The 8 Best Video Cameras to Buy in 2018 for Under $100

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Buying a decent video camera without breaking the bank might seem like a real challenge, but it’s not impossible. While some of these cameras might not offer the latest in advanced features, they more than make up for that with their wallet-friendly prices. Need some help figuring out which one you should fork over some money for? Here’s our take on the best video cameras you can buy for under $100.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: PowerLead Puto PLD009

For video camera buyers on a budget, PowerLead’s Puto PLD009 is the best option available because of its bevy of features, good looks and a great price. Backed by up to 3.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, the 24-megapixel HD video camera captures Full HD (1920 x 1080) video footage with 16x zoom. The 2.7-inch LCD (16:9) display offers 270 degrees of rotation and has simplified controls for novices and experienced users.

Measuring 7.2 x 6 x 4.4 inches, it’s easy to hold and control with one hand and the 32GB of expandable memory offers plenty of additional storage. A safety tether wraps around the wrist to help protect the PowerLead from falling and it also comes with a tripod.

Best Battery: Weiliante

With two batteries included for nearly seven hours of total battery life, the Weiliante digital video camera camcorder is an excellent purchase for capturing memories. It’s powered by a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor with a three-inch TFT LCD that supports 270 degrees of rotation and 18x digital zoom. The 32GB of support memory through an SD card allows for hours and hours of captured footage and, with the dual-batteries included for lengthy filming sessions, look to a Class10 SD card for maximizing its potential.

The included remote control ensures that even those stuck behind the camera get a chance to be in the shot. Fortunately, nighttime shooting is just as easy as daytime, thanks to infrared night vision. Extras such as face detection and anti-shake software round out the feature list for this terrific value-priced camcorder.

Best Night Vision: Hausbell 302S

If nighttime shooting is your biggest focus, the Hausbell 302S camcorder answers the call with on-board night vision and infrared camera technology. With a premium design that feels far more expensive than its asking price, the Full HD (1920 x 1080) 1080p camcorder offers a three-inch touchscreen display with 270 degrees of rotation, a 20-megapixel sensor, 16x zoom and an included remote control.

The built-in infrared night vision offers clear results without any impact to video quality. No additional camcorder experience is required. Just point, shoot and record. The built-in 1300mAh battery life lasts up to 110 minutes in daytime lighting and up to 20 minutes for nighttime infrared shooting. With HDMI, AV and USB cable out/in, the 302S can quickly connect to a computer for exporting footage. It can also connect to a TV or projector for immediate playback.

Best Action: ThiEYE i60e 4K Action Camera

No matter what type of action you're looking for, the ThiEYE i60e 4K will be there to help capture everything. Capable of recording 4K 30fps video and shooting 12-megapixel still photos, the ThiEYE offers more than 170 degrees of view, which is twice as much as a standard smartphone. The i60e supports up to 4x magnification for capturing an exact area or focal point while on the move.

Built-in Wi-FI connectivity allows a direct connection to an Android or iOS smartphone through the ThiEYE app for remote control recording, shooting, reviewing footage or instantly sharing to social media. The specialized waterproof housing can withstand depths up to 197 feet beneath the surface, so it's more than ready to capture your latest scuba adventure. With support for up to 128GB of external storage and a 1050mAh battery offering about 90 minutes of battery life at full charge, this budget-friendly camera is ready for action.

Read more reviews of the best action cameras available to purchase online. 

Best for Kids: Lexibook

Billing itself as one of the first video cameras designed for younger users, the Lexibook five-megapixel Full HD camcorder is ready right out of the box. With a built-in battery that can record more than 130 minutes of footage before needing to be recharged, the Wi-Fi enabled model can add a separately sold microSD card for extra storage. The 120-degree angle of view is smaller than adult-ready models, as is the 1.5-inch display, but that hardly takes away from the versatility and ease of use.

The included waterproof body allows the Lexibook to dive beneath the surface or play in the snow. It’s ready to attach to a helmet, bicycle or other mounts with additional accessories and weighs just 2.2-ounces. It's great for kids 10 to 15 years old.

Read more reviews of the best video camera for kids available to purchase online. 

Best Waterproof: Veho MUVI HD10

Powered by Full HD 1080p video capture at 30fps, the Veho MUVI HD10 mini hands-free action cam is a terrific option for grabbing footage while getting wet. With four hours of battery life on a single charge and 4GB of included storage, the Veho also captures eight-megapixel stills with continuous photo mode to create time-lapse videos.

The waterproof casing allows for more than 60 minutes of recorded footage at 180 feet beneath the surface, which is ample time to capture a dive for buried treasure. The 1.5-inch display isn’t as large as more expensive competitor options, but at 3.2 x 1.9 x 1 inches in total size, the Veho easily fits in a pocket or enters a helmet mounting bracket for footage captured on the trails. At .5 pounds, the Veho is barely noticeable when it’s active and, with the included remote control, it’s easy to capture video and stills without removing it from its bracket or mount.

Most Compact: YI Action Camera

At just 3.7 x 2.05 x 4.09 inches, the YI action camera is a standout compact video camera that’s easy to operate and equally durable for any type of environment. Capable of withstanding up to 131 feet under water with the included waterproof casing, the 1080p footage at 60fps is complemented by 720p capturing at 120fps on the 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor with Exmor R ability.

Best described as a budget-friendly GoPro, the YI offers a 155-degree angle of view, built-in Wi-Fi and expandable storage via the microSD slot. A quarter-inch thread on the bottom connects to any standard-sized tripod or base plate. The only controls on the casing are the shutter button to start and stop recording, a mode button to switch between stills and video and a small button to activate the Wi-Fi. All other controls (such as timer, time-lapses and burst mode) are utilized through the downloadable Android and iOS app.

Best Storage: Digital Video Camera Heegomn FHD 1080P Camera

We can send rovers to Mars and talk to robots, but still that sneaky “Storage full” notification persists. If space is a concern for you, spring for this handheld camcorder that holds up to 64GB and allows you to store more than 5000 images or 8 hours videos. Shooting more than that? Just swap in another card.

The camera has a 5.0-megapixel CMOS sensor, 4X digital zoom and wide angle lens for capturing more of the scene. It supports 12.0-megapixel images and 1920 by 1080 full HD video recording, plus it features a 2.7-inch LCD display so you can watch it all back with ease. No matter what you’re filming, there’s a mode to match: auto mode, sport mode, portrait mode, night vision mode and more. On the downside, the 800Mah li-Ion battery only lasts about 2 to 4 hours, but at such a reasonable price, it’s hard to complain.