The Top Ten Action Cam Under $100

There has been a lot of action cams that came out in the market ever since the GoPro debuted several years ago.

For some sports enthusiasts, they may just stick to the brand that started it all. But for some of us, it is not necessary to choose a high-end action cam when there are so many cheaper, but good alternatives.

However, you may be spoilt for choice when choosing a budget action cam. So which one should you decide that will give the most value all for under a $100? We’ll take a look at the top ten list I would personally consider.

1. BOIFUN 4K 20MP Anti-Shake Underwater Action Camera

There is a bit of skepticism initially when a company produces a much cheaper version of a product that costs a lot more from another brand. However, BOIFUN, a company which is based in China, continues to impress me.

Founded in 2005, the company that started as a portable DVD manufacturer have branched out to making baby monitors and action cams. All their products have CE, RoHS and FCC certification, so they meet international quality standards.

When I first operated the camera, it didn’t feel as heavy as some of the other brand action cams. The rubberized surface gives a nice touch, and the 2 inch LCD screen, although not as sharp as I would like, is decent to look at.

The BOIFUN SPC01 has several features that rival higher-end options.

  • It can record in 4K at 30 frames per second and has a max 20MP resolution
  • The waterproof casing that comes with the camera allows for underwater shots down to 40 meters
  • The sound system allows for clear sound recordings
  • Stabler images with real-time anti-shake features
  • Various shooting modes to cater to everyday use
  • WI-FI capabilities to allow transferring content from the camera to your smart phone seamlessly anytime

The BOIFUN 4K action cam comes with 20 accessories, which gives added value without a hefty price tag, making it an all-in-one solution to record all your activities even daily.

The extra accessories include:

  • 2 x 1200mah batteries
  • 1 x waterproof case
  • 1 x waterproof case base
  • 1 x waterproof case screw arbor
  • 1 x small storage bag
  • A cleaning kit
  • Tether straps
  • Several types of mounts
  • Tripod stand
  • A USB cable and charger
  • A bicycle stand
  • 1 x 2.5 mm microphone
  • 360°Rotating Screw
  • Backpack clip

For an action cam at this price range, I’m really impressed at the value the camera gives. Included within the package is a full, colored manual with all the instructions to fully take advantage of the camera. There’s even a remote control with two distinctive, easy to press buttons to record or take pictures, which is an excellent addition.

What I like about the camera:

  • Able to control the camera via remote and phone via local WI-FI.
  • Can record time-lapse videos.
  • Slow-motion feature when recording.
  • Tons of accessories.
  • Video and picture quality is decent for the price.
  • Sound is crisp and clear even on windy days.
  • Two batteries make this a great option for longer videos.

Cons of the camera:

The camera doesn’t come with a touch screen, which is hardly surprising given its price tag. The video recordings aren’t always stable and can seem a bit shaky at times, but could be better with a gimbal stabilizer. The absence of a built-in light source makes the camera great for day time recordings but not so much at night.

2. Campark X25 Native 4K Action Camera with Ultra HD

You can tell when a company loves their products. As with Campark, their slogan is, ‘Capture Moments. Capture Life’. That makes them sound like travel enthusiasts themselves, passionate about capturing memorable moments through their range of quality cameras.

Unlike the previous entry, the Campark X25 comes with a touch screen that makes it smoother to operate. It can shoot up to 16MP, which is fine for me as I don’t need the pricier X30 for its higher 20MP image resolution.

The Campark X25 Native 4K Action Camera has the following features:

  • Video recording at native 4K at 30fps
  • Image resolution at 8MP, 13MP and 16MP
  • 170 Wide Angle Lens
  • Wi-Fi connectivity between smartphone and camera with a downloadable app
  • Can be used underwater down to 98ft
  • Able to record time-lapse, slow-motion videos, burst photography images and loop recording.
  • A full three years warranty

The accessories are mostly compatible with GoPro, so you can conveniently switch them out when you need to.

These are the accessories that come with the package:

  • 1 x shatterproof underwater case
  • Bicycle and helmet mounting kit
  • 1 x USB cable
  • 1 x operation manual

The case that comes with the kit has buttons so that you can operate the camera without taking out the case itself. This makes it easy to use it underwater and on land without changing much of anything.

What I like about the camera:

  • A touchscreen is available.
  • Various modes available for most action sports recording.
  • Video quality is excellent for the price.
  • Transferring files from camera to smartphone is a breeze.
  • A detailed app on using the camera.

What I don’t like about the camera:

There are some connectivity issues when downloading large files to a smartphone. Although the solution to that is to copy it directly via cable to a laptop or take shorter videos to reduce the size. The camera also lacks in-built stabilization, so you have to use a video editor to rectify that.

3. COOAU 4K 20MP Wi-Fi Action Camera

COOAU is another Chinese company entering into the foray of manufacturing affordable action cams. They started with making portable DVD players but has positioned itself as a good contender for action cams in the low-budget range.

This is another action cam that aims to be a one-size-fits-all budget solution. It looks similar to the BOIFUN 4K action cam and even has the same number of extra accessories.

A few of the best features of the COOAU 4K action camera:

  • Time-lapse mode up to 30x speed
  • Dashcam mode with loop recording
  • Record 4K/2.7K/1080p videos
  • A 1.48M external microphone
  • Comes with a 2.4G wrist remote control
  • Cool and fun action shots by taking up to three burst photos at a time
  • Underwater capabilities down to 40M
  • Anti-shake system built-in the camera

The COOAU 4K action camera doesn’t hold back when it comes to having a generous amount of accessories.

Below are some but not a complete list of the accessories for the COOAU 4K action camera:

  • Cleaning cloth bag
  • Extra batteries
  • Waterproof cover
  • Quick-release mounts
  • External microphone
  • Adhesive pads
  • Frame mount
  • Rotating screw
  • Straps and tether buckles

You might not end up using all the accessories that come with the action camera. But it’s still nice to know it’s there if you need it.

What I like about the camera:

  • EIS stabilization is smooth in 1080p
  • An external microphone is a nice addition to boost sound quality.
  • A remote control is included for distance shots.
  • Easy to use interface and easy to configure options in the settings.
  • Extra batteries are great during a vacation trip.

What I don’t like about the camera:

In some conditions, the LCD screen goes black when tilting off the axis. 4K is not always smooth, especially in fast-paced recordings. Stabilization is only available in the lower setting, so this might be the reason for that happening.

4. DBPOWER D5 Native 4K EIS Action Camera

Producing not just cameras but a wide variety of electronic goods. DBPOWER is known for its home entertainment projectors and other technological products. The company focuses on tech gadgets that appeal to consumers looking for affordable solutions.

Being one of the cheaper budget action cams, the price is an absolute steal if you want a good camera without any extra trimmings.

Some of the highlights of the DBPOWER action camera:

  • Native 4K videos and professional quality images
  • Time-lapse and burst mode features
  • A durable underwater case that can stand depths down to 148ft
  • Playback your captured moments with an intuitive touch screen display
  • Image stabilization even on higher video settings
  • Up to 180 minutes of video recording
  • Easy app and WiFi to control the camera via smartphone

For the price, you don’t get a ton of accessories, but if you already have them, I don’t see why you need to pay extra to have the same ones you already have. This is especially true if this is not your first action camera.

A few of the essential accessories that you get are:

  • Waterproof case
  • Remote control for the camera
  • Power cable
  • Extra battery
  • Basic mounts

All the necessary things to get you going. You’ll be posting and shooting in no time.

What I like about the camera

  • You can go a lot further underwater when you use the waterproof case.
  • Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Light and easy to carry around.
  • The wide-angle lens looks impressive.
  • Fully functional buttons on the outer case itself.
  • Superb close-up images.

Cons

There’s a lack of accessories but makes up for it with the many outstanding features and the low-price. The camera gets slightly warm when Wi-Fi is turned on, so don’t leave it on for too long. Also, the touchscreen won’t work with the underwater case on so remove that when not in use.

5. MOUNTDOG Action Camera

A relatively unknown company, MountDog specializes in ring lights that are popular with beauty bloggers or vloggers. Making their debut into action cams, there are quite a few things to say about their new product.

First things first, if you need some of the standard features like slow mode or time-lapse, this action cam doesn’t have it. So you’re left with the other capabilities conventional in an action cam like the following:

  • Records your diving adventures down to 30M
  • Anti-shaking system to stabilize your recordings of outdoor activities
  • It supports car mode or essentially dashcam mode
  • Four capture modes
  • Wirelessly control the camera with the GoPlus Cam app on your smartphone up to 33 ft
  • Cyclic recording overwrites previous data

This action cam comes with a few useful, however basic accessories:

  • 1 x waterproof case
  • 1 x battery
  • A card reader
  • A camera bag
  • A USB cable
  • Belt clip

It’s not the most exhaustive list of accessories. I think it has one of the most basic features from the below $100 action cam range.

What I like about the camera:

  • Adjustable wide and normal lens
  • Zoom function
  • SD card reader makes it easy to transfer photos to PC
  • Carrying case that comes in black looks rather stylish

What I don’t like about the camera:

There are a few features that are pretty standard that I feel are missing from this one. For example, time-lapse modes and slow mode are absent. Some accessories like head straps, extra batteries and the external mic don’t come with the package that makes me think this one is worth skipping over.

6. APEMAN A80 4K Action Camera

Capturing your special moments with the world around you is the goal of every traveller. APEMAN aims to bring your adventure to life with its performance-based action camera.

This new company, founded in 2016 brings innovative technology to consumers with their range of cameras, making them one of the newer players in the action cam market.

The APEMAN A80 Action Camera sports the following features:

  • 4k resolution video at 24/fps recording for up to 1.5 hours with two 1050mAh batteries
  • Waterproof case made with acrylic material IP68
  • 20 accessories that include mounts and adhesive pads
  • Smart gyroscope and EIS for smooth videos
  • Zoom and motion detection capabilities
  • WiFi and HDMI output is available
  • Up to 20MP photo resolution
  • Multiple recording modes to cater to different needs

With an improved stabilizer than the previous A79, the A80 is a good budget action cam to own. The myriad of features like diving mode will make your underwater adventures look more surreal and being able to zoom a plus.

As for accessories, you get the complete package in your action camera box, so you have everything you need for your next adventure.

The accessories include but not limited to, the following:

  • Two lithium-ion batteries
  • A waterproof case
  • Thumbscrews
  • J-hook Mount
  • Instructions manual
  • Extension mount
  • Multiple adhesive pads
  • Bandages
  • A carrying bag
  • Rotating screws
  • A USB cable
  • A clip to use on backpacks
  • Tripod mount

The manual that comes with the kit does explain how to use the accessories, but if you’re stumped, there’s a YouTube video that shows how to handle every type in the bunch.

What I like about the camera:

  • Instructions are easy to understand.
  • Underwater videos are clear without much editing needed.
  • Accessories are complete and usable in most situations.
  • Time-lapse features work great.
  • The video format is compatible with Final Cut Pro

What I didn’t like about the camera:

This one doesn’t come with an external charger. And even though there are lots of accessories, not all are compatible with GoPro. The self-timer doesn’t allow burst shots, which would have been a nice feature.

7. Victure 4K Action Camera

VictureDirect manufactures and designs its action camera products. They make photography their core focus, and you can easily see it with the features available in their cameras.

I like the various filter functions on the Victure 4K action cam. Plus the dual charger is a time saver with both batteries allowing recording time up to 180 minutes in 1080p.

Some of the features of Victure 4K Action Camera:

  • Comes with extra batteries
  • A dual USB charger
  • A couple of mounting accessories and a user guide
  • Nice, big power button at the front of the camera looks stylish
  • A few shooting modes – time-lapse, continuous or loop recording, TV mode, motion detection, diving mode and nighttime recording
  • 6-layers optical lens shoots full HD videos

A few of the accessories that would make capturing your adventure moments easier are:

  • A dual USB charger
  • Two 1050mAh batteries
  • Frame mounts, helmet mounts, quick release mounts and handlebar.
  • Waterproof housing
  • Spare battery cover
  • 3M adhesive
  • 2 x bandages
  • J-hook buckle

The accessories that come with the camera are pretty standard. Although I would like to have seen a remote control or an external mic included, unfortunately, it’s not part of the package.

What I like about the camera:

  • Dual chargers are a nice touch.
  • Works with a 64GB SD card.
  • Detailed user manual.
  • Out of the box settings makes it beginner-friendly.
  • Great video clarity, even when moving fast.

What I didn’t like about the camera:

There is a glitch in the current firmware that resets the time every time the battery is taken out. Also, the waterproof housing is not that good. Water does get into it occasionally so you might have to use another brand’s casing.

8. Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera

If you’re into using tablets, you’ve probably heard of the company Dragon Touch, which is one of the most popular budget PC tablets on Amazon. Their action camera is one of their efforts to provide reliable and affordable electronic products to consumers.

It’s super great that the touchscreen is clear and responsive. And I loved that this one has several angles to choose from than just one wide-angle like some of the other cameras.

Features of the Dragon Touch 4K Action camera:

  • Uses an IPS display with touchscreen
  • Four different view angles
  • 2.4GHz wrist remote control
  • 4K resolution at 30/FPS
  • 4 X zooming capabilities
  • Waterproof casing down to 100ft
  • Diving mode with a built-in red light filter
  • Connect to a smartphone via an app

The accessories are what you’d expect from most manufacturers and include:

  • Various mounts
  • Waterproof case
  • Remote control
  • Dual battery charger
  • Bar clamp
  • Sticky pads
  • Tether straps

The accessories feel almost like GoPro accessories so you don’t need to buy it since this will be enough.

What I like about the camera:

  • The IPS display looks good.
  • Easily switch between video and image mode even with the diving case attached.
  • Can be mounted on tripods without casing.
  • Uses Sony’s sensor.
  • Not being limited with one view angle.

What I don’t like about the camera:

Powering it up takes a while and doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Sound is not clear or can be non-existent with the waterproof casing on.

9. EKEN H9R Action Camera with 4K

EKEN has been around for more than a decade. They even won an Amazon’s choice award for their cameras. Prioritizing imaging technologies, they kept on moving forward with innovative technologies for sports enthusiasts.

With this one, you can’t change the width of the angle – resulting in some of the footage at the end of the images looking slightly curved, which is pretty much what I’d expect.

A few of the standout features of the EKEN H9R Action Camera:

  • 4K recording at 30fps and 1080p at 60/30 fps
  • Time-lapse mode at 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 30 and 60 seconds
  • Super wide-angle lens at 170 degrees
  • Multiple languages in the interface
  • Up to 20MP photos
  • WiFi to control and transfer content with a smartphone

The accessories that come with the EKEN H9R Action Camera are:

  • A USB cable
  • Comes with charging dock
  • User manual
  • 2 X batteries
  • Bike handles
  • Helmet mount
  • Small tripod
  • Wrist remote control
  • Waterproof case

As you can see, the above accessories are great for most outdoor use, and the small tripod can be useful for time-lapse recordings.

What I like about the camera:

  • It’s great for beginners, and you can let your kids use it.
  • The mini tripod is pretty useful.
  • Audio is clear.
  • Records video when plugged in so I can record longer.
  • Simpler to use than a GoPro.

What I didn’t like about the camera:

Even though the features are like most other action cams, the quality is not up to par as the camera regularly freezes and sometimes it won’t also record.

10. Crosstour Action Camera Underwater Cam

In our digital age, you want products that you can trust to cater to your needs. Crosstour is one such company that stands behind their products and strive to deliver practical next-gen goods to compliment an active lifestyle.

There are several action cams in the Crosstour series. The features below and the low price is an excellent choice for those that don’t need 4K resolution.

Features of the Crosstour CT7000 Action Cam:

  • From 4MP to 12 MP image resolution
  • MOV and JPG video and image format
  • Supports IOS and Android phone when connecting with Wi-Fi
  • Has a screen saver setting
  • 170-degree wide-angle lens
  • Up to 1080 full HD for videos
  • Waterproof down to 98ft

The accessories that come with the camera are sufficient, especially given the price:

  • A waterproof case
  • Two rechargeable batteries
  • A user manual
  • Mounting kits for bicycle and helmet
  • Cleaning cloth
  • USB cable

What I like about the camera:

  • Comes with accessories without paying extra
  • Has EIS Stabilization
  • A full 3 hours of recording with the two batteries included.
  • Comparable to lower-end Gopros
  • Sound quality is excellent for the price

What I didn’t like about the camera:

Fish-eye mode is constant since this version doesn’t allow changing lens angles. Also, there’s no time-lapse mode.

What I ended up using

As you probably realize by now, the action camera market has a few features that are similar to one another.

Since I love the idea of having all the accessories I need, and I want an action camera that has a remote control that I can take on my underwater excursions, I ended up with the BOIFUN 4K action camera.

As mentioned before, the time-lapse mode is a cool feature, which is missing from my more expensive but older Sony HDR-AS200V action camera.

So if you ever need an action camera with all the bells and whistles of an expensive action cam, but without the heavy price tag, you won’t go wrong with the BOIFUN 4K – it’s the best camera in my opinion in the budget action cam category.

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