In this post about the best vlogging camera under $400 you will find cameras that can already deliver top quality. You will learn that it isn’t necessary to go beyond this price, as the cameras here already bring the highest quality video you can get before 4k recording. You might not find excellent, or unbelievably good cameras here, but they certainly will allow you to deliver beautiful content to your viewers.
Here they are
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One of the best cameras for vlogs you could get around this price range is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50. It basically has a great balance between features that are favorable for vlogging, and it comes for a really fair price.
The first thing to say is that it is a small camera that is still comfortable to hold. You won’t struggle taking it around, so it’s a good option if you want to be able to take your camera out and record on the go. This is one of the most important things in a vlogging camera.
The fact that this camera comes with good 5-axis image stabilization complements its luggability. You’re able to take your camera and record while walking around without getting a shaky image.
But what caught my attention more about this one is that it even comes with time-lapse recording. This is normally achievable if you get extra gear, but you won’t have to spend more money if you want to do this kind of video. This is a really common technique that was popularized by vloggers like Casey Neistat.
Additionally, you can make a slow-motion video, since it allows you to record at 60fps. You can choose to record between 60 and 30fps at 1080p. This gives you more options than most of the cameras you will find for a lower price.
Finally, it also has a fully manual mode and RAW shooting, which is an advantage for photographers and vloggers that know how to take advantage of this.
The 2 downsides of this camera is that it doesn’t come with a flip screen and that you can only record AVCHD video format.
AVCHD is a really high quality video format, but it’s kind of heavy. This means that it will take more time to transfer files and videos are harder to edit because it will consume a lot of your PC resources. This format has its own pros and cons, but having the option to record in more formats is better.
Still, this Panasonic is a great trade for the price and one of the best vlogging cameras at this price range, hands down.
- Almost perfect for vlogging (lacks mic input and flip screen)
- Not great but also not bad low-light performance
- Slow-motion and time-lapse
- Good price
This camera is technically under $400, but you will end up spending more than that. The reason is that this one is an interchangeable lens camera. You can get the body for less than $400, but you have to buy a lens that costs at least an additional sixty bucks.
Still, I include this because it’s a really good vlogging camera.
Since it’s an interchangeable lens machine, you can keep upgrading this camera without having to buy a brand new for a higher price. This is the first major advantage you get with this one instead of the rest. But that’s not the only good thing about it.
It has a much larger sensor than the rest of the cameras in this list. It’s really close to a DSLR sensor in size, with the advantage of coming in a small body. This makes this camera incredibly good for low-light recording. It’s the winner of the list in this aspect by far.
It also comes with a selfie-friendly LCD screen that allows you to watch yourself while recording. It has fair battery life for a compact, touchscreen and reliable autofocus. It also includes a fully manual mode and RAW shooting, which photographers will love.
You can technically acquire this camera for less than $400, and though you will also need to get a lens, you don’t need to get one with optical image stabilization —which are more expensive—, since it already comes with 3-axis in-camera stabilization. Still, do not hesitate to buy a higher quality lens. It’s always a good choice to go for the better glass, since the quality improvement is quite big.
- Upgradeable with lenses
- Four thirds sensor
- Flip screen
- Best low-light recording performer
This camera has an incredibly good quality for the price, and this is especially true for its cheaper version, the Vixia HF R700. The R700 is the exact same camera for $100 less, but it comes without internal memory or NFC. The R72 comes with 32GB internal memory, and the R70 comes with 16GB.
Even though I put the HF R72 in this list, it’s probably better to go for the cheaper R700, especially if you already got a good SD card.
If you go for the cheapest version, its price becomes ridiculous for the kind of video it achieves. That’s the main reason why it is becoming really popular. The fact that you can record 1080p at 35mbps in MP4 format for only a price around $300 is really good.
And even better, since it’s a camcorder, it comes with a flip screen, good image stabilization, great zoom and it’s luggable. It is much smaller than it looks.
Finally, it also allows slow-motion recording without having to use post-production techniques.
There’s really not much more to say about this camera. It’s very easy to see why it’s a good camera for vlogging, and one of the best at this price range.
- Microphone input
- Great video quality for the price
- Really small and luggable
- In-camera slow-motion recording
The Canon VIXIA Mini X is a particular camera, and you probably won’t find another like this one. It’s a really small device with two lens modes: fish-eye 16.8mm and wide-angle 32mm. This lets you achieve really wide shots that you’re going to need if you record in a small place.
It’s a good camera if you want to use it from home, or in any other place where you can leave the camera to rest while you record your video. It’s not advisable to use if you want to walk around with it, since it doesn’t come with optical image stabilization.
However, this is a really small camera that comes with microphone input, a flip screen and really high quality stereo video. This last part is the main advantage of this camera over the rest.
This is why it’s sold as a perfect camera for musician. It truly shines if you’re a musician that wants to record videos from home thanks to the wide-angle lens, the low-light performance and the already good audio that is included.
IT also has slow-motion and time-lapse recording. It can record in both AVCHD and .MP4, so it’s also friendly with cheaper internet connections and computers.
This camera is meant to be used indoors, so it does have good performance in low light, like I a already mentioned. I don’t think I would have included this camera in this list if it weren’t for its f2.8 aperture. It’s not near the best you could find in the market, but it’s the best you can find at this price.
As a warning, just don’t trust its claims about having “top-technology electronic image stabilization”. This kind of stabilization system is not very good, so just use this camera if you can lay it to rest while recording (on a tripod or a steady surface).
While the Canon VIXIA HF R72 can record up to 35mbps in .mp4, this one can get up to 50Mbps in the same format. This means that it does record higher quality video. And, it also performs a lot better in low light.
You might think that the Vixia HF R72 isn’t quite a big advantage over this one. But the truth is that there are some aspects that it does better. The first one is that it comes with microphone port, which is lacking in the Panasonic camera.
The other disadvantage is that this one is a bit heavier, but the difference isn’t that noticeable. Also, it only lets you record at 60fps, while the Canon camera lets you choose between 30 and 60 frames per second.
Still, this isn’t a deal breaker. Its recording quality is remarkable, and if you have another way of recording audio —through an external recorder, for example— this camera is worth every penny.