There is no denying that GoPro has taken the video recording industry by storm and changed the way people do “selfies”. Wearable, lightweight, versatile, compact, and user-friendly, GoPro has all the elements that one needs to make that ultimate selfie video, whether you are on a trek in a dense rainforest, wrestling with lions or fighting off sharks underwater.
GoPro is a state of the art camera with advanced functions such as WiFi connectivity, waterproof casing, and topnotch video recording specifications.
But GoPro comes at a price point that is very steep for most of its target consumers (which is almost everybody). The latest GoPro Series, the Hero 3, comes in 3 different versions: White ($199.99), Silver ($299.99) and Black ($399.99) editions. Suffice to say, the ones with the heaviest price tag carry the most premium of GoPro features. And for some people, these sums are just way beyond their financial range.
GoPro may be the selfie fanatic’s dream, but if you are one who are still hesitant to shell out good money, here are 6 reliable and cheaper GoPro alternatives.
#1 Contour +2 – $299 or less
Contour +2 is created with the pure outdoorsman in mind. Tough, rugged, and durable, the Contour +2 can be mounted to 15 mounting systems (sold separately) and can be used to video record in any outdoors environment. Going for a swim at the lake? Planning to take a hike through the pine forest? Or freewheeling at the gorge? Expect the Contour +2 to provide you with crisp and high quality videos to remind you of your outdoor adventures.
Contour +2 parades a myriad of features, including laser alignment, Bluetooth connectivity and control, GPS video mapping, 270-degrees rotating lens, 170-degrees wide angle lens, live streaming, and still photo mode if you want to take pictures instead of videos. It comes with a water proof case upon purchase.
The Contour 2 is priced at $299 in their official website but you can find lesser deals in several online stores and retailers such as Amazon.
#2 Contour Roam 2 – $199 or less
While it looks and functions like the Contour +2, the Roam 2 edition has certain limitations in terms of features. Mobile connectivity, GPS mapping, and live streaming are some of the premium options absent from the Contour Roam 2. However, if you are all about high quality videos, the Roam 2 is certainly up to the task.
In fact, it is more rugged and durable than the Contour +2. The Roam 2 is already a waterproof equipment, ready to take videos where getting wet is more than a distinct possibility. Want to document that kayak trip down the river or that mud biking trail up the hill? Trust the Roam 2 to record those precious moments in crisp quality.
#3 Drift HD Ghost-S – $399.99
Not exactly a “cheap” alternative to GoPro, but the Drift HD Ghost-S Camera is the consummate action camera designed to record action sequences with professional precision and quality even in the most extreme conditions. Crafted with the active person in mind, the Drift HD Ghost-S is a perfect partner if you want to film your extreme activities like mountain biking, snowboarding, skiing, and rock climbing, expect the Ghost-S not to miss any of those thrilling moments.
The Drift HD Ghost-S is the most advanced and most powerful camera from Drift yet. It boasts the leading-edge Sony™ CMOS sensor, which allows the camera to record in high quality even in low light conditions. The Ghost-S is capable of capturing videos of 1080p at 60fps. If you want to take some pictures, the Ghost-S snaps 12MP stills. The 300° continuously rotatable lens makes the Ghost-S a very versatile camera, allowing you to mount it in all conceivable positions. It is also water proof – even without a special housing!
#4 Sony HDR-AS30V – $249.99 or less
Perhaps the most familiar brand in this list, Sony built the HDR-AS30V specifically as a point-of-view camera to capture high quality action videos. So if you are into outdoor adventure sports like skateboarding, BMX riding, skydiving, skiing, and motocross among others, you can’t go wrong with the Sony HDR-AS30V. The Sony HDR-AS30V flaunts a 1920 x 1080 high definition resolution, allowing you to record full HD videos at 60fps or 30 fps. And if you feel like snapping photos, this camera can churn up 12MP stills.
Other cool features that come with this camera are WiFi capability and the One Touch NFC connectivity. Both functions allow you to instantly share your photos and videos or send them to your phone or tablet. For more details see how we compare GoPro Hero 3+ and Sony Action Cam here.
#5 CamOne Infinity Full HD – $199 from eBay
The CamOne Infinity may be small and light, tipping the scales at 77 grams and having a 1.5 inch (38.1 mm) display. But its minuteness is also its greatest asset as you are presented with vast mounting possibilities. The size of this user-friendly waterproof device means handling won’t be much of a problem whether you are a biker, a climber or even a surfer.
And just because its small does not mean it can’t produce videos worth posting and sharing. In fact, the CamOne Infinity packs a punch as far as recording videos is concerned. This tiny device is capable of recording videos at 60 fps at a 720p quality or at 30 fps at 1080p. Its interchangeable lens feature makes it a versatile gadget, as you can pick between the 96°, 142° and 170° lenses to adapt at any environment. The DiveBox, the camera’s underwater shell, enables you to go underwater and shoot videos at up to 40 meters deep.
#6 Canon PowerShot D20 – $219 from Amazon
The latest waterproof camera powered by Canon, the PowerShot D20 is worth checking out as well. It has 5X optical zoom, can record full HD videos 1080p and take clear, high quality 12MP images. The PowerShot D20 allows users to view images and videos on a large screen via its HDMI port. It also carries a GPS receiver, which allows correlation and documentation between the images and the user’s location. As far as toughness goes, the camera’s thick exterior shields the device’s internal construct. But it is lighter, making it a compact shoot-and-record gadget straight off the bat.