CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.
Personal anecdote: Over the weekend, I visited metro-Detroit gem The Adventure Park, where I unleashed my inner Tarzan as I climbed rope ladders, traversed aerial bridges and zipped across thrilling ziplines. It was fantastic save for one thing: trying to photograph any of it. Just accessing my phone from beneath all my gear was challenging at best, and then praying I didn't butterfinger it from 40 feet up? Zoiks.
Phones are all well and good for certain kinds of photography, but would you feel comfortable strapping it to your drone? Your bike helmet? Scuba gear? Rope harness?
For stuff like that, you need an action-cam. Something like a GoPro, for example -- but not an actual GoPro because they're crazy expensive.
Instead, consider starting with something more entry-level but still fully capable. For a limited time and while supplies last, Nova Tech (via Amazon) has the Dbpower EX5000 1080p waterproof action camera with accessories for $44.98 shipped. That's after applying promo code DDRODUAD at checkout.
(If you run into any difficulty using that code, please let me know. It worked for me, but it's also different than the code the vendor initially gave me.)
Update: Ack! The above link went to the non-Wi-Fi version of this camera. I've since corrected it, but if you ended up with a $39.99 final price, you got the wrong model. Amazon should be able to cancel your order if you get to it quickly. My sincere apologies for the error. Kicking myself hard over here.
Update No. 2: Most folks are getting only $10 off the regular price, not $13. I think I know the issue, here, and there's a little hack if you're willing to work at it. If you first add the non-Wi-Fi camera to your cart and apply the code, you get a $13 discount. Then, remove that model from the cart and add the EX5000. You should then end up with the $44.98 price. I think that's where my original code-confusion happened. Anyway, even if you end up at $47 out the door, still a great deal on an action cam!
Remember: Make sure Nova Tech is the seller. If their supply runs out, that link may take you to the same product, but from a different vendor -- one that isn't offering a discount.
This is an unabashed GoPro knockoff, to the point where it's compatible with most GoPro mounts and accessories. Not only that, it comes with its own bunch of mounts and accessories: waterproof case, bike stand, helmet base, various mounting brackets and clips and even a spare battery.
As for the camera itself, it can capture 1080p video at up to 30 frames per second and 720p video at 60 fps. It features a microSD slot for storage and Micro-USB and Micro-HDMI ports. And it has Wi-Fi, which lets you link to the camera via an Android or iOS device to modify settings, live-stream video and so on.
Will it produce the same video quality as a GoPro? Of course not. Will it get reasonably close? Yep. Keep your expectations realistic and I suspect you'll be very happy with the product.
Bonus deal: Calling all Android users! If you like games, check out the Humble Mobile Bundle 20. For as little as a buck, you can score four games (including two Tomb Raiders) worth $7. Pay at least $5 and you get the whole enchilada, which has a combined value of $34. Plus you get some game soundtracks, help charity and so on. All the apps come to you DRM-free.
Bonus deal 2: Calling all Trekkies! For a limited time, you can get episode one of the new documentary series "Building Star Trek" for free. That's from Google Play, but it's also available via Vudu. Regular price: $2.99. The documentary examines various technologies that appeared as far back as the original Star Trek series and how they evolved into modern-day, real-world products. (But where's , dammit?)