The best cheap vlogging cameras are your first step towards conquering YouTube on a budget. Vlogging can be a viable career path if you’re smart about it, or can just be a really fun pastime and a way to document your trips and memories.
But when starting out vlogging, professional or amateur, one might not want to invest a large amount of money into their vlogging camera. So, here we’ve picked out the best budget vlogging cameras, ones that will produce high-quality videos at a price that won’t break the bank. We’re including different types of cameras here, including compacts, mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, but all of them represent a significant step up in image quality and performance over most smartphones.
Whether you’re looking for the best cheap vlogging camera for YouTube, or just a decent vlogging camera to capture your holidays, you’re in the right place. You can click the headings below to jump to a specific section of your choice, or just keep reading as we dive straight in.
Shooting 4K isn’t everything! Full HD video, also known as 1080p, will be more than enough for most purposes, and if you’re looking for a good, cheap vlogging camera then it makes sense to start here. These are the cameras that produce fantastic Full HD video, and are also great in their own right, with loads of handy features to make vloggers’ lives easier. Plus – here’s the best part – they’re cheap!
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Digital Camera
Save £100, was £569
The Canon PowerShot G7 X II brings expert-level control and uncompromising image quality into a classically styled compact small enough to take anywhere. With a 1.0-type sensor, bright f/1.8-2.8 lens and superior DIGIC 7 processing engine, this pocket-sized, large-sensor compact offers DSLR-like creativity when capturing both stills and Full HD video. The camera's 5-axis Advanced Dynamic IS and MF Peaking will ensure pin-sharp focus and steadycam-like footage, while the 3.0" vari-angle LCD with Touch AF permits low-angle shooting and quick fingertip control for cinematic focus pulls.
Pro: Generous sensor, bright lens
Con: Battery life could be better
Con: Slower autofocus system
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II may not be the newest camera, but that just makes it more of a bargain. It’s a compact camera with a one-inch sensor and a 24-100mm equivalent lens – a fearsome combination that can dependably produce fantastic footage in a range of conditions.
With its bright f/1.8-2.8 lens, the G7 X Mark II can work in different light conditions and can achieve shallow depth of field – meaning having a subject sharply in focus with an artfully defocused background. This makes it great for quick vlogs to camera and interview pieces.
The G7 X Mark II also finds room for 5-axis image stabilisation, and the Manual Focus Peaking mode makes it easier to achieve pin-sharp focus – you can even achieve dramatic, cinema-style focus pulls with the Touch AF function, selecting focus points using the LCD screen.
Sony A6600 Digital Camera Body
Save £100 with code SONY-100
Introducing the Sony A6600 Digital Camera - With this body, it is all about incorporating beautiful detail and high resolution images combined with super-fast and powerful processing, all in a compact shell. The A6600 hits the brief with ease. This system caters to the needs to enthusiasts and professional alike, and in both photography and videography because of the pure quality of its capture. Its compact nature makes it perfect for travel documentaries as well as vlogging. Yet, it can be used for any type of photography with Wex Photo Video's whole range of Sony E mount lenses.
Pro: Only getting cheaper
Pro: Good video autofocus
Con: Not great at high ISOs
Con: No exposure compensation dial
The Sony A6000 dates back to 2014, but its laundry list of great features mean it remains competitive today, especially with a price that’s only going down. While it predates the 4K boom, its Full HD video is more than enough for most vloggers, and with fast video autofocus, you’ll find this to be an incredibly reliable camera in all situations. Its APS-C CMOS sensor helps you make the most of low-light, and the Sony E range of lenses is great.
There are more features you’ll find on newer cameras that aren’t here – the screen is fixed, not fully articulating, and isn’t touch-sensitive. Its high ISO performance also isn’t as good as newer cameras with more advanced tech – stick to lower settings as much as possible for best results. There’s very little in it though, and the Sony A6000 really is one of the best low-budget cameras for vlogging you can get.
Low light is one of the most challenging situations a vlogger will regularly face. A good low light camera is one with a reasonably sized sensor, and ideally access to lenses that can shoot at large apertures. Being able to use high ISO settings is advantageous too – really you need every tool in your arsenal! Here we’ve picked vlogging cameras that tick all the boxes to be ideal for shooting in low light, without costing too much.
Pro: Large, vari-angle touchscreen
Pro: Large-aperture X lenses
Con: Simplistic control layout
Con: No in-body image stabilisation
There are a number of things that make the Fujifilm X-T200 a great cheap vlogging camera for low light. It has an APS-C sensor, which is large for a relatively affordable mirrorless camera, and provides the better dynamic range that leads to better low-light videos.
Then there’s also the fact that its X-mount gives access to the sublime series of XF lenses, many of which have large maximum apertures. There’s the Fujifilm XF 35mm f1.4 R, the Fujifilm XF 56mm f1.2 R and even the Fujifilm XF 50mm f1.0 R WR, all of which give you real latitude for shooting in low light.
The X-T200 is also available as a handy vlogging kit, including a mini tripod and microphone, giving you an affordable way to get everything you need to start vlogging in one convenient package. This alone makes it one of the best cameras for vlogging cheap and cheerful.
Sony ZV-E10 Digital Camera Body
Sony’s ZV-E10 is a dedicated vlogging camera, designed to produce professional-level video content that will engage with your audience, be it on Youtube, Twitch or Facebook. The camera is equipped with a powerful 24.2 Megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor that offers 4K (up to 30p) and Full HD slow motion (up to 120P) video capture, and with the option to pair with 60+ compatible premium Sony lenses, you’ll be able to capture some truly stunning content. The camera is equipped with a range of intuitive and useful features that lend themselves to vlogging such as, a vari-angle touch screen, a high-quality integrated directional microphone and the use of Sony’s highly regarded Real-Time Eye AF that will ensure focus is maintained whilst you’re vlogging.
Pro: High-quality APS-C sensor
Pro: Superb video autofocus
Con: No 4K 60p
Con: Sony’s menu system can be awkward
Sony’s latest vlogging camera, the ZV-E10 is a great mirrorless camera for low light. Like the X-T200, it has an APS-C sensor that can make the most of difficult lighting conditions and provide a good level of dynamic range. It’s a very self-contained vlogging kit, equipped with high-quality onboard capsule microphones, and having the Sony E-mount means you have access to plenty of good lenses for low-light work.
The ZV-E10 is designed with vloggers foremost in mind, and so provides a lot of value for vloggers looking for a bargain. You can be confident that your cash is mostly getting you video features, rather than stills features you aren’t planning to use (though should you need to, the ZV-E10 can shoot stills and do it well). The 4K tops out at 30p – some might yearn for 60p, but that'll be enough for most purposes.
f you want to step up a little from entry-level, but still don’t want to pay too much, then mid-range vlogging cameras are the place to be looking. Here we’ve picked a range of great cameras for vlogging that sit a little above beginner level, but don’t cost too much. Some are cheaper because they’re slightly older, but that is often one of the savviest ways to grab a good vlogging camera that’s affordable.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 Digital Camera with 12-60mm Lens
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G7 with 12-60mm lens combines stunning 4K (30p/24p) video, high resolution stills and a variety of practical new enhancements to help anyone capture the perfect image. Ideal for the aspiring photographer wanting to take their photography to the next level, the 16 megapixel Panasonic G7 is designed for ease-of-use without compromising on performance. The camera brings a variety of standout features including a built-in 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder, 3.0" 1.04 m illion dot resolution free-angle touch screen display, improved autofocus, 8 fps burst shooting, Wi-Fi connectivity and a new 4K Photo mode that allows you to extract 8 megapixel stills from the 4K footage in-camera, so you'll never miss a moment.
Pro: Great value for 4K
Pro: 1080p at 60fps
Con: Smaller MFT sensor
Con: Plastic construction
It can be tough to get a 4K-capable camera for less than £499, but the Panasonic Lumix G7 is just such a beast. Its asking price even includes a 14-42mm equivalent kit lens, giving you everything you need to start vlogging right away. The 4K 30fps footage still looks great even though the camera is a few years old, and it can shoot 1080p at up to 60fps, which is great for slowing down the action.
There is an impressive amount of high-end features on this low-budget vlogging camera, including a 2,360-dot OLED viewfinder and a free-angle 3-inch LCD screen, which is hugely useful for getting creative shooting angles. Having 4K Photo mode makes it easy to extract high-quality stills from your 4K footage. This is very useful for thumbnails and YouTube cover images, as it means you don’t have to remember to shoot them separately.
Pro: Amazing stabilisation
Pro: Waterproof and tough
Con: Restricted perspective
Con: Image stabilization requires a crop
Action cameras can be a great way to start vlogging, particularly if you like to liver adventurously. The DJI Osmo Action can be taken underwater, mounted to a bike helmet, stuck to the side of a car or whatever else, and it’ll keep working and keep capturing fantastic footage. Its incredibly RockSteady stabilisation system also helps create super-smooth footage even when the camera is in motion – though be aware that it does incur quite a heavy crop.
Action cameras have their limits – you’re stuck to that wide-angle perspective, and it can be difficult to record audio with anything other than the on-board microphones. But for adventurous vlogging, the DJI Osmo Action does the job and does it well. The 4K HDR video at 60p certainly looks the business, and with the ability to capture Full HD at up to 240fps, you can be confident of getting some awesome slow-motion shots.
When trying to find the best vlogging camera for cheap, it can be really tough to strike the right balance between performance and cost. Here, we’ve put together a guide to the key features you should look for in a good vlogging camera, as well as a few tips for snagging a bargain.
If you encounter technical terms you aren’t sure about, we’ve also included a glossary to help you get to grips with the key concepts around vlogging.
Important features for vlogging cameras
Buying a camera for vlogging is different to getting a camera for photography – there’s a different set of features you need to pay attention to and weigh up the balance of. This is even more true when you’re buying a cheap camera, as you want to make every penny count and ensure you’re getting a decent camera without overspending. Here’s our guide to the main features you should pay attention to.
The key thing to remember when we talk about resolution for vlogging, is that we aren’t talking about megapixels. The number of megapixels on a sensor isn’t as important for video as it is for stills. Instead, you want to look at the top-line video resolution – what is the maximum video resolution the camera can achieve?
While there are lots of resolutions out there, for cheap vlogging cameras like the ones we’re dealing with, the top resolution is going to be one of two things: Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) or 4K (generally 3840 x 2160 pixels, though this can vary). Anything less than that isn’t worth bothering with, and anything higher, you almost certainly don’t need.
Which should you choose? Full HD will be fine for most purposes. If you’re sharing clips on social media, putting simple vlogs up on YouTube or making content that’s mostly going to be consumed on smartphones and computers, Full HD is perfectly fine. If digital storage space is an issue for you, or you’re editing on quite a slow computer, then Full HD will be preferable, as the files are smaller.
So who needs 4K? Well, 4K footage is better. There’s no getting around that. It’s sharper, it’s got more colour depth, and it gives you more options in the edit.
Having enough pixels to be able to crop into a shot with no appreciable loss in quality is a great tool when you’re piecing your vlogs together. 4K will also look much better on 4K displays, naturally.
As a rule of thumb, if you can shoot in 4K, you probably should – it will improve the quality of your output. But if you can’t, then Full HD will be more than enough.
Frame rate refers to the number of frames captured per second in video footage. You might see it expressed as “30p” or “30fps”.
The frame rates you’ll likely encounter when shopping for cheap vlogging cameras are as follows:
30p: Probably the most common frame rate among affordable vlogging cameras, thirty frames per second is ideal for general-purpose shooting. It captures movement at a normal pace and makes things look natural.
60p: This is a better frame rate for faster action, and rapid movements that won’t look quite right at 30p.
24p: While this is a lower frame rate, it’s the one that the majority of movies have been shot on, and is therefore ideal for getting a cinematic “look”.
120p, 240p and higher: Once you get into these frame rates, you start to get into slow-motion territory. If you want to shoot good-looking slow-motion footage, then being able to use these frame rates is essential.
In our camera listings above, we’ve talked a fair bit about sensor size. Larger sensors provide better image quality, with greater dynamic range and better noise control and high ISOs. However, having a bigger sensor makes a camera physically larger and more expensive, so there’s something of a trade-off, especially when you’re working to a budget.
Here are the main sensor sizes you tend to encounter when shopping for cheap vlogging cameras:
1-inch: This is the sensor size generally found in travel compact. While it’s one of the smaller sizes for cameras, it’s more than twice the size of most smartphone sensors. This is why even basic cameras represent a significant step up in quality from smartphones.
Four Thirds: Found in cameras with the Micro Four Thirds lens mount, this is the smallest of interchangeable-lens camera sensor sizes, but is still a decent jump up from a 1-inch type.
APS-C: The most common sensor size for intermediate and enthusiast cameras, APS-C sensors are a great middle ground between affordability and quality. If you can afford a camera with an APS-C sensor, it’s definitely worth considering.
Full-frame and larger: Here we’re getting into the realm of professional cameras. Full-frame sensors are fantastic, but if you’re shopping for a vlogging camera on a budget, you probably don’t need one.
Connectivity / ports
Modern cameras have excellent connectivity features, and it’s worth thinking about how you could use them in a vlogging context. Having Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth connectivity can be hugely useful in transferring clips off the camera quickly. Some cameras also have micro USB or USB-C ports that allow for quick charging on the go – useful when you’ve got a long day vlogging planned.
While this is less common on affordable vlogging cameras, some do make room for a clean HDMI out. This lets you output a clean copy of your footage, without screen furniture or anything like that, and is therefore great for streaming. It’s also worth checking what type of memory cards your vlogging camera takes, and how many slots it has, as this can affect speed of workflow.
Vlogging on a budget can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to! We’ve assembled a few top tips for the cash-conscious vlogger, to help make sure you’re getting the most for their money.
1. Shop older models
You don’t necessarily need the latest features! Cameras have been improving at a steady pace for years now, and models from a few years ago can offer fantastic features for a highly tempting price. If a new camera catches your eye, it’s worth checking if an older version is available, as it may do everything you need it to for a lower price. The most famous example is probably the Sony A6000, included in our buying guide above.
2. Keep an eye out for offers
Sometimes, if you exercise a little patience, a camera you’ve been coveting can come under a discount. A great way to save a bundle is to always be on the lookout for sales, offers and discounts – and pounce when they come up. At the bottom of this page, you can enter your email to sign up for our newsletter and always be in the know about our latest offers.
3. Shop used
Used cameras are the perfect way to get hold of gear that you simply couldn’t afford brand-new. At Wex we thoroughly check all the Used equipment we receive, and give each item a condition score so you know what you’re getting.
4. Consider a compact
Compact cameras tend to have smaller sensors than interchangeable-lens cameras, however they are also generally much more affordable. When buying a mirrorless or DSLR camera, you also have to factor in the cost of the lens; with a compact, the price on the box is the price you pay for everything you need to start shooting. If you’re trying to keep an eye on your budget, a compact camera is the best place to start looking.
5. Get cheap editing software
Editing video is essential if you’re a vlogger – there’s no getting around it. If you can afford it, Adobe Premiere Elements is a great slimmed-down affordable version of the full-fat Adobe Premiere program, giving you a simple but powerful editing suite that will be more than enough for vlogs.
4K video refers to a few video resolutions, but basically any with a horizontal pixel count of approximately 4,000. There’s 4K UHD (short for ultra HD), which has a resolution of 3840 × 2160, and DCI 4K (short for Digital Cinema Initiative), which is 4096 × 2160 pixels.
The aperture value of a lens refers to how wide open its diaphragm is, and therefore how much light is being let in. Aperture is expressed as an “f-number”, which will generally be written as f/1.8, f1.8, F1.8 or similar. When a lens is described as being an f/1.8 lens, this refers to its maximum aperture, or the widest it can open.
Large-aperture lenses are useful as they let in more light, making it easier to shoot in the dark, and allow you to create a shallow depth of field with a subject in sharp focus and the background artfully blurred. The downsides of large-aperture lenses are that they tend to be larger, and more expensive.
The ratio of width to height of an image. The standard aspect ratio for most video is 16:9, but some cameras will allow you to shoot in different aspect ratios. There’s 4:3 for an almost square format, and even vertical format which is useful for content that’s primarily going to be viewed on smartphones.
A camera’s ability to automatically acquire focus on a subject. Some cameras use phase-detect autofocus, which uses a separate AF sensor, and some use contrast detection, which analyses contrast on the imaging sensor itself. Some cameras also use a hybrid of the two types.
Dynamic range, quite simply, is the range of lightest to darkest areas that a camera can capture an image without losing any detail. Ideally, the more dynamic range the better. Many cameras offer specific colour profiles, also known as “Log” profiles, that are designed to capture as much dynamic range as possible. These tend to look a little flat straight out of camera, but they give you immense latitude in the colour grade to make them pop.
HDR stands for “high dynamic range”, and in video this refers to footage that is specifically designed to recreate the range of contrast the human eye is capable of perceiving. Not all cameras are capable of capturing HDR video – it’s also worth bearing in mind that the footage also needs to be seen on a display capable of showing HDR video.
The perspective provided by a lens, expressed in millimetres (mm). Shorter focal lengths provide a wider perspective, fitting more in the frame but exaggerating horizontal lines, and requiring you to get closer to subjects. Longer focal lengths create a tighter field of view, but allow you to keep your distance from subjects.
Image stabilisation is a system that compensates for unintentional camera movement to produce smoother, more stable footage. Optical image stabilisation systems tend to be 3-axis or 5-axis. Both cameras and lenses can employ image stabilisation systems, and some of these can work in tandem with each other to provide even more effective stabilisation.
ISO refers to the sensitivity of a camera sensor. The higher you set ISO to, the more sensitive to light your camera is, the downside being that high ISO levels also increase image noise, making the shot grainier and less sharp.
OLED stands for “organic light-emitting diode”, and is an improved display technology for electronic viewfinders. OLED displays provide richer colours than LED, with greater contrast and a wide viewing angle.
Rolling shutter is a term generally used to describe an effect where an image appears to “wobble” and distort upon playback. This is due to the fact that when an image is recorded, it is scanned from top to bottom. If it’s recording something that’s moving fast, then this lag can create distortions or a jelly-like effect to an image. It can be prevented by setting the shutter speed to fast than your frame rate, or by using stabilisation systems and minimising camera movement.
White balance refers to how warm or cool the colours in an image appear. Warmer colours are reddy-orange, while cooler colours have a blue hue. While all modern cameras have automatic white balance control, some users also prefer to control it manually to give an image a specific look, or to respond to light sources with a specific character, such as fluorescent bulbs.
How much do vlogging cameras cost?
It varies of course, but you can get a high-quality vlogging camera and lens for less than £499. Check out the options we’ve listed above for some inspiration.
Which vlogging camera do YouTubers use?
There’s actually a lot of variety here, with different YouTubers preferring different setups. But one of the most common cameras used by YouTubers is the Canon PowerShot G7 X compact camera series, either the Mark II or the Mark III.
Can I try out a vlogging camera before buying it?
Absolutely! Check out our rental service to see which cameras we have available for hire.
Do I need a DSLR for vlogging?
Not necessarily! While DSLRs are great for vlogging, mirrorless and compact cameras will also do a great job, and are in some ways the better choice. Check out our listings above for more detail on the different types of vlogging camera available.
What’s the best cheap camera for social media?
There are a few different ones, but if you’re looking to shoot content for social media, a few key features are a must. Make sure you get something with good Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth connectivity, and ideally something that shoots video natively in vertical format for viewing on a smartphone screen. The Sony ZV-E10 ticks all these boxes, though there are other options.
How did we decide?Our in-house photography experts, store staff and partners all work collaboratively to poor over these guides. The cameras and equipment recommended in our guides are based on their personal opinion, empirical experience and of course, feedback from our customers.
We way up price, features, quality and the all-important 'je ne sais quoi' to make sure we recommend products that will delight and inspire.
If you would like more advice on any purchase our contact centre staff are here to help. Alternatively, you can reach us via email or social media.
And don't forget. If you were to purchase anything based on our recommendations you'll be covered by our full returns policy.