Be it a trip to the hills or week at the beaches, everyone has a different idea for their ideal vacation. But no matter what destination you choose for your next holidays, the thing that remains a constant for all is the desire to capture the places you visit.
Be it for the likes and comments on your Instagram or just a collection of fun moments to cherish once you are back home, clicking photos and recording videos is an essential part of any vacation today. And a good action camera is what one needs to capture your trip in the best possible way. And that holds true even if you are not in for hardcore adventures or extreme sports during your trips, for it no doubt is a cool gadget to own with multifold uses.
Now you must be thinking what option to go for from the multitude of products available in the market, or will it fit in my budget. Don’t worry, we have gotten all covered up for you.
Here we present a list of some of the best action cameras well within $100 (Yes! You read that right), according to your different needs. But before that let us look at the things to consider in an action camera before you make the right purchase for yourself.
Factors to make the right purchase
While 4K resolution is the highest available on large majority of the action cameras available out there, there are also ones available in 1080p and 720p. Your choice should be determined by the cash outflow you are willing to bear. As someone buying an action camera for the first time, you might be looking for some cost-effective models. You can always upgrade to higher resolutions on more professional models later on. Remember that even the best 4K camera isn’t enough to make the best of videos. There is a lot of skill involved too.
Related: Best Cameras for Movie Making
Size and Weight:
You wouldn’t want to add any more weight to your luggage while prepping for a trip. And so a camera that is light, compact and offers maximum portability is always the best to go with. Plus such a camera also offers an amazing video shoot experience. Also, depending on the terrain you might to use your camera in, there can be a range of cameras with varying dimensions to choose from.
Action cameras are usually quite durable. Often, they are waterproof and weatherproof to allow you to shoot in rain, snow or even underwater. Before clicking the buy button, check if the camera has a water-resistant exterior. Some cameras might want to be placed in a waterproof case for apt protection.
Field of View (FOV):
Field of View refers to the area that your camera will capture at any moment. Some cameras offer a wide-angle view while others give you narrower options too. While a wide angle might be best to capture a whole lot of things in a single frame, they sometimes lead to distorted shots too with fish-eye effect. Decide what kind of shots you want to take with this camera and then make your choiuce accordingly.
One of the first few things a buyer looks (and should look) at in his camera is the battery life it offers. No one wants to spend most of their holiday time waiting for the camera battery to charge, or keep changing it every now and then. Shooting high-resolution videos can drain the battery faster.
Also greater the number of connectivity features like Bluetooth and WiFi and the more you use them, the shorter will be the life of the battery. Though cameras with longer battery life are the best to go with, the price-constraint might want you to compromise a bit on this. Try searching for products that come with spare batteries, one that can offer 3-4 hours of recording time before it requires a charge or a replacement. Again, how you intend to use the camera can have a big say here too.
You obviously want to capture great, Instagram-able shots of your trip. Remember the more the pixels, the higher the resolution, the better the photo.
Your camera would need a memory card that is optimized with it and offers fast write speed for recording a good quality video. A Class 10 memory card works great for action cameras. Make sure that your camera supports the UHS-II Standard and offers write-speed of approx. 312 mbps in most high-end card.
One of the most important factors to look for in a camera is the Image Stability, so that no matter where you mount your device you are never compromised on the quality of your shot. Ensure that the accessories are compatible with your gear. Helmets, headmounts, handlebar mounts, chest belts, telescoping poles are some essentials to look for. Moreover, your needs will obviously vary if you are a surfer, a diver, an adventurer, a trekker or just a traveller.
This is by far the most defining factor for any purchase you make. But before you jump on to fix a price for yourself, remember to make most of your camera and to capture your experiences like never before, you need to be a bit flexible with your budget. A feature-laden camera would allow you to deep dive into the ocean depths with it, or let you shoot your countryside rides with your camera mounted on your bike handle or the car top without you worrying about its grip. To cater to all your needs in a budgeted manner is why we present to you some of the best buys you can get under $100.
Design and Shape:
Most common shapes that you can get your action camera in are cubic, bulleted or boxed. each of these have their unique uses and are suitable for different terrains.
Cube Shaped: The compact size and considerable flexibility of a miniature-cube shaped action camera helps you better your positioning and gives a brilliant shooting experience.
Bullet Shaped: Such shaped cameras are ideally used for mounting on your helmets, handles or surfboard. The only issue with this is its limited compatibility to accessories.
Box Shaped: the most preferred option to go with, these cameras are suitable for nearly all shooting experiences and are compatible with most of the camera accessories available. They ate the best ones for chest-mount arrangements.
Your action camera will be exposed to all kinds of harsh weather that you encounter while you are on the go. So make sure that your camera is water resistant before making the purchase. If not, atleast buy a waterproof casting for your camera.
Another important thing that first-time buyers often tend to overlook is the frame rate. While resolution gives you picture clarity, frame rate is directly related to the smoothness of your video footage. Higher the frame rate, better is your recording.
Willingness to Learn:
Mastery comes with practice. While each individual has their own learning curve, your willingness to learn is what will make you a pro at photography. Then no matter how tech-laden your device is or not, your practice will make you skilled enough to capture the best shots from any and every device.
This is something professional photographers often look for in their device so that when they get back home and decide to post their shots online, they always know where exactly they were shot. Thanks to automated geo-tags the camera generates for all images and videos.
While not a priority-feature for your action camera, having connectivity features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are add-ons everyone like to have. This is simple because of the ease of sharing these features provide, whether online or to other devices.
While you might not land great discounts on a purchase if you intend to buy just the camera, you sure can find amazing offers on bundle buys, that is, complimenting your camera purchase with side-goodies too. MicroSD card or Mounts, these accessories can be great savers for you.
Now that we are well-thorough on our research, let us deep dive into our list
Best action cameras under $100:
Dragon Touch 4K Action camera Vision 3
Low on cost and high on features, the dragon Touch 4K is the best budget action camera one could ask for. With a 2” display screen allows you to view your videos and photos in the most pleasing way. Despite its low price, it offers 4K/30fps, 2.7K/fps and 1080P/60fps video along with a 16MP photo resolution.
It is equipped with dual-batteries that lets you to never get into charging troubles. One of the most striking features of it is its unique AXD application that enables sharing your memories to your other gadgets.
Additionally, it comes with a handy wireless wrist remote control. Also, you get a free accessories kit with it all of which makes it a perfect buy and one of the best action cameras.
Akaso Brave 4, a 4K Action Camera
Want 4k under a budget?
No worries, the Akaso Brave 4 action camera can do it. The video resolution it supports is 4K at 24fps, 2K at 30fps and 1080p at 60 fps. The Akaso Brave 4 is actually an upgraded version of AKASO EK7000 and has a 20 MP resolution for clicking pictures.
So, captivating photos and detailed 4K videos are something you would live out of this one. The angular view of the camera can be adjusted at different angles – 70, 110, 140, 170.
If you have shaky hands, do not worry, for this one comes with anti shake and image stabilization to help your videos look stutter free. If you like ease of access and connectivity, WiFi is there to help you out. No more issues in sharing your images or videos.
However, if you are not a WiFi person, the Brave 4 also features an HDMI port that allows your Photos and Videos to be accessed via PC, TV, Smartphone or even tablets. What action without water?
No worries, Akaso Brave 4 is waterproof too ( up to 30 meters in depth) with the help of a protective case.
That’s not all. It also comes up with a a total of up to 19 accessories. Go ahead and Grab this one right now.
One of the cheapest 4K action camera for beginners is the Apeman Trawo and it has everything you need for a start. Be It high-quality video recording ( has Electronic image stabilization) or crystal clear 20MP shots.
With a battery of 1350 mAh, it can do an approximare 1080p video shots of 180 minutes non stop.
One thing you might dislike on the TRAWO is that the screen is not touch sensitive. This means that the 2 inch IPS retina display can be a bit troublesome as you will have to use buttons instead of the screen for the menus.
This one is perfect if you are a beginner and if you just started out, donot worry, the Apeman TRAWO will help you get to the next level very soon.
This is the model that was released before akaso brave 4 and is the best action camera under $100. It can shoot 4K videos at 25 fps. It can also capture high quality shots with its 12 MP camera which can capture about 30 frames in a second.
The quality of images and videos are very good and are on par with its competitors. You also get all the necessary accessories such as mount, USB cable, waterproof case, remote control and more. It has a shelf battery life of up to 3hours and has editing tools that are directly built into the app. It comes with a waterproof case which can be useful for some great water adventure. Overall, it is a recommended option and you should try it if your budget is under $100.
Crosstour Action Camera
On a limited budget? Need something that’s reliable with multiple features?
Well, this might be your action camera. It is one of best-known alternatives for the higher priced GoPro Action cameras. Yet having the same quality and usefulness. You can record 1080p Full HD videos on this one. It also has a 12MP shooter so you don’t need to worry about your pictures.
The screen is a 2-inch panel. The action camera is water resistant as well up to 30 meters. It is an absolute fun to take on water rides such as river rafting or kayaking.
There’s a Dash mode available to make your adventure record videos absolutely stable and decent to look at. There is an app by the name of I Smart DV which is available both for iOS as well as android. The app can be used for connecting with the Action camera to download, modify, view or delete your files.
With a 1050 mAh LioN battery, you can easily enjoy shelf life up to 3 hours. If you are a fan of capturing those sunsets and night skies, you have the time lapse feature for your delight.
YI 4K Action and Sports Camera
Everyone knows that Yi and GoPro always have had a neck to neck fight. In fact, people often compare the picture quality of the YI 4K action with the one of the GoPro Hero series.
Priced lower and a sibling of the 4K+, it offers a lot of features just under $100. You also get in 4K at 30 frames per second which is found in very less action cameras in this range. The display is 2.2-inch touch screen panel with a gorilla glass making it a very tough competitor for the rest of the cameras.
The 4K+’s younger brother, the Yi 4K, can often be picked up for less than $100. With 4K @ 30fps recording, the ability to capture 12MP raw stills with EIS and a nice scratch-resistant, gorilla glass 2.2-inch touchscreen display, the Yi 4K is a very solid action camera.
Looking at the brand and reputation, the camera can look a bit pricier. Unlike the others in this list, it does not come in with an accessory pack which is needed by many beginners. Yes, I agree to the fact that not everyone uses all of that – not everyone goes mounting it to a helmet or underwater with it. But its always nice to have something than to not have it at all. Over the years the brand YI has become more costlier and less feature rich than it used to 3-4 years ago.
Campark X30 4K 20MP Action Camera
With a 4K UHD video recording support, Campark X30 is a tough competitor for the best action cameras under $100. The water proof design and built in wifi are something that most of them have. But it comes with additional remote control as well as touch screen capability for a better overall experience. It supports 4k recording at 30fps.
It has EIS to make the videos look more stable. The camera also takes good and captivating shots. The ease of WiFi enables you to share your photos and videos from one device to another. Campark X30 is something you should try if you are looking out to a decent action camera for adventure.
VanTop Moment 4 4K Sports Action Camera
The VanTop Moment 4 4K Sports Action Camera has the ability to record 4K videos @ 24 fps. With a 20 Mega pixel camera for clear and quality pictures. The screen is touch sensitive and shows live action as and when it happens, which is really cool. To fix the shaky videos, the device uses Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) which is an alternative of Optical Image Stabiliazation. It comes with a watertight casing but the sound gets muffled up in it, but its still acceptable.
The fact that it comes with 4k suppoty itself means a lot. It also has a true color depth feature to add vibrancy to you photos and videos if you like. At 1080p it can go upto 60fps too.
The field of view is quite large at 170 degrees and can be lowered all the way down to 70 degrees according to your needs. If you travel a lot in car you can use its dash cam mode to record videos with sound while driving. It has a slow motion, photo-video lapse and a burst mode too!
You can also use the GoPro Tripod, Arm or grip if you have. Over all, it is one of the best action camera under $100 and most suited for people who wont like to spend a hefty amount on action camera.
Apexcam 4K Action Camera
This one is a 4K action camera and has the ability to record UHD quality videos at 30fps with its 20MP shooter. The lens is wide angle and can see as much as 170 degrees. It has an inbuilt anti shake image stabilization function which helps in getting smooth and steady footages that are enjoyable to watch. Features like loop recording, slow-mo photography and delay video make it unique from other action cameras.
It can also be used as dash cam during water adventures. It comes with a waterproof case to make It waterproof upto 40m. It also has 2.4Ghz wifi support which can be accessed via an app which is available for both iOS and Android devices.
The package that’s under $100 comes in with 2 rechargable batteries, water resistant case and an external microphone. You also get a remote button cell and some more essential equipments.
Crosstour CT8500 4K 20MP Action Camera
Something just perfect for adventure is none other than the Odrvm Wifi action camera. It is equipped with Wifi which can be used with the app called Zsanycam which is available for both iOS and Android devices. It also comes with 2 rechargable 1050 mAh batteries and is water resistant upto 30 meters. The box comes with all the accessories to do compelling and adventurous tasks such as motorcross, fishing, river rafting, etc.
One thing that I personally like is that you can video stream live too with the 170-degree wide angle lens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the Best Cheap Action Camera?
Apeman Trawo is definitely one of the best cheapest action cameras in this list. However, if you have a budget of $100, Its recommended that you check out others as well.
Are Action Cameras worth Buying?
Yes, it is totally worth it to buy an action camera and that holds true even if you are not in for hardcore adventures or extreme sports during your trips, for it no doubt is a cool gadget to own with multi-fold uses.
What is the best alternative to GoPro?
All mentioned here are some of the best under $100 alternatives for a Go Pro. The main thing that you should look for is your need and purpose for which you are purchasing the action camera.
To conclude, though the GoPro is by far the best action camera in the market, due to its superior adaptation with most accessories, unmatched durability, easy portability and advanced tech features, it isn’t very wise to spend a lot of your cash on it, especially if you are only a beginner.
There are several products that provide a great shooting experience and are economical at the same time. We hope this article on the best action cameras under a budget of $100 has helped you gain a better perspective on the products available in the market and you find a product best suited to your needs.
Keep making beautiful memories and capturing them. Happy travelling. For more coverage like this, keep visiting photographybywren.com