You know how money is so precious and saving on unnecessary things is very important? Well, I personally know because I did not come from a well to do family. Anyways, I have searched the market’s best action cameras under $100 and by best, I mean the best bang for your buck and the best value for your money.

Below is a list of the cameras and a summary of why they are your best bang for your buck and they are in no particular order.

Another thing to note is that so far no manufacturers have sold true 4K cameras at this price range of below 100 yet.

Enough of blabbering, let’s get started!

1. Eken H9R (Best Beginner Action Camera)

Best action cameras under 100 eken h9rI feel the Eken H9R is a really good camera for beginners because the general interface is very simple as there are not a lot of settings. It is the cheapest of the whole list at about $50. Although it is fake 4K, it has good 1080p footages. Also, it has many accessories that will definitely satisfy your needs.

Check out my review on the H9R which is Eken H9 + a Remote + Higher Battery Capacity here.

Specs:

  • Sensor: Omnivision 4689 Sensor (4MP)
  • Chipset: Sunplus 6350
  • Battery Cap. : 1050 mAh
  • Resolution: 4K (15fps), 1080p (60fps & 30fps), 720p (120fps)

Best Buy

*Prices may vary due to events, promotions, etc

2. Polaroid Cube (Best travelling Action Camera)

Best action cameras under 100 Polaroid Cube +This camera is very small and compact and resembles the GoPro Hero Session <link>. It is capable of taking 8MP shots. It can film 1440p at 60fps which is the best slow-mo resolution in this list.  It has Wi-Fi to connect to your smartphone and allows you to customise a lot of settings in the app.

However, it only has a 10m waterproof index, meaning you can do basic water sports stuff like swimming, etc but anything deeper than the surface isn’t very safe. Also, there aren’t many accessories that come with it. Field of view is also narrower that its counterpart in this list, at 124˚.

Specs:

  • Sensor: 8MP CMOS
  • Chipset: Ambarella A7LS
  • Battery Cap. : 600 mAh
  • Resolution: 1440p (30fps), 1080p (60fps/30fps), 720p(30fps ,60fps ,120fps)

Best Buy:

3. SJCAM SJ4000 (All-Rounder & Stable Build)

This camera is very well-balanced in my opinion and a good camera to start out as I have personally did. If you are looking for a cheap yet good camera that won’t go wrong, I feel this would be the one as it has very a stable build in general.

It has a 1.5″ screen at the back and has both Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi versions to suit your budget and needs.

Also, the accessories that can be used together with it is limitless because the accessories used by this camera uses the same as the GoPro Hero 4 which many manufacturers have made and hence if you want different ways of mounting, you can’t go wrong with this.

Check out my in-depth review of it here.

Specs:

  • Sensor: Aptina AR0330 (3.5 MP)
  • Chipset: Allwinner V3
  • Battery Cap. : 900 mAh
  • Resolution: 1080p (30fps), 720p (30fps), 480p (30fps/60fps)

Best Buy:

**There are multiple sources because sometimes prices can differ so please check before buying.

4. MGCOOL Explorer (Good LCD Screen)

Best action camera under 100 MGCOOL Explorer This camera is a really nice one to have if you want to film slow-motion footages because it can film it at 1080p 60fps. It also has a 2″ LCD screen which in my opinion is one of the better screens in cameras because I found it very bright and the words on it were very easy to see too. So if you like looking at your footage directly through your camera, I feel this is the best in this list.

If you have heard of it, you might know there’s another version of it which is called Elephone Explorer. Although it is the same, it is discontinued because the company has changed the name from Elephone to MGCOOL.

I have actually written a review on MGCOOL Explorer Pro, which is the second version of the pro version of this camera.

Specs:

  • Sensor: Allwinner V3 (Not capable of true 4K)
  • Chipset: Sony IMX179 (8MP)
  • Battery Cap. : 1050 mAh
  • Resolution: 4K (15fps), 1080p (60fps & 30fps), 720p (120fps)

Best Buy:

**There are multiple sources because sometimes prices can differ so please check before buying. 

5. Firefly 6s (Drones, Aerial shots, Mounting on RC Car)

Best action cameras under 100 firefly 6sThis camera is pretty cool because it can take 12MP shots and 4K resolutions at a reasonable frame rate of 25fps as compared to the Eken H9 which can only take at 15fps. However, the 4K is interpolated , meaning to say it isn’t true 4K and has been upscaled.

On the other side, it has a quite unique design and a front screen to show the summary of the camera’s status and features a gyro stabilisation which reduces the shakiness of your videos electronically. Hence, I’d say it can do a decent job if you decide to mount it to your RC cars, drones or anything in general.

It can film at 2K at 30fps which is very decent for its price and if you don’t mind the lack of preview screen, this is the best camera to have.

Specs:

  • Sensor: Sony IMX078(12MP)
  • Chipset: Novatek NT96660 (Not capable of 4K)
  • Battery Cap. : 1600 mAh
  • Resolution: 4K (24fps but upscaled), 2.5K (30fps), 1080p (60fps), 720p(120fps)

Best Buy:

**There are multiple sources because sometimes prices can differ so please check before buying.

6. Yi Action camera (Best water activity)

Xiaomi-Yi-action-camera-review

Lastly, on this list, we have the Yi. This camera has a 40m waterproofing index meaning you can submerge this water for almost all of your water activities. It is able to take 16MP shots though it can only record 1080p – 60fps at its max video resolution. However, I still feel the clips taken by this camera is really nice because the colour is very bright and vibrant. Furthermore, it has excellent customer service when I tried contacting once which is quite rare nowadays in China companies.

On the other hand, it has no screen at all and only has buttons for starting and stopping video recording. Hence, all the customisations and settings have to be done by your smartphone. Also, even though there is a light indicator to show you whether you are recording or not, I felt it isn’t bright enough to be seen clearly.

Not mentioning, there is a light indicator which changes colour around the power button to indicate the amount of battery which is quite a cool and unique design in my opinion.

Anyways, I feel this camera is good especially if you wish to take photos or filming underwater shots.

Specs:

  • Sensor: Sony BSI Exmor R Sensor (16MP)
  • Chipset: Ambarella A7LS
  • Battery Cap. : 1010 mAh (90 mins at 1080p 60fps)
  • Resolution: 1080p (60fps, 48fps & 30fps), 720p (120fps, 60fps and 48fps)

Best Buy:

*There are multiple sources because sometimes prices can differ so please check before buying.

Conclusion

To sum this comparison up, to reiterate, this list is not in any particular order and every camera on this list has its pros and cons.

Also, many of the action camera companies from China are actually improving and advancing like never before. In the past, when I first got my SJ4000 about a few years ago, it cost me about $100 but now you can easily buy it below 70 all thanks to the competition!

However, due to competition, many manufacturers have also made cameras with fake 4K meaning they are not capable of real and smooth 4K (interpolated or frame rate too low to be used).

I also remember at that time, many cameras below 100 were very crappy but now as you can see, times have changed and even at this price range, it still offers good quality and value for it price and some have even be compared to a GoPro which costs 8 times more, how cool is that?

Anyways, I have come to the end of my post. If you have any experience with this camera or you think some other cameras fit in this list too, please feel free to drop a comment down. I’ll really appreciate it! Lastly, thanks for reading this and have a nice day! 🙂


–> Click here to check out my other guides on action cameras!<–

–> Check out my recommendations for the top action camera of 2018 here! <–

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6 Comments

  1. Each day I see new cameras on the market and I think your website has pointed some key factors on these newer cameras that are out there. Knowing what the top cameras are is definitely good for people wanting to use these devices on many occasions. You have done a good job to point out some of the features of each camera you provided on your site and someone can really be interested especially with the proper details you have provided for them. Great job.

    1. Thanks Martin for the encouragement, really appreciate it! 🙂

  2. I never bought an Action Cam yet, but I think I would like to have one. I have scuba diving license, so Yi Action camera probably is a good choice for me to use under the water.

    I have a question if I am doing outdoor activity, which above is the best shockproof camera to use? Or shockproof is a basic for action cam?

    Thanks for the review, I will be back before I make a decision to buy one.

    1. Hi George, thanks for dropping by! The Yi Action Camera will be definitely your best choice for underwater activity. Also, basic shockproof functions are in all action cameras being able to handle shock are one of the requirements for it!

  3. I really learned a lot from your reviews, thank you. I like the no nonsense approach to your reviews. Offering the different price links make it a piece of cake to find the right price. With such a wide range to choose from I would like to know which camera you use most often.

    1. Thanks for commenting down and really appreciate your feedback!

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