GoPro Alternatives – Cheap 4K capable Action Cameras

Here are cheap alternatives to GoPro Cameras, I’ve compiled this list of awesome Action Cameras capable of Ultra High Definition Video 4K videos and Still Photo captures perfect for the sport junkie on a budget.

GitUp Git2 – 2K capable camera

This action camera is capable of taking 2Kvideos at a smooth 60 fps. Equipped with a Novatek 96660 chipset and Sony IMX206 16 MP BSI sensor, the camera offers great video and still Photo production. Also worth mentioning, the camera comes with built in Gyroscope Stabilization (Anti-Shake) and motion detection. The IP68 Waterproof case is water resistant up to 30 minutes.

The camera is also a perfect fit for those who are into RC drones, the small form factor and light weight design easily fits to any most drones currently available. Furthermore, the camera’s GoPro like dimensions makes it compatible with GoPro 3 or 4 accessories. Also, if you have an SJCam battery lying around, the camera is compatible with this type of battery.

Unfortunately, one drawback of the camera is the average battery life. The 950mAh (rated at 90 minutes of use at a single charge) isn’t that accurate, thus, you need an extra battery to compensate that. The GitUp Git2 currently retails at $108 (limited flash sale)

Main Pros:

  • Sony IMX206 16 MP BSI Sensor
  • Novatek 96660 Chipset
  • LCD Screen
  • Small Form Factor
  • Up to 2K video Recording (2560 x 1440p @ 60fps)
  • Supports External Microphone
  • Supports Wireless Remote (Android/iPhone)

Cons:

  • Software is mainly Chinese (English is simplified)
  • Gyroscope Stabilization
  • Battery Life

SJCam SJ5000X Elite Edition – 4K Capable Action Camera

There are plenty of SJCam’s available but this elite edition is one of the choices of 4K video recording experience. The camera is equipped with a 12 MP Sony IMX078 BSI CMOS sensor running on a Novatek 96660 Chipset. Also equipped with Gyroscope Stabilization (Anti-shake), motion detection, multiple shooting modes including time lapse and much more. Furthermore, the camera also with a 2.0 inch LCD display.

Image quality is decent and 4K recording is capable up to 24 fps and 1080p @ 60 fps. The camera lens also has a wider angle than other cameras. The iP68 Water resistant case can withstand up to 30 meters.

One drawback of the camera is the not so good battery life. Especially with the LCD brightness turned up, the battery drains fast compared to other cameras who lack LCD Display’s. For longer recording sessions, you need extra batteries to compensate. The Sjcam Sj5000X Elite Edition currently retails at $149

Main Pros:

  • 12 MP Sony IMX078 CMOS Sensor
  • Novatek 96660 Chipset
  • built-in Gyroscope Anti–Shake Stabilization
  • Supports up to 4K video recording @ 24 fps, 1080p @ 60 fps
  • WiFi App Control
  • 170 degree wide angle lens
  • 0 inch LCD Display

Cons:

  • Battery life is subpar
  • buggy Wireless App Control

Firefly 6S – 4K Capable Action Camera

What edges the Firefly 6s compared to other cameras is the bigger 1600mAh battery which will give you close to the 90 minute mark on 4K recording. The camera is equipped with a 16 MP Sony Exmor CMOS Sensor (real is 12 MP) and runs Novatek 96660 chipset. The camera is also listed to support up to 4k video recording @ 24 fps, but upon closer inspection, it will only take 2K video but stretched to 4K resolution. The camera also comes with Gyroscope Anti-Shake Stabilization that is functional. Firmware updates are constant and solve most of the issues of the camera.

Image Quality and video performance is more or less decent, the camera works great on good lighting but appears to struggle on low light situations. However, this seems to be true to most cheap cameras. The camera is also capable of Hi-Def Slow motion recording and also works as a FPV Camera (First Person View) on RC Drones.

Unfortunately, it isn’t a perfect camera, low light shots are not that great and the 4K misnomer. The resolution is stretched to match the resolution, which is not really noticeable for the casual user. But the camera still is great especially for the price, it is also compatible with most GoPro accessories in the market. The Firefly 6s currently retails at $98

Main Pros:

  • Gyro Stabilization works
  • 140 degrees wide angle lens
  • 12 MP Sony CMOS Sensor
  • 4K video @ 24 fps
  • HDMI output
  • 1600mAh detachable battery (close to 90 minute recording)
  • compatible with most Action Camera accessories (GoPro 3 or later)
  • Great for Drone attachment
  • Firmware upgradability
  • Supports FPV (First person view) for RC Drones

Cons:

  • Camera App is buggy
  • Stretched resolution (not really 4K video)
  • Interpolated pixels to 16 MP (real is 12 MP)

Xiaomi Yi – 1080p action camera

Although it doesn’t take 4K video’s it’s still great especially for the price and value you’re getting. And thus, definitely deserves the honourable mention. It takes great looking 1080p pictures and video and there is no misnomer here, it is real 1080p @ 60 fps and the camera is competitive on more expensive cameras. The camera is equipped with a Sony Exmor R BSI CMOS 16 megapixel sensor and runs Ambarella A7LS chipset. The camera sensor is real with great performance especially on good lighting.

The camera also has a f/2.8 Aperture 155 degree wide angle lens and works great with the Wireless Remote App, considering the camera doesn’t have a Display. 3D noise reduction is also great here, with pictures and video with great detail even. However, on low light or night time shots, focus is not so good, you need a Smartphone to check for focus because it doesn’t have an LCD.

Despite the cheap price, cheaper than other action cameras available, build quality is top notch and would be recommended than other more pricier cameras. Most people say it is a GoPro killer, but for me, it is a definite step but not yet on that category. The Xiaomi Yi currently retails at $62

Main Pros:

  • Great Video and Picture performance
  • 1080p video capture at a buttery smooth 60 fps and up to 4K (still photos)
  • Can be used as FPV (First Person View) on RC Drones
  • Can be use on Small RC Drones
  • Image quality can be compared to GoPro
  • Great build quality for the price
  • One of the cheapest Action cameras available right now
  • Easy to set up operate

Cons:

  • Batter life could be better
  • no external mic functionality (built in mic is not so good)
  • No Display (needs smartphone for manual focusing)
  • Chinese manual
  • Night time focusing is a little buggy
  • Lacks accessories on stock package

Please Don’t expect too much

The camera’s listed here are great for casual use. Don’t expect it to replace a good old GoPro camera. But in terms of budget cameras, they offer great value and the image and video quality are great for their price range.

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