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:
|Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS||720p25||190 shots||$$|
|Canon PowerShot ELPH 180||720p25||220 shots||$|
|YI 4k Action Camera||4k30||120 minutes||$$$|
|Fujifilm FinePix S8600||720p30||410 shots (3x AA)||$$$|
|Canon PowerShot N||1080p24||200 shots||$$$|
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
Not as good as the ELPH 360, but a lot cheaper. Still, the ELPH 190 doesn’t stand as far from its cousin.
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 is half 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. This one 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 mind not 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 umcomfortable and even dizzy after a while.
- 4k video for less than $200
- Small and really light
- Great rechargeable battery life
- WiFi connectivity
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
The Canon Powershot N is one of those cameras that give you a weird impression when you first look at them. The truth is that this camera doesn’t have anything strange other than getting rid of physical space it doesn’t need, and that’s why it is a really good vlogging camera.
Besides lacking an external mic input, the camera has got everything that is basic to record a high quality video blog; it can record up to 1080p, it has optical stabilization, and its lens covers a lot of focal length, and just enough of what you’re going to need as a vlogger. You can use it at 28mm if you need to record in selfie mode, or at 50mm if you want to give it the most natural look and place it on a tripod.
It fits better in your pocket than any other camera on this list, so you can’t carry it anywhere and record a video on-the-go, which I know it’s something vloggers need in a camera.
Although it might look like it has a flip screen, it’s just a 90 degree tilting screen, so there’s no way to watch yourself while recording. Sadly there aren’t cameras with that feature at this price range.
But all in all, this camera has an incredibly well-balanced bundle of features for a vlogger.
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 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 to learn everything you need.
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!