These are the five best vlogging cameras that you can get for under $500. Now, these cameras are in no specific order. Each camera is very unique and has its special reasons as to why it made this list, and make sure you stay tuned for all of them to figure out which one is gonna be best for you.
Our first camera is the Sony A5100. You can get this camera used for under $500 on Amazon, so check the links in the description and make sure that you scroll down to find the used current prices to get the best deal on this camera.
Now, I actually bought this camera back in 2017 for the purpose of vlogging just fun moments and memories with my wife, and I remember, at the time, doing a lot of research, and I was looking at buying this camera or possibly something like the Canon G7 X, and the main reason that I decided to go with the Sony A5100 is that I watched a lot of comparisons, and I thought that the microphone built into the Sony A5100 sounded a lot better than the Canon G7 X. That being said, this camera does not have a mic jack or a cold shoe to put a shotgun microphone on there because you just can’t do that. However, I found that the audio is totally acceptable for these YouTube vlogs.
On this camera, you are able to change some lenses, and I do think that Sony has some amazing cameras out right now, so investing in their E-mount lenses is a great idea if you want to upgrade, eventually, to something like the Sony ZV-E10. Now, this camera shoots in 1080 HD. However, I found that it was a lot sharper than my previous camera, the Canon T3i. So with that full HD image, you are getting a very sharp and clear video out of it.
Another thing that I love about this camera is it has amazing autofocus, so when you’re vlogging, you are very easily able to keep yourself in focus. You do get really good colors out of this camera as well, and when it comes to low light, this thing does really well for the price. And of course, you get this flip-up screen, which just kind of goes onto the back like this, but this is so handy when it comes to vlogging. Having that flip-up screen to see yourself is a must for these vlogging cameras.
You’re also able to shoot in 1080, 60 frames per second, to get some really cool slow motion on the camera. Now, as far as some of the cons go, I already mentioned that this does not have a mic jack, but you’re getting some pretty good audio quality from the camera. However, you need to make sure that you remove these little straps when you buy your camera because if you shake your camera around, you’re gonna get some rattling that you do not want in your video. And luckily, that’s really easy to do.
One thing that I noticed happened over time with my lens is it became a little bit wobbly. So if I shake it like this, you’re gonna hear some noise. Now, typically, this never shows up when I’m actually vlogging on this camera, and I think it’s because I’ve definitely dropped this camera a few times. It doesn’t have the best build quality, so if you are going to pick up this camera, make sure you take care of it. You don’t wanna just throw it around and throw it in random bags. You wanna keep this thing in good condition to make that nothing loosens up and then starts to rattle on the camera. Again, I do believe this is just because of my specific lens because of how much we use this camera and just throw it around. It has been through the paces.
You’re a warrior. You’re strong; you’re beautiful. Too far, too far. I recommend the Sony A5100 for the beginner. If you don’t really know how to set audio levels and you don’t wanna worry about a microphone and you just wanna pick up a camera that does it all, this could be the camera for you. You have the flip-up screen, you have the autofocus, the colors are gonna be great, and the microphone built into the camera is not bad, so you can just shoot on this thing and upload it straight to YouTube. Of course, you probably wanna edit it first, and then you can upload it to YouTube.
The second camera that I want to mention comes in at $200. This is kind of a specialty camera, and this is the DJI Osmo Pocket camera. Now, the two main features of this camera are, one, it’s super tiny… You can literally throw this in your pocket and take it with you wherever you go. The second thing is it has this built-in gimbal, so you can walk around and get really steady shots with this camera.
Now, surprising enough, this camera can shoot 4K up to 60 frames per second, and when you combine that with the built-in gimbal, you can get some really cool cinematic shots on this tiny thing. If you wanna shoot ultra slow-mo, you can shoot in HD at 120 frames per second. There are also some really cool features built into the camera that you can use, like time-lapses.
So if you wanna get a cool time-lapse for your vlog, you can do that in the camera. Now, you can hook up an external microphone, but you need to get an adapter for $40, but I think it’s worth it because this camera is so cheap, spending that little bit of extra money for an external microphone makes a lot of sense. Now, the cons of this camera are you’re not able to get that blurry background. On the Sony A5100, you can get that blurry background. You can upgrade your lenses over time to get an even blurrier background. But on the Osmo Pocket, there are no interchangeable lenses, and you aren’t really gonna get any of that shallow depth of field.
Another con about this camera, because it is so tiny and the menu system is so small, it’s kind of hard to control the camera. That being said, I definitely recommend hooking up your phone through the wifi connection and actually just controlling this thing through your phone. And you’re also gonna wanna do this to get a nice video feed, so when you are getting shots, you can see, on your phone, what it looks like. Like you could imagine, the battery on this camera is very small, so it’s gonna die pretty quickly, and you are gonna wanna bring an external charger, something like a phone battery charger, and you can charge this thing while shooting.
Now, there is a newer version out, the Osmo Pocket 2, that you can pick up. This is gonna be more expensive, coming in at $500 for that creator combo. I did find this used for $350. Now, this thing has a touch screen, a bigger sensor, overall, just a better camera. And so if this is a camera that kind of excites you and you wanna spend a little bit extra money, definitely look into that Osmo Pocket 2.
When it comes to this camera, I recommend this for the vlogger who’s moving around a lot. Maybe they’re walking and talking and they need to get that really stable footage, or maybe they just wanna get some really cool establishing shots and mess around with that stabilizer. This is a really cool camera that’s really affordable that you can start out with.
Next up, we have the GoPro HERO9, coming in at $400. However, right now, it is on sale for $350, so make sure you guys are checking the links in the description. I’ll try and keep those updated, so you guys can get the best deals on them. So let’s start off by talking about some of the pros with the GoPro HERO9. First of all, you can shoot in 5K, on this tiny little camera, up to 30 frames per second, and if you wanna shoot 60 frames per second, you can shoot in 4K on this.
If you wanna shoot some super slow motion, you can shoot in 2.7Kor 1080, all the way up to 240 frames per second. If you’re a traveling blogger, this thing totally makes sense for you because it is waterproof, shockproof, dust resistant, all those things. This is really the travel camera, and also it’s super lightweight, and you can just throw this in a bag. You can throw it in your pocket and get some really cool shots when you’re out and about. Another thing I love about this camera is the stabilization. Now, another unique thing about the GoPro is the accessories that you can buy for this thing.
What? Bro, what are you talking about, man? – You can also mount this thing to a windshield or a car if you wanna get a car vlog. Another one of my favorite features about the GoPro HERO9 is you have this front-facing screen, so when you are vlogging, you’re able to see yourself and make sure that you are in the shot and it’s all composed correctly. There are also some really cool modes on the GoPro if you wanna get some hyper lapses or time-lapses with this camera.
Now, you might be asking, “Should I get the GoPro HERO10 because that is $500, and it is on sale right now for $450?” If you have the money, I would say, yes, get the GoPro HERO10. However, when it comes to value for the price, I think the nine actually stacks up against the 10. I go into way more detail in my GoPro buyer’s guide, which GoPro is gonna be right for you. The first con about the GoPro is you aren’t gonna get the shallow depth of field, so you’re not gonna get the blurry background.
Everything’s gonna be in focus. Also, the built-in microphone on this GoPro isn’t the best. It is usable, but it’s not really the best audio quality when it comes to shooting YouTube videos.
This is a test to see how it sounds on the built-in microphones on the GoPro. Now, to get good audio, you are going to need the media mod, and then you are going to need a shotgun microphone and an extender to boost up the shotgun microphone, so it doesn’t make its way into the shot because this is such a wide-angle. So if you’re vlogging and you really need that crispy audio, I definitely recommend going that way. Another thing I don’t love about GoPro is its colors. I definitely recommend shooting in the flat picture profile.
This is gonna give you a bit more dynamic range. It’s not gonna be super contrast. It’s not gonna be over-saturated. And then when you are editing, you’re just gonna have to add a little bit of contrast and a little bit of saturation. On the GoPro, you can’t change lenses like you can on the Sony A5100. However, you do have this front element lens cover that you can replace, and I actually do recommend buying the GoPro 10 lens because it is much better than the one that comes with the 9.
For $20, you can get the one that comes with the new GoPro 10, and this is gonna be water repellent and scratch-resistant. Overall, if you’re a blogger who goes outside a lot and you’re shooting in nature and you can’t pack a big camera, this makes a lot of sense, especially if you’re gonna be in places where this thing might get wet or dirty. I definitely recommend going with this camera.
Next up, we have a camera that is not necessarily for everyone, but for me, this camera really excites me for the price range and for what it can do, and this is the Panasonic Lumix G7. If you look for this camera on eBay, you can find this anywhere from 400 to $450. Now, make sure, when you are looking on eBay, you’re finding a camera that comes with a lens. You wanna make sure that you buy this with the lens, because, with this camera, you can change lenses if you want to.
What’s unique about this camera is you’re able to shoot in 4K, and it looks really, really good. If you were just going for the highest quality video, this is probably the camera to go with. The 4K looks really good, the colors look great, and, overall, you’re getting a great image. This camera does have a headphone jack, so you can plug in a shotgun microphone, and you do have that flip-out screen, so you can see yourself as you’re vlogging. On this camera, you’re also getting a viewfinder that you can look into if you’re outside and it’s really bright.
You can look into this and then see your screen just fine, so you can set your exposure and you’re shot up properly. And when it comes to low light, this camera does a great job and definitely makes the top of the list when it compares to low light on the other cameras. Now, let’s talk about autofocus.
This is one of the first cons. It does have auto-focus; it’s just not super reliable. This camera does have face detection, so if you’re gonna sit down in front of your camera, like this, and record vlogs where you’re just looking into the camera and you’re talking and you’re not moving around a whole bunch, it’s gonna do just fine. However, if there’s a bunch of people in the shot and you’re moving the camera around and getting all sorts of different shots, it’s not gonna be super reliable. It does work, but it’s definitely not the best. When it comes to the Sony A5100, that autofocus system is gonna be a lot better than this one.
Now, as I said earlier, if you’re going for the highest picture quality, then you can just manually focus this camera and get some really good shots. And then when you are talking to the camera, like this, you can turn the autofocus back on, and it’s gonna be able to keep you in focus.
So this camera, I definitely recommend to the vlogger who also maybe wants to shoot music videos, skits, higher production videos on top of their vlogs, or maybe just wanna make vlogs that have a higher picture quality to it, are a little more cinematic, and you’re okay with manual focusing. Then, this camera, definitely, is for you.
Our Next camera, we have the tried and true Canon M50. Now, on Amazon, this is, used, around $550, but if you go onto eBay, you can actually get this under $500. Now, specifically, I’m talking about the MARK I, not the MARK II, because the MARK II is a little bit more expensive, and I don’t think you need it when it comes to vlogs.
One of the pros about this camera is that it is mirrorless, so if you compare it to something like the SL3 or any other Canon DSLR, this camera is gonna be lighter and it’s actually gonna perform a bit better. This camera can shoot in 4K; though, I don’t recommend it because it crops. We’ll talk about that later. But as far as it goes, in 1080, this is a fantastic camera. And most of us who are vlogging and just uploading to YouTube, we’re doing it in 1080 anyways, and this camera has a great 1080 image. Now, my favorite thing about this camera is the Canon color science. You’re just gonna get beautiful images straight out of this camera when you are vlogging.
You also get a mic jack on this camera, so you can have really good audio for your vlogs, and you’re also gonna get that flip-out screen, so you can see yourself. When it comes to autofocus, the M50 is fantastic, and it’s definitely gonna keep you in focus, and you can shoot video all day long and not really have to worry about your shot is in focus. One of the great things that Canon does with their cameras is their LCD screen, so you’re gonna have a great LCD screen that is bright and is sharp, and you’re gonna be able to see things really nicely.
With this camera, you are able to change lenses as well. However, you need to keep in mind that there aren’t as many lens options right now. They are gonna be building out more lenses for this camera. One of our favorite lenses to get for this camera is the Sigma 16-millimeter F1.4. That’s gonna give you a super blurry background and a wide field of view, which is perfect for vlogging. Now, really the main con with this camera is that, in 4K, it crops, and you also lose your autofocus. Which, this is totally fine if you plan on picking up a camera to shoot in 1080 and edit/upload in 1080 anyways ’cause, honestly, in this price range, most cameras are gonna be 1080 HD anyways.
And the computers that we’re using, sometimes, can’t handle the 4K files, so shooting in 1080 makes a lot of sense for vloggers who are filming a lot of stuff. Now, who do I recommend the M50 for? I would say most vloggers. If you’re not gonna be running around, travel vlogging, getting the camera super dirty, the M 50 is just reliable. So many people use it. It has an amazing look, amazing colors, and if I was buying a camera, this is probably the camera that I would buy. Or I would get the G7 if I wanted to be fancy and shoot some short films and stuff. But when it comes to just autofocus, vlogging, sit-down content, the M50 is super reliable. Now, if you’re vlogging on YouTube, I definitely recommend investing in a good microphone as well.