Top 5 Best Vlogging Cameras Under $300 2024

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 vloggers who are just starting.

I’ve been updating this post every year for close to 10 years now. Inflation has made it harder to find a good camera for this price, but there are some excellent brands that still have good offers. Here are the best ones you can get this year:

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GoPro HERO10 Black

GoPro HERO10 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 23MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization

The Good

  • ​New faster processor
  • 5.3k at 60fps
  • Ultra slow-mo at 2.7k 240fps

The Bad

  • Media Mod required for an external mic
  • Slightly heavier than predecessors

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GoPros are not what I usually recommend if you have a larger budget, but at this price range, there’s nothing that gets better. Their main problem still applies, though: you will be stuck with an ultra-wide-angle lens without optical zoom.

You can connect an external mic to GoPro cameras if you purchase the Media Mod add-on. It’s a shame that you need to buy something extra for this, but at least you have that option, whereas, with the other cameras in this price range, there’s no option of using an external mic at all.

The HERO10 Black brought in the capability to capture footage at an impressive 5.3K resolution and 60fps. Back then, I must admit, I wasn’t even aware that such a high resolution existed, and this really generated a lot of buzz when it was released. However, the trade-off is that the camera tends to overheat a bit faster, but back then, it was quite an impressive feat.

What amazed me, even more, was the slow-motion feature, allowing for an 8x speed reduction at 2.7K and 240fps. The upgraded processor not only makes the camera more responsive but also significantly reduces the boot-up time compared to its predecessor.

The HERO10 Black comes equipped with an enhanced stabilization system, HyperSmooth 4.0, working flawlessly at 5.3K 30fps and below. I love the TimeWarp 3.0 feature that smoothly transitions from slow-motion recording to normal time.

However, the only downside is that it has a smaller sensor compared to newer models, resulting in poorer performance in low-light conditions. Also, it’s a tad heavier than the previous version despite having the same sensor size.

GoPro HERO9 Black

GoPro HERO9 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5K Ultra HD Video, 20MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization

The Good

  • ​New faster processor
  • 5.3k at 30fps
  • Ultra slow-mo at 2.7k 120fps

The Bad

  • Media Mod required for an external mic

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Now, let’s talk about the HERO9 Black. One noticeable difference, aside from the price, is its ability to record 5.3K video at 30fps instead of 60fps. Slow-motion is capped at 4x with 2.7K and 120fps. It’s the same resolution, so you need to weigh whether the higher frame rate is worth the extra cost.

The HyperSmooth 3.0 in the HERO9 Black, while not as advanced as the 4.0 in the HERO10, still does a commendable job at stabilizing footage. It’s a noticeable improvement from previous versions.

Considering stabilization improvements, it’s no surprise that the HERO9 Black is a bit heavier than its predecessors, especially compared to the HERO8 Black (117g vs. 156g). This weight difference is something to keep in mind if you plan to use it alongside another camera.

The processor isn’t as fast, and the interface might feel slightly less responsive compared to the HERO10 Black. The most significant difference, in my opinion, is the slower frame rate options. Given the price gap, opting for the HERO9 Black could be a reasonable choice to save that extra hundred bucks.

Panasonic HC-V180K

Panasonic Full HD Video Camera Camcorder HC-V180K, 50X Optical Zoom, 1/5.8-Inch BSI Sensor, Touch Enabled 2.7-Inch LCD Display (Black)

The Good

  • 5-axis stabilization
  • Compact and Lightweight

The Bad

  • Poor low-light recording
  • No Wi-Fi
  • Slow star-up time

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The Panasonic HC-V180K is a budget-friendly camcorder that is compact and lightweight. It may not be as pocketable as a GoPro, but it’s still pretty easy to carry with you.

It offers a high zoom range with 50x optical zoom and a 90x intelligent zoom. The intelligent zoom combines digital zoom, sharpening, and advanced image up-scaling to produce clear footage.

The camcorder also features 5-axis image stabilization and a Level Shot function for stable handheld footage, even when zoomed in. Additionally, it has a wide-angle lens with a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 28mm, allowing you to capture more in your shot.

The camcorder has a slow start-up time, which is a bit annoying when you want to start recording right away. Also, it does not have Wi-Fi capabilities, which means you cannot operate the camcorder from a smartphone app.

In conclusion, the Panasonic HC-V180K is a good vlogging camera for beginners due to its image stabilization, and wide-angle setting. However, it may not be suitable for those who require quick start-up times, need to shoot in low-light conditions, or want Wi-Fi capabilities.

Sony HDRCX405

Sony - HDRCX405 HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder (black)

The Good

  • SteadyShot stabilization
  • Excellent color balance

The Bad

  • No touchscreen and slow autofocus
  • Poor low-light recording
  • No Wi-Fi

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The Sony HDRCX405 HD is another good budget-friendly compact and lightweight camcorder with top-notch color balance, receiving an A grade for delivering true-to-life colors.

It features Sony’s highly praised SteadyShot image stabilization, which makes the footage a lot smoother while walking. And the controls are user-friendly, even though it doesn’t have a touchscreen. Instead, features are accessed using a toggle button.

On the flip side, the autofocus, unfortunately, tends to be on the slower side. And similarly to other camcorders in this price range, it lacks a Wi-Fi connection. You will have to transfer all your files via USB

Still, it’s a great option for vloggers seeking high-definition videos and photos in a cheap package.

Kodak PIXPRO AZ425

KODAK PIXPRO AZ425 Astro Zoom 20MP Digital Camera (Black) Bundle with 32GB SD Card, Holster Case and Accessory Kit, Battery and Charger Kit, Cable, and Tripod (6 Items)

The Good

  • Image stabilization
  • Excellent color balance

The Bad

  • No flip screen
  • No Wi-Fi or touchscreen

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The Kodak PIXPRO AZ425 is an alternative choice to camcorders. The larger 1/2.3 sensor—same size as the GoPros—allows it to record with better quality in low light. However, you will sacrifice the flip screen, which may be a deal breaker for a lot of vloggers. That’s why I’m putting it last on the list.

And compared to the GoPros, this one offerse more than just wide-angle lens with its 42x zoom. This makes it more useful for photography and gives it more versatility for vlogging too.

The user interface is easy to use with a simple layout and easy-to-understrand controls.

On the flip side, similarly to the camcorders, it lacks Wi-Fi and touchscreen, so you will need to upload pictures and clips the old way.

Overall, it’s offers a good balance between photo and video capabilities. If you want a camera that you can use for both vlogging and a bit of photography, this might be the better choice.

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, smartphones 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.

If you want to learn my strategy for growing on YouTube 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.