/The Best Cheap Action Cameras Under $100

The Best Cheap Action Cameras Under $100

 

Professional photographers were once the primary consumers of action cameras. Though amateur enthusiasts comprised a significantly smaller portion of the market, the average person had little to no interest beyond their basic home cameras and video recording devices. However, advances in photography, along with related technological aspects, have changed that forever. Today, people of all ages enjoy capturing still images and action footage alike.

The internet provides opportunities for everyone to share their content with friends, family, and others around the world. Whether you are interested in purchasing an affordable action camera to improve your social media and blog posts or you want to delve further into this exciting hobby, you want to know that you are getting the best value for your money.

While the GoPro has brought attention to action cameras, they are still too expensive for many folks. However, you can find excellent alternatives that are under $100. You will want to consider several factors as you peruse the options in your price range.

Establish a budget beforehand, keeping in mind that you might need to invest more cash down the line for the amazing accessories available for these models. Also, remember to search the web for discount codes and coupons that can save you some money, either on the device itself or your shipping costs.

As you investigate the cameras listed below, compare the accessories that are included with the device to ensure you are getting the best value for your dollar. Make a list of the potential accessories and prioritize them based on your intended usage. Then, you can make an informed decision that you will be happy with. For instance, you might realize that a well-priced camera will require a greater investment to acquire the needed accessories while a slightly more expensive model has many of the things that you have deemed important.

Though there are some additional concerns to think about, let’s dive into the best action cameras under $100 first!

CameraQualityBatteryWeight 
Xiaomi Yi1080p90 min0.17 pounds Check Price
Apeman 4K4K 24fps120 min1.6 poundsCheck Price
Amkov AMK6000S1080p90 min2.4 ouncesCheck Price
Polaroid Cube+
1080p90 min0.1 poundsCheck Price
Firefly 6s1080p90 min1.45lbCheck Price

1. Xiaomi Yi Action Camera

 

Although it does not come with a micro SD card, the device itself is well-built and has some great features included. Their app is compatible with most smart devices. The sensor is produced by Sony and the exposure metering is among the best you can find in this price range. It has a slow startup time and shooting speed so, be prepared in advance for that. Keeping the camera on and having backup batteries for when they run low will reduce the troubles you have with this.

The ports are easy to find and use, including the built-in tripod mount. The 155-degree ultra wide angle lens will allow you to capture fuller images. With real-time streaming options and image stabilization, you will get a lot of bang for your buck with this incredible device. You have 11 different video modes and 4 for photographs, giving you plenty of options for saving all of your important events.

The Yi Action Camera has built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and a microphone along with motion compensation to minimize the blur that often accompanies action footage. Professional photographers have praised this little camera as being a great device for novices to try. Additionally, the telescoping selfie stick and wireless remote control provide even more options for your photography adventures.

Pros
  • Great image quality
  • Relatively affordable
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • You’ll need to buy accessories such as a waterproof housing

2. Apeman 4K Action Camera

This model comes with two rechargeable batteries and a 30M waterproof case. You can adjust the lens from 70 to 170 degrees so you only capture the images you want and none of the background actions irrelevant to your plans. You can set it up for time lapse recordings and different shooting modes. Multiple language options ensure that everyone can find the directions and information necessary to enjoy using this action camera.

Out of the box, it includes a bicycle stand and helmet base, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing those accessories! You will love the incredible footage you can take while riding, skiing, and other activities.

Pros
  • Includes a variety of attachments including a spare battery
  • Great video quality
  • Very easy to us
Cons
  • Require a smart phone in order to access camera via WiFi
  • Camera software is mediocre

3. Amkov AMK6000S

This action camera is popular for many different reasons, including anti-shake technology and loop recording. The 2″ display screen allows you to clearly see the images. While it doesn’t come with a memory storage support, you can accessorize with a TF card up to 32GB. The 170-degree wide angle lens is among the largest you can find and the unit has frame rates includes 30, 60 and 120 fps. With an image resolution of 12 MP and waterproof up to 40m with the extra shield case, you can capture great underwater footage. Whether you want to take videos of your kids swimming in the pool at home or want to get footage of natural underwater scenes, you will be pleased with the results provided by the Amkov AMK6000s.

The shock resistant zinc alloy steel body and heat dissipating features will give you peace of mind when taking this little camera on vacation. The connectivity options include Micro HDMI, Micro USB, WiFi and their own app, giving you multiple ways to save and share your still and action images.

Pros
  • Great video quality
  • Long battery life
  • Includes WiFi support
Cons
  • No back screen
  • Sound quality is mediocre

4. Polaroid Cube+

 

While some old-school camera manufacturers were unable to keep up with the changing world, Polaroid has kept up with the new tech. Evidenced in this amazing cube that measures 1.4 inches and comes with a 10m waterproof case. Connectivity options include WiFi, USB, and the Cube+ app. The included lithium ion battery can last for almost an hour and a half when shooting at 1440/60fps. The device also has 120 and 30fps options.

Pros
  • Easily mounted to anything metal
  • Super small and lightweight design
  • This device can support HD Resolutions
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • No screen available

5. Firefly 6s

Well-known manufacturer Hawkeye has released this incredibly affordable waterproof camera with a gyro image stabilization function. Most people have seen shaky images taken with action cameras that make watching the content difficult. The gyro image stabilization takes care of the problem by automatically correcting to reduce these problems. This allows you to get some fantastic results with the Firefly 6s.

Additionally, you can download the Firefly app to connect to the built-in WiFi for easy transfer of your images. The drone-compatible camera provides multiple video resolution choices and a Sony IMX078 image sensor. The display screen is 0.65 inches and the unit comes with a 1600mAh battery.

Pros
  • Built-in Wi-Fi capability
  • Long battery life
  • Gyroscope Stabilization works
Cons
  • Lack of sound indicator
  • No status light on the back so hard to see if it’s recording

 

Conclusion

These five cameras are among the best action cameras you can find for under $100. However, there are some others on the market that you might be tempted to buy. One of the things that you need to look out for is whether or not a camera is significantly cheaper than comparable models. For instance, you might discover one that claims to have the same features as one of these but will only set you back $20. Remember that in most cases you get what you pay for. You want an affordable model, not a cheap one.

Speaking of cheap, realize that you might have to invest in another camera quickly if you focus on price alone. Is buying two cheap cameras better than one good camera? Of course, the answer is no.

This is why you should always do your research before you make any purchase. Check out the reviews that have been left on various sites that sell the camera and the accessories you might want down the line. Don’t just look at the average rating because these can sometimes be deceiving. Instead, make sure that the purchases are verified and read the pros and cons mentioned by reviewers. You will discover that some negative reviews are based on user error, not the camera!

As mentioned earlier, it is a good idea to look at the accessory options available for the models you are considering, as well as their price. For instance, if you know that a selfie-stick is important to you, either find one that includes it or include the price of this accessory in your initial purchase.

Weather resistance is another consideration. Unless you plan to use it exclusively inside a controlled environment, you will want to find out how well the device is protected against extreme temperatures and water exposure. Either waterproof housing or at least water resistant protection is important to ensure your device doesn’t break just because a rainstorm broke out while you were using it. Remember that many tropical locations have heavy rains in addition to beautiful sunny weather!

The specifications and features are incredibly important for ensuring the action camera will provide you with the high-quality images you want to retain and share with others. Also, take a look at the weight, dimensions, and shape of the camera. You want a compact design that can handle the high-speed motions involved in your activities. The mounting accessories should also be well-reviewed to ensure your satisfaction.

Buying a new action camera can bring you plenty of fun in the world of amateur photography. Check out these five cameras with a reasonable price under $100 to find out which one will best suit your needs. Then, you can start having fun with your action camera and share it with the world!

Gary Nguyen is a 24-year-old photographer and writer from Romania. Some of his works have been published in The Guardian, New York Times, Telegraph, and many others. Learn more