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Vlogging Cameras for under $100 – Reviewed

Amazon and ebay have been flooded with cheap Vlogging cameras for less than £100 and they all have amazing specs and decent reviews. However, most of them are pure trash. It is possible to buy a reasonably good Vlogging camera for under £100. But the options are very, very limited. Check out this review to find out more. I compared the Gord VE S1 (£80) to the Campark X40 (£75) and the Campark V40 (£90).

Campark V40: https://amzn.to/2NueETb
Campark X40: https://amzn.to/3urAiYG
Gord VE S1: https://amzn.to/2ZLgl0O

TRANSCRIPT


0:00:00.720,0:00:06.111
In a previous episode, I built the perfect
vlogging rig for less than $400 USD.

0:00:06.111,0:00:10.886
And I explained what features an ideal 
vlogging camera needs to have.

0:00:10.886,0:00:14.395
Obviously,  it needs decent picture quality and good audio.

0:00:14.395,0:00:19.764
In addition, it should be portable, it should be rugged, and it should have a front-facing screen.

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But today I’m asking: can you buy a decent vlogging camera for less than $100 USD?


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Stay tuned, because we’re about to find out.

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Whatup nerds? I’m Jay Shareef. And once again I’m talking about vlogging, because this week

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I’ve received not one, not two, but THREE cheap vlogging cameras. All of them cost less than $100 USD.

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And all of them were given to me for FREE. Which is very generous. But that will not in any

0:00:55.440,0:01:00.480
way affect what I say on this channel. I will always give you my honest opinion. Which will

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become very obvious, as one of these devices is absolutely useless. And i’m not going to be

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shy about telling you that throughout this video. You see, whenever there is a demand for something

0:01:13.600,0:01:18.960
the con men arrive to try and make a quick buck. And, unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s

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happened when it comes to the demand for vlogging equipment. If you search for “vlogging camera” on

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Amazon, you will come across dozens of options. Many of them will be under £100 GBP. They will all

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claim to have very impressive features. They’ll even have front-facing screens. And most of them

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will have amazing positive reviews. Reviews that they absolutely do not deserve. Because pretty

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much all of them are useless crap. The product descriptions for those vlogging cameras are

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complete and utter lies. And by the end of this video you will understand what I’m talking about.

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By the way, throughout this video 
I’m going to talk about the prices

0:02:01.360,0:02:06.720
in British Pounds (GBP). However, the prices for these cameras in US Dollars are almost

0:02:06.720,0:02:15.120
identical. You see, while £100 GBP is worth about £135 USD, for reasons I don’t understand,

0:02:15.120,0:02:21.120
when it comes to electronics, British consumers end up paying more than our American cousins. So,

0:02:21.680,0:02:29.440
a camera that costs £100 GBP in the UK will usually cost about $100 USD in the US. So, if

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you’re an American watching this video, whenever I mention a price in Pounds, just assume that I

0:02:34.800,0:02:40.720
meant to say Dollars and you’ll have roughly the right price. Now let’s get on with it and

0:02:40.720,0:02:46.880
introduce you to the three cameras I’ve received. The first camera I got is from a company called

0:02:47.440,0:02:53.360
Gord VE. I’ve never heard of them before, but from my research it’s obvious they’re a Chinese

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company, and they produce a lot of very cheap cameras. At this point I’d normally flash a logo

0:03:00.000,0:03:05.120
on the screen, but they don’t seem to have one. Unless you count this. So, here’s a screenshot

0:03:05.120,0:03:11.600
of their website. And it’s a terrible website, as you can see, full of broken links and other

0:03:11.600,0:03:17.680
defects. They don’t give their cameras different model names. They don’t even bother to give them

0:03:17.680,0:03:24.720
model numbers. But let’s not be too hasty judging them. According to Amazon this camera that they

0:03:24.720,0:03:30.960
sent to me is called the “S1”. And there’s a small label on the side of the box that says S1. So,

0:03:30.960,0:03:36.400
even though it doesn’t say S1 anywhere else like on the box, or in the instruction manuals,

0:03:36.400,0:03:44.800
I’m going to assume that this is the Gord VE S1. And that’s our first camera of the week. Next up

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I’ve received two cameras from a company called Campark. Now Campark is also a Chinese electronics

0:03:51.280,0:03:56.160
company. However, they’ve actually got some pedigree. They’re not as well known as the likes

0:03:56.160,0:04:03.920
of DJI or AKASO. But I have heard of them before. And they do have a logo and a decent website.

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Although Campark were kind enough to send me two cameras, both of them are almost identical.

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This one is called the X40. And one is called the V40. They are essentially the same camera inside,

0:04:18.320,0:04:25.840
with just two differences. This one, the V40, is rugged and waterproof straight out of the box. And

0:04:25.840,0:04:33.280
the V40 also costs about £15 GBP more. You can pick up the X40 for about £75 GBP on

0:04:33.280,0:04:39.760
Amazon. Whereas the V40 will set you back £90 (quid). And because they’re almost identical,

0:04:39.760,0:04:45.040
there’s not really much point reviewing them both. So I’m just going to look at the more expensive

0:04:45.040,0:04:52.400
one. And, given the choice between these two, I’d want the V40 anyway. Because, to me, a good 

0:04:52.960,0:04:59.200
vlogging camera should be rugged and waterproof. So what I’m going to do today is compare the

0:04:59.200,0:05:10.640
Gord VE S1 to the Campark V40. And, as usual, I’m going to skip the unboxing because that’s tedious.

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Let’s start with the similarities between these two cameras then. Both of them are supposed to be

0:05:17.200,0:05:22.720
rugged action cameras. And waterproof down to 10 metres. They’re both lightweight too. They

0:05:22.720,0:05:30.320
both have dual screens, so you can see yourself as you vlog. Both of them can easily be mounted

0:05:30.320,0:05:35.520
onto a tripod, because they have a handy quarter inch hole at the bottom. And they both cost less

0:05:35.520,0:05:45.040
than £100 (quid). The S1 is just £80 GBP, whereas the V40 costs as little as £90 GBP. So that’s just

0:05:45.040,0:05:52.640
a £10 GBP price difference. However, as I quickly found out, these two cameras are worlds apart in

0:05:52.640,0:05:58.080
terms of quality. Rather than waffle on about to them, I’m just going to take them outside and do

0:05:58.080,0:06:04.000
some vlogging. That way you can see for yourself how different they really are. Before I test them,

0:06:04.000,0:06:11.520
however, I do want to say that I’ve bought some brand new high quality, super fast, memory cards

0:06:11.520,0:06:17.600
from Amazon. Which I will now test, and format, to confirm that they’re working well. That way I can

0:06:17.600,0:06:25.280
be sure that any problems I have while vlogging will be down to the cameras rather than the memory

0:06:25.280,0:06:33.120
cards. Right! Let’s head outside and try them out. Right… I’ve got to admit a small problem. These

0:06:33.120,0:06:38.000
are a bit of a pain. Right… so I’m ready to go vlogging with these. But, immediately, firstly

0:06:38.000,0:06:43.440
you can see that there’s a huge difference between the size of these two things. Secondly, [laughs]

0:06:43.440,0:06:50.720
they’re not particularly stable on this 
double selfie stick thing. Erm… and…

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I’ll work it out. I will. I will.

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Right… So it’s time to head outside 
and try them out. I’ve got to tell you,

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it was a real pain to get them onto 
this selfie stick. [laughs] Because

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the tripod holes – threads – at the bottom of each camera are not particularly deep. And on the Gord S1

0:07:15.280,0:07:22.480
they’re defective. I mean, it’s a defective tripod hole. But, anyway, let’s get on with it.

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OK, so we’re outside ready to vlog with  these two cameras. Let’s turn this on.  

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That’s the Campark turned on, reasonably quickly and…

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That took a little longer, but that’s the Gord VE turned on as well. Let me switch the screens

0:07:41.360,0:08:01.520
around. That’s now switched around on the Campark and… Brilliant. So we’re ready to vlog. Right… 

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so this is a pretty typical vlogging test, because it is quite noisy. I’m right next to a main road.

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There’s trucks and traffic going all the  time, even though we’re in the pandemic.

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But that’s not making a difference.

0:08:15.662,0:08:20.372
[Lots of hiss and distortion]
Right… so this is a pretty typical vlogging test, because it is quite noisy.

0:08:20.372,0:08:25.485
[Lots of hiss and distortion]
I’m right next to a main road. There’s trucks and traffic going all the time,

0:08:25.485,0:08:30.029
[Lots of hiss and distortion]
even though we’re in the pandemic. But that’s not making a difference.

0:08:30.029,0:08:32.240
So both of these have one microphone,

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unlike some of their pricier competitors that have two or three. They both supposedly have wind noise

0:08:38.880,0:08:44.480
reduction built in. The important question is: How do I look? And, more importantly perhaps,

0:08:44.480,0:08:50.160
how do I sound? OK, I just want to talk quickly about the menu systems in these two cameras.

0:08:50.160,0:08:57.120
The Gord VE has an extremely simple menu system. And when I say “extremely simple” I mean it’s like

0:08:57.120,0:09:03.680
something you might see in a dashcam from about eight years ago. It is really really simple. The

0:09:03.680,0:09:08.720
Campark has a slightly more sophisticated menu system. A lot more options, it seems,

0:09:09.360,0:09:18.480
including image stabilization and, you know… anti-flicker, wind noise reduction etc. But I do

0:09:18.480,0:09:24.800
have to say, the Campark, as lovely as it is in terms of form factor, the menu system does seem

0:09:27.120,0:09:33.840
a little elderly in comparison to say the DJI Osmo Action or the modern GoPros, which have

0:09:33.840,0:09:40.960
lovely intuitive menu systems far superior to either of these cameras. So, hopefully,

0:09:40.960,0:09:46.960
that gives you an idea of how it’s like to vlog with these things. Back to the studio!

0:09:49.600,0:09:52.640
Welcome back! So let’s get the obvious out of the way.

0:09:53.200,0:09:59.360
The sound quality on the S1 is absolutely atrocious. And, as I’ve discussed before,

0:10:00.240,0:10:06.080
when it comes to vlogging, good audio is much more important than video quality. So straight away we

0:10:06.080,0:10:14.160
can say that the Gord VE S1 is not a viable vlogging camera. Sadly the problems don’t end

0:10:14.160,0:10:19.680
there. It claims to be capable of 24 
megapixel photos. That’s not even close

0:10:19.680,0:10:27.760
to being true. At best this could take photos up to a resolution of four megapixels. So Gord VE are

0:10:27.760,0:10:34.560
lying to you about the picture quality. And the bad news keeps coming. The camera claims to film

0:10:34.560,0:10:41.120
videos in full HD – in other words 1080p. It even has a setting for video quality. And, naturally,

0:10:41.680,0:10:47.760
I set it to record at 1080p. However, when I checked the video files afterwards, they were all

0:10:47.760,0:10:55.040
recorded at 720p – so a lower resolution. In fact, it seems that, no matter what setting you choose,

0:10:55.600,0:11:04.240
it always shoots video at 720p. Once again, Gord VE are complete and utter liars. Now, you might

0:11:04.240,0:11:12.800
be thinking: “Well you can still vlog with this in 720p”. Unfortunately not. You see, the S1 cannot

0:11:12.800,0:11:19.440
focus on anything closer than five feet. So, if you hold it out at arm’s length to vlog with it,

0:11:19.440,0:11:26.800
your face will be blurry. To have your face in focus you need to put it on the end of a very

0:11:26.800,0:11:34.080
long selfie stick. Which is just not practical at all. Look I don’t want to waste your time going on

0:11:34.080,0:11:40.800
and on about how dreadful this camera is. Instead, I’m just going to summarize the bad points.

0:11:40.800,0:11:47.040
The battery is tiny and it will fall out 
the moment you open the battery door. Which

0:11:47.040,0:11:52.720
means the camera resets itself. It doesn’t have internal memory, so all the settings have to be

0:11:52.720,0:12:00.240
re-entered. The menu options are very limited. And the camera beeps with every button press, which is

0:12:00.240,0:12:06.160
incredibly annoying. You could turn the beeps off. But, the moment the battery falls out,

0:12:06.800,0:12:13.040
the annoying beeps come back. It only goes up to ISO 400, so it’s absolutely useless in low light

0:12:13.040,0:12:19.040
situations. And I don’t, for one second, believe that this camera has digital image stabilization.

0:12:19.040,0:12:23.120
I don’t believe that it has inbuilt face 
detection. And I don’t believe that it’s

0:12:23.120,0:12:29.280
waterproof to 10 metres. In fact, in the manual it clearly says it’s only waterproof to three metres.

0:12:29.280,0:12:35.440
And, quite frankly, I don’t think it’s waterproof at all. If I had made the mistake of buying this,

0:12:35.440,0:12:42.080
I would immediately send this back. I would not pay £80 GBP for this. I wouldn’t even pay £20

0:12:42.080,0:12:49.840
GBP for this. It is a complete and utter turd. In contrast, the Campak V40 clearly has some

0:12:49.840,0:12:56.400
potential. Now, Campark says it’s a 4K camera. And guess what? It’s a 4K camera. And the 4K

0:12:56.400,0:13:01.600
is pretty decent too. You even get that nice wide angle image that vloggers seem to like.

0:13:02.160,0:13:08.240
In this case you’re getting a view that’s 170 degrees wide. Personally, I think that’s too

0:13:08.240,0:13:13.920
wide. But you could always fix that when you edit the video. Campark says this camera takes photos

0:13:13.920,0:13:21.360
at 20 megapixels. And I can confirm that it takes photos at 20 megapixels. Campark says this camera

0:13:21.360,0:13:26.400
is waterproof straight out of the box. And, from the build quality of the device, I’m sure it is.

0:13:26.400,0:13:31.920
In fact, it’s supposed to be waterproof down to 10 meters. And, if you want to go deeper than that,

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it comes with a diving case that allows you to carry on working 40 metres underwater. The

0:13:38.000,0:13:43.280
camera is clearly rugged and shockproof. You can tell that’s true just from the way it feels when

0:13:43.280,0:13:51.120
you hold it. And it really does feel good to hold, as the hard rubber exterior is easy to grip. Now

0:13:51.120,0:13:56.080
I said at the start I wouldn’t do an unboxing. However, I do think it’s important to tell you

0:13:56.080,0:14:02.320
just how much stuff comes with the Campark camera. Because they give you a ridiculous

0:14:02.320,0:14:08.240
amount of extras! That first camera I showed you, the Gord VE S1, cost £80 GBP. And it came

0:14:08.240,0:14:16.160
with just a USB cable and a lanyard. Nothing else! The Campark V40 costs just £10 GBP more.

0:14:16.160,0:14:23.840
And it comes with two batteries – each one having a capacity of 1,350 milliamp-hours. A remote

0:14:23.840,0:14:28.480
control – which you can use to stop and start video recordings and also lets you take pictures.

0:14:29.040,0:14:34.240
A waterproof case. And lots and lots of different mounts, so you can attach the camera to

0:14:34.240,0:14:38.720
your bike, your skateboard, your helmet, or you can strap it to yourself. Plus,

0:14:38.720,0:14:45.360
you get a USB cable, a lens cloth, and some tethers. If you bought all that separately,

0:14:45.360,0:14:51.680
it would probably cost you about £30 GBP. So, it’s really impressive that they include so much

0:14:51.680,0:14:58.960
as standard. What’s also impressive is that the Campark cameras can be used as webcams, you can

0:14:58.960,0:15:06.560
charge them on the go using a micro USB cable, and they even have a micro HDMI output. Before I start

0:15:06.560,0:15:11.520
gushing too much though, there are a couple of limitations that are worth pointing out. Firstly,

0:15:11.520,0:15:18.000
the Campark V40 is an action camera. Which means it has a tiny, tiny sensor. Which means it’s not

0:15:18.000,0:15:24.240
very good in low light situations. The light sensitivity goes up to ISO 3200. Which means

0:15:24.880,0:15:30.560
you can use it indoors, but only if there 
is some really strong lighting available.

0:15:31.360,0:15:36.240
This is what it looks like under standard indoor lighting, and it’s not very impressive. Having

0:15:36.240,0:15:43.120
said that, nowadays you can buy decent vlogging lights for about £30 GBP, which will dramatically

0:15:43.120,0:15:49.040
improve the quality of your video. Right… and this is what both cameras look like in a very

0:15:49.040,0:15:53.840
low light setting. I’m outside right now. It is a moon lit night. Kind of cloudy though.

0:15:54.560,0:16:01.360
And I’m standing directly under a street light. I’m looking totally black on the Campark. But I

0:16:01.360,0:16:07.840
can make myself out on the Gord VE Huh… that’s reasonably impressive for low-light performance.

0:16:09.520,0:16:13.360
The second limitation I need to talk about is image stabilization.

0:16:13.360,0:16:17.920
The V40 is supposed to have it, and it does make a difference. However,

0:16:18.640,0:16:25.200
you can’t expect it to be in the same league as a top-of-the-range GoPro or DJI action camera.

0:16:25.200,0:16:31.920
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the V40 and the DJI Osmo Action. Both of them have image

0:16:31.920,0:16:38.480
stabilization turned on. And it’s obvious that the DJI does a significantly better

0:16:38.480,0:16:44.880
job. But you also have to keep in mind that the Osmo Action also costs significantly more.

0:16:46.480,0:16:54.560
Right it’s a pretty cold and drizzly day. I’m comparing the Osmo Action to the Campark

0:16:54.560,0:17:02.240
V40. The image certainly looks a lot darker on the Campark. So this is what the stabilization

0:17:02.240,0:17:17.840
looks like on both of these just walking. What happens if I decide to go for a bit of a run?

0:17:36.240,0:17:43.280
So we’ve covered almost everything. But now it’s time to talk about the most important aspect of

0:17:43.280,0:17:50.000
vlogging: Audio. The sound quality on the V40 might not be as good as the modern GoPros or

0:17:50.000,0:17:56.480
the DJI Osmo Action. But the DJI costs more than twice as much. And the latest

0:17:56.480,0:18:04.480
GoPro is more than three times the price. The audio coming out of the V40 is usable. And

0:18:05.200,0:18:10.880
“usable” is the best you can realistically hope for when buying a camera for less than £100 GBP.

0:18:11.520,0:18:17.280
If things get windy though, you might want to put a sponge cover over the V40. It’s supposed

0:18:17.280,0:18:23.920
to have wind noise reduction software built in. But there’s no substitute for a sponge cover.

0:18:23.920,0:18:30.560
Which is why microphones like this come with one as standard. So… what’s the verdict? Well,

0:18:30.560,0:18:38.960
obviously, the Campark 40 is a serious option if you want to vlog and have a limited budget. Yes,

0:18:38.960,0:18:43.760
there are plenty of action cameras out there that you could buy. Most of them are cheaper than

0:18:43.760,0:18:52.560
the V40. Most of them offer 4K video and decent sound. However, what makes the V40 special is this

0:18:52.560,0:18:58.480
front facing screen. For me, when it comes to vlogging, having a front facing screen

0:18:58.480,0:19:04.560
is absolutely vital. I’ve tried vlogging with simple action cameras in the past and, without

0:19:04.560,0:19:12.240
exception, I’ve always ended up framing the video badly. I’m just very bad at guessing exactly what

0:19:12.240,0:19:19.840
the camera is looking at. And that’s why I always buy cameras with a front facing screen. And,

0:19:19.840,0:19:26.400
as far as I’m concerned, the dual screen setup of the V40 is the icing on the cake. So, my consumer

0:19:26.400,0:19:34.720
advice is very simple: Yes, you can buy a decent vlogging camera for less than £100 GBP. However,

0:19:34.720,0:19:43.600
your only choice is the Campark V40 – or at a push you could get the Campark X40 instead.

0:19:44.160,0:19:48.800
The X40 isn’t rugged or waterproof. But if you’re only going to film indoors,  

0:19:48.800,0:19:54.640
and you want to save a little bit of money, then the X40 is a viable alternative. And with that

0:19:55.200,0:20:01.040
it’s time to end the show. I’ll leave a link in 
the description below in case you want to buy  

0:20:01.040,0:20:07.680
one of these cameras for yourself. But, 
for the love of Jesus, please do NOT buy  

0:20:08.320,0:20:16.880
the Gord VE S1. It’s an unmitigated turd of 
a device. Do consider either the Campark X40  

0:20:16.880,0:20:22.960
or the V40 – ideally the V40. Personally, I reckon you might as well spend the extra £15 (quid)

0:20:22.960,0:20:29.680
for the rugged and waterproof version. So that’s it. The best cheap vlogging camera on the

0:20:29.680,0:20:47.840
market – the Campark V40. I hope you found this useful, and i’ll see you again soon. Later nerds!

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