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.
Best Vlogging Cameras
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 G100
One of the Best Vlogging Cameras There Are
Panasonic Lumix G100 is a compact and lightweight (303 g) camera that thanks to its ease of use and excellent both still image and video quality make the great option for vlogging enthusiasts and professionals.
This is a fully capable mirrorless camera that offers plenty of features that will help you with your vlogging activities, such as the “Self-Shot” mode that automatically pops-up onscreen touch controls and enables audio tracking and face detection, allowing you to make your recording with ease. Also, it comes with the included tripod for easier handling and overall provides great portability that might be essential for many.
Panasonic Lumix G100 is fitted with a 20MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor and Venus Engine processor that together with the five-axis electronic image stabilization are the key reasons for its impressive performance. Moreover, it supports 120 fps FHD and 30fps 4K video capturing, as well as ISO from 200 to 25600 and equally important, it provides solid connectivity that incorporates both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection.
All in all, if you want one of the best vlogging cameras out there and one of the first devices fully dedicated to that role, the Panasonic Lumix G100 camera is the device made for you.
- Comes with a tripod
- Excellent video and image quality
- Easy to use
- Plenty of customization options
- No in-body stabilization
- It captures only 30fps 4K video
Canon EOS M6 Mark II
Flagship Performance with Some Caveats
Even if some people describe the EOS M6 Mark II as a flawed flagship, the amount of performance delivered by this tiny mirrorless camera is outstanding. The EOS M6 Mark II comes with a high-res sensor, Canon’s latest 32.5-megapixel (and all-new) variety, which makes it arguably the best high-res-crop-sensor gadget money can buy. Also, the shooting speed is impressive for a mirrorless, and even the autofocus system has been improved with the company’s excellent Dual Pixel technology.
Okay, so what’s flawed, you may ask? Well, to begin with, there’s no EVF and the 4K videos are not the best in the business, to say the least. However, since we’re talking about the best mirrorless cameras for vlogging, the coolest thing about the EOS M6 Mark II is that it delivers full sensor 4K, rather than cropped, and it’s also priced competitively (some may say aggressively) with rival mirrorless cameras, such as the XT-30 from Fujifilm, or Nikon’s Z50, which is incidentally the company’s first-ever APS-C based mirrorless model.
- very good AF system performance, amazing shooting speeds
- ergonomic design with good handling
- high quality (color accurate and detailed) stills
- highest-res sensor available
- compact size makes it great for travelers
- lacks electronic viewfinder
- 4K not as good as rivals
- native lens range severely limited
Olympus Tough TG-6
The Best Go-Anywhere Camera
Next we have the Olympus Tough TG-6, which makes for a compact, waterproof and obviously tough as nails 12 MP camera with image stabilization and GPS tracking functionality. Speaking of tough, the TG-6 is shockproof from 7ft, waterproof to 50ft and crushproof to 220lbs, not to mention dustproof. What really makes this Olympus to stand out from the crowd, besides its tank-like build quality obviously, which makes it a “lone” survivor especially for vloggers who enjoy live-streaming extreme sports, is its impressive macro performance and the advanced controls.
Basically, if you’re shopping for a “G-shock” camera capable of 4K/30 FPS video, the Olympus Tough TG-6 plays in the best bang for the buck category, having a very bright lens and excellent underwater photography capabilities, features that make it a great choice for those of you traveling a lot. The built-in GPS logging thing and the Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to control the camera by remote or transfer images quickly are particularly useful for vloggers on the run, along with high-speed continuous shooting.
- can survive a nuclear war in a compact and light form-factor
- bright lens/rear LCD, support for RAW images
- impressive image quality for such a small camera
- amazing macro performance, 4K video recording, high speed 1080p video
- add-on lenses available
- kind of expensive for our taste
- video stabilization could be better
- the user interface is confusing
- LCD scratches easily
An Exceptional All-in-One Mirrorless Camera
Fujifilm X-T4 is a refined, high-quality built camera that delivers exceptional performance in both the video and image department, making it a great option for beginners, as well as experienced photographers and vlogging professionals.
It is packed with plenty of, extremely handy and useful, features such as 6.5-stop (five-axis) in-body stabilization; a great 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, and X Processor 4, as well as the great new NP-W235 battery that should give you some 500 shots per charge.
Moreover, it is equipped with 3.68 M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder and two UHS-II car slots, and equally important, both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
In terms of performance, Fujifilm X-T4 can shoot very detailed 60 fps 4K and super-slow motion 240 fps Full HD videos, as well as 10-bit F-Log footage. Also, it offers 15 fps burst shooting with and 20fps burst shooting without a mechanical shutter, as well as allow for multiple customization options that, on the other hand, might be a bit too complicated for many.
Fujifilm X-T4 supports ISO from 160 to 12800 (80 to 51200 extended), offers USB Type-C connectivity, and comes with a lightweight construction (it weighs only 607 g) that makes it one of the more portable vlogging cameras out there.
The point being, Fujifilm X-T4 has everything you might need from the best vlogging camera and much more, which ultimately makes it an exceptional choice, of course, if it’s a bit higher price tag isn’t a problem for you.
- Amazing image stabilization
- Excellent battery life
- Great image and video quality
- 15fps burst shooting with a mechanical shutter
- A lot of customization options
- A bit unpredictable AF performance
- No headphone jack
- A bit complicates video and burst shooting settings
Sony RX100 VII
High-Tech Pocket Camera
If you’re a vlogger working with a generous budget, the Sony RX100 VII comes to mind. Think along the lines of the Apollo space program and you’ll get it: this Sony is absolutely fantastic in terms of technology and build quality, but premium gear comes at premium prices. Everything is great about this compact camera, at least on paper: the 24-200mm lens is impressive, the size is ideal, Sony’s latest AF system is almost godlike, then there’s the high-speed (more like ultra-speed) shooting thing.
To make it real simple, the Sony RX100 VII checks all the important boxes in our list, including the more-than-adequate 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor hidden inside the camera’s diminutive body. But what’s really important is that the RX100 VII is a remarkable technological achievement, hence if you’re looking for one of the best compact cameras out there (zoom range, ludicrous high-speed shooting, 4K video@30 FPS, state of the art AF system) and you’re ready to pay the price, well, it doesn’t get any better than this one.
- high tech and lightning-fast AF system
- amazing 4K video
- compact and light
- sports full-range connectivity (NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi)
- solid build quality, excellent grip
- low noise, tons of features, great face-detection
- mediocre battery life
The King of Action Photography and Video
GoPro HERO9, just like its predecessors, brings the exceptional build quality and plenty of features that keep it seated in the top spot among the best action cameras. Simply, this is the device that follows every latest trend and, following that, is constantly evolving, with every new generation. Therefore, comes with multiple changes compared to its predecessor and introduces a front-facing screen, longer-lasting (1720mAh) battery, as well as a removable lens that altogether allows you to customize the camera in the way that suits you.
More importantly, GoPro HERO9 still keeps the excellent image and video quality, with plenty of details, and allows you to capture 30 fps 5K videos, as well as 60 fps 4K and 240 fps FHD videos. Moreover, it comes with multiple connectivity options that incorporate a USB-C port, MicroSD card slot, as well as both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection.
On top of that, it provides excellent image stabilization, thanks to the HyperSmooth 3.0 engine, as well as the creation of time-lapse scenes, with the help of the TimeWarp 3.0 feature. In other words, everything needed for a flawless vlogging performance is there.
- Excellent image stabilization
- Easy to use
- Good battery life
- It supports 5K video
- Excellent image quality
- Front-facing screen
- A bit laggy touchscreen and HDR processing
Sony Alpha a6400
Solid Mid-Range Camera for Vloggers
The Sony Alpha A6400 is the latest member of the company’s mid-range mirrorless cameras and some say it’s just a minor upgrade over the previous A6300. However, there’s nothing minor about the a6400’s highly advanced AF system, which is incredibly well implemented, and that’s really something for a camera that costs well under one thousand bucks.
So, what do you get for that kind of money, besides state of the art autofocus? First, there’s the 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, then you get 4K video recording and a cool tilt-angle touchscreen and electric viewfinder.
However, tech specs aside, the Sony a6400 seems focused on photography enthusiasts looking for speedy performance, i.e. wildlife and sports photographers, or, why not, vloggers, and that’s due to the camera’s new feature that allows you to position the LCD at a 180-degree angle. Unfortunately, there’s no body stabilization, so you’ll have to rely on lens stabilization, but the new Real-Time Tracking” and “Real-Time Eye AF” features are worth the stretch.
- good burst shooting speed, excellent AF system
- plenty of video features, bright viewfinder
- great value for money
- speedy performance, solid image quality
- Eye AF is exceptional and easy to use
- lacks body image stabilization
- no headphone jack
Panasonic LUMIX S5
An Excellent All in One Camera
Panasonic LUMIX S5 is mirrorless camera that at a fair price offers a ton of features and, more importantly, delivers exceptional overall performance. Its images and videos are clear and offer a consistent dynamic range and a great level of detail.
Reasons for such a good performance are numerous; however, the most prominent ones are the involvement of the 5-axis dual image stabilization and high precision AF, with eye, body and face tracking, as well as Venus Engine image processor and 24.2 MP CMOS sensor with Dual Native ISO that are doing the most hard work.
Panasonic LUMIX S5 supports ISO from 100 to 51200 and 60 fps 4K and 180 fps FHD video capture. Moreover, it is fitted with a dual SD slot; it provides both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and equally important, allows for 7 fps burst shooting.
Also, this camera comes fitted with the electronic OLED viewfinder and provides excellent protection against dust, water, and other similar natural causes that could not just ruin your perfect shot, but destroy your precious equipment as well.
In other words, for the price and the performance, Panasonic LUMIX S5 definitely presents the sheer top of the offering and the best camera for vlogging, video capture, and a whole bunch of other tasks that altogether make this device such a great tool.
- Lightweight (714 g)
- Excellent image stabilization
- Dust and splash resistant
- Very good AF performance
- Dual SD slot
- Excellent video performance
Canon EOS R
The Best Canon Camera for Professional Vloggers
Here’s another good camera for vlogging. Canon EOS R is a sumptuous model. Its 35mm 30.3mp full-frame CMOS sensor comes with DIGIC 8 image processor and its EVF has got 3.69 million dots. Thus, all the images produced by this camera are clear and smooth. Add to this dual pixel CMOS AF with 5,655 manually selectable AF points as well as AF speed of 0.05 sec and you will get one of the best Canon cameras of nowadays. As to its video options, Canon EOS R supports both 4K30 video recording and Full HD 1080 mode.
As there are three optional mount adapters this Canon camera is compatible with any EF/EF-S lenses. EOS R has got a long battery life and an adjustable multi-function bar. It also supports Wi-Fi, so you can use it to share photos and videos. A varied angle touch screen makes this camera convenient in use. Besides, it is rather light, so you won’t get tired after keeping it in hands for a long period of time.
- 4K video recording
- great image sensor and processor
- dual pixel AF with 5,655 AF position
- detailed photos
- varied angle touch screen
- excellent EVF
- adjustable multi-function bar
- built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- long battery life
- no image stabilization
- only one SD card slot
- only 5 fps at continuous shooting
An Ideal Device for Vloggers and Travelers
If you are a professional vlogger or a dedicated traveler that is seeking a compact, lightweight camera that will help you record your every adventure in the best possible way, Sony ZV-1 is the camera for you.
With this device, you are getting excellent performance and images and videos of impressive quality, with great white levels, extremely low noise levels, and great color accuracy and level of detail. Simply, the combination of 20 megapixels 1” BSI CMOS sensor, accurate and fast Hybrid AF, with real-time eye and AF tracking, and BIONZ X image processor is doing more than good work.
When talking about other aspects of this camera, you should know that it supports 30 fps 4K and 120 fps FHD video recording and that it offers multiple shooting modes that include Log, HGL, 8-bit and more. Sony ZV-1 is a lightweight camera (294 g), with plenty of connectivity options that incorporate Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as well as micro USB, micro HDMI and 3.5 mm jack.
More importantly, it provides an excellent directional 3-capsule microphone that is doing miracles for the audio quality of its captured videos and overall presents a great deal, especially for the vlogging professionals. Therefore, if you are after the best vlogging camera out there, Sony ZV-1 is the “force” to consider.
- Excellent AF performance
- Impressive image quality
- Directional 3-capsule microphone
- Easy to use
- Very good video features
- Not the best battery life
- No in-camera flash