Vlogging may seem like an easy job to people who haven’t tried it professionally. While it may seem like you just need a vibrant personality and a smartphone camera, the work of making a successful video blog is far more labor intensive. And if you really want to succeed, a good camera can make your job a whole lot easier and provide you with a higher level of professionalism.
And as you move further along your career, it becomes a practical necessity. That’s why we’ve put together this list. The vlogging cameras we’ve compiled cover the gamut from cheap to expensive, from those designed for beginners to those ideal for experienced veterans. But we’ve been sure to prioritize the specific needs of vloggers over more generic traits of quality camcorders.
- The Best Vlogging Cameras
- Best Vlogging Cameras Buyer’s Guide
The Best Vlogging Cameras
1. Canon G7 X Mark II
This Canon vlogging camera excels in two features that will feature prominently throughout the list. Wireless connectivity in the form of Wi-Fi and NFC allow you to quickly upload your videos to social media without the need for excess equipment, and its autofocus mode works well and makes it easy for you to track your subject without having the talent of a veteran photographer. Due to the price, it's more appropriate for vloggers who are veterans or at least have some fanbase already. But if you want a professional camera, this is a solid choice. It can deliver full HD 1080p video at a smooth and consistent 60 frames per second, and it works very well in low light situations. It also makes use of the Canon's impressive DIGIC 6 image processor.
2. PANASONIC LUMIX GH5S
While Panasonic's earlier GH4 was built as a camera that straddled the territory between still and video photography, the GH5S brings in a whole host of new video features that make it worth its hefty price tag for the most discerning of vloggers. This mirrorless camera can deliver truly worthwhile 4K footage at exceedingly high frame rates. The variable frame rates allow you to adapt footage to suit your preferences, with a maximum of 240 FPS in full HD and 60 FPS in both UHD 4K and DCI. If you consider yourself a professional and you want the quality of your videos to reflect that, this is potentially going to be the best vlogging camera. If the price point gives you anxiety or you're just starting off, it might be a camera you want to work to, but the GH4 is an apex predator in the ecosystem of vlogging photography.
3. PANASONIC LUMIX GX85 4K
If the GH5S is a little rich for your blood, Panasonic's GX85 may be more your speed. Like its richer cousin, the GX85 can shoot comfortably in 4K, and its 4K Post Focus facilitates recording at up to 30 fps. And there's one major factor where it actually exceeds the GH5S in quality. Dual image stabilization is included and works comfortably in both still and video mode. That allows you to achieve crisp and detailed results even when you're in low lighting. The 1.04M dot tilting touchscreen display lets you more easily configure the settings you need to get the results you deserve. Wi-Fi is enabled, a huge quality of life feature if you want to quickly share your most recent videos with your followers.
4. Canon EOS Rebel SL2
DSLRs aren't generally known for their compact size, but the EOS Rebel manages to pack a lot of good things into a camera that can fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. It can shoot videos in full high definition at 1080p and 60 fps, and it makes use of dual autofocus so that you can easily track your subjects and produce smooth footage even if you aren't a trained professional. Further assisting vloggers is the presence of a semi-transparent overlay in the viewfinder that can more readily identify your subjects and environment. Those assistive features mean that this is a strong beginner vlogging camera even if the price tag is a little outside the budget range. But the inclusion of both a microphone jack and an HDMI input means that it can scale up to the needs of more professional photographers as well.
5. PANASONIC LUMIX GH5
The GH5 is a significant step down from the GH5S, but it's still an impressive piece of machinery, and it's undoubtedly a good vlogging camera. Five axis dual imaging stabilization is built right into the frame, so you can eliminate both shaking and blurriness using any of the compatible lenses in your kit. A 3.5 mm microphone jack comes standard, while a DMW-XLR1 microphone adaptor is available for those who really want to step up their audio game. Despite its ultra-lightweight mirrorless body, this camera is resistant to freezing, splashing, and dust. While some scoff at the digital viewfinders of mirrorless cameras, the OLED eye viewfinder screen produces a near perfect simulation of your environment under any lighting condition. That means you'll always know that your audience is seeing just what you're trying to show them.
6. Sony RX100VA Digital Camera
"Speed at any cost" could be the mantra of this Sony vlogging camera. Sony claims that it offers both the fastest auto focus speed and the fastest continuous shooting speed in a compact camera. It also boasts 315 different auto focus points. While a number of the cameras on our list include some sort of stabilization options, this is the only one to make use of Sony's proprietary Optical SteadyShot tech, a perk that can keep your shots still and focused even when in incredibly low light environments. The XGA OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder does an exceptional job ensuring that the shot you preview is the shot you'll end up with. Wi-Fi and NFC compatibility is built right in, but it also comes with the convenient option to use the phone remotely via a mobile device.
7. Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera
The EOS M100 represents the starter-level option for Canon's M-mount cameras, and while it runs a few hundred bucks, it's a reasonable option for beginners with a little bit of cash to spare. The M50 represents Canon's commitment to building out products with quality connectivity and video capabilities, and it delivers for the most part. Especially useful is its compatibility with the Camera Connect, a decision that automates the process of sending cameras to your phone. It also includes Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity for video sharing and uploading. The auto focus offers a wide area mode and makes use of eye detection and advanced subject tracking to assist with the process of shooting videos. As you can expect from any camera on this list, it can shoot video in 4K, and both full HD 1080p and UHD 24p resolutions are at your fingertips.
8. GoPro HERO7 Action Camera
The GoPro may have got its start with outdoor adventurers, but that entrepreneurial spirit makes it well suited to vloggers from all walks of life. And well the notion of a cheap vlogging camera may be a relative thing, the HERO7 is significantly less expensive than any of the other cameras on our list. It's also a waterproof camera, adding another point in its favor for more adventurous and thrill-seeking vloggers. The live streaming option is perfect for vloggers since it allows them to connect directly to their followers in real time. The HyperSmooth video stabilization, meanwhile, replicates the advantages of a gimbal without having to invest in or carry around any extra equipment. The quality of the microphone isn't exactly best in class, but it's decent, and it's more than made up for by the presence of a great time lapse feature.
9. Canon EOS 6D Mark II
The Mark II is right on point as far as connectivity goes, and that could be a huge selling point for plenty of vloggers. It doesn't just have Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth capabilities. It puts them to great use. That includes instant uploading of photos, convenient sharing tools, and the ability to control the camera remotely through your phone. The built-in GPS is a nice little wrinkle for nature and outdoor vloggers. This is also a vlogging camera with flip screen, and that 3" touchscreen is a great addition. The ability to manipulate the viewfinder any number of ways makes getting difficult or creative angle and not having to shoot them blind much easier. The one major mark this camera has going against it is the lack of true 4K. But as long as you aren't looking for top shelf graphical fidelity, the FHD should serve you perfectly well.
10. Canon EOS T7i DSLR Camera Review
One of Canon's best entry-level cameras for high-end photography is also one of the best entry-level cameras for vloggers. This t7i camera bundle is relatively inexpensive, and it contains a few features that seem custom made for the vlogging scene. You'll find Wi-Fi compatibility and a flip screen, and the 19 point cross-type autofocus mode can lend a helping hand when you're trying to shoot compelling footage. It delivers 1080p footage at 60 fps, and the video mode doesn't require much experience at all to learn. The binary approach to their auto and manual focus modes may be a bit limiting for more serious photographers, but it allows for quicker shooting and a shallower learning curve. The lack of options in the auto focus would maybe be easier to indict if it didn't work so effectively as is.
Best Vlogging Cameras Buyer’s Guide
What is a Good Vlogging Camera?
The features and metrics that make a camera ideal for general purpose needs, or even the demands of a professional photographer, aren’t necessarily going to be the same traits that a vlogger is looking for. No matter what a vlogger’s subject is, the goal is generally to provide more personal and specialized materials. And while the wide variety of different types of vloggers means that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, there are a few features common in the type of vlogging camera that YouTubers use.
- Microphones: Internal camera mics are generally not of the highest quality, so if you’re aiming for the big time, you’ll likely want to consider looking at a camera with a mic input. That said, inputs re generally regarded as a premium feature, so you won’t find a mic input in most cheaper vlogging cameras. But conveying your personality is important to most vloggers, and sound quality isn’t something you want to sacrifice.
- Wireless Connectivity: Vlogging wouldn’t exist without the internet, and while wireless connectivity isn’t an absolute necessity, it can make the life of a vlogger significantly easier. Wi-Fi is ideal, but the inclusion of Bluetooth alone is a huge selling point for a vlogging camera.
- Overall performance: The aperture of the lens can have a major effect in the quality of a vlogging camera. An f/1.8 aperture is what you should ideally be looking for in your camera, but it’s not going to be a necessity for all vloggers. Consider looking at cameras that offer quality low light performance if you tend to spend a lot of time outdoors or in environments where you can’t control the situation. Otherwise, you can compensate pretty effectively by properly staging the studio where you shoot your performances.
Types of Cameras For Bloggers
Cameras fall into a wide variety of different categories, but there are a number of options that can suitably serve the needs of a vlogger. Your personal preferences and the vlogging field in which your working will play a major role in picking out the right camera, and that’s why it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Point and Shoot: Simple, effective, and portable. Point and shoot cameras don’t require a whole lot of expertise or maintenance, but that also means that they’re largely lacking in the sort of advanced features that can help videos look truly professional. But the lack of a learning curve means that they can bring you a long way if you’re aiming for a guerilla look or if your personality can do much of the heavy lifting in building an audience. The compact nature of point and shoot cameras and the fact that you don’t need to carry around extra gear means that they’re ideal for travel photographers as well.
- Digital Single-Lens Reflex Cameras: Professional photographers have sworn up and down about the quality of DSLR cameras for years and for good reason. But the goal of vloggers isn’t always to get the best shots. That said, if you’re willing to take the time to learn the intricacies of a DSLR camera and invest in the lenses and accessories necessary, they’re exceptional cameras for vlogging. The size of these cameras mean they’re best suited for vloggers who can shoot in a controlled environment or those who don’t mind lugging gear around. DSLRs are often popular with fashion, makeup, and food vloggers.
- Mirrorless: Mirrorless cameras are just starting to come into their own, and these newest models offer many of the strengths of DSLRs with few of the drawbacks. They tend to be smaller and more lightweight than DSLRs because there’s no need to build in a mirror, and their lenses tend to be light as well. And as they start to become more popular, many mirrorless cameras are packing in all the features you’d expect from a DSLR. The one main drawback is that the necessity of using a simulated viewfinder means that there can be some discrepancy in what you see through the viewfinder and what your audience will ultimately experience, but investing in a quality mirrorless camera can mitigate that issue almost entirely.
- Action Cams: The fact that our only entry in the action cam category is the GoPro HERO7 isn’t an indictment of this breed of camera. It’s simply a testament to how the HERO7 is. Despite their compact nature and reasonable price tags, action cams like the HERO7 are durable, packed to the gills with features, and of good to great quality in terms of video performance. And by their very nature, they’re designed to withstand extreme conditions. Many vloggers will find that these benefits make up for the overall poor mic quality, but you’ll likely want to edit commentary to your videos after the fact if you rely primarily on action cams.
A camera isn’t just a vlogger’s primary tool. It’s the mouthpiece they use to broadcast their message to all of their followers. And while the cost of a camera may seem prohibitive, you have to think of it as an investment in your future. Just bear in mind that just because a camera is expensive doesn’t mean it’s the all-around best choice, and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s the singular best choice for your video series. Take the time to consider what you need, and carefully weigh the options in our guide before pulling the trigger.