If you're looking for an alternative to the popular GoPro camera, I can understand why. GoPros are awesome, but their price tag can be a bit high for some travelers. And even if you can swing the price, not everyone wants to travel with a $400 camera in their bag.
I've got a Hero 3, one of the older models, and it still holds up well years later. Overall it's been a fun video camera to travel with. I've gotten the most use out of it when around water since it's the only waterproof camera I've ever owned.
Here's the catch though. I was given my GoPro as a gift. (What an AMAZING gift, right?!) But if I were to buy a waterproof sports camera myself, would I have spent the money on a GoPro? Or would I have looked for one of the many GoPro knock offs or GoPro alternatives on the market? That's what I've done for you today. I've compared the best GoPro alternatives on the market – focusing on the options with smaller price tags so that you can buy a camera and still afford a hostel tonight with Wifi to upload your photos. Here we go!
Comparing the GoPro Hero5, Hero5 Session, and Hero Session
Let's start by checking out the available GoPro models for comparison, which currently comes in three models. You can definitely still find some Hero4 and Hero3 cameras for sale for less money, but for the sake of this comparison article, I'm going to focus on comparing the newest GoPro models with alternatives on the market today.
Hero 5 (See Price)
The Hero5 boasts a 12MP camera and up to 4K resolution video. With built-in waterproof capabilities (no case needed), you can take this sucker up to 33 feet under water. One button controls, Wifi + Bluetooth ready with auto-upload to the cloud feature, wind reduction, voice control, video stabilization, touch display, location capture, and the ability to capture RAW + WDR Photos – this is the premiere version of the GoPro currently on the market.
Hero 5 Session (See Price)
The Hero5 Session is almost identical to the Hero 5 in specs, except in a smaller and more compact form – which may be a big plus if size matters to you. The Session only offers a 10MP camera (instead of a 12MP on the Hero 5), but like it's big brother, handles up to 4K video. Other than camera resolution, what you're sacrificing for a more compact size is a touch display, location capture, and ability to capture RAW + WDR Photos.
Hero Session (See Price)
With the Hero Session you still get the benefit of a smaller and more compact camera compared to the Hero 5 and traditional GoPro models, but you lose a few key features like voice control, video stabilization, and the ability to auto-upload to the cloud. Additionally the Hero Session only offers an 8MP camera (as opposed to 10MP on the Hero 5 Session) and 10 frames per second burst mode (as opposed to 30 FPS). For the smaller price tag, you're also sacrificing 4k video, as the Hero Session only records up to 1440P30 video resolution.
|Model:||Hero5||Hero5 Session||Hero Session|
|Price:||See Price||See Price||See Price|
|Burst Speed:||30 FPS||30 FPS||10 FPS|
|Video Res:||Up to 4K30||Up to 4K30||Up to 1440P30|
|Waterproof:||33FT (10M)||33FT (10M)||33FT (10M)|
|One Button Control:|
|Auto-Upload to Cloud:|
|RAW + WDR Photos:|
Less Expensive GoPro Alternatives
Okay, so you didn't necessarily come here to learn about the GoPro, but it's important that we breakdown their features and capabilities in order to compare the GoPro to alternative cameras. Let's do that now. Remember for this article, I'm focusing on less expensive or cheaper alternatives to the GoPro, so I looked for cameras that boasted similar features and capabilities to the GoPro cameras, were highly rated by users, and came with smaller price tags.
AKASO EK7000 (See Price)
Let's start with the AKASO EK7000 which is my top pick for GoPro alternatives with a 4.6 / 5 star rating on Amazon. Let's face it – the AKASO EK7000 is about as “GoPro knockoff” as you can get. It looks almost identical to the Hero 4 and is even packaged the same! It comes with a wireless remote control that you can wear on your wrist, a removable waterproof hard shell case, and 2 rechargeable long lasting 1050mAh batteries that can record up to 90 minutes of video each.
How does the AKASO EK7000 compare to the GoPro Hero 5?
- Both cameras offer 12MP resolution still shots with 30 frames per second burst mode and up to 4K video captures.
- The Hero 5 has a 2″ touch display for viewing your photos and videos directly from the camera. The EK7000 has a display but it's not touch screen.
- The EK700 has Wifi but lacks Bluetooth like the Hero 5.
- The Hero 5 advertises that it can withstand up to 33 feet underwater and the EK7000 advertises up to 100 feet, however needs a waterproof case whereas the Hero 5 does not require one for up to that depth.
- The EK700 comes standard with two batteries and the Hero 5 only comes with one.
- The EK700 comes with a variety of accessories like Bicycle Stand Mounts, Clips, Helmet Mounts, Bandages, and Tethers. These items are sold separately with the Hero 5.
- The EK700 can handle up to a 64GB MicroSD card which is NOT INCLUDED. The Hero 5 and Hero Session cameras support up to 128GB MicroSD card which is also NOT INCLUDED.
- The EK700 will work with many Go Pro mounts and accessories from the Hero 4 and prior models. The Hero 5 and Sessions require separate accessories from the prior models because of the complete design overhaul which not require waterproof housing.
- The Hero 5 has a built in video stabilizer whereas the AKASO EK7000 stabilizes video via their software.
What do users think of the AKASO EK7000 versus the GoPro Hero 5?
Many users spoke highly of the price vs features of the AKASO EK7000, and appreciated the included accessories. One user mentioned that the battery door is hard to open without a screwdriver, and another said that the video/image stabilizer could be better.
About AKASO the company
AKASO is a Chinese brand started in 2013. Their main products are drones and they also offer a series of ancillary equipment for their drones including action cameras like the EK7000.
eXuby Pro X2000CS (See Price)
Next up we've got the eXuby Pro X2000CS which is my second pick for GoPro alternatives. Like the EK7000, this camera also boasts a 4.6 / 5 star rating on Amazon and a striking resemblance to the GoPro Hero 4. There's no hiding that the eXuby Pro X2000CS is a GoPro knockoff – but for the price, no-one's complaining. Like the Hero 5, this camera offers a 12MP still shot camera. But unlike the Hero 5's 4k video resolution, this camera only records up to 1080P resolution at 30fps – which is probably fine for most people, especially if you're filming video for the web. Unlike the EK7000, it DOES NOT come with a wireless remote control, but it does come with an 18 piece accessory kit that includes a waterproof housing and a selection of clips and mounts.
How does the eXuby Pro X2000CS compare to the GoPro Hero 5?
- Both cameras offer 12MP resolution still shots with 30 frames per second burst mode but the X2000CS only records up to 1080P resolution for video compared to Hero 5's 4K.
- The Hero 5 has a 2″ touch display for viewing your photos and videos directly from the camera. The X2000CS also has a 2″ display but it's not touch screen.
- The X2000CS has Wifi but lacks Bluetooth like the Hero 5.
- The Hero 5 advertises that it can withstand up to 33 feet underwater but the X2000CS does not make any claim as to how deep it can go.
- Both cameras come with one battery.
- The X2000CS comes with an 18 piece accessory kit which includes accessories that are sold separately with the Hero 5.
- The X2000CS can only handle up to a 32GB MicroSD card which is NOT INCLUDED. The Hero 5 and Hero Session cameras support up to 128GB MicroSD card which is also NOT INCLUDED.
What do users think of the eXuby Pro X2000CS versus the GoPro Hero 5?
One user said that the eXuby Pro X2000CS was just as good as his GoPro3+ that he's had for two years. The general consensus is that it's a great value for the price, however, a couple people mentioned purchasing extra batteries, which comes with the territory of using a video camera.
About eXuby the company
eXuby is a trademark of Gamebox Inc, a Los Angeles based company started in 2009. Described on their website as a “wholesaler of video games and electronics” – eXuby seems to be their private label brand of action cameras.
ViDi VDCK021 (See Price)
In a close third place we've got the ViDi VDCK021 which is self-proclaimed as “the people's action camera” and boasts a respectable 4.4 / 5 star rating on Amazon. A nice difference between the VDCK021 and the alternatives mentioned above is that this camera comes ready to film straight out of the box. Included in the box is a 4GB memory card, charged-up battery, selfie stick, and waterproof case. (The Hero 5, EK7000, and X2000CS do not come with any memory card or a selfie stick.) 4GB is not a lot of space, but it'll get you started. I remember when I first received my Hero 3 as a gift, unwrapped the package, turned on the camera, and couldn't take a picture until I went to Best Buy and over paid for a MicroSD card because I was too impatient to order one online. I wanted to use my camera immediately! I would have been thrilled if a 4GB card came in the box.
The ViDi VDCK021 also advertises a dash cam mode, or loop recording, which allows you to automatically overwrite the oldest file every 3, 5, and 10 minute intervals. While they admit this isn’t a dedicated dash camera, it's a mode that can come in handy.
How does the ViDi VDCK021 compare to the GoPro Hero 5?
- Both cameras offer 12MP resolution still shots with 30 frames per second burst mode, but the VDCK021 only video records up to 1080P resolution whereas the Hero 5 records up to 4K resolution.
- The Hero 5 advertises that it has a “simple one button operation” and the VDCK021 advertises an “easy to use four button interface”. Personally I wouldn't mind some extra buttons on my GoPro but this wouldn't be my deciding factor.
- The Hero 5 has a 2″ touch display for viewing your photos and videos directly from the camera. The VDCK021 has a 1.5″ display but it's not touch screen.
- The VDCK021 has Wifi but lacks Bluetooth like the Hero 5.
- The Hero 5 advertises that it can withstand up to 33 feet underwater and the VDCK021 advertises up to 40 feet in its waterproof case – which FLOATS without an additional accessory.
- Both cameras come with one battery and it's recommended to purchase additional batteries.
- The VDCK021 comes with a waterproof floating camera case, 4GB Micro SD card, selfie stick, and charged battery. Only the battery is included with the Hero 5 and the waterproof case is not needed as the Hero 5 is waterproof without a case. Mounts and clips are sold separately for both cameras.
- The VDCK021 can handle up to a 64GB MicroSD card which is NOT INCLUDED (only a 4GB is included). The Hero 5 and Hero Session cameras support up to 128GB MicroSD card which is also NOT INCLUDED (no card at all is included).
What do users think of the ViDi VDCK021 versus the GoPro Hero 5?
Users have called the ViDi VDCK021 a great entry level camera, but lacks the high quality video of other higher priced options. It's ease of use was mentioned frequently. The general consensus is that you get what you pay for and if your expectations aren't set to high, you'll love the camera.
About ViDi the company
ViDi was founded in 2014 by Spencer Taylor with a vision to make quality cameras accessible and affordable to everyone around the globe. Their company motto is about being true to yourself, no matter who you are. They hope their customers will feel like they can be true to themselves when using their products. (Hey, as long as the camera works!)
APEMAN B01GE99L0K (See Price)
My final pick and the last GoPro alternative to make it to this list is the APEMAN B01GE99L0K with a 4.1 / 5 star rating on Amazon. Yet another GoPro knockoff with a similar look and feel to the Hero 4. However given the price, positive reviews, and seemingly responsive customer service, I decided to add the APEMAN B01GE99L0K to the list. For those interested, they also offer a 4K video model but the reviews were not as high. Many of the 1-star reviews, however, were anecdotal during this past Christmas season where a few of the products did not come with all accessories in the box and people were upset. For this review, I'm focusing on the 1080P B01GE99L0K for it's lower price and higher reviews, although the specs between the two other than the video resolution are very similar.
How does the APEMAN B01GE99L0K compare to the GoPro Hero 5?
- Both cameras offer 12MP resolution still shots with 30 frames per second burst mode. But the Hero 5 has up to 4K video captures whereas the B01GE99L0K only offers up to 1080P.
- The Hero 5 has a 2″ touch display for viewing your photos and videos directly from the camera. The B01GE99L0K has a 1.5″ display but it's not touch screen.
- The B01GE99L0K has Wifi but lacks Bluetooth like the Hero 5.
- The Hero 5 advertises that it can withstand up to 33 feet underwater and the B01GE99L0K advertises up to 30 feet, however needs a waterproof case whereas the Hero 5 does not require one for up to that depth.
- Both cameras come with one battery and it's recommended to purchase additional.
- The B01GE99L0K comes with a variety of clips which are sold separately with the Hero 5.
- The B01GE99L0K can handle up to a 32GB MicroSD card which is NOT INCLUDED. The Hero 5 and Hero Session cameras support up to 128GB MicroSD card which is also NOT INCLUDED.
What do users think of the APEMAN B01GE99L0K versus the GoPro Hero 5?
There are mixed reviews about the video quality of the APEMAN B01GE99L0K in comparison to the GoPro series. Some said it was just as good while others said it wasn't. One user said that although the video quality wasn't as good, it was hard to notice unless you were looking for differences.
About APEMAN the company
The APEMAN brand is owned by Shenzhen Apeman E-Business Co., Ltd, a company located in Shenzhen, China. Beyond Amazon there isn't much information available about the company online.
Which is the best least expensive GoPro alternative?
Do you value accessories like extra batteries, clips, mounts, and selfie stickers over video quality? If so you may want to go with the eXuby Pro X2000CS or the ViDi VDCK021 which stand-out for their included accessories. If you're after 4K video quality and don't mind buying your accessories separately, the AKASO EK7000 is probably the right fit for you. The included wireless remote is also nice plus for the AKASO EK7000.
I hope that this list and detailed breakdown of cheaper GoPro alternatives helps you decide which one is best for your needs. If you have any questions, corrections to my information, or suggestions about other alternative GoPro cameras that you recommend, please leave your comments below.
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