Top 5 Best Action Camera Under $500
What are the best action cameras for less than $500? Find out in this article.
Consider yourself lucky if you have a budget of $500 for an action camera. For one, you will be able to purchase any of the flagship models of the top brands with such allocation. These include Sony and GoPro, a pioneer of the sports camera market. Flagship models have the best features, which should impress you even if you are a picky shopper.
Perhaps the most standout feature of action cameras under 500 dollars is its excellent image quality. Whether you’re taking videos or still, you can expect to have crystal clear images and clips that you can share with your friends online. Plus, the ease of sharing them is noteworthy as a $500 sports camera usually has Wi-Fi functionality.
Upon reading this article, you’ll realize how fortunate you are to have a lot of money to invest in a high-end action camera.
Table of Contents
- How to Choose the Best Action Camera Under 500 dollars
- Recommended Product Action Camera Under $500
How to Choose the Best Action Camera Under 500 dollars
There are many factors that will come into play when you shop for an action camera. One would be the image quality, but since it is already a given that a $500 camera will have a maximum resolution of either 1080 p or 4K, there are other factors that you might have to consider such as:
1. Ease of Use
Action cameras worth $500 or less will be packed in features. But if the camera itself isn’t user-friendly, then everything goes to waste.
An easy-to-use action camera is one that has a smartphone app, so you can adjust the settings, look at the viewfinder, and playback videos and view photos even if the camera is several feet away from you.
Having too many physical buttons doesn’t make the action camera easy to use. Buy a camera with a just three buttons. The fewer the physical controls there are, the less likely you will make mistakes especially if you aren’t used to controlling the cam.
2. Battery Life
All those great features of an action camera, from Wi-Fi connectivity to ultrahigh definition videos, will go to naught if your battery dies just after half an hour of use. This underlines the need for you to buy an action cam with decent battery life.
Buy one that can last for at least 2-3 hours, although you certainly want more juice from your battery. An alternative course of action would be to buy a couple of spare batteries for the action cam you chose.
Of course, there are lots of factors that can affect the battery life. Shooting at high resolution, particularly 4K, uses more power. Having the Wi-Fi turned on can also drain the battery faster. Shooting in sub-zero temperatures can also drain the battery quickly.
3. Mounting Options
With a high-end action camera, you will likely want your gadget to be mounted in different ways. If you’re biking, you would want it to be mounted on your helmet, or the bar of your bike. If you are carving into snow, you might want to place it on your side. And upon reaching the peak, you will surely want to capture the view by placing the cam on a selfie stick with you and your friend on the foreground.
As such, you should look for an action camera with different mounting options; one that can’t only be mounted in one or two ways.
4. Size and shape
Because you’ll be taking the action cam outdoors, you will want it to be lightweight and compact. It must be small enough that you can slip into your bag, and even in your pockets. Moreover, being lightweight means you won’t mind if you mount the camera on your helmet, or place it on your chest for an extended period.
There are two shapes that action cameras are often available in. One is the box-type which is best suited for mounting on the chest, and the other is the shotgun-type which is more appropriate for mounting on the helmet.
5. Other Factors to Consider
Here are some other factors that you need to mull over:
- Connections: You should buy an action camera with a mini HD connection so you can connect it directly to a flat screen TV.
- Waterproof/shock resistance: A good action camera should be waterproof especially if you intend to use it in capturing your water sports adventure like wakeboarding
- Storage capacity: buy an action cam with a storage capacity that can be expanded to 32 or even 64 GB. After all, an hour of HD video alone would consume 1GB of storage. Thus the bigger storage space that you have, the more videos that you can store on your gadget.
- Accessories: Mounting options, waterproof casings, and clamps are some of the accessories that your action camera should have.
Recommended Product Action Camera Under $500
You will realize that you have many choices when shopping for an action camera that is less than $500. But I picked five of the best action cameras within this price range. You will love the features, durability, and compactness of these action cams:
1. Garmin Virb XE
List price not available
You save: (NAN%)Buy on Amazon
Although it is not a 4K action cam, the Garmin Virb XE is a quite a decent choice for the not-so-demanding user.
It has a built-in GPS and external sensors that enable it to connect to other Garmin devices. If you have the said accessories such as heart rate monitor, you can capture data like speed, elevation, and heart rate.
It can also capture 1080 p videos and 12 MP photos. Plus it is waterproof to 50 meters. Another key feature is its Bluetooth Audio, which can capture audio in high definition
2. GoPro HERO4 BLACK
Price: from $349.00Buy on Amazon
For many outdoor enthusiasts, this is the best action camera today, bar none. It helps that it comes from the firm that basically established the action camera market.
But looking at its features and you’ll understand why the Hero 4 Black is considered by many as the best action cam today.
Aside from being able to capture ultrahigh resolution 4K video, the Hero 4 Black has an innovative night mode.
It can adjust its settings for low light condition, hence, you won’t have to make any adjustments when posing for the cam just before the sun sets in. It’s also easy to use with its one-button camera enabling you to power on the gadget and start recording with a press of a single button.
3. GoPro HERO+ (Wi-Fi Enabled)
Price: $209.99Buy on Amazon
It has pretty modest features when compared to the Hero 4 Black, but this one has a more budget-friendly price.
If you aren’t a very picky user, then you might even find this one a more practical choice than the Heron 4 Black.
Sure, it doesn’t capture 4K or ultrahigh definition video but 1080 pixel videos are clear, too.
The Go Pro Hero+ LCD can also capture 8MP photos, which may pale in comparison with the 12MP photos of the Hero 4 Black.
But like the Hero 4 Black, the Hero + LCD lets you upload your photos and videos directly through its built-in Wi-Fi function.
The said feature also facilitates the use of the GoPro app that you can download on your smartphone. It gives you full control of all the functions and settings of the camera, as well as easy shot preview and playback.
4. TomTom Bandit 4k Action Video Camera
Price: $359.99Buy on Amazon
The TomTom Bandit action camera is the latest “GoPro killer“, a label that is often associated with any new gadget that is deemed to match up with the superior features of GoPro cameras.
But a closer look at this bullet-styled action camera reveals intriguing features that can make you think twice about purchasing the Hero 4 Black.
The camera has an integrated mount connector and a waterproof case. It also offers 4K filming and 16 megapixels images. Once you are done filming, you can easily upload your photos and videos with its easy editing feature.
Choose, drag, and drop highlights into a footage, which you can upload through its smartphone app.
While it doesn’t produce the best pictures while on the move as well as in low light conditions, the TomTom Bandit is a cheaper alternative to the pricey GoPro.
5. Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000VR
List price not available
Price: Price not available
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This Sony action cam is very simple to use, which is something you’d want from any gadget. There’s a red dot button on top which you press to start recording.
Then there are two buttons for on-screen navigation.
There’s also image stabilization, which is very important if you are taking photos or capturing videos outdoors. It also has Wi-Fi functionality allowing you to control the unit remotely as well as to upload and share clips and images easily.
Another feature that comes in handy with this camera is the Highlight Movie Maker. Simply select the best scenes from your videos, and create a short movie clip that you can share with your social media friends instantly.
Five hundred dollars is a good sum of money for an action camera, and you will definitely have no shortage of options when you have that much budget. For $500, you should clearly go for a 4K cam although you can also settle for one with 1080 pixels if you think you don’t need ultrahigh definition videos, or you don’t have the time or patience to edit such files.
You must not also overlook the other factors like ease of use, size, and battery life of the action cam. Anyway, the five items listed in this article will surely not disappoint you if you’re looking for a good quality sports cam.
Last update on 2019-05-23 at 08:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API