So you want to become a vlogger?
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 to look for in a vlogging camera?
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to cameras that are suitable for filming your youtube content on and we’re here to help you by telling you the sort of things you should and shouldn’t care about when buying your video camera.
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, why not check out our ultimate guide to vlogging cameras in 2018 to see if there are any that you like the look of.
If you have any questions about a feature or if there’s something about a camera that we haven’t covered above then just drop a comment below and we’ll be happy to help.