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Vlogging is getting pretty standard nowadays. Many people make vlogs as their hobby, and some even consider making a career out of it. Thanks to famous YouTubers such as PewDiePie, Logan Paul, JackSepticEye, CaseyNeistat, among many others. Vlogging itself is better and the more fun part.
Choosing the best and most suitable equipment for vlogging is the tricky part, especially when you are a beginner and on a tight budget. The most important thing needed for vlogging is something to record all of it, as vlog itself stands for “video blog.”
Getting an affordable camera that has all the features required to film a high-quality vlog is difficult. There are hundreds of options to choose from, with every camera being distinct from one another. To make things easier for you, we have prepared this article with the best vlogging cameras that you can buy within the $500 bracket. To simplify things, we have chosen the best camera for indoor, outdoor, and travel vlogs. You can choose one according to your need.
- Indoor vlogging cameras are ideal if the vlogs are mostly indoors. Such vlogs may include gaming, reviews/unboxing, beauty/fashion, etc.
- Outdoor cameras are suitable if you are always on the go. Such vlogging may consist of comedy/pranks, reviewing food/tech, etc.
- Travel vlogging use cameras which are portable, durable, and record high-quality videos with excellent stabilization. Such cameras are best for vloggers who want to record and share their extreme adventures, for example, car rides, hiking, biking, boating, etc.
Now that you know the three broad types of vlogging let us talk about the best camera for each example. The cameras we are going to talk about today are Panasonic Lumix G7, Sony A5100, and GoPro HERO 7 Black.
Panasonic Lumix G7
The Panasonic Lumix G7 is the best in its class and is among the only few cameras that support 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) video recording at this price tag. It comes with a 14-42mm MEGA OIS lens and has a 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS image sensor which is capable of capturing sharp images with dynamic range. It has a high-resolution OLED Live View Finder and an LCD which is touch-enabled, and bright enough even in broad daylight. It comes with multiple ports, which include a 2.5mm remote port, 3.5mm external mic port, USB 2.0, and also support for micro HDMI Type-D. It is compatible with a wide variety of SD cards to store your perfect videos and photos. It is a mirrorless camera, which means you can use different lenses by Panasonic on it as well. It is a compact and lighter camera as opposed to others and delivers quality results.
This sleek camera measures 4.9 x 3 x 3.4 inches and weighs about 14.1 ounces. It has a compact design but has a plastic feel to it. It might be of concern for some people as it does not feel much premium. However, it still delivers high-end performance and is easy to carry around. It has a fully-rotating and a free-angle LCD which is very convenient and highly responsive. The camera itself has a plastic feel to it, but the handgrip and the thumb grip are rubberized and has a premium quality tripod socket and a metal lens mount. It has two adjustment dials, one in the front and one on the back of the camera. It is relatively easy to use as far as the built and structure is concerned and also has an excellent grip.
PROS and CONS
- Shoots 4K videos/photos which is highly unlikely in a camera in this price range.
- It has an excellent grip which makes it easier to handle.
- The touchscreen is highly responsive and is easy to use.
- It has an electronic shutter that helps in silent shooting and has faster shutter speeds.
- Has multiple ports for various purposes.
- It has built-in wifi to connect to your pc or smartphone without any hassle and entirely wirelessly.
- It has beautiful autofocus in videography which is an essential aspect for vlogging.
- It does not come with built-in stabilization.
- Processing speeds for 4K content is considerably slow.
- It does not have a premium feel to it and has a lot of plastic used all over.
- Dynamic range is not so good.
- Not weatherproof, which means you need to be careful in extreme weather which may include rain.
The Panasonic Lumix G7 is the best affordable 4K camera which is available on Amazon at a low price. If you are looking forward to recording indoor videos primarily, this is a great option to give you the best results. A wide variety of famous YouTubers recommend it, and many even used it as their first camera. It can be easily set-up at your work area, and a tripod along with an external mic is all you would need to for a complete setup. Its highly durable material will make sure it lasts longer, and this mirrorless camera allows you to upgrade the lens without having to change the body. It means, once you get comfortable with it, you can always go for an upgrade.
The Sony A5100 comes equipped with a 24.3-megapixel APS-C sensor. It has a flip-up touch screen LCD to record front-facing high-quality videos. It is a point-and-shoot camera which is easy to carry around because of its compact design. The built-in WiFi and NFC allows instant sharing with a smartphone or a personal computer. It has ultrafast autofocus and records full HD videos. It has a 179 point phase-detection AutoFocus and can fire burst up to 6fps. It has an ISO range of 100-25600 to give excellent quality low-light photos. Also, it has a built-in Guide Number 6 flash1 to brighten up the scene. This camera also comes with BIONZ X engine for magnificent detail plus noise reduction. It is also compatible with other Sony lenses, allowing you to upgrade without having to change the body. The built-in mic works like a charm.
This Sony Alpha 5100 is a small camera that delivers high-end video and photo quality. It measures 4.33 x 1.42 x 2.48 inches and weighs around 0.62 lb. It is made up of a durable body and is available in multiple colors. It also has a more premium finish as compared to other cameras and has a rubberized texture that gives an excellent grip to it. The camera itself is mainly the lens and the touch screen, but there are a few buttons on the top and the front of it. The LCD is pretty responsive but is limited to the functions it can perform. Also, it does not have any ViewFinder and cannot mount one either. Overall, its sleek and compact design is easy to carry around and can fit in pocket effortlessly.
PROS and CONS
- Extremely well AutoFocus in photos as well as videos.
- The sensor is among the best in its class.
- Highly durable material making it ideal for traveling.
- The Wifi with NFC support is of great convenience in everyday life.
- It captures considerably good images in low-light.
- It comes with full HD 1080p video recording capabilities.
- Its battery life is reasonably good as compared to its competitors.
- The camera comes with a built-in flash, and you can upgrade the lens as well.
- Noise reduction works reasonably well.
- It has a single control dial on it.
- The touch screen has limited functions, such as focusing. It limits the true potential of the LCD.
- It does not have any microphone socket on the camera itself.
- It can not record 4K videos or capture 4K images.
- The screen can flip by 180 degrees only.
- Fewer physical buttons mean you have to go through the menu for making changes to the settings, which is inconvenient as compared to cameras that have physical buttons for the same functions.
- The battery life is lesser as compared to DSLRs.
- It does not have any hot-shoe. Hence, external equipment cannot mount on it.
- Videos show more noise at higher ISOs.
The Sony A5100 is the perfect travel camera under $500, which is available on Amazon. Its ultra-fast AutoFocus enables the user to capture the best videos for vlogs. The 180 degrees flip screen can help you record yourself as well, as YouTubers do in their vlogs. The highly durable camera helps you in recording your outdoor activities without having to worry much about it. If you are an outgoing person and want to record everything out there without the battery running out quicker than other mirrorless cameras, this is the one you must choose. In a nutshell, you are getting a Sony product, for a low price, that can give you a jump ahead in your vlogging.
GoPRO HERO 7 Black
The GoPro HERO 7 Black is the flagship model by this renowned company. Therefore, it comes with the flagship specifications as well. It shoots 4K videos at a mind-boggling 60 frames per second, 2.7K at 120 frames per second, and 1080p up to 240 frames per second. It has a 12-megapixel camera for taking still images and has an HDR mode built-in. It has exceptionally well stabilization, which the company itself calls “HyperSmooth” stabilization. It also supports Wifi and GPS connectivity which has multiple purposes, such as geolocation and wireless networking. It also features “TimeWarp”, which enables you to lapse a very long video and make it shareable. It also allows you to live-stream and has built-in voice control for your convenience. It also has a portrait mode for all the aesthetics. Also, if you like making slow-motion videos, you can slow them up by eight times.
The GoPro Hero 7 Black is the smallest among the list. It measures 1.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches and weighs 4.2 ounces. It is a very enduring camera. The body has a rubberized finish which makes it grippy. It is also waterproof for up to 10 meters underwater. The camera also has a highly responsive 2-inch touch screen. The design itself is very compact, and it fits in the palm. It only has two physical buttons on the camera itself. One is for power, and the other for recording or capturing. Overall, it has the most suitable design for travel enthusiasts.
PROS and CONS
- Excellent video stabilization. Probably the best in its class.
- Records 4K videos and features portrait mode for images.
- Live-streaming on the go directly from the camera.
- It has built-in Wifi and GPS.
- The camera is completely waterproof for up to 10 meters underwater.
- There are a wide variety of accessories available for your convenience.
- The user interface for the touch screen is easy to use.
- 8x slow-motion video capability.
- It is very convenient to carry around.
- It can sometimes heat up to the point that it shuts down while recording in 4K.
- Its battery timings are not very good, especially while recording in 4K.
- Slow-Motion videos recorded in low-light are not very good.
- It might struggle with voice commands.
- It takes time to understand and use it correctly.
- It needs a micro SD card to install firmware updates.
From an overall point of view, this is the best in its class. If you love extreme traveling and want to record all of it, this is what you need. You can easily mount it on your vehicle, helmet, drone, etc. It has a wide-angle lens to capture most scenery. It is available for under $500 with additional accessories on Amazon. There is no better camera to help you out in your extreme travel vlogging than this. Also, it is very famous among YouTubers in general.
These were the best affordable cameras under $500 to help you begin your vlogging journey. They are the best in their class and have high-end performances. The Panasonic Lumix G7 is the best for indoor high-quality video recording. It is easy to set up and performs exceptionally well when compared to its rivals. The Sony A5100, short for Alpha 5100, is the best outdoor camera. You can take it out and record stuff in 1080p and capture high-quality images. It is durable and is handy as well. The GoPro, on the other hand, is the champion of travel vlogging.
It performs much better than its competition and has a low price tag for the features it offers. It is ideal if you are hiking a mountain, or if you are taking a dive. The capabilities of these cameras are limitless. If you are a beginner and have just basic knowledge, you must go for one of these depending on the type of vlogging. All of them have their pros and cons. But the pros outweigh the cons, especially when compared to their competitors.