Top 5 Best Vlogging Cameras Under $300 [2020]

Whether you’re looking for a camcorder or compact camera for vlogging on a tight budget, you will find here the list of the best vlogging cameras under $300 on the market.

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

Still, they all lack an external microphone port. But this is something very common even in the best vlogging cameras. Most cameras that are really useful for vlogs are compact, so they usually lack the space for an external port. This feature is only common in more bulky cameras like DSLRs or camcorders.

The best solution is getting an external recorder and connect a microphone to it.

So, since you’re going to need to invest in good audio sooner or later, having a well-priced camera that can still record 1080p video can allow you start recording very high quality videos on a tight budget. That’s why I’ve made this list. I tested and looked for lots of information from customers, and these are the winners between vloggers:

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Do You REALLY Need a New Camera?

I was able to grow my channel from 0 to 1,000 subs in just 1 month and 12 days while using a really cheap $75 webcam I already had at home.

In my opinion, if you’re searching for a camera that is cheaper than $300, then you probably are better off just using your smartphone.

Really, smarpthones have amazing cameras nowadays.

Even phones from years ago offer enough quality for you to grow your channel.

If it can record 720p video, then you’re good to go.

What you must focus on instead is in creating good, valuable content.

Your strategy will be much more important than the equipment that you use.

Having a good strategy is much more important than having the best camera money can buy. Click here to get my free course with the YouTube strategy I used to go from 0 to 1,000 subs in 1 month, 12 days.

If you want to learn my strategy for growing on YouTube in this year, then check out this page.

Having a good strategy will be a thousand times more important than having the best equipment.

But if you’re really sure that you need one, and you don’t want to use your smartphone to record your videos, then keep reading.

The 5 Best Vlogging Cameras Under $300

The prices of these cameras are updated automatically according to Amazon’s current price, which varies by the minute. Some cameras might go above the $300 mark.

​Camera

Flip Screen

Mic. Jack

Resolution

Price / Our Rating

​2160p30(4k)

Price not available

1080p60

$249.99

2160p30(4k)

$336.99

1080p30

$296.95

1080p60

$299.00

GoPro Hero 7 Silver – Best Luggability

gopro hero 7 silver for vloggingGoPros are one of those affordable cameras that can do awesome things.

However, there are good reasons why they are so cheap: they don’t work in every situation.

These cameras have a fisheye lens that will make people get a bit sick if they watch for too long.

So, I wouldn’t recommend them as your main vlogging camera.

Also, their microphones are terrible, so you will for sure need to use an external microphone.

This silver model is the cheaper one, and unlike the Black one, it doesn’t come with an external mic jack.

This means that you’ll need to connect your microphone to your smartphone and use it as an external recorder.

However, the camera is capable of recording really smooth 4k footage.

It also has great stabilization and tons of other features like WiFi, Bluetooth, and a touchscreen.

Just don’t use it for every video you want to make.

Use it for action, or sports-like footage and you’ll find that it is a great investment.

My recommendation: use your smartphone’s camera for most of your vlogging content, and use this one for your action footage.

The Good

  • ​4k video
  • Touchscreen, WiFi and ​Bluetooth
  • Very small and pocketable

The ​Bad

  • Fisheye lens effect that can make people sick
  • No external mic input

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS50 – Best Control (Fully Manual Mode)

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 a fully manual mode, RAW support and more ISO to work in low light.

But the main difference, besides this one being a lot heavier than the Canon ELPH360 HS, is that you can control your camera a lot more. This is extremely useful, of course, if you know how to play with the manual settings. Although the thing you will need the most as a vlogger is the manual focusing to make sure the camera doesn’t stop focusing you in a random moment, and both cameras do have this feature.

The ZS50 is more of a vlogging camera for photographers. You can play a lot with it and still record 1080p60 video. This means that you can also record slow-motion, and it even includes a timelapse mode.

The most important downside is that it is a quite heavy camera for its size, which can make it difficult to carry around, although not as much as more dSLR-like cameras.

Still, it has average battery life duration, although better than most compact cameras (300 shots) and WiFi. It’s just missing an articulating screen and touchscreen.

The Good

  • Fully manual mode
  • 1080p60
  • Timelapse mode
  • Small and lightweight

The ​Bad

  • Small sensor
  • Low battery life

GoPro HERO5 Black – Best Resolution

GoPro cameras are for very specific needs, and a lot of vloggers find in them a lot of usefulness, so it’s a pretty popular camera for YouTube channels.

They seem to be extremely good for their price: most of them can record 4k video and they resist incredibly tough environments, so it almost seems like a steal.

The GoPro HERO5 Black achieves all this. It is an extremely small camera that can record 4k and can resist up to 33ft of water. It is a camera made for hitting rec and start doing your thing without having to think about manual settings and still record incredibly high-quality video. And it can also achieve stunning slow-motion thanks to its 1080p120 mode.

But a lot of vloggers don’t know that these cameras are made for very specific needs, and “for vlogging” is not specific enough.

What I mean is the following:

They are made for recording during the day, and specifically for situations that require a fish-eye lens. You cannot choose to stop using fish-eye with these cameras, and that’s a big deal if you plan to record all your vlogs with it.

That’s why the GoPro HERO5 Black is of really good value if you plan to record action videos, but not more. Fish-eye lenses give everything a bizarre, unnatural look. And since they’re made for recordings under de sunlight, their color balance is extremely cold if you’re indoors or at night.

This is a type of camera that can achieve what others can’t, but it can’t either achieve what others can. Don’t use it as a daily-vlog camera.

The Good

  • 4k video
  • 120fps slow-motion
  • Rugged and waterproof up 33ft
  • POV camera

The ​Bad

  • No zoom​​​​
  • Can't be used for daily vlogging
  • Bad audio

Nikon COOLPIX B500 – Cheapest Option Within The $200-300 Range

Even though most good vlogging cameras are luggable and easy to carry around, some vloggers like to work from home, and you can give up some luggability for better quality video. This is what the Nikon COOLPIX B500 offers.

This camera can record 1080p video, and has good low-light performance with ISO up to 3,200 and has great battery life.

Still, bear in mind that it doesn’t have a manual focusing mode, so you will need to rely on the autofocus. This is not a problem if you record from home, as the camera won’t need to hunt between different moving subjects if you keep it stationary. If you use this camera on a tripod to record your videos, you will find that this camera gives great quality for the price.

It is basically the best one for indoors recording thanks to its increased ISO capacity and low image noise, but it’s still a camera you would need to use with good lighting.

The Good

  • WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth
  • Really good battery life
  • Cheap

The ​Bad

  • Heavy (1.19lb)
  • No manual focus

Canon VIXIA HF R800 – Most Vlogging-Friendly Choice

This one is the improved version of the cheaper Canon VIXIA HF R800.

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

It is a really light camcorder with flip touchscreen, WiFi and decent battery life.

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.

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.

Still, that doesn’t make it the best option for recording in low-light. Remember that even though its fast lens helps a lot when compared to other cameras of this category, it’s still a camcorder. It still has a smaller sensor than most of the other cameras here, so it really doesn’t outperforms the others if you need to record indoors or at night time.

 

The Good

  • 1080p60 video
  • Flip screen and external mic. port
  • Good battery life
  • Internal memory (32gb)

The ​Bad

  • Same R800 Camera but with internal memory and WiFi

Will A.

Will is the founder of VloggerPro. He's a YouTube Certified partner and has been reviewing equipment and teaching others how to grow and generate real income on YouTube for the last 5 years.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Nuray - January 5, 2020 Reply

Hi Will

I want to start doing youtube but i really like taking pictures outdoors as well. I actually do have a nikon 80d but it doesn’t have a video function and autofocus is horrible so i’m looking something under 300$ with a flip screen. Because i’m just starting, i don’t think i need crazy functions. A camera i can play with settingsearn how to take decent pictures, shoot some videos ( probably outdoors and moving) and have fun. Can you give some advice?

Thankyou in advance

    Will A. - January 9, 2020 Reply

    Use your smartphone. They have great cameras nowadays and you can watch yourself as you record yourself.

Nicola - November 23, 2018 Reply

Hi there,
I am looking for a blogging camera to buy for christmas for my 11 year old daughter. She loves to record videos of herself talking (!) so a flip screen is a must and good sound quality. She would also like a touch screen. Obviously don’r want to spend a fortune as she is so young….any ideas? I need help!! Thanks Nicola

    Will A. - November 27, 2018 Reply

    Sorry about the late reply Nicola, the Canon R800 is what I like to recommend the most for cameras under $300. You can then improve its audio by getting a lavaliere microphone. Hope it’s not too late for your Christmas shopping!

Sonja - April 3, 2018 Reply

Hello!
I’m looking a compact camera that can do great with low light photography and can record quality videos for YouTube. Kinda hoping for it to be cheap but I don’t even know where to start. Need some help and suggestions asap, thanks in advance!

    Will A. - April 7, 2018 Reply

    Hey Sonja,

    If you can’t use good lighting it’s going to be hard to get a compact camera for cheap that can record high quality video. The only thing I can recommend you is to at least go for a mirrorless camera around $500, like the Sony a5100

Ryan - July 29, 2017 Reply

Hey Will, what would you suggest for a new vlogger who wants to do make new videos and edit them but also lots of outdoor photography. I’m a trail runner, so mostly in full daylight. I noticed you suggested the PowerShot S110 because it makes better low light videos, but I noticed ELPH 360HS takes 20MP photos.

Forgive my ignorance, I’m a total camera newb. I’m guessing there’s a lot more to photo quality than just the raw MP capabilities of the camera. I’m on a budget, but want my video quality to not look obviously below standards. Yet I also want stunning photographs.

Thank in advance.

    Will A. - August 1, 2017 Reply

    Hello Ryan.

    If you want to know my opinion, my personal favorite is the ELPH 360HS, but not because of the MPs —they shouldn’t matter to you, unless you want to do large print outs- The main reason is its size and overall quality you get for a relatively cheap price. It is really good value, and probably the best one to record videos in daylight from this list.

John Felipe - July 2, 2017 Reply

Hi!
Im having a hard choice between Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS and Canon PowerShot S110 12MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black) :S
What would u pick if u were me?
I gonne use it outdoor mostly in the woods, sitting still making food.
But i will also use my cam for traveling, mostly just walking around cities + sitting still eating food!
Ty so much if u got the time to answer, Keep up the good work!

    Will A. - July 3, 2017 Reply

    Hi John

    Those two cameras are on completely different levels. You can see what I mean when checking their prices. A used s110 is even more expensive than a brand new ELPH 360, so there you can expect a much better camera in the s110. Right now there is a newer model: the S120, which I recommend checking out. If you got the budget for it, definitely the s110 or 120 are much better. They record much better in lower light, which is something you will certainly need if you plan to record in the woods. Both are great travel cameras too. So it all depends on your budget.

    Recording in the woods means recording with poor lighting conditions, so if you want my honest opinion, the more expensive you can go, the better. I highly recommend you a mirrorless camera for this kind of recording, but they are quite more expensive. You can check one like the Sony A5100.

    Regarding your other question in the other article, don’t go for an action camera for this kind of film. It’s better to go for a compact like the ones you are asking for.

      John Felipe - July 3, 2017 Reply

      Ty so much for detailed answer. Ye i was falling more for the s110. my budget is 300$ and I found 2 used in my country for 180$, 1 was even with a 64gb card + some xtra stuff!

      Hmm. i will check out the Sony A5100 for sure! i saw the price on amazon was 500$, if im lucky i can maybe find it for half prize in my country =) then im still in my budget.

      Ty so much for the help, Keep up the good work and have a nice summer <3 Much Love

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