Action cameras like GoPros can be pricey. But luckily they’ve been falling in cost over the last couple of years and there’s been an explosion of different types of action cameras to suit all kinds of needs, whether it’s shooting sports, stunts or anything else. We’ve compiled some of the cheapest GoPro like action cameras available today.
The Best Action Cameras Under $100
Lightdow Waterproof Action Camera (Check reviews & prices)
The Lightdow is a great action camera under $100. It shoots 1080P just like a GoPro and even comes with waterproof plastic housing like a GoPro, which allows it to work with almost any GoPro accessory on the market. It also has a 1.5″ color display on the back to help you frame up shots and navigate the menu system. The Lightdow is waterproof up to about 100 feet and uses MicroSD cards, just like a GoPro does. For more on the right memory cards to use with this camera and all the other cameras on this page, see our related article, The Best Memory Cards for Use with GoPros.
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Here’s another one of the best action cameras under $100. It’s a bit more pricey than the previous model but it also comes with a ton of great accessories like mounting clips and straps, a carrying case, and even a 32GB Micro SDHC memory card. One thing that also sets the Raynic action camera apart from even official GoPros is it features a color LCD screen on the front to show the battery, mode, and recording status. The Raynic records in full HD quality up to 30 frames per second and can also take burst 12 megapixel photos for stunning action shots. The Raynic action camera also comes with wifi features to use your iPhone or Android device as a remote control.
Akaso 4K WIFI Sports Action Camera (Check reviews & prices)
The Akaso 4K action sports camera is a little bit more expensive than some other GoPro alternatives, but it offers a large 2 inch LCD screen on the back. The Akaso camera records at quality up to 4K at a frame rate of 25 fps and at 2.7K at 30 fps, as well as standard 1080p high definition modes. It’s waterproof up to 100 feet (30 meters) just like most GoPro models so all in all it’s a great action camera under $100. Comes with a wide variety of mounting equipment that uses the standard GoPro mount so when you purchase this cheap action camera you’re also buying into the GoPro ecosystem with all the compatible accessories.
Here’s another one of the best action cameras for the money. It comes in white, black, or a fluorescent lime green color that is sure to stand out. The Yi Action Camera comes in a kit with an telescoping selfie stick that extends up to 28 inches in length (more than two feet). It also comes with a wireless remote control that can be attached to the selfie stick or used separately, allowing you to start or stop a recording without needing to fiddle with the camera itself. Pretty neat!
Factors to consider when looking for the best action camera under $100
How much will the entire system cost? Some action cameras come with accessories that could save you money. For instance, an action camera with a large kit might save you money on things like a carrying case, certain types of mounts or a selfie stick that you’d end up buying any way. So add up the budget savings for buying a cheap action camera under $100 alone or along with a kit to see if it’s really a good deal for the money or not.
How are the action camera’s reviews? Of course you don’t want to buy an action camera that costs very little only to find that you’ll only be able to use it for a very little amount of time before it breaks. Check to make sure that whichever action or sports camera you’re considering doesn’t have terrible reviews. One or two bad reviews isn’t necessarily a warning sign because every popular product will have its share of haters or people who use it incorrectly or get a lemon, but a really large percentage of bad reviews is a good reason to consider an alternative camera, even if it means spending a bit more money. If you need to buy a cheap action camera twice because it breaks, it probably would have been more budget-friendly to spend a few more bucks the first time on a camera that will last.
Is this camera suspiciously cheap? Okay, hear us out on this one. Believe it or not there are some companies out there trying to sell action cameras for $20 or $30. That’s… suspiciously cheap to be honest. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. And you’ll be better served by choosing a slightly higher priced camera for the money.
Am I okay with buying two action cameras if the first cheap one breaks? As the old saying goes, if you buy cheap, you buy twice. you get what you pay for. Are you okay buying a super cheap action camera under $100 and then having it break easily, forcing you to buy a second GoPro type camera? You get what you pay for and some of these cheap action cameras may not be worth the price and hassle if they break down quickly. Consider what’s important to you and if you do want an action camera that will be more rugged, consider buying an official GoPro model.