Best GoPro alternatives in 2024: action cameras that might be cheaper or better!

It’s Black Friday Weekend! Many of the cameras we recommend here are on sale for the best prices you'll see all year, thanks to the Black Friday sales. Find the best Black Friday deals in our guide, and keep up with the latest Black Friday news with our live blog.

With the best GoPro alternatives, you can now find more affordable – or simply better – equivalents of the famous action cameras that have become a household name. GoPro isn't the only brand making cameras that are tough, tiny, waterproof, and capable of capturing high-quality stills and videos. A number of challengers have entered the arena. 

Which to pick? There are alternative action cameras available from the likes of DJI and Insta360, as well as ultra-cheap budget offerings from manufacturers like Akaso. We've included all these on this list, but have also tried to think more broadly about the kinds of applications people use GoPros for. So, there's also a tough compact from Olympus in the mix, as well as a super-stabilized gimbal camera for shooting smooth video. We've even included a drone!

Read more: The best GoPro accessories

Our team of expert reviewers has personally vetted every camera on this list, and all the models on here are ones we think are one hundred percent worth their asking price. You can save a bundle here compared to the asking price of a GoPro, so it's well worth taking the time to have a close look. If you want to know more about the key features we look for when picking GoPro alternatives, scroll to the bottom of this article where we've put together a quick primer.

We'd also note that the best 360-degree cameras are often action cameras, so that's a related category worth checking out. Otherwise, scroll on as we count off the best GoPro alternatives you can buy. 

Top picks

Best GoPro alternatives in 2024

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Best action camera

(Image credit: Future)
The best action camera there is, GoPro included

Specifications

Weight: 145g
Waterproof: 18m no case, 60m with case
4K video: up to 120fps
1080: up to 240fps
720: up to 240fps
Stills resolution: 10MP
Battery life: 1-3hrs estimate

Reasons to buy

+
Bigger image sensor than GoPro
+
Good vlogging tool in vertical or horizontal
+
No module confusion (compared to Action 2)
+
Dual touchscreen control
+
No subscription payments required

Reasons to avoid

-
10-megapixel images and 4K maximum video resolution
-
No period of cloud backup included
-
We’d like to see a start and stop timer
-
Voice control is somewhat spotty

For most adventurers, the Osmo Action 4 is the perfect balance of quality and price. Rather than pushing to the 5K of GoPro, DJI has expended its effort in fitting the largest image sensor in the business into their action camera and the result is much better video. 

Stabilized 4K video looks great and the camera can take a lot – not just rough and tumble but temperature extremes. It isn’t cheap, but the only reason it is a 'GoPro alternative' is that is a better-known brand in this space – this is the better camera, and DJI won’t push you toward a subscription after 12 months.

It is a little sad to see the modular design of the Action 2 seems not to be getting refreshed, but that is still available too. What matters more here is absolute quality in a GoPro-sized box and DJI is now the firm to beat. The EIS remains excellent from the previous generation; RockSteady and HorizonBalancing both produce smooth videos from aggressive action. For most 4K is the ideal resolution for action, especially with up to 120fps. 

The fact that Action 4’s isn’t interwoven with subscription software is one we continue to appreciate.

Read our full DJI Osmo Action 4 review for more details

(Image credit: Future)

Best for content creators

Best GoPro alternative for content creators

Specifications

Weight: Not specified
Waterproof: 4.87m (housings are available)
8K video: 24fps
4K video: 120fps
1080: 240fps
Stills resolution: 48MP
Battery life: 100mins

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent camera quality
+
Up to 8K video available
+
AI-powered shooting modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Flip screen more vulnerable than traditional GoPro-like brick
-
Slightly bulkier than some

With GoPro dominating the mainstream of action cameras, it makes sense for rivals to innovate. Insta360 have done this in many ways – with 360 cameras like the X3, with ultra-compact options like the tiny Go 3, and with the new AcePro which is perhaps a natural extension of the ONE R Twin Edition into a vlogging camera meets action camera body.

Adding only a little bit more bulk at the back than a typical action camera, this device opts to put a hinged so the back touchscreen can be viewed from the front for vlogging with a much larger monitor (the front display is just for data, and looks more discrete and elegant for it). Despite a hinge, the body is still waterproof to 10m without a case too.

The camera is co-branded with Leica and the one-inch sensor brings the kind of quality that name suggests. I didn't get to try it in anything other than British winter weather (so far) but it still impressed and did well with low-light. I also found the camera's menus easy to navigate after a very short time getting used to them, which – given the range of modes available – is impressive.

Sure, it isn't cheap, but Insta360 seem to be taking this market very seriously and as such software tricks (like GoPro's AirPods mic mode) are available alongside more powerful hardware. Despite the price, it's tough not to be tempted.

Read our full Insta360 AcePro review

Best Compact Option

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)
Best compact 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

+
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, Action 2 came along in 2021, and it was a bit of a 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 leveler, 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. 

Read our full DJI Action 2 review for more details

Best Gimbal Camera

(Image credit: Future)
Powerful stabilization literally in your pocket – this is vlogger’s dream

Specifications

Weight: 179g
Waterproof: No
4K video: 60fps / 120fps
2.7K: 60fps
1080: 60fps
720: No
Stills resolution: 3840 x 2160MP
Battery life: About two hours (est.)

Reasons to buy

+
Creator Combo great for vloggers
+
Small size, excellent stabilisation
+
Better screen than predecessor

Reasons to avoid

-
Issues in low light
-
No waterproofing

If capturing the action for you is more about vlogging and walk-and-talk footage than the Pocket 3 is a brilliant choice, an amazing improvement from the already good Pocket 2, bringing a bigger 1-inch image sensor to wipe away concerns about low-light performance and a bigger screen for easier composition.

I chose it for this list because it handles a similar kind of vlogging niche as GoPro cameras, though it has to be said the 1-inch sensor already beats GoPro. Also, while the GoPro Hero 12 Black can record audio through AirPods, this is offered as part of an excellent Creator Combo pack, including a DJI Mic 2 which wirelessly records sound in up to 32-bit to the video and as a separate track. There is also a good quality case, tripod mount, battery extension grip, wrist strap, a dead-cat windshield for the mic and a wide-angle lens accessory. 

As well as class-leading video stabilization, the smart subject tracking tools which are bolstered by a quicker processor and are rarely fooled make this a potent little camera for bloggers. The improvements to video and audio have pushed the price up a little, however.

Read our full DJI Osmo Pocket 3 review for more details

Best Optical Zoom

(Image credit: James Artaius)
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 our full Olympus Tough TG-6 reviewor see the Best waterproof cameras

Best Budget Option

(Image credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)
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.  

Read our full Akaso Brave 7 LE review for more details

Value 4K

(Image credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)
Good value 4K 60fps waterproof action camera ideal for vlogging and adventures

Specifications

Weight: 130g
Waterproof: 40m (with case)
4K video: 60fps, 30fps
2.7K video: 30fps
1080: 120fps, 60fps,30fps
720: 240fps, 120fps, 60fps
Stills resolution: 20MP, 16MP, 14MP, 10MP, 8MP 5MP
Battery life: 60 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Smooth 4K
+
Responsive touchscreen
+
Lens cover
+
Built-in tripod thread
+
Lots of accessories

Reasons to avoid

-
4K lacks detail
-
A little heavy
-
Average image stabilization
-
No external mic support
-
No 24p/25p frame rates

With good quality, if imperfect 4K video, and good 20MP stills, the GA400 makes a great alternative to one of the big brands of action camera if you’re after results a level below the cinematic quality offered by the leading action camera brands. 

At this mid-range level, the build quality is excellent and the touchscreen is responsive while the onscreen menus are intuitive and easy to use. 

From a pure photography point of view, it’s good to see a tripod thread built-in to the core device, though equally as impressive as the included diving case and accessories. 

Read our full Wolfang GA400 review for more details

Low budget option

(Image credit: Jon Stapley)
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, as we found when we subjected it to a full review, shooting pretty impressive 4K footage and sporting a handy 2-inch touchscreen – though it's worth being aware that you can’t use the touchscreen when it’s in the waterproof case, which can make control a little fiddly. 

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 our full AKASO EK7000 Pro review for more details or Read the Best budget action cameras

Unique perspectives

(Image credit: Jamie Carter / Digital Camera World)
A uniquely versatile and very tiny camera with magnetic appeal

Specifications

Weight: 36g
Waterproof: 5m
2.7K video: 30ps
1440P: 50fps
1080P: up to 120fps
Stills resolution: 3.7MP
Battery life: 45 mins camera/125 mins ActionPod

Reasons to buy

+
Tiny camera and versatile design
+
Easy to use
+
Excellent app

Reasons to avoid

-
Maxes-out at 2.7K video
-
Average image stabilization

The Insta360 brand might initially make you think of, well, 360-degree cameras (I can't think why) but it is turned its innovation to the full gamut of action cameras, and the Go series has been a very popular example. As a pedant, I find it hard to give a device without 4K a spot further up a list like this, but in truth few people need the resolution and in exchange what you get is something quite extraordinary.

Moreover, unlike the DJI Action 2, this isn't a mere flirtation with compact shells and clever magnets. That device is 4K, and a great price, but probably only because DJI is shedding stock and reverting to the boring GoPro shape. Insta360's 'Go' concept is proven and developed. Just before Christmas 2023 the Go 3 even got an extra colorway thanks to its popularity.

Because it's noticeably smaller than a typical action camera when used without the body and flip screen, it can easily be worn – it's basically like wearing a magnetic mic (like the DJI Mic 2). That's very, very useful for POV footage. Insta360 also provide excellent software. A little better in low-light and we'd be at the top of this list.

Read our full Insta 360 Go 3 review for more details

How we test cameras

How we test cameras

When it comes to action cameras like the best GoPro alternatives, our team of reviewers tests them out in real-world conditions to get an idea of how well they perform. We test out all the different photo and video settings to get a feel for the kind of imagery the camera is capable of capturing, and also assess the user experience, as well as the usefulness of any connectivity features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or GPS. Read more about how we test and review at Digital Camera World

FAQs

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.

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.

What is the difference between a GoPro and an action camera?

On the whole, nothing except a brand name is different between GoPros and some of the best action cameras. GoPro has made a name for itself as a reliable brand that makes not only god quality products but which also provide excellent photo and video. A lot newcomers to the action camera market also make similarly excellent products but as of yet have not built that brand reputation to the same degree as GoPro.

Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 


Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 


He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook

With contributions from