Top 8 Best Cameras for Gaming on YouTube and Twitch 2021

Every year, thousands of new Gaming YouTube channels and Twitch streaming channels get started. But only a few dozens survive.

To get stand out from the competition, many gamers are investing in better equipment.

And that’s why I’ve created this list of the best cameras for gaming.

You’ll find the best webcams, which are a good starting point for a lot of people.

best cameras for gaming videos

But I’ll also list the best mirrorless cameras you can buy if you really want the best quality to beat your opponents.

Before we begin, remember that no matter what camera you buy, you’ll also need a microphone and good lighting to go with it. So make sure to include space for these in your budget.

If you don’t want to waste more time, here are our top 3 picks.

**Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Our Top 5 Picks

To make it easier for you to choose, these are our favorite five. But later later on in this article will give you more options for different needs:

CameraFlip ScreenStabilizationResolutionPrice
Logitech C922
NoNo1080p30
$84.99
Sony a7 III
NoYes2160p120 (4k)
$1,998.00
Panasonic GH5
YesYes2160p60 (4k)
Price not available
Canon EOS M50 Mark II
YesNo2160p24 (4k)
$893.94
Sony a6400
YesNo2160p30 (4k)
$998.00

Best Cheap Camera for Youtube Gaming

The cheapest camera you can use will always be a webcam. The good thing about them is that they’re cheap and easy to use.

You don’t need to get anything extra or spend a lot of time setting them up.

On the downside, they offer by far the worst image quality.

In fact, there is only one webcam on the market that deserve to be on any list of the best webcams:

Logitech C922

The Good

  • Only webcam capable of real 1080p video 
  • Decent autofocus and cheap price

The Bad

  • It’s still a webcam…

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This is the most popular camera for gaming videos and streams. 

Its predecessor, the C920, had been the king of webcams for years, and now this is a slightly improved version that comes with some extra features for live streaming.

This is the only webcam that can truly record 1080p video. And it will look decent even if you don’t have the best lighting, although it’s still recommended that you use good lighting for your videos or you won’t be able to use this camera to its full potential.

The camera comes with a background removal function — that isn’t that good, honestly, if you don’t have a green screen.

But it is without any doubt the best cheap camera you can get for gaming. It is the minimum you should consider spending.

However, if you want the get the absolute best image quality you can get, you won’t be using a webcam. 

Instead, you’ll need a regular mirrorless or DSLR camera.

Why You Should Use a Normal Camera Instead of a Webcam

Want amazing image quality? Then, use a real camera instead.

It’s how you can achieve the absolute best quality for your YouTube videos or Twitch live streams.

It will make a ton of difference — like night and day, I’d say:

logitech c920 webcam versus mirrorless Panasonic G9 micro four thirds camera
These how both look with bad lighting

How to Stream With Any Normal Camera 

The cameras you’ll see on this post are all compatible with their brand’s official streaming software. Most of them just require you to install their respective software, and then connect it.

If you want to use another camera that is not supported by these apps, you’ll need three things:

  1. A USB HDMI capture card like ElGato Cam Link.
  2. A camera with clean HDMI output.
  3. A camera with unlimited runtime (that you can keep running as long as it’s charged).

With ElGato’s Cam Link, you can broadcast your camera’s 4k display by connecting your camera to it, and the link to the computer.

How does it Work?

To stream with a normal camera, what ElGato Cam Link does is take what is shown in your camera’s LCD screen, and transfer it to your broadcast.

You’re not actually RECORDING with the camera.

You’re just letting the camera sit idle (but turned on), and connect it to the Cam Link to transfer what you see on the camera screen to the internet.

So, the reason why you need a CLEAN HDMI output, is that you need a camera that can turn off the overlay that displays info like recording time, date, focus tracker and more.

Not every camera has this ability to turn off the overlays on the screen — although this is getting more common in modern cameras.

Also, you’ll need a camera that can be turned on for as long as it has a battery charge. 

A lot of cameras have a runtime limit and there’s no way around it. If you don’t get one with unlimited runtime, your camera will turn off every, let’s say, 10-30 minutes.

Thankfully, I’ve already selected the best cameras for gaming that don’t show any overlay and that have unlimited runtime below.

Top 7 Best Gaming Cameras (Mirrorless and DSLR)

Wonder how some streamers like Shroud and Ninja get that beautifully blurred background, amazing colors, and quality?

The answer is using a camera with a large sensor. 

Mirrorless and DSLR cameras have a much larger sensor than webcams. That’s why they look so much better.

This is the reason why I haven’t included any camcorder here. They have really small sensors, just like webcams. So they’re not worth getting instead of a webcam.

These are the best options for this year:

1. For the best blurred background: Sony a7 III

The Good

  • Full-frame sensor provides the best performance in low light
  • It comes with all the vital professional features

The Bad

  • No flip screen
  • High price

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The way to achieve the most intense Bokeh — or blurred background — effect, you want a full-frame sensor camera like the Sony a7 III.

This one is the most popular choice because, believe it or not, it’s one of the most affordable full-frame cameras right now.

You get the best of full-frame sensors and all the features that any professional photographer would want.

Also, full-frame sensors offer the best low-light recording quality. So even if you want to use a dim light in your room, you’ll still get a high-quality image.

The camera also comes with 5-axis image stabilization, which provides smooth video if you want to also use it for vlogging.

But be aware that it isn’t the lightest camera you could use if you want to use it also for vlogging.

The only real downside of this camera is, of course, the price.

But you get what you pay for.

​2. Best Video Quality: Panasonic GH5

The Good

  • Unmatchable 4k quality for the price
  • Dual I.S. gives it the best stabilization available
  • Fast and accurate autofocus

The Bad

  • Not the best for low light
  • Heavy

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Panasonic cameras come with the smallest sensor (Micro 4/3) of all the mirrorless and DSLR cameras featured here.

This means that you won’t get the same Bokeh effect as Sony and Canon cameras.

However, they offer the best image quality for the price.

If you’re willing to sacrifice the blurred background effect, you can get even better image quality (more dynamic range, and high details) with Panasonic for a cheaper price.

This camera also comes with arguably the best stabilization of the market: Dual I.S.

This stabilization allows it to use both the in-body stabilization with the optical stabilization from compatible lenses. Using both stabilization systems at the same time makes it achieve the smoothest image you can get.

The 4k 60fps at 400mbps is the best offer on the market — and it’s not nearly the most expensive camera.

With the Panasonic GH5, you’ll simply get the highest-quality video capability available (4k at 60 fps), but you’ll sacrifice that gorgeous blurred background many people love to get. 

Also, low-light recording is not as good as a full-frame camera, like the Sony a7 III above. But it will only affect you if you want to record inside a cave.

For reasons already explained, this camera is considered the best camera for video.

You can’t go wrong with it unless you REALLY want that blurred background effect.

3. Canon EOS M50 Mark II

The Good

  • APS-C sensor
  • Portable
  • Fast and accurate autofocus

The Bad

  • Cropped 4k recording

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If you want an APS-C camera for both gaming videos and vlogging, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is the best option you can get for your money.

Actually, I’ve mentioned it as the best vlogging camera on the market for starters.

It offers 4k recording quality with a crop, just like the Rebel SL3. But the difference is that this one comes with in-body stabilization. This saves you a headache when looking for good lenses to go with it.

It’s a camera that seems like it was made for vloggers, but it also happens to be great for gaming videos from home.

Don’t let the fact that I featured it last make you think this isn’t a worthy camera. If it made it to this article, it’s one of the best options for gaming videos.

To use it for streaming, make sure you disable Eco Mode in the camera settings. Also, disable Auto Power Off.

4. Sony a6400

The Good

  • APS-C sensor
  • Portable and great 4k quality
  • Fast and accurate autofocus

The Bad

  • No in-body stabilization

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This is an APS-C sensor camera, which allows it to have a better Bokeh effect than Panasonic’s micro four-thirds sensors.

It’s not as intense as the one achieved by the a7 III’s full-frame sensor, but it’s also a lot more affordable.

So if you really want that blurred background, this Sony a6400 is a great option for the money.

The only real downside to it is that it doesn’t come with in-body stabilization.

However, if you’re using it for gaming videos, you won’t move your camera around, so it doesn’t matter.

It’s only something to bear in mind if you want to use it for vlogging too.

If you want to take the camera with you and record while walking, then you’ll need a lens with optical stabilization.

If you can ignore the lack of stabilization, this camera offers a good amount of features for the price: flip screen, mic port, hot shoe, and fast, accurate autofocus, and beautiful 4k video.

5. Panasonic G9

The Good

  • Similar to the GH5, but more affordable
  • Dual I.S. gives it the best stabilization available
  • Fast and accurate autofocus

The Bad

  • Not the best for low light

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The Panasonic G9 is a similar camera to the GH5 in many ways. But it sacrifices a little bit of recording quality for a better price.

So if you like the possibility of recording 4k video at 60fps, but the GH5 is too expensive for you, the G9 is the next good option you have.

It shares most features with GH5, like flip screen, external mic port, headphone port, and Dual I.S. for the best stabilization possible.

But it also shares the downside that it’s a micro four-thirds sensor camera.

So the Bokeh effect won’t be as good as going for an APS-C or full-frame sensor camera (both Sony and Canon offer these larger sensor sizes).

Still, I own this camera and it’s one of my favorites, especially for its photography features too.

It comes with a 6k photo mode, fast shooting, and useful features for wildlife photography like animal eye-tracking mode — great for taking pictures of your cats, btw.

This model was aimed at photographers, but it just happens that the video features are almost just as good as the video-centric GH5.

6. Best cost-effective camera: Panasonic G7 

The Good

  • Affordable 4k
  • Just what you need for gaming  videos
  • Fast and accurate autofocus

The Bad

  • No in-body stabilization
  • Cropped 4k recording

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This is the cheapest mirrorless camera that I can recommend to you this year.

The fact that it’s cheap doesn’t mean that the image quality is bad at all.

The camera can still record 4k video. Naturally, it won’t have the same level of detail as the more expensive cameras above, but it’s still a quality that most people will find attractive.

Just like the other Panasonic cameras mentioned, this one doesn’t offer a strong Bokeh effect, but it comes with almost every video-friendly feature for the lowest price.

It’s only lacking in-body stabilization, which is common in cameras around this price. But it’s something you don’t need for gaming videos.

It comes with a flip screen, mic port, and hot shoe.

If you want high quality, but your budget is limited, the Panasonic G7 is the most cost-effective option.

7. Canon Rebel SL3

The Good

  • APS-C sensor
  • Portable
  • Fast and accurate autofocus

The Bad

  • No in-body stabilization
  • Cropped 4k recording

Check on Amazon

If you want an affordable APS-C camera for the blurred background effect, the Canon Rebel SL3 is your best option.

It’s a DSLR camera, but Canon has marketed it as the “lightest and smallest DSLR on the market”, which is true as this article is being published.

It’s the camera to go for if you just want the basic features for videos (including 4k recording), and it’s only lacking in-body stabilization.

The 4k recording mode is not the same as the more expensive cameras. It comes with an extra crop, which means the camera won’t use the entire sensor to capture it (the Panasonic G7 and Canon EOS M50 also have this condition). It will result in a slightly smaller frame than when you use 1080p.

Thankfully, Canon offers one of the best lens selections on the market, so finding a lens that is wide-angle enough for it isn’t hard, nor expensive.

From all the cameras in this list, this one offers the best battery duration with the capacity of up to 1070 shots in a single charge.

Bear in mind that it requires an AC adapter (AC-E6N and DC coupler DR-E18) for constant power.

Got Lost? Summary

The best gaming cameras are the ones with a larger sensor.

Webcams have the smallest sensor, but they’re also the most affordable by far. You can still get a decent 1080p video if you have good lighting.

But if you really want quality that will make people ask you how the hell your camera looks so crisp, you’ll want a mirrorless or DSLR.

These cameras come in 3 sensor sizes: full-frame, APS-C and Micro 4/3.

Full-frame is the largest sensor available, but it’s also the most expensive. 

APS-C is a more affordable option if you want a blurred background in your videos. 

Finally, micro four-thirds are the smallest of the three and they won’t give you the Bokeh effect you may want, but they offer the best price for the highest quality.

You can also use them for streaming if you get ElGato’s Cam Link.

If you want to achieve the best blurred background effect, get a Sony or Canon camera.

If you want the best image quality for the price, get a Panasonic camera.

There are many options in the market, but you should go for the one you can afford and that looks like the best for your particular needs.

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