Each year the advancements in technology allow entry-level action cameras to advance their image quality without having to hike their price tags up with the gap between a sub-one hundred dollar action camera and a premium price point GoPro becoming smaller and smaller. Now, make no mistake about it, the latest cheap GoPro alternative will never stand toe to toe with the latest GoPro flagship model but they can often match the GoPro released a year or two previously. Due to this, we are going to go over a number of features that we feel you should be looking for in your entry-level action camera to get the most bang for your buck.
The main thing that most action camera users care about is video resolution and although the vast majority of entry-level action cameras on the market these days say that they support 4k video footage, you have to be careful. The majority of the cheap action cameras will actually capture the video in a lower resolution and then digitally upscale it to meet the requirements to be marketed as supporting 4k footage.
Usually, the digital upscaling process can rapidly drain your action cameras battery so we would always recommend that you try to find something like the Apeman Trawo (full review here – https://gimbalgarage.com/apeman-trawo-a100-review/) that comes with native 4k video. This means that the actual camera comes with the ability to capture 4k video through the camera sensor and has no need to digital upscale the footage. Not only does this provide you with slightly better image quality when capturing 4k video but it can also help to improve your battery life.
In addition to native 4k, we would also recommend that you also try to ensure that your cheap action camera of choice supports 1080p at a rate of at least sixty frames per second and 720p with a rate of at least 120 frames per second if you are wanting to capture slow-motion video.
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Now, the quality of the camera sensor may not matter to you if you are not planning to capture photographs with your action camera. This may sound unlikely but the vast majority of action camera usage is actually recorded video rather than photographs. If you do plan to utilize your new gadget for photography then we would recommend that you don’t settle for anything less than a 20MP camera sensor.
In this day and age there really is no need to be picking up an action camera with a 16MP or lower sensor in the sub-one hundred dollar price bracket. Technology has come far enough for all brands to provide their customers with at least 20MP on their camera sensors with their latest releases. Ideally, you also want something with a fully adjustable lens that can support
170°, 140°, 110°, and 70° fields of view like the Eken H9R (full review here – https://gimbalgarage.com/eken-h9r-review/)
The final thing that you want to be paying attention to is the camera’s image stabilization technology and this one is going to depend on the price tag of your camera. There is no doubt that electronic image stabilization is the best option but that tech pushes the price tag up a little. If you are looking for a cheap action camera with electronic image stabilization then you will be looking at cameras in the $50-$100 price bracket right now.
If you are not going to be using the camera in an action sport with much shake then the cheaper anti-shake tech will probably be able to meet your needs and can be found in the cheaper, sub-gift dollar action cameras these days with ease. If you would like to know more about the best cheap action cameras on the market right now you can check out this post (https://gimbalgarage.com/action-cameras-under-100/).