Looking for an alternative to the tiny, mighty HD action camera? Here are our top picks
If you’re a photography enthusiast, you’d sometimes think twice about lugging around your heavy DSLR on your travels. Then you wonder if you could just make do with your iPhone and its many apps and gadgets — or (finally) put your money down on a GoPro. The small-yet-hardy action camera’s great for quality videos (even stills), but it does cost a pretty penny. Not quite ready to invest? Good news: there are any GoPro alternatives out there, and we’ve rounded them all up for you here.
SJCAM – SJ4000
We’re zooming in on the SJ4000, which comes with a built-in 1.5” LCD screen (earlier GoPro models lack this feature), records full HD 1080p video, and captures 12mp stills. Batteries are removable, and this little thing is also water-resistant up to 30 metres underwater.
Visit SJCAM’s official website.
Xiaomi – Yi
You must’ve heard the hype about Xiaomi’s Yi action camera. Costing less than half the price of GoPro’s earlier models, this device has some cool features: 16mp camera, WiFi-enabled, and it only weighs 72g (a GoPro Hero weighs 111g). The only thing you have to get used to is the camera’s heavy reliance on its app (camera mode, battery level).
Visit Xiaomi’s official website.
CamOne – Infinity
The German-built CamOne Infinity may seem like your average action cam – integrated LCD screen, six buttons for easy menu navigation, two memory card slots, lightweight, compact… except there’s one key difference that sets it apart from the rest. Two words: interchangeable lenses. Choose from a 170-degree (original), 142-degree, or a 96-degree lens.
Visit CamOne’s official website.
Toshiba – Camileo X-Sports
The first of its kind for Toshiba, the Camileo X-Sports sure is user-friendly, thanks to its four navigational buttons. It is a little bigger than a GoPro, but for the price, we think it’s pretty value-for-money. Another plus point: the accessories that come with it. You’ll find plenty to play around with in the box – there’s no need to spend more money building up your collection.
Visit Toshiba’s official website.
Vivitar – DVR 787
The Vivitar DVR 787 comes with a clear waterproof case, an ATV/bike mount, as well as a helmet mount. Its 2.4” touch screen is one sweet feature, although some argue it could be a touch brighter. One small issue for Mac users: it records movies in .AVI format, but it’s nothing the Free Video Converter app can’t fix.
Visit Vivitar’s official website.
Polaroid – Cube
These cute little things by Polaroid may look like toys, but don’t be fooled – they can shoot impressive 1080p videos. The Cube is really teeny tiny, measuring just about an inch and a half on each side. It has a magnetic bottom plate so stick it onto any metallic surface and you’re good to go.
Visit Polaroid’s official website.
Rollei – Actioncam 400
With its rubberised body, 2-inch LCD screen, and 3mp and 1080p camera and video capturing capabilities, this sports camera packs a punch. The accessories that come in the box are fab as well – from a radio frequency wrist-wireless remote control and a clear underwater case to rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and a helmet mounting plate.
Visit Rollei’s official website.
JVC – ADIXXION GC-XA2
This JVC camera looks a little different from the GoPro (it’s a little longish, with the lens on the side instead of opposite of the screen), but we’re pretty blown away by how tough it truly is. Without a housing, it’s freeze-, water-, dust-, and shockproof. It also has built-in WiFi and its batteries are removable and rechargeable.
Visit JVC’s official website.
Sony – HDR-AS100V Action Cam
The HDF-AS100V (a bit of a mouthful, we know) takes pretty solid stills and even better videos (1080p) and comes with cool features like a built-in GPS. But the best thing about it is arguably the awesome battery life; it generally lasts a little over two hours.
Visit Sony’s official website.