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:
The Original GoPro Hero (Check reviews & prices)
The GoPro Hero is the camera that started the personal action camera revolution and GoPro has recently updated it with modern specs and an affordable price tag. Although it lacks some of the features found in fancier models (see our GoPro action camera comparison chart here), it does still record extremely good video and it fits in all the mounts and various accessories that have been built specifically to work with GoPros. The GoPro Hero records video up to 1080p resolution and up to 30 frames per second (or 720p60 mode which can be converted to slow motion using GoPro’s bundled software).
DBPower Waterproof Action Camera (Check reviews & prices)
The DBPower Waterproof Action Camera is a, shall we say, GoPro-inspired competitor at a surprisingly affordable price which boasts a few things the original GoPro doesn’t have: a 1.5 inch color LCD screen on the back, and an accessory kit that comes with the camera itself. The price for this product frequently changes on Amazon so check the current price to be sure but as of the time of this writing, it is being sold for a substantial discount. The DBPower also comes with two swappable batteries and records in up to 1080p.
GeekPro 1080p Sports Camera (Check reviews & prices)
The GeekPro 1080p 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 and comes with a kit that includes a wide variety of mounting accessories. It also has one distinct feature that not all other affordable action cameras offer: all the mounting accessories that work with GoPros (besides the plastic case housing that this unit comes with) will also work with this camera. So by buying the GeekPro Sports Camera you can also buy into the GoPro accessory ecosystem as well. The folks at GoPro are probably none too pleased about this but there’s not much they can do about it.
Ricoh WG-M1 Compact Waterproof Action Camera (Check reviews & prices)
The Ricoh action camera is a different form factor than many other affordable GoPro alternatives but that allows it to offer an LCD viewfinder on the top of the unit, which, depending on how you’re mounting it, can make things easier. It also comes in a kit with two 32gb MicroSD cards, a small tripod and a carrying case as well as a memory card reader.
It also offers a higher resolution camera for stills than many other cheap GoPro alternatives offer: up to 14 megapixels. The Ricoh Waterproof Action Camera also offers a wide field of view with its 160 degree lens.