Creating a YouTube Vlog – even if only for personal use and to share holiday videos with friends and family – is exciting. The entire process of recording, editing and uploading a video is an extremely rewarding experience that I think everyone should give a go. Plus, you don’t need to be intimidated by searching for that vlogging camera that youtubers use. There are several but here is one of the best starter vlogging cameras.
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What Do You Need to Start Vlogging
To start recording a Vlog, you essentially need yourself, a YouTube account and a camera. It really is that simple! But one question I get asked by many new creators is “what is the best vlogging camera under 200 USD?”.
Believe it to not, there is actually a wide range of top vlogging cameras under 200 that offer a lot of value and features for YouTube content creators! So after trying close to a dozen cameras over my YouTube journey, here is my all time favourite!
Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 Digital Camera w/12x Optical Zoom
When it comes to creating YouTube videos, there are certain features that are needed as vloggers tend to record in different styles than traditional movies makers. You don’t need super high tech, pricy equipment or even top vlogging cameras at the start of your vlogging adventure. You can very well go for the best cheap vlogging camera, such as this Canon vlog camera.
One must have feature is a wide angle lens which allows vloggers to hold the camera out in front of them while recording themselves. Typically a range between 15-30mm is ideal for a wide angle lens. As for the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360, you can expect a 25mm wide angle lens, which is more than adequate for recording vlog style videos. There is also a 12 X optical zoom as well in case you want to film farther away.
Another feature important to your audience is HD video quality, preferably in a minimum definition of 1080P. While many top vlogging cameras under the 200 USD range are still sporting 720P, the ELPH 360 has a recording definition of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
How about the actually sharpness and vibrancy of the video output on this unit? While it’s not amazing, it still does a remarkably good job of providing consistently pin point sharp video and a very good colour range. After researching this camera more, I can put this down to the Canon CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4+ Image Processor, which Canon is best known for.
While the colour vibrancy isn’t as impactful as say a Sony or Nikon, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 still does a really great job. Also saturation and vibrancy can easily be added in post production editing. That is why it’s totally ok to look for the best vlogging camera under 200 USD because editing software isn’t cheap either.
When it comes to making great films, the video only plays half the part. Many times I have come across a well lit and shot video only to find the audio is hissy with a lot of noise. No thanks! This is an immediate turnoff, no matter how good the video production is.
As for the audio on the ELPH 360, I was pleasantly surprised by the end audio quality. While it wasn’t as good as using a dedicated shotgun microphone, it easily passed my test for good sounding audio. Just be cautious if you plan on recording in windy condition or areas with a lot of background noise as it can be quite noticeable.
However there is an easy way to minimise this background noise, which is by opting for a very cheap wind filter which can be stuck on the microphone. Typically you can pick these up for a couple of dollars and they do wonders for audio. Alternatively, you can use an external microphone or increase the “High Pass” audio option in your video editing software.
Another extremely important feature of a good vlogging camera is the durability and build quality of the overall camera. In the past two years, I’ve had at least five cameras break on me, whether it was due to constant daily use of the or just poor choice of build materials.
When it comes to the build quality on the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360, it followed the same quality of craftsmanship that I have come to expect from Canon. I never hesitated to put this camera into my pocket or have it sitting loosely in my backpack. For added protection I would recommend picking up a carry case. This only costs a couple of dollars.
More Vlogging Camera Features
- 12x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
- 1080p HD video capabilities, 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor
- Large 3.0-inch LCD display
- Hybrid Auto lens
- Creative Shot mode
- Compatible with iOS and Android
Wrapping It Up with Your Vlogging Camera
Overall I was extremely impressed with my Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 for video and audio quality. It easily deserves my number one pick for the best vlogging camera under 200 USD. While it’s not a perfect camera, it really does provide all the essential features for a new video blogger. You gotta start somewhere!
If you would like to learn more about content creation, you can check out this this resource guide on vlogging. Also if you want to find the best lighting equipment for your videos, you can read up on this list of LED lights for video.
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