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The camera holds up better than almost all its rivals at night. Our conclusions? Many of them share the same 16MP or 20MP image sensors which deliver acceptable 2.7K footage at 30fps or 1080P@60fps. It’s true that 90% of the time you’re only looking to hit the record button, but the other 10% of time there’s no touchscreen to navigate the awkward menus. You really have everything you need in the box. Some people would say modern camera phones have made action cameras redundant. Voice control using various voice commands is a relatively new feature for action cameras. In other words, they’re not cheap. Check out the, For the best all-rounders, see our guide to the. It has the same diamond pattern sides, an all-button interface, and those buttons sit in exactly the same spots. I was unaware that the V50 Pro’s internal microphone could not be disabled. TechRadar is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. 2020 is no doubt the beginning of the $100 native 4k action camera. We’d advise using the (included) non-water-resistant mount casing unless you’re going to get really wet, as the waterproof one significantly diminishes image quality. In specs, however, it is much more comparable to the older V50 Pro than the V50. Your first assumption may well be: they must all be terrible right? It was one of only two cheap GoPro rivals able to have a reasonable stab at shooting a road lit only by street light. It doesn’t feature an accessory pack, whereas most budget action cameras do. Sign up to get breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more, plus the hottest tech deals! If there are any shooting modes you would like to use, check to make sure the camera features it before purchasing. In cases such as these, a budget action camera is an awesome way to test the waters—without breaking the bank. A couple of these budget action cameras offer genuinely gorgeous 4K image quality during the day. Whether Akaso used the wrong lens, wrong sensor or the wrong processing, something is not quite right in the Akaso V50 X. Make these tweaks and the preview image, and resulting video, just stay as they were before. The camera itself also looks incredibly sleek and sexy. We did wonder if electronic image stabilization caused image quality degradation, but turning it off had no effect on clarity. In other words, you’re definitely paying a premium for the waterproof design. The X30 also more-or-less gives up in very low light, and can’t be used as a webcam with Macs or PCs. Note: This camera isn’t a sports action camera, but it’s a nice little bonus I decided to include for those who are looking for something different. Capture quality is on par with the V50X and Yi 4K. However, the vast majority of non-GoPro action cameras are not waterproof out of the box. Yet it costs a little more and doesn’t come with a remote control so I wouldn’t consider it the best ultra-budget action camera today. Recording at higher resolutions and using features like EIS will consume more battery. And a diving-style case with 40m waterproofing is included too. What are the downsides? Footage looks highly aliased, or 'blocky', so 2.7k clips don’t look anything like they have that amount of detail. If ready-to-roll 4K footage is the main thing you're after, then the Kaiser Baas X450 is a great option. You have no choice of field of view either, just the standard Wide view. There’s a 1440p mode, but this is effectively the 4:3 version of Full HD, not 'true' 1440p. What about if you just want to have a go filming action sports? It's down to two factors. The Akaso EK7000’s audio is also poor – it's muffled and quiet, which means it isn't really a vlogging option. Personally, I feel that if your budget allows it, going for a GoPro has many advantages. For this price, we’d be pretty happy with the 1080/60p video the Akaso EK7000 spits out. Cyber Monday deals: see all the best offers right now! You don’t get two batteries, for example, just the one. Big screen makes this a great budget action cam option. Buy one for snorkeling, or any other true underwater pursuits, but otherwise you’re golden. First up, build quality. The voice commands are typically short phrases like “Akaso Take Photo” which will be picked up by the camera’s mic. Note that a micro SD memory card is not included so make sure to buy one if you don’t have one already. The Akaso EK7000’s interface isn't a headache to use. Kaiser Baas is less generous than most of the other companies in this guide. This can improve video quality, but you will need to be aware that the recording will be more sensitive to camera shake. And those that are will cost something very close to $100. Panned motion is smoother than the other non-GoPros, and this is the only cheap action cam tested with any mode beyond 4K/30p. This is a cheap action camera with most of the features of a top-end model. The included wrist-strap remote is quite basic but does the trick for taking photo and capturing video without having to touch the camera itself. All the right features, but a slightly wobbly experience, Weight: 88g | Waterproof: 40m | 4K video: up to 60fps | 1080 video: up to 120fps | 720 video: up to 240fps | Stills resolution: 20MP | Battery life: 120 mins. The 4K+’s younger brother, the Yi 4K, can often be picked up for less than $100. Most action cameras under $100 are not native 4K. It was released back in December 2016 so it is slightly older, but has an incredibly solid track record. The Campark X30 Xtreme V is a mid-priced budget camera. Action cameras are designed to be taken underwater. The Hero 7 White has been discontinued by GoPro, but you can still buy it. Still, there’s only so much you can do with a single mic array. You do, however, get the necessary accessories in the box. Its 4K video is less sharp than the cheaper Akaso EK7000’s, and that’s a camera we recommend using at 2.7k or 1080p because 4K doesn’t bring much benefit. The rubberized Polaroid Cube is only splashproof, so don’t completely submerge it underwater. Electronic image stabilization is fair, but a little jumpy, as if it only catches up on motion at a delay, rather than aiming to make pans appear smooth. The Dragon Touch Vision 5 is waterproof up to 40m without casing. Its 2-inch HD screen was a unique selling point before, but that’s … It can only shoot widescreen at up to 1080p. Many of these so called 4K cameras are simply up-scaling footage by means of interpolation. Regardless of any brand preference you might have, the cheapest new GoPro costs $180. They have a softer 'click' than the other basic-looking models, which feels less cheap. By connecting to your smartphone, you can remotely control your action camera using your phone. Make sure you correctly fit the waterproof case before taking your new action camera underwater. Overall, it’s a decent camera, but doesn’t shake up the market like Xiaomi have been known to do in the past. It’s a light brick of plastic without particularly smoothed-out corners or a GoPro-style soft touch finish. The Kaiser Baas X450 can’t be used as a webcam either, which is a shame as it would do the job very well (as long as you used a different mic). Many reviews on the likes of Amazon and YouTube look suspiciously like paid promotion, and cheaper cams all seem the same or are made by names most of us wouldn’t recognize. The camera does also support use as a webcam, but we couldn’t get it to work with our test MacBook or Windows 10 laptops. There are still benefits to buying a pricier GoPro or an alternative like the DJI Osmo Action – for example, all of these cameras have Wi-Fi, but the apps they connect to are largely poor. The V50 Pro is not worth the additional price anymore, but the V50 Elite features 4K60fps and can take 20MP (as opposed to 12MP) photos, which might be worth considering. It also has a cover for its ports, a rarity at this price. They will pretty much do everything you need them to do, and certainly be better suited for filming intense action than any smartphone. All action cameras feature basic built in shooting modes. There’s no option to change the field of view, so you’re stuck with the native 'wide'. We've tested their image quality during the day and at night, pushed their image stabilization to the limit, mocked up some vlogs to see what their microphones sound like, and played around to see if each would work as a Zoom-friendly webcam. 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