Best Budget Action Cameras 2020

If you are an adventurous person with a knack for traveling, bungee jumping, zip-lining, or hiking and always want to capture every moment then you might want to get an action camera that speaks to you and your adventurous soul.

Action cameras are like sliced bread for adventure enthusiasts; it’s the best thing for them. The action cameras have various features such as water resistance, portability, and they deliver magnificent clear photos and videos. In this guide, we look at the best affordable action cameras under $100 and $200. GoPro set the bar for action cameras, and since then, various other brands got into the game and upgraded their cameras to bring the adventurous soul the top budget-friendly action cameras. Read on!

Ranking

Name

Feature

Current Price

#1

YI Lite Sports

The two rechargeable batteries can run for up to 90 minutes.

#2

AKASO EK7000 4K

Waterproof housing that allows a water depth of 98ft

#3

Dragon Touch 4K

The dragon has a 16MP Sony sensor

#4

APEMAN 4K

Has the EIS elec6ytronic image stabilization

#5

Compark Act74

The camera supports an SD card of up to 64gb

#6

GoPro Hero 3+ silver

Records videos in 2 formats 1080p and 720p.

#7

GoPro Hero session

Doesn’t need a waterproof casing for water use

#8

GoPro Hero 5 session

Still images with a resolution of 10MP

#9

YI 4K Sports

Gorilla glass touch screen

#10

GoPro Hero HD

Has the auto offload feature

Features to consider in a good affordable action camera

Superb video quality

Just because it’s affordable doesn’t mean it has to have anything less of HD quality. Our preferences are on the 4K action ones because of their capability to capture every moment in very vibrant colors. Your camera should shoot at 24fps or higher. This means that the refreshing time is quick, and any fast-moving activity is caught without destroying the image quality.

High resolution

Most action cameras have a megapixel ranging from 8MP and go as high as 50MP. An action camera with these types of resolutions means that your photos will be nothing short of excellent. And what’s more? You can make changes to them by enlarging and cropping them.

Field of view

A camera that has a field of view of at least 150 degrees or more means that your recording will be immersive, thus allowing you to capture more details.

Ease of use

The more comfortable your camera is to use, the more you will be happy with it. Some models come with knobs for controlling while others have a companion app to ease operation

Water and weather resistance

When you purchase an action camera, it’s obvious that it’s for outdoor activities. This means that you’ll have to deal with the harsh weather elements such as rain, heat, and using it where there’s water. You should ensure that your action camera has a waterproof case that allows you to use it in and around water. You also need to ensure the waterproof rating matches your activity. If you are planning to go swimming, diving, or snorkeling, check if the camera can be immersed more than 50ft deep or from more than half an hour.

Connectivity

You need to ensure that your action camera can connect to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. This is because Wi-Fi connectivity enables you to upload pictures and videos in real-time. Wi-Fi connectivity also makes it easier to transfer files from your SD card without having to look for a laptop to use a micro USB cable or one that has SD support. An action camera with remote control allows you to change the settings in your camera without having to even touch it.

Extra features

With all these essential features in place, you also need to consider convenience. Go for one with various shooting modes, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and voice commands, just to name a few. All these features increase your experience with your camera and go beyond the very basics.

Best Budget Action Cameras 

1. YI Lite Sports Action Camera

YI Lite Sports Action Camera

 

Design features

The YI Lite allows you to take home the most wonderful and precious moments from your outdoor recreational activity. It has impeccable video quality and a still image resolution that allows you to have lifelike memories. The camera records at 25fps in 4K, 1080p videos record at 60fps, and 2.7k can record at 30fps. These three video choices allow you to switch between each resolution while outside so that you can preserve battery life.

With these high frame rates, you can record anything from zip lining to air races and biking competitions. The price tag, however, doesn’t let you enjoy the best details, especially when there’s dim light or when there is fast-moving action. Regardless, you will still be able to enjoy your still images thanks to its feature of taking 12MP burst shots at 30fps.

Convenient features

The waterproof housing is highly functional and allows you to use the camera in 100ft depth of water. The spare case, however, isn’t waterproof, although it adds a nice touch to the action camera casing. This camera has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to share videos and images online and has a remote control, which allows you to control it wirelessly. The hand mount for the remote allows you to use it at a 33 ft range. The camera has a 2 GHz connectivity, which isn’t fast, so you can expect some buffering when you are around others with action cameras.

Pros
  • Records in 4K
  • Has Wi-Fi connectivity
  • The camera has 4 shooting modes
  • It has a field of view of 170 degrees
  • The two rechargeable batteries can run for up to 90 minutes.
  • A total of 154 mounting accessories
Cons
  • If you record a video with the waterproof housing, the sound gets muffled.

Verdict

This camera provides you with simplicity with its features so much so that you can operate the camera even if you haven’t used an action camera before. There are no magnificent details, but you will not be disappointed with the images and videos.

2. AKASO EK7000 4K Wi-Fi Sports Action Camera

Design features

This camera has some wonderful handy features for the adventurer on the go on a budget. The videos can be shot at 30fps in 4K. You might, however, want to maintain a steady arm while shooting since it doesn’t have stabilization and can’t shoot fast-moving action. For its pricing, the shooting is impressive since there are other high-end GoPros that capture 4K videos for 24fps. The field of view is 170 degrees, and it is the camera you take when you want to capture both the foreground and background together in your picture.

It has different modes, such as slow-motion, time-lapse recording, and loop modes. If you want to upload a short video online, all you need to do is to start and end your video by hitting the lapse option, and you can end the video in good fashion. The AKASO comes with a waterproof case and can be used in a 98 feet depth; thus is perfect for surfing, snorkeling, or swimming. It comes with more than 10 mounting accessories, and you can mount the camera on a bike, your wrist, or helmet.

Convenient features

With this action camera, you have remote control features using Wi-Fi and an additional unit, a companion app. You can download the app and is compatible with both Android and iOS to enable you to control the features on your camera. The camera also has 2 batteries that have a charge time of about 90 minutes and provides you with a three hour run time for all your excursions.

Pros
  • It can record from 720p to 4K
  • The companion app is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • 2 rechargeable batteries
  • Waterproof housing that allows a water depth of 98ft
  • 16MP of still photos
Cons
  • Poor audio quality when shooting underwater

Verdict

This camera has a fast set up so that you can begin shooting and recording your videos immediately. It produces nice videos so you can leave your phone at home because the AKASO has your back.

3. Dragon Touch 4K action camera with 16MP Sony sensor

Design features

It resembles a GoPro, but its features are almost the same as that of the AKASO EK7000 save for the added shooting modes. This 4K action camera gives you a 4x zoom. You can also record videos in full HD at 60fps. This camera ensures you enjoy every outdoor activity with its waterproof housing. The housing lets you use the camera in wet weather and a depth of 100 ft. If you like running in the rain or surfing, then this camera has got you covered.

The camera has impeccable color rendition in the images and videos, and the files are worth sharing. The camera has a 2-inch screen that allows you to see the captions and settings. The XDV companion app and inbuilt Wi-Fi lets you share your memories on social media. The camera comes with a small wrist remote that lets you control and make selections from your wrist when you can’t reach the camera if it is mounted on your bike or head.

Convenient features

The camera has 3 modes: slow motion, lapse and loop recording and has other convenient features such as drama shot, image rotation, and driving mode, among others. If you want to use the driving mode, you should turn the image rotation on and use it as a dashcam. If the loop recording function is on, you can record your video continuously by getting rid of the old video. For this camera, you do not need additional accessories as it comes with mounting attachments that can be used wherever the camera is useful.

Pros
  • The dragon has a 16MP Sony sensor
  • High frame rates for videos which are in 4K and 1080p
  • Waterproof housing
  • Many mounting accessories
  • Portable and lightweight
Cons
  • The wrist remote isn’t waterproof, meaning you can’t use it underwater.

Verdict

The functions that the dragon touch possesses aren’t available in other affordable action cameras. If you are on a budget and are looking for a camera that will provide you with more than just the basic features, then you should consider this camera.

4. APEMAN 4K Action Camera

Design features

The APEMAN has the capability to record videos at 20fps in 4K, and the videos are as lifelike as they come. Its design is unique and doesn’t try to resemble other action cameras out there except for the box shape. It also has the capacity to deliver 1080p videos at an impeccable 60fps. However, it’s ideal for sports games, including baseball or soccer. It uses its electronic image stabilization, which provides detailed caption regardless of the distance of the target and speed. Most bikers like it because it is able to take the shocks of moving over bumps and rocks.

Convenient features

The APEMAN provides you with nine shooting modes from photo-in-videos to burst shooting of still images. You can play around with different features to get the most out of this camera. The 2-inch screen provides you with a wide view of the camera and its features. The menu is layered simplistically, and you don’t need to be taught how to use this camera.

Pros
  • The battery can run for up to 130 minutes
  • It uses a 16MP Sony image sensor
  • It offers a total of nine shooting modes
  • Has the EIS elec6ytronic image stabilization
  • The camera is waterproof up to 330ft
  • Bluetooth connectivity
Cons
  • No option for an external mic, and the audio quality isn’t that good.

Verdict

The APEMAN is a compact new-age model, and it goes for under $100, meaning you get to save up on your outdoor trips.

5. APEMAN A80 Action Camera

Design features

The APEMAN A80 Action Camera has improved features and showcases a long-lasting design that provides the user with improved video quality than other cameras in its price range. With the waterproof case, you can use it for up to 40 meters. You can choose to shoot in 4K or 1080p depending on the lighting conditions. It uses image stabilization that allows you to shoot any fast activity from diving to bungee jumping. You can share the images online and watch them on HD screens, and they will be full of life and vibrancy.

Convenient features

TheAPEMAN A80 Action Camera has motion sensors that begin recording once they detect any motion. This is a nice feature since the camera may capture moments that you didn’t anticipate. The camera ceases recording once motions in 10 seconds. This way, you won’t have to worry about your battery life getting exhausted as the camera sits idly. The camera has a wide range of image and video recording modes that include driving mode, time-lapse, and loop mode. You don’t want to leave this camera at home when you head out on a safari.

Pros
  • Has a 6-layer lens
  • The LCD screen is bright
  • The camera supports an SD card of up to 64gb
  • Well thought out recording modes
  • Dual rechargeable batteries with a total runtime of 180 minutes
Cons
  • It takes up to 3 hours for one battery to be fully charged.

Verdict

There are more features that this camera possesses than you can think of. The image stabilizers and 6-layer lens make this camera worth every dollar. Everyone wants to keep memories that won’t degrade over time.

6. GoPro Hero 3+ silver edition

 

Design features

If you like participating in daring stunts and want to share them, this camera provides you with an easy way to do so. The GoPro Hero 3+ has a square shape that allows it to sit comfortably on a surface such as helmets. There are many knockoffs of the GoPro, but this here is the real thing. It allows you to shoot 1080p videos in 60fps. The video has a white balance that is perfect for when it is sunny out or dark. You don’t need to convert your videos later to 4K format if you record it with a 1080p video, and you can watch the videos on a regular HD TV. The details of the camera provide you with clarity that will not see you miss a thing when preserving memories. You can shoot from a 40 meters distance, and everything will still be lifelike. It might not be perfect for still images, but it is ahead of other action cameras.

Convenient features

The waterproof case can be used along with other mounting accessories and is highly compatible with many accessories. It has Wi-Fi connectivity that is compatible with both iOS and Android and can be used concurrently with the GoPro app. The app has every function that is on the camera, it even has a 2-second delay that allows you to see what is on the camera. This camera lets you share moments as they are happening.

Pros
  • Records videos in 2 formats 1080p and 720p.
  • Excellent quality of videos regardless of the lighting conditions
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof case of up to 197 ft
  • Fast image processor
  • One mount
Cons
  • Color noise in the videos

Verdict

The camera has no professional features that might be hard to use. Its simplistic features provide you with an ease-of-use and are worth every dollar.

7. GoPro Hero session

Design features

This camera resembles a cube, and it can easily fit in your pocket. The audio quality is great, even underwater, as the mics are not embedded in the waterproof case. The GoPro Session, however, doesn’t have a framing screen; therefore, you need to use the app to adjust your frame or see if the frame is right. Despite its size, it has a rugged build to it and can withstand anything. The GoPro Hero Session can shoot two formats 1440p and 1080p videos. The 8MP sensors provide you with crystal clear photos.

Convenient features

The camera has one shutter button with a tiny LCD monochrome that shows the battery life and shooting modes. With its still images, you get to shoot burst and in time-lapse photos at 10fps.it is wearable on the wrist or around the neck.

Pros
  • Various video formats
  • A wide array of shooting modes including slow motion
  • Doesn’t need a waterproof casing for water use
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
Cons
  • The camera doesn’t support live view preview

Verdict

The GoPro Hero Session takes action cameras to a whole other level since it doesn’t need a waterproof case. It can shoot still images and still maintains the high quality that will ensure you use this camera for quite some time.

8. GoPro Hero 5 session

Design features

With its cube size, you can mount several of these cameras in a large room to capture moments. It is waterproof and portable due to its lightweight and can simply fit in a pocket. It doesn’t have a viewing screen but has an LCD screen, which allows you to see the functions and settings. The GoPro companion app connects via Wi-Fi, and you can view your shots in real-time. The camera shoots at 30fps in 4K. The images are high-resolution at 10MP but don’t compare to the Hero Black.

Convenient features

The size of the camera lets you carry this camera everywhere without having to deal with extra weight. The external casing allows it to get mounted on anything, and the mountings are adhesive, making it easy to stick them onto anything like handlebars, surfboards, and helmets.

Pros
  • Waterproof to 10 meters
  • Still images with a resolution of 10MP
  • Double mics
  • Supports voice commands
  • Dual buttons for operation
  • Adhesive mounts
Cons
  • It is tricky to use a smartphone app as a viewing window

9. YI 4K Sports Action Camera

 

Design features

The YI has a cool white body and delivers the specs of a pro camera. It uses Sony sensors that allow you to shoot 4K and HD videos with incredible details and clear images. The electronic image stabilizer prevents blurry and shaky shots. Most bikers like this camera because of its imager stabilization properties. The 12MP image resolution lets you shoot images with beautiful color saturation. The YI comes with a waterproof case that you have to buy separately and is durable. You can thus rest easy when using it outside.

Convenient features

The inbuilt high-speed Wi-Fi allows you to live to stream your videos, and you can edit the videos and filters to the images with the companion YI app. It uses the dual Wi-Fi tech, which chooses the less crowded path to use to upload your files. This feature is convenient and allows you to download videos at a high speed of 30mbps.

Pros
  • Gorilla glass touch screen
  • 7- layered lens
  • High-speed dual Wi-Fi technology
  • Supports voice command
  • Various shooting modes
Cons
  • When buying the camera, you have to buy the waterproof case separately.

Verdict

The YI sports camera has a 2-inch screen that is durable, and it uses new-age imaging technology. It’s the real deal.

10. GoPro Hero HD action camera

Design features

Instead of the 4K feature, this camera shoots 1920 by 1440 pixels videos. The camera’s body is waterproof and is rubberized. It can shoot still images with a resolution of 10MP and 10fps burst photos and has a midrange sensor that will ensure you get smooth images.

Convenient features

The camera has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity that lets you share your images and videos in real-time. You can also format and edit your videos with the GoPro app. The Quikstories feature lets you edit your videos further by adding the background music. The voice command feature lets you use the camera hands-free in case your hands are busy. It’s convenient for if you don’t want to unmount your camera and your phone is far.

Pros
  • Versatility in build
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Has the auto offload feature
  • Inbuilt image stabilization
  • Supports Quikstories
Cons
  • Doesn’t support GPS or the digital zoom

Verdict

The onboard function and small frame make this camera easy to use and provide for a fun experience. You don’t need to have your phone with you as it has a touchscreen that lets you see what you are shooting. The GoPro app adds a nice touch to it.

Things to consider when shopping for best budget actions action cameras

Durability

Your camera should be able to handle anything thrown at it. This is because most times, they are used in extreme sports. It would be unfortunate if your camera breaks upon any impact. You need to look for a waterproof, durable casing in a camera.

Ease of use

The more comfortable your camera is to use, the more you will be happy with it. Some models come with knobs for controlling while others have a companion app to ease operation

Mounting

You should check that the mounting accessories are compatible with your activity. It should be easy to mount on helmets, handlebars, or surfboards.

Battery life

It is preferable to go for a camera that has dual batteries so that when one runs out of juice, you can switch it up and carry on with your activities

Extra features

With all these essential features in place, you also need to consider convenience. Go for one with various shooting modes, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and voice commands, just to name a few. All these features increase your experience with your camera and go beyond the very basics.

Final thoughts

Using an action camera to film your daredevil outdoor activities is a lot of fun. With these cameras, you don’t have to miss out on the best moments ever again. The best part is that you can use the cameras on this list even without needing previous video knowledge. Go ahead and create wonderful memories today! Hopefully, with the two lists of the best budget action cameras, you should be able to get one that meets your needs.

Jeff Day
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