Action cameras can cost fortunes, especially when you would want to roll with the best of them, as GoPro HERO7. And if you are reading this article, the chances that you cannot afford it are quite high. But do not worry, having as little as $100 at your hand, you can still find a bunch of 4k action cameras and even have some cash left after the deal. We surfed the net and got together a group of best action cameras under $100 for you to use in your next shopping tour.
The best Action Camera Under $100
If funds are your concern that can compete in intensity with your drive for better quality, here is the list of 4k action cams you would want to look into:
- AKASO Brave 6 4k
- Apeman Trawo 4k
- Campark X20 4k
- Crosstour 4k Action Camera
- VanTop Movement 4 4k
- EKEN H9R 4k
If we had to evaluate AKASO Brave 6 4k on a scale of 5, we would give it a solid 4.
We know AKASO Brave 6 4k from its well-known ancestor Brave 4, from which Brave 4 took all the best features and evolved even further. This kid is equipped with built-in Electronic Image Stabilization with a 3-axis gyroscope and 6x digital zoom. These enable Brave 6 to shoot 4K at 24 fps video and 20 MP stills. Also, it is voice-controlled and, compared to Brave 4, it has a new UI. Another nice feature AKASO bundled Brave 6 with is a remote control, assorted mounts; all that comes with 2 batteries.
Does not it sound nice, to charge the camera while you use it? There is one downside to Brave 6 – it can get interpolated, however, the issue is easily fixable. You will also need a memory card for AKASO Brave 6, and we recommend you Samsung 64GB 100 MB/s U3 Micro SDXC Evo Select (though you can find other alternatives).
We must admit, we liked Trawo a bit more than AKASO Brave 4k, so it earned a 4.5 rating out of 5, outplaying the first camera we talked about.
Apeman Trawo 4k is a brilliant substitute for GoPro cameras, having built-in EIS and shooting 4k video at 30 fps with UV protection film and IR filter. In addition to that, it is equipped with a 7-layer Glass Lens and 2 batteries of 1350 mAh capacity each and has a waterproof case allowing you to go with it as deep as 40 meters underwater. And another snap to this camera is that its mounts are compatible with most GoPro cameras, so if you are a lucky owner of one and looking for some diversification in your collection, this one is the one for you.
The disadvantages of Trawo are minor, but you should know them before making your choice. Unfortunately, this one does not have a remote control or live stream support (however there is a way to connect it to the YUTUPRO All for the live view which could compensate for the remote control function lack). Also, there is only one housing provided for Aperman Trawo 4k, and its LCD is not a touchscreen.
Campark came up with something quite close to Aperman’s creation, and we gave it a rating of 4.5 too (out of 5).
Like all the cameras we suggested you previously in the best camera under $100 list, Campark X20 4k has built-in EIS – a feature vital for any action camera. Where it outplays the previous cameras is a Sony CMOS sensor and a great dual display, consisting of a small display in the front and a bigger LCD touchscreen in the back. A nice perk of Campark X20 that we don’t see often in other cameras is the red light for underwater shooting, which would work amazingly with a wireless wrist remote control that X20 has, however, be careful: this control is water-resistant, but is not designed to be put underwater fully.
In other words, feel safe using it next to a water source and in a high humidity environment, make great shoots with splashes, but avoid diving with it and letting it drown. Together with Campark X20 4k in the bundle go a waterproof case, some mounts, and two batteries.
As for the downsides, Campark X20 4k has only two: the absence of external mic support and short battery life.
This camera did win a place in our best action camera under $100 and having estimated all its pros and cons, we gave it a solid 4 point in the rating.
4k video at 30fps, a 7-layer glass camera lens, built-in EIS – do these sound familiar? You will luckily find these features in most action cameras, but there is something else Crosstour has to offer. The battery life of this kid is superior due to its large 1350mAh battery capacity. Moreover, Crosstour 4k is waterproof and can hold on a dive down to 40 meters with housing and have a dashcam mode.
We have some sad news about it too though; 20 MP does is not compatible with some of the models, particularly Burst, Date Stamp, or Rotate. Neither you will find wrist remote control to it, however, you can control this one via the YUTUPRO App.
Also, buying a camera, make sure to check the best memory cards compatible with it.
Another proud holder of 4.5 points in our rating “best action camera under $100” is VanTop Moment 4 4k.
Having built-in EIS and shooting 4k videos at 24 fps, VanTop Moment 4 can seem not performing too well, compared to other action cameras, however, wait until you discover all the perks it has to offer.
The first ones your eyes would catch would be the touchscreen interface and a 2.4-inch display in the price range of VanTop. Another one would be a Sony 4k TrueDepth camera with a 4x zoom that you can control remotely through the wireless control and the CamKing App. You can also use VanTop Moment 4 as a dashcam, thanks to its Car Mode and Driving Mode! Its kit includes a remote, a folding backpack, and a memory card, together with different mounts and waterproof housing. Plus, you get a 32GB Kingstone SD card.
Now to downturns: VanTop did not enable live stream support into its Moment 4 4k, neither did they enable external mic support. You also should know that these wonders of technology require certain energy consumption, which results in short battery life.
We rated this cam 4 out of 5, and as you read the description, you will see why.
EKEN H9R is a quite affordable yet solid action camera that found numerous fans all over the world, capturing 20 MP photos and shooting 4k video at 30 fps. It also offers live stream support (however and unfortunately, for iOs only), and comes in the nice kit with a tripod, splash-proof wireless remote, a bunch of mounts, and two extra batteries. Tripod we mentioned, by the way, is one of the best action camera accessories you can buy, and likely it played its role in making EKEN H9R its name.
Sure enough, there are disadvantages to this technological wonder too, and we will cover them now. The 4k footage tends to get interpolated; a minor issue, yet somewhat disturbing one. And the battery of EKEN cannot compete with previous ones: it takes as long as 5 hours to get recharged and has relatively short battery life.
We covered 6 models on our list “best action camera under $100”, though there are more of them out there on the market; all you need to do is surf the net, dig for the info that you find useful, compare the alternatives, and find the one that would truly satisfy you.
Some advice before you buy an action cam
Accessories: necessity or whim?
We do not like to spend money on unnecessary stuff that we will never use, and we believe, so do you. There are bare necessities that are going in the package with almost every action camera ever: a battery, a USB cable, and a charger. You also would need a micro SD memory card to shoot, however, it is not a basic part of the packages, so make sure to get one, unless it is already in your possession.
Action cams’ sellers often like to include stuff to enhance the performance of the camera and make both your experience more pleasurable and the life of the device longer. These include remote control, a waterproof case, a spare battery, and mounting accessories.
If you find these not enough and feel seeking some extra adjustments to your current equipment, you would like to look into such stuff as a tripod, a grip, a power bank, etc. You will be able to find lots of offers depending on the functionality lacking.
Does an action camera need Wifi?
As unnecessary as it sounds, Wifi is actually an essential feature to have, as it makes the connection of the camera with your mobile numerous times easier. Also, for the cameras that lack remote control, this feature can cover up for it.
How do I shoot in the low light?
Every best action camera under $100 that you would find is small by nature, and do not perform best in low-light conditions.
Also, every best action camera under $100 has built-in Electronic Image Stabilization; the trick is to disable it when shooting in low-light. It will enable higher video quality, but be aware of the increased sensitivity to shaking.
Can I dive with my action camera?
With some of the cameras you can dive, with some you cannot – it depends on what the seller is ready to offer you. For many action cameras, it would be a necessity to be put into waterproof housing before diving. And make sure you set it correctly, it will keep your camera safe underwater.
How long can be battery life?
Battery life would heavily depend on the resolution and technical features that your camera use. Record length would vary between 45 and 150 minutes per battery since most action cameras use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Sometimes these budget cameras come with a spare lithium battery to carry around.