Top 5 Cheap Action Cameras

If you have been searching for action cameras, then you have probably noticed the huge price range. The very best cameras are all the way at $500. That is quite a huge investment for such a small device. Especially if you are going to be using the action camera in a dangerous situation. Why wouldn’t you, seeing as they are made exactly for that. Thankfully, there are plenty of companies that have dedicated their product lines to make the top cheap action cameras. So to make your life easier, I have put together a list of the 5 most budget friendly action cameras that are less than $200.

AKASO EK7000 4K (Amazon Best Seller)

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 60×41×30mm / 2.3×1.6×1.1″
  • Weight: 74g / 2.6oz
  • Sensor: –
  • Chipset: –
  • Field of View: 170°
  • Video resolutions: 4K 25fps; 2.7K 30fps; 1080p 60/30fps; 720p 120/60/30fps
  • Bitrate: 60Mbps
  • Photo: 12MP
  • Modes: Single Shot, Burst, Time-Lapse
  • Features: WiFi, 2″ LCD screen, Remote Control
  • Ports: MiniUSB, MicroHDMI, MicroSD card slot
  • Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 64GB
  • Battery life: 80 minutes of 1080p at 60fps

AKASO EK7000 is an action camera that literally came from nowhere. It’s super cheap price and decent video quality, recently made it the #1 best seller on Amazon.

The action camera itself reminds me of the older SJCAM SJ4000 cameras. It has a really basic rectangular design. Well to be fair the AKASO EK7000 does cost only $60 so you can’t expect much. It also feels kind of cheap. But that doesn’t mean that the build quality is bad. It feels pretty solid and definitely not like it’s about to break. To my surprise, the back of the action camera actually has a very nice 2″ LCD screen. No other under $85 action camera has that.

As you know video quality is everything. The AKASO EK7000 is capable of recording at a resolution up to 4K at 25fps (interpolated off 2K). Or you can also use other resolutions such as 2.7K at 30fps and Full HD 1080p at 60fps. I personally prefer the 1080p as that’s the resolution youl’ll be using most of the time as well. The 4K is interpolated off 2K resolution. Interpolated means that the action camera is actually recording in 2K, but the camera is creating fake pixels in between to create the 4K resolution. Sadly there is no way to get a real 4K recording action camera for under $200.

If there is something that AKASO EK7000 is really good at, then that’s accessories. You get a huge amount of different mounting options, adapters, a waterproof case and even a remote control! There is no other action camera available that comes with that many accessories. Not to mention in this price range!

Check Best Price On Amazon!

SJCAM SJ6 Legend

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 59×41×29mm / 2.3×1.6×1.1″
  • Weight: 83g / 2.9oz
  • Sensor: Panasonic MN34120PA
  • Chipset: Novatek 96660
  • Field of View: 166°
  • Video resolutions: 4K 24fps; 2K 30fps; 1080p 60/50/30/25fps; 720p 120/60/30fps; 420p 240fps
  • Bitrate: 60Mbps
  • Photo: 16MP
  • Modes: Single Shot, Burst, Time-Lapse, Video+Photo, Car Mode, Underwater
  • Features: WiFi, 2″ LCD touchscreen, Digital Image Stabilization, External Microphone
  • Ports: MiniUSB, MicroHDMI, MicroSD card slot
  • Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
  • Battery life: 70 minutes of 4K at 24fps, 65 minutes of 1080p at 60fps

The SJ6 Legend is the latest action camera from SJCAM. It comes with the standard rectangular action camera design. However, the action camera is full of premium features. The SJ6 Legend has a nice 1″ LCD screen on the front. It has also got a very nice 2″ LCD Touchscreen on the back. The same touchscreen can be found on the much more expensive GoPro Hero5 Black. Besides that, it also comes with a dashboard camera mode and support for an external microphone. The external microphone should make this a desired action camera for all musicians.

Besides the features, it has also got one of the best video quality in the budget action camera range. It has a Panasonic MN34120PA image sensor that can capture videos at a resolution up to 4K 24fps (interpolated off 2K). You can also use other resolutions such as  2K 30fps. Full HD 1080p 60/50/30/25fps. And for slowmotion the 720p 120/60/30fps and 420p 240fps.

Besides the beautiful design and features, the action camera also comes with a really nice amount of accessories. You get a waterproof case, different mounts and even a tripod adapter. The SJCAM SJ6 Legend has also got a threaded tripod hole built into the camera. So the mounting options are endless. For more information, you can also read our SJCAM SJ6 Legend review.

Check Best Price On Amazon!

Xiaomi Yi

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 60×42×21mm / 2.4×1.7×0.8″
  • Weight: 72g / 2.5oz
  • Sensor: Sony Exmor R BSI CMOS 16
  • Chipset: Ambarella A7LS
  • Field of View: 155°
  • Video resolutions: 2K 30fps; 1080p 60/48/30/24fps; 960p 60/48fps;  720p 120/60/48fps; 480p 240fps
  • Bitrate: 60Mbps
  • Photo: 16MP
  • Modes: Single Shot, Burst, Time-Lapse
  • Features: WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Ports: MicroUSB, MicroHDMI, MicroSD card slot
  • Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 64GB
  • Battery life: 100 minutes of 1080p at 60fps

The original Xiaomi Yi is still a fantastic action camera, despite being around 2 years old. It comes with an excellent build quality and simple design. It has ports for MicroSD, MicroUSB and even MicroHDMI cables. This makes it a loved budget action camera not for just traveling, but also drone fliers. The Sony IMX206, 1/2.3″, 16MP CMOS image sensor is capable of recording videos at a resolution up to Full HD 1080p at 60fps. You can also record slow motions at 720p 120fps.

Besides that, the Xiaomi Yi also has a threaded tripod hole built underneath. This allows you to use all kind of mounts to attach the camera anywhere you want. There are even waterproof cases available if you want to take it swimming with you. Overall it is one of the top cheap action cameras by far. If you would like to learn more about it, then you can also read our Xiaomi Yi review. Or just watch the example video of the video quality and see for yourself!

Check Best Price On Amazon!

GitUp Git2

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 59x30x41mm / 2.3×1.2×1.6″
  • Weight: 64g / 2.25oz
  • Sensor: Sony Exmor IMX206 16MP
  • Chipset: Novatek 96660
  • Field of View: 170°, 120°
  • Video resolutions: 2K 24fps; 1440p 30fps; 1296p 30fps; 1080p 60/30fps; 720p 120/60/30fps; 480p 240fps
  • Bitrate: 60Mbps
  • Photo: 16MP
  • Modes: Single Shot, Burst, Time-Lapse
  • Features: WiFi, G-Sensor, 1.5″ LCD, Quick Start Recording, Digital Image Stabilization
  • Ports: MiniUSB, MicroHDMI, MicroSD card slot
  • Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 64GB
  • Battery life: 104 minutes of 1080p at 60fps

GitUp Git2 was released a year ago, and to this day, it is still one of the top cheap action cameras. What stunned me about the GitUp Git2 was the whole package. The build quality is amazing. It just feels strong and high quality. The sides are made out of this rubberized plastic that also improve your grip. The design is very nice.

The GitUp Git2 has also got a nice 1.5″ LCD screen on the back. Which while it isn’t touchscreen, is still very helpful and simplifies the use of the camera. It also has some ports for your MicroSD card, a MiniUSB and a MicroHDMI cable. The MiniUSB actually supports an adapter for external microphones. Which is again fantastic news for musicians. The MicroHDMI also has an AV-out feature, which can be used to turn the GitUp Git2 into an FPV camera on a drone. Plus the price, which makes it a perfect action camera for any drone.

But besides the excellent build quality and features, what really amazed me was the video quality. A while ago we also compared it with the then best GoPro Hero4 Silver. While yes the GoPro Hero4 Silver won the comparison, the GitUp Git2 wasn’t that far behind. At least definitely not by the price difference. The GitUp Git2 features the following video resolutions and frames: 2K 24fps; 1440p 30fps; 1296p 30fps; 1080p 60/30fps; 720p 120/60/30fps; 480p 240fps. Pretty much the same as all the top cheap action cameras! Oh and did I mention that it comes with a digital image stabilization system? Just check out the video above and see for your self how good the quality is.

Check Best Price On Amazon!

SONY HDR-AS50

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 83x47x24.2mm / 3.27×1.85×0.95″
  • Weight: 83g / 2.93oz
  • Sensor: Sony Exmor R CMOS 1/2.3
  • Chipset: BIONZ X
  • Field of View: 170°, 120°
  • Video resolutions: 1080p 60/50/30/25/24fps; 720p 120/100/30/25fps
  • Bitrate: 60Mbps
  • Photo: 11MP
  • Modes: Single Shot, Loop, Burst, Time-Lapse, Motion Shot, Live Stream
  • Features: WiFi, Bluetooth & NFC, Steadyshot Electronic Image Stabilization, small LCD screen for settings
  • Ports: MicroUSB, MicroSD card slot
  • Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
  • Battery life: 130 minutes of 1080p at 60fps

The Sony HDR-AS50 is one of the newest and top budget action cameras on the list. Sony is a brand that is known all over the world for their premium quality and their action cameras are no different. What sets the Sony HDR-AS50 apart from all the other action cameras here, is the design. Sony action cameras have a unique barrel like design. Their cameras are perfect for mounting onto helmets, cars and even bicycles. Not to mention skateboards, surfboards and everything else connected to extreme sports.

Sony HDR-AS50 is a very simple action camera. 99% of the time you will only be using one button – record. The camera has also got a tiny LCD screen on the side, which only displays current video modes and settings. Another plus for Sony is that their settings menu has been made really simple. You can also connect the camera to your iOS or Android device via the Sony PlayMemories Mobile app. Which is again a plus for Sony as the app is really nice.

Finally the video quality, which has been made as simple as possible. You get to choose between two video resolutions: the Full HD 1080p at 60/50/30/25/24fps and 720p 120/100/30/25fps. So while there aren’t that many different resolutions available, you get a nicer range of frame rates. Besides, 99% of the time you’ll be using Full HD 1080p anyways. At least I have never used 2K. The action camera has also got a digital image stabilization system and support for live streaming.

The action camera also comes with a waterproof case and an attachment buckle. Basically everything you need to get started. The HDR-AS50 has also got a threaded tripod hole which allows you to use selfie sticks and tripods without having to use the case.

Check Best Price On Amazon!

What To Look For In The Top Cheap Action Cameras

Compatibility with GoPro accessories/mounts. Action cameras are made for extreme sports and situations where normal cameras might break. That is why accessories are a very important part of action cameras. The reason why you should look if they can use GoPro accessories, is because GoPro has the best range of accessories available. And I’m not talking about stuff like a GoPro waterproof case lens cover. Mounts are the most important accessories and they have everything for all situations. So make sure that your action camera either supports the GoPro adapter or at the very least has a tripod support. This will guarantee that your budget action camera has all the mounting options a more expensive camera has.

Extra batteries. The problem with action cameras is the battery life. You don’t want to miss out on a footage just because your battery ran out. That is why it is always a good idea to carry at least one extra battery with you. Always google if anyone sells any extra batteries for the action camera you have picked out.

LCD screen. A LCD screen is one of the best features available. The screen will allow you to see exactly what you are recording and view already recorded footage. But most importantly, save time when changing settings. The LCD screen does make your life so much easier. There are also some cameras that already have an LCD touchscreen. These are even better than the plain screens as the touchscreen also makes it easier to change settings. They are usually simpler to navigate through and change stuff. The LCD feature is probably more important if you are looking for an action camera for traveling. For extreme sports though, it’s not that important in my opinion.

Customer reviews. While I thank you for reading and maybe even trusting my reviews, it is always best to also read what others think. Always read the customer feedback/reviews underneath the camera on Amazon. That will give you the best idea what to expect and if it’s worth getting the camera. A cheaper action camera can sometimes be much better than a more expensive one. Or you might sometimes find that spending an extra $10 will be worth it. This is especially important with the top cheap action cameras as so many of them are made by brands nobody has heard of.