If you’re a sports enthusiast or enjoy outdoor activities, you might’ve heard of the action cam. But in our modern world, smartphones include their own cameras for pictures and videos. Why then, should you use an action cam? Which are the best action cams under 100 dollars?
So what is an action cam?
Action cams are camera devices designed to accompany you in your activities and capture the moment from your own perspective. They’re often mounted on helmets, hand mounted, or even mounted on vehicles such as bicycles. This allows you to take photos or videos from a first person point of view during your activities.
Many amateur and professional alike use action cams on careers, either for commercial use or simply analysis of what they did. Surely you’ve seen skydiving or deep ocean diving videos before! Given their unique perspective abilities, it’s not unusual that the popularity of action cams is high on extreme sports and activities.
With that said, you don’t need to go cliff climbing or bungee jumping to give an action cam proper use. Cyclists, skate boarders, and even hikers make use of action cams, not only because of their unique perspective; but because of their durability!
It’s a given action cams are used in outdoor activities often, be it extreme sports or something not so extreme. However the outdoors are not often kind to our electronics, specially fragile ones. When you look for an action cam, you want it not just to capture the moment, but to live through it!
If you are scuba diving, then you’d need for it not just to be waterproof but to resist the water pressure. If you’re on a skateboard, you’ll probably need it to survive several impacts. An if you’re sky diving, you might need it to survive a really high fall!
Why should I choose among the best action cams under 100 over the best available?
If you’re thinking of getting yourself an action camera, you may be considering getting the best product available in the market or other high end products. However that may prove unnecessary depending on how you plan to use it!
Some years ago, whenever I thought about action cameras I also immediately thought of GoPro action cams. In fact, i didn’t even called them action cameras back then, to me they were all GoPros! I also know a lot of people who made that same mistake, some of them still do it.
GoPro action cameras offer their users a lot of features; however most of these features are quality of life improvements. This means you can find other products that, although may lack some of this features, can function just as well as a GoPro would.
There exist lots of gadgets for GoPro cameras to help with their use, such as camera mounts. There’s so many in fact, that other products model their own cameras to be similar to GoPro products. This is not for deceiving customers however; this is so many of the gadgets designed for GoPro cameras, can also work with them!
You can purchase gadgets for GoPro Cameras and may also use it with some of the best action cams under 100 as well! This has the added benefit of, if you were to change to or from GoPro, your money won’t go to waste on gadgets and accessories!
In general, you should consider getting a GoPro is the price does not represent a issue for you. Otherwise, or if you’re an amateur athlete; one of the best action cams under 100 may be the better choice for you.
The best action cams under 100 vs your smartphone
If you go shopping for action cam gadgets and accessories; you may find similar accessories for your phone as well. Why then should you invest on an action cam? Surely it would be a better choice since everyone has a smartphone now days.
That can be a choice you might regret, however! Action cams have features that a phone does not, and are designed to withstand damage that would a smartphone wouldn’t. And if your action cam were to break, wouldn’t you agree a 50 – 100 dollar loss would be far less painful than 400 or more?
So you might be saving some cash at first, but you might end up spending a lot more replacing your phone. But besides the cash difference, why else should you choose one of the best action cams under 100?
Well the answer to that would be the camera lens. We’ve mentioned before the action cams provide a unique perspective other cameras can’t provide. Well that’s not just because of the first person perspective.
Regular camera lens attempt to provide an image which resembles the human eye sight. However, Action cameras provide a view angle that exceeds the normal vision range, usually up to 150 degrees. This not only gives action cams their signature curved view, but also allows you to capture more details on the shot. Similar to how panoramic pictures work.
The best action cams under 100
We’ve talked about what action cams are as well as their uses. So what can you expect to find on the best action cams under 100? Well we’ve already mentioned a few things about them as well.
Water proof is a must on these types of cameras, not only resistance to spills or rainfall, but full protection under water and depth resistance. Another thing we’ve mentioned is their lenses, while the average is 150 degrees view angle, you can expect to find a higher number on these cams!
Impact damage resistance is also a must have on these, as they are often used on sports. So that’s the bare minimum you can expect out of the best action cams under 100; but of course they will offer you more than just that. These are the best after all!
1: Campark ACT74
This is a camera truly designed for sports, mostly involving water. If you’re into surfing, snorkeling, or diving; this should definitely consider this one! This camera includes the following features:
- 4K at 30fps video recording and photos at 16M
- Alternate 1080P at 60 or 30 fps video quality
- 170 degree wide angle lens
- 2 inch HD screen
- Wi-Fi remote control
- Waterproof up to 30 meters (100 feet) of depth
- Dual rechargeable batteries
The camera offers you great video quality along with a HD screen for easy management of your pictures and videos. This allows for better manipulation of the camera, as well as picture management.
The batteries can last up to 90 minutes of ongoing video recording; you can recharge them through the camera itself by connecting it to a power source via its USB cable port. The camera also supports micro SD cards of 32 GB.
It also includes the option to connect to it through a mobile device such as your phone, through Wi-Fi. This means you can manage your pictures and videos, as well as transfer them, directly from your phone. Not only that but you can control the camera itself through our phone!
2: AKASO EK7000
A great camera for outdoors sports such as cycling, skating and the like. That’s not to say that it can’t be used for water sports! This camera offers you the following:
- 4K at 25 fps video quality with 12MP photos
- Alternative 1080P at 60 fps video
- Wireless wrist-held remote control
- 2 rechargeable batteries
- Built-in Wi-Fi and HDMI
- 100 feet depth water proof
Much like the previous action camera, the Akaso EK7000 offers great video quality and rechargeable batteries. The batteries can also last up to 90 minutes of video recording.
It also features its own application for previewing and offloading videos and pictures off the device. Of course, this refers to its Wi-Fi feature. You can also use a 32 GB micro SD for this camera as well.
One important feature this camera has is its wrist remote control. You simply wrap it around your wrist like you would with a watch, and can take pictures and start or pause your video with a single button. Just keep in mind, it’s not waterproof.
Easily one of the best actions cams under 100 of our list!
3: DBPOWER EX5000
An action camera that looks and performs similar to the previous cameras we’ve talked about. With the similarities they share, it becomes more of a question of brand preference. This device offers you the following features:
- 1080P at 30 fps video quality and 14MP photos
- 2 inch HD LCD screen display
- 170 degree angle lens
- Built in Wi-Fi
- Waterproof at 30 meters depth
- 2 rechargeable batteries
We’ve already talked about some of these features on the previous action cameras. In fact, the video quality is slightly inferior as it lacks the 4K feature. This isn’t necessary a bad thing, its batteries can last up to 90 minutes of recording time. The 4K feature tends to use more energy and cuts the maximum time short to up to 60 minutes. It even includes its own remote control app as well!
The DBPower EX5000 includes built-in smart anti-shake technology, which means you can get much clearer shots without worrying about blurry frames so much. This makes it ideal for sports, and earns it a spot on our best action cams under 100 list!
4: Original SJCAM SJ4000 Air
Yet another camera the looks and performs similar to the ones we’ve already mentioned. You might think this repetitive, but that’s not exactly a bad thing. After all, this means you get to choose our preferred brand rather than looking at a lot of different specs! Thought you may not be surprised to see some of these by now, this product offer you the following:
- 4K at 30 fps and 16 MP photos
- alternative 1080P at 60 fps
- LCD screen
- 170 degree angle lens
- built-in Wi-Fi
- 2 rechargeable batteries
- waterproof up to 30 meters deep
As we’ve mentioned before, not much is different on this action camera compared to the previous ones. From video quality to remote control with your smart phone. There’s not much to say that we haven’t already.
5: Vivitar DVR786
Now here’s something to talk about, a camera with different specs and look from the previous ones! With that said, it’s not as good as them, but it’s not too far off either; which might be what you’re looking for. The Vivitar DVR786 brings the following features to the table:
- 1080P at 30 fps and 12.1 MP photos
- Fixed focus lens with 4x digital zoom
- 2 inch LCD screen
- Underwater case for up to 9 meters (30 feet)
- Remote control
Right away you can see this camera, while not bad, is not as good as the ones we’ve mentioned before. It does come with some gadgets like helmet and bike mounts however! It also supports micro SD cards of up to 32 GB.
Which of the best action cams under $100 is the best choice for you?
We’ve mentioned this several times already, but since most of the cameras have similar specs and price, it mostly comes down to brand preference. I’ve known people who absolutely hate Sony products and love LG, and vice versa.
Our fifth entry is the most varied of the group, having the lowest specs of the list. However, particularly if you’re not planing on using the camera deep underwater or on any water at all, it might be the best choice for you considering the difference in pricing.
So in summary it comes down to brand preference and what you intend to use it for. But there’s something that really bothers me, all of these cameras, and more so with higher end products, handle the same: complicated. Sure, it’s not like solving a puzzle, but someone who’s never used a camera might have a hard time using it or making the best of it. What’s the point of a 300 dollar camera if you can’t use it?
Say you have a young child or nephew who is very active and loves going for a bike ride or a swim with their friends. An action cam might be a great gift to capture their moments together right? But giving a 9-year old an expensive GoPro could prove to be an expensive mistake very soon. Have you seen how children often treat their belongings? How many things did you misplaced as a kid yourself?
But even the best action cams under 100 can be a bit tricky to use if you’re new to cameras. And we’ve already explained how big of a mistake can be to treat your mobile devices as an action cam! Are action cameras not for children then? Well, if you were thinking of getting one as a gift for a child, don’t be discouraged; we may have a great choice for you!
Best action cam under $100 extra option: The VTech Kidizoom Action Cam
An action camera for kids not just in name but in design, the VTech Kidizoom might just be the great gift you’re looking for your kid! So what does it offer you?
- 1.4 inch LCD screen
- Waterproof casing for up to 6 feet of depth
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- Resistant to drops and tumbles
- kids games, photo effects, frames, and filters
So it has easy to use controls, a friendly design, and gadgets for a kid to toy around with. Are you still not convinced? Well the battery can last for up to 2.5 hours of recording; surely a child should get tired by then!
It also has plenty of gadgets such as a bike mount and a wrist mount, perfect to capture those special moments we live as infants. A perfect gift to fan what could become a child’s hobby in photography and sports. While it is on a different category, the VTech Kidizoom deserves a spot on our best action cams under 100 list, as a master of its own league.
So, what are the best action cams under $100?
There’s always the right tool for the job; and if what you need is to capture moments on high mobility or similar situations, action cams are definitely what you’re looking for.
The question that remains is what kind of camera you need. Is what you’re looking for a high end product, or would you rather start small and make mistakes that would otherwise be costly. You may even find you don’t need a high end product at all! And if should you choose to switch to a high end product, fortunately most of the gadgets you had for your previous device should still prove useful.
Regardless of what you may have chosen, we hope this list helped you find an answer to that question; and we hope we helped you find the best action cam under 100 for you.