As you’ll know from our article on how to pick the best vlogging camera for your needs, this is the price range we favor for vloggers if at all possible to squeeze in your budget.
A $200 camera should be moving away from some of the ‘acceptable’ flaws of cheaper cameras. You want a nicely shaped case that feels good in your hands. Dedicated video buttons start appearing, and the range of filters and art effects offered should be improving. You’ll probably also notice that the ‘details’ like ISO and low-light capabilities start improving, and you are offered a wider range of lens capabilities and memory capacity
Mostly, this is also the point at which the top-end point and shoots begin to blend with the bottom end DSLRs. You can still get some fantastic deals on basic DSLRs at this price point, although you will likely soon outgrow the basic bodies and may want to rather give careful consideration to what lens line you want to commit to, so that any future purchases are compatible with the lenses you choose now. If you’re intimidated by ISO and apertures, or you simply want to just film and not worry about the nitty gritty, this level will give you the point and shoots that truly can challenge the more manual camera, offering crisp audio, many features and stable video.
These are some of the top $200 and under cameras we found for you.
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W570
Granted, the Sony Cyber-Shot doesn’t grab full HD, offering only 720p resolution, but we believe it has a ton to offer the vlogger looking for a simple solution to their vlogging. It offers 16MP, sweep panorama function, and is one of the slimmest camera you’ll ever handle. Steady shot and iAuto function leave the details in the camera’s hands, leaving you free to concentrate on your vlog. Natural flash is a very attractive feature for beauty bloggers among you, allowing you to take natural toned before and after pics to match your vids.
The Sony Cyber Shot squeaks in just above $100, earning it a spot on this list but still placing it acceptably in an entry level category. It’s a great place to start for any aspiring vlogger, and offers a robust build and comfortable feel in the hands.
Olympus E-PM2 Mirrorless Digital Camera
This camera got a bad rap in earlier years from consumers expecting a mirrorless camera to exactly duplicate a DSLR without the cost and bulk. That’s not a reasonable comparison. Mirrorless cameras and Micro ¾ are a class on their own. This is an exceedingly compact camera with 16MP quality and the ability to shoot in 1920x1080 HD video. It has a nice image stabiliser, built in 3” LCD with touchscreen capability and the iAuto set of features which allows the camera to run the show if you’re a new vlogger. The ISO range is 200-25600, and it has an accessory port for expansion.
If you’re looking to move up from compact point and shoots, and intimidated by the sheer size and wealth of functions on a DSLR, the mirrorless camera is a nice in-between stage. Dust reduction on this camera ensures shots are never ruined even when changing lenses, and stabilisation keeps your images crisp even when moving. Video mode has some interesting art filters to offer, and you can record in .mov or .avi. This camera mostly comes bundled with its own flash.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7
This is an automatic point and shoot, so there isn’t a ton of manual options, but with a 12x Optical zoom and 25mm-300mm lens capability alongside its 12.1 MP, you won’t be left disappointed. It can shoot up to 1280x720 HD movies, and the built in GPS will ensure that you never forget where you were when you took the shot. It’s one of the smallest photo/video hybrids available at the moment, and even supports both a dedicated video button and AVCHD recording to extend battery life without affecting video and sound quality.
The ISO allows for 80-1600, and a ton of presets make getting good quality video simple and easy for everyone. There’s even an ‘underwater’ setting! It’s simple, but a great starter camera for the vlogger looking for quality that’s simple and reliable.
$200 can net you a lot of camera. Each of these cameras offer a wide range of functionality, a decent longevity, and some nifty creative features to help make your vlogging experience better.