Is the most expensive camera always the best for you? No. It depends. If you are a determined and ambitious beginner, it's a good decision to invest in advanced cameras when you have an adequate budget. However, if you are not sure whether your enthusiasm for vlogging or photography will last or not, starting with an entry-level camera could be much wiser. As camera technology continues to advance, prices on cameras are coming down. Now, as a vlogger/YouTuber, you can get your hands on some decent vlogging cameras with a small budget. Before you get into the recommendation, please keep in mind that these budget camera still allows you to shoot fantastic videos and photos. Below, I have prepared a list of the top eleven cheap vlogging cameras, all of which can record at least full HD 1080p videos, that you can get for under $600.
If you have a bigger budget, you may prefer to check out my other posts on:
Recording outdoor action videos for your vlog with a DSLR camera is impractical. They're heavy and bulky, getting in the way of whatever you're doing.
Action cameras like the GoPro and Polaroid Cube are much better for these occasions because they're small enough to be mounted on a bike or a helmet. The Polaroid Cube also has built-in magnets on the top and bottom of the camera, giving you the ability to attach them to most metal surfaces.
The camera's 1.4-inch rubber body is resistant to water, shock, and all types of weather and it is capable of capturing footage even under the most extreme weather conditions.
The Cube action camera can record full HD 1080p videos at 60 fps and it has a 124-degree wide-angle lens that performs best when it is used for exterior shots.
The camera is compatible with microSDHC memory cards that can store up to 128GB of footage. The Cube's battery can record up to 107 minutes before it needs another charge.
With the Polaroid Cube+, you can preview or control your camera from your phone because it comes with Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Cheap vlogging camera for outdoor videos
- Multiple mounting options
- Low-quality built-in microphone
- No preview screen
Best Cheap Vlogging Camera Under $200:
If you are looking for an affordable vlogging camera that costs less than $200, then currently the best option for you is the Yi 4K Action Camera.
Its 2.19" LCD Gorilla Glass retina touchscreen is resistant to scratches and mild impacts. Much like a lot of action cameras, this camera is equipped with a wide-angle lens, 160-degree to be exact.
The camera, however, is not waterproof, and you need to buy additional accessories so you can protect the camera from accidental damage.
You can record 120 minutes of 4K footage at 60 fps without having to recharge the camera's 4.35V lithium-ion battery.
All the footage you record with the Yi 4K action camera can easily be transferred to a computer or broadcasted live on Facebook, YouTube, and other live streaming platforms using the camera's high-speed 5GHz Wi-Fi feature.
The built-in EIS (electronic image stabilization) contains a 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer that reduces the camera shakes caused by movements and enables you to produce smooth recordings of your wildest adventures.
The Yi 4K action camera has two built-in microphones that can capture audio recordings, but there is no audio jack input for recording audio from an external microphone.
- Weighs only 3.4 Oz
- Powerful electronic image stabilization
- Limited mounting capabilities
- The camera's fisheye lens can distort footage
Best Cheap Vlogging Camera Under $300:
Unlike the action cams that can capture ultra-wide-angle shots, the Nikon's Coolpix B500 model is designed to also help you zoom in closer. The camera has a built-in 40X optical zoom NIKKOR lens that can be extended to 80X when used with the Dynamic Fine Zoom feature, which means you can easily record things that are further away.
The Nikon Coolpix B500's ISO can only go up to ISO 3200, despite the camera's 16 MP BSI-CMOS sensor that supports full HD 1080p recording at 30 or 25 fps.
The 3-inch 920K-dot LCD screen is fully adjustable but it doesn't have touchscreen functionality, and the camera doesn't have a viewfinder, which can slightly complicate the process of composing shots for your vlogs.
The Nikon Coolpix B500 is conveniently powered by 4 AA batteries.
This cheap vlogging camera offers more features than similar cameras in its price range.
- Great connectivity features
- 80x optical zoom
- No manual exposure controls
- Limited ISO sensitivity
Best Cheap Vlogging Camera Under $400:
This Coolpix series digital camera model is much more powerful than the Nikon B500 because it is a 20.3 MP camera that can record videos in UHD 4K quality.
The non-interchangeable 35X optical zoom NIKKOR f/3.4-6.9 lens performs well in capturing footage of both closeup and faraway objects.
Like the B500, the A900's ISO sensitivity goes up to a maximum of 3200. Consequently, this camera won't be ideal for filming in poorly lit conditions.
The Nikon Coolpix A900 features a variety of handy modes, including creative, super lapse, and multiple exposure modes, to mention a few.
The SnapBridge app allows you to connect the camera to a smartphone or a tablet via the built-in Wi-Fi NFC so you can transfer and edit the footage immediately after you stop recording.
The A900 is a small and light digital camera, which makes it a great companion on your daily vlogging adventures.
- 4K and Full HD video recording options
- Manual exposure control
- Limited audio recording features
- No viewfinder
Best Cheap Vlogging Camera Under $500:
Sony's a5100 is the successor of the NEX-5 series. Four years after its initial release in 2014, it is still considered the best vlogging camera under $500.
The 24.3 MP Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor and the BIONZ X image processor reduce image noise and increase the level of detail in your vlogs.
This mirrorless camera ships with the standard 16-50 mm lens, but it is compatible with all of Sony's E-mount lenses.
The Sony a5100 can record up to 1080p videos at 60 fps. Its HVAC S codec support enables you to produce videos that have 50Mbps bit rates.
The Hybrid AF system featuring both a 179 phase-detect points as well as 25 contrast-detect points guarantees that all videos you record with the Sony a5100 will be sharp and in focus.
Wi-Fi with NFC feature enables you to easily transfer or share your recorded footage.
- AF speeds exceed all expectations
- The camera body is resistant to moderate impact
- Can't record 4K videos
- Fake shutter sounds
Wondershare Filmora supports most video formats that you can find. If you have no idea about which software can edit the video filmed by your camera, try Filmora. It provides special effects, stock photo & video, sound library, etc., which will definitely enhance your productivity and helps to make money by making videos much easier
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.