Best Vlogging Camera Under 300
The camera needed to shoot video of wildlife or create a cool skateboard montage is a lot different than the one you’d want for vlogging.
If you can first plan out exactly what type of videos you want to create taking into account lighting and location amongst other factors, then the decision-making process should be straightforward.
See which technical specifications and features apply to your vlogging needs, then you can choose accordingly.
Walking vlogs for example will require better image stabilization, while home vlogs might require good performance in low light conditions or a wide aperture.
Here’s what to expect in this article:
- Reviews of the best vlogging cameras on a budget
- A brief buyer’s guide
- Your burning questions answered in a FAQ
Without further ado, here are our top picks…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Picks for Vlogging Camera Under $300
- Best of the Best: Canon Powershot SX620
- Runner Up: Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K
- Best Outdoors: GoPro Hero7
Best Vlogging Camera Under $300 Reviews
Canon Powershot SX620 (⭐ Best of the Best)
The best vlogging camera under $300 has to be the Canon Powershot SX620.
This digital camera offers excellent value for money, and is packed full of great features from top brand Canon. As for the purchase options, you can buy this camera in three different colors: red, black, and silver. You can also choose between a standard base model and one with a 64GB memory card, in case you need the extra storage space.
As an earlier model in the popular Canon Powershot range, the SX620 comes at a much more affordable price than many of its contemporary alternatives. However, while the price may be low, the quality on offer is anything but. If you’re looking for a new staple vlogging camera to last you for the foreseeable future, then you can do a lot worse than this reliable model.
Specifications-wise, you’re looking at a 20.2 Megapixel camera with a CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4+ Image Processor, and powerful 25x optical zoom. It has impressive 1080p full HD video capability, making it perfect for producing high quality vlogs, and intelligent IS to keep the video steady if you like to record active vlogs on the go.
The large 3 inch LCD screen will let you see what’s happening on screen even from a wide angle, which is a good feature to have if you need to turn the camera on a different subject. The aperture ranges between f/3.2 and f/6.6, which makes it more on the narrow side of things – perfect for keeping multiple subjects in focus at a time. Finally you have a battery life that will last for roughly 295 shots, and the option to switch to eco mode which gives you as many as 405 shots before you’ll need to change out the battery or charge it up.
On top of the excellent technical specifications, this camera has a couple of neat extra features. Both Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity gives you the possibility of uploading your video footage immediately after you’ve taken it. You can transfer images and videos in no time at all, which will help streamline the vlog-making process.
- Available in black, red, or silver
- 64 GB memory card option
- 25x optical zoom with intelligent IS
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
- 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor
- DIGIC 4+ Image Processor
- 1080p HD video at 4:3 aspect ratio
- 3 inch LCD screen
- Aperture f/3.2, f/6.6
- TTL Autofocus
WHY WE CHOSE IT AS OUR TOP PICK
1. It can capture crisp full 1080p HD video, keep a moving image steady with intelligent IS, and focus on multiple subjects at once with its aperture and autofocus functionality.
2. This camera can do it all, including upload your vlog straight to YouTube with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K (🥈 Runner Up)
Another camera from a top brand, the Lumix DC-ZS70K from Panasonic is our runner up pick for best vlogging camera under $300.
Let’s start with the basic information on this one. There are 5 ‘styles’ for the panasonic Lumix camera, but the ZS70K is the one we’re going to focus on in this review. Aside from that, black is the only color option available, and you can get the camera on its own or with an extra battery pack.
Now for the fun stuff, let’s take a look under the hood of this digital camera to see what makes it a great option for a vlogging camera. There’s a 20.3 Megapixel MOS sensor with a 30x Leica DC VARIO ELMAR lens. This comes with an Optical Image Stabilizer, which you’ll be pleased to know if you want your video to be steady while recording on the go. There’s also an electronic viewfinder fitted with an eye sensor, which makes it easy to see what you’re recording even when the sun is beating down outside.
Perhaps the best feature of this camera though is the possibility to film in 4K QFHD at an impressive resolution of 3840×2160. You also get Lumix 4K photo and 4k post focus with an internal focus stacking feature, which will help get your photography on point too. This is useful for taking those extra professional vlog thumbnails.
Another handy feature is the Wi-Fi connectivity which allows you to upload your video as soon as you’re done recording it. Ideal for keeping your uploads quick and consistent. The widest open aperture of this camera is f/3.3, which should be fine for most vlogs.
- 20.3 Megapixel MOS sensor
- Optical Image Stabilizer
- Electronic view finder
- 4K QFHD video recording
- 4K photos
- Barrel mounted control ring
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- 180 degree front flip screen
GoPro Hero7 (🏕️ Best Outdoors)
If you enjoy nothing more than taking your camera outdoors to record some breathtaking vlog footage, then the GoPro Hero7 is the perfect companion.
When it comes to living life on the wild side, whether it’s scuba diving in the sea or adrenaline-fueled parkour in the city, the GoPro is the camera you want to capture the action. However, what a lot of people might not realise is that the GoPro setup can actually work very well for outdoor vlogs too. With regards to vloggers, there are usually those who record at their desk, and those that go on adventure and bring the viewer along with them. Then there are those who mix the two styles. The GoPro Hero7 is for the latter two groups of vloggers.
There’s a reason this camera was given the name ‘hero’, and it’s because it puts you at the centre of the action. You are the protagonist of your story, and the focal point of the viewer’s attention.
But that’s enough about the lifestyle associated with the GoPro cameras, what about the features and specifications?
With the black Hero7 you’ll get HyperSmooth technology which provides superior image stabilization. The camera will correct any camera shaking so the results will always appear as smooth as they played out in reality. As for the quality you can expect, you can record live video up to 720p, which may pale in comparison to the other cameras in this guide yet is perfect for those fast-moving scenes like car rides and surfing montages. As for recording video, you can do 4K60 video which is ideal for crisp vlog b-roll or action scene footage.
It’s the features where this camera really shines though. For a start, there’s the futuristic-sounding TimeWarp technology. This will give you an incredibly stabilized time lapse video while you’re moving around. You can up the speed 30x too, to make it easy to add these condensed timelapse shots to your vlogs for something extra special.
Then there’s the waterproof build, which lets you use the GoPro Hero7 as well underwater up to 33 feet as on land. This can make for some exciting underwater footage to add to your vlogs. You can also control the GoPro with one of 16 voice commands, so that you can set it up somewhere and start recording without needing to handle it.
- HyperSmooth image stabilization
- 720p live streaming
- 4K60 video
- TimeWarp stabilized time lapse
- Voice control
Ultimate Guide to Vlogging Cameras
Cameras are tricky to buy, as there are a lot of features and technical specifications that go into each model.
The good news is that if you want a camera for vlogging, you already know what you want to use it for. This will help when it comes to what features and specifications to look for.
It will also help you know what you don’t need. This is important since some features will set you back more money, and if you don’t need them for vlogging, you can ignore the cameras that have them.
In this guide we’re going to touch upon what these elements are, and what your priorities should be when looking for a new vlogging camera for less than $300.
The lens of any camera should be something you pay attention to, as it will affect how you can use it and what situations it’s best for.
A wide aperture is a big plus when it comes to vlogging cameras. The wider the aperture, the more it can open up and let in more light. As a result, you’ll be better able to capture footage even in low lighting, which can be ideal if you shoot outdoors or in a poorly lit room.
A lens with a wide aperture will also allow you to shoot the kind of vlogs you see all the time on YouTube where the background is blurred, and the foreground (your face or body) is highlighted.
Since most vlogs revolve around a single subject in the foreground, especially if you’re just planning on talking to the camera, the focus provided by a wide aperture lens is generally preferred by many vloggers.
Even if you have a busy background, the lens will adapt and minimise the noise so that the viewer’s experience is as pleasant as possible.
How do you know if the camera has a wide aperture?
Since many vlogging cameras are digital, you can determine the width of the aperture with its f/ number.
f/2.8 for example is a very narrow aperture, while f/22 is a very wide one.
That means for the purpose of vlogging you’ll want to find a lens in the double digits, but it also depends on what type of video you like to take.
The small or narrow aperture is suitable for keeping more things in focus, while the wide aperture will put more of the attention on a single subject and blur out the immediate foreground and the background.
Another camera feature that should be a priority if you’re interested in vlogging is Wi-Fi connectivity.
If you plan on uploading your vlogs once you’ve finished filming them, then built-in Wi-Fi connectivity is the best way to do so.
Rather than go through the effort of hooking your camera up to your computer in order to transfer the large video file over, a camera with built-in Wi-Fi will let you automatically upload your videos.
This is ideal if your videos don’t require editing, since they can be immediately uploaded as soon as you’re satisfied with the footage.
You can even sync the YouTube app to a lot of digital cameras, which makes the process seamless.
This feature is incredibly useful for file sharing, and while it isn’t a must, it will help you streamline the vlogging process from recording to uploading.
Something as simple as battery life can be easy to overlook, but can be extremely important depending on what type of vlogging you want to do.
The reality is, nobody likes to vlog with a camera that’s plugged in and on charge. It will mess with your setup at best, and ruin your ability to roam around at worst.
As a result, you need to make sure you invest in a camera that has enough battery life to keep you going.
If you mainly record vlogs at home or near a socket, then you probably won’t need an extraordinary battery life, but if you like to take your camera out and about then it becomes essential.
There’s nothing worse than being in the perfect setting for a vlog, only to realise the footage you’ve taken isn’t up to par and you don’t have enough battery left to record another take.
One way around this issue is to buy a camera with easily removed batteries. That way, you can bring spare batteries with you and switch them out whenever you need to.
Perhaps another overlooked feature when it comes to vlogging cameras is the sound quality.
Everyone wants a high quality picture that’s clear and stable, but the sound is equally as important, since a lot of viewers won’t put up with low quality audio however good things look.
The way you can find out if a camera has great sound quality is whether or not it has microphone input.
Those cameras that do have microphone input will produce much clearer audio than those which don’t.
The next best thing is to pick a camera which has a built-in front-facing mic. This is the perfect position to pick up audio if you want to speak into the camera.
If the mic is on the side of the camera, there’s a risk that you could accidentally cover it up as you walk around.
Image stabilisation is a hugely important feature for any good vlogging camera.
Sometimes referred to as IS or optical image stabilisation, this feature is what will make the difference between a great moving video and a shaky one.
This feature is only really necessary if you like to vlog on the move, since it won’t affect a camera that’s in place.
But if you do ever plan on walking and vlogging or doing more adventurous outdoor videos, then you really should look for a camera that boasts optical image stabilisation.
Autofocus is a handy feature to have in a vlogging camera since it will keep you in focus at all times.
If you move around a lot in your videos or just prefer not to have to tinker with the camera often, then a solid autofocus function will do you and your vlogs a world of good.
Autofocus does exactly what you think it would, it automatically focuses on the subject, so if you want to present something to the camera for example it will ensure that it gets the air time it deserves in full focus.
Likewise if you need to leave the room and come back or pick something up from nearby, then autofocus will ensure you can resume vlogging without needing to adjust the camera’s settings first.
The resolution you can record in will make a big difference to the viewer experience, particularly if you pride yourself on quality vlogs.
There are a few resolutions you can record in with a digital camera, that range from the lower quality 720p, up to full 4k HD.
Ultimately, the resolution you record in with your camera will determine the end result, as it will affect the quality of the image on the viewer’s end when it arrives on a platform like YouTube.
Anyone who has watched a video on YouTube will know that the various quality settings can make a huge difference to the viewing experience.
Then again, if you’re just doing basic vlogs in which you speak to the camera, maybe you don’t need every last pixel of 4K, since it might not be necessary for the value of the video.
In case you were wondering, yes, the difference between 1080 and 4k is substantial.
4K video is much better for cinematic-style vlogs, or generally high-budget productions in which quality is of the utmost importance.
If you don’t fall into this category, you’ll probably be fine with a vlogging camera that shoots in 1080. This is because most mobile devices have 1080 as the highest quality setting for viewing video anyway.
At least until 4K becomes more common in cameras, 1080 will suffice for most purposes. You probably don’t want to go as low as 720 if possible, though this is a fine quality option for live streaming.
Here are a couple of features that can be essential depending on the type of vlogging you’re interested in.
A vlogging camera with a flip screen is very important if you like to vlog outdoors.
The flip screen is the screen that you can pop out to see what’s being captured by the camera.
This will make it easy to keep an eye on the framing of the video the whole time you’re recording. That way you can make any adjustments you need to on the fly, and ensure the vlog turns out just how you want it to.
The flip screen may even allow you to monitor the audio levels too, which can be very useful.
Some vlogging cameras are a little difficult to operate without some sort of handle or tripod.
One such example is the GoPro series of cameras. If you don’t have a decent tripod for your GoPro, then you are going to be limited in how you use it due to its unconventional design.
Other cameras also benefit from having a handle, since this will help you to optimise the image and keep the footage steady at all times.
A handle or tripod can be essential for outdoor vlogs, since when you aren’t setting it up somewhere, you’ll need to hold it steady as you move around.
Related: Best Vlogging Camera Under $100
Free Quiz: Find Your Ideal Gear Setup in 1 Minute or Less 📷
Frequently Asked Questions About Vlogging Cameras
What is the best cheap vlogging camera?
The Canon Powershot SX620 is the best cheap vlogging camera in our view, and it’s available for just under $300.
The best features of this camera include the 25x optical zoom with intelligent IS, the built-in Wi-Fi, and the 1080p HD video for smooth and high-quality video recording.
The Autofocus functionality and good aperture range will ensure that you stay in focus wherever you record, whether you’re in low lighting conditions or not.
What is the best vlogging camera for beginners?
The best vlogging camera for beginners could be the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K.
We think it’s an excellent option for anyone starting out with vlogging because it offers high quality 4K QFHD video recording, leaving you with little else to do other than hit the button.
As a beginner, you won’t want to fiddle with settings and tinker with the camera to get the best results, so something like the Lumix camera is perfect since you can set it up and your viewers won’t complain about the video quality.
What is a good cheap camera for YouTube?
A good cheap camera for YouTube depends on what exactly you are looking for.
We’d highly recommend an option like the GoPro Hero7 if you’re looking for a visually stunning outdoor vlog to upload, or the Canon Powershot SX620 if you’re looking for a fantastic all-round camera.
As a beginner, we would suggest the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K, since it has high quality 4K QFHD video perfect for setting the camera up and capturing vlog footage straight away.
Related: Best Sony Vlogging Camera
A Final Word From Run Gun Shoot
Finding a great vlogging camera is a case of knowing what technical specifications are required for your preferred style of recording.
Once you know what type of videos you want to make, then the process of selecting a camera for that purpose should become a lot easier.