Best Value Action Cameras for UK Outdoor Adventures 2018 – Reviewed
The BEST value action cameras for outdoor adventures!
Choosing the right action camera isn’t easy. There are lots of options for outdoor enthusiasts, ranging from feature-packed 4K action cameras to budget options.
With the cheaper options offering great quality, it’s worth seeing what’s the most you can get for your money.
So which is the best budget action camera for you – check out our handy guide!
We’ll look at some of the best action cameras for outdoor adventures!
GoPro Hero4 Black
GoPro Hero4 Black takes the tradition of the leading action camera firm a step further. The expectations created by the brand’s previous models are compensated with an advanced and much-improved flagship model. Actually, in some technical aspects, GoPro has only itself to compete!
General Features – Specifications
- Dimensions: 10.2 x 25.4 x 62.2 cm
- Weight: 649 g
- 1 Lithium ion batteries included
- Improved image quality – 2x more powerful processor and faster video frame rates
- Professional Video up to 4K30
- Ultra high-resolution recording
- High frame rate 4K30, 2.7K50, and 1080p120 video
- Fast, Powerful Photo Capture (12MP photos at speeds of up to 30 fps)
- Built-In Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
- Durable & Waterproof to 131′ (40m) – designed for extreme environments and weather conditions
- Wearable & Mountable, allowing for immersive self-capture – Compatible with all GoPro Mounts
- Remote control, easy viewing and sharing
- Night Photo Lapse: Customizable exposure settings up to 30 seconds for single and Time Lapse photos
- Auto Low Light
- High-Performance Audio
- Ultra Wide-Angle Glass Lens & Selectable FOV
Hero4 Black, along with Hero4 Silver, form the front line of GoPro’s flagship cameras, designed for pros and seasoned extreme sports addicts who demand optimum video quality.
Its cost is high, but for a camera of such quality, it is not a surprise.
Born to be wildly fast
Hero4 Black is the model you need for an explosive moment. In the blink of an eye, it records up to 240 frames per second at a resolution of 720 pixels (with a software update). On the HD resolution, it delivers an elusive frame rate of 120 fps, and happily climbs to up to 4K resolution at 30fps! This is a technical feat of the first order. On a 240fps rate, each frame lasts just 1/240 of a second. Hero4 Black is also perfect for slow motion scenes in HD.
This camera delivers unprecedented video quality, previously possible only with heavy cinematographic equipment.
The model preserves the compact, mountable form factor and dimensions of its predecessors. Namely, it keeps a frame of 41 to 59mm with less than 30mm depth. The weight remains under 90 grams, while an extra waterproof casing will raise its total weight to 152gr.
The front side of the camera has the lens, a power button and a small display, informing you about the set operation mode (video, photography etc.), chosen resolution and frame-rate, connectivity, as well as the remaining battery life and recording and data transfer, led indicators.
On one side you find the micro SD slot, a micro HDMI connector, and the composite USB connector, including the audio and TV outs. The other side has a new feature, the highlight tag button, which you can use to bookmark long recordings to locate easier your best clips later. The top side has no surprises (just the shoot button), and the bottom hosts the battery pack. This change is significant for older GoPro owners, facilitating the change of batteries. Sadly, older battery types are not compatible with this model.
The camera contains anything you may need to enjoy all kinds of adventures. You get the standard 1.31 inches casing, a skeleton back door, the flat and the curved adhesive mount, the quick release buckles as well as a 3-way pivot arm. Of course, the batteries, charger, USB cable are all in there. Additional accessories, like handlers, active stabilisers, remote controls, etc. will have to be purchased.
To put it simply, the video features are state-of-the-art. The manufacturer has done a fantastic job regarding the hardware (optic and electronics alike) and the firmware, creating a model able to rival cinematographic cameras.
Hence, crumbed in its tiny compartments are the most advanced video electronics. Its proprietary video engine captures video at a 240fps frame rate, boasting a 4K video resolution at 30fps or 60Mbps bitrate. The latter means you can have a 64Gb SD card (the largest the model can handle) and be able to record at least 2 full hours of highest quality video. It is also possible to capture time lapse photos while recording video! This function will, of course, decrease both the resolution and frame rate to a maximum of 1440p at 25fps.
At this setting, you will be able to shoot a time lapse photo sequence with an interval starting from 5 to 60 seconds.
Sadly, the great frame rate and resolution lack image stabilisation. Perhaps this was intentional from GoPro’s side to boost stabilisers sells. Either way, be prepared for some dizziness if the scenes suffer from excessive vibrations.
The photo captures with GoPro Hero4 Black take advantage of the massive 12MP CCD sensor of the camera (with a maximum resolution of 4000x3000pixels) as well as the advanced image engine incorporated into the model. Standard capabilities like multi-shot, burst and time lapse mode could not be missing from the menu. The Night Lapse functionality is a fascinating feature since it enables shooting of the evening sky in a time lapse fashion while keeping the shutter open for a selectable interval from 2 to 30 seconds.
The resulting images imprint the motion of the stars and the Milky Way in a superb night Vista photograph. Also, with the Protune functionality, the experienced user can play around with parameters such as White Balance, Color Temperature, ISO Limit, Sharpness, Shutter, and Exposure Value Compensation (EVC) to utilise all possible capabilities of the action cam for more professional results.
Sound quality is significantly improved from the Hero3 series, mainly due to the incorporation of the second microphone with more developed noise cancellation system and wind noise reduction.
The camera features a new audio engine with high-quality Analog to Digital Converter, which records audio with twice the dynamic range of the previous Hero3+ Black model. Hero4 Black supports stereo and studio quality external microphones, something the previous models could not do. Do remember to keep the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off while recording to extend battery life and avoid interference with the sensitive audio circuits of the camera.
Sharing is fast and easy with the Hero4 Black. Either wired or wirelessly, via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, you can push your media to display, mobile device, a TV or a desktop device. Whatever you see you can instantly share. Choose the destination and off you go. Despite the fact that the most common way to share is to tie the device to a mobile device and handle all the file management and sharing from there (namely GoPro app), other paths exist. With a paid service like GoPro plus, you will be able to have even more editing, saving, and sharing options on your fingers to show off your adventures to whatever social networks you prefer.
Battery life is perhaps the most common complaint among Hero4 Black owners. It is not that it lasts less than previous models, but that it has remained the same all these years. It was expected that battery life would have been significantly improved from the Hero3 lineup to Hero4. However, it did not work out that way.
The minimum battery continuous operation for this model is less than 1 hour, which is pretty inefficient compared to other models, and moreover, it is half the recording time capability of a 64Gb SD card. On the other hand, the available room for a camera of such dimensions is rather tight. The battery itself claims one-third of the total camera volume. A bigger battery capacity would require larger camera sizes, but apparently, that was not a compromise GoPro was willing to make.
AKASO EK7000 4K
Known as the cheaper action camera in the market does no justice to our first choice on our list. Being budget friendly is just one of its numerous traits…
General Characteristics – Specifications
- Dimensions: 60 × 41× 30mm / 2.3×1.6×1.1″
- Weight: 74g
- Field of View: 170°
- Video resolutions: 4K 25fps; 2.7K 30fps; 1080p 60/30fps; 720p 120/60/30fps
- Bitrate: 60Mbps
- Photo: 12MP
- Modes: Single Shot, Burst, Time – Lapse
- Features: WiFi, 2″ LCD screen, Remote Control
- Ports: mini USB, micro HDMI, MicroSD card slot
- Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 64GB
- Battery life: 80 minutes of 1080p at 60
The Package Contains
- AKASO EK7000
- WiFi Remote Control
- 2x 1050mAh Battery
- Waterproof Housing up to 30m/ 98ft
- Protective back door
- Bicycle Stand, 7 mounts, 2 clips, 5 tethers
- Helmet mount
- MicroUSB-USB cable, AC adapter
- Lens Cloth
Made for Action
Featuring a wrist 2.4G wireless RF Remote Control, you can capture your world in an all-new way. Controlling the camera, framing shots or recording video are now ultra convenient-just press the button of the Remote Control. No more looking to your Sports Camera to start and stop recordings or snap photos. Full control your Sports Camera with the remote.
Featuring a typical action camera design and dimensions, the AKASO EK7000 has a clear, yet sturdy plastic casing, with specially textured sides for optimum, improved grip.
The general layout is also quite usual: at the front, you will find the lens and power button, while at the back you will find the 2″ LCD screen, which is rather big for an action camera of this price! Right you will find the Micro SD, Mini USB and Micro HDMI slots and ports, while on left two buttons facilitate menu navigation. At the top, there is just the record/capture button, and at the bottom, there is only the battery compartment (unfortunately without tripod hole).
The whole thing becomes even more exciting as soon as you check the number of accessories inside the package: all necessary adapters (compensating the lack of tripod hole), a remote control apart from all the standard bells and whistles.
Again, when we consider the value for money ratio, the AKASO EK7000 offers a set of significant features: a video recording capability of up to 4K* interpolated resolution at 25fps (that is, recording at 2.7K, followed by the insertion of fake pixels filling in the gaps to create a 4K resolution), impressively accurate focus, vivid colors and fast responses. Blurs are present in the grass but nothing it would surprise us for an action camera of fewer than 80 pounds. Note, though, that bad lighting will take a toll on the video’s quality, so do your best to find good lighting conditions.
Video settings are accessed either through the 2″ LCD screen or via an iOS or Android device. It can be easily connected via WiFi to your mobile device (the AKASO phone app is required though, but is free) and its operation is pretty simple and straightforward, allowing you to change your settings, record or watch live footage, from distances of up to 15-meters!
The remote control is equally handy and easy to use, having just a “start recording” button, and a snapshot one.
With 12MP Burst photos at 30 frames per second, AKASO EK7000 Camera has what to takes to immortalise thrilling moments and adrenaline rushes. Either single snapshots, Burst photos or automated shooting through the Time Lapse mode, pictures delivered are surprisingly vivid for such an economical option.
AKASO’s built-in Wi-Fi enables you to share easily and fast videos and photos via text, email, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social platform you prefer to your friends and followers.
Ideal for Water Sports
Being waterproof to depths of up to 30 metres, AKASO EK7000 is capable of withstanding the elements and adverse environments. Its IP68 waterproof case makes it perfect for water sports enthusiasts, as well as adventure seekers who often find themselves under heavy rainfall or snow.
The package contains 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries, as well as 1 USB dual battery charger. Considering that each of these batteries has a recording capability of 1,5 hours, worries about being left with a dead camera at the peak of the action instantly dissolve.
JEEMAK 4K Sports Action Waterproof Camera
At a price well under £200, Jeemak 4K Sports Action Camera is another fantastic value for money option: you get an ultra-high definition 16MP camera shooting 4K, pretty good video quality and resolution of 1080P, a remote control with a range of 20 meters on land, 5 underwater and various other features! No wonder why this camera has raving reviews on Amazon! Like to have a closer look?
General Features – Specifications
- Designed for Extreme Sports
- Professional 4K Ultra HD Action Camera
- Supports: 4K/30FPS, 2.7K/30FPS, 1080P/60FPS, 1080P/30FPS and 720P/90FPS (Slow motion) without freeze or skip
- Wireless Remote Control
- Wi-Fi & APP Control
The Package Contains:
- 1 x Action camera
- 1 x 2.4G Remote control
- 2 x Battery (one inside the cam)
- 1 x Waterproof Case
- 1 x Handlebar Mount
- 3 x Mount
- 2 x Helmet Base
- 3 x Switch Connection
- 1 x Adapter
- 4 x Bandages
- 2 x Clip
- 1 x Protective Backdoor
- 1 x USB Cable
- 1 x Lens Cloth
- 1 x Manual
A Genuine Extreme Sports Camera
This powerful little camera is designed to capture all the fun and accept all sorts of blows and dives. Its remote control works from a 20-meter distance, as well as 5 meters underwater! Inside the package you will also find an additional waterproof shell, making the camera operational in depths of up to 30 meters!
Just as every other action camera of this price range, Jeemak 4K looks like a small black box, whose textured sides afford a better hold.
At the front of the camera, apart from the lens, you will find the power button and sensors. On the right, two scroll menu button controls make your life easier when choosing the proper settings. The left side hosts the SD slot, charging and HD out slot. The 2” LCD screen dominates the cam’s back area. The record button is on top and the battery compartment at the bottom.
Given the price, its overall sturdiness and practicality of this minimal design are more than we could wish for.
The camera comes wrapped up in a cute little black carry case. Once unzipping the case, you will be startled by the gazillion accessories packed inside. All these brackets and straps facilitate the camera’s mounting on different surfaces. We were also thrilled to discover that the package includes a tripod bracket holder and a bicycle handlebar bracket.
Do remember though that tightening the screws on the mounts must be made with caution; all these accessories are made from plastic and the smaller they are, the flimsier they prove. Still, considering the low price and large number of accessories, this is not enough to bug us.
Inside the package, you will also find the little 2.4G remote control and a wrist strap to place it on.
Jeemak 4K action camera shoots beautifully in 4K at 30 fps, without lacking other resolution options. The excellent 1080 setting with 60 fps is ideal for slow motion capture. For maximum video quality, make sure your SD card is good – at least a class 10, if you wish to make the most of your camera’s capabilities.
Time-lapse and loop recording are also available. You can zoom in record mode simply by keep pressing the up button. The focus is impressively accurate, colours are vivid and its screen surprisingly sharp for such a price.
Video settings navigation is simple and easy and possible either through the 2” LCD screen or your mobile device since the camera comes with Wi-Fi connectivity. Pairing the camera with your phone requires the download of the XDV app from the App Store.
Again, the remote control has just two buttons – recording and snapshots.
With an image resolution of 16MP and the 170o wide-angle lens, pictures are clearer, sharper and distortion is minimised. This feature, added to the big plus of shooting 30 frames per second, makes this camera ideal for capturing adrenaline rushes, especially those that include water.
Jeemak is equipped with a built-in Wi-Fi feature that makes content sharing and uploading on social media like Facebook, Instagram and the like easier than ever.
The Waterproof Case
A simple, transparent and durable plastic shell that is included in the package (you will find the camera within it once you open the case for the first time) is just what it takes to make the camera work underwater. Should you wish to record sound underwater, simply add a specially designed extra lid with slots.
Inside the portable case, you will find 2 rechargeable batteries – one inside the camera and the other with the accessories. Fully charged each of these batteries suffices for more than an hour of hard work, but having an extra battery available is a major plus. The camera itself serves as the charging port – another convenient and practical solution.
AKASO EK5000 1080p
AKASO EK5000 is the little brother of AKASO EK7000. Similar specifications; waterproof up to 30 meters underwater, numerous accessories, 2” LCD screen and identical design. There are some differences, but, at first glance, it is surely another hit from this brand-new company.
General Features – Specifications
- Dimensions: 3.1 x 6 x 4.2 cm
- Weight: 540 g
- 0-inch LCD Screen Action Camera
- With 2 rechargeable 900mAh batteries
- 1080P 30fps / 720P 60fps video
- Built-In WIFI – signal range up to 10 meters
- 100 Feet (30m) Waterproof
- Ideal for water sports
The Package Contains
- 1x Camera
- 2x 900mAh Battery
- 1x Waterproof Case
- 1x Bicycle Stand
- 7x Mount
- 2x Clip
- 1x Helmet Mount
- 1x Bandage
- 5x Tether
- 1x Manual
- 1x USB Cable
- 1x Lens Cloth
Once you unpack the AKASO EK5000 Sports Action Camera, you will be amazed by the looks of it. It is so small in size and simple in design that, had it not been for its specs, you could confuse it with a children’s toy. As soon as you touch though, this first impression quickly fades. Its weight and robust body prove it is grown-ups toy, designed to record high-quality video and capture crisp pictures. It is quite stunning how many things are fitted within this little guy.
Its 2” LCD screen allows you to see instantly the photos you shoot. There are three different resolution options available: 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 60fps and 720p at 30fps.
Its built-in Wi-Fi enables its connection with mobile devices through an app. Unfortunately, it cannot be attached to a PC without the use of the USB cable. Still, you will not have any problem sharing your photos and videos with your friends and followers.
When it comes to design, there aren’t any significant differences from the EK7000 model; and that is reasonable since AKASO EK5000 comes at an even more affordable price. In fact, it might be the best bargain in the market for such quality and the specs of this level.
At the front, the lens and power button, at the back the 2” LCD screen, on top the record/snapshot button and the battery at the bottom. AKASO moved wisely by not changing this clean-cut and user-friendly design.
The package includes 19 different mounts and accessories, all with GoPro Hero mounts.
The camera is packaged inside its IP68 waterproof case. Inside the box, you will also find a bicycle stand, several mounts and clips, one bandage, one USB cable and a cloth for lens cleaning. You will probably not need all these bells and whistles, but rest assured you will find anything you may need for your favourite extreme sport – especially if you consider you are not paying extra for them. Fitted nicely, you will find nothing flimsy among them.
Unfortunately, this model does not include a remote control – a considerable con if you wish to control and operate your camera from afar.
AKASO EK 5000 is often compared with the high-end GoPro Series, mainly because of its outstanding video capture features. Though not a 4K, its video quality at 1080p and 720p is sharp and clear. The transparent case protects the camera from impacts and bumps but does not affect the quality of the videos and the pictures. Whatever the weather, your camera is ready for action!
The camera’s lens is 170o wide, allowing for wide and clear shots. The time-lapse mode gives you the chance to take photos at specific time intervals, ranging from 2 to 60 seconds. EK 5000 is also ideal for slow motion capture.
The Wi-Fi Feature
The camera comes with a built-in Wi-Fi enabling connection with apps such as the EZ iCam and iSmart DV, pairing the cam with your mobile device (either Android or iOS). Though the Wi-Fi connectivity was an excellent addition, the system could use some improvements. For example, you cannot operate the device more than 10 meters away from the camera, and connectivity is poor when obstacles, such as walls, get in the way. Nevertheless, given the price, the sole existence of a Wi-Fi feature is more than we hoped for.
Sharing photos and videos is pretty straightforward since you can either transfer your files to your PC or connect wirelessly with the Wi-Fi feature to your mobile device and upload your recordings and snapshots on the social media.
This model’s battery is 900mAh, affording approximately one hour of full usage when fully charged. The manufacturer saw your disappointment coming and included an extra battery in the package. Both batteries are rechargeable.
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