The 6 Best Vlogging Cameras Under $300

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 - One of the best vlogging cameras under $300
Samsung Galaxy Camera 2

Whether you’re looking for a camcorder or compact camera for vlogging, you will find it here. Here are the best vlogging cameras under $3oo.

This price range is where you will start finding really useful cameras for video blogging that are enough for most vloggers.

Cameras that have a price between $200 and $299 have already some features that are useful for vloggers. Still, a lot of them don’t come with an external microphone port. That’s why I’ve separated them into two small lists.

You can still use a USB or portable microphone if you get a camera that doesn’t have mic input. Nevertheless, it might be cheaper to get a camera with mic input, since you won’t have to invest in an external recorder.

Best Vlogging Cameras Under $300 Without Mic Input

Most of the time vloggers like to take their camera out and not worry much about having an external microphone, which is the reason why these cameras are the most popular between video bloggers. You can still record good video with them, although you will need to worry when you’re in a windy day.

There is still a way of recording top-notch audio with these cameras, but you will need to invest in a portable recorder like the Zoom H1. If you want to record from home, another good alternative is connecting a USB microphone to your PC to record audio and then sync it in post-production.

Remember to visit this post to know more about what microphone to use.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS

The Canon PowerShot ELPH cameras have a lot of history with vloggers. These have been used by many now successful vloggers before because it has the perfect balance for this kind of job.

There are various versions of this camera. If you go to Amazon, you will find that the ELPH 330 is more expensive than the 340 and even the 350. The reason is because these cameras aren’t a real upgrade from each other. Actually, the ELPH 330 HS is the one with better performance in low light, has better image quality andmore battery life than its “successors”.

This is why it is still usual to find vloggers that start with this camera and end up upgrading to a G7 X later on.

The Canon Powershot ELPH 330 HS offers 1080p recording quality, has an around average battery life, optical image stabilization, and decent performance in low light for the night (max. ISO 6400).

Its weakest point is the  F3.0 max. aperture, which makes the camera struggle a little bit in lower light, but it still doesn’t add too much noise to the picture. This kind of aperture is also common at this price range, so there really aren’t good reasons to blame Canon for it.

Still, it’s a camera with optical image stabilization, which is something you will need if you want to move around while recording.

This camera has two microphones located in the front, which are ideal for vlogging, as you will be speaking directly to the camera from the front, so it isn’t hard for the camera to pick up the sound of your voice. You still need to be worried about windy days, as any built-in microphone struggles with recording good audio in this condition.

Finally, it also includes WiFi and it is really luggable (weight: 144 g/0.32 lb/5.08 oz).

All in all, it is a really good balance of high quality image, battery life, useful features and low-light performance for a fair price. This is definitely my favorite camera for vlogging under $300.

The Good:

  • Good performance in low light for the price
  • It has optical image stablization that makes video much less shaky
  • Good recording quality (1080p Full HD)
  • Useful features for vloggers (WiFi, 240 fps High-Speed Video)
  • Luggability

The Bad

  • No articulating screen
  • No mic input
  • Low battery life (190 shots)

Click here for the in-depth review

 

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS50

The good thing about a camera without mic input is that you will get other features for a good price. In the case of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS50, you will get amazing performance in low light.

You won’t have to worry about having a good lighting kit with this camera. As long as there is good lighting indoors, this camera will perform great.

It’s hard to stress enough how good this is for vlogging. Just consider the amount of time you will spend recording indoors; this camera will perform better in low light than any other featured on this post.

Even though its maximum ISO is 6,400, which still doubles the Samsung Galaxy 2’s, when you use higher ISO on this camera, it won’t add as much grain to the image as others. You can use it indoors without worrying as long as it’s daylight.

Now, when it comes to other features:

It has average battery life duration (300 shots), WiFi, manual mode and it’s lightweight (243g). It’s just missing an articulating screen and touchscreen, which is not a big deal if you take into account its good performance in low light.

The Good:

  • Amazing low light performance for the price (you won’t need a lighting kit in daylight)
  • 1080p60/30 max recording quality

The Bad

  • No mic input
  • No articulating screen
  • No touchscreen

 

GoPro HERO3+

The GoPro HERO3+ keeps a good place in the top-sellers even though there’s a newer version.

These cameras can offer what no other can. They are the only option for action vlogging. It really doesn’t matter if you’re a cyclist or a diver, this camera will allow you to record unique videos and take amazing pictures.

It also comes with WiFi to let you upload your videos as soon as possible. You can also control your camera with a smartphone or tablet through this feature.

It’s a really small camera that works the best when attached to your body.

Since it’s made for action vlogging, its wide-angle lens is necessary. However, making every video with it, including the ones where you’ll be speaking to the camera, can be tiresome for your viewers. Wide-angle lenses are useful to take wide shots, but they also cause perspective distortion. This makes them only good for action or travel vlogging.

The Good:

  • No other camera can offer its usefulness for action vlogging
  • Environmental sealing
  • Great video quality (1080p60)
  • Nice WiFi feature

The Bad

  • Not useful for most kinds of vlogging (wide-angle lens and construction limitations)

 

Best Vlogging Cameras Under $300 With Mic Input

You won’t find a camera with hot shoe at this price range, so you won’t be able to use a shotgun microphone. Nevertheless, you can connect a lavalier microphone to them for audio recording.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2

From all these cameras, the one that offers the most cool features to vloggers is the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2.

The reason is simple:

What’s better than a light camera with external mic port, manual exposure/focus, WiFi, touchscreen, full HD video recording, and long battery life? A camera with all that but that also runs Android.

This camera has it all except an articulating screen. However, vloggers still get a great deal.

You can install many apps in Android that can help with your vlogs; you can even edit your videos with it.

This makes it a truly unique camera and a really good option to make video blogs with. It’s one of those products to fall in love with. This shows that Samsung knows what buyers want –well, at least most of the time. This is one of the most interesting cameras you could find for vlogging without spending more than $300.

The Good:

  • Android OS adds a lot of value with useful apps
  • Many useful features for vloggers (only missing an articulating screen)
  • Long battery duration (400 min)

The Bad

  • Bad performance in low light (max ISO 3,200)
  • Could use 1080p60 video recording (max recording quality is 1080p30)
  • No articulating screen

 

Nikon COOLPIX P530

If you don’t think you will be traveling or walking around with the camera, then the Nikon COOLPIX P530 is a really good camera to go for.

It is heavier and bigger, so it is better for indoor. This allows the camera to perform much better in low light, which is really important for vloggers that record indoors without professional lighting.

You will also sacrifice the wireless connection (this one needs a WU-1a adapter to use WiFi) and a touchscreen.

While the Galaxy Camera 2 offers a maximum of 3,200 ISO, this one can handle up to 12,800 ISO. This will give you more possibilities to use the camera in lower light. The Nikon COOLPIX P530 also will give you a bigger zoom, although this is not that useful for vlogging.

It also has full manual mode, including manual focus. This is something rare to find in cameras at this price range and it will allow you to tell the camera the best settings to record at the highest quality possible.

On the other hand, it’s heavier than the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 (283g vs 494g), and it has almost half the battery life (400 vs 240 shots).

Still, it is a cheaper option with better indoor performance. It also lets you record 1080p video up to 60fps.

The Good:

  • Good ISO range for low light (12,600)
  • Up to 1080p60 recording quality; still allows 50, 30 or 25fps

The Bad

  • No built-in WiFi
  • Short battery life (240 shots)
  • No articulating screen
  • No touchscreen

 

Canon VIXIA HF R62

This one is the most expensive version of the Canon VIXIA HF R600.

Even though camcorders are not the best type of camera for low-light recording, this one does a better job than others camcorders at this price range.

It’s as expensive as the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2, but it also includes touchscreen, WiFi and long battery life.

It is also the only camera here to include internal memory (32GB).

One of its best features is the fast lens: f1.8 at wide will help you a lot in low light. It will also give that cool blurred background effect everyone loves, as long as you set the minimum zoom.

Still, it’s missing a real manual exposure mode, as it’s in the consumer level of the camcorder market. However, its fast lens and articulated screen makes it stand out from the rest of the cameras here.

The Good:

  • More useful features for vlogging (touchscreen, WiFi, articulated screen)
  • Really long battery life (204 min)
  • Internal memory (32GB)
  • 1080p60 at 35mbps

The Bad

  • Better in low light conditions than its competition, but it’s still a camcorder

See the full in-depth review here

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