GoPro is the leader in the action camera industry, and it’s usually the first port of call for people who are looking for a rugged and highly portable camera. This isn’t really surprising since the company is known for producing high-quality devices that are packed with lots of interesting features. However, GoPro cameras are on the higher end of the price spectrum, which makes them unfeasible for budget buyers.
Fortunately, if you’re on a tight budget, there are cheaper alternatives that you can explore, such as the following:
Garmin VIRB XE
Garmin is known for its navigation devices, but it has pushed out of its comfort zone and created the VIRB XE. This camera can take 12MP still photos and record videos at several resolutions, including 1440p videos at 30fps, 1080p videos at 60fps, 960p videos at 100fps. True to Garmin form, the VIRB XE has a built-in Garmin GPS and can connect with other Garmin devices to record your speed, heart rate, and other useful data in real time.
Olympus Stylus TG-Tracker Action Camera
One of the best things about this Olympus action camera is that it’s built to be highly rugged. It’s dust-proof, waterproof until 30 meters deep, freeze-proof until -10 degrees Celsius, crush-proof until 100kgf, and shockproof until 21 meters — making it a great choice if you’re going on a tough adventure or if you’re just prone to dropping things. It comes with seven sensors including a GPS, water sensor, barometer, and underwater thermometer, which further increase its ruggedness.
Toshiba Camileo X-Sports
The Toshiba Camileo X-Sports is another tough cookie that can withstand water activities as well as accidental trips down the washing machine — mainly because of its waterproofing case, which gives it adequate protection until 60 meters deep. It comes with a synchronized video-photo capability that allows you to shoot still photos while recording videos, and it has a built-in LCD that allows you to easily view the pictures and videos you’ve taken.
YI 4K Action Cam
This action camera is actually produced by up-and-coming Chinese tech firm Xiaomi. The YI 4K Action Cam is notable in that its specs are similar with the GoPro HERO4’s (such as an Ambarella processor and a Sony CMOS sensor), but it’s only half the price of the HERO4 Black. It even has several features that the pricier GoPro model doesn’t have, such as a built-in 2.190-inch LCD screen and a 120-minute battery life when recording 4K videos.
Firefly 6S 4K Sport
The Firefly 6S has a 12MP Sony IMX078cqk CMOS sensor and a 140-degree wide-angle lens, and it can take videos in several resolutions, such as 4K videos at 24fps, 2.5K videos at 30fps, and 1080p videos at 60fps and 30fps. It has Wi-Fi functionality, so you can remotely access and control the camera through your tablet or smartphone. It doesn’t have all the features at GoPro cameras have, but it’s more than enough if you’re just looking for a basic action camera.
These are just some of the makes and models that give you GoPro-like features without the price tag. Explore these cheaper alternatives now to choose one that best suits your needs.