Whether you’re on your way to becoming a celebrity influencer or just looking for a good way to stretch your creative muscles, you can find a camera for YouTube that meets both your budgetary and creative needs. But there are a ton of camera models, and many of our readers won’t know what makes a great camera, much less a great camera for YouTube in particular.
That’s exactly the kind of problem HotRate is positioned to solve. We’ve put together a list of 10 of the best cameras for YouTube models and fill you in on what makes each unique. We’ll also provide you with all the information you need to know when shopping for the best camera for YouTube.
Quick Look: 10 Best Cameras for YouTube in 2020
- Logitech C922x Pro Stream 1080p HD Web Camera
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III Camera
- Mevo Plus Live Event Camera
- GoPro HERO 7 Black
- Canon PowerShot Digital Camera G7 X Mark II
- Sony RX100 III Compact Digital Camera
- Panasonic LUMIX GH5 4K Mirrorless Camera
- GoPro Hero4 Silver
- DJI Osmo Handheld 4K 12MP Camera
- Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera
1. Logitech C922x Pro Stream 1080p HD Web CameraRead Amazon Reviews →CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
If you're looking to do live streaming, you don't need to pay a fortune to get the level of quality you deserve. The C922x is built with pros in mind, and it delivers buttery smooth 1080p resolution that makes this camera one of the best models for gamers who want a cheaply priced and low hassle alternative to a more traditional camera. It even offers smooth compatibility with most major operating systems and the latest generation of consoles.
And when you invest in this headset, you don't need to worry about your audio recording capabilities either. The dual microphone system provides a stereo experience for your viewers and lets you focus on the video you're trying to make rather than having to adjust a boom mic. This camera even comes with automated light correction to further reduce the need for active involvement in the recording process.
2. Canon EOS 5D Mark III CameraRead Amazon Reviews →CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III has been one of the best cameras on the market for year, and while it's missing some of the fundamentals that you'd expect from a modern vlogging camera, but the fundamentals are so strong that it will be worth it for more professional YouTube personalities. Despite being a DSLR, the Canon EOS is very lightweight, and it makes use of a full frame sensor, so you're better equipped to capture moments that your followers will eat up.
And while the Canon EOS may be a little complicated for beginners, the huge range of features here makes it a dream for those who are willing to learn the ins and outs of photography. That means the Canon EOS comes with more control over lighting and a more nuanced and crisp vision of you and your other subjects thanks to the 61 autofocus points. And the expansive dynamic range of the Canon EOS means richer and varied colors.
3. Mevo Plus Live Event CameraRead Amazon Reviews →CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
You don't need to be tethered to your chair to make a livestream video. The Mevo Plus takes many of the advantages that come from a traditional webcam and converts them into a highly portable model that you can take with you on all of your adventures. This vlogging camera is only 3 inches tall, perfectly capable of fitting in your hand, and equipped with both a micro USB charging port and a rechargeable battery.
And just because convenience was a top priority with this camera doesn't mean that you can't capture some great video with it. You can record 4K video, and livestreaming supports up to a 1080p Full HD resolution. This camera is designed to easily stream the videos you make to some of the most common streaming platforms, and it can accomplish that over either Wi-Fi or LTE. You can even control is remotely with your phone.
4. GoPro HERO 7 BlackRead Amazon Reviews →CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
GoPro has been so effective at their job that their name has become essentially synonymous with action cameras, and the Hero7 Black is easily one of the best cameras in their collection. If you're a more adventurous YouTuber, you can count on this camera for vlogging to follow you just about anywhere thanks to the very compact size, highly durable build quality, and waterproof housing.
But regardless of where you go, you can expect the video quality to be simply great. This vlogs camera can stream 4K at 60 frames per second and comes equipped with a 12 megapixel sensor that works really well when paired with the time lapse photography mode. Best of all, this camera can be entirely operated with your voice, so you can focus your attention on your presentation rather than operating a camera. It also supports live streaming so you can get your fans more invested.
5. Canon PowerShot Digital Camera G7 X Mark IIRead Amazon Reviews →CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Point and shoot cameras are all the rage right now. They offer most of the features that make a DSLR great while being significantly more lightweight and inexpensive. If you're looking to provide a professional look to your camera vlogs, a point and shoot model is one of the best cameras. And if you want a point and shoot model, the PowerShot is one of the best options available. The 3.0 inch LCD screen provides can rotate significantly, allowing you to shoot selfie videos without rolling blind.
The Full HD max resolution isn't top of the line, but it should be suitable for all but the highest standards, and the Wi-Fi connectivity makes it easy to upload your new videos and share them with your fans as soon as possible. The wide dynamic range, meanwhile, ensures a deeper and richer color gamut regardless of what resolution you want to capture videos in.
6. Sony RX100 III Compact Digital CameraRead Amazon Reviews →CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
As another point and shoot camera, the Cybershot RX100 is a bit more expensive than the Canon Powershot, but you get some nice upgrades for your extra money. This model includes a full inch sensor for more control over brightness in more dimly lit environments, and this model also comes with a clear and bright three inch display so you can more accurately direct what you make as you make it.
This camera comes with an impressive Zeiss brand lens, a choice that helps mitigate the lack of exchangeable lenses thanks to some of the best zoom range available in a YouTube camera. But the best selling point here may be the size. This is still one of the most compact cameras on the market, and that makes it a best choice for YouTube personalities who like to be able to capture footage spontaneously and on the go.
7. Panasonic LUMIX GH5 4K Mirrorless CameraRead Amazon Reviews →CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Looking to take a step from a point and shoot camera into something more serious? The Panasonic Lumix may be pricey, but it's also a perfect gateway camera that's accessible with new users while still including a wealth of features that will continue to be of value to you as you develop your skills. The big selling point here is the ability for this camera to shoot in 4K video - but as a mirrorless camera, the ability to change out the lens gives it a distinct advantage over point and shoot cameras.
In a decision tailor made for YouTube personalities, Panasonic has included both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities so that you can upload your videos more conveniently and even operate your camera remotely by using your phone. And the inclusion of some solid image stabilization will keep your videos looking great even when you're shooting in environments that aren't ideal.
8. GoPro Hero4 SilverRead Amazon Reviews →CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Looking to share action videos with your followers but finding the Hero 7 a little out of your price range? The Hero 4 offers GoPro's quality technology and engineering at a fraction of the price. With a price significantly lower than the Hero 7, this is one of the most cost effective models available, but it can still manage to record 1080p videos at a smooth 60 frames per second. And it offers a very expansive field of view.
You can even do some editing within the camera. Video trimming allows you to splice together some compelling and professional looking videos for your followers, and the presence of both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi provides you with the ability to control this camera with your phone and also upload your videos to the internet far more easily. And if you like stills, the CMOS sensor packs in a decent 12 megapixels.
9. DJI Osmo Handheld 4K 12MP CameraRead Amazon Reviews →CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
If you've ever read any of our guides to drones, the name DJI may be familiar to you. But their ability to deliver capable specs at a decent price isn't exclusive to just cameras that can shoot videos with a drone. The DJI Osmo can shoot 4K videos and achieve 1080p at an incredibly 120 frames per second, making it a very appealing choice if you're an action vlogger - especially one who wants to work in slow motion.
The battery life here is pretty strong too. You can get up to six hours of recording on a single charge, and it even comes with a gimbal so you can get significantly more flexible with how you choose to shoot. And since this camera comes with Bluetooth built in, you can use your phone (and the free compatible app) as a remote control.
10. Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless CameraRead Amazon Reviews →CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
The Sony Alpha a6400 is one of the best mirrorless video cameras you'll find anywhere, and it's worth well over the $1000 asking price. The CMOS sensor can deliver pictures with a full 24 megapixels, and it's capable of recording 4K video at a decent frame rate. Even cooler is the fact that it can over sample 2.4K video. It also comes with a fully adjustable LCD touch screen - a huge asset for vloggers who want to record themselves on video.
Action photographers will love the fact that this video camera offers some of the fastest autofocus around, including specialized and real time eye detection autofocus. And if you don't have the time or the experience to do editing in a third party app, there's a decent batch of movie functions to help you accomplish your goals.
Camera for YouTube Buyer’s Guide
So what distinguishes a camera for YouTube from any other camera on the market? That really depends. Since there are so many different niches on YouTube, finding the best camera can be different. Different types of YouTube personalities will need to prioritize different features, and finding the best model for your camera vlog means that you need to know what your objectives are. We’ll highlight the key specs and features below and help you understand who they’ll be important to.
The type of camera you should get is going to vary fairly significantly depending on the type of videos you create. We’ll cover some of the more common types of cameras tomorrow and what type of content creators they’re best catered to.
- Webcams don’t require a battery, so they don’t need to be charged. But that also means that you can’t bring them with you. But the centered and reliable design makes them a great choice for gaming streamers.
- The trademarks of an action camera are their compact and rugged design. That makes them ideal for nature and activity vloggers, but they typically aren’t built to be aimed like a traditional camera.
- If you’re more interested in framing your sots, you may want to get a point and shoot They may be light on features, but they’ll generally include a more powerful CMOS sensor and a lens that can zoom. They’re great for beginners but can continue to be of value even for more experienced YouTubers.
- We get into more professional designs with mirrorless cameras. The lens on a mirrorless camera can be swapped out so you get access to significantly more shooting options, and they’re generally fairly lightweight and compact, though not to the level of point and shoot cameras.
- DSLR cameras were the standard for years, but mirrorless cameras have made them largely obsolete. But there are still some great DSLR cameras available, and they offer some of the best lens variety and highest resolution CMOS sensor designs around.
What it is: Video resolution measures the amount of horizontal and vertical dots that are represented when doing video recording. Videos with a higher resolution will naturally look better and show a greater amount of detail. But unlike image quality, where megapixel counts can vary significantly within different price ranges, a jump from one cavideo recording format to another will generally constitute a pretty serious jump in price.
Who it’s For: Everyone. If you’re recording YouTube videos, you’ll want the best video quality that you can afford. That’s going to be true whether you’re performing makeup tutorials or running through a Lets Play of the latest indie game. Video recording quality should be your first consideration when it comes to buying a new camera.
What to Look For: We don’t recommend going with a video recording resolution of less than Full HD. 720p or anything less will generally look unprofessional. if you’re really serious about your video blogging career, you may want to take the step up to 4K video, which is four times the resolution of FHD. Just keep in mind that you can generally expect to pay quite a bit more for that privilege.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the frame rate of your camera. Lower frame rates produce choppier results, and it might be worth it to downgrade your video recording resolution for the sake of smoother performance. We generally recommend at least 30 fps (frames per second) for most users. But if you’re dead set on professional level recording, you may want to get a camera that promises 60 fps.
What it is: Image quality is measured in resolution. This is measured in megapixels, or the amount of pixels that are packed into the sensor. A denser pixel count means higher image quality when dealing with still photography, making it something of a more specialized feature for a YouTube camera. Fortunately, image quality tends to scale with video quality, so it’s a feature you can fall back on even if you don’t need it regularly.
Who it’s For: Image resolution is primarily going to only matter to vloggers who work in multimedia. If you’re a cooking blogger looking to share photos of your perfect dishes or a travel vlogger trying to create a gallery of your favorite landmarks, image quality can be a big deal. But the majority of users will want to focus on a camera that focuses on video quality rather than on the quality of stills.
What to Look For: Bigger is generally better with image resolution, but that’s not always the case. That’s because a larger sensor will naturally need a higher megapixel count to adequately provide quality resolution. If you want to get a camera with great picture quality, you’ll want to pay as much attention to the reviews as the specs, because the size of a CMOS sensor and the megapixel count only tell you part of the story.
What it is: Any camera that isn’t a webcam is going to require a rechargeable battery to work, and the battery life of the camera you use can have a pretty big impact on how useful it is to you.
Who it’s For: Nature photographers, travel vloggers, and anyone else who will be using their camera outside of their home or office. Exactly how long of a battery life you need will be personal and dependent on the type of videography you plan on doing.
What to Look For: A battery life that’s long enough to exceed the amount of time you generally spend shooting out and about. Keep in mind that the battery life is an average produced by the manufacturer. When you use wireless features or use a higher resolution, it can quickly cause your battery to drain.
What it is: Most cameras are designed to allow you to shoot video and then share it online, but livestreaming takes it to the next level by letting yo connect directly with your followers so they can see you engaging in real time. It accomplishes this through Wi-Fi connectivity.
Who it’s For: Livestreamers, obviously. Livestreaming is especially popular for gaming YouTubers, but anyone looking to build a more direct connection with their viewers can benefit from livestreaming content.
What to Look For: Maximum resolution and frame rates. Most cameras that offer livestreaming can only do so at a depreciated resolution and frame rate from what they can record more traditionally. A 4K camera will usually only offer livestreaming at 1080p.
What it is: As more and more customers use video cameras for sharing their videos online, wireless connectivity is becoming significantly more of a recognized standard for cameras, and not just major manufacturers like Canon.
Who it’s For: If you’re livestreaming, wireless connectivity is going to be an obvious necessity, but it can also make it easier to upload pre-recorded videos or control your camera with your phone.
What to Look For: The wireless format is going to be the most important factor to consider. Bluetooth compatibility allows you to connect directly to a phone within 33 feet and often lets you use your phone as a remote control. Wi-Fi connects your camera via wireless internet and is most often used for livestream or for uploading your videos to YouTube. NFC is much like Bluetooth but is convenient because you can connect two devices with a single tap.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Cameras Do YouTubers Use?
YouTube stars will generally pick a vlogging camera based off of what type of content they plan to make. If you want to check out our guide above, we provide a thorough run through of what types of cameras are best suited for use by different types of videos.
What is the Best Camera YouTubers Use?
That depends on the YouTuber. The best vlog cameras are going to be contingent on the use case. Gamers for instance, will benefit from a streaming webcam while vloggers who make outdoor videos can benefit from an action camera. If you’re looking for the best camera for YouTube, you’ll want to consider what features and specs to consider rather than what the pros make use of.
What is a Good Camera for YouTube Beginners?
Lightweight and affordable but still offering diverse control settings is the Canon EOS Powershot G7. This Canon EOS camera comes with some great performance for the price, and Canon has packed in both Wi-Fi and NFC so you can more readily share your content with your friends and fans. The Canon EOS also comes with a three inch tilting touch screen to make it easier for you to take selfies. All in all, the Canon EOS is a great camera that’s comfortable for beginners but also capable of serving your video use needs well into your career.
Are you looking to launch your YouTube career or undergo an upgrade to your existing equipment? This guide is the best place to start. And if you have experience working with any of these video cameras, we encourage you to share what you think below.