Like I always say, the most important thing you need to do if you dream with running a successful video blog channel is starting right away. This is why I’ve made this list of the best YouTube vlogging cameras under $200 to fit your budget.
If you want to start making content and don’t have a proper camera already, this guide will help you to get started.
Here’s a table to help you get a better notion of the features of these cameras:
|Camera||Flip Screen||Recording Quality||Battery|
|Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS||No||1080p30||180 shots|
|Nikon COOLPIX S6900||Yes||1080p30||180 shots|
|Fujifilm FinePix S8600||No||720p30||410 shots (3x AA)|
|Nikon COOLPIX L840||Tilting||1080p30||590 shots|
|Canon PowerShot SX410 IS||No||720p25||185 shots (NB-11LH)|
A quick reminder is that these cameras are not the best on the market, but they’re a fair trade for the price. They’re between the best cheap YouTube cameras you could get for this price.
They work really well as beginner vlogging cameras too. You can get a cheap one to start filming videos right away —although you should try with your smartphone first, as most of them record good video.
Since I know that what isn’t too cheap for me might be too cheap for you, I’ve researched cameras in other camera ranges too.
The following list shows articles for the best affordable cameras for YouTube in different price ranges —we get what we pay for, don’t we?
If you plan to record mostly from home, webcams are really good vlog cameras for beginners, as they are extremely cheap and some can record 1080p video.
And if you really want to commit to an extremely good camera, and don’t care about paying more than $400, you can check my post on the Top 7 Vlogging Cameras for 2016-2017
If you happen to get one of these cameras, check this post about what microphone to get. I also offer you a solution if you get a camera without an external microphone port.
Now, let’ start with a chart to get things going.
Table of Contents
Review of the Best Cheap YouTube Vlogging Cameras Under $200
Canon PowerShot ELPH cameras have been the choice of many vloggers for many years. Starting from the ELPH 330 that was released back in 2011, these cameras are often used to record video blogs that involve a lot of walking around and carrying the camera with you.
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS is really good for this purpose on a budget because it’s a really slim camera that has an average battery life and can record 1080p Full HD video with good quality.
The only real bad thing to say about this camera is that its performance in low light could be better, but this is something you can’t get away from at this price range.
The max. 3200 ISO could’ve been expanded to at least 6400 and still the camera would cost less than $200. However, bear in mind that this camera has a good price for what it offers, as it gets close to the $100 mark.
Since this is the kind of camera that was made to be carried around and record 1080p, it doesn’t come with a microphone input. However, one of the main reasons why the ELPH cameras are often used for vlogging is that they come with front-facing microphones.
This is ideal for vloggers because cameras that have microphones on the sides or rear are not fit to record in an uncontrolled environment—like walking around the street. This camera’s microphones are able to pick up your voice over the ambient sound since they are located on the front of the camera.
One of the main reasons why this camera is in this list is because it can record in MP4. While the s6900 is cheaper, it doesn’t provide a way of recording in this easy-to-edit format.
Finally, this camera comes with built-in WiFi that works just fine to upload videos directly without having to connect a cable to the computer.
When compared to its previous version, the 350 HS, I’m not sure it’s a big upgrade. You will get less battery (180 shots instead of 220), but it now includes manual focus, which is actually pretty useful for vlogging. If you set the camera’s focus correctly, you will know your being focused as long as you don’t change your distance from the camera.
It’s basically a trade you can consider bad or good depending on your needs, but there’s no longer many options since the 350HS has been discontinued.
- 1080p recording in MP4 format
- Small and easy to carry around
- Manual Focus
- WiFi and OIS
The best camera for vlogging are the ones that have a lot of luggability and can still deliver good image quality. This is the case of the first two cameras on this list. This Nikon CoolPix S6900 is a camera that seems really good for vlogging and it’s just under the $200 mark.
This camera can record 1080p30 video with stereo sound, has WiFi, flip-out touchscreen and decent max. ISO (6400) for the size and price. This means that the camera doesn’t become completely useless in low light.
All this makes it a pretty good cheap camera for YouTube.
One important thing to note about this camera and the next one is that their microphones are facing the front part of the camera. This is very important for vlogging because you won’t cover the microphones with your hands when you’re recording yourself. It also helps the camera discriminate the rest of the environment sound.
Besides this important fact, the S6900 is really easy to carry around, has a flip screen to watch yourself while recording and it comes with WiFi.
The only major downside is its battery life. While the average is 243 shots, this one can only take 180 shots before needing a recharge. It’s a good idea to carry an additional battery around in case you run out of gas in the middle of a video.
This is the cheapest point & shoot camera that you can find that can deliver outstanding quality video.
It might not be able to record beyond 720p at 30fps, but this is a nice quality for starters.
The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is a cheaper option that records higher quality image, but it’s a webcam, so you can’t take it anywhere.
It simply has all the basics video bloggers truly need. It’s a camera with good low-light performance because it has good lens aperture. This allows the camera capture more light in tough conditions, and combined with its max. 6400 ISO makes this camera work great indoors.
It lacks wireless connection and an articulating screen, but we can’t ask for a perfect camera at this price range. This is the camera to get if your main concern is achieving high quality video for a cheap price and don’t want to spend money on lighting.
- Really cheap price
- Manual mode
- Outstanding battery life (410 shots)
- Great for indoor recording thanks to its good low-light performance
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 L840 offers.
This camera can record 1080p video, has flip screen and decent low-light performance indoors.
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 use this camera on a tripod to record your videos, you will find that this camera gives great quality for the price.
One cool thing about it is that it features a built-in Wi-Fi, which comes in really handy for vloggers; it allows them to quickly transfer recordings to their PC or cellphone to edit and upload.
- 1080p video
- WiFi and flip screen
- Best battery life (590 shots)
- Good low-light performance
The downside to choosing this one is its poor low-light performance. It only allows a maximum 1600 ISO, so it isn’t a good option if you need to record a lot of videos at night.
However, what really makes it a good alternative to the Nikon COOLPIX L840 -besides being cheaper- is that this one has a manual focusing mode.
This is a really important feature for video bloggers; the autofocus featured in most cameras here is not perfect at all. A common trouble that vloggers face when recording is that they realize too late that the camera has stopped focusing them.
Manual focusing is really useful to prevent this from happening. You can set the focus to where you need it; as long as you don’t move from that spot you’ll know you’re being focused. This is if you plan to record yourself with this camera.
Its manual focusing mode can save you a lot of time as a video blogger. Consider this if you’re vlogging as a part-time activity.
I would consider this one the best camera for vlogging under $200 if it weren’t for its lack of an external microphone port. I give way more value to audio than video as long as it can record 720p.
If you decide to go for this camera, you can consider the older model Canon PowerShot SX400 while it’s still in stock. They’re basically the same -no manual focus though- and it can save you some money.
Be Aware Before Buying One of These Cameras
Since these are budget vlogging cameras, most of them don’t feature an external mic port.
This means that with most of them, you will face low-quality sound recording; . You will need to speak clearly to the camera and you won’t be able to get too far away from it.
I encourage you to get one with an external microphone port if you don’t have a way to use a USB or portable microphone. It’s really important you invest in a good microphone if you want to do anything related to vlogging.
They also don’t perform too well in low-light situation. This is why I recommend you to record only during day-time. Also, you should open all your windows so the video quality is not affected. Remember that camera sensors are not like the human eye; they are not as sensible as we are to light. If you can’t record during the day, you will probably have to set some lighting before recording.
If you are willing to spend a little bit more for good audio recording quality and better low-light performance, you can check this post.
It just seems really hard to find a point & shoot camera that has it all at this price range. However, this list is a great resource for vloggers that are on a tight budget.
The most important thing you can do is start recording videos as soon as possible anyways, so they’re a fair choice for the price.
Hope you can start right away thanks to this post. Good luck!