YouTube has become a major platform for vloggers, in fact being a vlogger on YouTube has pretty much turned into a full-time career from which one can make a lot of money (if they manage to gain a solid following). Vlogging or video blogging has become a very popular form of entertainment, people share their interests and all kinds of experiences. In order to become successful at vlogging, one must be able to produce content that is unique, captivating and engaging enough to make people want to follow you and in order to do that, you need to be using one of the best cameras for YouTube.
When starting out, beginners think that figuring out what your vlog is going to be about is the hardest part, but there is a far more challenging question that needs to be answered: “What are you going to use to actually record videos for your channel?”
You cannot vlog if you do not have a decent camera to shoot content with, so today, we will be taking a detailed look at the choicest camera options for YoutTube vloggers out there, taking quality, popularity, and price into consideration. Whether you plan on buying a camera or renting it out, there are several factors that you need to consider before picking a model. As a vlogger, one needs to find equipment that offers a decent combination of affordability, portability, audio/video quality, battery life, and storage capacity.
The weightage of every factor varies from vlogger to vlogger, someone who wants to vlog about traveling will give more priority to portability while beauty vloggers would want setups that capture superb detail and deliver clear audio. Basically, there is no single “best camera for YouTube”, every camera in our list has its own pros and cons that will make it suitable for one kind of vlogger and unsuitable for another. Keeping this in mind, we have gathered the hottest cameras on the market to come up with a collection that will have something to offer for everyone.
The Best Cameras For YouTube
Based on price, popularity, and quality, these are the 15 cameras that we consider to be superb options for creating YouTube content, followed by information on the different kinds of cameras that are included in this review:
- 1 Smartphone Cameras
- 2 GoPro HERO 4 Silver
- 3 Canon Vixia HF-R72
- 4 Logitech C930e
- 5 Panasonic HC V10 Digital
- 6 Canon T6i
- 7 Canon Powershot G7X
- 8 DJI Osmo
- 9 Sony Cyber-Shot RX100-IV
- 10 Canon 70D
- 11 Sony a7R-II
- 12 Canon 5D Mk-III
- 13 Sony PXW X70 4K Ready XDCAM Camcorder
- 14 Panasonic Lumix GH4
- 15 Canon C100 Cinema Camcorder
For some serious photography, DSLRs (Digital Single Lens reflex) are all out winners, they perform just as well when used for recording videos so they are a great choice for vlogging. What makes DSLRs so fantastic is the advanced level of control that they have to offer, users can make fine adjustments to focus points, ISO levels, DoF, and loads of other options that let them produce stunning image quality in all kinds of environments and lighting. You can even change their lenses, making them even more versatile and future-proof, the downsides with DSLRs is that they do not come cheap (especially their lenses), they can weigh quite a lot and in order to make the most of what they have to offer, you need to have a good understanding of photography.
A mirror-less camera is kind of like an upgraded version of a DSLR, they offer more or less the same level of customisability with a suite of functions, tweaking options and interchangeable lenses. However, they weigh less and are considerably more compact since (as their name suggests) they do not use the mirror reflection mechanism that DSLRs have in them. Mirrorless cameras are relatively new, but they are steadily gaining popularity amongst professional videographers, photographers, and vloggers.
Point And Shoot Cameras
Point and shoot cameras are small enough to fit inside your pocket and while they do not have a huge range of features and options to offer, their small size makes them a superb option for any vloggers who would want to have a camera on them wherever they go. Most cameras that fall under this category are around the same size as a smartphone, but they offer significantly better video and photo capturing capabilities than even the most recent flagship smartphones in the market.
Action cameras or Point of View (POV) cameras are designed for use in rough and fast-paced situations, the idea behind them is to provide video and audio capturing capability in a durable, portable and powerful package. Cameras such as the GoPro are often used for capturing a first person perspective of extreme sports like surfing, skiing or mountain climbing, they can also be used by adventure vloggers or vloggers who want to offer an immersive first person perspective in their content. The latest action cameras are even capable of recording in 4K, making them a fantastic choice for any vlogger who wants a combination of durability, portability, and performance.
Camcorders are made with strictly videography kept in mind, meaning that they do not come with any excessive features that increase their size and weight. Vloggers that only want to limit themselves to producing video content will find that camcorders fulfill all of their needs without being bulky.
Smartphones have come a really long way, especially in terms of audio and video capturing ability, while they cannot compare to DSLRs and camcorders, they can come in handy in situations where you do not have a camera on you or there is something that you absolutely have to record.
Cameras Used By High Profile Vloggers
Knowing what sort of equipment is preferred by popular YouTube vloggers can give you an idea of what sort of equipment would you want in your setup.
- Zoella, Canon 70D (12M Followers)
- MyLifeAsEva, Canon T4i (8.6M Followers)
- FaZe Rain, Canon Powershot G7X (5.2M Followers)
- Pointless blogvlogs, Canon Powershot G7X (4M Followers)
- Casey Niestat, Canon 70D (9.6M Followers)
- iJustine, Canon Powershot G7X (4.8M Followers)
- Aspyn Ovard, Canon 80D (3.3M Followers)
- Jennxpenn, Canon 5D Mk-III (3.2M Followers)
- MarkE Miller, Canon Powershot G7X (680K Followers)
- Marzbar, Sony a7S (631K Followers)
Quality Microphones To Go With Your Camera
Regardless of how expensive a camera is, it will always have a very bad internal microphone, and since audio is as important as video in vlogging, you will need to invest in a microphone that will allow you to produce audio that matches the quality of your video. Let’s take a look at the various kinds of microphones that are available and how can they be a part of your vlogging setup.
Also known as Lavalier microphones, these small mics can be attached to a person’s clothing with a clip for capturing audio without having to hold a microphone while talking, they are perfect for vloggers whose content consists of interviews, demonstration videos or vloggers who simply do not want to be seen holding bulky microphones.
These microphones are meant to be attached to a camera in order to allow for unidirectional audio capture. They are designed to be used in noisy and loud environments as they only capture sound from the direction in which they are being pointed, travel vloggers who shoot in noisy and crowded spaces can keep their content free of background distortion and noise with the help of shotgun microphones.
These microphones are particularly popular amongst gaming and beauty vloggers as they are designed for recording crisp and clear audio indoors or in a studio like setup. Condenser microphones are typically placed in front of the speaker as they record content.
- Audio-Technica ATR-3350: Lapel-mounted microphone
- Rode VideoMic: Professional grade hot shoe-mounted shotgun microphone
- Shure VP83F LensHopper Shotgun Microphone: recommended for DSLR owners
- Blue Microphones Yeti Snowball: Condenser microphone
- Blue Snowball USB Condenser Microphone: offers both unidirectional and omnidirectional audio recording
Best Cameras For Youtube That Are Available Under $500
You can never be sure whether your vlogging will actually become successful without trying, however it is wise not to invest way too much money in your initial setup. There are numerous entry level cameras that can be bought to record quality content without having to stress out about the fact that you have put too many eggs in a basket that you are not sure about. You can even rent out equipment at the start to get more time to figure out what sort of camera satisfies you the most. Let’s take a look at some entry level cameras that you can buy as you get into vlogging for the first time.
These cameras do not have any advanced features to offer and are quite basic, however, they are more than capable for shooting decent video and their prices make them a great choice for beginners.
Smartphones nowadays come with powerful cameras, putting Samsung and Apple products aside, there are plenty of smartphones out there that fall under $500 and offer decent video quality in well-lit environments. The best thing about smartphones is that most people will not need to make a big investment since they might already have a smartphone with a decent camera, their portability is an added plus that allows you to take the camera with you wherever you go.
GoPro HERO 4 Silver
The GoPro HERO 4 is small, can take a beating and most of all, it is powerful. This camera can shoot in 4K resolution, it lets you adjust its framerate capture videos in smooth slow motion, and make changes to your frame width. It is a powerful device that gives you plenty of customisability options, while it has been designed with extreme sports enthusiasts kept in mind, it is a great option for travel vloggers and adventure vloggers who do not want to worry about their equipment too much as they move around. If you can increase your budget then you can even go for more up-to-date versions of this camera that offer even more performance; the GoPro HERO 5 and HERO 6.
Canon Vixia HF-R72
Small enough to fit in one hand and powerful enough to record crisp and clear video, the Canon Vixia HF-R72 is a great camcorder that is built with videography kept in mind. It comes with a whopping 57x zoom, image stabilization, an external microphone port, flip screen, and Wi-Fi. Its suite of features, combined with its small size make capturing clear video with this camera a piece of cake, a promising option for lifestyle vloggers.
An affordable option for gaming vloggers and vloggers who plan on recording in front of their computers, the Logitech C930e is a webcam that captures 1080p footage at 30FPS. It is not going to be portable, but its low price tag of around $130 makes it a beginner friendly option, especially if you’re unsure about whether you plan on becoming fully invested in vlogging or not.
Panasonic HC V10 Digital
A more budget-friendly camcorder option, the Panasonic HC V10 Digital is capable of capturing 720p footage at 25FPS, comes with a flippable screen and performs well enough in decently lit areas. It is a very basic camera, but it can work for vloggers with a focus on lifestyle who want to start out small.
|Camera||iPhone 7||GoPro HERO 4 Silver||Canon Vixia HF-R72||Logitech C930e||Panasonic HC V10 Digital|
|Camera type||Smartphone||Action Cam||Camcorder||Webcam||Camcorder|
|Sensor||n/a||1/2.3″ type 4:3||1/4.85″ CMOS||n/a||n/a|
|Video Resolution||4K at 30 FPS||4K at 12.5 FPS||1080p at 60 FPS||1080p at 30 FPS||1280 x 720p at 60 FPS|
|Display screen||4.7″||built-in||3″ flip screen||n/a||2.7″ pivoting|
|AF system||continuous AF for video||n/a||n/a||integrated AF||n/a|
Vlogging Camera Options Under $1000
If none of the above options has what it takes to fulfill your vlogging requirements then you might want to increase your budget a bit. Remember, when it comes to camera prices, the sky is the limit, and in most cases, you get what you pay for.
Let’s take a look at some mid-tier cameras that pack more power and have more advanced features to offer, with a budget of up to $1000, you can get your hands on a decent entry-level DSLR or maybe a top of the line point and shoot camera. If you are looking for customisability, 1080p and above recording quality, tweakable settings and options for external attachments then you might be able to find a suitable camera for yourself in this section.
Canon has been catering to entry-level DSLR photographers quite well with its Rebel DSLR line-up, its combination of affordability and superb features makes it popular amongst photographers and also a great choice for an intermediate vlogger. Its crop sensor makes recording high-quality footage in this camera quite satisfactory, its list of features is quite fleshed out, including Wi-Fi, a flappable screen, autofocus with 19 cross type focus points and 1080p recording. There are a number of established vloggers that have been using this camera for quite some time now, which goes to show that it is a good option, the camera’s newer version, the Canon T7i packs an even greater punch, but also comes with a bigger price tag.
Canon Powershot G7X
You might recognize the Canon Powershot G7X thanks to it being mentioned twice in our list of high profile YouTube vloggers. This camera is fairly popular amongst vloggers because of its combination of diverse features and a compact form factor, this camera manages to deliver exceptional video quality in well-lit areas, while its low light performance cannot be compared with other DSLRs, it holds its ground against plenty of other cameras at the same price range.
Manufactured by a renowned drone producer, the Osmo is one of the best 4K action cameras currently on the market; it is rugged, portable and comes with a promising list of features. The feature that will stand out for most vloggers would be its superb stabilization; this camera captures jitter-free footage even when you are running around. Action vloggers with a bigger budget are bound to keep this action camera on their list of must-have equipment.
Sony Cyber-Shot RX100-IV
This point and shoot camera from Sony is proof that smaller cameras can be just as powerful as their bigger competitors, the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV is small enough to snugly sit inside your pocket and comes loaded with jaw-dropping features. This camera can record 4K footage at an FPS rate of 24-1000 FPS, its ability to record at such high resolutions with buttery smooth FPS makes it an awesome choice for any vlogger who moves around a lot but does not want to compromise quality in exchange for portability.
Another popular vlogging DSLR from Canon, this camera offers superior battery life as compared to other DSLRs, a great autofocus that does not cause trouble during video recording and an intuitive touchscreen that makes interacting with the camera easier. It can record content at full HD with frame speeds ranging from 30-25 FPS. Anyone who wants superb image quality and a long lasting camera will definitely like what the 70D has to offer.
|Camera||Canon T6i||Canon Powershot G7X||DJI Osmo||Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV||Canon 70D|
|Camera type||DSLR||Point and Shoot||Action Cam||Point and Shoot||DSLR|
|Sensor||24.2MP APS-C||20.2MP 1″ High-Sensitivity CMOS||n/a||20.1 MP 1″ Exmor RS BSI CMOS||20.2MP APS-C|
|Video Resolution||1080p at 30p||1080 at 60 FPS||4K at 24 or 25 FPS||4K video at 30, 25, and 24 FPS||1080p at 30 FPS|
|Display screen||3″ Pivoting LCD||3″ Pivoting||None||3″ Tiltable LCD||3″ Articulating LCD|
|AF system||19 Cross-type AF Points||31 AF Points||n/a||n/a||19 AF Points|
Best Cameras For YouTube Above $1000
For people who are really serious about vlogging and only want the best of the best cameras for YouTube in their setup, the market has plenty of options to offer. The following cameras are designed with unparalleled audio and video capability in mind; offering extensive tweaking options, interchangeable lenses, options for adding a variety of external equipment and basically any other feature that you would expect to see in a high-end camera.
Mirrorless cameras are steadily taking over the market and at the head of this revolution are Sony’s mirrorless cameras. The Sony a7R II is an exceptional camera, whether you are a vlogger or a photographer, this camera’s 42.2 megapixel sensor, image stabilization, and an ISO range of 25,600 (even while recording) are bound to win you over. It also features compatibility with several third-party lenses and is more than capable of going against some of the best DSLR’s in the market.
Canon 5D Mk-III
Despite its age, this Canon camera is loved for its heavy-duty image capturing abilities. The camera is bulky and lacks features such as Wi-Fi and flappable screens, but it makes up for this with its 61 point autofocus, a full-frame sensor with amazing light capturing abilities, superb ISO handling, and a vastly superior dynamic range. Beauty vloggers and vloggers who record in controlled environments can produce stunningly detailed content with a camera like this.
Sony PXW X70 4K Ready XDCAM Camcorder
If you were thinking that you would only find DSLRs and mirrorless cameras in this part of the article then prepare to be surprised by Sony’s PXW-X70 4K Ready XDCAM Camcorder. Video focused vloggers who want amazing quality in a small form factor are going to find this camcorder to be perfect; its 4K recording feature will make any travel or lifestyle vlogger a force to be reckoned with.
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Another compact mirrorless camera, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 can capture stunning 4K video footage, its flappable screen allows for easier recording when combined with its image stabilization feature. The GH4 has a 49 point autofocus and its compact body makes it a dream come true for any vlogger who wants DSLR level recording capabilities without the bulkiness.
Canon C100 Cinema Camcorder
Another awesome camcorder that lets you capture great footage thanks to its ISO range of 80,000 along with an autofocus feature that’s fast enough to make it almost unnoticeable in videos. If you are a vlogger who wants to capture content that has film-like quality then this camera might be for you.
|Camera||Sony Alpha A7R II||Canon 5d Mark III||Sony PXW-X70 4K Ready XDCAM||Panasonic Lumix GH4||Canon C100|
|Sensor||42MP Full-Frame||22.3MP Full-Frame||1″ 20.2 MP||16.05MP||35mm 8.3MP CMOS Sensor|
|Video Resolution||4K at 24 and 25 fps||1080p at 30 fps||4k at 30 fps||4k at 24 and 30 fps||1080p at 30 fps|
|Display screen||3″ Tiltable LCD||3.2″ Rear Screen||3.5″ Flip Screen||3″ Swivel Screen||3.5″ Flip Screen|
|AF system||25 AF Points||61 AF Points||n/a||n/a||Dual Pixel CMOS AF|
Vlogging lets you share your life, your story and your ideas with people across the world, it is a creative and fun way to connect with people and simply have fun. Regardless of why you want to start vlogging, you can bet that there are cameras out there that suit your budget and fulfill all of your needs. Just keep in mind that you should not be hasty about buying a camera, rent a few cameras and try them out before you actually finalize your choice, a bit of patience can save your money and increase your chances of picking a camera that is just perfect.