5 Best Cheap Action Cameras & GoPro Alternatives 2017


The Best Cheap Action Cameras & GoPro Alternatives?

GoPros and other action cameras can get expensive fast so if you’re on a budget or you’re using action cameras in somewhat dangerous applications where they might break, finding an affordable camera solution is a must. Luckily there are several cheap action cameras available on the market today. Many are a fraction of a price of the main GoPro models but still have the features most users need. For this article, we’ve reviewed some of the best cheap GoPro alternatives available on the market today. (If you want to see the features available in the name brand, check out the GoPro comparison chart.) Check out our comparison chart and then the reviews in the next section.

Cheap Action Cameras Comparison Chart

Check out our comparison chart for affordable and cheap action cameras. If you want to read our in-depth review of each hoverboard model, scroll down to the next section.

NamePhotoRatingResolutionFeaturesBuy
AKASO EK7000
4 Star RatingUp to 4K at 24FPSWaterproof case, wrist remote, accessories kit, smartphone app, Wi-fi
FITFORT
4.5 Star RatingUp to 4K at 25FPSWaterproof case, remote control, carrying case, slow motion, smartphone app, Wi-fi
Lightdow LD-V3
3.5 Star RatingUp to 4K at 30FPSWaterproof case, smartphone app, Wi-fi
Campark ACT74
4.5 Star RatingUp to 4K at 30FPSWaterproof case, carrying case, smartphone app, Wi-fi
WiMiUS
4 Star RatingUp to 4K at 30FPSWaterproof case, smartphone app, Wi-fi, slow motion


 

Cheap Action Cameras Reviews

AKASO EK7000 Ultra HD Action Camera

The Akaso has been a top seller this year and is a really fabulous option if you’re looking for a cheap action camera with great features and accessories. The EK7000 is their Ultra HD sports camera, offering 4K videos at 24 fps and a 170 degree wide angle that can capture all of the action. You can instantly share your footage via built in Wi-fi to any smartphone, tablet, or computer.

This camera also comes with 15 mounting accessories to get you started in the most common action situations like biking, skiing, or swimming. The included wireless wrist remote control is great to use with the various mounts to easily control your sports camera to take photos or video remotely.

Colors: Black, Royal Blue, Silver

Video Resolution & Frame Rate: 4K at 24 fps, 2.7K at 30 fps, 12 MP photos at 30 fps

Shooting Modes: Video, Camera, Burst Shot, Time Lapse

Waterproof: 100 feet in casing

Camera Screen: 2″ LCD display

Smartphone App: iSmart DV for iOS and Android

Mount Compatibility: Works with GoPro mounts

Notable Features: 170-degree wide angle lens, wireless wrist remote control, Wi-fi, HDMI compatibility, 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries, Micro SD Card memory support up to 64GB


FITFORT Ultra HD Sport Camera

If you want a lot of video options with your action camera, ths FITFORT Ultra HD is a fantastic choice. It’s also one of the most affordable HD action cameras on the market right now. In addition to the highest level 4K video resolution, you can also select 2.7K, 1080P, or 720p depending on your video needs. If you’re interested in slow motion video, the 720p resolution offers 120 FPS for silky smooth slo mo video of your best action shots. This camera is really well designed for extreme sports on land or sea. With the waterproof camera housing, you can capture fantastic video while surfing, swimming, or snorkeling.

The camera also comes with a great accessory bundle and a hardcover carrying case to keep your equipment protected on the go. The wireless remote control is perfect for getting unbelievable shots at any angle and from any mount. The entire kit is perfect to get shooters of any experience level started recording action video and photos.

Colors: Black, Silver

Video Resolution & Frame Rate: 4K at 25 FPS, 2.7K at 30 FPS, 1080P at 60 FPS or 30 FPS, 720 at 120 FPS

Shooting Modes: Video, Camera, Time Lapse, Burst Photos, Looping Video

Waterproof: 100 feet (in IP68 camera housing)

Camera Screen: LCD Color Screen

Smartphone App: EZ iCam app for iOS & Android

Mount Compatibility: Works with GoPro mounts

Notable Features: Wireless remote control, carrying case, 170-degree wide angle, 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries, Wi-fi, Micro SD Card memory support up to 32GB, 1-year warranty




Lightdow LD-V3 4K Waterproof Sports Camera

Lightdow has been a manufacturer of great, affordable action cameras since the GoPro fad started. Now they have their newest model available the LD-V3, a 4K action camera with all the hottest features. This compact sports camera records in 4K or 1080p, plus has shooting mode for time lapse and slow motion. Using the included case, the camera is waterproof for swimming, surfing, or even winter sports.

Reviewers have said that this budget action camera does not shoot well at night, so if you plan to film in a lot of low light conditions, you need to look for a higher priced action camera. In all regular lighting conditions, the performance is great and on par with other action cameras at this price point.

Video Resolution & Frame Rate: 4K at 30 FPS, 1080p at 60 FPS, Photo 16mp

Shooting Modes: Video, Camera, Loop, Time Lapse, Slow Motion

Waterproof: 100 feet (in case)

Camera Screen: 2″ HD LCD Screen

Smartphone App: XDV app for iOS & Android

Mount Compatibility: Works with GoPro mounts

Notable Features: 1-year warranty, 170 degree wide angle lens, Wi-fi, micro USB port, micro HDMI port, micro SD card memory support up to 64 GB, 2 batteries, accessory kit


Campark ACT74 Waterproof Sports Cameras

The Campark 4K Sports Camera is a great, affordable GoPro alternative. It offers a large 2 inch LCD screen on the back and comes with a kit that includes a wide variety of mounting accessories and a carrying case. The accessories include a helmet mount and bicycle mount, which are great to get you started recording a variety of sports. It also includes a waterproof case for more action at the beach or lake.

Also includes a WiFi function that allows you to use your phone as a remote control up to 10 meters (30 feet) away. You can also view what you’re recording and instantly share the footage or videos via email or social media.

Colors: black, silver, blue

Video Resolution & Frame Rate: 4K at 30 FPS, 2.7K at 30fps, 1080P at 60fps, 1080P at 30fps, 720P at 90fps, 720P at 60fps, 720P at 30fps 16mp photo

Shooting Modes: Video, Photo, Slow Motion, Time Lapse, Loops,

Waterproof: 100 feet (in waterproof case)

Camera Screen: 2″ HD Screen (Resolution 960 x 240 pixels)

Smartphone App: iOS & Android

Mount Compatibility: Works with GoPro mounts

Notable Features: Wi-fi, carrying case, accessory kit, 170 degree wide angle lens, micro SD card memory support up to 64 GB, 2 900mAh batteries


WiMiUS 4K Action Camera

WiMiUS 4K Wifi Action Camera is a great cheap GoPro-like camera. It comes with a ton of accessories including several different mounting options (that are compatible with GoPro mounts), a pouch, and two batteries as well as a battery charger. it also comes with some other useful accessories like a screen cleaning cloth and a USB cable. The video quality on this camera is fantastic, with a 4k recording resolution at 30 FPS. This camera also offers 120 FPS at 720p, for unbelievable, smooth slow motion video.

When the included waterproof case is on this action camera, it protects it up to 30 meters deep (100 feet). If you’re looking for a great GoPro or action camera for the money, this is a great budget choice. Some people even use it as a dash cam to record accidents and lower insurance rates.

Video Resolution & Frame Rate: 4K at 30FPS 2.7K at 30FPS 1080P at 60FPS 1080P at 30FPS, 720P at 120FPS, 16MP photos

Shooting Modes: Video, Photo, Slow Motion, Photo Burst, Time Lapse, Looping

Waterproof: 130 feet (with case)

Camera Screen: 2″ LCD Screen

Smartphone App: iOS & Android (not compatible with Samsung Galaxy S5)

Mount Compatibility: Works with GoPro mounts

Notable Features: 170 degree widde angle lense, Wi-fi, 2 900mAh batteries, micro SD card memory support up to 64 GB


GoPro Hero+

If you’ve still got your heart set on a GoPro, it may not be completely out of your budget. While it’s more than double the price of other cheap action cameras on this list, the GoPro Hero+ is a nice entry level sports camera that comes with limited accessories to save on cost. You will have to sacrifice 4K video with this model, but it does record in 1080p and works well in low light conditions, unlike the cheaper knock offs. This is a great option for teens and new users of action cameras.

GoPro offers a variety of software options, including smartphone apps for easy sharing and remote control. You can also use their computer software to edit your videos. Though it doesn’t come with extra mounts and accessories, there are plenty of brand name and third-party options available at a variety of price points. You can just buy what you need and save money.

Video Resolution & Frame Rate: 1080p at 60FPS, 720p at 60FPS, 8MP photos

Shooting Modes: Video, Photo, Time Lapse, Burst Photos

Waterproof: 131 feet (in case)

Camera Screen: LCD touch screen display

Smartphone App: GroPro App for iOS & Android

Mount Compatibility: Works with GoPro Mounts

Notable Features: Front digital display with battery indicator, Wi-fi & Bluetooth Connectivity, built in battery, micro USB cable, weighs 4.3 oz., camera modes: QuikCapture, VuperViewTM, Auto Low Light; compatible with microSDHC, microSDXC, microSD, SDXC, and SDHC

Still, haven’t found the best cheap action camera for your purposes? Read our other article: What is The Best Action Camera Under $100?


Factors to consider when choosing a cheap action camera or Alternative to GoPro Camera:

Is this camera compatible with GoPro accessories? Many cheap action cameras that are similar to GoPros use the same form factor as the GoPro, which means that they can use the same accessories as GoPros. Why is this important? Because the GoPro accessory ecosystem is huge. All sorts of manufacturers make GoPro style camera accessories including things like floating selfie sticks, bicycle and surfboard mounts, underwater housing, and all sorts of other knickknacks that work with GoPros and cameras with the same form factor. If you choose a camera that’s different than that, you’ll want to make sure that you will be able to find accessories for it.

Can I get extra batteries for this camera? These days most action cameras use the same micro SD memory cards but the batteries they use are quite different. Most action camera owners agree that no matter what brand action camera they use– GoPro or a GoPro alternative– the battery life on their cameras is quite a bit shorter than they’d like so they buy extra batteries to take along with them on adventures.

Does this action camera have a screen? Some action cameras have screens and some don’t. A few years ago almost all action cameras didn’t have screens so getting a camera with a screen was an expensive upgrade. These days more and more action cameras have small color LCD screens on their rear but you’ll want to make sure that your camera has one if that’s a factor that’s important to you. Action cameras are unlike normal video cameras in that you probably won’t be watching the screen while you’re recording (instead you’ll be wearing it in an action camera helmet mount or something) but a screen can still be helpful when you’re setting up a shot or mounting the camera and you want to make sure your framing is correct. So don’t just assume that the action camera you’ve got your eye on has a screen, check the photos of the unit to make sure you see one and that it’s a size you’re happy with.

How are the reviews of this action camera? Some cheap action cameras these days are crap. Check the customer reviews of any action camera you consider to make sure that real people are using the product and are happy with the results. Don’t just rely on what the manufacturer says in their product description.

How cheap is this camera? It may seem obvious that if you’re looking for a cheap action camera you’re going to be looking at how much it costs. But it’s also worth thinking about what kinds of accessories (extra batteries, GoPro memory cards, etc) you’ll be purchasing for the product and how much they cost. Because ultimately you’re buying into a full system and while some action cameras may come with a kit, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best value for the money.

Related
The Most Popular GoPro Accessories of 2017

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GoPro Camera Comparison Chart for 2017

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The Best Cheap Camera Similar to GoPro