Top 5 Best Vlogging Cameras Under $200
Like I always say, the most important thing you need to do if you dream of 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.
These prices are pulled from Amazon and are constantly changing, so they may vary from the day the article was written and some cameras can cost slightly more than $200.
List of the Best Vlogging Cameras Under $200
Price / Our Rating
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.
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.
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.
Table of Contents
Review of the Best Video Blog Cameras Under $200
Canon VIXIA HF R800 – The Best You Can Get for $200
I don’t usually like to recommend camcorders for vlogging. However, there are just a few exceptions to the rule, and the Canon VIXIA HF R800 is one of them.
This camera offers a lot of value for such a low price.
Besides the 1080p quality recording, the camera has everything you need in a vlogging camera.
This includes flip screen, an external microphone port, and image stabilization.
Stabilization is the essential feature, and I don’t think I’ll ever recommend a camera on this site without it. But flip screen and external microphone port are things that only camcorders can give at such a low price.
Camcorders have extremely small sensors, which is why they are the worst choice for low light. But in this price range, I don’t think there’s any compact that can truly beat one in low light.
The Canon ELPH 360HS—which we’ll see next— is better for low light, but it still lacks these two features all vloggers love.
Read the full review: Canon Vixia HF R800
Canon PowerShot ELPH cameras have been the choice of many vloggers when they started. 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 because it’s a really slim camera that has an average battery life and can record Full-HD video.
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.
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.
After all, it can record only up to 720p instead of 1080, but it still does everything else just as well or better than the more expensive ELPH 360.
First of all, it’s slightly lighter and also has a slightly faster lens. It also has around 10 shots more of battery duration.
When you compare the two of them in every aspect it looks like the 190 HS half a step better in everything but the max. recording quality.
And although it does have a smaller zoom, this is a feature you won’t care about if you’re a vlogger, since you will barely use it.
What I do believe is a big downside in front of the ELPH 360 is that this one doesn’t include a manual focus, which can be really handy for vloggers. The 360 is worth its extra cost because of it, and also for its additional ISO step. But, without any doubt the ELPH 190 IS is a great option if the 360 is beyond your budget.
Even though you can find this one on Amazon as an “older model of the ELPH 190 IS”, these cameras were announced on the same date. This is just another version, cheaper and that gets rid of some things you might not miss on the 190 IS, which is a really clever move and something a lot of people will thank Canon for.
The most significant thing this one is missing when compared to the 190 IS is the WiFi connectivity. This might be a deal-breaker for a lot of people, but many don’t mind using a cable to transfer their videos if they saved a significant amount of money for it.
Also, you’re not only getting less, you do get other benefits the 190 IS lacks, although they’re very small. For example, the camera is actually 12g lighter and has more battery life (around 30 more shots).
It does lack a real continuous shooting mode, but this is something you won’t miss if you only use it for videos.
So, as a vlogger, you won’t mind paying a lot less for a smaller zoom —since you won’t need it because you need to record in a wide angle— and you won’t miss being able to shoot photos as fast.
The price difference is pretty significant for a lighter camera that does almost the same, although it lacks wireless connection.
If you think about action cameras, you immediately remember GoPro. After all they’ve been the kings for a while. Unfortunately for them, YI has made a 4k action vlogging camera for a cheaper price that works almost just as well.
One of the troubles I have with GoPro is that I know they could offer a camera that can record the best quality for a much cheaper price, but they just don’t want to do it.
I know that action cameras can be a lot cheaper because they don’t even include a zoom, and prime lenses are extremely cheap for their quality. They also don’t have to include more than the basic photography features.
Good thing is that YI took advantage of this situation to offer their own good cameras for a much cheaper price (I bet now GoPro is planning the release of a “budget” camera to be able to compete with them).
The YI 4k Action Camera is actually slightly lighter than the GoPro HERO 4, it can record 4k video at 30fps and 1080 at 120fps for extremely slow-motion videos.
And just like the GoPro, it has a wide-angle lens that isn’t zoomable, but comes with really decent battery duration. It can record up to 2 hours of 4k30 video, which almost doubles what the Hero4 could.
The downside when compared to the GoPro is probably its audio quality. This is something that doesn’t surprise me, as the camera already offers a lot for its price. This can be a huge deal when it comes to action cameras, since if you need it for an action environment, there might not be many ways for you to record with an external device. Be aware of this if you need to record really loud sounds (motorcycle racing would be a good example), or a lot of wind.
Still, if you want to do the typical vlog about your day and you’re not interested in extreme videos, you will do better with another camera from this list —even if it can only record 720p. The wide-angle lens from action cameras can make your viewers uncomfortable and even dizzy after a while.
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. Their videos can become useless if there’s too much wind, for example.
That’s why it’s important to include an external microphone port in your budget. 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 are use some additional lighting 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.