Best Budget Video Camera

Best Budget Video Camera

What is the best budget video camera for breathtaking travel videos? It is unnecessary to spend about $2000 on expensive video equipment in order to record a high-resolution video for your YouTube channel or Instagram. You can easily choose the best budget video camera from this list of 15 inexpensive video cameras, camcorders, DSLRs, point and shoot or mirrorless bodies.

15 Best Budget Video Cameras

best budget video cameras

Many people save the brightest and most important moments of their life using cameras on their smartphones. This is absolutely enough to record amateur videos. It is not necessary to buy professional video equipment. However, if you want to start your professional career in the field of filming, you should start with a budget video camera. Such an inexpensive variant will help you gain necessary experience and improve your skills. Here is a list of 15 best cheap video cameras you may use as a good start.


1. Sony DSC-RX100 Mark IV

sony 

dsc-rx100-mark-iv best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $800

 
Pros+
  • Amazing video quality
  • Perfect AF system
  • Professional lens with good focal length
  • Comfy OLED viewfinder
Cons-
  • Inconvenient grip
  • Lacks a microphone jack
  • Weak battery
 
 

This point and shoot camera is an excellent option for video lovers. Compared to the previous version (RX100), the main feature of this model is the possibility to record slow-motion videos at speeds up to 1000 frames per second with a resolution of 270 x 800 pixels during 4 seconds, or 1136 x 384 pixels during 2 seconds.

4K will give you the opportunity to record high-quality videos that will impress viewers with the saturation and brightness of colors, as well as amazing clarity and details. Using the slow-motion shooting, you can create unusual artistic effects. No doubt, if you compare the Sony RX100 IV with other modern cheap video cameras, it is the undisputed leader.


2. 360fly 4K VR

360fly 4k vr best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $350

 
Pros+
  • Fantastic app for image editing
  • Records 4K videos
  • 1.5-hour long battery life
  • Reliable and weather-resistant
  • Stitching isn't necessary
Cons-
  • Memory can't be expanded
  • Poor audio quality
  • 4K video with stuttering
  • The field of view is limited to 240°
 
 

Its shape resembles a cosmic golf ball. Shock, dust and water resistance were a pleasant surprise. The model is distinguished by 64GB of internal storage, classic tripod mounts and a singular button for power and recording. Once you switch the device on, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on as well so your smartphone stays connected to the camera. I suggest opening the 360fly application for the device's live preview option and the settings adjustment.

You may select to film either at 30fps without the live view option or 30 fps for the live onscreen view. The highest resolution is 2880x2880 pixels. This budget video camera comes with one lens that features a 360x240 degree field of view. Consequently, the 120 degrees under the lens are lost. After you finished recording a video, it may be edited right in the application. You may apply filters, add music or set up the playback speed for a specific part of the video. It is undoubtedly the best inexpensive video camera for creative 360 videos.


3. GoPro Hero 7

gopro hero 7 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $400

 
Pros+
  • Ultra-smooth video stabilization
  • Water-resistant and sturdy design
  • Films 4K videos
  • Voice control
  • Timewarp videos
Cons-
  • Short battery life
  • Overheats while shooting 4K video
 
 

Now recording underwater videos won't be a problem as you can use GoPro HERO7. Despite being a cheap video camera, it provides indispensable functions for qualitative video and photo shooting. Modernized with ultra-smooth video stabilization, each picture looks very accurate and smooth. The underwater model is perfectly capable of filming 8x slow-motion clips and time warp videos. An active social media user would certainly appreciate Live Streaming mode.

The model's strengths are 4K video recording at 60 fps, voice control and touch screen which turns it into the best budget camera for travelling. Moreover, GoPro HERO7 effectively operates at a depth of up to 33ft (10m) and is characterized by water-resistance and durability.


4. Panasonic Lumix ZS100

panasonic lumix zs100 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $500

 
Pros+
  • Large zoom
  • Amazing video quality
  • Full HD and 4K video shooting
  • Small and comfy
Cons-
  • Average AF speed
  • Poor video quality in low light
 
 

All the latest cameras from Panasonic, regardless of their price and level, have the function of 4K video recording. Undoubtedly, this is a huge advantage for beginners. Very few budget models have this feature. The ZS100 is a cheap video camera that gives you the opportunity to record wonderful videos. It can be used both for amateur photography and video shooting and as a professional tool if you need a reliable pocket camera.

If you have a YouTube channel, I recommend you reading about the best vlogging cameras you can use for high quality and bright videos on your account.
 

This device records 1080p video at up to 120 frames per second and 4K video at up to 30 frames per second. The video quality is awesome. That is why they call it the best point and shoot camera for video. The excellent autofocus, which works very quickly deserves special attention. It gives you the opportunity to get a very clear image. The camera has a huge number of modes and filters for video recording and photographing. The 4K Live Cropping allows you to work with zoom and cropping area. It’s amazing because some SLR cameras can’t boast of such a variety of functions.


5. Panasonic Full HD Camcorder HC-V770

panasonic full hd camcorder hc-v770 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $450

 
Pros+
  • Affordable price
  • Control dial and manual settings
  • Possibility to record Full HD videos
  • Wireless support
Cons-
  • Lacks a ring lens
  • Quite a small sensor
  • No 4K support
 
 

The main functions of this affordable video camera are based on wireless technologies. Wi-Fi and special applications on your smartphone or laptop can turn this gadget into a universal video camera for your trips. You can synchronize the camera with any device and shoot at two viewing angles. Full HD format will allow you to get high-quality pictures and videos. In addition, this device has the function of slow motion at a speed of 120 frames per second. You can easily change this value using a convenient menu on the screen.

Read more about the cheapest 4k cameras for recording amazing travel videos from your adventures in high-resolution.
 

Crystal Engine function can interpolate frames and reach 240 frames per second. The wireless technologies supported by this camera give you the opportunity to stream your videos in real time. You can also use it to watch your children or pets when they are alone at home.


6. Nikon COOLPIX P1000

Nikon 

Coolpix p1000 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $1000

 
Pros+
  • Large zoom
  • Perfect LCD screen
  • 4K support
  • Remote control by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Cons-
  • A rather high price
  • Big size
  • No touch control
 
 

This device cannot be called the best budget video camera for only one reason. It is quite expensive. Although, it is a small fee for such incredible quality. It has a huge zoom that can enlarge an image 125 times. This is a unique feature other Nikon cameras did not have before. This zoom allows you to shoot very clear images even from far distances, making this camera a good choice for travelers and nature lovers.

You can shoot a flock of birds or take impressive macro shots of plants. The Coolpix functions are perfectly even in low light. In addition, the device has a perfect autofocus system, stabilizer, as well as a variety of modes and filters. This gadget is especially good for shooting video in 4K and Ultra HD formats. Moreover, the camera creates high-quality audio tracks with stereo sound. Although it is not cheap, you can consider it as a transitional stage between the camera of your smartphone and a professional device.


7. Panasonic Lumix TZ80

panasonic lumix tz80 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $700

 
Pros+
  • Image Stabilization
  • Good video resolution
  • Modern viewfinder
  • 49 Points for Focus
  • Long work without recharging
Cons-
  • Lacks an articulating screen
  • ISO 3200 only
 
 

The main feature of this good cheap video camera is the incredible clarity of images. It is equally good for video and photography. By the way, you can easily select the necessary frames from your videos and create pictures of incredible quality. For the first time in history, the compact LUMIX DMC-TZ80 camera introduces the 4K Photo feature, which let you take amazing 8 megapixel photos.

Video shooting in Full HD format has such characteristics as impressive details and accurate color. Video in 4K format creates the effect of full presence due to their incredible realism. It is all about the wonderful 3840x2160 resolution. Such characteristics allow you to shoot even in motion and get the clearest images.


8. Canon Rebel SL1

canon rebel sl1 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $550

 
Pros+
  • Full HD video shooting
  • Touch control
  • Microphone port
  • Continuous shooting
  • Good video quality with high ISO
Cons-
  • No flip out screen
  • High saturation of colors in the tone priority mode
 
 

Many people call this camera a smaller version of Rebel T5i. Indeed, this device took all the best features from its older relative. Unlike its predecessor, Canon SL1 is cheaper, which makes it possible to call the best affordable video camera. You can record 1080p video at 30 and 24 fps or 720p at 60 fps.

The main disadvantage of this model is the imperfect sound quality. The device has a built-in microphone, but it can record only mono sound, unlike the Rebel T5i, which is capable of creating high-quality stereo audio tracks. Do not worry! This camera has an additional stereo microphone connector, which let you record amazing videos with nice sound.

If you love Canon brand and want to know what is the best Canon for video, I recommend you reading about all professional and beginning cameras produced by this company.
 

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

It is one of the most popular lenses for video shooting. It perfectly interacts with cheap good quality video cameras designed by Canon. The main advantage of this lens is good autofocus, which works almost silently. Moreover, it has a fairly compact and convenient size.

 

9. Panasonic Lumix G7

Panasonic lumix g7 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $500

 
Pros+
  • Wonderful performance
  • Good image quality at the high shutter speed
  • Dirt, dust and scratches protection
  • Amazing LCD screen
  • Quite good data saving speed
Cons-
  • Not sealed
  • Plastic body
 
 

Undoubtedly, this is the best budget video camera for beginners. According to the manufacturers, the main function of this device is photographing. However, many users have noticed that this compact camera copes well with video recording in various conditions.

You can shoot Full HD video at 1080p resolution at up to 60 frames per second. Moreover, the camera supports Ultra HD 4K video. The device has quite a big sensor, which contributes to the improvement of image quality. You also have the opportunity to change lenses and choose the options that are suitable for your purposes. This device has a swivel touch screen that will greatly simplify your work. The autofocus system is very fast. This is the key factor in getting a clear image with rich colors.

Read more about the best DSLR for video if you are going to buy a camera body that is good both for shooting and filming. 10 Affordable and professional models for all purposes.
 

Recommended camera lens:

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8

This is an amazing telephoto lens with a large zoom. It has f/2.8 brightness, which provides excellent image quality. The lens has good autofocus, which perfectly copes with capturing moving objects. These characteristics can significantly improve the productivity of cheap cameras.

 

10. Canon EOS Rebel T6

canon eos rebel t6 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $400

 
Pros+
  • Perfect image and video quality
  • Big sensor
  • Wireless technology support
  • Many modes and filters
  • Scene Intelligent auto mode
Cons-
  • Quite short battery life
  • Imperfect wireless synchronization
 
 

Is it really the best budget video camera from Canon? Well, they have every right to say so, because the EOS Rebel T6 comes with incredible characteristics. The main feature is a combination of modern photo and video technologies with such a compact size. It is one of the cheap but good video cameras that can compete with large professional devices. 18 -megapixel matrix provides the highest quality of photos and videos. 9-point autofocus helps achieve perfect accuracy and simplifies work even in the most difficult conditions. Nighttime or poor lighting is no longer a problem. The above-mentioned features contribute to reducing digital noise.

Canon EOS Rebel T6 has an incredibly comfortable and stylish design. One of the main advantages of this model is a large LSD screen. You can instantly view the video that was just recorded. There are no analogs with the same high-grade and large display today. If you want to make your works more creative, you can apply a large number of filters and modes, such as Fisheye, Toy Camera, Miniature effects and others.

If you are going to record nigh videos, I recommend you to read about best video tripods you can use to get high-quality and stable videos.
 

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

This lens is incredibly light and thin. Despite its compact size, it has good characteristics (for example, autofocus and image sharpness adjustment).

 

11. Fujifilm XQ2

Fujifilm xq2 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $300

 
Pros+
  • Integrated Wi-Fi
  • Compact, may fit in the pocket
  • Fast autofocus
  • Reliable LCD screen made out of glass
Cons-
  • No 4K
  • The absence of a swivel touch screen
  • Poor battery life
 
 

You may shoot full 1080p at 60fps or even 320x112 at 250fps. Stereo audio, a Mono speaker, in-built microphones (one of them is stereo) at the top of the device are among benefits of XQ2. The video quality is acceptable and will look amazing on an HDTV. All in all, the model may be called the best budget video camera due to simultaneous photo and video shooting and the possibility to select manual focusing with the front ring for noiseless work of the focus.


12. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

canon powershot g7 x mark ii best budget video 

camera

 
 

Price: about $700

 
Pros+
  • Swivel touch screen
  • Full HD video mode
  • Remote control
  • Awesome color rendering
  • Integrated NFC and Wi-Fi
Cons-
  • Short zoom
  • You can’t record 4K videos
  • Disappointing battery life
 
 

Canon G7 X Mark II belongs to the list of cheap video cameras that may boast of compact dimensions. This point and shoot device features a large 1.0-inch 20.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor along with DIGIC 7 image processor that impresses users with tracking and detection mechanisms. The smoothness and clarity of pictures are ensured due to the blur-reducing optical image stabilizer. The video quality is no less incredible. Nevertheless, I wouldn't recommend it as the best budget camera for video to those, who primarily seek 4K video filming, as this feature is absent. Still, it records Full HD videos at 60 fps and has plenty of useful functions.


13. Sony DSC W800

sony dsc w800 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $150

 
Pros+
  • 26mm wide angle lens
  • HD video filming
  • Lightweight body – only 125g
  • Picture stabilization
Cons-
  • No Wi-Fi
  • Doesn't record Full HD Video
  • Lacks a swivel screen
 
 

Sony DSC W800 is a small and lightweight point and shoot device on our list of cheap but good video cameras. It has a vivid 2.7" Clear Photo LCD monitor at the back that displays your shots and qualitative 720p HD videos. The model is notable for its 5x optical zoom lens with a 35mm corresponding focal length of 26- 130mm. The 1/2.3" Super HAD CCD sensor of 20.1MP also deserves attention. As for video recording, the DSC W800 can shoot top-quality 1280x720 footage at 30fps while using optical zoom in 29-minute fragments to the fullest.


14. Nikon D3400

Nikon d3400 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $500

 
Pros+
  • Decent autonomy
  • Remarkable video quality
  • SnapBridge technology
  • At high ISO digital noise is low
  • Lightweight and compact
Cons-
  • Falls short of an ultrasound matrix cleaning mechanism
 
 

This is a good cheap video camera which deserves your attention. The model was developed specifically to satisfy the needs of aspiring videographers and photographers who aren't satisfied with smartphone shooting. Through the “SnapBridge App” and Bluetooth LE connection, the videos and pictures may be transferred immediately. The full HD device is made of plastic, therefore it is rather lightweight.

Long battery life and an 11-point focus system also deserve your attention. The D3400 has simplified controls, especially useful for beginners, who are only figuring out how a video camera operates. Unfortunately, its fixed 3inch LCD Live-View screen may cause difficulties while photographing in bad light environment.

Recommended camera lens:

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G

This fast lens is an upgraded version of one of the most renowned NIKKOR models. Being FX-format and wide-angle, it will come in handy when shooting at night, for interior, wedding and landscape photographers as well as photojournalistic specialists.

 

15. Sony RX100

sony rx100 best budget video camera

 
 

Price: about $370

 
Pros+
  • Noise performance
  • Very high resolution
  • Full hand-operated and intuitive controls
  • Decent low light and outdoor visibility
Cons-
  • Short battery life
  • At times tend to clip highlights
 
 

Nowadays every large-sensor camera is supposed to record high-resolution videos. For that reason, all prominent companies aim at equipping their interchangeable-lens devices with one or another video filming option. A small number of manufacturers produce large-sensor fixed lens devices and Sony RX100 is the bright example. While you are recording videos, you may take advantage of autofocus and optical zoom. It is possible to adjust exposure either manually or automatically prior to or throughout the shooting.

Photographing stills at high resolution alongside with video filming is a nice bonus. Being the best affordable video camera, it is often praised for funny Picture Effects and a background defocus option that enable you to modify the way your videos look in the camera. As for its downsides, a 720p filming mode, hand-operated audio levels control and the outward mic connection are absent. Besides, professional shooters might lack fine-grained frame rate control.


15 Best Budget Video Cameras

Image Camera Characteristics Check Price
Panasonic Lumix Zs100 Panasonic Lumix ZS100OUR CHOICE
  • Full HD
  • 4K
VIEW PRICE
Panasonic Full HD Camcorder HC-V770 Panasonic Full HD Camcorder HC-V770 CameraCHEAP
  • Full HD
  • No 4k
VIEW PRICE
Nikon COOLPIX P1000 Nikon COOLPIX P1000FOR TRAVELLING
  • Full HD
  • 4K
VIEW PRICE
Panasonic Lumix TZ80 Panasonic Lumix TZ80FOR PROFESSIONALS
  • Full HD
  • 4K
VIEW PRICE
Sony DSC-RX100 Mark IV Sony DSC-RX100 Mark IV
  • Full HD
  • 4K
VIEW PRICE
Canon Rebel SL1 Canon Rebel SL1
  • Full HD
  • 4K
VIEW PRICE
Panasonic Lumix G7 Panasonic Lumix G7FOR BEGINNERS
  • Full HD
  • 4K
VIEW PRICE
Canon EOS Rebel T6 Canon EOS Rebel T6
  • Full HD
  • no 4K
VIEW PRICE
canon t7i entry level dslr Fujifilm XQ2
  • Full HD
  • no 4K
VIEW PRICE
Canon G7 X Mark II Canon G7 X Mark II
  • Full HD
  • no 4K
VIEW PRICE
Sony DSC W800 Sony DSC W800
  • HD
  • No Full HD
VIEW PRICE
360fly 4K VR 360fly 4K VR
  • Full HD
  • 4K
VIEW PRICE
GoPro Hero 7 GoPro Hero 7
  • Full HD
  • 4K
VIEW PRICE
Nikon D3400 Nikon D3400
  • Full HD
  • no 4K
VIEW PRICE
Sony RX100 Sony RX100
  • Full HD
  • no 4K
VIEW PRICE

How to Choose Budget Video Camera?

1. Megapixels

megapixels

A 3840x2160 pixel video camera exceeds the resolution of 1920x1080 pixels four times. The latest video cameras feature excellent detailization. However, to notice all the details you need an ultra HD TV.

2. Video Capture Resolution

video capture resolution

If you examine the recent best cheap video cameras, you will see that they can record HD videos. Not so long ago, 4K camcorders, which are HD video cameras with high resolution, started appearing on the market. The typical resolution for a 4K camcorder is 3840x2160 pixels. Nevertheless, the majority of users can’t afford these types of cameras and opt for an HD video camera instead.

3. LCD Screen

lcd screen

The quality of the electronic viewfinder and LCD display for achieving manual focus plays a significant role for videographers. There exist 3 primary variations of LCD displays, such as articulated, tilt and fixed ones.

4. Stabilization

stabilization

Once you have decided on the best cheap video camera, check twice its image stabilization (IS). If this parameter is poor, the pictures are likely to be ruined because of the blur.

5. Battery Performance

battery performance

In case you are shooting outside frequently, battery life should be taken into account in the first place. The photography process will be stressful if you need to constantly switch batteries. Furthermore, trying to find the place to plug in the battery isn't the best activity during the photo session.

6. Weight

weight

Select the weight and dimensions of the best budget video camera depending on your goals. You must be able to effortlessly reach the necessary controls and switches. Besides, the camera should feel convenient while you are holding it.

7. Weatherproofing

weatherproofing

You can't predict what happens while shooting outside. Weather may change in an instant, so weather-resistant feature might help you cope with the unexpected situations. Knowing that your equipment is protected you won't be worrying about anything but a photo shoot. What is more, it increases the life of your video camera.


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Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.

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