Today’s smartphones have all but replaced the need to own a simple point-and-shoot camera, but even the best smartphone camera can’t replace a dedicated security or action cam.
We’ve combed the web in search of a few unconventional camera deals. So whether you’re looking to record your outdoor adventures for YouTube or want to keep tabs on your home while you’re away, the camera deals below should fit the bill and save you money in the process.
GoPro Hero4 Silver
The Hero4 Silver is kind of camera that can make you look like a badass, even if you’re not. At the start of the year, GoPro slashed the price of the camera to $400. Currently, it’s going for $309 at Amazon, which beats the next lowest price by about $10. It records video at either 1080p/60p or 720p/120p. Or you can opt for 1440p, 2.7K, or 4K, but keep in mind that we found video performance wasn’t that great on playback, especially with 4K at max of 15 frames per second. In addition to video, the Hero4 takes 12-megapixel photos (which is 4 more megapixels than the slightly cheaper GoPro Session) and has a burst speed of 30 frames per second. It can be used for quick and fun videos or you can use it for more sophisticated recordings. Sure, there’s a newer model available, but the Hero4 still won our Editors’ Choice award.
Lytro Illum Camera
With its fixed 8x optical zoom lens and wedge-shaped body, the Lytro Illum looks like a camera from the future. Indeed, this is not your typical, everyday camera. Instead, we found that the Lytro Illum blends the best aspects of a high-end camera with a smartphone’s ease of use to create a camera that lets you take “Living Pictures.”
Living images are photos that can be refocused or viewed in 3D after they’ve been taken. To pull this off, the camera uses a light-field sensor that records the direction of incoming light. This allows you to refocus portions of an image via Lytro’s desktop software after it’s shot. A good pick for early adopters, photographers who like to experiment, or someone looking to try something new — the Illum is available via our DT Shop for $350.
Ablegrid SJ5000 Sports Camera
Action cameras aren’t know for being affordable. In fact, even the least expensive GoPro can leave a $200 hole in your pocket. Enter the Ablegrid SJ5000. This rugged sports camera is capable of recording video at 1080p resolution and only costs $66. The camera sports a 12-megapixel, 170-degree wide angle lens and it supports MicroSD cards up to 32GB. The camera’s waterproof case makes it ideal for outdoor sports and deep-water photography (it can be submerged up to 30 meters under water). It’s currently available at Amazon for $66, which is $14 under its list price.
Nest Security Camera
Formerly Dropcam, the Nest Security Camera is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an uncomplicated solution for indoor monitoring. In fact, this past summer we named it one of our top favorite security cameras. Its 130-degree, wide-angle glass lens lets you look after home in 1080p glory. Plus, it comes with support for 24/7 web-based streaming so you can see what the cam sees on an iOS or Android device at any time of day. There’s also built-in night vision, customizable alerts, and a mic so you can talk to your pets or scare off intruders via the accompanying app. Although it typically sells for $200 on sites like Home Depot, Amazon current offers the Nest Security Camera for $186.
Foscam R2 Wireless Security Camera
Foscam is no stranger to the home security camera market. Its latest plug-and-play security camera records in 1080p resolution and lets you remotely access your camera feed and recordings. The camera’s lens offers a 110-degree field of view for recording all events within a room. Thanks to built-in IR LEDs, the camera is also functional in dark settings, and according to Foscam, it can record footage up to 24 feet away. It will also alert you when motion is detected. Footage can be saved directly to a MicroSD card or hard drive. Though we’ve seen it for as much as $130 at B&H, Amazon currently offers the Foscam R2 Wireless Security Camera for $100.