Who does not like shooting great pictures. That task has now become a lot easier with the inclusion of an action camera to the scene. It has become one of the most loved gadgets of recent times. It plays a huge role for you if you like to trend in social media. It gives you the luxury of flashing your little camera at any time of the day and take amazing pictures with it. Now, the most affordable action cameras are from the Chinese brands.
Here we are going to provide you with the details of the top 3 Chinese action camera brands along with the top 5 action cameras which you can buy from Aliexpress.
|Type of Action Camera||Brand|
|Best Budget Action Camera||EKEN H9|
|Best Premium Action Camera||Thieye T5 Pro|
|Best Alternative to Go Pro|
Akaso V50 Pro
|Best Mini Action Camera||Xiaomi Yi 4k Action Camera|
|Best Chinese Action Camera in 2022||Akaso Brave 7|
Chinese Action Cameras – My Personal Experience
Go Pro’s are super pricey and I thought, ok what’s good in the Chinese market. There are a few brands such as Eken and Akaso. In fact, a few years back I got an Akaso for free from a friend who had come from China and picked it up. Whenever I surf (Horrible at it), I’d like to strap on a camera and document the experience.
To be very honest, Chinese cameras don’t come close to the quality of a Go Pro. No way. But also, a Go Pro is ridiculously expensive. An Akaso or an EKEN does a decent enough job for normal stuff. If you are a professional and need pro quality footage, just get a Go Pro or a DJI or Instapro.
If you want decent quality and good battery life and something within the budget, then go for an EKEN or an AKaso.
- Yi Official Store:This two-year brand has a positive feedback of 97.8%. They are known worldwide for their best computer vision and imaging technology. Their innovative approach towards the latest technology helps them create the best products for us. Some of their bestselling products are YI Smart Dash Camera and YI Lime Green Action Camera.
- SJCAM Official Store: Another store which is rated very high for the creation of action cameras. They tend to evolve with time and always tend to satisfy the demands of their customers by all means. They also boast of their great after-sales support which helps you if you face any issues after buying the product. The store is 4-year old in Aliexpress and has a positive feedback rating of 98.6%.
- China Bay Co. Ltd.: This company is also in the Aliexpress market for four long years. They are a well-known brand and enjoy a healthy positive rating of 97.8%, which proves in itself about the quality of their product. Some of the top products of the brand are Eken H9/H9R, Eken H8R Plus, Eken H5S Plus, and Eken H6S.
Top 9 Chinese Action Cameras in Aliexpress
#1 – Thieye T5 Pro
The Thieye T5 Pro is one of the action cameras on Aliexpress that’s been consistently getting the top ratings and that’s because it’s value for money. Compared to a lot of the other action cameras which are priced around $30+, the Thieye T5 Pro is actually $100+
- The Thieye is a 4K Action camera that can shoot in 60 frames per second. It has a Wifi option which makes it easy to transfer files
- The camera’s features include Auto low light, Distortion Correction, Night Lapse Photo andLong Exposure
- It has H.265 Encoding tech which reduces the load and the latency of memory and optimizes the video by taking up lesser space without loosing quality.
- It has a 8X zoom which is awesome
- What makes this an action camera a top contender is that it doubles up as a car camera with auto recording in case of crashes and so on.
#2 – Waterproof WIFI N9
The stylish camera is made to fulfill all your needs. You can take pictures as well as record videos using the device. Your selfie and groupie photos will get a new dimension using the monopod which comes with it. Not only the camera is waterproof, but you can use it in water as deep as 30 meters. It supports memory card up to 32GB. The price of this amazing piece of device is $48.99.
- The Geekam can shoot 4k videos @ 30 fps with its 20-megapixel camera
- It has a dual screen with Wifi option
- It has a 170-degree angle and can be used underwater
- The 2-inch IPS screen is perfect for framing your shot
- Comes in six amazing colours
#3 – Original Eken H9 / H9R Ultra HD 4K Action Camera 30m waterproof
The Eken H9 is one of the best Aliexpress action cameras and it has been on the top for a while.
The all extreme Eken H9 extreme camera comes with a 2-inch screen with a wide angle of 170 degrees. You will get different accessories in the package like various mounts, clips, waterproof casings, etc. The memory can be extended up to 32 GB using a micro SD card. The camera can be found in a total of 8 different colors. The price of this products is around $30 and the estimated delivery time for the products is 60 days.
- The price of the Eken H9 has dropped by $50 as it was much more expensive in the past
- It has Micro USB and HDMI support
- The 1050 mAh battery is pretty ample
- It has a 170-degree viewing angle
- It has a micro-SD card slot
- it comes in more than 10 languages
#4 – Xiaomi Yi 4K Action Camera
Xiaomi’s spin off brand Yi deals specifically with cameras. It’s a company dedicated to all types of cameras and today we cover the Xiaomi Yi Lite Action Camera. Just like most Xiaomi devices, the Yi Lite camera is super good looking and comes in numerous colours such as sky blue and lime green. This is a petite hand-held camera that packs some punch. It runs on a Hi3556 Chipset and has a 2-inch touch screen which is big enough to analyze the setting you are shooting. It can record 1080p videos at 650 fps. The photos are of super high quality and the camera shoots 16-megapixel images. The battery life is about 140 minutes, which is about 2 hours of constant use. It can connect to the Wifi and also has Bluetooth capabilities.
The 150 degree wide angle lens ensures that you can shoot a good panoramic shoot that is great for outdoor shots. I was a bit concerned about the 2-inch glass, but it’s made of Gorilla glass and cannot be broken easily. With the EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) technology, one can shoot non-shaky videos even while moving.
Just like most modern day cameras, you can shoot in different modes such as photo mode, burst mode, time lapse and more. My favourite part though is the accompanying Yi app, where you can cut and edit videos.
#5 – Akaso V50 Pro
Akaso is one of the top Chinese action camera manufacturers. They make numerous product and the Akaso V50 pro is one of their top products. The V50 Pro is an action-junkie’s dream. The screen is a 2-inch IPS Touch Screen, which lets you use your fingers to zoom in and zoom out, focus and other options. The EIS tech lets you shoot crystal clear, high-quality 4k videos at 30 frames per second. This camera is built-for shooting moving objects very clearly. When it comes to shooting images, you get crystal clear 20-megapixel photos that are gallery worthy.
It has a wide-angle lens that is adjustable to your requirement. You can shoot a narrow shot or a wide shot or an ultra wide shot. The Akaso V50 has an app that lets you instantly share your videos to friends and family.
Some of the features it has while shooting action videos is the wind noise reduction, long exposure, sound recording, scene mode, white balance and more. It’s also compatible with driving mode with an external mic. Inside the box, you get more than what you paid for, as every V50 Pro ships with two batteries, a waterproof case, a bicycle stand, mounts, helmet mounts, bandages, tethers, protective back door, USB cable and finally a selfie stand.
#6 – Ghost X by Drift
Drift is one of the premier action camera companies not only in China, but all around the world. Drift’s Ghost X has become quite the range in the action camera segment and this is your true, blue action camera experience. The Ghost X is a camera the likes of which you’ve never seen before. First of all, let’s talk about the design. The design for this camera is different. You shoot with it pointing it like a gun, compared the rectangular designs of other action cameras. This is a modular design which makes it super petite and easy to use. It has a 5-hour battery life which is pretty incredible considering most action cameras last for a couple of hours. You can also choose to purchase the battery extender which gives you an 8-hour battery life.
It can stream live in 720p and shoot videos in 1080p. The lens itself is a 300 degree rotating camera, making it ideal for adventure sports. If you own a few of these cameras, there is a pretty nifty feature called the ‘Clone Mode’, where the settings and mode of one camera is replicates across all the Ghost X cameras. This is perfect for shooting from multiple angles, which gives you a different angle to the same action.
You can download the drift life app through which you can share videos.
#7 — Rumixi Action Camera
The Rumixi Action camera is another strong budget contender in the action camera space. It’s a top seller on Aliexpress.
- It has built-in Wifi that lets you share your pictures and videos instantly through the numerous apps there are
- It has a slot to attach a mic for picking up audio and also has a remote control button for remote shots
- The 2 inch screen enables easy setting up of the shot and frame
- It has a HDMI Output for easily connecting to devices like laptops and TV’s
- The built-in EIS feature stabilises the video during action shots
- The 170 degree wide angle captures a lot more
#8 — DRIFT Wearable Action Camera
Drift is known for making some truly unique action cameras, like the Ghost reviewed above. But they’ve gone above & beyond with the DRIFT wearable action camera. This camera looks like a headband that can be placed on top of the forehead and can shoot high quality HD shots from the perspective of your eye level.
It has a 4 hour working time and can also stream real-time in 4G. It’s got the AMBARELLA chip inside. You can stream live with the touch of a button directly to Facebook, Youtube. The chip enables one to shoot 1080p @ 30fps.
It’s got a built-in Wifi that lets you connect to the Drift App in real-time. The videos can be edited on the move through the Driftlife App.
You can livestream continuously for 3 hours. It’s available in 5 catchy colours.
#9 Akaso Brave 7 LE
Apart from The V50 Pro and the EK7000, the Akaso Brave action camera has become quite the rage. It’s quite different from the Akaso Brave 4.
The Brave 7 has a 20MP camera which is the same as the Brave 4 and can shoot high quality 4k videos. The only difference between the Brave 7 and the Brave 4 is the touch screen availability on the Brave 7. There is also a dual screen on the Brave 7 which isn’t there on the Akaso Brave 4. When I did the Akaso Brave 7 review, I found it to be much better than the Brave 4.
Apart from that, it’s got dual screen support, EIS 2.0, waterproof, 6 Axis stabilization, built-in Wifi, remote control and much better battery life.
The Brave 7 has a 1350 mAh battery, whereas the Brave 4 has a 1050 mAh. This is the improvements Akaso has made and with just a meager price increase of $40, you get a much better action camera!
I loved using this, because it lasts longer and the dual screen and touch screen makes a massive difference!
Action cams are here to stay. They remain the best tool for filming diving and other outdoor activities. Buying from Aliexpress will be your best choice.
Action cameras come in different shapes and sizes. But considering the offers you have in the market, it’s pretty easy to find a good Budget camera. Based on all the reviews I’ve done and considering all the products in this article. The Best Budget Camera would be EKEN H9. It shoots in 4k. It’s an Action camera and comes with amazing camera protective gear.
SJCAM SJ4000 Air 4K Action Camera
The SJ4000 4K action camera is probably the only Chinese action camera to come close to a GoPro in terms of build-quality and performance. I’ve been using SJCAM’s action cameras for some time now and have never been disappointed with what their cameras have to offer. Priced under $60, this camera is incredibly easy to use and comes with a large 2” LTPS display.
With this camera I was able to shoot crystal clear videos on land, in the sea and even in the sky (by attaching it to my drone of course). The 4K clarity is much more refined and detailed on the SJ4000 as compared to the other action cameras on this list and the large lithium battery can keep the camera running for up to 90 minutes on a single charge.
Personally, SJCAM is my go-to brand especially for cheap action cameras and accessories. Their cameras have won numerous awards and they all come with a 1-year warranty from the date of purchase. Though the SJ4000 is not their best action camera, it’s worth every buck and if you’re truly in the market for something phenomenal and don’t care about the cost, then check out the SJ10 Pro Dual Screen which is a replica of the GoPro Hero 9 action camera.
What is the best alternative to GoPro?
There are numerous alternatives to Go Pro. Go Pro is pretty expensive for its offerings and it is expensive because it’s the biggest Action Camera company in the world. Here are the top competitors.
- Eken H9
- Xiaomi Yi 4K Action Camera
- Akaso V50 Pro
- Ghost X by Drift
- Akaso Brave 4
- Akaso EK7000
Is Akaso from China?
Akaso is a Chinese action camera company. Some of their popular products include EK7000, V50 Pro and Brave 4. It’s considered the cheaper version of a Go Pro.
Go Pro vs Akaso
There are numerous Akaso and Go Pro products to compare. But when you compare the premium offerings of Go Pro which is the Hero 9 and Akaso’ Brave 7.
In terms of price, the Hero 9 costs almost $800 and for the Brave 7, it costs $123. Which such a price difference, you know there is going to be quality differences.
The Akaso is a cheaper version of the Go Pro for beginner enthusiasts or for content creators on a budget. The Hero 9 is a far better device with better battery life, better app controls and UX and overall sturdier device.
If you are on a budget, Go Akaso. If you can afford it and need it, get the Hero.
Chinese Action Camera Buying Tips
Your Use Case
It really boils down to this. If you are going to be shooting a lot of videos or you have your own Youtube channel, then you need a dedicated device like an Action Camera. If you are just taking videos and photos for Instagram, then you can probably skip getting an action camera.
An action camera is a separate device with its own peripherals and sometimes like in the case of the Akaso V50 Pro, there are a lot of components.
So if you are ready to carry that around too, then get an Action Camera.
When you take a lot of videos on your iPhone, the storage gets filled up pretty fast. If you really want to consider storage, then an action camera is cheaper as it has an SD card that you could buy separately. Unless of course you use an Android device with a separate SD card. But in that case, you’ll have to deal with an inferior camera.
How “Adventurous” you are
An action camera is expected to be in tough environments. Water, sand, and other elements can be handled with ease by an action camera. So if you are looking for videos while shooting, cycling, then you need an action camera.
Ultimately, do you have a budget for an action camera? That is separate from a phone? If yes, then go for it!
What should I look for in an action camera?
Some of the factors and features expected from a good action camera are listed below.
Probably one of the most important factors to look at when buying an action camera is the quality of the picture and video it takes. So checking lens types and the resolution of images is required. The greater the resolution the better the image quality.
Today almost all models of action cameras come with 1080 HD resolution, higher end models that shoot 2K and 4K HD videos with frame rates of 60 fps and slow motion at up to 240 fps are also available in the market. A camera with a resolution of 1080p minimum and a frame rate of at least 30 fps is suggested.
Action cameras have point of view lenses that use ultra wide angle views to capture you and all the surroundings in one shot.
Another feature that helps deliver stunning image and video is the image stabilization. When shooting videos on the move while running or cycling a good stabilization system is needed for smooth, non-shaky picture, most cameras today come with internal electronic stabilization systems.
Water resistance is available with most models today that allows you to shoot during bad weather as well, models with higher water resistance can be used for underwater shooting too. So getting a camera with at least basic resistance rather than none at all is better.
Storage and connectivity options vary, so if you want to upload a lot of pics and videos to share with friends or prefer storing the majority on the device itself and saving when home on a pc, getting one with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capability or one with good expandable storage via SD cards is recommended.
Get a camera which is small and lightweight so it is easy enough to carry and mount anywhere.
A good battery is also important, check type and capacity along with number of playtime hours. A minimum of three hours high res shooting is a good buy.
Look at what accessory kits each company offers and pick a camera that comes with accessories you will make the most of.
Lastly, depending on the budget you have set aside, buy something that has most of the basic features or go for something higher if you are willing to spend more.