What are the best GoPro alternatives you can buy right now in the UK? We round up the best action cameras that you can shoot your outdoor activities with in 2016, which provide better features or offer awesome value for money compared with the GoPro range.
When you think of action cameras you probably immediately think of GoPro. In fact you probably say GoPro instead of action cam, a bit like how you might say Hoover instead of vacuum or Google instead of internet search – it’s that well established a brand. But GoPro isn’t necessarily the best action cam brand out there.
For a start, GoPro cameras aren’t particularly affordable. You can get cheaper models but they lack some core features, so you need to spend big to get the best. You also don’t get as many sensor metrics, and there are better alternatives for motion tracking, capturing underwater footage and so on.
These are the best GoPro alternatives, ordered by what they offer over a typical GoPro camera.
Best GoPro alternative for quick editing: TomTom Bandit
TomTom has gone all out with its Bandit action camera, to make sure GoPro has plenty to fear from this smart competitor. Not only does the TomTom Bandit shoot at up to 4K video with 15fps or 1080p at 60fps, but it also offers intelligent automatic editing on the go.
The idea here is to make the process of filming your activities the only real effort, so you don’t have to worry about spending lots of time editing afterwards. As a result you can film yourself, transfer the video to the phone using TomTom’s app and then simply shake your smartphone, and it will auto edit. Yup, TomTom’s smart software can intelligently find highlights and even edit music in to fit your escapades. It actually works too. How? Science of course. Or magic. One of the two.
Either way, the Bandit camera is tough, mounts easily, tracks movement and location data and adds G-Force data to your video. Plus it’ll only set you back about £160.
Best GoPro affordability: Xiaomi Yi Action Cam
This Chinese brand alternative to GoPro looks similar, while offering impressive specs including 1080p 60fps video recording and a 16MP Sony Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor. All that and you can pick one up for as a little as $99, which is about £78 in our British money (and that’s post-Brexit).
The Xiaomi Yi Action Cam even comes with a hefty 64GB memory card included and is waterproof to 40 metres right out of the box. At 72g it’s light enough to go pretty much anywhere, and it’s pretty rugged too.
Best GoPro alternative for movement tracking: Garmin Virb XE
The Garmin Virb XE is a super tough action cam that’ll not only record video but track movement data too.
On the video front you can get up to 1440p video at 30fps, 1080p at 60ps or 120fps slow motion at 720p plus 12-megapixel stills. It’s also got gyro enhanced stabilisation for smooth shots all the way through its 2-hour battery life, and all the way down to 50 metres underwater.
This action cam’s sensors are what really impress though, with data like heart rate, speed, acceleration and more all recorded in real-time to be overlaid on the video afterwards. There are also remote control options beyond the smartphone app that makes access easy even when skiing with gloves on. Not bad for an asking price of £285.
Best GoPro alternative for multiple angle shots: Drift Ghost-S
The Drift Ghost-S is a great camera packing some impressive specs and features, including a super powerful processor, 1080p 60fps video recording, Sony CMOS sensor, 3.5-hour battery life and a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass LCD screen. But it’s the multiple unit connectivity we really love.
Thanks to Drift’s Clone Mode, you can simultaneously record with up to five cameras all connected over the same Wi-Fi network. This is great for any budding film makers wanting to get multiple angles of the same event. It’s also ideal for capturing a stunt you’re likely only to do the once, because it’s so ridiculously dangerous. And when you’re not out action filming, the Ghost-S works as a dash cam in your car too.
A great offering for the £235 asking price.
Best GoPro alternative for 360-degree VR footage: Amkov 360 Degree HD Action Camera
The full name for this is – deep breath – Amkov 360 Degree Panoramic Fish-eye HD Action Camera. A mouthful for sure, but it pretty much tells you everything you need to know about this camera.
Thanks to that omni-directional fish-eye lens you can record in a full 360-degrees. That means when played back, you can look around using a VR headset to immerse yourself in the footage and even upload your VR creation to YouTube for sharing.
The camera can manage 1440p video recording at 30fps, connects to smartphones via Wi-Fi and can be used as a night vision car camera. All of that for just £100, give or take.
Best GoPro alternative for night video: Olympus TG-Tracker
The Olympic TG-Tracker action camera looks badass thanks to those exposed screws and that dual light and camera front-end. The top unit is a built-in LED light, making this ideal for low-light and night video and photos.
On top of all that, the Olympus TG-Tracker will also capture movement data and more thanks to its built in compass, thermometer, GPS and barometer. The camera manages 4K video recording at 30fps, offers a 3-hour battery life and is waterproof to 30 metres. All that will set you back about £270.
Best GoPro alternative for deep diving: Veho Muvi K-Series K2 NPNG
If your camera needs are focused on diving, and diving deep for that matter, then the Veho Muvi K-Series K2 NPNG is for you. This beast can withstand a whopping 100 metre dive depth – something most other action cams can’t attest to.
On top of that pressure resistance it’ll also manage 1080p video at 60fps, 16-megapixel stills and offers a 4-hour battery life. It’s available now for a respectable £140.