When shopping for the best vlogging cameras, the essential considerations include video quality, angle of view, and a flip screen. Below, I’ve shortlisted my favorite products on the market. Read on to learn if you want to learn why these factors are important.
Before I ventured out into the exciting world of vlogging, I knew how important it is to invest in the proper video equipment. And one of the first things you should look into is a camera. This gear will help you create awe-inspiring content that engages viewers.
Fortunately, a quality camera does not have to cost you a fortune. There are many budget vlogging cameras under $200 if you know where to look.
With that in mind, we did the hard work for you and scoured the web to determine the five best vlogging cameras under $200. Each of our recommendations will include a brief review, features, pros, and cons so that you can compare them easily.
We will also walk you through our buying guide below to help you make an informed purchasing decision.
Read on to learn more about it!
Things to Look for in the Best Vlogging Camera Under $200
Vlogging cameras are so expensive because they are jam-packed with features that make recording videos easier. However, many of these components are just nice to have and not a necessity.
So if you are looking for a vlogging camera that fits your budget, you must focus on the essentials below.
This is perhaps the most important factor to consider when shopping for the best vlogging camera under $200.
You should look for a camera that can shoot at least HD or 720p resolution. Better yet, go with a full HD/1080p camera that enables you to capture more details with clarity.
It is also common to see cheap vlogging cameras that promise to offer 4K video. However, we find out that those models just upscale the clip to make it look larger, but they retain the same quality as 1080p Full HD video.
So remember to buy at your own risk! The chances are that those models do not have true 4K capabilities. And frankly speaking, such a large video resolution can be a little too much, especially for YouTube.
Recording yourself while talking or walking is an essential part of vlogging.
You might want to get a vlogging camera with a wide-angle lens to make this task easier. It enables you to capture your face while still showcasing your surroundings to engage your viewers.
At this price point, though, it is pretty difficult to find an interchangeable lens camera for vlogging. You have to get by with the built-in zoom lenses in a digital camera. The good news is that most of these models can still offer a broad perspective. Just make sure to review the equivalent focal length of the camera before buying one.
Recording yourself using a vlogging camera without a flip screen is like trying to film in a pitch-dark room—you cannot see anything at all.
It is best to get a vlogging camera with a rotatable display so that you can view and fit yourself properly into the frame while vlogging. You can also ensure that your device is filming. No one wants to record a 10-minute video only to find out that it stopped shooting at the one-minute mark.
When creating vlogs, one of the last things you want is to have out-of-focus videos. Not only will they distract your viewers from what you are trying to showcase, but they also indicate that you do not care for the overall video quality.
We highly recommend buying a vlogging camera with a fast and accurate autofocus system. This feature is essential if you want to achieve high-quality vlogs that the audience will love to see.
Shaky footage can make viewers dizzy when watching your vlog. It is also a sign of an amateur content creator, making it more difficult for the audience to trust what you have to say.
So if you move a lot while shooting, you need to get a vlogging camera with built-in image stabilization. It will help minimize camera shake and smooth out the video for a pleasant viewing experience.
Video quality is not the only essential part of vlogging. You also have to consider the sound of your content.
Although most cameras have built-in microphones that can record audio, these devices do not offer the highest sound quality possible.
So what we recommend looking for instead is a microphone jack. This audio input enables you to connect an external microphone to the digital camera and talk directly at the mic while recording yourself.
Finally, you have to consider the weight of the vlogging camera before buying one.
It is best to get a compact and lightweight device as it is easier to carry for extended periods. A lighter vlogging camera is also convenient to pack inside a bag, suitable for traveling.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorite Vlogging Cameras in 2021
|Editor’s Pick||Canon VIXIA HF R800||Camera Type: Camcorder|
Maximum Video Resolution: 1080p
Megapixels: 3.28 MP
Dimensions: 4.6 x 2.1 x 2.3 inches
Weight: 8.5 ounces
|Best for Action Videos||DJI Osmo Action||Camera Type: Action Cam|
Maximum Video Resolution: 4K
Megapixels: 12 MP
Dimensions: 2.56 x 1.65 x 1.38 inches
Weight: 4.4 ounces
|GoPro Hero7 White||Camera Type: Action Cam|
Maximum Video Resolution: 1080p
Megapixels: 10 MP
Dimensions: 1.75 x 2.44 x 1.1 inches
Weight: 4.16 ounces
|Sony HDR-CX405||Camera Type: Camcorder|
Maximum Video Resolution: 1080p
Megapixels: 9.2 MP
Dimensions: 2.13 x 2.34 x 5.04 inches
Weight: 6.7 ounces
|Panasonic HC-V180K||Camera Type: Camcorder|
Maximum Video Resolution: 1080p
Megapixels: 2.51 MP
Dimensions: 4.6 x 2.1 x 2.3 inches
Weight: 7.5 ounces
5 Best Vlogging Cameras Under $200
Below are our top recommendations for the best vlogging camera under $200. Each product on this list offers a 1080p video resolution, a wide-angle lens, and an autofocus system in a lightweight body.
However, some cameras on this list are slightly above the $200 budget. That being said, we still decided to include them for their overall value for the money.
1. Canon VIXIA HF R800 – Editor’s Pick
The Canon VIXIA HF R800 features a CMOS sensor and advanced image processor to capture full HD 1080p videos in bright clarity. It also offers slow and fast-motion recording for added flexibility while filming.
There is even a built-in 57x advanced optical zoom lens that brings distant subjects closer. At the same time, it can shoot at 32.5mm (35mm camera equivalent) for a wide-angle perspective.
What’s more, the SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) effectively minimizes camera shake. It ensures sharp and steady videos, even when shooting handheld or at long focal lengths.
Besides high-resolution videos, this camcorder can deliver clear audio. Just connect an external microphone to the camera via the 3.5 mm audio plug and record away.
On top of all these features, the R800 has a 3-inch tilting LCD screen. This bright display makes it easier to record videos of yourself.
Most customer reviews for this product were positive. However, some users reported that video quality is not great in low-light situations. The camera also takes around 8 hours to recharge, which is not ideal for traveling.
The pros far outweigh the cons, though.
For this reason, the Canon VIXIA HF R800 is our top choice for the best vlogging camera under $200.
- Multiple video modes, including slow and fast-motion recording
- 57x advanced optical zoom lens offers versatility
- Built-in image stabilization system helps correct camera shake
- Flip touchscreen display
- It includes a 3.5mm standard mic jack
- High-capacity battery pack
- It takes too long to recharge
- Relatively poor video quality in low-light situations
2. DJI Osmo Action – Best for Action Videos
If you move around a lot or tend to do extreme sports in your YouTube videos, an action camera like the DJI Osmo Action might be worth checking out.
This vlogging camera features a wide-angle 145° lens that offers high-quality 4K videos at 60 fps. There is also an option to capture up to 8x slow-motion footage with Full HD 1080p resolution at 240 fps. Plus, a time-lapse movie setting enables you to condense time and movement efficiently.
Furthermore, this action camera uses RockSteady technology to deliver smooth and stable videos, no matter the activity.
But what we really like about this vlogging camera is the dual-screen display. The front screen enables you to frame yourself in any setting, while the rear screen houses most of the camera settings for quick adjustment. There is even a voice control capability that makes it convenient to control the camera.
Despite all these pros, it lacks an external mic input. Some users also said that the Mimo app is slow and unresponsive, making it difficult to transfer files to your computer or phone.
With that said, the DJI Osmo Action is one of the best action cameras for vlogging.
- 4K high-definition footage
- 145° wide field-of-view
- Slow-motion and time-lapse movie modes
- A hyper-responsive dual screen with voice control makes it easy to capture photos and videos
- Built-in microphone
- Waterproof and temperature resistant with casing (sold separately)
- No external microphone connectivity
- Short battery life
- Some users have difficulties transferring files due to the slow Mimo app
3. GoPro Hero 7 White
The GoPro Hero 7 White is another budget-friendly yet highly functional action camera to consider if you tend to shoot action sports.
This cheap camera can record full HD 1080p videos up to 60 fps to capture the action in sharp detail. Other shooting modes, such as time-lapse or slow-motion, make your footage more exciting to watch.
Additionally, the Hero7 delivers smooth and steady footage, owing to the built-in video stabilization.
Moreover, an intuitive LCD screen enables you to record videos with just a swipe and tap.
Finally, this vlogging camera features a rugged and waterproof construction. It can withstand harsh conditions without a problem.
This action camera lacks a front LCD screen and external mic input, though, which are crucial features in vlogging. Some users also pointed out the aspect ratio is 4:3, making your footage appear more square instead of rectangular. A few also complained about the battery life because it only lasts for around an hour.
Despite these downsides, we still think the GoPro Hero 7 White is worth checking out. It delivers high-quality video in a small and lightweight package.
- Smooth and steady Full HD 1080p videos
- Time-lapse and slow-motion shooting modes
- Intuitive touchscreen interface
- Still image capture
- Rugged and waterproof body
- No flip screen and external mic input
- Less than average battery life
- 4:3 aspect ratio does not offer cinematic-like results
4. Sony HDR-CX405
If you liked our editor’s pick but want something you can easily charge while traveling, the Sony HDR-CX405 might meet your needs.
It can capture the same Full HD video, but it comes with a built-in USB cable. This feature enables you to charge the camcorder or transfer files to your computer with ease. There is no need to worry about the camera dying on you while filming—just connect it to a power bank to extend its battery life.
Additionally, this digital camera features multiple scene modes and picture effects to achieve your desired vision. Plus, the 27x optical zoom provides plenty of creative shooting opportunities.
Furthermore, the SteadyShot image stabilization reduces camera shake when shooting handheld or at longer focal lengths.
All these features make the Sony HDR-CX405 one of the best vlogging cameras under $200.
However, the lack of microphone input and other video modes is why we did not deem the Sony HDR-CX405 as our top pick. Some users also have trouble inserting the memory card securely into the port, which causes the camera to stop recording mid-event. A few even said that it is a hassle to transfer files because you need to install the PlayMemories app first.
- 29.8mm wide-angle lens
- 27x optical zoom
- SteadyShot technology for stabilized footage
- Multiple scene modes and picture effects
- The built-in USB cable allows you to charge the camera while in use
- No microphone input and creative video modes (slow-motion and time-lapse)
- The memory card fits loosely inside the port
- It requires you to install the PlayMemories app before transferring files
5. Panasonic HC-V180K
The Panasonic HC-V180K Camcorder features an advanced BSI sensor to capture 1080p footage in clear detail.
It also boasts a 90x Intelligent/50x Optical Zoom lens that lets you shoot distant subjects that are otherwise too far for a smartphone. At its shortest focal range of 28mm, this camcorder also allows you to fit more elements into the frame, perfect for vlogging.
The Panasonic HC-V180K even offers multiple creative controls, such as time-lapse recording and miniature effect, to add more personality to your videos.
What’s more, a Hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) reduces blur caused by unwanted camera shake. It ensures sharp footage in every shooting situation.
To sum up, the Panasonic HC-V180K is a great vlogging camera for its price range. But the lack of an external microphone and clean HDMI input—which is essential for live streaming—might frustrate other content creators. Some users also said the 2.7-inch small touch screen makes it difficult to adjust camera settings.
- Versatile 50x and 90x optical zoom function
- 28mm wide-angle lens
- Built-in image stabilization minimizes camera shake
- Multiple creative shooting modes
- No external microphone input
- The small 2.7-inch screen makes it difficult to adjust the camera settings
- It uses a mini-HDMI connection instead of the standard HDMI
That concludes this list of the best vlogging cameras under $200. Each of our recommendations proves that you do not have to spend a fortune to create quality videos.
The Canon VIXIA HF R800 is our top choice for its high-definition sensor, multiple shooting modes, and flip screen that makes vlogging easier for beginners.
But if you primarily shoot action sports, we highly suggest getting the DJI Osmo Action. It can record 4K video up to 60 fps to ensure smooth-looking action during playback. Its pocketable design, dual-screen display, and built-in Wi-Fi also make this best vlogging camera a convenient choice for content creators.