Best GoPro alternatives in 2022: action cameras that might be cheaper or better! (2022)

Best GoPro alternatives in 2022: action cameras that might be cheaper or better! (1)

The best GoPro alternatives are often more affordable, capable or action-packed than their official counterparts. While GoPro may be the household name that we all know when it comes to tough, tiny and waterproof cameras, the alternatives out there can be a compelling prospect.

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There are so many different uses for a GoPro camera, so it's good news that there are many different alternatives worth considering. We've rounded up all of the action cameras we could find that are essentially cheaper versions of GoPro models.

Whether you want a camera to mount on your bike helmet or your surfboard, the best GoPro alternatives all offer a similar level of toughness and should be watertight to boot. They also don't come with such a high price tag.

• Read more: The best GoPro accessories

However, if you're more interested in video features and can take or leave the tough stuff, there may be other models worth a look. We've made sure to include on our list a capable camcorder and a pocketable camera for vloggers, to give you a breadth of options.

There's also a capable tough compact camera from Olympus that provides waterproofing with a zoom lens. Lastly, if you're just after a camera that can capture unique perspectives, why not consider a drone! We've included one on the list too so that you can do just that.

The best GoPro alternatives: What to look for

When we put together our guide to the best GoPro alternatives we considered the weight and size of models, along with the price and actual camera features.

1. Weight and size:GoPros are small, unobtrusive and light by nature. This is so that they can be mounted in all sorts of positions when you're adventuring, and so that they don't get in the way of whatever activity you're doing. We've therefore stuck to very compact models that are versatile and enabling.

2. Price:GoPro lead the way when it comes to creating cameras for active lifestyles, but they can often be relatively expensive when first released. In this guide the models chosen should be under the price of an equivalent GoPro camera, offering you more value for money when you ditch the GoPro branding.

3. Camera features:The most important part of a GoPro alternative is that it still has decent camera specs. We looked at stabilization systems, resolution, video functions and battery life to ensure that any alternatives are up to the task.

Here are some of the best GoPro alternatives that we have been able to track down online and test…

Best GoPro alternatives in 2022

Best GoPro alternatives in 2022: action cameras that might be cheaper or better! (2)

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1. DJI Osmo Action

GoPro's true rival offers 4K video, a front facing screen and excellent stabilization

Specifications

Weight: 134g

Waterproof: 11m

4K video: up to 60fps

1080: up to 240fps

720: up to 240fps

Stills resolution: 12MP

Battery life: 1-2.25hrs (est)

Reasons to buy

+

Excellent value

+

High-quality stabilised footage

+

Useful front-facing screen

Reasons to avoid

-

Getting on a bit

When DJI announced it would be released an action camera, it would have to be really good to get close to competing with GoPro's. Luckily, the Osmo Action did just that and the better news is it's even cheaper than a GoPro. Its RockSteady stabilization system provides extremely smooth video whether you're cycling, white water rafting or climbing. It doesn't matter what type of adventure you take it on, you can be sure it'll capture high-quality, professional-looking videos that you can share with friends and family. A handy front-facing screen means you can see exactly what you're shooting, it can shoot 4K60p video and produce 12MP stills.

It is overdue for an upgrade but DJI seems to be focussing their energy on the best DJI drones (opens in new tab) rather than action cameras but regardless, the Osmo Action is still worth considering. It did release the DJI Action 2 but it's a square, modular system rather than the classic action cam set up but we've still included it further down the list.

• Read more: Best action cameras (opens in new tab)

Best GoPro alternatives in 2022: action cameras that might be cheaper or better! (3)

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2. AKASO EK7000 Pro

If you're on a really tight budget, this is the best GoPro alternative

Specifications

Weight: 61g

Waterproof: 40m (with case)

4K video: 25fps

1080: 60fps

720: No

Stills resolution: 16MP

Battery life: Up to 90 minutes

Reasons to buy

+

Good 2-inch touchscreen

+

Great value for 4K

Reasons to avoid

-

SD card sold separately

-

Struggles in low light

There are a wealth of cheap GoPro alternatives out there, but it’s best to be discerning, as not all are worth your time. The Akaso EK7000 Pro is a good camera across the board, shooting pretty impressive 4K footage and sporting a handy 2-inch touchscreen, though you can’t use the touchscreen when it’s in the waterproof case. The sensor struggles a little in low light, but otherwise does a decent job, and for a price this good it’s hard to complain. Though it doesn’t come with the required SD card, so if you don’t have one already, you’ll need to factor that into your costs.

• Read more: Best budget action cameras (opens in new tab)

Best GoPro alternatives in 2022: action cameras that might be cheaper or better! (4)

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3. DJI Action 2

This versatile action camera offers 4K video and dual touchscreen

Reasons to buy

+

Use compact or with combo unit

+

Dual touchscreen interface

+

Live streaming

Reasons to avoid

-

Lacks 5K video

-

Limited without extra mods

Leading drone maker DJI forced a re-think for GoPro by introducing a front-screen to its first action camera, the Osmo Action. It took a while for the successor to arrive, but eventually, the Action 2 came along in 2021, and it was a bit of different beast. Far from just a straight Osmo Action upgrade, the Action 2 re-imagines what a GoPro-style camera can look like, starting from a tiny 39x39mm square camera and allowing the attachment–by a magnetic clip – of additional units for extra connectivity, battery life and a vlogging screen.

Its core cuboid body looks like a GoPro Session (if anyone remembers those) but its modular nature more resembles GoPro cameras like the Hero 8 onwards. The image stabilization options are also impressive, including a horizon leveller, and it has a larger 1 / 1.7” sensor to boot. Even when paired with an additional unit, it is only around the size of a GoPro (but only when paired do you get a USB socket or the option to add a microSD card).

Control is via a touchscreen; it’s a bit limited by the size of the main camera unit, though the front touch-screen attachment matches it perfectly, making vlogging easier. It's not exactly a replacement for a GoPro Hero camera, but it's a compelling alternative.

Best GoPro alternatives in 2022: action cameras that might be cheaper or better! (5)

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4. Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition

If you're after a 2-in-1 action camera and 360 camera this is you're best option

Specifications

Weight: Not specified

Waterproof: 4.87m (housings are available)

5.7K video: 30fps

4K video: 60fps (with optional module)

1080: 200fps

720: No

Stills resolution: 12MP

Battery life: Not specified

Reasons to buy

+

Highly customisable

+

RAW shooting available

+

AI-powered shooting modes

Reasons to avoid

-

Small screen

With GoPro dominating the mainstream of action cameras, it makes sense for rivals to innovate. The Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition is one of the more intriguing releases of recent years – it gets its name by virtue of the fact that it’s two cameras in one, sort of. It has two lens modules that can be swapped at will, one of which is a 360-degree camera, and the other is a straight 4K-shooting action mode. If you want, you can also pick up the Leica-made one-inch sensor mode, for quality to rival the Sony RX0 II! AI-powered shooting modes help pick out the interesting parts of 360-degree footage, and this gives you real flexibility out in the field.

• Read more: Best 360 cameras (opens in new tab)

Best GoPro alternatives in 2022: action cameras that might be cheaper or better! (6)

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5. Akaso Brave 7 LE

Another great GoPro alternative for vlogging on a budget

Specifications

Weight: 555g

Waterproof: 1m (housings available)

4K video: 30fps

1080: 60fps

720: 120fps

Stills resolution: 20MP

Battery life: 2-3 hours (est.)

Reasons to buy

+

Handy front-facing screen

+

Effective 6-axis stabilisation

Reasons to avoid

-

Middling frame rates

-

Minimal waterproofing without housing

Akaso’s budget action cameras continue to impress, with the Akaso Brave 7 LE offering loads of great features for vloggers looking to keep costs down. It shoots 4K video and has a 6-axis stabilization system that’s surprisingly effective for a camera at this price. The front-facing screen makes it good for vlogging, though it really is a tiny model, and will probably take some getting used to. The waterproofing without housing is also pretty minimal, so bear that in mind before plunging it into the ocean! Overall though, the Akaso Brave 7 LE is a great budget option for vloggers who want a GoPro-lite.

Best GoPro alternatives in 2022: action cameras that might be cheaper or better! (7)

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6. DJI Pocket 2

Powerful stabilization literally in your pocket – this is vlogger’s dream

Specifications

Weight: 117g

Waterproof: No

4K video: 60fps

2.7K: 60fps

1080: 60fps

720: No

Stills resolution: 16MP

Battery life: About two hours (est.)

Reasons to buy

+

Creator Combo great for vloggers

+

Small size, excellent stabilisation

Reasons to avoid

-

Issues in low light

-

No waterproofing

Another one for those who aren’t fussed about waterproofing – the DJI Pocket 2 fits a similar vloggy niche to GoPro cameras. Indeed, it can be bought as part of an excellent Creator Combo pack, including a Mini Control Stick, a case, tripod mount, wrist strap, wireless microphone, a dead-cat windshield, a wide-angle lens and a Do-It-All Handle with a mic-input jack. This, plus the class-leading stabilisation and pocketable form factor, makes the Pocket 2 one of the most potent little cameras for vloggers. It struggles a little with noise issues in low light, so that’s something to be mindful of, but otherwise it does a really impressive job in most conditions.

Best GoPro alternatives in 2022: action cameras that might be cheaper or better! (8)

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7. Olympus Tough TG-6

An impressive underwater camera that can take a bit of rough and tumble

Specifications

Weight: 253g

Waterproof: 15m

4K video: 30fps

1080: 120fps

720: 240fps

Stills resolution: 12MP

Battery life: 340 shots (CIPA)

Reasons to buy

+

Extremely hard-wearing

+

Optical zoom lens

Reasons to avoid

-

Pricey for a tough compact

-

Bulkier than a GoPro

One of the main restrictions of GoPros is that they have a fixed wide-angle lens, so you are locked into that distinct GoPro perspective. The Olympus Tough TG-6 is a waterproof compact that is equipped with an optical zoom lens, a 25-100mm equivalent with a maximum aperture of f/2 at the wide end. It looks and handles much more like a traditional camera than anything else on this list, making it a noticeably bulkier choice than a standard GoPro. But if this doesn’t bother you, it’s an extremely tough camera that’ll stand up to some punishment and keep right on trucking.

• Read more: Best waterproof cameras (opens in new tab)

Best GoPro alternatives in 2022: action cameras that might be cheaper or better! (9)

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8. DJI Mavic Air 2

Ok so we're pushing the boat out with this one but it can capture all your action adventures from above

Specifications

Weight: 570g

Waterproof: No

4K video: 60fps

2.7K: 60fps

1080: 240fps

720: No

Stills resolution: No

Battery life: Up to 31 mins

Reasons to buy

+

Excellent 4K 60fps video

+

Agile flight

Reasons to avoid

-

Pretty pricey

-

Limited internal storage

If you’re interested in GoPros for the fact that they can get extreme footage, and go where other cameras can’t, then why not consider a drone! The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a class-leading drone, blending smooth flying capabilities with outstanding video capture. Its sensor is a little larger than you normally get in a drone, improving the quality and dynamic range of its footage, and the specialist modes like ActiveTrack and QuickShots basically do the work for you. You do have to get it registered before flying, but once that’s done, you’ll be capturing spectacular footage and crisp stills in no time.

• Read more: Best drones for beginners (opens in new tab)

Also read:
Best GoPro deals (opens in new tab)
30 best GoPro accessories (opens in new tab)
Best GoPro cameras (opens in new tab): fantastic action cams you can buy right now
GoPro Hero 9 vs 10 Black (opens in new tab)
GoPro Hero 9 vs 8 Black (opens in new tab)
GoPro Hero 8 vs Max (opens in new tab)
GoPro Hero 7 vs 8 (opens in new tab)
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GoPro Subscription explained (opens in new tab)
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Best GoPro alternatives in 2022: action cameras that might be cheaper or better! (10)

Jon Stapley

Jon spent years at IPC Media writing features, news, reviews and other photography content for publications such as Amateur Photographer and What Digital Camera in both print and digital form. With his additional experience for outlets like Photomonitor, this makes Jon one of our go-to specialists when it comes to all aspects of photography, from cameras and action cameras to lenses and memory cards, flash diffusers and triggers, batteries and memory cards, selfie sticks and gimbals, and much more besides.

An NCTJ-qualified journalist, he has also contributed to Shortlist, The Skinny, ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, The Guardian, Trusted Reviews, CreativeBLOQ, and probably quite a few others I’ve forgotten.

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