7 Best Cheap Video Cameras For Filmmaking [Must Buy in 2023]

If you want to make movies or just record some of your life’s events on video, it is important to have a good video camera. Many different types of video cameras are available in the market today, so choosing one can be tricky. 

The best cheap video cameras are the ones that you can buy for less than $500, giving you good quality video footage. The most important thing is ensuring you get a good deal on your camera.

You don’t want to spend more money on it than you need to. If you have a little bit of experience with video editing software, then you should be able to find some great deals online.

The best cheap video cameras are small, easy-to-use, and offer great features at an affordable price. They don’t have to be perfect, but they should provide decent performance with no major flaws. 

If you’re looking for something simple and inexpensive, these are some of the best available options.

List of the Best Cheap Video Cameras :

Below is the list of popular cheap video cameras for filmmaking:

    1. Nikon D3400
    2. GoPro HERO7 Black
    3. Canon EOS Rebel T7
    4. Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS50
    5. Samsung NX3000
    6. Canon PowerShot G9 X
    7. Sony Alpha A6000

Now that we have recommended the above best cheap video cameras for filmmaking.

Let’s examine their features closely.

Nikon D3400:

Best for photography

The Nikon D3400 is a mid-range DSLR that is perfect for anyone looking to step up from their smartphone photography skills.

With a compact body size, high-performance image quality, excellent video capabilities, and outstanding battery life, the Nikon D3400 is an ideal choice for beginners and professionals alike.

Key Features:

  • With a 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 image processing technology, the D3400 offers high sensitivity imaging performance. Various shooting modes include Creative Auto mode, Scene Intelligent Auto, Face Priority AF, Subject Tracking AF, Highlight Tone Priority, Super Control Panel, and Full Manual. 
  • D3400 has an 8x optical zoom lens that affords a wide angle of view and provides up to 10 fps continuous shooting speed. The D3400 also includes a dedicated shutter button and grip, plus built-in stereo microphones for added convenience.
  • A 3-inch LCD screen on the rear of the camera displays information such as shooting modes, shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity, and exposure compensation settings. It also plays movies via USB cable
  • The Nikon D3480 has Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to transfer files directly to your smartphone or tablet. 
  • For those looking to take advantage of 4K video recording, an HDMI port supports 1080p HD video output.

Pricing:

  • $399.99  

What I Like/Dislike about the Nikon D3400:  

Like

  • The product comes with a smart guide mode that explains the camera and photography
  • It has an excellent image quality up to ISO 800 and an excellent high ISO performance for APS-C. 
  • Nikon D3400 comes with a compact and lightweight housing that makes it easy to handle
  • Nikon D3400 has a decent and outstanding battery life that allows you to use the product for longer periods.
  • It has a relatively fast and  quick single-shot autofocus system

Dislike:

  • Important basic functions like bracketing, mirror lock-up, and dipping button are not available

The product comes with a simple autofocus module with only one cross sensor 

GoPro HERO7 (Black):

Best for wildlife and sports videos and photography

The GoPro HERO7 Black is an incredible action camera that is perfect for anyone looking to capture high-quality videos and photos while being able to record underwater.

This model is ideal for both beginners and experts alike because it offers great performance and a wide variety of mounting options.

Key Features:

  • With the help of the dual 12MP sensors, you can capture stunning 4K footage at 60 frames per second.
  • When it comes to accessories, the HERO7 Black includes a mountable handlebar grip, a helmet mount, a chest strap mount, a car mount, and a selfie stick. All of these accessories are compatible with the camera and provide a good way to attach the device to a vehicle or bike.
  • The HERO7 Black has a built-in Wi-Fi system that lets you connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and control the device remotely. There are three buttons on the side of the camera that allow you to quickly switch between modes.
  • The HERO7 Black is completely waterproof. You can take it underwater for up to 33ft without housing.
  • The HERO7 Black is compatible with many accessories, including the GoPro Remote Control App, which allows you to control playback and take photos remotely via Wi-Fi.

Pricing:

  • $299.99  

What I Like/Dislike about the GoPro HERO7 (Black):

Like

  • GoPro HERO7 is well compacted and light-weighted for handling
  • The product has a good menu screen and easy preview
  • The physical size is well optimized for easy carrying
  • The product is well waterproofed without the need for a case

Dislike:

  • It has a poor battery life that runs about 45 minutes max with videos and photo use.
  • The product housing restricts it from charging the device while encased
  • The camera overheats and gets hot when recording 4K

Canon EOS Rebel T7:

Best for travel photography

The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is the most popular model among photographers and videographers.

This camera offers excellent performance in both areas and delivers stunning images even in low light conditions.

This camera features a full-frame sensor and 18 megapixels, making it ideal for photos and videos.

Key Feature:

  • With a maximum ISO sensitivity of up to 12800, there is no shortage of light-gathering power. This allows you to shoot in low-light conditions without having to use flash.
  • There is also a dedicated shutter button on the camera’s rear and controls for exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity.
  • In addition to focusing, the camera offers face recognition technology. 
  • You can set the camera to automatically switch into Live View mode when a person approaches the front of the camera.
  • Video recording is supported via AVCHD Progressive compression. There are 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports, an SD card slot, a headphone jack, and microphone input.
  • The video camera comes with a bright, clear viewfinder with accurate focus peaking. 
  • The battery life is rated at 400 shots per charge and takes about 2 hours to fully recharge.

Pricing:

  • $479

What I Like/Dislike about the Canon EOS Rebel T7:

Like

  • The product has dual Pixel autofocus that is fast and accurate in live view for both images and video
  • Canon EOS Rebel T7 has realistic colors and decent sharpness in scenes
  • Canon EOS Rebel T7 has an autofocus that responds well
  • It comes with a camera attaching the lens, charger for the battery and a decent button layout

Dislike

    • The product has an average low-light performance
    • It has a limited speed in burst mode

Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS50:

Best for event videos and photography

The Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS50 is a compact ultra-compact digital camera with excellent image quality and performance. The Lumix DMC-ZS50 is ideal for travel, sports, events, parties, and everyday use.

It is small enough to fit into a backpack or pocket yet delivers premium performance and creative options.

Key Features:

  • A 12.1MP Live MOS Sensor provides bright images even in low light situations and captures detailed and natural-looking footage. 
  • With a 30x Optical Zoom Lens, the Panasonic Lumix DMC -ZS50 is perfect for capturing everything from distant landscapes to close-up portraits. A wide range of shooting modes, including PASM mode, Time Lapse Mode, Intelligent Auto Mode, Program AE Mode, Macro Mode, and Creative Control, are included to ensure you can shoot whatever you like.
  • In addition to the built-in Wi-Fi capability, the Panasonic Lumix ZS50 supports NFC technology, allowing you to connect directly to compatible smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth® wireless technology.
  • With the ability to shoot Full HD movies at 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, you can record clear footage even during bright sunlight. 
  • There is a built-in flash that you can use to light up dark areas. 
  • The Panasonic Lumix DMC -ZS50 also provides a microphone input that will let you add sound effects during filming.
  • The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 is compatible with SDXC memory cards up to 64GB, making it ideal for capturing memorable moments.
  • It supports JPEG Fine, Medium, Normal, Large, and Extra Large file sizes while offering 4K resolution support.

Pricing:

  • $279.99 

What I Like/Dislike about the Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS50:

Like

  • The product has autofocus capable of following moving subjects
  • The product has a manual control that allows you to operate it to your satisfaction
  • It has an integrated stabilizer that enables you to shoot under low light conditions
  • The product has Wi-Fi for connectivity and seamless integration with smartphones

Dislike

      • Lumix DMC ZS50 comes with no touchscreen, environmental sealing, and an external charger
      • The product has no small size sensor that limits the quality of images

Samsung NX3000:

Best for daily videos and photography

The Samsung NX3000 is a compact digital camera that offers a lot of functionality for such a small package. Its slim design makes it easy to carry around, while its large 3-inch LCD screen provides excellent viewing angles.

The Samsung NX3000 offers some great features for a relatively affordable price. It has many useful features that makes it a good option for beginners looking to step up from a basic point-and-shoot.

Key Features:

  • The Samsung NX3000 has a compact digital single-lens reflex camera that features a 20.3MP APS-C CMOS Sensor and a versatile 16-50mm f/2.8-4 OIS Lens. This model is ideal for travel photographers looking for a lightweight camera that offers great image quality while shooting videos. 
  • The large 3.0-inch LCD screen provides a clear and bright viewing experience. You can easily use the touch panel interface to quickly set up the aperture, shutter speed, white balance, focus mode, metering mode, and ISO sensitivity. 
  • The Samsung NX3000 has a built-in Wi-Fi function that enables remote monitoring and sharing of pictures via a smartphone app.
  • The rear screen measures 3 inches across and is touch sensitive. This enables you to navigate menus and adjust settings simply by touching the screen.

Pricing:

  • $213.49 

What I Like/Dislike about the Samsung NX3000:

Like

  • The NX3000 is quite light-weighted and easy to carry around.
  • It has an easy to set up integrated Wi-Fi connectivity options
  • The product comes with a fast shutter speed that makes it ideal for action photos

Dislike

  • The camera is not weather sealed
  • The product has a slow and inaccurate autofocus

Canon PowerShot G9 X:

Best for daily photography

The Canon PowerShot G9 X is a versatile point-and-shoot digital camera with high performance and convenience features. This model is perfect for beginners looking for a small, lightweight camera with good image quality.

With its unique design, fast autofocus speed, and powerful features, the G9 X is ideal for anyone who wants to take better photos wherever they are.

Key Features:

  • Its 20-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor delivers high-quality photos even in low light conditions, thanks to the combination of four separate pixels and a DIGIC 7 Image Processor. 
  • You can easily capture amazing shots with three different exposure modes – Standard, Programmed Auto, and Creative Control – plus manual settings. 
  • You can also enjoy creative effects such as HDR, Panorama, Special Scene Mode, Sweep Panorama, and Face Detection. 
  • To help you keep track of what you’ve shot, the G9X features a 3.0″ LCD screen with 921K dots and Clear View II coating. This makes viewing and reviewing your pictures easier and clearer than ever. When recording movies, the G9X offers Full HD 1920 x 1080 video in AVCHD Progressive format.
  • There are several movie options, including Movie Recording, Slow Motion Video, Time Lapse Movie, Slideshow Movie, and Audio Recording. Other features include a 3x optical zoom lens, built-in Wi-Fi® connectivity, NFC™ technology, and a dedicated control ring around the lens barrel.
  • With its 5x Optical Zoom Lens, you can take pictures up close and far away. 
  • Thanks to its large 0.5-inch Touch Screen LCD monitor, you can easily compose shots, review photos, playback videos, and navigate menus. 

Pricing:

  • $389.00

What I Like/Dislike about the Canon PowerShot G9 X:

Like

  • The product has a top-notch ISO performance and dynamic range for its size
  • It is quite portable and pocket able
  • It has the ability to focus in low light at a broad angle
  • It has an excellent touchscreen feature with smartphone-like swipe and pinch-to-zoom control 

Dislike

  • Canon PowerShot G9 X has no 4k and slow-motion video capture when compared with other competitors 
  • The autofocus is quite unreliable in low light
  • The product has a poor battery life even with its Eco mode

Sony Alpha A6000:

Best for beginners in photography and filmmaking

The Sony Alpha A6000 is a great beginner DSLR camera with excellent image quality and versatile shooting modes.

This compactly designed camera is perfect for those looking to learn photography and filmmaking.

Key Features:

  • You can use the included 18-55mm kit lens or swap out the lens for one of several different ones. There are even some macro lenses available that let you focus up close.
  • Sony Alpha A6000 allows you to attach a flash unit and use it as a light stand. This makes taking portraits much easier since you won’t have to hold the camera above your subject.
  • The camera comes with a 24.3MP APS-C sensor which is about the same size as most smartphones. 
  • The camera has a built-in Wi-Fi module, allowing you to connect directly to your smartphone over Bluetooth. 
  • You can use the touch screen to navigate the menu system and adjust settings like ISO sensitivity and white balance.
  • The Sony Alpha A60000 can take photos at an astonishing 24.3 megapixels – more than most people are used to getting from cameras in this category. It also records Full HD videos at up to 30fps, making it ideal for filming action scenes.

Pricing:

  • $648.00

What I Like/Dislike about the Sony Alpha A6000:

Like

  • The camera supports remote control through Wi-Fi, cable, and infrared
  • Sony Alpha A60000 has an excellent high ISO image quality
  • The product comes with a few downloadable camera apps
  • It supports full HD videos at up to 60p

Dislike

  • It has no 4K video when compared with other similar product 
  • The product has no analog mic output
  • It has a touchscreen feature.

Conclusions:

A cheap video camera is great for anyone who wants to start making videos and enjoying the memories they can make recording.

The above budget-friendly cameras are usable in many different ways, from filming your kid’s birthday party or recording the action of a sports game to creating tutorials and training videos for your business.

The best cheap video camera will give you all the features you need at an affordable price. 

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