Top GoPro Alternative – Best Budget Action Camera under $100

High-end action camera like GoPro Hero 5 Black is not for everyone. The plethora of sophisticated features, along with the number of customization options it comes with, can very well overwhelm those who are new to action cam. Sure, the waterproof construction and the 2-inch touchscreen are nice improvements from the previous generation of GoPro. However, quite a few of what it has to offer are not necessarily needed to get a good experience. These are voice command support, GPS, and other motion sensors that track G-matrix data. Besides, $400+ seems like a lot of money for such a tiny camera.

If you have never used an action camera before, or if you’re a casual hobbyist who occasionally finds yourself outdoors, skiing, fishing, bicycling, camping, or other light activities, it’s best to opt for the more affordable model first. Thanks to the advancement in technology, now you can get fairly impressive videos with a budget action camera. The design and build quality may feel cheap, but they can shoot footage in full HD resolution with an acceptable frame rate. Controls and operation are very intuitive as well because most of these low-profile cameras don’t have too many setting options to play with.

best budget action cameras under 100

Below are the top 10 high-quality cheap action cameras under $100 that can get you started.

Best Budget Action Cameras under $100

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera

SmilePowo 48-in-1 Accessories Kit for GoPro Hero 11 10 9 8 Max 7 6 5 4 3 3+ 2 1 Black GoPro 2018 Session Fusion Silver White Insta360 DJI AKASO APEMAN YI Campark XIAOMI Action Camera (Carrying Case)
  • 【Perfect for Vlog, skiing, cycling, canoe and more other high speed sports activities】: Wrist strap (with 360 degree power clips), car suction cup mount, head strap, chest mount, tripod, selfie and floating handle grip can freindly connect your sport action camera like FOR GoPro Hero 9 8 7 6 5 4 3/3+ 2 1 Black,FOR GoPro Max Black, 2018 Session Fusion Silver White and more. FOR The GoPro accessory kits can make it easier to capture immersive video and photo, and protect your camera stabler.
  • 【Black 360°Rotating Wrist Strap + Car Suction Cup Mount】: wrist strap features 360°rotation helps you adjust your capture angle. Car suction can help you attach your action camera to cars, boats, motorcycles and more to record your self-driving journey.
  • 【Lightweight Mini Tripod + 180 Degree Selfie Stick】: The mini tripod is compatible with smartphones, for maximum convenience. You can use it as a flexible tripod, or phone stand for reading, watching videos, or during long phone calls or video calls. The selfie stick helps you take perfect pictures every time and everywhere for self-timer, group shots and travel, but not recommended for extreme sports.
  • 【Head Strap + Chest Strap】: Get the first point of view videos and photos and enable you breath well during heavy activities and look around the world from the angle of your beating heart. Fully adjustable to fit a wide range of body types, stably capturing hands-free footage with sports cameras.
  • 【Bike Handlebar Holder】: Clamp mounts on tubes, frames and other objects with diameters ranging from 0.75 - 1.4 inch. The three-way adjustable pivot arm, you can achieve the effect of adjusting the size of the interface by turning the screw, regardless of the size of your bike or motorcycle handlebar, it can be easily and securely installed on your bike or motorcycle handlebar.

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera should be your number 1 choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive action camera that excels at capturing still images. This little guy is equipped with a Sony 16MP sensor. Now you might be a little skeptical about this as there are many typical cheap cameras claiming to take still photos up to 12MP, but it turns out to be faulty (most only take 4MP still photos, then upscale it to 12MP). However, that’s not the case with Xiaomi Yi Action Camera. It takes true 16MP still images with a wide-angle field of view of 155 degrees.

There are four options to take photos with Xiaomi Yi Action Camera: normal, time-lapse, self-timer, and burst mode. Meanwhile, the highest video resolution it supports is 1296p at 30fps. If you want smoother footage, it’s best to use the full HD 1080p resolution because it allows you to record at a higher frame rate of 60fps. Digital image stabilization and noise reduction seem to work fine, unlike other budget cameras that don’t even have such features by default. The biggest shortcoming of the Xiaomi Yi Action Camera is probably the absence of any display. You will have to pair it with your smartphone all the time to check the video or photos you take.

APEMAN 4K Action Camera

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Apexcam Action Camera 4K Sports Camera 20MP 40M 170°Wide-Angle WiFi Waterproof Underwater Camera with 2.4G Remote Control 2 Batteries 2.0'' LCD Ultra HD Camera with Mounting Accessories Kit
  • 📷Professional 4K Ultra HD Action Camera: Available in 4K / 30FPS, 2.7K / 30FPS, 1080P / 60FPS, 1080P / 30FPS, 720P / 60FPS and 720P / 120FPS video resolutions. With 16MP images and a 170° super wide-angle 6G fisheye lens,Capture and share your world in a fantastic resolution.
  • 📷Wireless Wrist 2.4G Remote Control: Bring the remote control on your wrist, and install the action camera on the helmet or the place where it can't be touched. It is convenient to record the wonderful moment. The remote control wireless range is 15 meters (49 FT), and the remote control waterproof level IPX6 life waterproof, please do not immerse the remote control in the water.
  • 📷2.0’’LCD WiFi Action Camera: Use APP/APK to keep and share your exciting sports moments on your phone or tablet, WiFi signal range up to 10M(33 FT), 2.0’’LCD HD display allows you to preview anytime, anywhere Wonderful videos and photos in motion.
  • 📷130FT Waterproof Camera Free Accessories: Equipped with durable IP68 waterproof sleeve can dive 40 meters deep, ideal for swimming, diving, rafting, surfing and other water sports, this underwater camera is also equipped with 2 rechargeable 1050mAh battery and the battery charger can charge two batteries at the same time, very convenient to save time. And it comes with many other multi-functional accessories (most are compatible with gopro cameras).
  • 📷Multi-Function Action Camera: Including loop recording, slow motion photography, driving mode, image flipping, time-lapse photo, exposure adjustment, white balance adjustment; You can take the camera to a variety of sports environments and use it, the effect will exceed your expectations.

Thrilled is what you’re going to feel the first time you use APEMAN 4K Action Camera. That is if you’re in need of an affordable action cam that performs better than any point-and-shoot compact camera. Although its 4k video is so-so at its best, recording in full HD resolution gives you footage comparable to GoPro Hero Session, which costs nearly twice as much as this camera’s price. For your information, GoPro Hero Session doesn’t have an LCD display. Also, the box doesn’t include any accessories except the waterproof case. I’m not saying that GoPro is bad, but if you’re looking for a well-performing action camera that’s cheap and offers a bunch of stuff that GoPro doesn’t, this camera is for you.

APEMAN 4K Action Camera has a maximum field of view of 170-degree, but it allows you to set it at lower angles of 140, 110, 70-degree respectively. Setting the camera on its widest angle lets you capture many objects in one shot. However, you might notice a substantial fisheye effect (the one that makes your footage curve). This is normal in many wide-lens cameras, though. You can turn on the WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) functionality to get better image quality. You’ll get a sharper, brighter, but more flat color palette, but keep in mind that doing this will drain the battery faster. There’s also loop recording mode which essentially allows the camera to be a dash cam. All in all, this camera is a complete package for beginners.

SJCAM SJ4000

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SJCAM SJ8Pro 4K Action Camera 60fps WiFi Sports Cam - 12MP Ultra HD Image - EIS 2.0-170° Wide Angle - Waterproof Up to 131ft - External MIC & Remote - 2X Batteries - 32GB SD Card - Accessories Kits
  • 【ACTION CAMERA 4K60FPS】: The SJ8 Pro action camera is equipped with AMBA chip and Sony sensor. Features a real 4K HD resolution and a max frame rate of 240fps. It supports 4K60fps, 4K+ 30fps, 2.7K60fps, 1080P120fps, 1080P Ultra 60fps, and 720P240fps. It can capture various sports scenes rapidly and smoothly, providing high-definition videos and photos.
  • 【SIX-AIXS STABILIZATION】: The SJ8 Pro 4K sports camera features six-axis gyroscopic image stabilization, which provides all-around image stability compared to conventional three-axis stabilized sports cameras when recording extreme sports and outdoor activities. This makes the exciting moments more clear and the volg footage looks perfectly straight.
  • 【UNDERWATER 4K CAMERA 】: The SJ8Pro action camera has equipped with a waterproof housing, This feature enables users to dive or snorkel while recording their adventures, whether it's exploring coral reefs, swimming with marine life, or capturing underwater sports activities. Additionally, SJ8pro action cameras come with specialized underwater modes to enhance the colors and clarity of underwater footage, delivering visually captivating results.
  • 【170° FOV and 8X ZOOM】: With a 170° ultra-wide-angle shooting perspective, you can freely adjust the shooting angle, providing a more immersive visual impact to your videos or photos, Even for selfies, you can easily position yourself in the center. The 8x digital zoom allows you to bring distant landscapes, and placing them right in front of you.
  • 【2.4/5G DUAL WIFI ACTION CAM】: The SJ8 Pro has built-in 2.4G/5G dual WIFI connectivity. Easily and quickly complete shooting settings. Choose the 5G WIFI mode for more stable camera control and faster photo and video download speeds. Always be one step ahead in sharing your content.

The SJ4000 is not the highest-end action camera manufactured by SJCAM, but it’s the best one that you can get under $100. For starters, the full HD video it’s capable of recording and is very crisp, with the image color looking sharp and natural. The company claims it comes with proprietary electronic image stabilization, but it doesn’t seem to function properly. You’re going to have to edit it using a third-party desktop video app to reduce the shaky motion of your footage. The audio quality is top-notch. It’s clear, and you will hardly notice any noise captured by the camera mic.

SJCAM SJ4000 action camera is bundled with rugged, waterproof housing. It’s always a pleasure to find that such an external case lives up to its promise. With the case on, you can take the camera down up to 30m underwater safely. For ground activity, the case will keep dirt and dust off of the camera. Better yet, it doesn’t seem to disrupt the responsiveness of the control buttons. You can still navigate the menus easily. There’s an LCD screen that you can use to quickly check your footage. It’s not HD, but still better than nothing, right? The only thing you might not be too happy about it is its 12MP sensor can only take mediocre photos. So, if photography is important to you, this might not be your best option.

FITFORT 4K Action Camera

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AKASO Brave 7 LE 4K30FPS 20MP WiFi Action Camera with Touch Screen EIS 2.0 Zoom Remote Control 131 Feet Underwater Camera with 2X 1350mAh Batteries Support External Microphone Vlog Camera
  • BORN ALL-WEATHER ACTION CAMERA - Brave 7 LE action camera is weatherproof and distinct to unlock all the filming scenarios and ease your vlogging experience. Its IPX7 water-resistant design can protect the action camera from rain, snow and water splashing. Your underwater adventure can even down to 131FT/40M while equipped with the included waterproof housing.
  • CONVENIENT DUAL-DISPLAY - With innovate dual color screens design, you can change framing and monitoring views between back and front, especially the vivid front screen can satisfy your selfies need and 2-inch back touch screen makes it easy to use than ever. Press and hold Mode button to switch between the front screen and the touchscreen camera view.
  • SHOOT 4K VIDEO & 20MP PHOTO - This action camera can take hyper-quality 4K 30Fps video and 20MP photo, recording your adventure without missing any details!
  • ELECTRONIC IMAGE STABILIZATION 2.0 - This action camera is equipped with improved 6-axis EIS, it can provide gimbal-like stabilization and greatly boost the stability and fluency of your recording. It can enable excellent footage even you or the object is in fast-moving.
  • A FULL SET OF PROFESSIONAL FUNCTIONS & FREE ACCESSORIES - Digital zoom function and various shooting modes, such as time-lapse, burst photo and fast motion, help you create your footage beyond imagination. Included accessories of 2 rechargeable batteries, remote, waterproof housing and multifunctional mounting kits help you expand your usage scenarios with pleasant budget.

You may never hear about Fitfort before, but apparently, this company also manufactures an action camera, and a good one at that. FITFORT 4K Action Camera enters the already crowded sports camera market with two major drawing points: terrific performance at a discounted price of fewer than 80 bucks. If that’s not good enough for you, the company also includes a starter kit (over 7 different mounts, 2 batteries, a waterproof case, remote control, and other necessities) packed in a nice carrying case for no extra cost. Mind you; all those accessories can easily cost you more than $30 if you buy them separately.

Anyway, FITFORT 4K Action Camera is not just about free goodies. This tiny camera also delivers performance that might make you turn your head from leading players like GoPro and Sony. In full HD 1080p resolution, the camera can record absolutely stunning videos. The clarity of the image is unprecedented. Everything looks crisp and vivid. You might even argue that the quality manages to best the GoPro Hero Plus (a mid-range camera by GoPro that still costs over $200). Still, it’s not without some flaws. My biggest complaint is the onboard controls are not very intuitive. You might find it easier to navigate the menus and settings from the smartphone app. Aside from that, this camera is a solid, affordable alternative for GoPro.

AKASO EK7000

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AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera with Touch Screen EIS 131ft Waterproof Camera Remote Control Underwater Camera with Helmet Accessories Kit
  • UPGRADE SERIES OF AKASO EK7000: AKASO EK7000 Pro action camera delivers 4K/30fps, 1080P/60fps videos and 20MP photos that capture every moment in crisp detail and unparalleled clarity.
  • INTUITIVE UI DESIGN: Ultra 2 inch IPS touch screen shows everything crystal clearly and brightly, easy to change settings, switch shooting modes, preview and playback footage.
  • ELECTRONIC IMAGE STABILIZATION: Built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) delivers steady and smooth videos. AKASO EK7000 Pro sports camera ensures excellent experience in shooting fast-moving objects.
  • WATERPROOF CAMERA UP TO 131FT: Equipped with the upgraded waterproof case, this underwater camera can deep dive up to 131 feet, ready to capture all details of your adventures. Ideal for water sports such as swimming, surfing, diving, snorkeling, etc.
  • ADJUSTABLE VIEW ANGLE: You can set the view angle of this action camera depending on your needs between super wide, wide, medium and narrow. It's easier to hit someone with low angle. With high angle you can see more.

If you’re looking for a budget camera that’s not completely a waste of time and money, take a look at AKASO EK7000. The 4K videos it’s claimed to be capable of shooting are not really in 4K. Rather, it’s interpolated, meaning that it only records in 2.7K resolution, which will then be boosted by the chipset to 4K by creating a fake pixel. That aside, you can still record your precious moments outdoors in its full HD 1080 resolution with a frame rate of 60fps. The image quality is pleasantly good. Colors seem natural and sharp, but small details tend to blur.

AKASO EK7000 comes in the conventional boxy design, as many GoPro cameras do. As expected from inexpensive action cameras, the body feels entirely plastic. It’s also a little on the large side, thanks to the LCD display on its back panel. It’s not a touchscreen, but it will still help you a lot when you try to navigate through the menu settings. You can also get a live view and playback your videos on that 2-inch screen. There’s a remote control accompanying it. Although it looks very basic and cheap, it allows you to activate the recording and image capture function hands-free. For its price, AKASO EK7000 is not a bad camera at all.

Iconntechs IT Action Camera

ICONNTECHS IT Action Camera Native 4K 60fps 20MP Touch Screen WiFi EIS Stabilization Waterproof Sports Action Cam 170 Degree Wide Viewing Angle Helmet Cameras Underwater Camcorder
  • VIEW THE WORLD IN ASTONISHING DETAIL WITH ULTRA HIGH DEFINITION 4K: Our Action Camera features 4K, the new video benchmark that’s ideal for capturing all the excitement of sports in amazingly crisp and clear definition. It allows you to shoot dramatic still photos, or record stunning videos with 4x as many pixels as HD at the rate of 60 frames per second.
  • NEVER MISS A MOMENT WITH 60FPS SHOTS AT 4K: The world doesn’t stand still, and neither should your camera. With the ability to shoot 60 frames per second at 4K video resolution, you get 60 photos in just 1 second of 4K footage. Whether it’s skydiving, snorkeling, car racing, surfing or skiing, capturing every moment of a sports event will be a breeze. You’ll get a lot more shots to choose from, and most of them will surely be keepers.
  • BUILT-IN WIFI AND 2.4G WIRELESS REMOTE CONTROL: With the built in wifi and free app allows you not just shoot and edit videos and pictures through your Android or iOS devices,but share them on social media instantly. With a 2.4G Remote Control you can easily capture and keep your favorite moments.
  • 170 DEGREE WIDE ANGLE LENS LETS YOU TAKE IT ALL IN -- IN ONE SHOT: With 170 degree wide view angle, our Action Camera lets you focus on a spot, or see the bigger picture. With a wider field of vision, you can take amazing shots of a quarterback running in a field, a basketball player taking a jumpshot at the court, or the entire cheering crowd at the arena.
  • CAPTURE UNDERWATER ACTION WITH WATERPROOF HOUSING: All cameras come with waterproof cases that enable you to dive 30m deep. Go water-skiing, swimming, or scuba diving with ease. The detachable waterproof case will also carefully protect your camera from pollution and scratching under extreme environments and conditions.

The company that manufactures this little guy dubs it a 4K camera, but you might not want to rely on it. For video recording, Iconntechs IT Action Camera has the highest resolution of 4K (ultra HD), but it’s done so at rather a low frame rate of 24fps. It won’t be jumpy, but you might find your footage a little too soft as if it had an exaggerated cinematic effect. What I recommend is using its full HD resolution instead. At 60fps, the video runs very smoothly. The image quality is beyond expectation as well, considering it’s a budget action camera. Still, the photo is taken up to 20MP, but it’s the result of up-scaling, not real 20MP. It’s good enough for casual selfies but won’t do for professional photography.

A built-in gyroscope can be turned on to help stabilize your footage, but expect the battery to run out more quickly. Speaking of which, the 1,000+mAh battery is claimed to last an hour. Out of that span, you may only get about 40 minutes of it because the camera will shut down on itself if the battery gets hot. It’s rather annoying because you will have to wait until it cools off. There’s no point turning it back on when it’s still hot, as it will shut off again shortly, even if there’s still some juice left on the battery. If you can afford a spare battery, this camera is a great option!

Campark Extreme I / ATC74

GoPro HERO9 Black - E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5K Ultra HD Video, 20MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization
  • 5K VIDEO: Shoot stunning video with up to 5K resolution, perfect for maintaining serious detail even when zooming in. Packing a new 23.6MP sensor that’s an absolute powerhouse, HERO9 Black brings lifelike image sharpness, fluid motion and in-camera horizon leveling that always impresses.
  • 20 MP PHOTO WITH SUPERPHOTO: Capture crisp, pro-quality photos with 20MP clarity. And with SuperPhoto, HERO9 Black can automatically pick all the best image processing for you, so it’s super easy to nail the shot.
  • FRONT DISPLAY + REAR TOUCH SCREEN: A new, larger rear touch screen with touch zoom on HERO9 Black should feel instantly familiar and a dazzling new front display makes for easy framing and intuitive camera control.
  • POWERFUL BATTERY: 30% longer battery life is here thanks to a larger 1720mAh battery. This lets you shoot more without having to swap out batteries and packs enough juice to power your camera through the cold.
  • HYPERSMOOTH 3.0: Experience ultimate smoothness with our most advanced video stabilization ever. HyperSmooth 3.0 enables in-camera horizon leveling and boost in all settings.

Codenamed ATC74, Campark Extreme I is a perfect solution for those who are looking to get an instant replay of their last outing without paying much. The video quality it’s capable of producing easily transcends the cost you have to pay for the camera. On full HD resolution, it can capture up to 60 frames in one second, giving you clean and unruffled footage. The image looks crisp, although some small details may occasionally be left out. Even so, as expected from a cheap action camera, the 4K recording mode doesn’t give you true 4K videos. The image around the edge will look more like paints smudged together. I’d recommend using the full HD resolution to get the best result.

Higher frame rates are available for lower-resolution modes. The 720p, particularly, lets you record at 90fps tops. It’s not exceptionally smooth, but for fun slow-motion editing, it will do all right. The major drawing point of Campark ATC74, however, is the abundance of accessories included in the box. From a bunch of different mounts, a waterproofing case, a spare battery, and a free hard-shell carrying case. Considering you can get it for even less than 50 bucks, it’s a no-brainer that this deal is a steal.

ODRVM Action Camera

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GoPro HERO11 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 27MP Photos, 1/1.9" Image Sensor, Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization
  • Revolutionary New Image Sensor: expansive field of view ever on a HERO camera out of the box. This gives you an extra-large canvas for your creativity by capturing more of the sky and horizon in every shot. Zoom in, crop your shots, change digital lenses, adjust aspect ratios and more while keeping the rich textures and sharpness of your footage..Maximum Video Bit Rate : 120Mbps. ISO Range - Video : 100-6400, ISO Range - Photo : 100-3200, Exposure Control : Yes, Operating Temperature : -10º C - 35º C.
  • Unbelievable Image Quality: With 5.3K video that gives you 91% more resolution than 4K and an incredible 665% more than 1080p, HERO11 Black captures the action with crisp detail and cinematic image quality. A water- repelling lens cover even helps eliminate lens flare and other artifacts to make your photos and videos even more stunning.
  • High-Res Photos + Videos, High Frame Rate: HERO11 Black’s new image sensor boosts photo resolution up to an incredible 27MP while delivering 5.3K60 video with amazingly fluid motion that you can use to grab stunning 24.7MP stills of your favorite shots. Plus, record 2.7K240 video that can be played back in 8x slo-mo to catch details that can’t be seen at normal speed.
  • Emmy Award- Winning HyperSmooth Stabilization: HyperSmooth has never been better. And now it’s won a huge award for its insanely smooth footage—a 2021 Emmy for In- Camera Sensor and Software Stabilization. HyperSmooth 5.0 raises the bar even more with Horizon Lock, improved stabilization for 4:3 aspect ratio footage thanks to our new image sensor, and AutoBoost for maximum stabilization with minimal image cropping. Bike, skate, ski, chase your kids through the park or get some awesome pet POV shots—even the shakiest footage comes out silky smooth.
  • What’s Included: HERO11 Black Camera, Enduro Battery, Carrying Case, Curved Adhesive Mount, Mounting Buckle + Thumb Screw, USB-C Cable

If you value functionality and performance more than the brand’s name, you’re going to love ODRVM Action Camera. While it comes from an unknown company (most likely China-based), its performance is on par with the basic model of the GoPro camera. There’s no 4K recording mode, but its full HD video quality can easily please casual videographers. As a matter of fact, it’s better than some 4K videos recorded by typical budget cameras. Motion detection can be turned on if you’re shooting a moving object. That way, the camera can better focus its sensor, giving you better footage. Just a note to get you started, it requires a class 10+ microSD card, and it must be formatted within the camera.

There’s an app that you can download to turn your smartphone into a remote control (it works within 10-15 feet). It’s a very basic app that lets you quickly replay what you just recorded with no editing whatsoever. Anyway, ODRVM Action Camera is sold in a bundle with the starter kit. While this includes all the basic mounts and the waterproof case, it misses the memory card, which is rather odd. If you do the math, however, you’re going to quickly find out that it can be easily forgiven. For your information, the starter kit for some expensive action cameras out there commonly costs around $30; more if you add the sturdy waterproof housing. So, for less than $70, this camera is a sweet deal.

EKEN H9R 4K Action Camera

New EKEN H9R Action Camera 4K WiFi Waterproof Sports Camera Full HD 4K30 2.7K30 1080p60 720p120 Video Camera 20MP Photo and 170 Wide Angle Lens Includes 11 Mountings Kit 2 Batteries Black
  • Share your story instantly --With NEW Live Streaming function(Only available on Apple iOS). Stream worldwide via Facebook and YouTube, share all your fun activities and extreme sports with the EKEN H9R action camera.
  • Built-in WiFi & HDMI output—Edit and share your sports action camera actions as soon as it’s recorded with the App EZ iCam. WiFi signal ranges up to 33 feet. HDMI output is supported, which means you can preview videos or see real-time display on the TV with a HDMI cable.
  • Waterproof housing up to 100 feet—The waterproof case of action camera is designed to withstand extreme environments and conditions. This helmet camera is wearable and mountable: enables immersive capture during your favourite activities like, surfing, diving, snorkeling, biking, and driving.
  • 2 inch LCD FHD Display—High quality display for video or photo playback. Get the full spectrum of the features with easy setting adjustments, you can do it all on your 4K waterproof action camera.
  • FREE ACTION CAMERA ACCESSORIES: This underwater camera comes with an action camera tripod, 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries, remote control and 14 action camera accessories; the mounts are compatible with most action cameras, including Gopro.

A cheap yet tough and highly capable action camera without all the bells and whistles – that’s a description that best fits EKEN H9R 4K Action Camera. It may not feature some fancy functionality, such as voice command support, GPS tracker, or RAW photography, but this camera gets the job done. Attach the waterproof case that comes with it, and you can take it anywhere to capture your best moments outdoors. Recording is available in several modes; 4K – 25fps, 2.7K – 30fps, 1080p – 60fps, and 720p – 120fps. Still, images can be captured manually, but you can also use the time-lapse and burst photo functions.

Image quality is sufficiently good for enthusiasts and casual hobbyists, except when you take it down underwater or when the day is very bright. You can easily improve it by attaching a polarizing filter (you can either buy it or make it yourself; search on Youtube for a tutorial). Anyway, EKEN H9R 4K Action Camera offers tons of accessories, including two batteries, a tripod, five different mounts, a selfie stick, and a remote control. The remote control is exceptionally helpful in a situation where your hands are occupied, like kayaking or riding a bicycle. You can control all the camera function with just a few clicks. There’s a sound signal that tells you if the camera is recording or has stopped recording. For its price, this camera is a solid purchase.

DBPOWER EX5000

VVHOOY 3x1350mAh Rechargeable Action Camera Battery and Charger Compatible with AKASO EK7000/Brave 4/Dragon Touch Vision 3 4K/DBPOWER EX5000/Crosstour/Campark ACT74/APEMAN/Victure/Remail
  • 【Item included】:3x1350mAh Replacement Battery+Dual Port Charger+USB Cable,A Great Gift and Must Kit Accessories for Your Sports Action Camera Recording,Make Sure you Never Miss Any Important Moment
  • 【Powerful & Longer Working Time】: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery Pack-3.7V, 1350mAh 4.995Wh with safety, longer battery life
  • 【Smart Indicator Charger】:Two Independent Smart LED light indicated RED when charging and GREEN when completed
  • 【Upgraded version Battery】: This item comes with 3 rechargeable 1350mAh batteries. Huge Capacity .Each 1350mAh battery can record up 120 minutes,30% extra power than a 1050mAh battery. The battery style is round,it can fit with more style of action camera than those square battery .You will no more worry about the recording time for this action camera
  • 【Wide Compatibility】:This 1350mah Action Camera Batteries Pack and Dual Charger Compatible with AKASO EK7000/Brave 4/Campark ACT74 ACT76 ACT68 ACT73r/DBPOWER EX5000/APEMAN/APEXCAM/ACTMAN/Victure/Crosstour/Review XP/Lightdow LD4000 LD6000/COOAU/EKEN H9R H9S W9S H6S/Dragon Touch /SOOCOO/GEEKAM/JEEMAK/Davola/Remail/MGcool/Vemico/Vemont 4K Action Cam and more.

For a tiny camera under $100, DBPOWER EX5000 has its flaws. However, so long as you’re not as meticulous as a professional videographer, this camera can easily satisfy you. For starters, you get numerous different mounts included with the camera, along with its waterproof housing. They’re not organized in a handy hard-shell carrying case, though. Instead, they’re just put together in a plastic bag. The waterproof housing is a little hard to open, but I guess that’s what it takes to completely seal the camera. Underwater footage looks amazing in full HD resolution. The colors are vibrant, and the camera handles different light intensities very well, giving you a smooth transition from above to under the water.

DBPOWER EX5000 is equipped with a 2-inch LCD screen. You can directly view what you’re recording through the screen. To preserve the battery, you can set a timer for the screen to sleep automatically when not in use. Browsing through the menus is easy, but I suggest you spend some time reading the manuals. There are a few preset settings that you may need to understand before using them. The microphone picks up the sound just fine, but it may not be enough to impress some of you, especially underwater when you cover the camera with its case. You’re supposed to be able to use it as a dash cam too, but given the maximum SD card it supports is 32GB, you might need to set a longer interval to save on the storage.

Things to Note

best budget action cameras under 100

As good as they could be, all the action cameras listed above are still categorized as inexpensive gadgets. You should understand that you’ll be running into a few shortcomings upon using them. After all, even the best action cameras in the premium segment have their flaws too. Here are several things you have to note before buying a budget action camera:

  • They’re not for professionals. Cheap action cameras can easily entertain casual hobbyists and videography/photography enthusiasts. However, professionals and true adrenaline junkies will find a lot to complain about them. From the amount of noise and distortion in the footage to the absence of various sensors. So, if you consider yourself a professional, it’s best you opt for professional action cameras too.
  • They’re not real 4K videos. Many inexpensive cameras claim to be able to shoot videos in 4K resolution, but this is not true. The 4K resolution they’re talking about is the interpolated 4K – the one created by squeezing some fake pixels into lower-resolution videos. Again, this won’t matter if you’re a casual user, as you will hardly notice it.
  • They’re not true 20MP / 16MP / 12MP still photos. It’s the same case with the 4K videos they claim. The still images that these cheap action cameras can capture are probably 4MP at their best. The chipset will create fake pixels and then upscale the images to 20MP / 16MP / 12MP. Sometimes, the difference is so subtle only professionals can tell.
  • They’re largely plastic. In no way that we say these budget cameras have poor build quality. It’s just you can’t compare them with those in a higher price range.

That’s probably all we have to say before you decide on purchasing one of the inexpensive cameras above. By knowing what you’ll get, you can set your expectations properly, hence saving you from disappointment.

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