Top 5 Vlogging Cameras Under $500! (Complete Buyer’s Guide)

Nolan shares his favorite Cameras for vlogging under $500! ****** Check out my favorite camera for vlogging under $500 HERE ➡️ (Amazon)

This video is NOT sponsored. Some product links are affiliate links which means if you buy something we’ll receive a small commission.

📒 Show Notes 📒

1️⃣ Sony A5100 Camera (Amazon) Check Used for Under $500

2️⃣ DJI Osmo Pocket
Camera: (Amazon)
Mic Adapter: (Amazon)

DJI Osmo Pocket 2 (Amazon)

3️⃣ GoPro Camera
HERO9: (Amazon)
HERO10: (Amazon)

(Video) GoPro HERO 9 vs 10 (Buyer’s Guide)

Mouth Mount: (Amazon)
GoPro Media Mod Kit: (Amazon)
Water Resistant Lens Replacement: (Amazon)
To Raise Mic: (Amazon)
Shotgun Mic: (Amazon)

4️⃣ Panasonic Lumix G7 (Check Used for Under $500) (Amazon)

5️⃣ Canon M50 (Check Used for Under $500) (Amazon)

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⏰ Timecodes ⏰
0:00 Top 5 Vlogging Cameras Under $500
0:34 Camera #1
3:47 Camera #2
6:02 Camera #3
9:15 Camera #4
11:11 Camera #5

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In this video, Nolan shares the top 5 vlogging cameras for beginners under $500. These vlogging cameras are a great place for how to start a vlog on YouTube.

Disclaimer: Please see the link for our disclaimer policy for all of our videos on the Think Media and Think Marketing YouTube channels.

=================== text video ====================

— These are the five
best of vlogging cameras

that you can get for under $500.

(upbeat music)

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.

— Voiceover] You gotta
just press «Record.»

— Hey guys, my name is
Nolan with Think Media,

and 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 because 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 good 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.

(rattling 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 been through the paces.

(dramatic music)

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 about this camera

is, 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
in 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’s 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

is 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
is 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 2.7K or 1080,

all the way up to 240 frames per second.

If you’re a traveling vlogger,

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.

(incomprehensible muttering)

— 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’s 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,

if you wanna click the
link in the description

to check that out

and then see 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 their 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-y.

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 vlogger
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 your 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, like 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,

more 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.

Next up, 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 being 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.

So you can click on
the screen to check out

the best microphones for YouTube,

and I’ll see you guys in the next video.