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The 7 Best Action Cameras Under £100: 4K Video Quality

best action camera

Why do you want an action camera? This is an important question to ask off the bat. Perhaps you are a budding YouTuber who wants to make great content for the new channel. Maybe you like to make short movies and want one or two extra cameras for additional angle shots? Do you just love to get out in the water or woods and get lost while tracking your tumbles and discoveries? Or, you are going on holiday and just want something to record those precious moments in the sun, sea or snow? Whatever you want to do, do you really want to blow a tonne of cash on something that you might lose, ruin or just not really use that much? Probably not! That is why we have reviewed for you the seven absolute best action cameras under £100. And all with 4K capability!

Spending big on a piece of tech like this comes with caveats. So it is always best to go for something that you can play around with first. When you get a feel for it, you will be better able to understand just what you are looking for. Then you can think about investing. This is why we talk the best modes you will be wanting, viewing angles, frames per second when compared to resolution, and that all important audio. Because who wants to watch videos with no sound? So, let’s call action on this review!

 

best action camera
Photo by Habib Dadkhah on Unsplash

 

AKASO Brave 6

If you want something that looks and feels like a GoPro, but without the hefty price tag, look no further. Whilst not quite meeting latest GoPro standards, Brave 6 does have gravitas. This captures action video and photos with aplomb, reproducing a pleasing colour and depth in a range of shooting modes. Achieve 2K at 30fps, 1080P at 60FPS for video, and produce lovely 20 megapixel (MP) photos. There is also the much coveted 4K option at 24fps. Choose from 4 viewing angle ranges, meaning more control over the look of your action videos. It is worth noting here, however, that the Brave 6 is not true 4K. The max screen resolution of 2880x2160px is actually around 1000 vertical pixels off being true UHD. This is however a common feature of UHD screens and cameras.

While the factory settings come up a little dark, this can be adjusted via on screen menus. And the Akasko App gives complete smart phone control of your action camera. If that wasn’t enough, voice command mode allows you to take photos, start and stop shooting with simple verbal commands. With this technology, shooting is a synch!

Sadly for some, there is no shutter control. So, if you like playing around with darker shots and long exposure, this will not be the best action camera under £100 for you. Yet with that decent colour reproduction, night shoots are fairly easy and crisp, provided there is some external light.

As well as having the standard Micro SD slot for capturing film and image, the Brave 6 also has two HDMI output ports, but no option for an external microphone. The in-built mic does pick up sound fairly well, however, and allows for good audio capture with minimal background intrusion. This model also comes with an impressive range of accessories, including a waterproof case to 30m depth, and various mounts amongst others. It also comes with 2 rechargeable batteries, giving a total of 180 minutes life.

All in all, the Akaso model works well for the price-point. There are a few drawbacks in terms of overall shooting quality, and you wont be blown away when viewing on a decent TV or monitor screen. However the included equipment, shooting modes, zoom, voice command option, and brilliant battery life more than make up for this. Quite honestly, you get what you pay for, and this packs a hefty punch for a budget action camera.

Product Features

  • Waterproof to 30m (98ft)
  • Responds to voice commands
  • Wifi Connectivity
  • Electronic image stabilisation (EIS)
  • Great range of accessories

AKASO EK7000 Pro

Our next best action camera under £100 is also an Akasko. This is the third instalment in the EK7000 series, and as such is improved. There are a couple of minor differences to the Brave 6. Images are captured in 16 MP files, slightly reduced from the 20 MP Brave model. Also, whilst the Pro still supports the industry accepted kind of ‘4K’ at 25FPS and 1080P at 60FPS, it does also supports 2.7K at 30FPS. The waterproof case also comes with this model, along with a hefty variety of accessories, and this Pro model is actually waterproof to 40 metres!

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Whilst capturing footage underwater the dive mode allows for the loss of red light, rendering better light and colour overall. This model also has a wrist mounted remote control for fast capture of video and images while out and about. There is also the option to use the Akasko App should you need it. One thing to note with this model is there is no voice command. Also, electronic image stabilisation does not work with the 4K shooting option. This does work with standard and Full High Definition (FHD) modes, however.

As with the Brave 6 model, battery life is excellent at around 90 minutes with a single charge, and the touch screen is super responsive and intuitive. both are a fantastic cheap action camera in their own right, with slight positive and negative differences. In the end, it would come down to what you are prepared to compromise on. If you are more into diving with your action camera, or prefer better image quality in those additional 4 MPs of the Brave 6 model.

Product Features

  • Waterproof to 40m (131ft)
  • Capture 16 MP Images
  • 4K video at 25FPS
  • Wifi Connectivity
  • Great range of accessories

APEMAN A87

The A87 is a great budget option for a number of reasons. The shoot settings give fun options for loop recording, time lapse and slo-mo, and the 6 standard presets allows for a variety of lighting conditions, both above and below water. The 8x optical zoom stands up well with only minor blurring on high quality screens, plus that EIS and Gyro gives dual protection against that home shakey cam footage of old. Plus the distortion correction technology makes adjustments to correct the finished product. Smooth viewing from start to finish!

4K Video at 60FPS is captured on this model, giving crisp images with marvellous colour rendering. It doesn’t quite stand up to the 4K resolution quality of the GoPro Hero, but at less than half the price it’s a minor hiccup. An this is otherwise a well oiled machine. Connectivity is one of the best we have seen so far, with SD card slot, one HDMI, one micro USB and an AV video output. And it also comes with an impressive array of accessories including a helmet mount and waterproof case for diving up to 100 metres. The Apeman A87 also comes with not one but two batteries, for extended battery life and maximum 70 minutes usage (shooting 4K) whilst away from a plug socket. And to really up the ante, the whole lot comes in a black sleek case!

Quite frankly, with so many features, the accessories and the beautiful case, this might be the best action camera under £100. But we shall continue with our review nonetheless, and see what other budget options we have in store!

Product Features

  • Wifi Connectivity
  • 4K video at 60FPS
  • Waterproof to 40m
  • 8 x optical zoom
  • Fantastic range of accessories

VanTop Moment 4

As a mid-range action camera, submersible up to 30m, the VanTop has some pretty decent software attached. The Camking App has great functionality, providing you with a place to download images and video straight to your phone via the wifi connectivity. You can also control the action camera from app, and watch the record in real time at 1080p! But this camera also has the capability to shoot 4K video at 4FPS and 20MP images with impressive depth. All thanks to the Sony ‘TrueDepth’ camera.

As with the Akaso options, you can also shoot 2K video at 30fps, 1080P at 60FPS, but the VanTop also allows shooting 720p video at 120FPS. And both 4K and standard look crisp and clear, with the addition of EIS technology to stabilise. As with the first two, you are not getting a true UHD feel with the 4K video option, but it is still very good.

The touchscreen is super responsive, with intuitive menu options and the ability to seamlessly switch between photo and video with one swipe. Make your recordings your own with a variety of adjustments and preset modes, including slo-mo, time lapse and dash cam mode. The adjustable viewing angles make it possible to shoot ultra wide for those big action moments. Plus the array of accessories and mounts making shooting easy. Wherever you go, and whatever you do. The remote control wrist strap is wonderful for capturing shots and video on the go. Or, attach the camera to your dogs collar, switch to the App and watch from your porch. Whatever you want to do, this action camera has you covered.

Whilst this model isn’t quite the best action camera under £100, with some minor graininess in stabilisation mode, it does stand up against the cheaper budget options in this range. Models like the Crosstour and ThiEYE are certainly on par.

Product Features

  • 4K video at 24FPS
  • Waterproof to 30m
  • Wifi Connectivity
  • Fantastic range of accessories
  • Sony TrueDepth Lens

Apexcam M90 Pro

This latest model from Apexcam has many similar features to others reviewed, but with some minor adjustments. These adjustments are likely to be top priority for users with specific needs.

Similar to most options here, one can easily shoot crisp clean 20MP images, 4K video at 30FPS, or 1080p at 60FPS. These models are all capable of making video that look great when uploaded to YouTube etc. The Apexcam you can easily achieve high quality viewing material any time, any place. The selection of wide viewing angles and presets and modes like time lapse and video loop make it possible. Plus, EIS technology makes your videos look slick and smooth.

There is, however, one marked difference with the Apexcam M90 Pro to other options in the best action camera under £100 review. Not only does the model come with a mic jack, but an external mic too! This can be clipped on to your clothes as an easy addition for any vlogger. Whilst other models reviewed here have in-built audio, this will give you the edge when building and uploading those essential travel vlog pieces. Plus, the 7G f/1.8 lens is known to be one of the ‘faster’ aperture lenses. This means you can capture fast paced images and video that is going to look crisp and true to life.

One caveat is that this model does not have touchscreen, though the buttons and menus function well enough without it. The battery supplied grants the user around 200 minutes run time, which is incredible. Also, the vast array of accessories provided will suit any high-octane activity you could think of. So you can head out for the day and get burnt out, knowing the camera wont be! All in all, this is a very good choice for an action camera on a budget. Though it doesn’t entirely stand out from the crowd, it still has some little flourishes that is sure to make it someones perfect.

Product Features

  • Waterproof to 40m
  • 4K Video at 30FPS
  • Microphone port, with external mic included
  • Great Battery life (200 minutes)
  • Wifi Capability

ThiEYE i60

If you are a bit of a water baby, chances are you are looking for something that can withstand some pretty hefty depths. And while all the cameras in this review can sink to depths of 30 metres, the ThiEye doubles that depth. so, if you love to dive, this is sure to be the best action camera under £100.

So, whether you are snorkelling, surfing or diving, you can be sure that your device will be safe in its waterproof casing. And with many different mounts in the accessories kit, you can be sure it will be kept secured. And while you shoot, the 4x optical zoom allows you to capture distant views with ease, and with a variety of wide viewing angles of up to 170°.

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This model records both 4K and 2.4K video at 30Fps, and captures 20MP images. Whilst this is not the best frame rate you can achieve, and other models would do better, it has to be weighed with the other factors. Connectivity is good, with one Micro USB, HDMI and SD card slots. Similar to other models, the i60 also has a wireless remote,

The small screen on the back is relatively bright, allowing you to see your footage before downloading. It is not touchscreen, which is a shame. It is also a little on the small side, which loses points in  terms of best action camera under £100. For a model of this budget, it is not necessarily a deal breaker. Though of course when combining this with the limited frame rate, it could be for some. The i60 supports up to 128GB class 10 micro SD memory card. This gives greater storage capacity than most others in this review, which mainly support memory cards of 64GB or less.

While this may not be the best camera for uploading content to the internet, it could be a great option for an avid diver. Or perhaps anyone who likes to capture trips and adventures for their own private library.

Product Features

  • Waterproof to 60m (197ft)
  • 4K Video at 30FPS
  • 4x optical zoom
  • Wifi Capability
  • 20MP image capture

Dragon Touch 4K EIS

As with all the models reviewed here, the style is very similar to the GoPro, but has a nice matt finish giving it a sleek look. It also comes with a wide range of accessories and mounts, as well as a variety of shooting presets. It also has time lapse, driving mode, and burst photo mode amongst others.

This Dragon Touch model captures 16MP photos, which is not as satisfying in quality as some. Still, it manages to achieve decent colour and sharpness. With 4K video supported at 30FPS and full HD or 1080p at 60FPS, this is again a decent entry level model for a very good budget. If you are into high octane activities, this is one to get rough with. Without worrying about damaging a costly piece of equipment. Plus, the built in EIS works for both 4K and FHD filming modes, rendering video smooth and crisp.

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Similar to the i60, this also has an external mic included. So great for those budding vloggers out there! At the price point, this could easily be the best action camera under £100 for anyone wanting to take their first step into directing. Making action shorts with this thing would certainly be interesting. It is generally useful to keep the mic handy, as the in-built mic is likely to leave you wanting. Vocals are fine, if a little tinny, but anything louder with various audio elements becomes very squeaky with little to no base tones.

While the lack of touchscreen may be frustrating to some, menus are accessed by side buttons. And the handy app allows you to control the device from your smart phone. And if you don’t have your smart phone handy, the remote control camera with wrist strap comes in handy too. The wireless range runs to 10 metres, giving you plenty of space to create those epic shots.

Product Features

  • 16MP image capture
  • 4K Video at 30FPS
  • Waterproof to 30m
  • Great range of accessories
  • Wifi Capability
best action camera
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

 

Which are the Best Action Cameras Under £100?

There are many reasons why you would want to get an action camera. And while there are a fair few similarities within each option, there are also some differences that could break those ties. The final two in our review of best action camera under £100, the Apex M90 Pro and Dragon Touch, are great for vloggers as they have an external mic jack, as well as a decent quality clip on mic. The ThiEYE i60 is great for divers wanting to get to depths of 60metres. The Akaso Brave 6 is great for people who like the latest little technical finesses like voice commands.

All of the models in our review also come with a remote control wrist strap, and many many accessories and mounts that are great for all outdoor activities. So, quite frankly if you are wanting something cheap that will capture your vacation snaps and videos, then any number of them would suit you. It really just depends on which price point you want to go for! But, all in all, we would have to give the Apeman model the props it deserves.

With 4K video at 60FPS, an 8x optical zoom lens, waterproof to 40 metres in its casing, this certainly does have a lot of top end features. And at a price that doesn’t make your eyes water. Not forgetting that whole range of accessories and the sleek case that houses the whole shebang. Share this review with a fellow action adventurer, and compare notes on your purchases! But whichever you choose, get outdoors and get messy with it. This is what they were made for.

 

 

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