Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Hi, need beginner camera recomendations? › Virtually any of the Canon
Virtually any of the Canon Vixia series: HF R300 at under $300; HF M500 at $525 (Amazon prices as of today) are good starter cameras and well under your max budget. You would do well to look into a number of others in the Vixia line, running from $300 or so to about $1,200 street prices. A good number of folks on these forums have expressed satisfaction with the Canon Vixia line.
I’m sure JVC, Sony and Panasonic all have something similar in options/pricing but Canon glass (the lens) quality remains a deal maker IMHO.