Quitting your boring 9 to 5 job in order to become your own boss is becoming more appealing to people every day. It’s empowering to know you can be free to make your own schedule and work anywhere you like – who says a job has to be boring, right? If you’re one to be starting your own journey in the vlogging world with a tight budget, worry not. There are countless videos and reviews on the Internet that are happy to talk about the best (and most expensive) vlogging cameras in length (check out our article on some of the best vlogging cameras out there), but very few are willing to do the research to find the most affordable ones.
Well, today I was given the important task of selecting six cameras under $200 that should do the trick for aspiring vloggers. Full disclaimer though – some of these cameras may go a few dollars above the price range mentioned, but they are all roughly around 200 – at least at the time of research. The last thing I would want is to give anyone misleading information. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you my criteria for selecting the following cameras:
- The camera has to be under 200 (or slightly above this price range).
- The vlogging camera has to be compact and easy to carry – suitable for vloggers.
- The camera should have decent image or video stabilization.
This is pretty much to be expected of a camera in this price range. If you want to learn more about buying the best camera according to your individual preference, you can check out the Buyer’s Guide at the end of the article. Another thing to mention is that some cameras on this list won’t offer the luxury of a flip screen, so if flip screens are a must for you, look at our article on the best vlogging cameras with a flip screen. You can also navigate across this article through the content table below.
- Best Cheap Vlogging Cameras Under 200 at a Glance
- Best Vlogging Cameras Around $200 – Full Reviews
- 1. Top Pick – Nikon CoolPix S6900
- 2. Best Point & Shoot Under $200 – Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS
- 3. Best Pocket-Sized Camera under $200 – Sony DSCWX220/B
- 4. Best Cheap Action Camera Under $200 – GoPro HERO 7 Black / White
- 5. Best Vlogging Camera Under 200 With A Flip Screen – Fujifilm FinePix S8600 16 MP Digital Camera
- 6. Best Vlogging Camera With A Mic Input Under $200 – Panasonic HC-V180K
- Cheap Vlogging Cameras Under $200 – A Buyer’s Guide
- Best Selling Vlogging Cameras
Best Cheap Vlogging Cameras Under 200 at a Glance
If you’re as impatient as I am and have already gone through a lot of articles, you probably want to get to the point pretty quickly. So without any more suspense, here are the top 6 cameras under 200.
- Top Pick – Nikon CoolPix S6900
- Best Point & Shoot under $200 – Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS
- Best Pocket-Sized Camera Under $200 – Sony DSCWX220/B
- Best Cheap Action Camera – GoPro HERO 7 Black / White
- Best Vlogging Camera Under $200 With a Flip Screen – Fujifilm FinePix S8600 16 MP Digital Camera
- Best Vlogging Camera With Mic Input Under $200 – Canon PowerShot SX530
Best Vlogging Cameras Around $200 – Full Reviews
1. Top Pick – Nikon CoolPix S6900
The Nikon S6900 is perfect if you want to level up from taking videos or photos from your smartphone, and it has a huge benefit – it’s extremely easy to use. This is especially important if you’re just starting out with vlogging or if you’re not familiar with more complex camera equipment. On top of this compact Nikon body, you’ll only be able to find a handful of buttons – the on/off button, the zoom button, the WiFi connection button (yes, this camera has WiFi connectivity, which is also a huge bonus), and finally, the record button for easy access There’s also one more button at the front of the camera, and that’s it – there are no more – and for a reason.
When you open this Nikon’s flip screen, you’ll find that the majority of the settings are operated through the touchscreen. This is also where you’ll be changing the different program modes, settings, effects, and exposure modes. This camera omits the more complicated and advanced settings such as manual mode and program mode. The flip-out screen is also perfect for vloggers, because it can rotate all the way around – ideal for making videos while you’re out and about on your adventures. If you want to have a look at other cheap vlogging cameras with a flip screen, I dedicated an entire article to review some of the best models out there. I think you’ll find it helpful!
This camera has a 16-megapixel sensor and a x12 zoom, starting at 25 up to 300 mm. The image mode has a maximum of 16-megapixel 4608 x 3456 image resolution, which is pretty impressive coming from such a small device. The video settings on this camera are also something you’d most likely want to hear about – you can change from 30 fps to 25 fps at 1080p. Yes, this camera has Full HD, which is terrific news and will be your minimum standard when uploading to YouTube. You won’t be able to do any slow-motion effects with this camera, so keep that in mind. The Nikon S6900 also has an optical vibration reduction system, and with that, it checks off one of the major criteria I listed above.
One of the cutest features this camera has is the secret flip-out “handle” hidden in the corpus under the tilt screen, which when flipped out can help the camera sit up, almost like a mini tripod. But that’s not the end of it – if you want to start recording a selfie or video with the flipped-out screen, you can tap on the special hands-free mode (just tap on the hand wave symbol). This will turn on the camera’s automatic hand tracking, enabling you to select the video or selfie icon on the screen without even touching it. Congratulations, you are now a twenty-first-century Jedi!
- Extremely compact and light
- Perfect for beginners
- Full HD video available
- Comes with built-in handle used to
- prop up the camera
- Intelligent autofocus
- Tiny price tag
- Doesn’t do well in low light
- No viewfinder
2. Best Point & Shoot Under $200 – Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS
When you’re vlogging, you’ll obviously be recording yourself. With the fixed screen on the back of this camera you won’t be able to see yourself, because this model has no flip-out screen. For many, this might seem like a huge disadvantage, but many reviewers say they prefer not to be distracted by the running footage on an LCD screen while they are recording. You might notice when YouTubers start looking slightly to the side of the footage as opposed to directly into the lens – they simply get distracted. This is extremely noticeable on camera and a pretty big distraction. If you want a simple, quick, and easy camera to use, this Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS will be great.
This vlogging camera is a great midrange point and shoot, providing stunning photos and exceptional 1080p video footage. A variety of different items come with the box, including a lanyard strap, which will be necessary if you don’t want to drop your camera while you’re recording vlogs. A battery and external charger are also packed in – everything to get you started. The external buttons on the top of the camera are all pretty basic – an on/off switch, a zoom-in and zoom-out toggle, and a three-mode setting. This is perfect for intuitive and quick shooting, without the hassle of constant setting toggling and manual mode adjustments. You’ll be happy to know this camera also offers WiFi transfer, so you can instantly upload your footage and start posting it on social media. Overall, I think the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS is a great starting point for beginners, and you definitely won’t feel robbed purchasing this device.
- WiFi connectivity
- Full HD footage available
- Built-in flash
- Super affordable
- Incredible x12 zoom
- Easy to use – perfect for beginners
- No viewfinder
- No external mic input
- No flip screen
3. Best Pocket-Sized Camera under $200 – Sony DSCWX220/B
This tiny Sоny DSCWX220/B camera has an 18.2-megapixel ½.3 inch backlit illuminated sensor – already pretty impressive for such a small and cheap camera, but this quality is to be expected from a Sony device. The x10 optical zoom is one of the other more impressive features of this point-and-shoot vlogging camera. Next on the list of features is the fixed 2.7-inch LCD screen which, bear in mind, doesn’t have any touch capabilities. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this camera, aside from the zoom, is the Full HD video recording mode, which can shoot at 60 frames per second, allowing for slow-motion edits when you’re done shooting your content. This is amazing for such a small and compact camera.
If you want to upload your video online, you can do that effortlessly with the built-in WiFi and NFC connectivity, so you can connect to the standard Sony applications on your smartphone. When it comes to battery life, this is a pretty compact camera, so it can’t really have an extremely powerful battery – it uses a standard NP BN Sony battery (a lithium-ion battery typical for point and shoots), and it’s rated at 210 shots when charged to the max. The lens has an equivalent focal length of 25–250 mm and an aperture of f3.3 to f5.9. For such a small camera, the incredible x10 zoom lens will give you a relatively wide-angle and a telephoto lens capability – the zoomed footage looks incredible and crisp too. The close focus distance of 1.97 inches is pretty good if you want to get up close and personal with your footage. It also has an optical steady shot, which will greatly stabilize your footage.
To continue the hype over this camera’s features, I wanted to mention some unique settings this camera has, such as the Smile Capture feature, which will take a photo automatically when it detects a smiling face. There’s also a Panorama feature, which is nice if you’re into adventure vlogging and want to fully capture the stunning locations you’re visiting. There’s also a tripod socket, so if you’re into vlogging from the comfort of your home, you can position this tiny camera on a tripod and start making your videos. I think this is a decent camera if you want to get into photography and video and you don’t want to use your phone all the time, and honestly, this is an extremely affordable point and shoot. What’s not to like?
- Full 1080 p video resolution
- Impressive x10 optical zoom
- Tiny price tag
- Great inbuilt image stabilization
- No viewfinder
4. Best Cheap Action Camera Under $200 – GoPro HERO 7 Black / White
Are you the adventurous type? Does your adventure or sports gear weigh more than a heavy DSLR with a telephoto lens? Do you travel a lot? If the answer to any of these questions is a “yes,” then I’m sure you’ll love hearing about the GoPro Hero 7 action camera. Both the GoPro Hero 7 White and Black versions are sold for under $200, and both of them have amazing specs and resolution. The main difference you’ll be looking at is the image and video quality, but worry not. It’s up to standard on both action cameras. The HERO 7 White shoots at 1080p, 60fps, while the HERO 7 Black version goes all the way up to 4k at 60fps. Each camera is extremely durable, and both are waterproof, so if you’re one to go scuba diving, you can take these compact cameras with you down to 33ft. You also don’t have to worry about dropping them in a pool or spilling a drink over them.
Both cameras weigh 4.6 ounces and can fit in the palm of your hand. If you’re an adventure vlogger, chances are you’ll love using these, especially if you're into extreme sports, like dirt biking, for example. Both cameras can be easily attached to a helmet or the front of your bike or a harness if you want to go for a swim and record some underwater footage. Other impressive features of the GoPro Hero7 Black and White versions are the touch screen and voice control. The main feature introduced with the Hero 7 when it first got released was the improved image stabilization which GoPro compares to using a gimbal – and it’s true. There is a massive and visible improvement in the stabilization. The image is extremely smooth even when going through bumpy treks or if you’re out for a jog. This is done by GoPro through the combination of adding an extra gig of RAM as well as using predictive scene analysis.
The Hero 7 Black also introduced a Hyperlapse feature that takes any time-lapse footage, stabilizes it, and makes it ultrasmooth. This may sound like it should be a given, but with previous models, GoPro would normally take photos at half second intervals and piece them together. Of course, the immediate problem when walking or moving altogether is the visible tilt in the time-lapse, whereas with the video warp feature, GoPro has managed to take video and process it through an accelerometer, determining how to level the camera. The result is a smooth and stable video lapse, which can’t compare to the previous Hero 6 release. I think with all these features combined, you’re really winning if you choose either one of these GoPros – they will be amazing and compact companions on your many adventures!
- HD and 4K video resolution
- Super image stabilization
- Amazing time-lapse function
- Pocket-sized and light
- Comes in a variety of colors
- No mic input
- No flip screen
5. Best Vlogging Camera Under 200 With A Flip Screen – Fujifilm FinePix S8600 16 MP Digital Camera
The amazing Fujifilm FinePix S8600 is a unique budget bridge camera perfect for vlogging. This is the first time I came across this type of camera, so I’d love to crack the mystery of what a bridge camera actually is – it’s an in-between camera, mixing the benefits of a point and shoot and a DSLR. This is very good news for vloggers, because it is compact with features of a DSLR without it actually being huge and heavy. The FujiFilm FinePix s8600 is aimed at photography and video enthusiasts, who aren’t yet ready to step into the world of more complex, manually controlled video recording equipment. If you’re one to drool over high-resolution and blurry background shots, then the S8600 is the perfect match for you.
The camera comes with an x32 optical zoom lens that collapses in three stages, and it has a 16-megapixel sensor, which is pretty powerful for a camera of this price range. The layout of this camera is very intuitive, and Fuji has included a number of great software options to choose from when shooting. This camera will be great for street photography, managing to capture small and fine details. Unfortunately, this camera doesn’t provide Full HD or 4K modes and can shoot at 720p 30fps, but the d mode is still pretty crisp and professional looking with this zoom lens. This camera is definitely better than a camcorder for comparison and can be a great vlogging kit if paired with a microphone. Тhis is the first camera on this list to actually have a mic input, which is an extreme benefit over other cameras on this list.
Video recording on the Fujifilm FinePix S8600 is super intuitive. All you need to do is press the record button on the back – quick and easy. You can also change the mode dial on the top to Adv, which is the special advanced filter feature on this camera. Then you can press the menu/OK button so you can bring up the more advanced filter settings, for example, “toy camera,” which has a vignette effect (like a retro filter) that you can check out in live view. There are also various more modes to choose from, like fisheye, for example, so you can really start experimenting with this camera. This is a great camera both for vlogging and taking photos, giving you an option for hybrid content creation. Likewise, if you don’t mind it not having ultrahigh HD, it will be a great step forward to eventually learning how to use a DSLR.
- Flip out screen – perfect for vlogging
- Durable battery life
- Mic input available
- No 4K or Full HD
- No WiFi Connectivity
6. Best Vlogging Camera With A Mic Input Under $200 – Panasonic HC-V180K
One of the first things you’ll notice about this Panasonic HC-V180K camcorder under $200 is the stunning optical zoom – it comes with an x50 optical zoom and an x90 digital zoom. This is an incredibly light and compact recording device that shoots in 1080p, 60 frames per second, the perfect resolution for YouTube videos and vlogs. The 60fps option also allows you to do fun things like slowing down your footage, so you can create interesting and attention-grabbing effects for your audience. The good news is this camcorder uses an SD card to record all the information, which is great if you want to back yourself up with a lot of storage.
The body of the camera is also pretty compact and light. You might think it will be an easy camcorder to drop, but worry not. It comes with a very practical strap, making it safer and more comfortable to hold. The button layout of this camcorder is also pretty basic. There are several buttons on top of the body, such as the on/off switch, the record button for video, and a separate button to shoot photos with. This camcorder has a pretty good maximum image resolution of 4224 x 2376 pixels, so don’t feel like you’re limited to just shooting videos. On the side, you’ll find the power source plugin and an open/close latch that slides your lens shut for extra protection.
The Panasonic HC-V180K also comes with a flip screen, of course, which can rotate on itself at 360 degrees. If you want to take a look at other great flip-screen cameras, check out our other article! When you open it up, you can have access to the HDMI input, the USB input, the power button, and, most importantly, the A/V output. The audio-video output is perfect if you want to connect your camera to a screen, so you have a better view of your video. Alternatively, if you’re aiming to build your own compact vlogging kit, you can even attach an external microphone through the same source. Of course, the Panasonic HC-V180K already has a two-channel zoom microphone to ensure crisp and clear audio, but if that isn't enough, you can always level up with your own equipment.
The Panasonic HC-V180K is often used as a stand-in for action cameras because it works very well. It’s light, compact, easily attachable to a biker helmet, and can shoot great POV. It’s great for shooting extreme sports and adventures, and the built-in autofocus will keep up with your movement. The only potential drawback of using a camcorder for a replacement action camera is that it isn’t waterproof and perhaps won’t be able to withstand low temperatures. Other than that, I honestly think it’s a great investment, and for a vlogging camera under $200, you’ll be glad you bought it.
- Full HD footage
- Great battery life
- Compact and lightweight
- A great action camera replacement
- Extremely affordable
- Has a slot for an SD card
- Incredible superzoom
- Comes with a flip screen
- Can attach an external microphone
- No WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity
- No 4K footage
- Isn’t waterproof
Cheap Vlogging Cameras Under $200 – A Buyer’s Guide
There are lots of things to consider when looking for a cheap camera. Often, not knowing where to start is what wastes our time. Thus, when looking for the best vlogging camera under $200, it is best to get yourself familiar with the following specs. Not everyone is deep into photography and video creation, so I’m hoping this short guide will give you a quick idea of what each category entails so that you can apply it to your own research.
Question number one should be, “What am I using my cheap camera for?” If you’re a beauty vlogger, you probably won’t need an extremely complex camera with a flip screen or ultrahigh quality. Something like a mirrorless camera or a point and shoot will be great for you. Alternatively, if you’re shooting adventure vlogs, you need something small and compact with great image stabilization, perhaps quite durable and waterproof. Think of it this way – you can’t go on a vicious mountain bike race with a DSLR in hand, right? Another great question to ask yourself is, “Have I used a camera before?” Of course, you have. We live in the age of smartphones, but stepping into the world of video editing and video recording for the first time can be tricky. Thus, if you haven’t used a camera before, take it easy – start with the small steps. Getting a bridge camera or a point and shoot is a great idea, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Yes, video quality has been evolving more and more, and people are all over 4K video. However, do take into consideration that 4K will take up a lot of storage on your computer and phone, so you should be backed up with some external hard drives as well as multiple SD cards. 4K video also takes a while to render when editing, so if you want to upload your videos quickly, this might not be the ideal option. Also, keep in mind that cheap vlogging cameras under $200 will rarely provide 4K footage – it is just not something you would expect from a low-budget camera. Some GoPros will provide 4K at this price, however, so worry not! If you’re planning on uploading to YouTube, don’t forget Full HD is perfectly fine to watch on.
If you’re the adventurous type, image stabilization might become more important to you than video quality. The good news is most cameras under $200 will provide some image stabilization. This is especially important in action cameras such as GoPros. Some older models like the Hero 6 have been infamous for their virtually nonexistent image stabilization. Of course, if you’re caught by surprise and you’re unhappy with your camera’s stabilization, you can always apply stabilizing effects in post to balance out your footage.
Perhaps the trickiest thing about cheap vlogging cameras is the flip-out screen. It’s hard to find a camera that will match all of your requirements and for an ultralow price. As I have said before, the perfect camera doesn’t exist. Sometimes, compromising on a few features is required, and if you’re worried that your camera doesn’t have a flip screen and you're a sit-down vlogger, consider putting a mirror behind it. This nifty trick has helped many budget vloggers without a flip out screen. If you have found a camera that has a flip screen but you're not sure if you prefer a flip-out screen or a flip-up screen, I have written a quick guide on the difference between the two in my best vlogging cameras with a flip screen article!
The size and weight of your camera are also important. Once again, depending on your style of shooting, carrying a heavy DSLR around town isn’t going to be feasible. Plus, the chances of getting something extremely bulky and high-tech for such a low price are unlikely, especially if you're not willing to buy secondhand (and I honestly don’t recommend you do that). Vlogging cameras are typically lighter, smaller, and more compact – you don’t want to get arm cramps carrying something very heavy on your travels. Point and shoots and even bridge cameras are perfect for on-the-go vlogging. Another factor most beginner vloggers tend to brush off is the visibility. Carrying a huge piece of recording equipment won’t always tickle people’s fancy, and you might get into trouble being so obvious about it. Sometimes it’s better to remain incognito with a smaller camera that won’t seem daunting to strangers.
Audio and video are equally as important. When you’re vlogging, you’ll be recording and talking all at the same time, so you need to make sure your camera has good inbuilt audio. If you aren’t satisfied with it, you can always look for an external mic which you can attach to a hot shoe on a camera or a dedicated A/V output. This is extremely important for vloggers who typically shoot outside in noisy locations with little control over the noise in their environment. I recommend getting a wind muff for your external mic. It will do you wonders and reduce a ton of wind noise. For the vloggers out there who typically shoot their videos at home or in a studio, getting a separate external microphone with a stand might be great if your camera doesn't have the output for a mic. Don’t forget that audio recording on your phone is also perfect if you’re unable to invest in a microphone at the moment. You can always pair the video and the mic audio in post and voilá – you don’t have to compromise on great sound in your videos.
Tripods, gimbals, gorilla pods, arm mounts – there is a huge choice of additional stabilization tools to choose from nowadays. Gimbals and arm mounts will help reduce jitter and vibration in your videos and will make for more professional-looking content. Of course, this is all a matter of preference. I have a few friends who argue that shooting handheld footage makes for a more authentic experience and adds a level of emotional investment from the viewer. Others like me prefer more stabilized footage (call me a perfectionist!), so I believe investing in a tripod will greatly improve the quality of your video.
With all of this in mind, you should now be able to choose your very own cheap camera under $200, while simultaneously thinking about other tools that can improve your video recording kit. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, check out our thorough review on the top 6 cameras for vlogging!
Best Selling Vlogging Cameras
Last update on 2021-05-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The information on this IFB price list is presented in good faith and believed to be correct at the time of publishing. IFB, however, is not responsible for any future product price changes. All products listed in our “Six Ultra-affordable Vlogging Cameras Under $200” article are subject to change without notice due to unforeseen increase in production cost, imported products taxes, currency fluctuations, or limited availability.
The team of IFB advises readers to double-check prices and additional costs, such as shipping and import taxes before purchasing items.