Top 6 Real 4K Action Cameras under 200 actioncamguides

There are heaps upon heaps of action cameras claiming that they can film 4K, costing from $40 (fake 4K) all the way to our big brother, GoPro, costing about $400. Of course, there are many more action cams over that price range, which can cost you several thousand, but those are for commercial use, which we aren’t going to cover here.

native resolution in action cameras

On the other hand, at the other side of the price spectrum, there are many action cams that claim to film 4K videos at under $50 but those are what we called ‘Fake 4K’ cameras. The 4K video that they produce are achieved through stretching, or upscaling a video from a smaller video resolution, which most of the time, is 1080p.

As for real 4K cameras, they record 4K natively and directly from the camera and no digital editing is used.

As of now, the cheapest real 4K camera costs about 90 – 110 USD, which is mentioned below.

Without further ado, let’s find out which is the best 4k action camera for you!

Top 6 Real 4K Action Cams Below $200

  1. Yi II 4K 

  2. Thieye T5e

  3. Andoer AN7000

  4. SJCAM SJ7 Star

  5. Hawkeye Firefly 8S

  6. Xiaomi Mijia 4K

 

1. Yi 4K Action Cam (Cheaper GoPro Alternative With Fewer Features)

yi 4k - best 4k action cam below 200?

If you’re looking for a 4K action cam, there’s a high likelihood that you’ve heard of this before. Yi, the manufacturer of this camera, is also known as the Apple in the Middle Eastern Region. The Yi 4K is also known as a GoPro killer by many. It’s true in many ways, in terms of the video and build quality.

At half the price of a GoPro, it still lacks some of the features that the GoPro Hero 5 Black possesses such as being waterproof without the waterproof case, voice control and built-in GPS. Overall, if you’re looking for an action cam that’s great all-around and at the same time not costing you a bomb, this’d be your best bet.

Pros Cons
Amazing value for money Lacks HDMI Output
Live Streaming Electronic Stabilization does not work with 4K
Amazing Customer Support Does not come with any mounts/accessories incl. waterproof case
Stable and Fast Wi-Fi Connection
Good Quality Build
Best Buy:

 

2. Thieye T5e (Solid Body and Very Waterproof)

ThiEye T5e Review

This is arguably the cheapest real 4K action camera you can find in the market right now. Equipped with the same 12 MP image sensor and Ambarella chipset in a GoPro Hero 4 black allows you to record clear and smooth 4K videos.

Oh and don’t let the price fool you. Despite it’s meagre price tag of 105 USD, it has a solid body and good microphone for crisp audio.

Pros Cons
Comes with extra battery Electronic Stabilisation doesn't work with 4K, only 1080p 30/60fps
Futuristic Design Customer service and support not very great
Responsive Customer Support Does not come with a lot of accessories
Able to film 1440p at 240fps
60m waterproof
Tripod bush allows direct mounting
Best Buy:106 USD 
OR

 

3. Andoer AN7000 (Tons of Accessories)

andoer an7000 - best 4k action cam

Falling at about the same price range as the Thieye T5e, it is capable of recording true 4K at 30fps. The main difference with this and the T5e is that the AN7000 comes with tons of accessories, all of which are good quality & well-built. However, several users have reported its poor firmware/software such as buttons pressing but not registering and lack of several features such as upside down recording. Having said that, it has superb video & audio quality even at low light environments.

Pros Cons
Tons of Accessories Provided Battery used can only be used on the camera, can’t be used with other cameras
Appealing Design Electronic Stabilization does not work with 4K, only 1080p 30/60fps
Awesome Video Quality Even In Low Light Conditions
Tripod bush Allows Direct & Convenient Mounting
Clear And Defined Audio
Best Buy:124 USD with code: HXF5OFF
OR

 

4. SJCAM SJ7 Star (Great Touch Screen)

sjcam sj7 star - best 4k action cam

This is the flagship model of SJCAM, a very well known action camera brand. It was one of the first few action camera brands who emerged after GoPro and has since produced reliable action cams at a competitive price. Boasting it’s user friendly interface and responsive screen, it really allows you to effortlessly get the job done.

Pros Cons
Reliable & Responsive Touch Screen Battery used can only be used on the camera, can’t be used with other cameras
Touchscreen Works In Waterproof Case Electronic Stabilization does not work with 4K, only 1080p 30/60fps
Long Battery Life
Responsive Customer Service
Basic mounting accessories provided
Best Buy:

 

5. Hawkeye Firefly 8S (No fisheye distortion)


Being Hawkeye’s flagship model and only released in mid 2017, this is one of the few 4K action camera that is available in 2 field of view variations, 90˚ and 170˚. The 90˚ version, although not capable of filming as wide of a video as the 170˚, does not have fisheye lens distortion, making it one of the few 4k action camera with no fisheye distortion. It can take up to 16MP shots and record 4K at 30fps. If you’re into slow motion, it can also film 720p 240fps and 1080p 120fps.

Overall, a very good quality 4k action cam and good value for money.

Pros Cons
Tons of accessories provided Electronic Stabilisation doesn't work with 4K, only 1080p 30/60fps
Great audio and video quality Customer service and support not very great
Good Battery Life No Touchscreen
Solid Build Quality No Raw Photo Compatibility
Bright Screen - Can Be Seen Clearly Everywhere
Anti-distortion option (90˚ FOV) available
Amazing EIS Stabilization
Best Buy:

 

6. Xiaomi Mijia 4K (Unique)

mijia 4k action camera

Released by Xiaomi and the newest of this list, is the Mijia 4K.

Although its body is unorthodoxly shaped comparing to other action cams, and thus accessories can’t be used interchangeably, there are many features that make it one of a kind. Inside, the Mijia 4K cam packs an Ambarella A12S75 chip with 3D motion noise reduction and support for RAW file format. It also has a 6 axis stabilization which claims to includes 3 axis gyroscope and another 3 axis accelerometer. Furthermore, it also has a 7 glass lens, which they claimed to improve performance in low light environment.

–> Check out my full review of it here! <–

Pros Cons
Supports 'RAW' format No accessories provided
Long battery life Accessories can only be used on itself
6 Axis EIS Not waterproof as waterproof housing not available yet
2.4” touch screen
3D motion noise reduction
Best Buy:

So that’s all for my recommendations for affordable and real 4K action cameras below $200!

What do you think? Was it cheaper and better than you’ve expected? Which one are you considering? Also, if you’re unsure of which to choose, leave a comment down below, and I’ll try my best to help!

Lastly, thanks for dropping by and have a great day! 🙂

–> Click here if you’re interested in my top recommendations for action cameras below $200 2018! <–

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10 Comments

  1. This guide is very interesting. My hubby and I were just looking at these. I think I like the Thieye T5e. I can live without the 4k for stabilization. I like that it is waterproof because I want to do some underwater recording when we go to the beach. Where I live, the beaches are crystal clear and beautiful for recording. I’ll be bookmarking this site. Look forward to more info 🙂 tfs!

    1. Hi Marlinda! Thanks for your feedback and glad it helped!

  2. I have recently started looking into photography as a hobby but have not started taking action camera shoots. I have a GoPro and have looked into buying another action camera. I mostly use it for taking scenic views of holidays as that is when I more outdoorsy. Have you used the GoPro, would you say it is worth investing in a new one?

    1. I have used the GoPro before and I’d definitely say that there are many other GoPro alternatives (such as the one from this list) that is on par with the GoPro. Go for the GoPro if you really want the features that they offer, such as Voice Control, GPS data and so on. 

      However, if you’re just using it for holiday purposes and taking scenic views and not require those ‘advanced’ features, I’d recommend something above, which costs less than half of a GoPro but yet at the same time is able to take similar quality. If your budget allows, go for the Yi 2 4K.

      Hope this helps and have a great day!

  3. I noticed you mentioned about counterfeits. I just wanted to share my experience about them.

    I got a Yi 4K Action Cam worth 46 dollars from my local store.

    I know they were counterfeits but I took it anyway because the real ones are way over my budget. They had a warranty up to 3 months so I figured, why not? On the 5 month, pictures taken became a bit discolored and video had this yellow-ish color when recording.

    Anyway, lesson learned. That’s what you get when buying counterfeits. It’s either you buy the real ones or you just don’t. 🙂

    1. Hi Izuddin! Thanks for sharing your experience and I really agree with you about buying counterfeits! 

      It’s either you buy the real ones or you just don’t. 🙂

  4. About Andoer AN7000 battery:
    Andoer AN7000, ThiEYE T5/T5e, Sunco SO91, Sunco SO92, GoXtreme Black Hawk 4K, are all native 4K cameras with exactly the same shape and use the same battery (although ThiEYE names the battery as 1100mAh and all other as 1050mAh).
    Also the same shape and battery for the following cameras, which are not real 4K:
    Sunco SO72, Sunco SO73 and GoXtreme Stage.
    Probably the most of the above cameras (except ThiEYE?) are made by Sunco Electronic.

    1. Hi Michael, thanks for the quick guide!

  5. If I’m only using my action camera for still images, which camera is the best to get?
    Thank you!

    1. If your budget is about $100, I would recommend mijia 4k because it can take raw images, therefore colour is very accurate.
      If your budget is $200, I would recommend Yi 4K but if you’re using it purely for photos, I’d still recommend the Mijia 4K.
      Hope this helps! 🙂

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