What? A vlogging camera under $100? That’s right. It seems good to be true, but there are actually some viable cameras at this price range. On this list you will find cameras that offer very different features that you’ll need to choose according to your vlogging needs.
The good thing is that these cameras usually come with little zoom to save buyers some money. Zoom is not useful for vloggers, so you won’t lose too much value by getting a cheap camera.
There aren’t major differences regarding image quality and low-light performance between the cameras you’ll see listed here. After all, these cameras are all in a really low price range and there’s not much that companies can do to improve them. Still, they are a good choice if you’re just starting to record vlogs.
After a lot of research, I’ve found that these are the best cameras under $100.
Table of Contents
The Best Vlogging Camera Under $100: Sony Cyber-Shot DSCW810
I believe the Sony Cyber-Shot DSCW810 is the best cheap vlogging camera because of one simple reason: optical image stabilization. Even though there are other cameras that have more features that are useful for vlogging, they are missing this incredibly important tool.
See, this camera doesn’t have WiFi or an articulating screen, but it’s still the best one for a typical vlogging channel.
Why is optical image stabilization so important?
It’s very simple:
Vlogging is often done while walking around and recording with the camera. Image stabilization is the only thing that makes this kind of video viable.
A video recorded without optical image stabilization gets really shaky when you are walking around. The Sony Cyber-Shot DSCW810 makes this kind of video smooth and really easy to watch. You will do your viewers a favor by using a camera with this kind of system.
On the other hand, this compact camera can record at a maximum 720p video quality and its battery can last for 200 shots. Its battery is below average so it might be a good idea to get a spare battery for your recording sessions.
You will notice that the rest of the cameras here include digital image stabilization. However, bear in mind that having a digital image stabilization or zoom is useless. These are just marketing tricks to get you to buy these cameras.
A optical image stabilization is a moving part built in the camera’s body or lens that will compensate the camera’s movement. It’s needless to say that you can’t get the same compensation in a digital way; the results make a huge difference.
You should consider the following cameras if most of your vlogging will be done without walking or moving—using a tripod makes the following cameras worth every penny.
If it weren’t for the lack of optical image stabilization, the Nikon Coolpix L32 would kick every other recorder where it hurts.
Nevertheless, this is a really cheap camera with a performance—for video recording—that is above the average in its price range.
The most important things about this camera are:
1- It’s the only camera under $100 with a fully articulating screen, so it’s the only one that will let you know if you’re inside the shot while you record.
2- Its battery life is way above the average of ALL compact cameras—including the most expensive ones, like the Canon PowerShot G7 X—. It lasts for 320 shots (average is 243).
Its screen is also larger than the rest of the small sensor compact cameras listed here. Since it can also rotate to let you see yourself while you record, it makes it the cheapest camera that is friendly to vloggers.
It’s still not the best option for recording during night because its maximum ISO is 1600—while the Sony Cyber-Shot DSCW810 allows 3600). Nevertheless, you shouldn’t be considering getting such a cheap camera if you need to do a lot of recording during the night.
It still can record video at 720p and it’s still a very high quality camera for the price. If you don’t plan to move around or walk with this camera too much while recording, then this should be your best option.
The Nikon Coolpix S2900 camera makes vlogging easier because you won’t need to connect a cable to upload your videos to YouTube or to any other platform. You can also control this camera with your smartphone.
This camera is also lighter than the Nikon Coolpix L32 (119g vs 164g). It also has a bigger capacity for recording at night (max. ISO 3200 vs 1600)
Its maximum recording quality is 720p and its battery can last for 250 shots, which is okay for a compact camera at this price.
It is the cheapest camera from this list, and it still offers a lot of value to vloggers.
This last camera was made for a very specific kind of vlogging channel: extreme travel videos. However, something that really bothers me about it is that it lacks the optical image stabilization for it. It really doesn’t make much sense making a camera for extreme videos and not build optical image stabilization for it. Still, it has something unique to offer.
What makes the Nikon CoolPix S33 good for extreme travel is that it’s the only one that has environmental sealing and takes decent video at this price range.
It’s the kind of camera to get if you want to vlog about unique places you visit in your travels; its environmental sealing ensures you can use your camera in places where any other would be damaged.
You can shoot underwater video with it and pay less than $100. It might not be a GoPro, but it’s the cheapest alternative you got.
This camera can record video at 720p, but it doesn’t have optical stabilization, flip screen, WiFi and its battery duration is a little below average (220 shots).
It’s not the best filming camera, but it is the only one with true weather sealing below $100.