9 Great Quality & Cheap Action Cameras

Waterproof & Small Action Cameras

We live in a time when photography and filming have never been as much fun. It’s not only easier for amateurs to produce exceptional results, but they’re instant and affordable too.

Just a generation ago serious photographers and filmmakers had to drag heavy and expensive equipment around. It’s not like that today. The age of Lights… Camera… Action… is long gone.

Now cinematic quality video and amazing photos are just a few clicks away. This guide looks at affordable yet amazing action cameras at prices you won’t believe.

These Point Of View or POV camera picks are so good that even a raw novice can produce outstanding results in no time. The question, though, is how well do they compare to the legendary GoPro brand?

NameCameraWeightRatingPrice
top-pick-3d-pen
TOPPICK

YI 4K

12MP96g
4.7


best-value-3d-pen
BESTVALUE

GoPro HERO+

8MP127g
4.2


budget-3d-pen
BUDGET

Vikeepro

12MP62g
4.4


I have created the format of these reviews with you in mind. I don’t assume anyone here has any technical knowledge. Everything on this page is in an easy-to-read style and simple to grasp.

Where it’s necessary to use a technical term I explain what it means in layman’s terms. The chart at the end of each review highlights the main tech specs along with two columns for pros and cons.

I’ve written about these products based on personal experiences, opinions from experts, and real user feedback. The reviews are in the order of Editor’s Rating, from the cheapest to the most expensive.

Choose Your Budget:

9 Cheap Action Camera Reviews

Make and Model Waterproof Lens° Vid/Camera Price Check
DBPOWER ActionYes (98.4 ft.)170° 108P HD/14MP
TEC.BEAN 4K Sport ActionYes (98.4 ft.)170° 4K UHD/16MP
Lightdow LD6000Yes (98.4 ft.)170° 108P HD/14MP
Apeman 4KYes (98.4 ft.)170°4K UHD/20MP
AKASO EK7000 4KYes (98.4 ft.)170° 4K UHD/12MP
Vikeepro Action Camera 4K Yes (98.4 ft.) 170° 108P HD/12MP
Polaroid Cube+Case Extra124° 108P HD/8MP
YI 4K Sports and ActionYes (132 ft.)150°4K UHD/12MP
GoPro HERO+Yes (131 ft.)???108P HD/8MP

OK, that’s my top 10 picks. There should be something for everyone in this list. Enjoy the reviews below.

Cheap Action Camera Options for Under $50

The three action cameras in this section range from just $37 to $49 at the time of writing. Try not to let the low price tag put you off. We have some very capable cameras here as you’re about to discover.

Although they’re feature-rich you still have to have sensible expectations. I think you get a lot of bang for your buck. However, you can’t compare them with items at three times the price or higher.

You’ve got some excellent entry-level underwater, sports, and fast-action choices here. If you get the bug—and you probably will—these little beauts will prepare you well for your next upgrade.

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DBPOWER Action Camera

The Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Excellent entry-level camera
  • +5 more
  • User-friendly, intuitive
  • Bonus battery (good battery life)
  • Waterproof casing
  • Fisheye lens
  • Satisfactory stills and video

The Cons

  • Long recharging time
  • Small LCD display screen
  • +1 more
  • Max 32GB MicroSD storage

4.7

The DBPOWER Action Camera is the first of my cheaper picks and comes in seven different colors. Okay, so it might not be a GoPro Hero4 Silver, but it’s certainly an affordable alternative.

If you want to fly this little beaut you’ll be happy to know that it attaches to any drone that uses GoPro mounts. In fact, the camera matches all the GoPro/Akaso mounts out there.

It’s not a bad looking camera though it does appear somewhat bulky in its case. And at 1.1 lbs. it’s fairly heavy compared to others here. Still, that’s an observation more so than a criticism.

Another nice thing about the DBPOWER is the 16 accessories. I’m impressed with the range of mounts that come in the box. Seriously, you should be able to clamp this camera to almost anything.

Tech Specs

Size:2.98 x 5.92 x 4.1cm
Weight:499g (1.1 lbs.)
Battery:2 x 900mAh
Charging Time:180 minutes (3 hrs.)
Display:1.5 “
Waterproof Range::30m (98.4 ft.)
Wide-angle Lens:170-degree fisheye
Video Resolution:up to 108P HD
Photos:14MP
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Some reviewers complain that the 1.5″ LCD display is on the small side for the size of the camera. They have a point. But I don’t think it’s an issue to sway the decision-making as it serves its purpose.

The LCD display settings and on-camera buttons are all intuitive so it doesn’t take long to get familiar with this action-cam.

There’s a nice detailed user manual to help get you up and running. It has some clear illustrations and no-nonsense instructions. It’s a perfect little guide for anyone but especially newbies.

Some of the camera modes include time-lapse, time stamp, motion detection, loop recording, and a few others. You have the option to shoot photos up to 14 megapixels and video at 108P HD.

The image and video quality are more than satisfactory considering the low price of the DBPOWER 12MP Action Camera. The colors seem to be well-balanced and the frame rates are nice and smooth.

To appreciate the quality you’ll want to view your footage on a computer screen or an HD monitor. The camera’s LCD screen is okay to check and test footage, but it’s no substitute for proper display.

The wide 170-degree fisheye lens captures everything that surrounds the subject. And if you don’t like the curved outer edges you can always crop them out later.

For storage, you can plug in a MicroSD card up to 32GB which is not great. If you’re going to do a lot of videoing I recommend you take a spare card with you. After all, they’re cheap enough these days

There’s good news on the power front. The package includes a bonus battery which effectively doubles the time you get to use the camera. You potentially have up to three hours recording time.

There’s even a built-in noise-cancelling mic with the camera. It’s not bad either. There’s no option to attach an external mic, though, but hey, we can’t have it all at this price.

Is this camera perfect? Of course it’s not. And if it cost a few hundred bucks I’d find plenty to gripe about. But it doesn’t. So I’d go as far to say that it’s perfect for the price.

Anyone who buys this as their first action camera is going to be pleased with its features, functions, and more than adequate footage. It’s an ideal learning tool and one that won’t break the bank.

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TEC.BEAN 4K

The Pros

  • Affordable action camera
  • Lots of extras included in box
  • +6 more
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great quality video and still images for the price
  • Powerful battery
  • Easy to learn/use
  • Bright LCD screen
  • Textured case for enhanced grip

The Cons

  • No macro (close-up) option
  • No touchscreen display

4.3

The TEC.BEAN 4K Action Camera is another gem sold for under $50 on Amazon. It’s also a great GoPro alternative for anyone on a budget or who don’t want to spend a lot on their first sports camera.

The size, weight, design, and grip are quite typical of a standard sports action camera. The current version is in matt black but the company plans to introduce other colors in the future.

Some drone pilots—flying the DROCON Blue Bugs 3 Drone in particular—have had great results with this camera. The aerial footage is amazing, though some tweaking was likely necessary to set it up.

There’s everything in the box to get started. You have various mounting brackets, tape (useful for padding out thin bars), a charger, and cables, etc. There’s also a spare translucent backplate.

Tech Specs

Size:9.4 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches
Weight:113g (4 oz., 0.2 lbs.)
Battery:900mAh (includes spare)
Charging Time:120+ minutes (2+ hrs.)
Display:2 inches LCD
Waterproof Range::30m (98.4 ft.)
Wide-angle Lens:170-degree
Video Resolution:up to 1080P FHD
Photos:16MP
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Another bonus is the extra rechargeable battery that comes with the TEC.BEAN 4K. You even get a special cleaning cloth in the box. It’s a small thing but it’s still a nice touch for a budget product.

Experienced users will get by with the quick setup guide which is more than adequate. And there’s the full-color comprehensive user manual for anyone who needs more detailed guidance.

Everything about this product’s controls is intuitive. It shouldn’t take too long for anyone to find their way around. The handling is quite self-explanatory even if it’s your first ever action camera.

The 2″ LCD screen is an acceptable size for most users. It’s also vibrant and displays nice colors indoors and out. The usual info is available at the top like time/date, resolution status, fps, etc.

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There are some extra LED indicators to the left of the screen that show things like battery status.

The ability to record video up to 4K (UHD) is an impressive feature for a camera in this price range. It’s not as good as the 4K on more expensive action cameras but it’s more than adequate nonetheless.

The video recording options include video resolutions 4K 30fps, 1080p 60fps, and 720p 90fps. Video modes include sound recording, time-lapse, loop recording, and slow motion special effects.

The camera has a SONY IMX 179 sensor. It opens at 16 megapixels by default for still images. Again, this is an extraordinary feature considering the low price tag. The results are more than acceptable.

The free app and WiFi let you control the camera from Android or iOS supported devices.

The camera lens has a 170-degree ultra-wide angle fisheye that protrudes about 1cm from the body. The ability to capture more of the surroundings gives things a nice perspective for action footage.

The storage is standard MicroSD card up to 64GB capacity. At the time of writing the product doesn’t include an SD card. Make sure you buy one before your camera arrives.

The 900mAh battery that comes with the TEC.BEAN 4K performs really well. Its life depends on what you’re shooting of course. Expect to record anywhere from 88—176 minutes per charge.

Don’t forget there’s a spare battery included with this product too.

What I like about this action camera is the number of quality features they’ve managed to pack into an inexpensive package. I don’t know how they can do it for the money—but they do.

You can’t expect the quality of a high-end GoPro but you can expect a lot. It’s a perfect entry-level action camera or a good choice for anyone who’s happy with great—rather than exceptional—results.

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Lightdow LD6000

The Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Lots of accessories
  • +9 more
  • Easy to operate
  • Compatible with GoPro accessories
  • Powerful battery
  • Rotating function
  • 4x digital zoom
  • Dash-cam mode
  • Image stabilization
  • Motion detection
  • Bright LCD display

The Cons

  • Long recharging time
  • Cheap materials
  • +2 more
  • Poor user manual
  • Storage limit 32GB

4.2

The final pick in my less than 50 bucks category is the Lightdow LD6000 sports cam. They haven’t used the best quality plastics but it still does the job. There are also seven colors to choose from.

Another plus point to this action camera is that it can use GoPro accessories to enhance its features and functionality. That’s a major plus point if you or a friend already has a GoPro action camera.

This is another action camera that’s compatible with many GoPro accessories. There are plenty of drone reviews where the user has successfully mounted the Lightdow LD6000 to their quadcopter.

There’s a ton of extras included in the box like there was with my previous pick. You get the protective waterproof case, a bunch of action camera mounts, and a few other useful bits and pieces.

Tech Specs

Size:2.3 x 1.1 x 1.6 inches
Weight:64g (2.3 oz. 0.1 lb.)
Battery:3.7V900mAh li-ion
Charging Time:180 minutes (3 hrs.)
Display:Liquid Crystal Display 2.0LTPS
Waterproof Range::30m (98.4 ft.)
Wide-angle Lens:170-degree fisheye
Video Resolution:up to 1080P FHD
Photos:12MP
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This is a basic action camera and it doesn’t take long to figure out how everything works. That’s just as well considering its user manual isn’t the easiest to follow.

The camera comes with a nice and intuitive high-definition 2.0 LTPS screen at the back. You can take a range of photos using the different resolutions available. It’s all very intuitive.

The Lightdow LD 6000 provides various video recording options. Although the quality won’t blow you away it’s still exceptional for the price. You won’t find many complaints there.

You can shoot video at 720p and 1080p. It’s fine for wet action events like skiing, surfing, and diving (waterproofing down to 30m). The camera is also great for recording driving, biking, and riding, etc.

The image stabilization is another welcome feature. It means you get to concentrate while taking quality photos or recording video as the camera manages any shakes or vibrations.

The 12MP camera comes with a CMOS Sensor and a 170° ultra-wide angle lens with 4x digital zoom. You get accurate, fast motion capture, with a field of view wide enough to take in all the surroundings.

Using this camera is a simple case of downloading the app and connecting to the built-in WiFi. You’re then free to control and view all your footage using either an Android or iOS device.

The storage is a 32GB TF card. It may not sound much but it should provide you with around 8-hours of video at 720p or 5-hours when shooting in 1080p.

It would be easy to pick holes and look at what this camera lacks. Considering its price, though, it’s hard to find too much fault. Just think of all those extra accessories and feature-packed options.

The Lightdow LD6000 scores really well on Amazon. That alone speaks volumes about the satisfaction people get with this product. It may not be a GoPro but it’s a great budget alternative.

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Budget Action Cameras for Under $100

If you’ve never used an action camera before you’re in for a pleasant surprise. A little experience with any of these products and your life will never be the same again. It’ll become a part of you.

Costing less than 100 bucks, these are still at the budget end of entry-level. Don’t be put off. You’re going to shoot some very impressive video footage and still shots like you’ve never seen before.

You don’t need to fork out hundreds of dollars to enjoy action-style videography and photography. But it’s my bet that you’ll want to upgrade once you get the bug—and you will!

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Apeman 4K A80

The Pros

  • Affordable GoPro alternative
  • Loads of accessories
  • +6 more
  • Impressive 4K video
  • Exceptional 20 megapixel stills
  • Adjustable zoom lens
  • Bonus battery included
  • Spare batteries cheap
  • Feature-rich action camera

The Cons

  • Not so good in low light
  • Battery can die suddenly
  • +2 more
  • Poor audio
  • LCD screen difficult to see in bright sunlight

4.6

APEMAN is a smart little high-performance pocket-sized sports/action camera. It’s perfect for anyone on the go who’s always on the lookout to capture life’s moments and events in an instant.

This is an affordable alternative to the popular GoPro Hero4. Despite its low price, the Apeman 4k Action Camera performs extremely well underwater and in the air attached to a quadcopter drone.

The camera even comes with its own carry case. That’s a nice extra considering it cost less than 80 bucks. In the case you get a bonus battery, a bunch of mounts, stickers, and all the other usual bits.

The User Manual is in English with text and illustrations to help you prepare the camera for action. The features packed into this little light-tight box are on a par with a lot of costlier action cameras.

Tech Specs

Size:1.8 x 0.7 x 1.2 inches
Weight:726g (1.6 lbs.)
Battery:3.7V Li-ion Battery 1050 mAh
Charging Time:180+ minutes (3 hrs.)
Display:LCD 2.0LTPS
Waterproof Range::30m (98.4 ft.)
Wide-angle Lens:70-170° adjustable
Video Resolution:Up to 4K
Photos:20MP
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The 2″ LCD display is my main gripe with an otherwise perfect little cam. Viewing it indoors or in the shade is no problem. But using the screen in bright outdoor light is not so easy on the eyes.

You can expect steady video footage thanks to APEMAN’s excellent stabilization. Unlike many action cam stabilization claims, this one really is usable and makes a huge difference to the results.

The series A80 uses an impressive HD video processor. The video quality is awesome for a sports action camera at this price. It WILL impress you, especially if it’s your first ever action cam.

Stills photography won’t let you down either. The 20MP photos are incredible for a camera in its class. There’s a handy tripod mount too. That may sound standard but you don’t get one with all cameras.

You’re in luck if underwater filming is your thing. The protective case lets you dive down up to 30 meters. A lot of user reviews praise the Apeman 4K A80 for its underwater capability.

Add to this the anti-shake technology, time-lapse photography, and car cam loop recording capability. You can see why the A80 takes my top slot in affordable GoPro alternatives under 100 bucks.

Another nice thing is the adjustable zoom. This gives you much more control over the area of footage you want to capture. The zoom ranges from 70° to 170° super-wide angle.

Like so many sports/action cameras you’ll need to buy a microSD card as it doesn’t include one in the box. It can support a card up to 128GB. That’s impressive considering some cameras stop at 32GB.

The two rechargeable batteries are a bonus and a nice touch to an already exciting package. Battery recording time gives you an average of 60 minutes per battery (120 minutes per shoot).

There’s a lot to get excited about with this little action camera and I’ve only touched on some of its key features. For full specs follow the Amazon price check link below.

Summing up—you get a serious action camera for the money. There’s professional looking 4k video, 20MP photographs, and up to 30M underwater capability.

There’s also a whole range of other great features to boot. If ever there was an affordable alternative to the GoPro Hero5, the Apeman 4K A80 Sports Action Camera is the one to consider.

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AKASO EK7000 4K

The Pros

  • Affordable price tag
  • Amazon best seller
  • +3 more
  • Bright display Screen
  • Good quality footage
  • Plenty of accessories

The Cons

  • No tripod attachment
  • Bit of a learning curve ( instructions not the best)

4.5

Another budget-friendly action camera that caught my eye is the capable AKASO EK7000 4K. The familiar rectangular design is pretty basic with nice textured sides to improve the grip.

It never fails to amaze me how much the makers of these budget action cameras pack into the box. The EK7000 comes with a WiFi remote control, an AC adapter, and a Micro-USB cable.

Also in the box is the 30m waterproof housing, a protective backdoor, and a bonus battery. There’s the usual range of mounts too, and a bicycle stand, a couple of clips, five tethers, and a helmet mount.

To get started you just download the App iSmart DV to your iOS or Android device and connect to the camera’s WiFi. Everything is fairly intuitive so it doesn’t take long to get familiar with it all.

Tech Specs

Size:0.9 x 2 x 1.5 inches
Weight:544g (1.2 lbs.)
Battery:1050mAh (included bonus)
Charging Time:120+ minutes (2+ hrs.)
Display:2″ LCD screen
Waterproof Range::30m (98.4 ft.)
Wide-angle Lens:170-degrees
Video Resolution:Up to 4K
Photos:12MP
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There’s good news for UAV enthusiasts too. This is a worthy GoPro alternative drone camera. It’s also a great all-round action camera, in the air, on the ground, and under water. Let’s look at its features.

The ample 2 inch LCD screen at the back offers a real-time view of whatever you’re recording or shooting. It’s intuitive and bright enough to use outdoors as well as in.

The AKASO EK7000 records video up to 4K at 25fps. However, the 4k claim is the result of interpolated technology. It means the recorded footage is actually 2.7K with fake pixels filling in the difference.

Despite the clever technology you can’t expect the same quality 4K footage that comes with a genuine 4K action camera. Don’t be disappointed. The outcome is still exceptional for a camera at this price.

Camera modes include Single Shot (one photo at a time), Burst Photo Mode, and Time-Lapse. The 12MP photo and video are clear, sharp, have nice colors, and give any GoPro a run for its money.

The lens is a fixed 170° built-on wide angle. That means it can capture more surrounding footage than a 120° or 90° lens. If you want zoom control, though, then consider the previous pick in this review.

There’s no built-in storage with the EK7000 and nor does it come with an external card. This is quite normal for budget-friendly action cameras. My advice is to buy a class 10 64GB microSD or higher.

The 1050mAh battery life of the AKASO EK7000 4K is pretty standard. You can expect an average 90 minutes recording per charge. There are two batteries included so that effectively doubles your time.

It is possible to attach this camera to a tripod but there’s no actual threaded tripod hole. You can get by without it. Still, dedicated tripod threads make life a lot easier for some people.

Overall, though, this is an excellent value camera for the money. And let’s face it; action cameras that sell well on Amazon and enjoy glowing reviews are popular for good reasons.

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Vikeepro

The Pros

  • Affordable action camera
  • Compact and lightweight
  • +3 more
  • User-friendly product /intuitive controls
  • Lots of accessories
  • Bonus battery included
  • Decent quality video

The Cons

  • Stills images not the best
  • Basic user manual

4.4

No one can deny that GoPro makes great sports/action cameras. But now we have so many worthy alternatives one can’t help but think there’s been a lot of overhyping behind the brand.

Vikeepro 4K Sports Camera is a fraction of the cost of a GoPro. Its appearance is similar to most other designs out there. But is it a serious competitor? Let’s open the box and do a review to find out.

Tech Specs

Size:2.3 x 1.6 x 1.1 inches
Weight:62g (2.2 oz.)
Battery:900mAh Li-ion
Charging Time:120+ minutes (2+ hrs.)
Display:2 Inch LTPS LCD
Waterproof Range::30m (98.4 ft.)
Wide-angle Lens:170 Degrees 6-glass
Video Resolution:Full HD 1080p
Photos:12MP
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OK, so this is another great package deal with plenty of extras. Look at what comes in the box:

  • The WIFI sports/action camera
  • 2.4G Wireless RF Remote waist
  • Smart carrying bag
  • 1 x waterproof housing
  • Helmet mount
  • Pole/handlebar mount
  • 7 x other mounts
  • Tethers
  • Clips and bandage
  • 2 x 900mah battery
  • Charger
  • USB Cable
  • Formatted 32GB microSD
  • Lens Cloth
  • Detailed user manual

Worth pointing out is the purpose-made carrying case you get with this camera for its boatload of accessories. It’s something you’ll really appreciate once you start to travel with the action camera.

There are a few gripes about the user manual lacking some details. Despite this, the camera and its functions are intuitive and self-explanatory. In short, setting up and using this product is a cinch.

The bright 2″ TFT LCD screen allows you to view what you shoot as you record it. The high-definition display is big and bright enough to let you replay and share your video with others from the camera.

The video quality might not be in the awesome category but it’s exceptional given the price tag. It records video in full HD 1080P at 30fps. It’s also a great underwater camera if you’re into wet action.

For still photos, you have 12 megapixel images of passable quality. It isn’t the best out there but it’s okay for anyone who wants a solid performer. Worth noting is the video quality is better than stills.

From the LCD screen you can perform all the usual functions. Video resolutions include 4K (25fps), 2.7K (30fps), and 1080p (60fps/30fps).

The 170° ultra-wide angle lens is perfect for capturing creative shots with remarkable perspectives. There’s no zoom capability, though. If zoom is important take a look at some of my other options.

The action camera comes with a fully formatted 32GB microSD card. This is an unusual addition to a budget-friendly camera. If you need more space the product supports MicroSD cards up to 64GB.

You get an extra battery with the Vikeepro 4K action camera too. Each battery gives around 90 minutes of video shooting per charge. Battery life can vary under certain conditions and settings.

If you want a decent GoPro alternative at a fraction of the cost then add the Vikeepro 4K to your shortlist. The ton of accessories alone is reason enough, but there’s more on offer than just the extras.

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Polaroid Cube+

The Pros

  • Fun and affordable
  • Tiny/lightweight/ unobtrusive
  • +6 more
  • Easy to use
  • Video and photo quality acceptable for price
  • Expandable memory
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Image Stabilization
  • Strong magnet

The Cons

  • Built-in battery
  • Poor audio
  • +2 more
  • No LCD screen
  • Waterproof case not included

4.0

You won’t find another lifestyle action cam quite like the Polaroid Cube+. It’s for folks who want more fun than seriousness when shooting video and pics. Users refer to it as the funny, cute, action cam.

The Polaroid Cube+ is only one cubic inch in size (35mm x 35mm). That’s so tiny it’s almost a spy cam. Okay, so let’s see what Polaroid’s second-generation action camera comes with.

  • 1 x black Polaroid CUBE+ Lifestyle Action Camera
  • 1 x 8GB microSDHC Card
  • Bumper Case
  • USB Cable
  • One year warranty

The “bumper case” has fashion appeal for fans of the Cube+. You can buy other protective accessories for the cube if you want to go underwater or expect to get extra hard knocks.

Tech Specs

Size:35 x 35 x 35mm (1.4″)
Weight:60g (2.1 oz.)
Battery:600mAh integrated
Charging Time:60+ minutes (1+ hr.)
Display:None
Waterproof Range::10 m (33ft.) w/case (optional extra)
Wide-angle Lens:124-degree
Video Resolution:HD up to 1440p
Photos:8MP
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The Polaroid Cube+ is not officially a drone camera. Despite this, there are plenty of drone pilots who discover innovative ways to take to the skies with this tiny light-tight box. With satisfactory results too.

Personally, I’d say there are better action cameras for recording aerial photography and videography. Yes, it’s a versatile little tool but its appeal is more niche-orientated.

It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to become familiar with the Polaroid Cube+. To be honest there’s not much to grapple with. It’s a lot easier to use than any GoPro or alternative action cameras.

There’s a nice big shutter button positioned on the top. Press once to take a photo and twice to start recording video. Press once to stop recording. That’s it! Things don’t get much simpler than that.

Obviously there’s no LCD screen. And even if there was it’d be so tiny you’d need a magnifying glass to see it. There’s still a lot to marvel over with the Polaroid Cube+ despite its drawbacks.

Four of its standout features include:

  1. WiFi for operating via the FREE smartphone app
  2. Image stabilization feature
  3. Water/weather resistant
  4. Improved video and photo options

There’s nothing exceptional about the higher resolution 8MP photos and HD video. That is until you consider the size and portability of this tiny action cam. Here’s what you can expect from the video.

Enjoy video in HD up to 1440p @ 60fps and also 120fps for special slow-motion effects. There’s even a time-lapse feature. The footage won’t win any awards but it’s more than acceptable for fun filming.

Expect to get an impressive 107 minutes of 1080p recording time @ 30fps with the WiFi off. And as long as you have a metal surface the magnetic mounting will cling on like you wouldn’t believe.

There’s plenty of scope to catch close-up action with a 124° wide-angle lens. Add to this the camera’s protective weatherproof and shockproof qualities and there’s a lot to like.

The 8GB Polaroid microSD card (included) is enough to get you going, but it can support up to 64GB. The video and image stabilization included in this tiny bundle is another great standout feature.

The Cube+ is not for you if you’re looking for a serious entry-level action camera. You should definitely skip it if you want high-quality video, stills, & audio.

On the other hand, it’s a fantastic little product for those who want the minimal fuss and maximum enjoyment. In other words, definitely stick it on your shortlist if you want fun over features.

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Affordable Quality Action Cameras over $100

If you’ve jumped straight to this section you’re either curious or you’re ready for an upgrade. All three picks here cost less than 200 bucks and considered the high-end of budget action cameras.

At a glance they share a lot of similar features as the cheapest action cameras. On closer inspection, though, you’ll see why the price has gone up. It’s an upgrade on overall quality and functionality.

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The Pros

  • Nice GoPro alternative
  • Great value for money camera
  • +5 more
  • Quick setup and connectivity
  • Fast boot & load times
  • Swift and clear video playback
  • Built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS)
  • Expandable memory up to 128GB

The Cons

  • Field of view quite narrow
  • Audio not the best
  • +2 more
  • Waterproof housing extra
  • No memory card included

4.7

The YI 4K sports/action camera is the best challenger yet to the established GoPro brand. It also looks and feels different to other cameras on this page. So just how good is it for the $236 price tag?

If aerial photography and videography is your thing then check out the YI 4K Action Camera with the amazing YI Erida three-rotor drone. Aerial footage doesn’t get much better than this for the price.

Aesthetically, you have a choice of three colors, matte black, white, and a cute rose/gold option. The materials look tougher than most of the competition and it has a quality feel to match.

Tech Specs

Size:1.65 x 2.56 x 1.18 inches
Weight:96g (2.4 oz.)
Battery:Lithium-ion 1400mAh
Charging Time:120 minutes (2 hrs.)
Display:2.19″ LCD touchscreen
Waterproof Range::40m (132 ft.)
Wide-angle Lens:155-degree
Video Resolution:Up to 4K
Photos:12MP
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One downside is what you get in the deal—or more to the point—what you don’t. There are none of the accessories that come with even the cheapest picks on this page:

Here’s what a new YI 4K can include in the box:

  • The action camera
  • 1 x USB cable
  • 1 x 1400mAh battery
  • 1 x mount
  • Waterproof casing (optional extra)
  • The YI handheld Gimbal (optional extra)
  • User Manual

You still have everything you need to start shooting high-quality video and still images. But if you want more flexibility and mounting options they’ll cost you extra.

It’s easy to find your way around the camera’s user interface. There are also plenty of impressive features and manual settings for creative types. There’s also a standard user guide included.

At 2.19″ the YI 4K action cam sports a bigger LCD touchscreen display than the GoPro Hero5 Black.

They’ve also made the screen using impact resistant Gorilla Glass for extra toughness and quality.

This is my most serious Point Of View or POV camera pick here. It’s well-made and shoots 4K 30fps video along with 12 megapixel still images. It’s like the GoPro Hero5 but without the high price tag.

It’s easy to transfer quality video and images to a mobile device thanks to the camera’s frustration-free app and connectivity options. The Bluetooth and dual-band Wi-Fi work seamlessly every time.

There are the usual shooting modes as you’d expect. These include time-lapse, slow-motion, timer and burst modes. There’s a lot to like and plenty to explore. It’s all great quality too.

The lens is a fixed 155° wide-angle with a fast f/2.8 aperture. For some, it offers the perfect field of view (FOV). Others may prefer a zoom or an ultra-wide fisheye lens. These things are subjective.

For storage there’s a standard MicroSD slot though you’ll have to buy your own card. YI recommends using from a range of U3-class microSD cards for optimal compatibility and 4K recording.

In reality, people have used class 10 and U1 cards and say they work just as well. A 64GB card should give an average 80 minutes of recording time in 4K.

The Lithium-ion 1400mAh battery that comes with the YI 4K action camera is first-rate and better than any GoPro to date. A single charge should give around 2-hours of 4K footage before it needs charging.

My biggest gripe with this camera is the lack of accessories. I particularly begrudge the 40m (132 ft.) waterproof casing being an optional extra. Not everyone wants or needs underwater protection though.

On the whole, I love everything else about the Yi 4K including the way it looks and feels. The image quality is simply amazing. And it has a long battery life compared to the competition.

The high-quality touchscreen display is another major plus point. And let’s not forget the super-reliable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. All in all, this is a very worthy GoPro alternative.

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Gopororeview

GoPro HERO+

The Pros

  • Budget GoPro camera
  • Robust design
  • +7 more
  • Numerous available mounts
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Built-in speaker / decent audio
  • Extremely wide field of view
  • Impressive underwater range
  • Helpful instructions
  • First-rate customer support

The Cons

  • No backlight for front LCD
  • Casing not removable
  • +2 more
  • Built-in battery
  • Needs extra accessory for tripod

4.2

When it first came out the GoPro Hero+ LCD was a handsome little action cam. As technology moves on, the aesthetics are not as appealing as they used to be. The cameras, though, most certainly are.

The GoPro HERO+ LCD doesn’t come with as many accessories in the box as my cheaper picks. This is probably because they don’t need to—yet! Reputation and guaranteed quality still sell these cameras.

Tech Specs

Size:4.25 x 4.06 x 6.42 inches
Weight:127g (4.5 oz.)
Battery:Li-ion 1160 mAh (built-in)
Charging Time:120+ minutes (2+ hrs.)
Display:Touchscreen LCD
Waterproof Range::40m (131 ft.)
Wide-angle Lens:170-degree
Video Resolution:Up to 1080p
Photos:8MP
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Here’s what you get in the box with the current offer:

  • GoPro HERO + LCD with a touchscreen built-in display
  • Battery: built-in
  • 1X Skeleton backdoor
  • Touch Backdoor
  • 3 x mounts: curved and flat adhesive plus quick release
  • 1 x micro-USB Cable

That’s everything you need to get started. Some drone enthusiasts will be disappointed with the fixed polycarbonate casing. This prevents attaching the camera to a quadcopter’s stabilization gimbal.

Some UAVs have static mounts that will accommodate the HERO+. Alas, it’s a compromise solution. The built-in battery is another negative as you can’t replace it with a spare when the power drains.

But gripes aside, this is an entry-level GoPro and a great choice for those who don’t want to gamble with lesser-known products. Being a market leader for so long does have its advantages.

Another appealing aspect to the GoPro HERO+ LCD is its user-friendly appeal. The controls are intuitive and the user manual’s easy-to-follow. This isn’t the case with all sports/action cams.

The live-view 1.5″ touchscreen on the rear of a camera is a welcome touch for an entry-level product. If you’re new to action cameras, just know that touch-enabled live-view screens are rare additions.

The inbuilt touch display allows you to preview all your footage, frame by frame, if you want to. You can also use it to play back recent video/photos and to seamlessly navigate the camera’s menus.

GoPro is a tried and tested brand and that means you get exactly what it says on the box. For audiovisual you can expect high-quality 1080p60 and 720p60 video and some easy shooting modes.

The video modes include QuikCapture, SuperView™, and Auto Low Light. There’s plenty of versatility for taking 8MP photos too. You can share all your footage right away on social media.

The popular photographic modes include Time-lapse and Burst mode—perfect for shooting fast action.

This camera comes with an ultra-wide angle lens that captures just about everything in front of the optic. The SuperView takes in a taller perspective that’s ideal for close-up people shots.

The camera’s actual field of view (FOV) varies depending on the settings at the time.

There’s a microSDHC card slot next to the screen. The GoPro HERO+ LCD supports MicroSDHC cards up to 64GB. It’s not the best but it’s twice the 32GB storage found with some products.

A major gripe is with the inbuilt battery. As it’s not removable it restricts how long you can use the camera. There’s nothing worse than running out of power mid-shoot.

One alternative to this problem is to connect to an external battery pack when possible. At least this way you can continue recording. Otherwise, you just have to wait until the battery has recharged.

Complaints aside, it’s important to remember this is a GoPro entry-level sports action camera. We can’t expect the same bells & whistles that come with products at twice its price or more.

Overall there’s a lot to like if this model checks enough of your boxes. Unlike some of the GoPro alternatives, this is one brand that doesn’t have to prove itself.

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