Action cameras are an integral part of mountain biking. However, looking for an affordable action camera without sacrificing the features can be a real challenge. Fortunately, you can now get a budget action camera for mountain biking.
A budget action camera for mountain biking requires 4 features:
- great quality with 4K resolution
- image stabilization to handle those bumps on the trail
- waterproof durability with a shock proof rating
- easy to use while on the trail
Budget Action Camera for Mountain Biking
While the thought of an action camera sounds expensive, getting a budget action camera for mountain biking is entirely possible. Of course, an affordable action camera may not have the most updated tech features. But it still lets you get the 4K-quality that you need for your videos.
DJI Osmo Action Camera – Best for Video Stability
4.5K User Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- 4K resolution
- multiple frame rate options
- video stabilization feature
The DJI Osmo Action Camera is designed specifically for action video. It is portable, so you can easily mount it on your helmet, chest, or your mountain bike’s handlebar. This camera is also waterproof, so you do not have to worry if the rain pours while on a trail.
I love my DJI Osmo Action Camera
If you’re going to jump into filming while mountain biking, I highly recommend checking out the DJI OSMO ACTION CAMERA.
- Incredible video quality
- Amazing stabilization
- Two screens with touch screen control
- All around quality camera
This action camera has a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor, allowing you to shoot footage at 4k resolution. The multiple frame rate options are all in full high definition, so your footage is clear and smooth.
Another impressive feature of the Osmo Action is its video stabilization. DJI utilized the Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) technology, resulting in a camera that delivers stable videos regardless of how rough your ride is.
Moreover, you can connect the Osmo Action with the brand’s DJI Mimo app. This way, you will be able to control the camera’s functions using your smartphone. There is also a second screen
Highly Recommended for anyone getting ready to get serious videoing while mountain biking with this camera -> DJI Osmo Action Camera (link to Amazon for prices) and the essential accessories described in this article GoPro Accessories for Mountain Biking
beside the camera lens, allowing you to see yourself while you record.
There is no doubt that the Osmo Action is an excellent budget action camera for mountain biking. (source)
GoPro HERO4 Black – Best for Quality vs Price
4.5-Star User Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Wind noise reduction
- 4K resolution for video recording
- voice control feature
- 10MP still image quality
I started out with the GoPro HERO4 Black
If you can find this camera I’d seriously consider picking it up. A great value, I use mine for those B-Roll videos to support the main video. The only con is it lacks image stabilization.
- Proven GoPro image 4K quality
- Nearly indestructible with case
- Works with all the GoPro acessories
There is no denying that an older GoPro model is the best budget action camera for mountain biking. For instance, the GoPro HERO 4 Session is famous for its grab-and-go operation. You need to press the record button on top of the camera and kick off your adventure.
You can still find Hero 4 on Amazon at great prices, usually reconditioned. Here’s the one I’ve got – GoPro Hero4 Black Reconditioned
If you have your HERO4 Black mounted on your helmet and forgot to press the record button, GoPro added a voice control feature. You can use this recording, change camera modes, and shoot images.
You can also connect this GoPro with your smartphone via Wi-Fi. This way, you can see what the camera is capturing before you start recording. You can also use your phone to control the camera.
The video quality of the HERO4 Black is impressive. GoPro managed to reduce visual noise, which resulted in sharp and fine video details. There is also incredible GoPro colors, which makes those outdoor scenes POP.
This action camera is also waterproof down to more than 10 meters, with a housing. The lens cover is replaceable, so you do not have to worry about scratching it.
Moreover, the HERO4 Black supports the GoPro Plus. You can charge your camera, and your photos and videos will upload to the service. This service will allow you to access your phone or computer footage. (source)
AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera – Best STARTER Action Camera
4-Star User Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Electronic Image Stabilization
- 4K ultra HD video quality
- 16MP still image quality
- smartphone connectivity through Wi-Fi
- wide filming angle
The AKASO EK7000 Pro is priced WAY under $100. The kit comes with a box of accessories to help the mountain biker start videoing fast.
Akaso EK7000 Pro Action Camera is the perfect starter camera for the MTBer
I was surprised by how good the Akaso EK7000 Pro worked. The image isn’t as good as my DJI Osmo Action, but the Osmo costs 5X more.
- Easy to operate touch screen
- A bunch of included attachments
- Image stabilization
- Extra battery
This action camera is very similar to the GoPro, making it a great budget action camera for mountain biking. The photos and videos taken using this action camera have a similar quality to the GoPro footage. But the price of the EK7000 is just half the price of the popular action camera.
The AKASO EK7000 shoots in 4K at 25fps, 2.7K at 30fps, and 1080P at 60fps. There are even burst photo options, loop recording, and time-lapse photos.
Additionally, the camera comes with a waterproof case that you can install on GoPro mounts. It also has a 2-inch rear touchscreen that you use for playing videos back or choosing camera features.
Smartphone – Best for Budget
5-Star User Rating 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩
- long battery life
- fantastic camera quality
- only has a little extra cost
The most budget-friendly action camera that you can ever use is your smartphone. Smartphones are getting better and better, thanks to the continuous improvement of technology. For this reason, your smartphone can now work as an action camera that takes clear and sharp videos.
Suppose your smartphone has at least a 12MP camera and can shoot 4K videos at 60fps. In that case, you will be able to take high-quality photos and videos easily. But you do not have to worry about having an older phone model since you only need to shoot at 1080p and 24fps to take decent footage.
Using a smartphone is also beneficial if you are a beginner. The reason is that it only comes with little to no extra cost. So, you can start improving your videography skills without investing in a high-quality and expensive action camera.
DIY MTB Tip: I’ve fallen in love with my Metal Phone Mount, I have three of them. Which one do I recommend? I’ll make it easy here’s a shortcut link over to Amazon showing which one I have -> Metal Phone Mount for Tripod with Cold Shoe
With a smartphone, the only thing you need to purchase is a camera mount to secure your phone on the bike’s handlebar.
However, one drawback of using a smartphone is that it is not as portable as an action camera. As a result, you cannot get POV videos just like you do when using an action camera. Still, your smartphone works as an excellent budget action camera for mountain biking. (source)
YI 4K + Action Camera – Best Value
4-Star User Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- adjustable wide filming angles
- 4K video resolution
- smooth 1080p at 120fps
The YI 4K + Action Camera features a 2.19-inch touchscreen interface. It also has Wi-Fi Direct, which allows you to connect the camera with the Yi Action phone application. This way, you can access your footage on your smartphone.
I haven’t personally tested the YI 4K+ Action Camera but it’s got great reviews. Check the prices and reviews on Amazon with this link -> YI 4K+ Action Camera
Additionally, the lens provides a wide field of view and an aperture of f/2.8. Its video resolution has a max of 4K at 30fps, making it a good budget action camera for mountain biking.
This camera also lets users snap photos as they record videos and make time-lapses, loop records, and slow-motion sequences.
The YI 4K is a polished performer with its features matching the GoPro HERO4 Black. While it is still lacking a little compared to the GoPro, it still gives you what you pay for in terms of specs. (source)
Akaso Brave 7 LE – Best for Portability
+4-Star User Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- comes with enhanced image stabilization
- kit comes with 2 batteries
- optional has an external mic and wireless remote control
The best thing about the Akaso Brave 7 is its fantastic video recording, time-lapse, and slow-motion feature. It even has a top of the line sensor for taking photos, supporting wide angles at 170 degrees. For this reason, the images taken using the Akaso Brave 7 Action Camera are superb.
Sold on Amazon at a great price. Check out the over 2,000 great reviews with the shortcut link -> Akaso Brave 7
Suppose you need a budget action camera for mountain biking and various uses. In that case, the Akaso is an excellent choice. You can connect it to a drone, use it for snorkeling, and as a dashboard camera.
This action camera has a Hyper-Stable Electronic Image Stabilization technology, which prevents shakes and bumps from affecting your videos. It is also waterproof, so you can ensure that it is durable and high-quality.
You will not run out of battery when using the Akaso Brave 7 as you would with other action cameras. It also comes with an extra battery that lasts for 1.5 hours. If you have accessories for GoPros, you can use them with this action camera to add a nice touch to mountain biking.
Garmin Virb Ultra 30 Best for Data Gathering
4-Star User Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- 4K video resolution at 30fps
- 3-axis stabilizer
- one-touch button for Wi-Fi connection
- features the GPS positioning system
If you are looking for a GoPro look-alike, the Garmin Virb Ultra 30 is a camera worth having. It has a touchscreen that is easy to navigate and a voice control feature if you cannot touch your action camera.
Garmin Virb Ultra 30
If you can find the Virb Ultra 30, you’ll get incredible video along with GPS tracking. It’s built to aviation standards (think nearly indestructible) Now discontinued, but lots of times you can still find them.
If you’re interested in the Garmin, you can find it on Amazon with this shortcut link or he Garmin
The camera also has a Wi-Fi button that connects your camera with your phone. You no longer have to go over the camera’s menu through this button every time you need to access it using the Wi-Fi.
Like the other Garmin devices available on the market, the Virb Ultra boasts the G-Metrix technology. This technology uses GPS positioning, allowing you to track valuable data. That includes altitude, the distance you traveled, location, and speed.
The only downside of this action camera is that you cannot activate the stabilization feature when shooting at 4K. (source)
Things to Look for When Buying a Budget Action Camera
A budget action camera for mountain biking is essential for taking on trails. Your action camera does not have to be expensive. Plenty of action cameras will not drain your budget but provide you with excellent features.
Despite their affordable prices, these action cameras are durable, lightweight, and boast excellent features. Therefore, they can provide for your needs and requirements while on the trail.
However, there are factors that you need to consider when buying an action camera.
- Size and Shape
Action cameras come in different sizes, weights, and shapes. It is ideal for getting the small and lightweight one. A heavy action camera may drag your helmet down, thus affecting your vision.
Additionally, it would help if you had a camera that you could mount in places other than your head. This way, you will be able to get images from different angles.
- Video Quality
The video quality is essential to look at when buying a budget action camera for mountain biking. Your camera should let you take clear and sharp photos and images as you drive on trails and bumps.
It is ideal to go for a camera with a 4K resolution, the highest video resolution for action cameras today. But apart from the resolution, you also need to ensure that the camera has a 30fps to 60fps framerate.
3. Battery Life
It is crucial to get an action camera that can last for hours. This way, you can record most of your adventure, letting you have a lot of clips to edit.
But if your focus is to get a high-resolution action camera, it is worth noting that it consumes more battery life. However, you can also get an extra battery to ensure that your camera will not shut down once your first battery runs out.
If you want a budget action camera with an extra battery, your search is over. The VanTop Moment 4 Action Camera comes with two batteries, each lasting for 1.5 hours.
Action cameras need to be durable to withstand rough roads and changing weather when you use them while mountain biking. Your action camera needs to be waterproof, so you can still use it if it suddenly rains.
With a durable budget action camera for mountain biking, you will be able to get the most out of your purchase.
5. Image Resolution
As a mountain biker, you will also use your action camera for taking still photos. In this case, you need an action camera with high picture quality. Look for an action camera with at least 8 megapixels during your purchase.
6. Wi-Fi Connectivity
Removing the memory card from an action camera and installing it on your computer to get your videos can be daunting. Fortunately, you can get a budget action camera for mountain biking with Wi-Fi connectivity. This way, you can connect your action camera with your smartphone and access your videos in seconds. (source)
Advantages Of Using an Action Camera for Mountain Biking
Shoots Continuous Videos
Most action cameras now have time-lapse and burst features. For this reason, you can shoot continuous videos without pressing the record button again and again.
A lot of action cameras today also have a voice control feature. So, you can control your camera without touching it and regardless of where you mount it.
People frequently use action cameras for extreme and outdoor sports. For this reason, almost all of the action cameras that you will find on the market today are rugged and compact.
Thanks to this compact design, you can easily mount a budget action camera for mountain biking anywhere. And since it is durable, it can withstand the harsh environment that mountain bikers are often on.
Standard cameras only have a regular lens. So, there is a limit to how much your camera can shoot.
On the other hand, action cameras have a wide lens. For this reason, your photos and videos have more width, allowing you to take videos of the trail in front of you.
Action cameras are versatile, meaning you can use them for other purposes other than mountain biking. For instance, you can use an action camera as a dashcam whenever you are not mountain biking.
Since action cameras have a wide-angle lens, they will allow you to record the entire front of your vehicle.
In addition, you can use your action camera for taking underwater photos and videos since most of them are waterproof. If your camera is not waterproof, you can always purchase a waterproof casing to protect it. (source)
Keep Spinning Those Pedals
Using a budget action camera for mountain biking is an incredible way to record your adventures and share them with other people.
For affordable action cameras, older GoPro models like the HERO4 Black are the best choice. While an up-to-date GoPro can be expensive, its predecessors are high-quality and are already affordable.
For instance, the HERO4 Black features 4K and crystal-clear video and photo quality. It is better than other budget action cameras. Yet, it has high-quality features that you will seldom find on other action cameras.
Another option if you can find it is the HERO5 Session. It offers is wind noise reduction, which other action cameras do not have. With this feature, you will be able to record videos without worrying that the wind can ruin the audio.
Looking for More Mountain Biking Video Tips
- Looking for the right GoPro for biking? Read what I found out in GoPro for Mountain Biking
- Okay, you’ve got an action camera, now what settings? Read -> GoPro Settings for Mountain Biking
- Sometimes getting a video from a higher view point captures the moment best. In those cases a helmet mount works great. Read all about the helmet options in this article -> Bike Helmets with GoPro Mounts
- Want to try videoing in the dark? You need a light compatible with a GoPro mounts. Here’s the answer -> Bike Light with GoPro Mount (Night Ride and Video)
- Okay, action cameras can be expensive. I reviewed what I think are the Best Budget Action Cameras for MTBing
- Wondering about the options for mounting a GoPro? I’ve got all the options (including DIY) in this article -> Places to Mount a GoPro on a Bike
- Read about the “Must Have” GoPro accessories -> Essential GoPro Accessories for Mountain Biking
- Angel Efrain Mendez Salvador. The Ultimate Digital Photography Guide for Beginners: Basic Camera Rules and Essential Settings On The Art Of Image Composition. Angel Efrain Mendez Salvador, 2022. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=GIdeEAAAQBAJ&pg=PT20&dq=DJI+Osmo+Action+Camera&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi65O2Gq5P3AhUjGqYKHai1DSUQ6AF6BAgEEAI#v=onepage&q=DJI%20Osmo%20Action%20Camera&f=false.
- Jordan Hetrick. GoPro HERO 5 SESSION: How To Use The GoPro Hero 5 Session. Kaisanti Press, 2016. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=Lm1iDgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=gopro+hero5+session&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=gopro%20hero5%20session&f=false.
- AKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action Camera. Amazon. Accessed April 13, 2022. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=akaso+ek7000+pro&crid=2CY23XBGXBGR9&sprefix=akaso+ek7000+pro%2Caps%2C99&ref=nb_sb_noss_1
- Kouzou Ohara, and Quan Bai. Knowledge Management and Acquisition for Intelligent Systems. Springer Nature, 2016. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=vsKqDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA70&dq=YI+4K+%2B+Action+Camera&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjB98WUpZP3AhWQEogKHZ7pAXAQ6AF6BAgFEAI#v=onepage&q=YI%204K%20%2B%20Action%20Camera&f=false.
- VanTop Moment 4 4K Sports Action Camera. VanTop. Accessed April 13, 2022. https://www.vantop.com/products/vantop-moment4-action-camera.
- Joseph Spark. Photography: Buying Guide. Conceptual Kings, 2015. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=R58eCgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=how+to+buy+an+action+camera&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20buy%20an%20action%20camera&f=false.
- Junior Tidal.Podcasting: A Practical Guide for Librarians. UK: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=nEMjEAAAQBAJ&pg=PA63&dq=Advantages+of+using+action+cameras&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwij3JikrpP3AhVyyosBHWexCYgQ6AF6BAgKEAI#v=onepage&q=Advantages%20of%20using%20action%20cameras&f=false.