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.
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 4K Action Cam (Cheaper GoPro Alternative With Fewer Features)
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.
2. Thieye T5e (Solid Body and Very Waterproof)
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.
|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|
|Tripod bush allows direct mounting|
| Best Buy:106 USD
3. Andoer AN7000 (Tons of Accessories)
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.
|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
4. SJCAM SJ7 Star (Great Touch Screen)
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂