The 10 Best 4k Vlogging Cameras 2021

7 best 4k vlogging cameras / Featured image
My favorite choice: Panasonic GH5

Getting a camera with real 4k recording capacities is a way of preparing your gear for the future. Even though this resolution—also called 3840×2160 and Ultra HD—still isn’t very common, each year it becomes more popular.

So if you want to start catching up, here are the best 4k vlogging cameras you can choose for your channel.

Before starting, you should actually ask yourself: do I really need 4k? The good thing is that this resolution is becoming easily accessible thanks to mirrorless cameras, but what are the implications of having one?

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Our Top 3 Picks

CameraStabilizationResolutionWeightPrice
Sony ZV-1
Optical2160p30 (4k)294g (0.65 lb)
$648.00
Sony Alpha ZV-E10
No2160p30 (4k)343g (0.76 lb)
$799.99
Sony a7S III
5-Axis2160p120 (4k)699g (1.54 lb)
$4,199.95

Vlogging in 4k for Youtube: Worth It?

As a vlogger, I’m sure you’re interested in recording in 4k because you want to have the best quality possible to help you grow your channel. However, I wanted to give you a bit of information about the possibilities of your audience watching your 4k video.

The biggest issue that will keep people from watching your video in 4k is internet speed. Netflix recommends a speed of 25mbps to download 4k streams. Worldwide, the average speed is around 7.2mbps. In the US, the average internet speed is 18mbps:

average internet speed by country

This gives you an idea of how feasible it is for the average human to download your 4k video.

Not very likely, right?

That’s why it’s still okay to use a good 1080p video camera.

However, something a lot of people do is recording in 4k and bringing down the quality to 1080p. This is the way of providing a more accessible high-quality video. The result has a lot more sharpness than the typical HD video because the camera recorded more information and pixels.

If you want to experience 4k in its full potential, you have to watch a video recorded with a 4k device on a 4k display screen. Most people don’t have this kind of monitor, so bringing it down to 1080p is the way to make sure most people can watch your top-quality video.

Another thing you have to take into consideration is that recording in 4k can also bring you problems, and not only to your viewers.

Why You Should Downsize to 1080p

4K A7R II

4k is still quite a new technology. It is so new that other technologies are struggling to keep up the pace. These Ultra HD videos use a codec more complex than the typical 1080p, which is more easily handled by both software and hardware.

If you don’t have a good computer, you will struggle to edit a video in this resolution. These files are also much heavier, which will require more space on your disk and more uploading time. All this is partly the reason why social networks like Instagram still don’t accept 4k videos.

Downscaling is the best solution to all these problems. You won’t have to deal with a heavy file that also requires a lot of resources from your computer for editing. With this technique, you will still feel the sharpness of 4k without dealing with all this hassle. It won’t look exactly as the original file, but the result is still much better than simply recording in 1080p.

How to Downscale

To do this, you will simply have to change the resolution of the video you’re editing to 1920×1080—this is the resolution we call 1080p—on your timeline. The exact way of doing this will depend on your software.

Now that you know all the implications of recording in 4k and how to solve them, we are ready for our list.

The Best Vlogging 4k Cameras for 2020

I didn’t include any action camera here even though you can get 4k recording for less than $200. Why? Well, this is an article about real vlogging cameras.

Alright, alright, I’m not saying action cams aren’t real cameras, but they are only useful for point-of-view shooting. Do not use them as your main vlogging tool; they are only complementary; there’s a reason why some of them are so cheap.

And one more thing: it is perfect to assume that the higher the price of the camera, the better image quality you are going to get. There are some exceptions to the rule where cheaper cameras can be compared in terms of image quality to the highest priced, but I will make sure to mention when that’s the case.

Now, let’s see which ones are the best of the best in 4k.

1) Sony ZV-1

The Good

  • 4k recording
  • All the features for vlogging in a small size

The Bad

  • Loss of quality in low light
  • Pricey for a compact

Check on Amazon

Stabilization: Optical | Resolution: 2160p30 (4k) | Weight: 294g (0.65 lb)

What most vloggers want is a lightweight camera that can record high-quality video without too much hassle. Nobody wants a camera that gets out of focus randomly or that stops pickup up your voice. The Sony ZV-1 is a camera made to cover all these needs.

Sony has developed its autofocus system to the point of becoming arguably the best in 2021. And now, with this model, they’ve also included a directional built-in microphone that makes it unnecessary to use an external microphone. Still, you get the option to use one if you want.

The camera is as lightweight as a 4k camera can be. It can record slow-motion and time-lapses. It has a vertical mode that makes it easy to make videos for social media.

It even comes with a product showcasing autofocus mode for when you’re doing a product review and want to change the focus from your face to the product constantly.

The only disadvantage is unavoidable when we’re talking about a really small camera: a small sensor that makes it lose a bit of quality in low light.

Still, this is the best 4k camera for vlogging that you can get in 2021.

2) Sony Alpha ZV-E10

The Good

  • Top quality 4k for a fair price
  • Good for low light and Bokeh effect (APS-C Sensor)
  • Great continuous autofocus
  • Flip Screen, hot-shoe and mic jack

The Bad

  • No in-body stabilization

Check on Amazon

Stabilization: No | Resolution: 2160p30 (4k) | Weight: 343g (0.76 lb)

This camera is similar to the ZV-1 in a lot of ways, but with one main difference: it’s a mirrorless camera with a larger sensor.

This means it’s better for low-light recording, and it has an interchangeable lens. But it also means that you’ll need to invest more to get the same quality.

Why? The ZV-1 already has a fast f/1.8 lens with stabilization. You will need to invest a lot more to get the same type of fast lens. But on the other hand, this is a better return on investment in the long run because you can upgrade only the lens, instead of having to buy an entire camera every couple of years.

The only thing I dislike about it is the lack of in-body stabilization. Sony could have included it and it would’ve been the best mirrorless for vlogging. Instead, you’ll need to get a lens with stabilization to be able to use it for video.

However, it comes with everything else that makes the ZV-1 great for vlogging: flip screen, excellent eye-tracking autofocus, vertical video mode, external mic jack and directional built-in microphone.

This is the best choice for vloggers who don’t mind carrying a bit heavier weight if it means they’ll have better quality even if the lighting situation is not ideal.

3) Sony a7S III – Best 4k 60fps and 4k 120fps Vlogging Camera

sony a7rii, the best vlogging camera for youtube in 2016

The Good

  • Amazing for low light (Full-frame sensor)
  • Stunning 4k video at 120p
  • Great image stabilization
  • External mic input and flip screen

The Bad

  • Expensive
  • Heavier than most Mirrorless cameras

Check on Amazon

Sensor: Full-Frame | Stabilization: 5-Axis | Resolution: 2160p120 (4k) | Weight: 699g (1.54 lb)

The Sony A7S Mark III isn’t the most beginner-friendly camera, but it is the best in the market for 4k recording.

It can do what only a few can: record up to 120fps in 4k. This allows you to get ultra slow-motion videos in 4k.

It is the kind of camera that can record in complete darkness without losing much quality. It deals incredibly well with high-contrast images that push the limits of dynamic range.

The 5-axis stabilization is one of the best right now. You can pair it with optical from a compatible lens and electronic stabilization to basically get rid of the need for a gimbal.

It’s a full-frame camera that will achieve the shallowest depth of field we all love and that will allow you to record a lot of space. This makes it quite hard for you to get out of the frame, even without being able to watch what you’re recording.

But this camera is only for the serious vlogger or someone who’s truly looking for the best of the best 4k quality. It is expensive, and heavier than most vlogging cameras, so this is not for beginners.

Recommended lens to get: 28-70mm f/3.5-f/5.6

Recommended SD card: SanDisk 128GB SDXC Extreme Pro

4) Panasonic G100 – Best Value Mirrorless

The Good

  • Made for video (mic. port, flip screen, hot-shoe)
  • 4k recording
  • Affordable

The Bad

  • Not the best for low light (micro four thirds sensor)
  • No IBIS

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Sensor: Micro 4/3 | Stabilization: No | Resolution: 2160p30 (4k) | Weight: 419g (0.92 lb)

This G100 is Panasonic’s latest camera made for vloggers. It sits at a more affordable price range, so you’ll see that it lacks some things that most vloggers would want.

The most relevant thing is the lack of in-body stabilization, and the fact that it adds a 1.23x crop when in 4k. What this means is that the frame is going to decrease 1.23 times when in 4k. This makes it a bit less ideal for vlogging in 4k.

Still, it’s not bad for an affordable vlogging camera. You can’t expect top 4k recording at this price range.

You’ll get vertical video mode, a recording indicator so you know for sure the camera is recording (also available in the Sony ZV-1 and ZV-E10), flip-out screen, external mic input, and good autofocus when in vlogging mode.

But if you’re looking for really good 4k video, you might want to check other options. Even though those other options aren’t targeted at vloggers, they can still be great 4k vlogging cameras.

5) Sony RX100 VA

The Good

  • Natural colors without color grading
  • Pocketable and light
  • OIS and flip screen
  • Extreme slow motion recording (960fps)

The Bad

  • Not the best autofocus
  • Small sensor
  • ​No ​external mic port

Check on Amazon

Sensor: 1″ point-and-shoot | Stabilization: Optical | Resolution: 2160p30 (4k) | Weight: 0.60 lbs

The Sony RX100 Mark VA is one of the best compact cameras for video blogging. It records really high-quality video with realistic colors. This last thing is something a lot of people like when compared to other cameras that deliver more cartoonish colors, like the popular G7X Mark II.

The camera has really good image stabilization and it is outstanding in low light even though it has a small compact sensor. This allows it to be pocketable and smaller than the mirrorless you will see here. Its autofocus is also pretty good and has a nice flip screen that helps a lot when recording yourself.

However, it seems a bit expensive for a compact. You can get a really good mirrorless camera with a larger sensor for cheaper, although you won’t have the option of 960fps slow-motion.

Like almost all Point & Shoots, it also lacks an external mic port, which is one of the downsides compared to a mirrorless.

But this is the price you pay to have a small vlog camera that you can hold easily and put into your pocket. These cameras will always be the most common choice for vlogging, and that’s why it is first on the list even though it doesn’t have as many features as other cameras here.

Read the full review: Sony RX100 Mark V.

6) Panasonic GH5 – Best Youtube Camera

The Good

  • Made for video (mic. port, flip screen, hot-shoe)
  • Best 4k quality
  • Excellent stabilization

The Bad

  • Really heavy for a mirrorless

Check on Amazon

Sensor: Micro 4/3 | Stabilization: Dual I.S | Resolution: 2160p60 (4k) | Weight: 725g (1.59 lb)

This camera is a lot more accessible for lower budgets. It still isn’t cheap, but it will record amazing video.

The video quality is just as good as the A7 SII, the only things this one is lacking are the night recording capacities and shallow depth of field.

For the rest, it even offers more than the Sony. It has a fully articulating screen, Dual I.S.—hard to match for the Sony—, dual SD slots and more battery life to work with. The daytime video is truly stunning and its menu is easy to navigate with the touchscreen.

The fact that it is a Micro Four Thirds sensor, which is smaller than the DSLRs’ APS-C doesn’t mean you can’t use it at night. The camera still holds it pretty well in low light, and much better than any compact camera here. But it still is far from being the best option for exclusively low-light recording.

Recommended lens: 12-60MM, F3.5-5.6 ASPH

Recommended SD card: SanDisk 128GB SDXC Extreme Pro

Read the full review: Panasonic GH5.

7) Panasonic G95 – Best Value 4k Vlogging Camera

The Good

  • ​4kp30
  • Flip screen
  • ​Lightweight
  • ​V-Log Profile for video

The Bad

  • ​Smaller sensor (micro four thirds), which makes it worse than others for low light and bokeh effect

Check on Amazon

Sensor: Micro 4/3 | Stabilization: Yes | Resolution: 2160p30 (4k) | Weight: 484g (1.06 lb)

The Panasonic G95 is one of the cheapest mirrorless cameras to feature internal image stabilization. It also has a Dual IS, which makes it even smoother when combined with a lens compatible with the feature.

So, the Panasonic G95 has basically everything a vlogger could want: flip screen, external mic port, 5-axis Dual IS and a hot shoe for a shotgun mic.

And it can also record 4k up to 30fps. Everything for around a thousand bucks. It is an excellent deal for vloggers.

From all the cameras I’ve reviewed through the years, I’ve found this is the best balanced vlogging camera. The price, the continuous autofocus and all the features that make vlogging easier are there. You can’t expect its autofocus to match that of a 80D, but it does its job, even if it’s a bit slow. For the price and everything else that you get, it’s a great competitor.

The only real downside is the same as any Panasonic: the MFT sensor. This doesn’t make it the best choice for low light, but it still does an amazing job and it’s better at it than any compact that costs about the same.

Recommended lens: 12-60mm F3.5-5.6

Recommended SD card: Sandisk Extreme Pro – Flash Memory Card – 64 GB – SDXC UHS-I

Read the full review.

8) Sony A6400 – Best Value 4k Camera

The Good

  • Top 4k quality
  • APS-C sensor
  • Mic jack, IS, hot shoe
  • Small and lightweight

The Bad

  • No in-body stabilization

Check on Amazon

Sensor: APS-C | Stabilization: No | Resolution: 2160p30 (4k) | Weight: 403g (1.45 lb)

This Sony is one of my favorite cameras ever. It delivers an impressive 4k quality at a relatively low price range. It is comparable to the much more expensive mirrorless we’ve seen up until this point, and that’s already saying a lot.

The camera has one of the most reliable autofocus I’ve seen in a small camera. It is really good, especially when compared to the last two cameras, which are a lot more expensive. This makes it very attractive for vloggers, as you can make use of the Bokeh effect easily achieved by an APS-C sensor like this.

But the bad part is that it doesn’t have in-body stabilization.

This means that you’ll need to get a lens with optical stabilization, which will be more expensive.

And nothing beats in-body I.S. — and let’s not even talk about Dual I.S. —, so this is the big downside of the camera.

But it’s still an excellent choice if you want to record from a tripod.

For the rest of the features, it has the external mic port, and the hot shoe for a shotgun mic.

There is a lot of value for your money on this camera since it can record 4kp30 comparable to models that cost twice as much. A list like this wouldn’t be complete without it.

Recommended lens: 16-50mm Lens f/ 3.5-5.6

Recommended SD card: SanDisk 128GB SDXC Extreme Pro

Read our full review of the Sony a6400.

9) Panasonic G7 – Best 4k Mirrorless in a Budget

The Good

  • 4k video
  • Flip screen, hot shoe, mic jack
  • Good price​​​​
  • Lightweight

The Bad

  • No in-body image stabilization
  • ​​Smaller sensor (micro four thirds)

Check on Amazon

Sensor: Micro 4/3 | Stabilization: No | Resolution: 2160p30 (4k) | Weight: 14.64 oz / 415g

This one is basically the oldest version of the G85. It doesn’t come with the image stabilization, so you will always need a lens that comes with that, or you will regret it. This makes the upgrade of lenses a bit harder and gives narrower options, but at least the kit lens has stabilization.

For the rest, it is a similar camera since it has everything else that makes it attractive to vloggers: external mic port, flip screen, and hot shoe. It can also record 4kp30 at 100mbps bitrate, like the G85. This means that in terms of video quality, they are very similar.

The camera has a very plastic built, so that makes it really light. Some people don’t like it because they say it makes it feel cheap. Personally, I’d rather be able to hold a camera on a tripod for longer with a lighter camera.

It still isn’t the lightest camera and it isn’t pocketable, but the size and weight are at a great place for vlogging.

Recommended lens: 14-42mm kit lens

Recommended SD card: Sandisk Extreme Pro – Flash Memory Card – 64 GB – SDXC UHS-I

Read full review: Panasonic G7

10) Canon EOS M50 Mark II

The Good

  • 4k recording
  • Latest vlog camera
  • DSLR-Size sensor in a small size
  • Lots of vlog-friendly features

The Bad

  • Cropped 4k recording
  • Relatively short battery life

Check on Amazon

Stabilization: No | Resolution: 2160p24 (4k) | Weight: 387g (0.85 lb)

Canon stirred up quite an excitement when it launched the M50 back in March 2018. Vloggers and videographers alike were thrilled to know that this entry-level mirrorless camera comes with the capability of shooting 4K video.

Although this is quite a huge step up for Canon, it came with a minor downside in the form of an added crop factor of 1.7x to its APS-C sensor when recording in 4k mode.

This is why, even though we usually recommend this camera for most vloggers, this camera is so down in this list. If you’re looking for a truly 4k vlogging camera, the crop factor is something you will not like at all.

If you don’t take into account the crop, this is a great vlogging camera overall.

It comes with a flip touchscreen where you can manually touch focus or let its improved autofocusing system (with a whopping 143 AF points) do its job.

And perhaps having vloggers in mind, the M50 is equipped with an external microphone port, unlike the other M-series cameras.

The M50 is also a versatile camera for your all-around vlogging needs as its large 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor gives it a wide ISO range, which can be useful in shooting in poorly-lit spaces.

This is the advantage of a mirrorless over a point-and-shoot like the Sony ZV-1. Low-light recording is much better and you’ll get a more intense blur background effect naturally.

Finally, one more disadvantage is the lack of in-body stabilization. This means you’ll have to use a lens with stabilization to be able to record vlogs with it. But this is not a big deal when we’re talking about Canon since most of their lenses come with OIS.

Recommended lens: 15-45mm kit lens

Recommended SD card: Lexar Professional 633x 128GB SDXC UHS-I Card

Previous version (still viable): Canon EOS M50.