Vlogging has gone from something people did for fun to a full-time profession for some. While there are a million different ways you can vlog today, you won’t get far without the best vlogging camera.
Unfortunately, choosing the right one can be extremely difficult when you’re just starting out. With that in mind, here are a few areas you will want to hone in on.
How to Choose the Best Vlogging Camera
What’s the style of your Vlog? Whether you already have an active audience or are just starting out, you have to think about your style first and foremost. A vlogger that focuses on tech or tutorials will want a camera capable of shooting clear, steady streams. On the flipside, someone who does a travel blog or is into action sports may want a completely different camera. What works for one, may not work for another so keep your needs in mind – especially if you’re a gamer.
If you were going to snap photos instead of shooting video, this is where we would talk about the size of the sensor and cover hardcore tech specs. Well, those are still important, but the resolution is the main specification vloggers need to keep in mind. In most cases, these are the three resolutions you’ll need to know.
- HD – Whenever you see the term HD, it means 720p. By comparison, most smartphones and modern TV sets have higher resolution, so cameras in this class are usually in the budget range. Depending on your audience, HD is definitely not a bad thing.
- FHD – If you want more clarity, FHD is your best bet. It’s a few rungs down from the highest resolution available, but 1080p is nothing to scoff at. At the moment, it’s the most common standard around and one that has yet to be surpassed by our next option. You will find some of the best budget vlogging cameras in this range.
- UHD – UHD stands for “Ultra HD” otherwise known as 4K. Consumers that want the best vlogging camera and hate upgrading should go for a UHD camera. They aren’t necessarily cheap in most cases, but your audience will appreciate the uptick in sharpness and color.
Audio the other area you need to focus on although it’s something you can upgrade, unlike the sensor. If you sound like you’re talking with a mouth full of marbles, it’s safe to say you’ll lose a few viewers. While we can’t help people with shrill tones or mumbley mouths, a good vlogging camera can make your life a whole lot easier.
Every camera capable of video has a built-in microphone. To say the quality varies would be an understatement so consider an external microphone. There are dozens of options available, but RODE’s lineup is a good place to start if you want a great external mic for your vlog. If you want to learn more about the styles of microphones available, be sure to check this out.
As we live in the technological age, you can find a display on everything from a refrigerator to the dashboard of your car. Cameras are no different, and high-end models have some pretty interesting displays. Some sit flush in the body like a regular camera, and while they will suffice, a pop-out display should be the first feature on your want list.
When vlogging, you typically need to get a look at yourself which is where this type of display shines. It’s also an area where you need to pay close attention as the way the display pivots and swivels makes a huge difference. Think about the style of videos you plan to shoot before you fall in love with a touchscreen display. The type of panel used is essential as well, especially if you’re working outdoors in direct sunlight.
Instead of talking about the sensor size, we’re going to discuss frame rate; a term gamers will be very familiar with. The frame rate is measured in FPS which stands for frames per second, instead of first-person shooter this time around. That said, it’s something to take just as seriously if you want the best vlogging camera.
We’re not going to go too in-depth here. Higher frame rates are great, but 60fps could be overkill for your YouTube tutorial. For a more “dramatic” effect, you’ll want a lower frame rate somewhere along the lines of 24fps. High-speed action needs a higher frame rate, while the many folks stick to 30fps as it’s the most commonly accepted standard.
For consumers that need to shoot sports or take a lot of high motion shots, 60fps is the only way to go. An excellent vlogging camera will give you a wide range of options to choose from while others will stick you at one end of the spectrum. If you are unsure of the style you plan to shoot in; this will steer you in the right direction.
Bells, Whistles, and Battery Life
In the camera world, extra features can significantly raise the price so it’s an area where you’ll want to proceed with caution. Think about your needs before those extra bells & whistles as not everyone requires a touchscreen display, but there are a few things serious vloggers should not be without.
The first handy extra you’ll want to look for is Wi-Fi. It’s common on high-end cameras but hit or miss in the mid-range. We don’t need to explain why it’s essential, and NFC along with Bluetooth are two other popular options. Arguably more important than connectivity is something called OIS. This stands for optical image stabilization and is ideal if you’ve got shaky hands or hate tripods.
Outputs shouldn’t be overlooked either considering you can’t use an external microphone without one. Battery life is key as is the memory, both internal and external. The latter can sometimes vary, but every camera uses the SD standard. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to gauge battery life as it depends on the quality and length of the video you shoot. Regardless, always keep recording times in mind and plenty of SD cards at the ready.
8 Best Vlogging Cameras To Buy in 2018
Vlogging is a big business for some folks and a hobby for others. Regardless of where you stand, if you want people to tune in, you need more than a good personality. A great script will help although you won’t get far without the best vlogging camera. Whether you’re looking for the best mirrorless camera for vlogging or something a bit simpler, we have you covered.
Panasonic Lumix G85
The Best Camera for Vlogging Overall
Looking for a high-end camera that can handle the rigors of life on the road? The Panasonic Lumix G85 fits that bill with a weatherproof housing while delivering clarity thanks to its 4K capabilities. It’s in the Pro class, and well worth a look if you are in the market for the best vlogging camera for Twitch or the great outdoors.
4K is the wave of the future and a great choice when you need clarity in your videos. The Lumix G85 can shoot 4K at 24 or 30fps or do 1080 at a full 60fps. It’s smaller than a traditional DSLR camera due to the design, which also happens to be weatherproof. The elements are certainly no match for this Pro level camera.
If you need excellent audio, you will be thrilled to know the G85 has 2-channel Dolby Digital. While it’s great with video, it’s still a camera at heart. That means you can expect solid snapshots from the 16MP sensor and the dual optical image integration system. The Panasonic Lumix G85 is available in three different bundles including one sans the lens and certainly an option for the best 4K vlogging camera.
- Weatherproof Design
- 2-channel Dolby Digital
- Flip-out Swiveling Display
- Live Viewfinder
- The Price Tag
- No Headphone Port
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
A Powerful FHD Camera
Canon is known for making quality cameras, and the PowerShot G7X Mark II is no exception. From the swiveling touchscreen display to the connectivity options, it’s an ideal choice for new and experienced vloggers alike.
The G7 X Mark II is a “connected” camera with Wi-Fi and NFC which allows you to post vlogs quickly. Speed is a common theme with this device thanks to the nimble DIGIC 7 image processor and its ability to snap photos at 8fps in several modes. As for the video, it can only handle 1080p, but it can shoot at a full 60 frames per second complete with stereo audio.
Another perk is the ability to record directly to the MP4 format. It’s widely accepted across the board whether you prefer a camera for YouTube or Twitch streaming. Other tech specs for the Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II include a 20.1MP CMOS sensor, Intelligent IS, an HDMI port and a tilting touchscreen display. Needless to say, it checks all the right boxes if you’re looking for an excellent vlogging camera.
- Four IS Modes for Video
- Wi-Fi and NFC
- Tilting touchscreen display
- 1080p at 60fps
- Great Software
- Ease of Use
- No Viewfinder
- Zoom is limited
A Rugged and Reliable Option
Olympus has a camera for everyone. Whereas the OM-DE M10 Mark II is a great all-around snapper, the TG-5 is built for the outdoors. It can withstand harsh conditions with ease and is by far the toughest vlogging camera around.
The Olympus TG-5 can snap 4K photos and record video just like all the best vlogging cameras. What makes it different is the build quality along with the fact you can you can take 4K videos underwater. That is impressive, and so are the tech specs with 120fps high-speed video in FHD and 4K time lapse. The TG-5 can withstand depths up to 50 feet, temperatures that dip down to 14-degrees and a drop of 7 feet. It also has a “crushproof” rating and is sealed against dust, grit, and grime.
This camera can take almost anything Mother Nature throws its way and is decked out with GPS, Wi-Fi, and a temperature sensor. The Olympus TG-5 is available in Black or Red and can be purchased alone or with a Neoprene Tough Case.
- Built like a tank
- Glove mode
- Anti-fog glass
- 4K video
- Wi-Fi and GPS
- Could be too simple for advanced users
- LCD isn’t the sharpest
Canon EOS 77D
Another Hit from Canon
This camera from Canon comes from their popular EOS lineup and is available in several configurations. Lenses aside, the EOS 77D will give your videos some pizazz with killer features like HDR and electronic image stabilization geared towards movies.
This camera has a little bit of everything under the hood which makes it perfect for vloggers of varying styles. You can take time-lapse movies or add vibrant colors to your films and photographs through HDR. Worried about stability? Don’t be as this baby has Movie Electronic IS6 which can help even the shakiest of hands. You can also connect to almost anything considering the 77D has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC.
The Canon EOS 77D is an excellent choice for consumers just getting their vlog started or grizzled gamers that have streamed for years. While it maxes out at 1080p in the video department, the addition of HDR makes a difference, and the 24.2MP sensor won’t let you don’t when it’s picture time.
- Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth
- HDR Video
- 24.2MP CMOS APS-C Sensor
- 3” LCD touchscreen
- Self-cleaning sensor
- Battery Capacity could be better
- Viewfinder size
Sony RX100 VI
The Best Compact Camera for Vlogging
Sony pulled out all the stops with the RX100 VI, a compact camera with a beefy 20.1MP stacked CMOS sensor. It can take beautiful pictures in a variety of conditions, of this there is no doubt. When it comes to video, we’re pleased to say it’s at the top of the food chain as well.
There’s quite a bit of tech under the hood of this compact camera. It’s a 4K camera so you can take Hi-Res video at 30fps or switch to FHD for videos at a full 60fps. In 4K mode, there is no pixel binning thanks to the large Exmor RS CMOS sensor. You can also slow things down with a special mode which allows shooting at 960fps and the electronic viewfinder is a big perk as well. You will not be let down by the image or video quality from the RX100 VI although the price could give you sticker shock.
While the Sony RX100 VI is not the best option for beginners due to the price, it should be on your short list if you need a professional camera for your vlogs. The base model comes with the basics to get you started, and there is a Vlogger bundle as well with the VCT-SGR1 shooting grip.
- Sleek, compact design
- Pop-Up EVF
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and NFC
- Slo-Mo video up to 960fps
- Only 5 minutes of continuous 4K video
- Battery life could be better
- Price tag
GoPro HERO 6
The Best Vlogging Camera under $500
For Action-oriented Vloggers, the GoPro lineup has always been a fine choice. While affordable DSLR’s have stolen some of their shine, the HERO 6 may be the best option for action enthusiasts that want to document their wild journeys on the go.
The first thing we want to talk about with the GoPro HERO 6 is resolution and stabilization. It’s one of the few devices capable of recording 4K video at 60fps, and your footage will be far smoother than what you’ll get from a DSLR while in motion. The waterproof camera will smoke others in the FHD department at 240fps and can handle 2K at 120fps as well. If that doesn’t impress you, features like voice control, GPS or the 3-microphone array certainly will.
Consumers that only plan to shoot video and don’t care about photos will want to give the HERO 6 a long look – especially if action-based vlogs are your thing. The price point is attractive as well considering the flagship features and its prowess in the 4K department.
- 5GHz Wi-Fi
- 2” Touchscreen display
- Waterproof to 33 feet
- Voice controls
- Mounting Accessories
- Poor battery life
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
For Vloggers that need Multiple Speeds
Good cameras for vlogging can come in many shapes and forms. While some have an exotic look, Olympus turned back the clock for the DE M10 Mark II. The style is reminiscent of the classic Pentax K1000 although the tech inside is considerably more advanced.
The highlight of the Olympus OM-DE M10 Mark II would be the video modes. It tops out at 1080p, but you can choose from five different speeds with 24, 25, 40, 50, and 60fps. A series of filters let you add a bit of flair to your production while Wi-Fi makes it easy to share. If your audience has a short attention span or you take lengthy videos, the CLIPS feature will come in handy as well.
Whether it’s a family photo you’ve snapped or a quick clip for your vlog, the Olympus OM-DE M10 Mark II performs admirably. It’s not necessarily the best vlogging camera for beginners looking that need something simple and quick, but the video and image quality is top-notch.
- OLED electronic viewfinder
- CLIPS Sharing Feature
- 3” Tilting Touchscreen
- Five video frame rates
- Not User-Friendly for Beginners
- May be considered noisy by some
The Best Camera for YouTube Vlogging
Nikon has cranked out cameras since 1948, and have gained quite the following when it comes to their DSLR lineup. The Nikon D5600 is an update to the popular D5500 and falls into the mid-range category although it’s available in several configurations.
This camera has a 24.2MP CMOS sensor in the DX-format and sports an EXPEED 4 for imaging processing. It can hang with the best of them when it comes to taking snapshots, and with 60fps at 1080p, it’s no slouch in the video department either. With connectivity, you can expect Wi-Fi to go along with Bluetooth and NFC.
The Nikon D5600 can take sharp video in a wide variety of conditions and SnapBridge is a great feature to have if you’re a photobug. On the downside, it’s only an incremental upgrade over the previous model which is disappointing given the price. You can pick this one up in the base configuration, with a lens or in the Amazon Basics Starter Bundle.
- 3.2” Flip-out Display
- Solid battery life
- 1080p at 60fps
- Build Quality
- Basic set of features
- No motor for AF