GoPro is not just a market leader in action cameras, the very name of the company has become a household name and almost synonymous with cameras of this type. The company’s devices are installed on the helmets of skiers, cyclists and skydivers, as well as on selfie sticks of ordinary users around the world. The new GoPro HERO9 Black promises to further expand our understanding of what action cameras can do, but GoPro has some serious competition. Some of them offer a number of features that are not found in the models of the American company, while others offer similar (and sometimes almost identical) functionality at a significantly lower price. Below we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting, in our opinion, GoPro competitors.
DJI Osmo Action
Action camera DJI Osmo Action.
DJI’s Osmo Action is recognizable by its 1.4‑inch front-facing color display (GoPro only added a color front screen to the new ninth model) with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels, which makes it much easier to take selfies and vlogs.
The front and rear displays are touch-controlled, while the camera allows you to use the touchscreen lock function to avoid accidental pressing and changing settings. The camera can also be controlled using five voice commands reserved for basic functions.
DJI has leveraged its experience as a world leader in drone videography by equipping its action camera with RockSteady electronic image stabilization, which is available in most video modes. The camera uses a 1/2.3‑inch CMOS sensor and a wide-angle (145-degree field of view) f/2.8 lens to capture video up to 4K/60p (including high dynamic range HDR material) and 12-megapixel photos.
There are two built-in microphones and an input for an external microphone. In addition, DJI Osmo Action can withstand immersion up to 11 meters for 30 seconds without additional protection.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 II
Action camera Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 II with 1‑inch sensor
The size and rugged body of this Sony camera is in line with most other models in its class, but the Cyber-shot name alone suggests that this is more than just a standard action camera. With a 1‑inch Exmor RS multi-layer CMOS sensor capable of capturing 15.3‑megapixel still images and internal UHD 4K/30p video recording, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX0 II remains the leader in picture quality among all action cameras. In addition to the large sensor, the camera received a 24mm equivalent ZEISS Tessar T* lens with f/4 and a minimum focusing distance of 18cm, electronic image stabilization and a separate DRAM chip that speeds up information processing and increases overall performance. And the BIONZ X processor enables low-light shooting up to ISO 12800 and burst photography up to 16 fps.
For high quality video, the RX0 II allows you to output uncompressed 4:2:2 4K video stream via HDMI, and for more professional audio recording, there is a 3.5mm input for an external microphone. High frame rate mode provides slow motion at up to 1000 frames per second. The model is equipped with a 1.5‑inch display with a resolution of 230K dots, which can be tilted 180° for taking selfies and vlogging, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also supported.
SJCAM SJ8 Pro
Action camera SJCAM SJ8 Pro with aquabox included
The SJCAM SJ8 Pro is a very lightweight action camera with a 2.33-inch IPS Retina LED touchscreen display. The camera comes with a range of optional accessories, including a waterproof case and a handlebar mount.
The SJ8 Pro lets you shoot 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, as well as 12-megapixel photos in JPEG and RAW format. Despite the budget segment, the camera is equipped with a very good 1/2.3‑inch SONY IMX377 CMOS sensor and the Ambarella H22 S85 chipset, which is responsible for advanced data processing and a stabilization system based on a six-axis gyroscope.
The model offers a whole range of special modes, including time-lapse, continuous shooting, slow motion, video + photo and shooting in the first person (FPV mode). Wi-Fi is supported at 2.4 and 5 GHz, an optional remote control is available, and the camera can also be controlled from a smartphone via the SJCAM Zone app for iOS and Android. In addition, the application has basic functionality for editing photos and videos.
Insta360 ONE R 4K
Insta360 ONE R 4K Modular Action Camera
The main feature of Insta360 One R is its unique modular design. We have previously reviewed this model in detail. The Insta360 ONE R 4K version consists of three modules — a 4K wide-angle module, a main brain module, and a battery. On top of it all sits a plastic guard with a GoPro-compatible mount at the base. The beauty of the system is that you can replace the 4K camera with other modules, including Leica’s 1‑inch wide-angle camera (Insta 360 One R 1 Inch version) that shoots 5.3K video, and a 360-degree camera module. video (Insta 360 One R 360 version). You can also buy the Insta 360 One R Twin Edition combo with 360-degree and 4K cameras included.
The main module is equipped with a touch screen, which can be set to the selfie position when used with the 4K module. The 4K version uses a wide-angle lens (16.4mm equiv.) with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. The main unit records video at different resolutions depending on which camera it is attached to.
Despite the modular design, the camera is waterproof up to 5 meters without an additional case and can operate at temperatures from ‑20 to 40°C. We also recommend that you pay attention to another model of the manufacturer — Insta360 GO, which is a tiny wearable camera with a number of interesting features for everyday use.
Wearable spherical action camera OMI OmiCam
Like the Insta360 GO, the OMI OmiCam wearable spherical action camera is designed more for everyday shooting. It provides up to 15 hours of Lifelog interval recording and 70 minutes of continuous 4K recording.
OmiCam features a unique 360-degree clip that easily attaches to a jacket or backpack strap, and the lens tilts forward at a 45° angle, perfect for POV shooting. The camera uses a 12-megapixel sensor and a 240° fisheye sensor to capture Ultra HD 4K, 2.5K, and Full HD 1080p video at 30fps, as well as still images at 4320 x 2160 resolution. The device applies two stabilization systems at once to the footage of smoothness and additional horizontal alignment: Horizontal Movement Stabilization and E‑Gimbal Stabilization.
OmiCam is quite light and is also equipped with protection against rain and dust. The camera is available with an optional waterproof case for underwater shooting, as well as a set of accessories for mounting on bicycles, snowboards, etc.
Worth paying attention
Olympus Stylus Tough TG Tracker Rugged Camera
In addition to the models mentioned above, there are a number of devices that do not always formally fit into the definition of “action cameras”.
For example, the Olympus Stylus Tough TG Tracker is nothing like a standard action camera. It is a close relative of the top-notch rugged Olympus Tough series cameras with a very robust body and LOG mode for logging data from the built-in GPS, compass, accelerometer, thermometer and barometer.
Specially certified for weapon use, the SiOnyx Aurora PRO Night Vision Camera is IP67 rated and features a 1‑inch large pixel CMOS sensor for shooting in extreme low light conditions.
Finally, there is a dedicated camera for motorcyclists, the Sena Prism Bluetooth Action Camera Motorcycle Pack. This 1080p action camera is equipped with a number of special Bluetooth features, including helmet-mounted recording and voice feedback. The device comes with a set of quick-release mounts for motorcyclists to capture hands-free video while riding.
Have you used any of these cameras? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.
* when preparing the article, materials from the resources bhphotovideo.com and onfoto.ru were used