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  1. #1
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    Which cheap action camera?

    Looking at various cheap cameras to get as my first action cam. I would like to stick with ones around $50 as my budget is tight right now. There ate several ones that look same or similar, maybe rebrands, some look diffetent than others though but i am not sure if its just different housing. Basically i would only be using 1080 mode in preferably 60fps. Dont need good low light performance. Most of them seem to come with bunch of mounts which is nice. Just looking for decent image quality. No need for wifi, not sure about stabilization an if it actually works, i am thinking this will not be featured on these cheap cameras anyway. And lastly, do you guys think it is waste of money? Should i save more and maybe get ones arount 100 bucks? I would not definetly spend more than that.
    Any advice from somebody who owns such camera will be helpful. Will be used mostly for mtb and hiking/climbing.

  2. #2
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    I'm an action cam junky, so I may be able to help you out.

    I can tell you that if it's less than $100 and claims 1080P@60FPS you should make darn sure you find a reputable review first. At best they are a true 1080P that just produces a crappy image to try and fudge 60FPS or they stuck a 720P sensor in the unit and it (badly) upscales to 1080P@60FPS files.

    There is one exception to that rule: The Xiaomi Yi Action Camera. Not as good as a Hero4, but pretty close for decent savings. Right now, you can get a new one off Amazon for $80. There is a review of the Yi here by the YouTuber MarkHawkCam, awesome dude that really puts a lot of work into his videos. He has a TON of comparisons that'll help you find either an inexpensive new camera or help you figure out what older camera off eBay will work for you.

    Most Actions cams use Digital Image Stabilization, where it just crops in and moves the frame around to try and smooth out the smaller bumps. It can cause rubber band effect where the image suddenly tries to catch up with your movement, but overall it's better than shaky footage. GoPro only has this on their Hero5 models, Where Sony has been doing it for years. The newest Sony Action cams use Optical Image Stabilization. Nowhere the buttery smoothness you get from a gimbal, but a great compact package at a somewhat reasonable price.

    Wifi is waaaaaaay more useful than you think. Even if you don't plan on using your camera all the time, it's way more easy to change settings in an app than futzing around with the crappy menus on a tiny LCD screen. Another bonus is being able to frame a shot and know what you are getting, vs getting home and realizing that magic moments was underexposed and out of frame.

    The Sony AZ1 is a nice compact camera with good image quality, swappable batteries, Image Stabilization, great low light and a wifi on/off button to save battery when you don't need to pair it. Sometimes you can snag a used one for less than $100 Amazon or eBay if you keep an eye open (Protip: Use CamelCamelCamel.com to set price watches for Amazon items. It's free and doesn't require an account. They do not sell your email). A lot of the older sony actions cams can be found at great prices and still have very good 1080P image quality, even compared to a Hero5 session (I have both).

    Yes, I know you said you don't need good low light, but most people don't realize how quickly the small sensors on action cameras struggle to soak up light in even an averagely lit room, let alone a sunrise/set or walk in thick woods. You want to pay attention to low light if you plan on using it for any kind of outdoor adventure.

    The last thing I will tell you is do not get a cheap SD card! It will cause endless headaches and lost footage. If you're filming at true 1080P 60FPS you want to make sure the card can keep up with the camera; otherwise, you will get dropped frames or corrupted files. Here is a card that I've found to be pretty reliable across many camera brands.


    To sum up:
    • Stay away from cheapo cameras
    • Aim for $80-100 for a 2-3yr old used camera, $200-$250 for new-ish
    • research the crap out of ones in your price range
    • Lowlight is important, the camera sensors are small
    • Don't buy a cheap SD card.


    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Lawson Raider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavo View Post
    Looking at various cheap cameras to get as my first action cam. I would like to stick with ones around $50 as my budget is tight right now. There ate several ones that look same or similar, maybe rebrands, some look diffetent than others though but i am not sure if its just different housing. Basically i would only be using 1080 mode in preferably 60fps. Dont need good low light performance. Most of them seem to come with bunch of mounts which is nice. Just looking for decent image quality. No need for wifi, not sure about stabilization an if it actually works, i am thinking this will not be featured on these cheap cameras anyway. And lastly, do you guys think it is waste of money? Should i save more and maybe get ones arount 100 bucks? I would not definetly spend more than that.
    Any advice from somebody who owns such camera will be helpful. Will be used mostly for mtb and hiking/climbing.
    Find a GoPro Hero 2 on ebay or craigslist - should be able to find one in your price range - it is a very good camera.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  4. #4
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    I bought an LIC Ego, it is comparable to the GoPro 2. I've been happy with it. There are more accessories available for the GoPro shape cameras, but I like how small the ego is

  5. #5
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    I used a Xiaomi Yi Cam all last year and got some stellar video with it. I'm using it again this year and I may grab a second. Amazon does seem to be a great place to get them, and all their accessories. The video downloads easily and works perfectly with iMovie. Here's a vid I made at the end of last year. 99% of the footage is a Yi. I did use a Contour Roam in a couple of the shots.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcWJeTtsogA

    Have fun!
    The member formerly known as Redtires....

  6. #6
    RAKC Industries
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    Best cheap camera I have is a gitup git2. Pay the little extra for it vs the original Yi.

    Has digital image stabilization (which few cameras actually have, GoPro only has it on their new 5 series that I am aware of), takes good quality videos, just works, and compatible with all GoPro accessories including GoPro waterproof cases.

    Stay away from most cheap cameras beyond either TRUE sj4000, sj5000, gitup git1 or 2, xaomi Yi. Rest are clones of cheap cameras so even more cheap and crappy made.

    Some are better than the old Gopro's.

    If you want to throw $50 in the trash you can send it to me instead.

    Just to show what ive dealt with for cameras here's what I own:

    Sj4000 clone (forget the brand, not horrible but not durable at all, very cheaply made)

    Ion air pro (biggest POS camera ever, great video when it would work, cheap stuff is better)

    Gitup git1. Basic model but nice and works great after 2 years of being beat.

    Git2. Favorite of cheap cameras. Still fully supported with updates and all. Good video quality, decent digital stabilization for a budget camera. Better than any others I've seen.

    Xaomi Yi 4k:. Really nice camera, not as good in low light as I was led to believe. Stabilization isn't bad at all.

    GoPro Hero 5 black. Other than the self discharge issue (which newest batch is supposed to be fixed so I need to go to Best buy and swap out) it's AWESOME. Stabilization is great. Great in all lighting conditions. Being waterproof (not dive capable but good up to 10m I think) without case and voice command are really nice.

    Waiting till GoPro fixes the session 5 discharge issue and I'll probably pick one up.

    Xaomi Yi 4K and Hero 5 are what I use now, others sit in a box but my gitup cameras I know are ready to go when my boys want to play with them.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

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    www.rakcindustries.com

  7. #7
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    I have the SJCAM M20. The best form factor and user friendly design I have used with some compromises. It is really small, comes with a ton of accessories, menu navigation is great, ease of use is very good. The main compromise is the quality of the photo is not as good as the Sony Action Cams or the GoPROs, but still acceptable considering the price at 100.00. Low light is not great, but most action cams are bad in this area. There are multiple photo options. Just don't get white, it gets dirty.

  8. #8
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    The orginal YI action camera costs only 74.99USD, and is considered the best alternative to GoPro. Given the influence of the brand I think it's well worth it.
    https://goo.gl/CU2QgC

  9. #9
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    By the way if you are looking for lower budget device, check out SJ4000 from SJCAM. It sells 65.99 on aliexpress.com now. Also a solid brand with good reputation.
    https://goo.gl/NLkLJ3

  10. #10
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    I picked up one for $37 at BJs, I'm not really impressed with it, but for the price it works,has a screen and 2 batteries! I made a quick review video with footage examples:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BObOrS-tgo
    5010 v1

  11. #11
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    Here is the link of cheapest action camera ($15.99)- https://www.contestwingo.com/best-ch...camera-review/

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