Best Action Camera Under $100

The following sections will cover my personal picks for the best budget action cameras on the market and take an in-depth look at the characteristics that make them tick.

I’ve spent a lot of my life both using and working with different cameras. I also stay active and engage in numerous action sports. That combined knowledge helped me review the following models and analyze their features on a deeper level.

When it comes to affordable action cameras, I consider the Akaso V50X to be the best model due to how many features it manages to pack into its sturdy, affordable design.

The small camera isn’t just strong, it also comes with a great touchscreen and reliable image stabilization to ensure your shots come out exactly as intended. The battery lasts a while too. There are also plenty of accessories, as well as adjustable view angles, for maximum versatility.

As good as the V50X is, it’s far from the only good budget action camera. The following sections will cover it, as well as some other excellent affordable options, in greater detail by analyzing the traits that put them ahead of the pack.

Quick Summary

Top Action Cameras Under $100

The following sections will take a look at the best cheap action cameras and explain why each one offers excellent value and stellar traits in one package.

1. Akaso V50X

  • Best for: Overall
  • Key Features: Smooth, easy-to-operate touch screen. Incredible image stabilization and a long-lasting battery. Fully adjustable view angle.
  • Video Capture Resolution: 4k
  • Screen Size: 2-inches
  • Weight: 1.12 pounds

At just a tick under $100, the Akaso V50X is a stellar action camera that delivers amazing shots and unmatched usability. It comes with a streamlined touch screen that anyone can use, as well as a fully adjustable view angle (170°, 140°, 110°, and 70°) that gives you premium versatility.

This model also comes with a stellar 180 battery life as well as 2 fully rechargeable batteries so you’re never caught off guard. Those that want options will also appreciate the 17 different accessories packed into the kit. The image stabilization is amazing as well.

The only downside to this model is that the mic isn’t the best, which can lead to some quiet audio every now and then. The video can be soft as well, but those are small complaints in what is a tough, well-rounded action camera that won’t break the bank.

2. SJCAM SJ8 Air

  • Best for: Lightweight
  • Key Features: 2.33 IPS touchscreen. Ultra HD resolution with 1296P/30fps recording. Wide lens and 3 FOV settings. Full wireless compatibility.
  • Video Capture Resolution: 4k 
  • Screen Size: 2.33-inches
  • Weight: 1.45 pounds

If you want a lightweight action camera that you can easily throw into your bag or strap onto a larger setup, the SJ8 Air is the way to go. Weighing in at only 2.8 ounces, the compact camera definitely lives up to its name. Even so, it still manages to fit in a 2.33 IPS touchscreen.

Something else this camera does well is connectivity. As with so many modern models, it gives you great Wi-Fi compatibility on top of a handy downloadable app that allows you to edit your photos and videos on the fly. The battery is long-lasting too.

There’s no 4k video with this one, which does put it down a little bit in terms of visual quality, but that’s a small drawback compared to everything else you get. This is a great pick if you want to save money and get something not too intrusive. 

3. Apeman A87

  • Best for: Versatility
  • Key Features: Quick, responsive touchscreen. Gyro stabilization. HDMI output and Wi-Fi functionality. Waterproof. A ton of available accessories.
  • Video Capture Resolution: 2160p
  • Screen Size: 2-inches
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds

The A87 is a great budget action camera if you’re searching for choices. This model comes with 24 different accessories, all of which give you more options and ways to shoot. The waterproof case is especially nice because it enables you to shoot down to 130 feet underwater. 

On top of that, there are a lot of impressive specs here. It has 4k video clips, Wi-Fi connectivity, and HDMI output. That’s then backed up by four different viewing angles, all of which give you more ways to capture your shots. The anti-shake helps there as well, providing you with excellent smoothness.

If this camera has one con, it’s the durability. It won’t fall apart if you drop it, but it’s definitely not on the same scale as some other tougher budget models. If you’re careful, however, it will give you amazing results.

4. Akaso Brave 6

  • Best for: Usability
  • Key Features: Functional voice control. 4k capabilities and extremely strong image stabilization. 90-minute battery alongside adjustable viewing angles.
  • Video Capture Resolution: 4k
  • Screen Size: 2-inches
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds

The Akaso Brave 6 is a utility action camera that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. The most notable feature is its stellar video command, which provides a lot of extra utility for people on the go. You can quickly give it commands without too much of a fuss.

Adding onto that is the wireless remote control that offers even more ways to operate the camera. There’s also a fully adjustable viewing angle, built-in image stabilization, and a strong shell if you’re someone who likes to record their adventures.

It would have been nicer if it was waterproof without a case or if it came with a microSD card. The picture quality isn’t up to snuff when compared to the videos either, but it’s still an incredible recording device if you want an easy-to-use device.

5. Campark 4k

  • Best for: Stability
  • Key Features: Remote control. Solid anti-shake with 4k/30fps recording. Wi-Fi with a companion app. Waterproof case and external microphone support.
  • Video Capture Resolution: 4k
  • Screen Size: 2-inches
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds

Equipped with a 2-inch screen and strong anti-shake feature, the Campark 4k Action Camera delivers excellent shooting at a price far below $100. This model shoots in crisp 4k and comes with a 2.4G wireless remote that enables you to start and stop recording as much as you want.

There are also a lot of handy accessories in this package, including a waterproof case, and external microphone. You can freely switch this model up to match your environment or whatever you happen to be recording.

The biggest issue with this camera is that it can be hard to properly set up at first. Some of the mounting options also feel much more convoluted than they should be. If you can get over that hurdle, this is a way to get good shots without losing quality.

6. Crosstour Action Camera

  • Best for: Action Sports
  • Key Features: Wireless wrist remote control. Can be used 130 feet underwater with case. Wide range of mounting accessories. Easy-to-operate interface.
  • Video Capture Resolution: 4k
  • Screen Size: 2-inches
  • Weight: 0.56

The Crosstour Action Camera is a strong model that works wonders for those who truly like to get out and get active. This model is quite tough, easily capable of taking some bumps and scrapes, and can be used in just about any environment. 

Those two aspects make this the best pick for adventurous users who don’t want to worry about their devices while they run, ride, or fall. If you’re someone who’s had to replace mobile cameras in the past, this will solve those issues without running the price of a premium model.

On top of that, you also get a great accessories pack that gives you more ways to mount so you can better finetune it to your sporting experience. That makes this the best model for users who have a special niche or who need to constantly switch up the way they use their device.

Of course, this isn’t perfect. The remote is not waterproof, which is important to know if you plan on taking the camera underwater. The Wi-Fi capabilities, while undoubtedly useful, also fall a bit short when it comes to reliability. However, there’s still a lot to like here if you stay active.

7. Dragon Touch 4k

  • Best for: Budget
  • Key Features: Crisp 4k video with 4x zoom. Wrist remote control. Wi-Fi compatibility as well as a 2-inch screen. Compact size with plenty of recording modes.
  • Video Capture Resolution: 4k
  • Screen Size: 2-inches
  • Weight: 5.28 ounces

While all cameras on this list are great budget options, the Dragon Touch 4k is a truly cheap model that doesn’t skimp. The 4k camera comes with 4x zoom, a wireless remote control, and a 2-inch screen. You even get Wi-Fi and waterproof options, two aspects that go a long way.

The model also has a surprising amount of options thanks to the numerous shooting features. That includes time-lapse, slow motion, loop recording, and image rotation. The wireless wrist remote is a nice way to control the camera without touching it.

Not everything here is perfect. As this is a truly low-budget option, you’re going to lose a little bit of quality compared to the more expensive choices on this list. That’s a small price to pay for what is a well-rounded camera at a low, low price.

Best Action Cameras Under $100: What to Look For

Always make sure you take the following characteristics into account when getting a budget action camera.

Durability

Anytime you get an action camera, especially a cheaper one, you want to make sure it has a lot of inherent strength. Many companies will cut back on construction when saving money, but there are plenty of models that still hold up to weather, wetness, and wind.

Always make sure your camera can withstand a few bumps and scrapes. Action models tend to be used in rough conditions or extreme activities. Make sure they can stand up to such endeavors without breaking down. Strong waterproof housing goes a long way too.

Shape, Size, and Weight

A big part of buying an action camera is knowing how you’re going to use it. Do what you can to get a model whose weight and size perfectly complement your activities. You want something you can easily handle or well too.

Bulkier, square cameras are better for chest mounts or places with a bit more stability, while slimmer, lightweight options can be more easily mounted on a helmet. You should also take the strength-to-weight ratio into account. Some models, while heavier, do come with extra strength.

Battery Life

An action camera is only as good as the footage it records. As such, get one that has reliable battery life. Most models are going to give you a few hours of recording time, which is plenty. However, high-definition shooting can drain that more quickly, so keep that in mind.

It’s also important to note that some models will come with spare batteries. You can also buy extra power banks if you aren’t happy with the initial power or want to be able to keep your camera charged on the go.

Accessories

Part of the fun of getting an action camera is the versatility. However, the extra shooting options simply aren’t possible without key accessories. When buying your device, look at what items it works with and break down how those could enhance your shooting.

It’s important to factor such items into your final budget as well. Most of the time, you won’t need any accessories to properly use your action camera. Even so, if you can afford to ramp up your footage, it’s a good way to add on extra functionality.

My Verdict

For my money, the Akaso V50X is the best action camera you can buy for less than $100. Where all the above models do a good job, the V50X is an excellent blend of sturdiness, function, and versatility.

It comes with a functional interface, crisp 4k shooting quality, and particularly strong image stabilization. Every part of the camera works towards improving your footage. That’s pretty impressive for something that falls below $100.

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