Action cams made a huge hit in the world of Instagram and perhaps Snapchat because of its ability of being able to capture real life candid moments instead of the traditional posey photo session. It can also record a wide array of adventure and sports videos, since these cameras can be strapped to a bike, the car dashboard, helmet (for riding motorcycle) and any moving objects.
When it comes to determining the best budget action camera, there is no doubt that the market still favors heavily towards GoPro with an overall revenue of more than 400 million US Dollars in the second quarter of 2015, proving its prominence and domination especially in the Asian market for the most hype and trendy action camera of 2015 and still in 2016. However, a large group of people is also mentioning how the price of a GoPro camera is deemed too high and expensive, making it less appealing for the lower medium class. Understanding the market demands of these groups, cheaper alternatives to GoPro with pretty much the same quality are being produced and here is the list of some of them:
Chinese gadget producer Xiaomi had shown a pretty tight competition since it successfully provided a really similar alternative to GoPro with only half the price that you would need to pay when you buy a GoPro camera. The Xiaomi YiCamera quickly rose to popularity with its many features. It allows a slow-motion video with 60 frames per second with the quality of 1080p HD, which is pretty smooth when it comes to producing a slow-motion action video. Weighing only around 72 grams (lighter than the GoPro Hero cameras), it allows storing up to 64 GB of memory space with no further requiring of adding up any accessories even a microSD card. Allowing 155 degree viewing angle, one of the drawbacks of Xiaomi YiCamera is said to be the lack of stabilization whenever movement is fast or extreme. However, at only around 63 dollars, Xiaomi YiCamera will suffice for a 3 day trip to the beach with your friends and loved ones.
Despite the fact that HTC smartphones are not really popular right now, the Taiwanese company HTC tries to provide a cheaper alternative for the market’s action camera demand by its HTC Re camera. Weighing only 66 grams (even lighter than the Xiaomi YiCamera), it is a small, compact and simple point-and-shoot camera that is straightforward and convenient. It provides slow motion video in the 720p quality although it provides a full 1080p video quality for regular videos, but it is superb when it comes to portability. Further supported with its periscope-like shape, it is easily gripped with one hand which allows use even when riding a bike and hence, it provides good image stabilization. Now sold at around 80 dollars, it allows storage of up to 128 GB with the use of a microSD card and you will initially get an 8 GB microSD card with the package.
Polaroid XS100 HD
Not really a budget action cam per se since it is sold at around 129 US Dollars each, but the Polaroid XS100 HD serves as a decent alternative to GoPro due to its high definition recording and out-of-case waterproof features. A solid 170 degree view (the widest that you can get in an action cam), it enables slow-motion video recording at 720p HD although offering 1080p HD at full. It can store up to 32 GB, although it can be a little bit heavy since its total weight is 136 grams where other competitors weigh less than 75 grams.