You get a GoPro! You get a GoPro! Everyone gets a Go Pro! Right? Unfortunately, a fairy god-Oprah that gives away GoPro cameras is as fictional as Santa Claus and the unicorn, so if you would like to own a dedicated action camera but you’re unwilling to shell out the cash for a new GoPro Hero 6, you definitely need to change tack.
It’s a good thing there are other brands of action cameras that you can consider aside from GoPro. Sporting a similar compact form factor and interesting specs that defy their lower prices, the affordable cameras offered by these brands could certainly give their American counterpart a run for its money. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of them.
Based in the bustling city of Shenzhen—the tech and electronics capital of China—SJCAM is a popular Asian brand that manufactures 4K action cameras, 360-degree cameras, budget action cameras, and dashboard cameras. On Poundit, their prices go for around PHP 4,000 to sub-PHP 8,000, making their products among the cheapest action cameras you can buy today.
Worth Checking Out:
SJCAM SJ6 Legend
The SJCAM SJ6 Legend is one of the leading action cameras from SJCAM—popular for its convenient 2-inch LTPS touch display on the back and its 0.96-inch screen on the front. Equipped with a 16MP sensor, this camera is capable of recording 4K videos at 24 frames per second (interpolated only, not native 4K).
Although the camera is not waterproof on its own, it’s sold with a waterproof housing that allows you to shoot videos up to 30 meters deep under water. The camera can also shoot 166° wide-angle images while offering a distortion-correction feature that fixes the barrel distortion resulting from short focal length shots. Moreover, its gyro stabilization feature helps cancel out unwanted camera shake, which is pretty helpful since you’re likely to use your action camera for footages that involve a lot of movement.
Possessing dimensions of 40.14 × 37.18 × 48 mm, the SJCAM M20 is even more compact than the SJCAM SJ6 Legend. Although it lacks the touchscreen display that is found on the former, it more than makes up for it with its equally impressive array of specs. It can likewise shoot interpolated 4K videos at 24 fps, and it also has an adjustable field of view—from a narrow 70° to a very wide 166°. The SJCAM M20 is also meant to fit into compatible drones, so if you’re looking for an action camera that doubles as a drone camera, this little guy is for you.
Like SJCAM, AEE Technology is headquartered in Shenzhen, China. It is actually better known in that country as a manufacturer of military and civilian unmanned aerial vehicle systems (aka drones), but they are also a major manufacturer of photography equipment like cameras and gimbals. On Poundit, AEE Technology action cameras currently cost between PHP 6,000 and PHP 15,000, which is still a lot more affordable than newly minted GoPro cameras.
Worth Checking Out:
AEE Technology LYFE TITAN
The LYFE TITAN action camera from AEE Technology is the most advanced camera available from the brand. Capable of taking vivid 16MP photos and 4K Ultra HD videos at 30 fps, this camera has a few other tricks up its sleeve, including the ability to create time lapse and slow motion videos, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, mobile APP integration with iOS and Android devices, and the ability to record videos in low-light conditions. It also possesses a 1.8-inch LCD touch screen display for ease of use.
AEE Technology S7IT Plus
Unlike the LYFE TITAN, the S7IT Plus from AEE Technology is only capable of recording 4K videos at 15 fps, but it does capture Full HD 1080p videos at up to 60 fps. It’s also very reliable, offering a total of 2.5 hours of recording time, thanks to its large, 1500 mAh battery. That’s an hour more than the LYFE TITAN’s total recording time. Moreover, when you buy the S7IT Plus, you also get an IP68 rated waterproof housing that can withstand dive depths of up to 100 meters.
The Xiaomi brand is quickly gaining cult status among fans, thanks to their brilliantly crafted products that are also very reasonably priced. This Beijing-based Chinese electronics company is widely known for their smartphones, but they also manufacture numerous other products, including home accessories and appliances, as well as other consumer electronics like laptops, drones, speakers, and action cameras.
Worth Checking Out:
MiJia 4K Action Camera
The MiJia 4K Action Camera is the first action camera created by Xiaomi. Measuring 71.5 × 42.7 × 29.5 mm, it’s quite bigger than some of the other products on this list, although it does sport a very convenient 2.4-inch responsive touch display, which is the largest among all action cameras on the market today. It can also record videos in different resolutions, including native 4K at 30 fps, 2.5K at 30 fps, 1080p at up to 100fps, and 720p at 200 fps. Users also praise the MiJia 4K Action Camera for its straightforward user interface and clean menu, which can be easily navigated through the built-in display. Currently priced at only PHP 5,800 it’s definitely an affordable alternative to a full-priced GoPro camera.
If you’re still on the fence as to whether you should buy a new GoPro or not, perhaps you should consider the cameras on this list as well. Happy hunting!