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February 22

Top Five Budget GoPro Hero Alternatives

Posted by on February 22, 2016 at 8:07 AM

Lets face it, if you’re going on an active holiday and you want to capture awesome in-motion shots then your smartphone with the ruggedness of an Iced VoVo isn’t really going to cut it. Hence the birth of the GoPro camera, but the cost of some models are ridiculous so the question for many is how to save money whilst still capturing high quality shots?

Top Five Budget GoPro Hero Alternatives

If you are in the market looking to buy an action camera for under $250, then these are some of the most popular budget equivalents that you can buy which have received good reviews. The majority of these have become popular because they are light, durable and support an expanding array of accessories, e.g. bike harness’, cat harness’, car dashboard mounts etc.

 

Xiaomi YiCamera

Top Five Budget GoPro Hero Alternatives

Weight 72 grams
Video 1080p HD
Slow motion Yes – 1080p
Viewing angle 155 degrees
Storage Up 64 GB
Price $110

 

Xiaomi are known for undercutting the market with technology as advanced as the market leaders. Their smartphones have become very popular in recent years and due to this fact they are now entering the action camera market with their same value for money strategy.

 

Pros

All tech within this camera competes directly with the entry level GoPro Hero which retails for roughly $180. The Xiaomi being $70 cheaper is also lighter in weight and records in slow motion at 60 frames per second, which the GoPro can’t do.

Cons

Produced in China, as part of the companies smart gadget range, there are corners cut e.g. the device comes with no accessories, not even a microSD card and it doesn’t have video/image stabilisation.

 

Overview

The Xiomi YiCamera overall captures high quality video content but the lack of stabilisation can be an issue when you’re moving. Price used to be this camera’s strong point, but now you don’t need to spend much more to get the key action camera feature of stabilisation, meaning its value for money factor is diminishing.

 

 

SJCam SJ5000

Top Five Budget GoPro Hero Alternatives

Weight 74 grams
Video 1080p HD
Slow motion Yes – 480p
Viewing angle 170 degrees
Storage Up 32 GB
Price $150

 

Nicknamed the ‘FauxPro’ this SJCam SJ5000 is a lookalike GoPro camera with features seemingly as strong as the market leader itself. Reviews online are generally positive about a brand that I think we can all safely say we have never heard of before. The price is a little higher than expected for an unknown brand, but there are plenty of extra accessories included.

 

Pros

Buying one of these devices will give you a GoPro lookalike along with accessories such as a waterproof case, handlebar mount, frame mound, tripod adapter and more. The viewing angle is a wide 170 degrees and it operates well within well light environments.

Cons

On average it’s a similar price to the GoPro Hero although that’s for a brand we don’t know. The camera only captures slow-motion video at 60 frames per second at 480p, which is another let down and makes it difficult to justify choosing it over a GoPro Hero.

 

Overview

The SJCam SJ5000 certainly looks and feels like a GoPro and could be considered as an alternative, but unless you need all of the accessories that come with this camera the value for money just isn’t there. If your main requirement is the camera, then you are better off spending a bit of extra money to get a superior GoPro Hero camera.

 

 

HTC Re

Top Five Budget GoPro Hero Alternatives

Weight 66 grams
Video 1080p HD
Slow motion Yes – 720p HD
Viewing angle 146 degrees
Storage Up 128 GB
Price $175

 

HTC have been struggling in recent years within the smartphone market so with an attempt to try and recapture some momentum they launched the HTC Re action camera. The Taiwanese company still believes they offer what the younger generation want, one of them being their HTC Re which comes in a range of bright colours, orange, white, blue and turquoise.

 

Pros

The periscope shaped gadget offers something different to the standard rectangle GoPro as well as being very portable. Its shape makes holding it with one hand incredibly easy to capture those ‘far-out & radical’ shots. The camera also provides video/image stabilisation and comes with a multipurpose mount, dock and 8GB microSD.

Cons

The price is a little higher compared to the previous model mentioned, but its design plus the equipment that comes with it may help justify that. Although the camera doesn’t shoot full 1080p in slow motion, in my opinion its hand-friendly shape makes it a more superior camera, plus it can hold a 128GB microSD.

 

Overview

The HTC Re overall is a funky looking device, which is very appealing to younger generations. The fact that it can be held in one’s hand with great ease also makes capturing those action shots even easier. Its one downfall is the narrower viewing angle compared to most.

 

 

Polaroid XS100 HD

Top Five Budget GoPro Hero Alternatives

Weight 136 grams
Video 1080p HD
Slow motion Yes – 720p HD
Viewing angle 170 degrees
Storage Up 32 GB
Price $247

 

That’s right, Polaroid is still in business and they are trying their hand at the digital age with one of the company’s more promising looking products. This telescope shaped camera is the companies approach to the action camera market.

 

Pros

The Polaroid XS100 most importantly comes with video/image stabilisation and because the company is hungry to win market share, they provide a range of accessories included with the camera. Expect to receive useful mounts within the box for things like helmets and bicycle handlebars. The tube-shaped design also carries a secret weapon called auto-rotate, so it doesn’t matter which way up the device is, your video will always be the right way up.

Cons

The Polaroid XS100 certainly has one of the smaller expandable memory capacities on the market, which might deter some customers. The camera also struggles in low light meaning those beautiful sunset shots may be lost with this camera.

 

Overview

The Polaroid XS100′s auto-rotate feature on this camera is by far the best part about it, meaning you no longer have to spin your phone like a steering wheel when showing your friends your holiday action videos. Besides the small expandable memory capacity the hefty price tag also alienates this camera from the crowd.

 

 

Sony HDR-AS20/B

Top Five Budget GoPro Hero Alternatives

Weight 57 grams
Video 1080p HD
Slow motion Yes – 1080p HD
Viewing angle 170 degrees
Storage Up 64 GB
Price $229

 

Sony have been in the digital camera game for a long time so we expect nothing less than a great product and with their Song HDR 4K action camera you do get the quality you are looking for. However, being a Sony product the item does cost a little more than the average market price.

 

Pros

Expect video stabilisation, which has been re-branded by Sony to be called ‘Steady Shot’. The camera also comes with an adhesive mount plus a hardwearing waterproof case. Numerous reviews on camera websites have voted this product as one of the top GoPro alternatives.

Cons

The circular bottom of this camera makes it impossible to stand on a flat surface and capture images/video. In addition, without the waterproof case you won’t be able to mount the device on a tripod because there is no threaded mount. The curved surface on the waterproof case in front of the lens also distorts the image badly underwater.

 

Overview

Sony’s HDR-AS20/B is a great alternative to the GoPro but without the waterproof casing it can feel a bit delicate to lug around with you. My two gripes with this camera are that without the case its impossible to stand the camera on a surface to capture shots, and that while under water the image is distorted. Ultimately though, it depends on your activity as to whether this camera is right for you.

 


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