Whether you've just picked up your first camera or you're a photography expert, an action camera can be an excellent investment.
This is due to the fact that action cameras are extremely versatile, and have impressive video and photo capabilities. Many have great features to help smooth out any bumps in your videos, and as they're ultra-portable, you can take them with you anywhere you go.
Another perk is that action cameras are specifically designed for tough, unpredictable conditions. Many of them are waterproof, so they can temporarily replace your underwater camera, and several can shoot in 4K. Recently, their popularity has soared amongst vloggers and content creators, and it's easy to see why.
However, all of these great features can come with a premium price tag and are not within most people's budgets. So, we've decided to do the legwork for you, and round up the best budget action cameras.
Whether you're going hiking, skiing, or diving, we've rounded up the best budget action cameras for your next adventure.
Best action cameras 2021:
GoPro Hero9 Black
Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the best action camera on the market. It is a little pricier than the other models on our roundup, but if there is any wiggle room in your budget, the GoPro Hero9 Black is more than worth it. With a photo resolution of 20MP and shooting 5K video at up to 30fps, capture every moment with unparalleled detail and stunningly crisp visuals.
|•Easy to use touch screen||•Bigger model than others|
|•5K video at up to 30fps|
|Battery life||Up to 3hours|
GoPro Hero 7 Silver
Another close contender and really budget-friendly is the GoPro HERO 7 Silver. It only has 10MP, but can still hit 4K resolution. It covers all other basic necessities of an action camera, it is waterproof (up to 10 metres), has video stabilisation, and lasts for two hours if fully charged. The voice control feature, which allows you to tell it to start or stop recording, is especially impressive at this price point.
|•Voice control feature||•Only 10MP|
|•Waterproof up to 10m|
|Battery life||Up to 2hours|
AKASO V50 Elite 4K Action Camera
The AKASO V50 Elite 4K can shoot in 4K, has an image resolution of 16MP, and features electronic video stabilisation. This is perfect for any great content you want to upload or keep, but need to remove any blurriness or distortion. Wide, medium and narrow camera angles are also supported. The provided case is also waterproof.
|•Excellent price point||•Only waterproof with case|
|•Intuitive touch screen|
|Battery life||Up to 1.5hours|
|Waterproof||10m with case|
Apeman Action Camera A80
Best under £100
Capture all of your holidays, experiences and adventures with the Apeman Action Camera A80. With this device, you'll get 24 different accessories as well as a waterproof case, similarly to the action camera above. The motion detection and built-in anti-shake features are also incredibly handy when capturing wildlife and customising your video content.
|•Up to 40m waterproof||•Only waterproof with case|
|•Impressive features for price point|
|Battery life||Up to 1.5hours|
|Waterproof||40m with case|
Akaso Brave 7 LE
The Akaso Brave 7 LE is another all-around superb action camera. With dual screens, top-quality audio, and waterproofing up to 40 metres (with the case), this action camera is suited for most recreational activities. However, it doesn't have that crystal clear video that other action cameras do, so if you're looking to specifically upload video content, be it for vlogging or other purposes, this may not be the camera for you.
|•Dual screens||•Not the best 4K|
|•Superb image resolution|
|Battery life||Up to 2 hours|
|Waterproof||IPx7 without case, up to 40m with case|
Which is the best budget action camera?
If you can stretch your price point a little, the best value for money and overall best action camera is undoubtedly the GoPro Hero9 Black. However, if you're focusing solely on the pricing, the best budget action camera award goes to the GoPro Hero7. It is significantly less expensive and still has some excellent features.
Should I buy a cheap action camera?
If you're just starting out in photography or you just want a device to record your trip or for your vlogging then absolutely! However, if you require more premium features from a camera, you may want to consider a more expensive camera.