The success of the GoPro line of action cams was bound to inspire competition and today consumers have more choices about the cameras they attach to their helmets, mountain bikes, or surf boards to record their daring escapades of extreme sports or final moments, whichever it turns out to be.
Although none of the alternatives match the GoPro exactly in specs, they can be better choices depending on the exact nature of your extreme sporting desires.
Claiming a 3 hour battery life and a lens that levels itself, regardless of the mounting angle, the Drift HD Ghost includes a lot of features that are extras on the GoPro Hero 3, although both units sport the same retail price tag. The Ghost comes with a two-way remote that clearly communicates whether your camera is recording or not and the camera is compatible with a control app available for both iOS and Android.
The Ghost also comes with a 2 inch LCD screen, a feature that’s an add-on for the Hero.
On the downside the Ghost only has a depth rating of 9 feet, so it’s not going to replace the Hero for sport diving and snorkelers. For other sports, the self-leveling lens, longer battery life and built-in LCD are all strong selling points.
The AS15 is the upgrade to the AS10 and is another rugged, wearable action cam with built-in wifi and better than average low-light performance. The AS-15 incorporates Sony SteadShot image stabilization, 1080 HD video and a super slow motion setting for 720p shooting at 120 fps.
Another mountable sports cam with wifi capability and apps available for iOS and Android. Even with the optional underwater housing, around $40, this is still the lowest cost camera in the group. With the underwater housing you’re good down to 130 feet, deeper than most sport divers.
1080 HD video at 30 fps but if you want to push it to 60 fps, you’re limited to 720 HD. The Ego is an adequate if not stellar performer but lacks the sophistication of the Ghost.
If I’m buying one of these today, I’ll probably go with the Ghost and keep my Hero 2 around for snorkeling and diving.