- Dream Cheeky
In this day and age, there are many things that we want to document and share with others. Whether it be our daily lives, special events, or even just a new place we’re exploring, we want to be able to capture it all. And what better way to do that than with an action camera? Action cameras are small, lightweight, and most importantly, affordable. So if you’re looking for the best cheap action camera, look no further!
- 1 Top Rated 9 Best Cheap Action Camera
- 2 More Buying Advice
- 3 What Makes A Good GoPro For A Cheap Price?
- 4 How To Test Action Cameras
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
Top Rated 9 Best Cheap Action Camera
1. Dragon Touch 1080P Budget Action Camera
The Dragon Touch is not only the most affordable action camera, but it also captures smooth videos and high-quality photos. This camera can be used in many different situations, even though it only has 1080P resolution. You can attach it to your chest using the included strap, or helmet, or clamp it to the handlebars. Then, you can capture some of the action with just one button on your wrist.
- High-quality video and photo capture up to 1080P
- Mounts, straps and helmet fixtures are included allowing you to jump right into the action
- View in real-time
- The remote control can be worn around your wrist
- Long battery life
- There is no SD card or internal memory
- 4K is not available
- Protective casings are the only way to make your home waterproof
2. Akaso EK7000
The Akaso EK7000 is very similar to the Dragon Touch Vision 4 Lite. This model has exactly the same design, with the same diamond pattern sides and an all-button interface. Although it lacks image stabilisation and has a slightly less appealing screen, we loved it and it is a good buy for those with tight budgets.
It’s not difficult to use the Akaso EK7000 interface. Although there are a lot of options to choose from, the Akaso EK7000’s interface is easy to use. It has four buttons that can be used to reduce this amount of button-mashing.
AKASO’s budget camera can produce crisp footage at 4K25 resolution. For epic slow-motion clips, drop to 1080p. The EK7000 can run at 60fps. If stills are more your thing, there’s a 16-megapixel sensor. The built-in electronic image stabilizer smoothes your footage when the action is a bit chaotic or your subject moves fast. The adjustable viewing angle allows power users to switch between super wide and narrow viewing angles.
We’d be happy with the Akaso EK7000’s 1080/60p video for this price. Do we miss electronic image stabilization? Absolutely. Although 60fps can make motion smoother, it will not eliminate bumps. You can still edit your clips with video editing software such as iMovie, which will do the job better than most action cameras’ in-body processing.
What are the downsides? The default field of view is set to ‘wide’. There is no way to adjust it. Although we would argue that it is best to keep the field of view wide as inexpensive action cam hardware doesn’t withstand digital cropping, it would be nice to have an option. It’s also very poor in audio quality. The Akaso EK7000 is muffled and quiet which makes it a difficult option for vlogging. It is, however, one of the most affordable budget-friendly action cameras available.
- Astonishing results at 1080/60p
- Decent interface
- Comes with many bundled accessories
- Wireless wrist remote control
- 4K Motion Sucks
- No image stabilisation at all
3. Akaso V50 X
The Akaso V50X X is described as soft in one word. The 4K video is not as sharp as the Akaso EK7000, which is a cheaper camera. We recommend 1080p or 2.7k because 4K does not offer much benefit. The Akaso V50XX is flawed, regardless of whether Akaso used an incorrect lens, the wrong sensor, or the wrong processing.
The camera’s responsive, pretty UI is a shame. It has more gloss than other models for the same price. The stabilization system is among the best in its category, capable of making walking speed motion look extremely smooth. Although we were unsure if electronic image stability would cause image quality degradation, it was not a problem.
Although it isn’t the most cost-effective option, it does have its advantages. The Akaso V50 X is a great webcam. Simply plug it in, and choose ‘PC Camera’. It also works well on Macs.
The camera also has a threaded input that can be used to mount a tripod or another type of mount. It even supports MicroUSB and an external microphone. The quality of the internal microphone is good, as well, although it has a lower level of clarity than the Akaso Brave 7 LE. The Akaso V50 X elements are accurate, but not the video quality.
- Supports external mics
- Clear interface
- Solid electronic stabilization
- The video is very soft
4. Akaso V50 Pro
You should be cautious when purchasing very low-priced 4K cameras. But, here’s a tip. The Akaso V50 Pro is capable of taking 20MP photos and recording 4K/30fps videos.
It’s not only capable of producing respectable results, but it also comes with many extras you shouldn’t be expecting at such a low price. The camera features a wide-angle lens with a 170-degree angle, a large touchscreen, and a 1/4-inch tripod thread. There is also a Mini USB slot to charge the internal 1,100mAh battery. Mini USB? They have not been in use for over a decade!
The box also contains a mini USB cable. There are also a bunch of accessories, including two spare batteries and a separate charge, a waterproof case and a mounting frame. Also included is a collection of screws and mounts to fit bikes and helmets.
Basic electronic image stabilization (EIS), which is used in the V50 Pro’s 4K video, works better when you reduce it to 2.7K/30fps or 1080p/60fps. However, the 4K video can still be viewed. There are many modes to choose from, including fast-mo and slo-mo, as well as time-lapse file length limits (up to one, three, or five minutes).
What is the secret to Akaso’s affordability? We are still not certain. Okay, so it doesn’t have the same 4K/60fps or 5K/30fps video quality as the high-end action camera models, nor is it front-facing. It’s a great deal if you want the basics.
- Touchscreens up to 2-inches
- Many accessories
- Wrist remote included
- Use a Mini USB Cable
- Touchscreen can become laggy
- No live-streaming
5. Campark X30 Xtreme V
Campark X30 Xtreme V budget camera is mid-priced. Although it is more expensive than the super-cheap models but lowers the Apeman A100, it can still be a good choice for many people. The X30 Xtreme V feels solid and has a built-in tripod thread. It can be mounted without accessories, but the exposed ports make it a poor choice unless you are shooting indoors or outdoors.
The microphone quality is also solid. The Akaso Brave 7 LE’s microphone quality is second to none. Voices sound clearer and louder than the ultra-cheap cameras. The X30 Xtreme V’s touchscreen has a decent interface that is very similar to the Apeman A100 and Kaiser Baas V50.
We encountered more problems with this camera than we did with other inexpensive action cameras. The Campark won’t respond well to changes in the field of vision or electronic image stabilization (EIS). These tweaks will make the preview image and resulting video look different.
It doesn’t seem to be a 4K camera as the footage taken with the ‘4K/30p and ‘4K/60p modes are 3200x 1800 resolutions, not 3840×2160. Standard-setting 4K/60p mode uses a restricted crop to further reduce captured detail. It is closer to 1080p.
The best budget action camera can produce true 3840 x 2160 clips by turning off EIS. They can look great. Stabilization is what we will use most of the time. This stabilization is OK but can cause image wobble around the corners.
The Campark X30 Xtreme V’s user experience is a bit inconsistent. It can still produce 4K video at 30 frames per second, but it’s not our favorite. We think that the Apeman A100’s superior dynamic range (see above) makes it worth the extra cost. The X30 is also less responsive in low light and cannot be used with Macs or computers as a webcam. We tried, but you don’t have the choice of mass storage or charging when you plug it into.
- Has a mounting thread
- Supports external mic (USB).
- Solid sound quality
- Buggy software/interface
- Doesn’t record 4K in all 4K modes
6. Kaiser Baas X450
The Kaiser Baas X450 is a good choice if you are looking for ready-to-roll 4K footage. The X450 shoots beautiful 4K footage. It has a 14MP sensor that captures slightly more detail than the GoPro Hero 9 Black at its wide setting. This is based on a frame analysis at sunset.
This comparison is not fair as GoPro Black cameras are much wider than the Kaiser Baas X450. However, we remain impressed. The Apeman A100 has similar detail, but the Kaiser Baas is superior in color processing, rendering more appealing clips and generally rendering them with warmer colors. As you would expect, noise handling in low lighting is slightly better than the Apeman A100.
This guide also lists the X450 as having the best non-GoPro stability. An action camera must make use of a Gyroscope to achieve this effect. This can detect when a natural handshake causes tilt motion. Although it can’t provide the same level of stabilization as an Insta360 and GoPro, we are impressed with this cheap action camera.
The diving case is required to ensure water resistance. Ports are visible just like a budget action camera. The Kaiser Baas X450 doesn’t include a microphone input or a tripod thread. The box does contain the accessories you need.
Kaiser Baas is not as generous as the majority of the companies listed in this guide. For example, you don’t get 2 batteries. You only get 1. Its capacity is only 1,050mAh. Other cameras costing more than $80-plus use 1,350mAh batteries. The audio quality of the camera’s audio is poor. It has a lower output than the Akaso Brave 7 LE, and it uses the same absence treble and gated sound as the Apeman A100.
The Kaiser Baas X450 cannot be used as a Webcam. Although there are many ways to improve the X450, this action camera is the best for image quality and stabilization.
- Stunning, detailed 4K video
- Pleasant color management
- Above-average EIS
- Basic construction, with exposed ports
- No mic input, poor audio
- No webcam mode
7. AKASO Brave 6
This latest version of the Brave 4 upgrade allows you to control your device hands-free with just your voice. You can speak commands such as “Akaso, take photo” or “Akaso, video start”. We have integrated Wi-Fi, image stabilization of electronic variety and the ability to adjust the angle of view of the camera – choosing 170deg, 140deg, 110deg or 70deg depending on the user’s requirements.
The ‘Brave’ can withstand water, as you would expect. It can shoot 4K video and 20MP stills. Wireless remote control adds additional flexibility. We get a lot for our buck.
- Voice-activated operation
- Adjustable angle
- microSD cards are not included
8. Akaso Brave 7 LE
With the Brave 7 LE, Akaso has revolutionized the action camera market. This action camera is affordable and has most of the same features as a high-end model.
These include dual displays on the back and front and weather sealing. The rubber bungs that cover the ports offer IPx7 water resistance, without the need for a case. If you don’t want to go snorkeling with your camera, it’s enough. You also get a 40m waterproofing case in diving style.
We also feel that the Brave 7 LE feels more expensive than any other camera at this price. This is largely due to the camera’s weight. It weighs in at 127g, which is twice as much as action cameras that look like empty boxes once you pick them up. The plastics used are also of better quality.
While making the first impression is important, Akaso has also put more effort into other areas. When used in a quiet environment, the Akaso Brave LE 7’s sound quality is superior to any other non-GoPro. The mic’s quality is excellent. It’s susceptible to wind noise because it only has one mic.
However, there is a basic model for wind noise reduction that can be used to reduce it and you only have so much that you can do with one mic array.
The user interface of Akaso is fantastic. It is touchscreen-led and has a gloss that you won’t find in other GoPro clones. It’s quicker and easier to use than GoPro’s original for basic tasks.
The Akaso Brave 7 LE is as good as it sounds. We weren’t impressed by the video quality. It can record at 4K resolution and 30 frames per second. The video shot in this set looks great, but it doesn’t have the same clarity or detail as the Apeman 100100.
We expected that the Brave 7 LE would be the top chart-placer, given the amount of effort put into this video. But it didn’t. It also happens at 60fps mode, which is available at 2.7k resolutions or below. The footage looks very aliased or ‘blocky’ so the 2.7k clips don’t have as much detail.
The Akaso Brave 7 LE also heavily relies on noise reduction when the light level drops, making your footage look soft regardless of its resolution. Although electronic image stabilization works well, it can be a bit jumpy. It focuses on slowing down motion and not making pans look smoother.
This product is still a great budget action camera for the price. However, a little more work (and perhaps a better sensor) would make it an actual rival to the GoPro Hero 9 Black or DJI Osmo Action. Although the camera can be used as a webcam with either our MacBook Pro or Windows 10 laptops, we were unable to get it working. Perhaps you’ll have more luck.
- Dual screens
- Case-free water resistance
- Class-leading build quality
- Poor 60fps footage
- Jumpy electronic stabilization
- 4K is a better option than the cheaper options
9. GoPro Hero 7 White
GoPro HERO7 White is currently the best-selling action camera. This budget action cam was first released in October 2018, as a companion camera to the HERO 7 Black. Although it is far from the best GoPro, this HERO 7 white still packs some amazing action cam tech in a sleek and wallet-friendly package.
The H7 White can be used with all GoPro accessories including its extensive range of mounts and housings. However, unlike newer GoPros, there is no ‘bunny-ear’ mounting system. You will need to mount your camera to a frame first. The camera is shock- and waterproof up to 10 meters. The two-inch touchscreen is responsive and sunlight-friendly, allowing for quick access to settings and playback. Two hours of battery life is provided by the built-in, non-removable battery.
Voice control is a great addition to the HERO7 White, especially considering its low price. It’s as simple as saying “GoPro, start recording”, and then waiting for the beep. Although voice recognition is generally very responsive, we discovered that Hero doesn’t always pick up commands when there are crashing waves.
The best budget action camera offers only two resolutions for filming: 1440p or 1080p at 30fps or 60fps. Stills are also available in 10MP. The footage looks sharp and vibrant from ‘board to bicycle. Video stabilization mode keeps clips looking smooth even when things get chaotic.
The Auto Low Light mode is a great option for shooting under trees or in dark environments. You’ll soon see the difference. The slow-motion option was not available on entry-level GoPro cameras in the past. This is why it’s so great to see it return on the HERO 7 White.
The Hero’s 4K resolution is a bit too low for those who love base jumping or cliff diving. The GoPro Hero 7 White is the best cheap HD camera for adrenaline-loving people who need a reliable and easy-to-use camera to capture their adventures.
- 10-meter waterproofing with no case
- Digital video stabilisation
- Voice control
- Video No 4K
- Mounting frame required
Check out our related post:
More Buying Advice
Nearly every budget action camera will come with a USB cable, charger, and battery. As standard, the action cams will come with a charger, a battery, and a USB cable. You will not receive a microSD memory card, so be sure to get one.
Many action cameras come with additional accessories. This will typically include a spare battery and mounting accessories as well as a waterproof case.
These accessories will suffice for most people. Other accessories might be helpful, however:
- Grip or Gimbal
- Mounting straps for the head or chest
- Buy an Action Camera with WiFi
All action cameras on this page have built-in WiFi. This feature is essential as it allows you to connect your iPhone or Android with the camera. You can control your action camera remotely by connecting to your phone.
Filming The Video In Low Light
Action cameras are small in nature and have small apertures that allow for much more light to pass through. They are therefore not great at low light photography.
If you’re recording at night, it is a good idea to disable Electronic Image Stabilization. While this can increase video quality, you should be aware that it will make the recording more sensitive to camera shake.
Use Your New Action Camera To Dive With It
Action cameras can be used underwater. Most action cameras require waterproof housing. Before you take your action camera underwater, make sure the waterproof case is properly fitted.
The V50 Pro action camera has a diving mode that filters out red light and enhances color underwater.
Action cameras take rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. You can expect to be able to record between 45 and 150 minutes per battery.
Higher resolutions and the use of features such as EIS will drain more battery. You will find that most budget action cameras include a spare lithium battery. Make sure to keep it with you.
All action cameras have basic built-in shooting modes. Recording video and taking photographs are the most basic modes.
These modes include slow-motion and time-lapse. Before you buy a camera, make sure it supports any of the shooting modes that you are interested in.
What Makes A Good GoPro For A Cheap Price?
GoPro cameras are the most popular action camera brand. GoPro cameras offer many creative shooting options, superior image stabilization, and sharp footage. All this in small packages that can be carried almost anywhere. The problem is that you often have to pay a lot for this combo.
It’s possible to find a cheaper GoPro if you are willing to look at older models. The GoPro Hero7 Silver is an example. The Hero 7 Silver was released in 2018. It is a mid-range model that sits between the White or Black models in the Hero 7 Silver line-up.
It’s still an affordable option that can capture good 4K footage at 30fps. Buyers on a tight budget will be pleased to know that the GoPro Hero 7 Silver is an excellent buy due to its age. It’s widely available online at prices around $235/PS200/AU$300.
The more powerful GoPro Hero 7 Black is still more expensive. It has a HyperSmooth image stabilizer, 4K at a smoother 60fps, and a removable battery. There’s good news for deal seekers: With Black Friday quickly approaching, you can find a great discount on the GoPro Hero 7 Black November.
With the recent release of GoPro Hero 10 Black Black, it has been pushed down even further in the pecking ordering. This means that savings are a certainty.
It won’t fall at the same prices as other cameras on this list, but it could see significant price reductions, making it an attractive option.
How To Test Action Cameras
We put action cameras through their paces. They are some of the most difficult cameras available.
Each model is put through a variety of real-world tests, including swimming, cycling, and, if necessary, an adventure course. These tests not only provide a clear indication of the model’s ability to withstand extreme weather conditions but also how easily they can be used in challenging environments.
We record footage in many resolutions and frame rates to gauge the strengths of each action camera and then review these clips on a calibrated screen.
We examine the default color reproduction, noise levels in shadows, highlights, and any other image quality issues such as clipping, softness, and barrel distortion.
We use a similar method to examine each camera’s image stability. This is critical for maintaining image quality when the camera moves. Also, we look at any special shooting modes, such as slo-mo or time-lapses.
We record continuously at various frame rates and resolutions to test battery life. We track how long each action cam lasts, and when it needs to be shut down due to overheating. We also test the companion apps and touchscreen interfaces of each camera to determine how user-friendly they are.
Is An Action Camera Worth It?
Action cameras, it appears, are well worth purchasing. They’re a good investment because of the following advantages. – Incredible video and image quality: Action video cameras are far more capable than most smartphones in shooting films and photographs.
Is It Possible to Utilize an Action Camera As A Regular Camera?
Yes. They can be used as conventional cameras, but they are so much more.
Do Action Cameras Have Zoom?
The TG-6, like an action camera, is intended to survive the elements (and without a case, no less), so you may safely drop it in the snow, sand, or water. A bigger sensor, a 4X optical zoom lens, and sensor-shift image stabilization are also included. It can shoot bursts of up to 20 frames per second for action sequences.
Are All GoPros Waterproof?
Yes! All GoPro HERO models, starting with the HERO5, are waterproof up to 33 feet (10 meters). The GoPro MAX is an outlier in that it is only waterproof to a depth of 16 feet (5 meters). The prior generations of GoPro cameras were not designed to be waterproof or even water-resistant.
Many action cameras are affordable and can be used to record outdoor photography, adventures, and other activities. Although they may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end cameras, these are often just what you need for someone who is just starting out, or for someone who needs a second camera to go on the road.
Last update on 2022-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API