one or a gimbal you can mount on your bike or helmet.
Also, the image quality is not as good as in some of the other options mentioned on this list.
That being said, at this price point you still get a lot of cool features such loop recording, time lapse modes, lots of accessories, the option to use a good external microphone, and remote control.
For the reasons mentioned above, the Dragon Touch is our fifth choice on this list.
Pick Your Favorite And Start Filming!
While GoPro continues to set the standard when it comes to innovations, image quality, and features, they are also expensive.
We hope this article has helped you get an overview of some of the more budget-friendly alternatives.
All of them come at reasonable prices, and especially the YI 4K+ is a budget-friendly but still serious competitor for the latest GoPro camera.
To make sure you’re picking the right one ask yourself where do you plan to shoot videos (underwater, outdoors, while skiing, as a dash cam, etc.). Also, is a touch screen important to you? Is an external microphone? Do you need 4K/60fps or is 4K/30fps enough? Ask yourself these types of questions and it will help you find the one suitable for you.
Which one is your favorite and why?
As promised here’s a table for a quick comparison:
|Action Camera Model (click the name to check current pricing)||GoPro Hero 7 Black||YI 4K+||AKASO V50 Elite||Campark ACT74||Fitfort 4K||Dragon Touch Vision 4|
|Video||4K60/50, 2.7K120/100, 1080p240/200||4K/30fps, 1080p/120fps, 720p/240fps||4K/60fps, 4K/30fps, 2.7K/60fps, 2.7K/30fps, 1080P/120fps, 720P/240fps||4K/30fps||4K/30Fps, 2.7K/30Fps, 1080P/60Fps||"4K"/30FPS, 2.7K/30fps, 1080P/60FPS|
|Screen||2 inch LCD touchscreen||2.2 inch LCD touchscreen||2 inch IPS touchscreen||2-inch touchscreen||2-inch touchscreen||2-inch screen|
|Waterproof||Waterproof to 33 feet (100 meters) without casing||No included waterproof case||Yes, up to 40m (with included case)||Yes, up to 30m (with included case)||Yes, up to 30m (with included case)||Yes, up to 33m (with included case)|
|Battery||1 x 1220mAh rechargeable battery||2 x 1400mAh rechargeable batteries||2x 1050mAh rechargeable batteries||2x 900mAh rechargeable batteries||2x 1050mAh rechargeable batteries||2x 1050mAh rechargeable batteries|
|Accessories||The Frame, mounting buckle, USB-C||USB cable included||Waterproof case, stands, mounts, cables and more||Waterproof case, stands, mounts, cables and more||Waterproof case, stands, mounts, remote, cables and more||Waterproof case, stands, mounts, remote, lens cloth, cables and more|
|Extras||Voice control, adjustable fov, touch zoom screen, face/smile/scene detction, GPS, shoot vertically, live streaming, Protune (manual camera controls), timelapse, HDR||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi and Voice Control||Wi-Fi and Remote Control||Wi-Fi and Remote Control||Wi-Fi and Remote Control|
About the author
Nick Gold is a content writer for hire specializing in health and tech topics. He writes regularly on multiple websites including