The art of vlogging has become a widespread phenomenon. The most common domain for vloggers is YouTube, where you get paid by the views. But what if you’re new and want to give your audience quality content? The only way to achieve this is to go out and buy a camera designed for vloggers. In this guide, we will compare five different products to give you the best vlogging camera under $200.
Affordable Cameras for Beginner Vloggers
- Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder
- Panasonic Full HD Camcorder
- Canon Camera PowerShot ELPH 190
- YI 4K Action Camera
- CofunKool Video Camera Camcorder
Before going into greater detail about which cameras will provide you with an affordable vlogging camera, you need to consider the features, benefits, and significance of having one dedicated to this activity.
Why Not Use Your Phone?
Many choose to vlog with their smartphone. Sure, there are plenty of tricks to create a better end product, but we believe that using a camera will give you and your audience the best experience.
What experienced vloggers will do is incorporate short clips from their smartphones into the final video. But rarely do you see them use it for the whole content for a number of reasons. These can be found below.
- The battery on your phone might drain more quickly.
- The sound audio is not the sharpest, even on a smartphone.
- In terms of video quality, cameras offer a higher definition.
- If you are vlogging with your smartphone, you can’t use it, which might end up costing you some interesting phone calls and content.
- The ability to store videos on a memory card and swap it out becomes obsolete.
- Vlogging with a smartphone may require the purchase of additional products to improve quality instead of having it already built-in.
Attributes to Look for in a Good Vlogging Camera
Sifting through different cameras can be overwhelming, especially when they all claim to have some spiffy, revolutionary features. Before looking at our chosen candidates, you should be familiar with what to consider in terms of added gadgets and gizmos.
Vlogger Pro is a site dedicated to those who wish to become better vloggers. They’ve listed some tips for what is essential in a camera of this caliber. To learn from these, check out the bullet points listed below.
- Low-light performance – this is essential for vloggers as it allows you to film indoors and during the evening hours. Cameras with this quality have wide lens apertures and bigger sensors found typically in camcorders, compact cameras or DSLR’s.
- Optical Image Stabilization – also known as OIS, this feature allows you to record even when in motion. Cameras with a 5-axis image stabilization excel at this.
- Flip screen – filming yourself is common in vlogging, making a flip screen handy to check how you are centered in the frame.
- Wi-Fi: although not thought of all too frequently, having Wi-Fi on your camera allows you to upload without cables and pair it with your smartphone.
- Microphone input – not all cameras have this built-in, but it is mighty handy.
- Location of the microphones – cameras with a front-facing mic are ideal for vloggers as it will allow you to turn around the device without muffling your voice.
What Should You Not Care as Much About?
With a device as intricate as a camera, it is important to know which features are crucial and what ones should be left out. You don’t want to be conned into buying a spiffy new vlog camera with aspects that you don’t even truly need. Mashable has highlighted a few features that your vlogging camera can do without.
- Zoom: vlog cameras do not need zoom for the reason that you will be filming yourself up close rather than something in the distance.
- Flash: this feature adds harsh light instead of creating a well-lit atmosphere, something that is essential for vlogging.
- Megapixels: this feature is important for photographers, not vloggers.
How Do You Start Vlogging?
Picking up the camera for the first time is a daunting experience. In fact, many vloggers found on YouTube, started out awkward and progressed into a seasoned professional with dedicated followers. Jeven Dovey, an outdoorsy vlogger, has a thorough manual on how to vlog for beginners. One of his key topics was the importance of choosing a camera for your vlogs (
What is a Good Camera for Vlogging?
For those wanting a camera that will provide your vlog with good quality content, then it is best to search for a camera with image stabilization, Wi-Fi and with a wide angle lens. One camera that meets these prerequisites (BUT much more expensive) is the Canon S120 which known for being a good point and shoot vlog camera.
What is the Best Vlogging Camera for Beginners?
As a beginner, you must decide what your personal style is. Do you want to vlog while sitting down at a certain set, or would you rather take your viewers out and about? Clever Leverage blog reveals that the Canon 80D (again, much much more expensive) is best for stationary vlogs compared to the more mobile Canon M50.
What is the Best Cheap Vlogging Camera?
For those wanting to vlog with a budget, it might be best to use camcorders and compact cameras. These are generally much cheaper while retaining a majority of the essentials features that a vlogger would want. They also can be considered among the best vlogging camera under 200.
Now that you have more insights as to what goes on behind and in the camera, you can review our top list of vlogging cameras, with beginners and budget in mind.
This camcorder is easy to use for anyone just starting to vlog their own content. One feature that we liked was how lightweight it is. This means that you can easily take it with you for whenever content finds you. The SD cards are quick to remove for stress-free sharing. SD cards that are removable are also easy to switch out whenever your card becomes too full. The touch panel also makes for a convenient user interface.
As for some of the more technical advantages of using this camera, it does have optical image stabilization and a mode labeled as Highlight Priority. This, paired with backlight correction, allows you to capture moments without loving detail in areas that are too bright. Another useful feature is the slow and fast motion recording options for different and creative content. The battery pack is rechargeable and lasts longer than most cameras.
- Optimal image stabilization allows you to record smooth content without the use of a tripod or a gimbal.
- The battery life is quite extensive so that you don’t have to waste time charging instead of vlogging.
- It is easy to use with a small, compact body and can fit in your pocket.
- This camera is ideal for beginners just learning how to focus. The on-screen focus feature allows you to touch the screen for automatic focusing.
- The SD cards are easily removed, making the transfer of information to your computer all that more proficient.
- There is no manual audio control level for the external mic, making it difficult to use that feature unless buying an additional mic setup.
This Panasonic product is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want a bulky vlogging camera. It has a compact design that is lightweight for you to be able to carry it with ease. The 5-axis image stabilizer will ease any bumps that you experience while filming. This product also has a touch screen for easier maneuvering and operability. It allows you to add filters and compose any images.
The Panasonic Camcorder films with hyper definition 1080p recording, which most vloggers choose to use. Another useful feature is the wide angle lens that measures 28 millimeters across. This is critical for capturing large events such as weddings, birthday parties or holidays. Also included is the two-channel zoom microphone which allows you to have clear audio even when zooming.
- This camera is easy to both operate and carry around with you, which is highly useful for those using a recording device to vlog.
- The filters included in the creative effects include 8 millimeter movie, silent movie, miniature effect, and time-lapse recording.
- With a lens that is wide, you can capture memorable events with your whole family in the frame.
- The Panasonic Camcorder is not all that beneficial for those recording in low-level light as the recording gets fuzzy.
One of the more notable features included in this camera is Wi-Fi technology. With this added bonus, you are able to share your videos and sink up to any other devices such as your phone. You can even control your camera with a connection app. With this camera, you can capture 720p high-definition video that is crisp and vivid. For those just learning how to vlog with a camera, the Canon PowerShot has a help button to receive instructions along the way.
The scene modes installed into this camera provide you with fun content that is a joy to edit. These effects include portrait, low light, fisheye effect, monochrome, and movie. There is an ECO mode designed specifically to limit and reduce the power consumed by the camera. This then increases the life of your battery pack.
- The battery life allows you to film for a good length of time without worrying about the red blinking warning light.
- This camera is user-friendly with helpful suggestions and a convenient Wi-Fi feature.
- It is made with ease in mind, combining the lightweight materials with a compact design.
- This camera does not include a memory card and needs to be purchased separately.
The YI Action Camera is preferred for a variety of features. Included with this product are a rechargeable battery, USB cable, the manual, and the camera itself. The video that you can capture with this camera is at about 30 frames per second with a 4K definition. There are 9 shooting modes present such as time lapse, timer, slow motion, loop, and burst video. Each can be used for an interesting piece of footage in your vlog. The design itself is made in order to be convenient for the user. This is great for beginners as the touch screen and quick start feature make it easier to operate.
The battery life lasts for approximately two hours and can be taken at around 40 meters under the water before getting damaged. This allows you to explore nautical footage. With the added feature of Wi-Fi, this product makes editing your videos fast. There are two built-in microphones in order to capture your voice against any background noise.
- The optimal image stabilization is useful for those wanting to pursue filming while on the go, whether it be at the water park or out with the kids.
- This camera is built with a wide angle lens for recording larger groups of people.
- The compact size is great for anyone avoiding big, bulky cameras.
- Although this product is said to be waterproof, it is suggested that one obtain a waterproof case which is not provided in the purchase.
This camera is advertised as a preferred purchase for those hoping to dabble in YouTube video content involving vlogs. The design is compact and easy to carry around. It also comes with a separate battery charger for those moments when you quickly need a device with plenty of juice. As with the other products, it also has a touch screen that can be flipped with a 270 degree rotation. This gives you the option of seeing yourself while vlogging.
The image sensor and 1080p high-definition allow for crisp and high-quality content. There is also a wide angle lens that can widen your field of view of up to 118 degrees. The night vision feature is also a great addition for the ability to record in the later hours of the day. This camera is built with an external stereo microphone, making for clear audio. Having an external microphone as opposed to one that is built-in improves the quality of the audio recordings.
- Wide angle lens makes capturing large scale events possible.
- The camera is light weighted and compact, taking on a modern shape for a likable design.
- The external microphone adds richer and clearer audio than if it were built-in.
- The battery life of this product does not last as long as other products that were previously mentioned.
When it comes down to it, there must only be one winner. For the best beginner vlogging camera, we chose the Canon Camera PowerShot ELPH 190. This is because of all the features included for an affordable price. It is easy to use with long lasting battery life, image stabilization, and plenty of different effects to choose from. Every camera you consider for vlogging needs to meet the minimal criteria that we mentioned earlier on. This includes image stabilization, Wi-Fi and external microphones. Also, be sure to remember that certain features such as flash do not matter as much and should not add unnecessary costs. Vlogging is an extraordinary outlet for those looking to be personal and creative. To provide high-quality content for your audience, you will need a trusty camera such as the Canon PowerShot, for a cheap vlogging camera can still be worth the investment.