GoPros have long been the gold standard of action cameras—so much so that "GoPro" is practically synonymous with the action camera. That said, brand recognition doesn't come cheap, and other companies have made strides in this arena, with some offering action cams with many of the same features at substantially lower price points and others branching out to produce portable cameras with more and more innovative designs.
We've bought and tested over 95 cameras in our lab, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best GoPro alternatives to buy. If you don't care much about which brand to buy from, you can check out our picks for the best action cameras. On the other hand, if you prefer to shoot action video from afar rather than mounting a camera for POV shots, you can also look at the best video cameras for sports. Looking for a vlogging camera? Our article on the best cameras for vlogging has you covered.
The DJI Osmo Action is the best GoPro alternative that we've tested, although it's since been replaced by newer models. DJI is one of the few GoPro competitors that comes close to the exceptional build quality GoPros are known for. This model features a sturdy construction that's rated to withstand temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C). It's also waterproof down to 36 ft (11m), a tad better than the 33 ft waterproof rating of the latest GoPros. That aside, DJI has also incorporated thoughtful design touches like a built-in heatsink and cooling vents to help prevent overheating. That's an area in which its successor, the DJI Action 2, falls short due to its unusual design, so if you can get your hands on an original Osmo Action, it's still a great action cam.
Like the GoPro HERO10 Black, the Osmo Action has a second front-facing Live View screen, so you can easily monitor yourself while recording. Though frame rate and resolution options are more limited than newer action cams, it can still record 4k video at up to 60 fps and 1080p at up to 240 fps, giving you plenty of flexibility to shoot smooth action and super slow motion. While the DJI Action 3 and DJI Action 4 improved the formula with more frame rate options and sensor upgrades, the original Osmo Action is still the best non-GoPro action cam we've tested.
If you're on a tighter budget, check out the AKASO Brave 7 LE. It has fewer frame rate options than the DJI Osmo Action and doesn't feel as well-built, but it's cheaper and still comes with a front-facing live view screen to help you monitor yourself as you record. There are several mounting accessories included in the box, as well, so you can start shooting right away. It also comes with a protective case that lets you submerge the camera underwater to a depth of 131 feet. If you forgo the case, the camera has an IPX7 rating, so you can still submerge it down to a meter for about 30 minutes.
Its video stabilization feature can be inconsistent, but overall, it does a great job smoothing out camera shake, albeit with a significant 1.6x crop. Unfortunately, it's also limited to 4k at 30 fps and 1080p from 30 to 120 fps, giving you fewer frame rates to shoot different video styles. However, this is still a solid and well-built option for those on a tighter budget.
If you're after something even cheaper, the AKASO V50X is a simple action camera that offers decent value for its price. It's super lightweight, and while it doesn't feel as premium as a GoPro or higher-end alternatives like the DJI Osmo Action, it does come with a protective case to give it added durability. If you plan on shooting underwater footage, you'll need the case since, unlike the AKASO Brave 7 LE above, the camera alone isn't IPX-rated. With the case on, however, you can shoot down to a depth of 131 feet, which is excellent.
The trade-off with this camera is a more limited selection of frame rates. It can only shoot at a max of 60 fps in 1080p, and it's limited to 30 fps in 4k, which leaves you few options for shooting smooth high-speed action or recording super slow-motion footage. On the upside, it has effective stabilization and decent battery life. Unlike other cheaper GoPro alternatives, you can adjust the camera's field of view, making it a solid overall action camera for the price.
GoPros are already highly portable, but the Insta360 GO 2 is one of the smallest action cameras on the market. It doesn't look like a conventional action cam, but its tiny oval design makes it easy to stick almost anywhere. It even comes with a magnetic clip pendant that you can use to hang off the front of your shirt. Digital stabilization ensures your footage comes out looking smooth, and there's a useful horizon lock feature to maintain a steady horizontal axis.
Beyond that, the Insta360 app has a ton of extra features, including a built-in editing suite, filters, and specialized shooting modes. Unfortunately, it's limited to 1080p and 1440p resolution—no 5k or even 4k like the latest GoPro cameras. Frame rate options are also more limited, though it does have a dedicated slow-motion mode. That said, it's a fun video tool with unmatched portability for on-the-go vlogs and adventure videos.
While it isn't quite an action camera in the same sense as our other picks, the DJI Pocket 2 is a fantastic GoPro alternative for vloggers or content creators who prefer to shoot action footage handheld. This little pocket camera has a unique built-in gimbal that stabilizes the camera along three axes, letting you capture incredibly smooth handheld video. You get a few different configuration options, too, so you can lock the horizon or prevent the camera from tilting back and forth.
Like the DJI Osmo Action, the build quality is excellent. The camera also has an active tracking feature that can lock onto a specific subject and automatically follow their movement. On top of that, it can shoot 4k at up to 60 fps and includes a slow-motion capture mode in 1080p. Plus, it uses a larger sensor than most action cams, resulting in higher-quality video, especially in low light. All of that adds up to make the Pocket 2 a great vlogging and action video tool for those who need to shoot stabilized handheld footage.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best non-GoPro action cameras for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our action camera reviews—we've left GoPro cameras in there so you can compare how alternatives stack up. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.