When looking for a camera for vlogging it’s easy to get lost in the amount of choice available and understanding all the different bits of information and specs of each of them.
We’re here to run you through the best cameras for vlogging to cover any budget, whether brand new and just starting out looking for a cheap vlogging camera or you are a veteran looking to up their game by investing in some serious camera for filming youtube videos.
You’ve got your channel set up and now you’re looking to invest in a vlogging camera, but you’ve got no idea what features to look out for?
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to cameras that are suitable for filming your youtube content on so let’s start by teaching you the sort of things you should and shouldn’t care about when buying your video camera.
Know all about cameras? Jump to the camera choices.
What you should look for in a good vlogging camera
Now this isn’t the number of megapixels that a camera has as that really has no bearing on how good the video quality of a camera is, but you’re looking for a camera with good video resolution for recording your youtube videos. There are three main common types available in consumer cameras at the moment which are 720p, 1080p and 4K.
720p is the lowest acceptable quality of video these days and to be honest I don’t even know if we would recommend investing in a camera that only films up to 720p as your mobile phone can probably record higher resolution video than that and it doesn’t really leave you with much futureproofing in your videos.
1080p is what you’ll find as standard on most video cameras and it’s what you’ll see most videos on youtube filmed on in 2018. Also referred to as full HD this is what we would recommend looking for when choosing your video camera as it will give you great quality video.
4K is also known as Ultra HD and is the highest quality of video that can be recorded on consumer level cameras at the time of writing this guide in 2018. There are only a few cameras that can record at this quality and to be honest only a fraction of users will watch videos in 4K on youtube as their devices probably can’t cater for such high video quality output.
Our recommendation for choosing a video camera for it’s video resolution would be to stick with 1080p, it’ll make your choice much easier if budget is a limitation and leave you many more options to choose from.
Depending on the type of video that you plan to be shooting for your youtube channel can definitely impact the type of camera that would be best suited for your needs. Let’s take a few examples.
If you’re planning on doing all your filming in the comfort of your own home/bedroom like a beauty youtube channel then you might be best suited to invest in a DSLR which gives you some of the best video quality on the market and allows you to buy specific lenses for shooting some of those close up shots of your latest makeup pallette. DSLR’s are quite big and definitely not the most easily portable so would be great for that purpose of staying in one place.
However if you’re a travel vlogger they may not be the best option for you if you’ve got limited luggage space and don’t want something as big and chunky as a DSLR. You would probably be better suited to getting a mirrorless or compact camera like the G7X which is much smaller and can easily be carried in a bag or big pockets. They also give you much less arm ache if you’re planning on filming yourself whilst walking about.
So again depending on your needs will depend on the size of camera that is the best choice for you. That’s not to say that only travel vloggers should buy compact cameras and only makeup vloggers should buy big chunky DSLR’s. It’s all about choosing what is best for you and your requirements, the size is just something to consider.
External Microphone Input
Not essential but definitely something to consider if you really want to get the best video content on youtube in the months ahead. Cameras aren’t really built with the audio in mind a lot of the time and it’s all about the video quality, so built in microphones aren’t really the best. Having the ability to plug in an external microphone will really give you the edge of the competition by letting you get both the best video quality and audio quality in your youtube videos. Pair an excellent video camera with a great external microphone to get the best of both worlds and you’ll be in a better position to succeed rather than having fuzzy undecipherable audio.
If you’re looking for a good external microphone to get you started then check out our review of the Rode Videomic Go which is a great budget friendly external microphone.
Nobody likes a shaky video, it makes you feel a bit sick when you’re watching it back. That’s why a lot of good vlogging cameras these days have built in Optical Image Stabilization. This works by moving the lens inside the camera to counteract your wobbly hand when you’re shooting handheld and it’s a lifesaver if you like to shoot youtube videos when you’re out and about. Now it’s not going to give you the complete smoothness that something like a gimbal would offer, but it’s definitely going to give you a vast improvement over footage that is shot without OIS enabled.
Here’s a video to demonstrate just how much a difference having image stabilization makes on a camera like the G7X Mark II
There are a few other features that are beneficial to vloggers, but not something that you desperately need to have like a flip screen. They are great for keeping an eye on yourself, but many vloggers will pay too much attention to themselves rather than looking directly at the lens which can be quite offputting for viewers.
If that’s a feature that you’re looking for and can’t live without then there are plenty of options available that also include a flip screen.
That’s our list of the best features to look for when choosing a camera for vlogging. Don’t worry too much about megapixels unless you’re planning on taking photos with the camera too, which may be if you run a blog alongside your youtube channel.
Now that you’re a bit more clued up on what to look for, let’s run through the best choices of cameras for vloggers in 2018.
Best Vlogging Cameras Under £200 (Ideal for starting out)
You’ll probably already have a pretty good camera in your pocket if you’re just looking to get started. Most smartphones these days have fantastic cameras on them with some having the capability to shoot right up to 4K resolution.
If you’re looking to get started on youtube and want to just test the water and see if you’re going to commit then I would definitely suggest filming some videos on your phone to begin with. Just make sure that you shoot in landscape and not portrait.
The Sony DSCWX350 is a digital Compact Camera with Wi-Fi and NFC (18.2 MP, 20x Optical Zoom) and Full HD 1080p video capture all for less than £200. As a starter camera, this one is definitely one of the top choices. Sony produce some of the best cameras on the market and for someone who doesn’t want to invest too much, this is a great investment to get you started.
This camera also sports great battery life and with its small size, means it’s great for taking out and about with you and fitting into your pocket.
If you’re looking for the best cheap vlogging camera, then I’d definitely recommend this one.
- 18.2 MP Exmor R CMOS sensor
- G Lens with 20x optical zoom.Input and output terminals multi/micro USB terminal*8 , hi-speed USB (USB2.0), micro HDMI
- NFC one-touch Wi-Fi sharing and control
- Pixel Super Resolution technology analyses each pixel and up scales images restoring detail at zoom
- 18.2 MP Exmor R CMOS sensor
Canon Powershot SX620 HS
Coming in closer to the top end of this price tier is the Canon Powershot SX620 HS digital camera. This camera features a high standard build quality to give it that really premium feel when using it. With full HD video capture this camera can ensure you get the highest quality at an affordable price. It also features a 25 -625mm zoom, which to be honest it’s probably not a feature that would be used too often if you’re vlogging, but it’s nice to have if you ever fancy taking photos.
- Powerful 25x Optical Zoom with Intelligent IS helps optimize image stabilization for virtually shake free images
- Built in Wi Fi and NFC allows for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos. Maximum fnumber: f 3.2 f 6.6. Shutter Speed 1 1 by 2000 second 15 1 by 2000 second (in all shooting modes)
- 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor with DIGIC 4 plus Image Processor helps deliver stunning image quality even in low light. Auto zoom dependent on number of subjects
- Capture spectacular 1080p Full HD video. Focusing Range: 1 centimeter (0.4 Inches) infinity (W), 1.0 meter (3.3feet) infinity (T)
- Large 3.0 inch (approximately 922,000 dots) LCD allows easy viewing even from a wide angle. Battery life: Approx. 295 shots, Eco Mode: Approx. 405 shots, Playback Mode: Approx. 360 minute Image Recording Format: Superfine; Fine
Best Vlogging Cameras Under £500
Sony Cyber-shot RX100
Although a few years old, this little compact digital camera is still an absolute powerhouse when it comes to recording videos for youtube. With a 20.1mp sensor and the ability to shoot Full HD 60fps this camera is already ticking boxes. The real standout for this camera is the fact that it features manual controls for aperture, shutter speed and zoom which gives you a lot more control over how your video is shot especially since these can be tweaked during recording.
The RX100 also features a sturdy aluminium body which ensures that it will live up to heavy use and will certainly last for years.
- Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 Digital Camera
- Large-diameter ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T 24-70 mm F1.8-2.8 lens allows WIDE-ANGLE shooting
- BUNDLE INCLUDES: Kodak Pro Camera Case for Digital Cameras (Black) - 64GB Class 10 UHS-1 SDXC Memory Card - 2 x NP-BX1 Extra Battery Pack and Charger - Corel PaintShop Pro X9 Digital Download - 12-inch Rubberized Spider Tripod - LCD/Lens Cleaning Pen - SD Memory Card Reader - Tri-fold Memory Card Wallet - LCD Screen Protectors - Mini Tabletop Tripod - 3 Piece Lens Cleaning Kit - Beach Camera Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
Next up on the list we have the Nikon D5300 which packs a 24.2mp CMOS sensor with 39-point Autofocus system making it great for keeping yourself in focus using the subject tracking settings.
It also has a swivel screen which we already know is a bonus for when you are recording yourself and need to check you are still in focus or in the frame. The D5300 also features an extendable ISO up to 25,600 making it great for low light situations although we still recommend investing in a wide aperture lens to avoid too much grain.
- 24MP DX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter
- 39-point AF system with 3D tracking and 3D matrix metering II
- First "AF-P" lenses for Nikon digital SLR cameras
- Use of two aspherical lens elements has resulted in superior optical performance
- Compact and lightweight in design
Olympus PEN E-PL8
A firm favourite amongst bloggers, the Olympus Pen E-PL8 is actually surprisingly good at capturing video too. Featuring an articulating screen, this camera does let you watch yourself whilst recording, although annoyingly the screen actually flips downwards and will probably be covered by your hand or tripod if you’re recording at home.
Now if you can live with that, this camera is definitely up to the task, shooting up to 1080p resolution. You also get this camera bundled with a nice wide 14-42mm lens which is great for vlogging yourself on the move and keeping yourself in the frame.
Best Vlogging Cameras Under £1000
Canon Powershot G7X mk ii
This is where things get serious and we move into the top performers. First off with the Canon G7X mk ii, the youtubers portable camera of choice. Used by some of the biggest vloggers including Zoella, Joey Graceffa and more as their main camera when on the move. It’s lightweight, has an articulating touch screen which lets you control focus with a tap and records 1080p video with great low light performance due to the camera abilities to open the lens up as wide as f1.8.
The G7X MK ii receives consistently great reviews and feedback from vloggers around the world. You would be making an excellent choice if you went for this one. If you’re looking for a great vlogging camera with a flip screen then the G7X Mk ii has your back.
- The advanced video capabilities of the PowerShot G7 X Mark II camera can capture moments in the quality they deserve
- Features a large 1.0 inch, 20.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor that helps capture high quality images and videos with a wide dynamic range. Autofocus system features tile autofocus and manual focus. Operating temperature is 0 to 40 degrees Celsius. Note charging time varies considerably depending on the remaining battery power
- An aperture value of f/1.8 at the wide angle and f/2.8 when fully zoomed to a factor of 4.2x (24-100 millimeter), this lens equipped to capture a variety of situations with precision
- High resolution, 3.0 inches LCD monitor that tilts up 180 degrees and down 45 degrees is ideal for self portraits and capturing pictures at high and low angles with ease
- Built in WiFi for on the go convenience and the ability to easily post your images to select social networking and media sites
Canon EOS 750D/Canon Rebel T6i
For those of you who want to invest in a good starting DSLR, the Canon 750D is a great start. The 750D is one of the mid-range DSLR’s that features a mic input, so you can improve the audio quality of your footage by plugging in an external directional microphone like the popular Rode Videomic Go.
The 750D features an articulating screen allowing you see yourself when recording and weighs 0.7kg which for a DSLR including the battery and lens is actually pretty good. You also get 19 cross type focus points which can help keep you or your subject in focus when recording.
Canon 80D – The Best Vlogging Camera of 2020
My personal choice of vlogging camera at the moment, the Canon 80D is an excellent choice. When paired up a wide angle lens for shooting on the move or a nice prime lens for the more artistic b-roll.
The Canon 80D has 45 cross-type focus points and built-in face tracking modes so that you can ensure you’re always in focus. Pair this up with the swivel screen to watch yourself whilst you’re filming or connect it to your phone via wi-fi and control it on your smartphone.
The one downfall of the Canon 80D at this price point is the lack of 4K video mode, which in my opinion for a relatively new model camera should be pretty standard and why others may suit your needs better.
I have no regrets about buying this camera personally, as I’m a photography and video enthusiast so it’s perfect for my needs.
You’ll also find many vloggers using the older version of this camera the 70D which is also used by Zoella, so you can be sure that the updated version is a great choice for any budding youtuber.
- The EOS 80D camera’s Intelligent Viewfinder helps bring the thrill of SLR photography with each use
- The Intelligent Viewfinder displays AF points and AF mode, has a grid display, a horizontal electronic level, plus numerous other points of information
- For next level AF operation, the EOS 80D camera has a wide area, 45 point, all cross type AF system with low luminance performance to EV 3 and 4 types of AF area selection modes
- The 242 Megapixel (APS C) CMOS sensor captures high resolution images and has refined individual pixels that enable high ISO speeds (16000 for still photographs, 12800 for movies)
- Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your compatible Canon camera into a high-quality webcam
Sony RX100 V
The latest model of the RX100 is packing 4K recording in the body of a compact digital camera that fits in your pocket. This camera features 315-point phase detection autofocus meaning that you’re pretty certain to always have yourself in focus.
You also get the addition of a flip-up screen allowing you to keep track of what you’re filming if you’re recording yourself. Again this model also features the aperture of f1.8 so it’s going to be great for shooting in low light conditions.
If you’re into shooting slow motion artistic shots then this camera has your back. It shoots at 960fps for silky smooth slow motion b-roll footage.
- ELECTRONIC VIEW FINDER: retractable Tru-Finder EVF provides sharp resolution, bright self-illumination, and high contrast to view shots and adjust settings through a ZEISS T* coated eyepiece.
- AUTO FOCUS: World’s fastest (0.05 sec.) hybrid AF system (contrast + phase) which is great for action and wildlife photography
- AF DETECTION: The most comprehensive phase detection coverage in a compact camera utilizing 315 Auto Focus points
- SHOOTING SPEED: World’s fastest continuous shooting speed at 24fps3 w/ autofocus and auto exposure tracking to ensure exceptional high-speed photography
- IMAGE SENSOR: 20.1 megapixel 1" Exmor RS stacked back illuminated CMOS sensor w/ DRAM for outstanding image quality and continuous shooting.Battery life(still images)(CIPA):Up to 330 shots / 165 minutes
Best Vlogging Cameras over £1000
The latest camera to be used by popular vlogger Casey Neistat due to the incredible 4K abilities and at this price point, it’s no surprise really. This is a top of the range mirrorless Panasonic camera that produces some stunning results and the ability to shoot in V-log for an extra two stops of dynamic range making this camera perfect for those with slightly more advanced video editing needs.
Due to the size of 4K files when recording this camera is fitted with dual SD card slots, allowing you large amounts of storage to ensure that you never run out of space.
The Panasonic GH5 is a great camera that receives consistently high review scores and is definitely one of the top runners for best vlogging cameras of 2017.
- Professional photo and video: 20.3 Megapixel micro four thirds sensor with no low pass filter to capture sharp images with a high dynamic range and artifact free performance
- Splash or Freeze Proof Design: Freeze proof to 10 degrees the durable magnesium alloy body withstands heavy use in the field; Splash or dust proof construction with weather sealing on every Joint, dial and button
- Dual image stabilization: 5 axis dual image stabilization corrects all lenses, including classic lenses not equipped with O. I. S, to eliminate Blur and nearly eliminate body and lens shake in both photo and 4K video recording
- 4K video capture: Records silky smooth 4K 60P by 50P (QFHD 4K: 3840 x 2160 ; MOV or MP4) video with internal 4: 2: 2 10 bit 4K video recording, Plus exclusive 6K photo and 4K post focus records photos up to 60Fps
- Connectivity and Ports: 3.5 millimeter audio port, connect to devices with USB 3.0, an external monitor or external Recorder with a full size HDMI port; Available Twin SD card slots (UHS II U3 compatible)
GH5 Vlog Example
Sony A7R ii & Sony A7S ii
Although somewhat similar these two cameras have two completely different benefits. The A7S ii really stands out when it comes to low light shooting due to the 12.2 million pixels that gather more light than the 42.4 million pixels found on the A7R ii.
Both are capable of capturing 4K video but the A7S ii has better noise control and is definitely the better choice for those serious about filming.
These two models are the highest end of the video cameras on the market and are probably most suited for those really pushing their channels to the limits.
- World’s first Full-frame 5-axis in-body image stabilization optimized for 42.4MP full-frame, 4K movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning
- 2.4-million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder w/ZEISS T- coating, connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi and NFC w/camera apps, Fast focal plane phase-detection AF realized with A-mount lenses
- Shutter vibration suppression, curtain shutter, silent shutter, Resolution meets sensitivity 42.4MP up to ISO 102,400/4K up to 25,600, Durable, reliable and ergonomically enhanced for professional use
- Fast Hybrid AF with 399 focal plane phase-detection AF points and sensor is 35 mm full-frame (35.9 x 24.0 mm), Exmor R CMOS sensor
- Inside box: Rechargeable Battery NP-FW50; Cable Protector; AC Adapter AC-UUD11; Battery Charger BC-VW1; Shoulder strap; Body cap; Accessory shoe cap; Eyepiece cup; Micro USB cable
- full-frame camera with 5-axis image stabilization
- fast and effective, enhanced fast hybrid af
- 12.2 megapixels 10 35mm full-frame exmor cmos sensor lens compatibility - sony e-mount lenses
- bionz x image processing engine ; clear image zoom :still/movie: approx. 2x
- in the box: rechargeable battery np-fw50; cable protector; ac adaptor ac-uud11; battery charger bc-vw1; shoulder strap; body cap; accessory shoe cap; eyepiece cup; micro usb cable
Canon 5D Mk iv
The Canon 5D Mark iv, has it all and is one of the top range DSLR’s you can buy at the moment. Coming in at the pricier end of the market this one is definitely more of a long-term investment and would be more suited to those who are familiar with using a DSLR and have had a few years experience using one.
Featuring a full frame sensor which is great for lower light situations, the captures video up to 4K and is one of the first Canon DSLR’s to have this capability. This is one of the cameras used by youtube sensation and filmmaker Peter McKinnon as his backup camera.
One thing that does let this camera down is the lack of swivel screen which can be handy if you’re vlogging on the move.
This is not your average DSLR and the price certainly reflects that so you may find that the others on this list are better suited for your budgets and needs.
- New 30.4 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor for versatile shooting in nearly any light, with ISO range 100-32000; expandable up to 50-102400 (equivalent ISO).
- 4K Motion JPEG video (DCI cinema-type 4096 x 2160) at 30p or 24p; in- camera still frame grab of 4K 8.8-Megapixel images; multiple video options include Full HD up to 60p, and HD up to 120p.
- Superb Dual Pixel CMOS AF for responsive and smooth AF during video or live view shooting; LCD monitor has a full touchscreen interface, including selection of AF area.
- Excellent performance - up to 7.0 fps continuous shooting speed with high-performance DIGIC 6 plus Image Processor for improved speed and excellent image quality.
- Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your Canon camera into a high-quality webcam, or do the same using a clean HDMI output.
I’ll do my best to make sure that this list of best vlogging cameras is kept as up to date as possible. As always, any questions then just drop them in the comments below.