Starting a youtube channel can be a daunting task especially since everyone in youtube have the most expensive cameras. But owning anything that costs over 200$ isn’t necessary when you are just starting out.
Thanks to the technological advancement we have today, Even the most affordable cameras will provide you with more than you need in terms of image/video quality. Here is a list of the best cameras for youtube under 200$:
- Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder.
- Logitech BRIO Ultra HD Webcam.
- Panasonic Full HD HC-V180K Video Camera.
- Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam.
- Sony HDR CX405 HD Video Camera.
- Logitech C930e Webcam.
Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder
Even though the Canon Vixia HF R800 Doesn’t have the most features in this list nor is it the one with the highest quality, It still is a really good product to purchase for most youtube startups. The reason this video camera is so valuable in many of its users is due to its very particular characteristics.
Starting with the design, Having the most simple & compact build to make it superlight and easier to handle & work with. This is a desirable treat for many people that film themselves while moving around, Especially vloggers, streamers and youtubers.
On the top you of the vixia you will find a zoom slider. And on the back is the Record button. Below it is the power port. The rest of the buttons can be seen after opening the LCD, which includes an On & Off and a playback button, A mini HDMI & USB port, An sd slot, A microphone port & headphone/AV port.
The LCD display can be rotated up to 180 degree which is quite useful if you want to see how you look like in the video. Very useful and desirable feature if you are a vlogger, If you make your videos in a stationary position this can remove the hassle of having to switch to the streaming/recording software everytime you want to check on the shot.
As for the video quality, This camera can run at 1080p/720p at 60 fps. Choosing between them is dependent on how you’re storing the video.
If you are using an sd card, Going for 720 is probably what you want to do since it will not take a lot of space from your sd card. On the other hand, If you want to connect the camera directly to your pc then going for the highest resolution isn’t going to be a problem.
Now even though the camera quality had a noticeable lack in sharpness, it was able to compensate for it by having a 32x optical zoom that can be modified up to 57x using advanced mode. It also did a great job in stabilizing the footage when walking which is extremely helpful when being handheld.
It comes with some interesting features such as a 0.5x slow motion mode, time-lapse, zoom framing assist and highlight priority mode. This helps you shoot from 2:1 up to 1200:1 ratio & correct backlight in very flashy scenarios.
The pictures taken with this camera are decent at best and fall on low end of the spectrum for image quality since most devices can go for 8MP while this one has only 3.28MP.
- Compact & Small Build.
- Rotatable Touch-Screen.
- Optical Zoom Up To 32x.
- Mediocre footage in low light.
- Menu can be confusing to go through.
Logitech BRIO Ultra HD Webcam
Being the only webcam in today’s market that’s able to record up to 4K resolution with 30fps or 1080p for 60fps. It is considered as the ideal budget camera for youtubers/streamer since it is logitech’s highest-end webcam.
Logitech was able to stuff all of the Brio’s power in a pretty slim four inches wide and one inch high and deep package. Weighting about 2 ounces, They used a metallic-gray aluminum casing to make the camera as lightweight as possible.
Mounted to a rubber-coated flexible stand that can clip onto the bezel of any laptop or flat-screen monitor. Although i noticed that when using monitors with thin bezel it does take some of screen real estate up top. Supports USB 2.0 Type A, USB 3.0 Type A and C.
The Brio supports 4K Ultra HD at 30 fps, 1080p (Full HD) at 60/30 fps and 720p (HD) at 60/30 fps. But if you want to record at 4k resolution you need to make sure your computer is fast enough to handle the video output of the device. Else, 1080p at 60fps will do more than fine without making your system unusable.
It also takes the best-looking pictures I’ve seen from a webcam. They have sharp details, accurate colors and are very wide. Logitech webcam uses its RealLight 3 technology with HDR (high dynamic range) to adjust the environment.
There are 2 omni-directional built-in microphones on each side of the lens, They perform decently but fall short compared to a standalone mic. We could still hear some noticeable background noise and a tiny echo from time to time.
Does the job if you are tight in a budget and can’t afford a good microphone.
The RightLight 3 feature is used to adjust contrast, brightness,and color settings for a more optimal image quality making the webcam’s low-light performance astonishing. It also has 3 options for field of view to choose from (65/78/90 degrees).
The webcam comes with a removable privacy shade that can be flipped to cover the camera. This may help with the covering the lens but the microphone will still pickup sound, So it is recommended to plug it off if you are worried about your privacy.
Finally, The BRIO is certified compatible with Skype, Microsoft Cortana and Windows Hello. Which means you can use the webcam for face recognition to log into your computer instead of typing a password.
- 4K Recording.
- Adjustable Field Of View.
- Smooth Streaming.
- 5x HD Zoom.
- Funky stand.
- Need a High-end machine for optimal performance.
Panasonic Full HD HC-V180K Video Camera
Known as the basic model in the 2016 panasonic lineup. The HC-V180K is pretty much comparable to the HC-V270 but it lacks in certain areas such as: no Wifi, no NFC and no red and white variants.
The size and weight of this camera are unbelievably light but still has a nice feel to it. it is quite comfortable to hold but dare I say that a person with smaller hands will find it more comfortable because of how tiny it is.
The interface is touch-driven & the on-screen menu takes a few minutes to get used to, but shouldn’t give you too much hassle. It also has way less buttons than expected, Which depending on what type of person you are, it’s either a good or a bad thing.
At normal settings, the HC-V180K can compete with flagship smartphones, The improved image stabilization really helps out with recording while moving around which can be useful for youtubers. The quality is pretty decent in day lighting but struggles in low light environments.
The zoom can be increased up to 50x, There is also an option for Intelligent Zoom which extends the zoom as high as 90x. When approaching the higher levels of zooming the quality still looks decent thanks to the improved image stabilizer.
Videos can be recorded with 1080p/720p at 50fps. Using the highest quality mode requires a minor sacrifice in storage space so If you want to record at 1080p make sure to have some space for it.
Overall, A great product with good performance during the day, great zoom and a microphone that records far better audio than the average smartphone.
The Panasonic HC-V180K offer to the user some room for creativity with the controls. In the controls you can find a time lapse, a 8mm and a Silent Movie mode.
It also have a hybrid optical image stabilizer + level shot which is a great function for new users as it helps keeping the view aligned. There is a button to activate this feature and the intensity can be adjusted easily.
It lacks in the storage department since it doesn’t come with an internal storage or an sd card, But since sd card are extremely cheap these days it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
If you want you can take 10-megapixel images with the camcorder or 2.1-megapixel images while you are currently recording video.
- Decent Built-In Microphone.
- Amazing Optimal Zoom (Up To 50x).
- Great Performance In Daylight.
- Build quality is below average.
- No internal storage/sd card.
Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam
Being the least expensive one in this list costing 60$ at the time this was written, The logitech c920s is simply the best choice out there for people who don’t have the budget but still want a good camera with great performance.
Also take note that this camera alone has over 10,000 ratings on amazon and was still able to maintain over 4 stars in customer ratings.
The webcam is about 3.5 inches, with a noticeable chunk on both sides of the full HD glass lens with two microphones, One on each side to capture the stereo sound. It looks quite bulky when used on a slim bezel monitor.
The C920s has a hinge to adjust the arm’s length and a rubber foot to hold the device in place. If you prefer using a tripod over the stand, you can use the built-in tripod mount to attach it to your stand.
It also has a 6-foot USB cord hanging from the back of it, which should be more than enough cord to connect it to your computer no matter how far you place the webcam.
The C920 provides full HD 1080p video calling and has the ability to record 1080p video clips using H.264 compression technology to make the camera do the processing which relieves your CPU from the heavy work. This is something the brio lacks since it requires a high-end computer to function at its fullest.
The C920 uses RightLight 2 in low light environments to maintain image clarity. RightLight’s job is to adjust the brightness, contrast, and color settings according to the detected lighting condition.
At daylight, The video quality is shockingly crisp with clear details. It has a 78-degree field of view to provide you with a wide shot that can fit 2 people easily. The typical integrated laptop camera usually capture only enough to show a single person’s torso.
The integrated microphone was decent at most. The sounds was loud and clear, but a little flat.
The C920 uses the logitech software which features a number of options, including changing the backgrounds, the avatars to add some effects to your youtube video if needed. It also has a motion detection mode which can be handy depending on how creative you are with your videos.
On the other hand, I noticed that the software can be slow and chunky and will from time to time crash without a warning, Or at least that was my experience with it.
- Amazing Video & Pictures Quality.
- 6 Foot Long Cord.
- Extremely Affordable.
- Software can be a little bit buggy.
- Mediocre microphone.
Sony HDR CX405 HD Video Camera
Made in 2015 by one of the biggest tech companies of today, The sony cx405 is a mid-tier handheld digital video camera that provides you with the basic features you need from a camcorder.
Extremely small, very robust and has a nice build to it, Lightweight and can fit into anyone’s hand perfectly. The battery came separately, when inserted, a little extra weight was added to the cam which was just sufficient to add that extra feel of quality to the device.
The small Lithium battery is replaceable & rechargeable but having an extra battery is an essential to use this camera without having too much hassle, Since after some use we noticed the battery couldn’t last as much time as when it was straight from the box.
The front of the camera has a small switch which operates the lens cover so you can open it and shut it manually, But we ran into occasions where it seemed like the cover was a little bit stuck, Which may not happen to you but you should still have an idea of the potential problems that you may run into.
The camera can record full hd 1080p at 60fps and good quality 9.2MP still images. The video great but the picture quality is decent at best, The sounds is also surprisingly good for such a small camera.
In daylight everything works as it should be but we ran into some quality issues in low lighting environments even though it has an option for such conditions. Both the image and video becomes a little grainy.
The camera can zoom for up to 60X and the quality is just perfect.
The Menu has a lot of features ranging from the usual quality settings like white balance, exposure and shutter speed up to iris and focus settings.
The flip out screen can be rotated up to 180 which is a highly needed feature for youtubers/streamers since you will most likely want to check the video as you are recording to make everything is setup as it should be.
The built in software on the camera also includes a video editor although I wouldn’t recommend using it because of how basic the options are.
- Great Image Stabilization.
- Very Good Zoom.
- Extremely Lightweight.
- An extra battery would be nice.
- Manuel lens cover.
Logitech C930e Webcam
Considered as the workplace & business version of the c920, The logitech c930e is known for its wide field of view and good sound quality. It also cost almost double the price as its predecessor.
The logitech c930e’s design is almost Identical to the c920, With bulky parts on each side of the lens where the microphone sits, Which means 2 omni-directional mics.
The only noticeable change between the two webcams is that the c930e has a silver padding under the lens’s glass while the c920 is full black.
It comes with an Adjustable clip and threaded base to make it easier to pin to the monitor. The usb cable is 6 feet long and is attached to the back of the webcam, Big plus since it gives you the liberty to put the webcam as far as you wish.
Compatible with MAC, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and windows 10, Just plug it and done with no need for extra software.
Just as expected, This webcam can take beautiful and sharp pictures & wide and clear videos thanks to the 90 degrees field of view it has. With the default settings the images may look a little bit saturated but this can be fixed with some simple color editing.
In low light, The camera was still able to take a detailed picture without having to look grainy.
The microphone on the x930e is a big improvement from the c920. Background noise didn’t cause a problem and the sound was completely suppressed, The voice isn’t as crisp as a dedicated standalone microphone but was still loud and clear enough for someone to use it as an alternative microphone for youtube.
The feature that separates the c930e from the rest of the webcams on the market is the 90 degrees field of view, Not only does it fit two people easily, It can also give you that cinematic panorama look when recording from an angle. Something most streamers/youtubers use as a way to look more professional in their videos.
Features a 4x digital zoom for close up shots, auto focus to improve video quality, RightLight 2 for low light conditions, supports H.264 & UVC 1.5 video compression.
It also comes with a removable shade that can be flipped down just in case you are concerned about privacy and want to be able to cover the lens without having to unplug the webcam everytime.
- Ultra Wide 90 Degree Field Of View.
- Plug & Play.
- Great Noise Cancellation.
- Auto focus is a bit funky.
- No costume software.
There are 2 main types of cameras you should be looking into when searching for a budget youtube setup to buy:
While dslr and point & shoot cameras are designed to take high quality pictures, camcorders are made to record long videos without running in too much issues. Because of that, camcorders have three main advantages over most DSLRs.
Recording a long youtube video tends to take much more power than just taking an image, you’re going to need enough battery life to be able to film your videos in the first place.
Since camcorders are made and optimized for video recording they tend to have a better battery than most others. There are also many types of video cameras that comes equipped with different kinds of batteries and are dependent on your specific needs.
Furthermore, Replaceable batteries are also a big plus since you are able to record a longer and more stretched video and use the spare battery if the first one dies without having to cut the shot.
Another advantage of using a camcorder over a dslr camera when recording youtube videos is that they have much more storage room than traditional cameras.
Some camcorders come with a built-in hard drive so that you are able record for a longer periods of time before having to clear the memory. It’ll also save you money in the long run since you won’t be needing to buy an expensive memory card.
In the end, you’ll need to be able to record for longer periods of time and work with lengthy videos without having to double check the memory every time you do a gaming session with the boys.
Using a camcorder which is optimized for video recording means you will be working with a higher video quality and a bigger frame rate compared to using a dslr camera with the same price range that is optimized for taking good pictures.
A camcorder which records in a higher quality will also be a better investment in the long run since you won’t be needing to change/upgrade it for a longer period of time.
Webcams of today have come a long way, From being used only in the workplace for conferences and interviews to becoming a reliable streaming and recording camera for many online influencers.
The reason for that is because most popular webcams can shoot 1080p with 30fps, can be easily setup and don’t cost as much as your regular dslr camera.
Since it is a webcam you won’t be worried about the camera dying or anything since it is connected directly to the computer you are using. Same with the storage, Everything goes directly to your hard drive so everything is ready to be edited/used.
Even though most webcams record at 1080p, There are some webcams that can go up to 4k with 30fps, But unless you are using a high-end machine than can process the large video output of the webcam, you will find yourself struggling with an extremely laggy system.
What to you look for in a camera for YouTube
The first thing you should be looking into and taking into consideration is the video quality of the camera. All cameras can shoot video these days, and many even record at 4K Ultra HD resolution.
Having a 1080p resolution is a good start since it is the industry standard, It lets you make clear videos without using too much space on your drive.
4k on the other hand can produce a much better imagery but but you will find yourself eating a lot of space from your memory drive.
Another thing to look for is the framerate, 24 to 30 fps is good, 60fps is perfect for a smooth video. Anything less than 20 fps isn’t worth the investment since it will look more like a fast slideshow than an actual video.
Microphone and Mic Input
Having a good internal microphone on your camera is something you should look for since when starting you may not want and/or be able to spend a lot of money to buy a dedicated microphone. Having a camera that can record your voice with detail is a big plus.
Keep in mind that many cameras also come equipped with a microphone input that you can attack a separate mic on, So that you can benefit from professional sound quality if you already have a good microphone in your hand such as the Purple Panda Lavalier Lapel Microphone
One of the worst mistakes you can make is focusing just on the video quality and neglecting the sound quality. It doesn’t matter if you have a crispy clear image if your microphone sounds like a 2010 flip phone in your videos, so try to provide your views with good sound quality even if it means sacrificing a little bit on the video part.
Depending on the type of videos you will be recording, Having a camera that you can move around and use easily is something fairly important that most people don’t take into consideration.
If you are planning to do most videos in your desk with the camera in a stationary place, Having a big and clumsy camera make much of a difference at all.
But if you are looking to start a vlogging/travelling videos, Being able to take your camera with you and use it without having to struggle with its weight is a must. Therefore always make sure the camera have the right size if you are going to do more than just gaming/reaction videos.
User-Friendliness & Manual Controls
Manual controls are important if you want to make great quality videos. However, controlling a camera manually isn’t easy and will take some practice and knowledge.
Even though using the camera daily will heavily impact how easy it becomes to use, Having a camera that is too hard to handle can be a problem in the beginning which may demotivate you from using it at all.
Having a camera with a clear and simple user interface is a good thing to aim for since most of the time they are relatively easy to handle.
If you want to maximize image quality and are willing to spend some time learning (or are already familiar with cameras), make sure you spend your money on a camera with many manual settings.
Conslusion: Best Cameras For Youtube Under 200$
Your choice may change depending on how how much you have to invest, If you already have a standalone microphone or you are counting on the integrated mic on the camera and the type of camera you are looking for.
Each one of these cameras has its own pros and cons and the best for you will be related to your specific needs. We hope you enjoyed our buyers guide on the best cameras for youtube under 200$, If you enjoyed it make sure to leave a comment down below telling us your experience with it.