Being on a budget when starting a new project is normal, however, it does mean that more caution is needed when buying equipment.
It is important to understand that the features that a camera comes with are proportional to its price tag.
While a vlogging camera under $300 won’t get you professional features, it will serve almost as good as a mid-range camera for Vlogging and YouTube.
In today’s article, we reviewed:
- 4 Point and Shoot Cameras
- 2 Action Cameras
- 3 Camcorders
But, before we get into that, you must know what you want and need:
What You Will Learn
- 1 Be Realistic
- 2 Consider What Features Are Important To You
- 3 Top 9 Vlogging Cameras Under $300 in 2019
- 4 4 Point and Shoot Cameras For Vlogging Under $300
- 5 Action Cameras For Vlogging Under $300
- 6 Camcorders for Vlogging Under $300
- 7 Conclusion
Finding a model that can record 4k or have near-perfect image processing capabilities is extremely unlikely.
- Decide what content you want to make – Vloggers publish several types of content: Outdoors, Indoors, Moving a lot, Being stable etc. Decide which one of these matters the most to you and your audience.
- Think long-term – It is usually best to get a camera that will help you do your job for as long as possible. In time, you will be able to get better equipment, but only as your YouTube channel gets more success.
- Make an informed decision – Avoid making purchases on impulse. Look at the specifications and the features of various models and choose the one that you think is best.
Consider What Features Are Important To You
On one hand, you should think about what quality-of-life features you would be interested in. For example, some cameras have normal displays, while others have touch-enabled ones.
There are models that come with the ability to connect to a tablet, or a phone through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and automatically transfer files.
These features rarely affect the quality of the content; however, they can make the user’s job easier.
On the other hand, you may want to focus on features that affect how the videos and pictures will turn out.
If you don’t mind sacrificing features like wi-fi connectivity or USB charging, you should be able to find models that offer greater processing power, or that can record higher definition video.
Top 9 Vlogging Cameras Under $300 in 2019
|Camera Model||Video Resolution||Price||Image Stabilization|
|Nikon Coolpix B500|
Video and Photo
|Panasonic Lumix ZS50||Full HD 1080p||$$$$||Yes|
|Nikon Coolpix L340|
|Canon PowerShot SX620|
|Full HD 1080p||$$||Yes|
|YI 4K+ Action Camera|
Insane Picture Quality
|Canon VIXIA HF R800|
|Full HD 1080p||$$||Yes|
|Full HD 1080p||$||Yes|
|Canon VIXIA HF R72|
Tons of Features
|Full HD 1080p||$$||Yes|
4 Point and Shoot Cameras For Vlogging Under $300
These are some of the most commonly seen cameras. Most people usually get point and shoot cameras when they plan to go on a holiday or to shoot photos at family occasions.
Most models that fall in this category are designed to be extremely easy to operate and to maintain.
Small and Portable
The trend with these isn’t necessarily to fit more technology inside them but to make them smaller and lighter.
They are a great choice for anyone looking to get some footage while on the road, in close quarters and relatively decent lighting conditions.
Basic and Cheap
Point and shoot cameras are also, generally cheaper than others due to the fact that they are primarily designed to take decent pictures.
Most of the time, these are only useful as if you don’t need large optical zoom or advanced features.
The Nikon Coolpix B500 is a premium model with a decent price tag.
As with other point and shoot cameras, it is mainly designed for photography, however, it can also capture video.
The 40x zoom lens that it comes with definitely makes it an appealing choice.
While the Nikon Coolpix B500 doesn’t come with the bells and whistles that premium, flagship cameras have, it does have a decent number of features:
- Optical zoom lens– The 40x optical zoom lens gives great results for both photos and video;
- 16MP Sensor – The CMOS sensor captures a surprising amount of detail with great accuracy, in any lighting conditions;
- FullHD – The camera can record FullHD, and stereo sound;
- Tilting screen – The 3-inch display of the camera can tilt for greater visibility;
- Increased connectivity – The camera can connect to other devices using Wi-fi, NFC, and Bluetooth;
- Panoramic shots – The camera can shoot wide panoramic photographs;
- Great connectivity – Transferring data from and to the camera is extremely easy due to its many connectivity choices;
- 40x optical zoom – The lens works great with the 16MP sensor, preserving detail even at greater distances.
- Low-resolution panoramic shots;
- Maximum zoom affects quality – Photos taken at max zoom lose detail. They are good for social media, but nothing more.
The Lumix ZS50 isn’t filled with features, however, the ones that it does have are great for anyone just starting out. It is small, portable, and it has a couple of aces up its sleeve.
First of all, it offers great performance in low light, and it can shoot images in RAW format, in order to capture as much detail as possible, including the original color and light of a scene.
The Lumix ZS50 comes with features that mostly focus on the detail of photos:
- RAW format – The ability to capture RAW format images means that you get a more accurate representation of the captured scene;
- Ultra-portable – The camera’s small size makes it ideal for those who want to pack light;
- Control ring – The camera comes with a manual control ring that controls the camera’s Focus Peaking function;
- RAW format – Capturing RAW format images stores more details, as well as the exact colors and light that the sensor records, without any kind of image processing;
- Low-light MOS Sensor – The camera’s sensor can take stunning pictures even in low light or difficult lighting conditions;
- High-speed recording – The camera can record 100fps in HD and 200fps in VGA;
- High-speed burst shooting – The camera can shoot 10fps with great detail.
- Modest specs – The 12-megapixel sensor may not be enough for those who want to capture as many details as possible;
- Proprietary port – The camera uses a proprietary port in order to connect to a computer or laptop, which means that if the cable breaks, you can’t use a micro USB one that you may have lying around.
- Affordable – Getting an L340 is a great way to get a bridge-style camera with a 20MP sensor without having to spend a lot of money;
- 28x Optical Zoom – The 28x Zoom lens is a great feature for anyone looking for an all-purpose camera;
- Compact – This is one of the smaller models in its class. It’s highly portable and very comfortable to hold for long periods of time;
- Optical Zoom – The camera comes with 28x optical zoom lens;
- 20.2 MP CCD sensor – The L340’s sensor captures sharp photos and video;
- HD video recording – The camera can record videos in 720p;
- Scene Auto Selector – The selector will identify the recording conditions and choose one of 16 preset modes in order to enhance the resulted images.
- Too few features – Most of the features that the camera comes with are great, however, they are not enough if you’re looking for a very flexible camera in terms of how you use it;
- No 1080p – While the camera does have the ability to record 720p, all of the main social networks have already made the transition to 1080p standard, and your videos may not look as great when you post them.
Small, compact, and feature packed, the PowerShot SX620 is a perfect example of how much potential the “Point and shoot” form factor really has.
Canon managed to integrate a lot of tech in a very small and light camera, however, this does not mean that it can do everything perfectly.
Again, the camera is more focused on photography than on recording video so, naturally, most of the systems that it comes with are designed to improve this aspect.
This having been said, the SX620 does offer a lot, even without the video-oriented features:
- Optical zoom – The camera comes with 25x optical zoom and has built-in image stabilizing;
- Increased connectivity – Canon also added Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity that allows the owner to easily share and transfer content;
- 20.2MP CMOS sensor + DIGIC 4 Image Processor – The sensor is designed to capture great images even in low light, which are enhanced by the powerful DIGIC 4 processor;
- 1080p HD video – The camera can record 1080p HD, which is perfect for all social networks;
- 3-inch LCD – The SX620 comes with a built-in 3-inch LCD that has great viewing angles and works great even in direct sunlight;
- 1080p – While the ability to record 1080p is not impressive in any way, it is a great feature for a camera that is primarily designed to shoot photos;
- Great processor – The DIGIC 4 is fast, responsive, and does a great job of reducing the noise in photos shot in low light;
- Not too different from its predecessor – Only upgrade that the SX620 got is the 25x optical zoom;
- No manual control ring – The camera could have used a manual control ring to adjust zoom and focus;
Action Cameras For Vlogging Under $300
Action cameras are designed to record movement, while the one filming moves as well. They typically have great image stabilization systems and are more rugged than other types of cameras. Their shape also makes it easier to hold them, giving the owner a better grip.
Built to Endure
Almost every action camera comes with some kind of rugged design.
Some models are resistant to water and dirt while others can survive if they’re dropped from greater heights.
More expensive models can even be attached diving equipment and will still work deep underwater.
Designed for active individuals
The philosophy behind these cameras is that the owner should be able to take them anywhere and to use them during any kind of activity.
Those who go skydiving or snorkeling usually use them to record their experience, however, they are the model of choice for everyone who wants to record a highly dynamic activity.
All the features that come with these are mean to enhance and to stabilize images and videos.
They come with a higher degree of automation so that the user simply needs to hold the camera and change the zoom levels.
The YI 4K+ comes with awesome specs for a decent price.
As its name suggests, its main selling point is the fact that it can record 4k video.
This having been said, it does suffer from a relatively low battery life. However, most may not consider this to be a problem, considering the fact that action cameras are only meant to be used during an activity.
While the YI 4K+ is designed to be as simple as possible, it does come with a couple of features:
- 4K/60FPS – The camera can not only record 4K video, but it can do so at 60 FPS, which is perfect for ideal for social networks and high-quality vlogs;
- Built-in IS – The camera comes with an advanced image stabilization system that works great in 30FPS 4K videos;
- Gorilla Glass Display – The 2.2-inch display is highly resistant to both scratches and impacts;
- 70-minute battery and USB-C charging port – The YI 4K+ can record 4k/60FPS for 70 minutes on one charge and can then be charged using an efficient USB-C connection;
- Versatile design – The camera can livestream, capture images in RAW format, and comes with a voice-control feature;
- Great video recording capabilities – The fact that the camera car record 4k at 60 FPS is great, especially when considering that its price tag is smaller than that of its competitors;
- Ability to livestream – The fact that the YI 4k+ can livestream makes it great for vloggers, or for anyone who wants to publish content as fast as possible.
- Poor battery life – its 2-hour battery life may not be enough for longer activities like snorkeling or diving sessions;
- Not waterproof – The camera is water resistant, but not waterproof, which limits its uses in water.
The GoPro Hero series is one of the most popular action camera product lines on the market.
The Hero5, like its predecessors, is considered to be one of the more durable devices in its category, well suited for almost any kind of activity.
Furthermore, while it can be mounted on pretty much any kind of sports equipment, it does not come with a livestream feature, which may make it a poor choice for anyone looking to share live experiences with their audiences.
All in all, the GoPro Hero5 remains a favorite due to its durability, but also as a result of the many features that it comes with:
- 4k Video – The camera can record 4k video for up to 90 minutes on only one charge;
- 12MP sensor – The Hero5 has the ability to shoot in single or burst mode, and also has a customizable time-lapse feature;
- Voice control and touch display – Navigating through the camera’s menus is fast and easy. The owner can also use voice control in order to start and stop recording while the camera is mounted on equipment;
- Sync to phone – The owner can connect to the GoPro Hero5 using Quik and GoPro apps in order to stream or transfer content
- Electronic stabilization system – The camera comes with built-in EIS;
- Can be mounted on almost anything – The camera is compatible with a large variety of mounts and sports equipment;
- The touchscreen is difficult to operate – The touch-enabled display does not always register commands.
- Low battery life – The camera’s battery rarely lasts for 90 minutes, especially when recording 4K video;
- EIS doesn’t work in 4k recording – The electronic stabilization system works only with lower resolutions.
Camcorders for Vlogging Under $300
They come in many shapes and sizes, from professional models that are used at events, to smaller ones that are suited for holiday videos.
Built to record high-quality content
This type of camera caters to the needs of those who primarily need video content.
As a result of this, they come with a large number of features that enhance the recorded video, stabilize the image, and they can also record on storage mediums other than microSD cards.
Enhanced flexibility and long battery life
One of the main this that set camcorders apart from other cameras is the fact that they are designed to be compatible with a larger number of accessories such as microphones, lights, and tripods.
They can also record for longer periods of time when compared to point and shoot and action cameras.
This camera is one of the best selling camcorders on Amazon, mainly for it’s value and affordability. That’s why some consider it even best camera for video under $300, and if video is all you need, we agree.
- Easy to navigate menus – The camera’s menus are intuitive and simple;
- Good IS – The R800 comes with decent image stabilization;
- Optical and digital zoom – The camcorder has 32x optical zoom, making it great for recording things that are further away without losing much in terms of picture quality;
- 3.2MP FullHD CMOS sensor – The R800 can record in FullHD and fairs well even in low-light conditions;
- Optical IS – The image stabilization system does a great job of providing steady pictures and video, even while moving the camera;
- Touch-enabled display – The user can easily navigate through the camcorder’s menus using the device’s touchscreen;
- 1080p/60fps – The R800 can record FullHD video at 60 frames per second, at a rate of 35Mbps.
- Bad Low-light performance – Recording video in low-light negatively affects picture quality;
- No Wi-Fi connectivity – The only way to share content is by directly transferring it from the camcorder’s card to a computer and then uploading it online.
While it is relatively basic, the Panasonic HC-V180K is one of the more reliable camcorders around.
Furthermore, the fact that it has a limited number of features also helps keep its price down, making it one of the more affordable devices of its kind.
Those who a budget to work with may consider this model to be an attractive choice, especially when considering that it comes with a two-channel microphone that record sound extremely well, even as the distance increases.
- FullHD – The HC-180K can record FullHD 1080p video;
- Hybrid Image Stabilization – The 5-axis hybrid IS eliminates camera shake when recording;
- Touchscreen display – The camcorder comes with a 2.7-inch touch-enabled display;
- 90x zoom – The zoom capabilities of the device are perfect for recording distant elements and scenes;
- Ability to add filters – The camcorder comes with several filters that can be added to the recording;
- Good OIS – The optical image stabilization works extremely well, especially when considering that this is a low-end device;
- Great recording capabilities at long distances – The microphone and lens are perfect for recording things that are at large distances with great accuracy.
- No WI-FI – The lack of Wi-Fi connectivity may make it difficult for those who are always in a hurry to transfer files;
- Poor low-light quality – The quality of video decreases when recording in less than ideal lighting conditions.
The VIXIA HF R72 is one of the more feature-filled camcorders on the market.
It comes with a large variety of functions and systems that are usually found in pricier models, and it has one of the longest battery lives of all the products in its class and tier.
This is a camcorder that caters to the needs of those who have had a basic model and feel that it is now time to start using something a bit more complex, that has more quality of life features.
- 57x Zoom and OIS – The camcorder comes with 57x zoom and an optical image stabilization system that can compensate for camera movement even when fully zoomed in;
- 3.28MP FullHD CMOS Sensor – The device’s sensor has been designed to preserve image quality even when recording in low light conditions;
- Long battery life – The HF R72 can record video for up to 12 hours on a single charge;
- Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity – A laptop, phone, or tablet can be connected to the camcorder in order to transfer content;
- 1080p/60FPS – The camcorder can record FullHD video at 60FPS to its 32 internal storage or a memory card;
- Touch-screen display – The device comes with a 3-inch touch-enabled display.
- Increased Connectivity – Wi-Fi and NFC provide a simpler way to share and transfer content;
- Internal storage – The 32 GB storage isn’t much, but it is great to have when you don’t have a card at hand.
- No viewfinder: The lack of a viewfinder may make it difficult to record accurately when in direct sunlight;
- Internal storage could be bigger: 64GB of internal storage would have been better when it comes to filming Full HD 60FPS video
There is a large number of cameras that go for $300 or less, however, it is important to understand that these are usually budget devices.
As a result of this, the features that they come with are mostly there to make the products competitive with one another.
This having been said, the best vlog cameras under $300 presented above are diamonds in the rough. They have strong communities behind them, however, they are designed to do only one thing well, and the others at an acceptable level.