Top 10 Best Cameras & Lenses for Lifestyle Blogging [2020]

So you want to be a lifestyle blogger?

You've probably realized that you're gonna need a good camera because an important part of your content will be your photos and videos.

I’ve been reviewing cameras for the past 4-5 years and I can help you find the best camera for a lifestyle blogger like yourself.

best cameras and lenses for lifestyle bloggers

Let’s not waste more time. Here are our top 3 picks to give you a glance at what’s coming:

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Our Top 3 Cameras for Lifestyle Blogging

Model
Best Choice
Best for Video
Best Affordable
Image
Sony α7R IV Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (ILCE7RM4/B)
Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K Digital Camera, 20.3 Megapixel Mirrorless Camera with Digital Live MOS Sensor, 5-Axis Dual I.S. 2.0, 4K 4:2:2 10-Bit Video, Full-Size HDMI Out, 3.2-Inch LCD, DC-GH5 (Black)
CANON EOS REBEL SL3 DSLR Camera, Built-in Wi-Fi, Dual Pixel CMOS AF and 3.0 inch Vari-angle Touch Screen, Body, Black
Megapixels
61
20.3
24.1
Sensor Size
Full-frame
Micro 4/3
APS-C
Best Choice
Model
Image
Sony α7R IV Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (ILCE7RM4/B)
Megapixels
61
Sensor Size
Full-frame
Price
More info
Best for Video
Image
Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K Digital Camera, 20.3 Megapixel Mirrorless Camera with Digital Live MOS Sensor, 5-Axis Dual I.S. 2.0, 4K 4:2:2 10-Bit Video, Full-Size HDMI Out, 3.2-Inch LCD, DC-GH5 (Black)
Megapixels
20.3
Sensor Size
Micro 4/3
Price
More info
Best Affordable
Image
CANON EOS REBEL SL3 DSLR Camera, Built-in Wi-Fi, Dual Pixel CMOS AF and 3.0 inch Vari-angle Touch Screen, Body, Black
Megapixels
24.1
Sensor Size
APS-C
Price
More info

And now, let’s talk a bit about how to choose the best one for you. 

The first step is picking the sensor size of your camera.

You'll find below the good and the bad about each type of sensor.

Then, I’ll show you our top 10 picks, which includes cameras of all price ranges and sensor sizes. 

And finally, we’ll give you some lens recommendations for lifestyle bloggers.

Let’s go!

How to Choose the Perfect Camera Sensor for Lifestyle Blogging

Let’s get one thing out of the way first…

There are 3 sensor sizes that interchangeable-lens cameras have nowadays. They are, in order from larger to smaller, the following:

  • Full-frame
  • APS-C
  • Micro 4/3

Get this: no sensor size is better than the others.

For example, full-frames are the largest sensors. 

sensor-size-camera-body-differences

They’re more expensive and can deliver great quality in low light.

And because of that, a lot of people like to say they’re the best.

But they come at a cost — and not only monetary.

Full-frames give you more room to work with since you will capture a bigger frame. They’ll also give you the most amazing Bokeh effect (blurred background) everyone loves to see.

But they’re HUGE. These cameras are not as easy to carry around, especially when we’re talking about a DSLR.

And they’re a lot more expensive. But the worst part is that their lenses are also a lot heavier and expensive.

So going for a smaller sensor size can make sense. Plus, they also have their own advantages.

Full-Frame, APS-C or Micro 4/3? Which Sensor is Best for Lifestyle Blogging?

I do think that full-frames are still what most lifestyle bloggers will love in terms of image quality.

If you have the budget and want to get the best quality, go for a full-frame. 

aps-c vs micro four thirds vs full frame sensor size different frames

But they can also be a pain to carry around, so don’t be afraid to go for an APS-C or even a micro 4/3 sensor.

The cameras that have a smaller sensor will also give you more for your money.

APS-C cameras are a lot easier to carry with you and they’re still pretty decent in low light. And they also can get you a decent Bokeh effect.

And Micro 4/3 might be the smallest sensor, but they come with many awesome features for a ridiculous price.

They’re better than most full-frame cameras when it comes to video. 

And as long as you’re not recording inside a cave, you won’t feel the need for better low-light performance.

So, if you want a camera that is also awesome for video recording, go for a micro 4/3.

And if you’re not sure, just go for an APS-C camera. 

Since they’re the perfect middle ground, you can play with it for a while. 

Eventually, you’ll decide to try other cameras with different sensors sizes. 

And someday, you’ll have chosen your favorite.

Just make sure to enjoy the journey.

If you want deeper info about the different sensor sizes, check out this video:

Now, here are the best cameras for lifestyle blogging for each sensor type:

Best Full-Frames for Lifestyle Blogging

1. Our Favorite: Sony a7R IV

What we like:

  • 61 MP high-resolution pictures
  • In-body stabilization
  • Fast and accurate autofocus

What we don't like:

  • Requires a good computer to handle the files
  • No flip screen
  • Expensive

When it comes to photography, no camera can beat the Sony a7R IV at the moment. This is the best camera for bloggers that have a good budget.

Sony made this camera for photographers that need the best quality for professional work.

It’s not the best for video, but its 61 MP sensor combined with a relatively small size and 5-axis sensor stabilization make it the favorite for most photographers this year.

The possibility to take 61-megapixel pictures lets you crop your photos without losing image quality. If you need to zoom in a picture before publishing it, you won’t lose image quality and it will look like the original photo.

You can expect a camera with a great dynamic range that is also easy to hold and use thanks to its grip and feel.

The downside? Getting a camera with such high resolution can be annoying when it comes to managing your files. It will produce really heavy files and you're computer will suffer when editing them. 

Also, it is quite expensive. This camera is just for the lifestyle blogger who’s serious about the quality of the pictures they want to achieve — and when money isn’t a problem.

What we like:

  • Good balance between video and photo features
  • In-body stabilization
  • Fast and accurate autofocus

What we don't like:

  • No flip screen
  • Expensive

Even though this Sony alpha full-frame is a lot cheaper than the a7R IV, it is slightly better at higher ISO. This makes it retain better image quality in extremely low-light conditions.

However, this one has a 24 MP sensor instead of an outstanding 61 MP. So it won’t give you the same kind of highly detailed image.

Nevertheless, the camera has a really good dynamic range and it’s the main choice of people that are not willing to drop over $3,000 just for a camera body. After all, full-frame lenses are also expensive.

This model does give you more flexibility as it’s also pretty nice for video recording. 

But it’s a shame that it’s lacking the fully articulated screen since this could be one of the top cameras for video.

Still, if you want a camera that is the absolute best for video, the Panasonic GH5 we will review is still the best one for that kind of job. 

What we like:

  • Full-frame with good price/quality relationship
  • Canon has the best lens selection
  • Flip screen

What we don't like:

  • Heavy
  • No stabilization

In other times, the Canon EOS 5D was the number 1 choice for semi-professional work.

But since Sony released its a7 lineup, they’ve been struggling to give reasons to purchase their heavier DSLR cameras.

The Canon EOS R is the answer to this problem. It's their first small mirrorless full-frame camera.

It’s a basic full-frame camera that is available for a more affordable price.

And even though it doesn’t have the same dynamic range as the Sony a7 III and boasts only 1 slot for a memory card, it’s a good selection for those that don’t want the most professional camera but want the benefits of a full-frame.

That’s why I find that it is an excellent choice for lifestyle bloggers.

It comes in a luggable size (for a full-frame), and it’s available for cheaper than the Sony a7 III.

The downside, when compared to the Sony a7 III, is that it doesn’t come with in-body stabilization. So you'll depend on a lens with OIS (thankfully, Canon has tons of them).

Best APS-C for Lifestyle Blogging

What we like:

  • Great color science
  • Luggable
  • Great quality for the price

What we don't like:

  • Not a lot of improvements from the previous model X-T3

Fujifilm is one of our favorite APS-C brands because they get you great pictures out of the camera, especially when it comes to color.

They’re available at a fair price for the quality that you get.

Plus, they look retro and cool. Who doesn’t want to show it off to others?

I’d like to point out that the Fujifilm and X-T3 and X-T4 are basically equally good.

However, the newer model, the X-T4, comes with in-body stabilization (IBIS) and a flip screen.

This is a nice addition, but we can’t help but wonder if the significant price difference is worth it.

Most lenses available come with optical image stabilization, so paying a few hundred more for this feature — and a flip screen — might not be worth it.

It’s also one of the best options on the market for video. 

So, it basically performs well for both photo and video, which makes it a really versatile camera.

Finally, both cameras can record 4k video 60fps at 400mps, just like the Panasonic GH5. 

But the GH5 is available at a much cheaper price (when compared to the X-T4) and it still comes with IBIS and flip screen. It just rocks a smaller sensor, so it’s a bit worse for low-light recording.

What we like:

  • Great color science
  • Amazing quality for the price

What we don't like:

  • No stabilization
  • No flip screen

The X-T30 probably has the best price/quality relationship of the market.

If you want a camera you’ll feel is worth much more than what you paid, this is the one.

Fujifilm’s great color science is also present in this one. 

Moreover, the impressive thing is that the image quality difference from the X-T3 is imperceptible. 

This is a huge deal taking into account that this camera’s significantly cheaper.

Of course, expect the camera to lack a lot of the features to compensate.

You’re sacrificing nonessentials like durability, environmental sealing, headphone port, video quality (maximum bitrate of 200mbps), and half the shutter speed (max 1/4000 instead if 1/8000 like the X-T3).

This latter limitation will only affect you in super bright scenarios, or in scenes that you want to capture an object moving at a high speed. Probably, things you won’t encounter as a lifestyle blogger.

Finally, it’s also a good camera for travel since it only weighs 383 g, or 0.84 lb.

What we like:

  • Flip screen
  • The fastest autofocus
  • Small and luggable

What we don't like:

  • No stabilization

The Sony a6 lineup is really good if you want a camera that is easy to take with you without sacrificing low-light performance.

They’re small, lightweight, and they come with an APS-C sensor.

For lifestyle bloggers, we prefer the Sony a6400.

Its autofocus is extremely fast and accurate. Sony has marketed it as the fastest autofocus, which is nice when you need to take a quick picture of your kids or pets reliably. You’ll appreciate this if you’re a mommy blogger.

The biggest limitation this camera has is the lack of IBIS. So make sure that you pick a lens with stabilization (the kit lens has it).

For the rest, it comes with every video-friendly feature. So it is a nice vlogging camera for YouTube too.

7. Best Affordable: Canon Rebel SL3

What we like:

  • Canon has the best lens selection
  • Good video features

What we don't like:

  • No stabilization
  • Low dynamic range

If you’re on a tight budget, the Canon Rebel SL3 might be your best option right now.

The good thing about it is that it comes with everything that you need for both video and photography.

Of course, it’s not the best camera when it comes to dynamic range and overall image quality. 

However, you get a flip screen, external mic port, decent autofocus, and an APS-C sensor that will allow you to take good pictures in most situations.

If this is still out of the budget for you, you might want to check out the Nikon D3500. This is truly the most basic camera that you can get if you only care about photography. It won’t give you as many useful features for videos like this Canon, but it will get you what you need to start taking pictures as a complete beginner.

Best Micro 4/3 for Lifestyle Blogging

What we like:

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

What we don't like:

  • Not the best for low light
  • Heavy

This camera can record 4k 60 fps video at 400mbps. This, combined with the rest of the video-friendly features, allows it to be the best camera for video. 

It's only matched by the Fujifilm X-T3 and X-T4 at the moment. But the X-T3 lacks the IBIS and flip screen, and the X-T4 is a lot more expensive.

However, it will beat any Fujifilm camera when it comes to image stabilization.

The sensor comes with a Dual I.S. system that allows it to use both stabilization systems from the camera and the lens together to provide the best stabilization.

However, to use this feature, you’ll need a Panasonic Dual I.S. compatible lens. But if you don’t have one, you still get standard 5-axis stabilization.

You’ll appreciate the IBIS when you’re recording handheld videos and taking pictures in low light.

The downside is that it is a really heavy micro 4/3 camera. This is the consequence of becoming the best camera for video of the market.

If you think you’ll be using it a lot more for pictures than videos, then another option is probably best — the Fujifilm X-T3 or X-T4 are better hybrid cameras for both uses.

What we like:

  • World-best stabilization
  • 50 MP for handheld photos and 80 MP on a tripod with Hi-Res mode
  • 60 fps shooting and a huge number of features

What we don't like:

  • That we can't find a full-frame with all of these features

This Olympus has turned into a huge deal in the short time that it’s been available to the public.

The camera features the world-best stabilization at 7.5 stops with “Sync IS” compatible lenses. And 7 stops with every other lens.

This allows the camera to capture pictures in extremely low-light conditions without compromising the image quality and sharpness.

And of course, this also means that video recording with this camera will look as smooth as using a gimbal — although the GH5 is still a better option for video since it can record 4k 60 fps at 400mbps, while this model can only record 4k 30fps at 102mbps.

Thanks to its advanced stabilization, the fact that this camera has a small micro 4/3 sensor becomes almost meaningless.

This means it has every single feature you could ask in a camera for a much cheaper price, with good performance in low light and with the smallest viable body.

One of those impressive features is the 50 MP-handheld and 80 MP-tripod Hi-Res mode. This allows the camera to take almost as high-resolution handheld images as the A7R IV for half the price if the light conditions permit it.

The downside? It’s a bit expensive for a micro 4/3. You could get a full-frame Sony a7 III for just a few hundred more — although you wouldn’t have the fast 60fps shooting and the insane 80 MP Hi-Res mode.

What we like:

  • Great price/quality relationship
  • 80 MP Hi-Res mode and 4k at 60 fps
  • Cool features for video and wildlife photography

What we don't like:

  • A bit heavy for a micro 4/3

If you’re attracted to the Panasonic GH5 or the Olympus D-EM-1 Mark III, but they’re outside your budget, the Panasonic G9 is a great option.

It boasts a Dual I.S. system like the Panasonic GH5, with a 6.5 stop compensation. This gets close to the Olympus’ 7 stops IBIS.

Also, it can record 4k at 60 fps, but at a lower bitrate of 150mbps instead of the GH5's 400mbps.

But the camera comes with good autofocus and extra features for wildlife photography like animal face detection.

It's a bit heavy for a micro 4/3, but it also comes with flip screen, external mic port, and headphone port.

Overall, it is a good choice for the price.

Best Lenses for Lifestyle Blogging

Life is unpredictable. 

And when you’re documenting it on a blog or social media account, you must be prepared to capture the best moment right when it happens.

And if you choose the wrong lens, it will make your life miserable. Believe me.

zoom lens vs prime lens size difference

Let me explain:

For most types of bloggers, I recommend using prime lenses, which have no zoom, because they’re simply better.

They have a faster aperture, which allows them to capture super sharp images, even in low light. And the funny thing is that they’re even cheaper and lighter than zoom lenses.

However, lifestyle bloggers will find zoom lenses more useful.

Especially if you have kids. You just don’t know what situations you’ll find yourself in every day.

If you use prime lenses that have no zoom, you’ll need to change the lens a lot depending on the situation.

This can limit you and make taking a picture a chore.

However, if you get a zoom lens, you don’t need to change your lens every time you need to take a pic.

You should get a zoom lens that covers a wide focal length range so you’re able to use it anywhere.

One of the best lenses for this is the 24-70mm f/2.8 that most brands offer.

But be aware, as it is quite expensive.

If you don’t have the budget right now, then just get the kit lens that has a similar focal length.

It won't give you a result as sharp, but at least you’ll save a thousand bucks!

I still recommend you to get prime lenses because they will deliver the best quality, and they aren’t expensive.

Maybe, you could get the kit lens, and add a 35mm prime lens to get started. You can use it to take some higher quality pictures when the circumstances allow you to use it.

You’ll find that out of all prime lenses, the 35mm is useful in more situations inside and outside the home.

Eventually, you’ll eventually want to get each of the following prime lenses:

For full-frame:

  • 35mm
  • 50mm
  • 85mm

For APS-C:

  • 20mm
  • 30mm
  • 50mm

For Micro 4/3:

  • 17.5mm
  • 25mm
  • 42.5mm

This is the holy trinity of lenses. You get these three, and you have a way of taking extremely high-quality pictures in almost any situation.

You’ll find below the list of the best 24-70mm lenses for each brand, and also the best prime lenses for each. 

If you have a smaller sensor camera, then the 24-70mm might not give you the wide range that you need. 

So I’ll also show you more options for smaller sensors below.

Remember to get the lens with the fastest aperture (lowest f number, e.g. f/2.8, f/1.8, f/1.4) you can afford. They will get you a sharper result. Prime lenses have the fastest aperture of all.

24-70mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens 

-CanonCanon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens

-Sony: Sony SEL2470GM E-Mount Camera Lens: FE 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master Full Frame Standard Zoom Lens

-Fuji: Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

-Panasonic: PANASONIC LUMIX Professional 12-35mm Camera Lens G X VARIO II, F2.8 ASPH, Dual I.S. 2.0 with Power O.I.S., Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds, H-HSA12035 (2017 Model, Black)

Prime Lenses

Sony 20mm

Sony 35mm

Canon 20mm

Canon 35mm

Fujifilm 20mm

Micro four-thirds 17.5mm

Conclusion

Full-frame cameras are the most expensive, but they give you better performance in low light and arguably the highest quality images.

However, they're expensive.

APS-C cameras are a lot more affordable and still have good performance in low light.

Finally, micro 4/3 cameras are excellent for video and they give you tons of features for a cheaper price. However, they have the worst low-light performance (only noticeable really if you're recording or taking pics in the night).

And when it comes to lenses, either get the kit lens that comes with the camera, or get a 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens, if your budget allows it.

You can also add a 20mm prime, non-zoom lens to get a really high-quality lens for a cheap price.

Eventually, you'll want to have more prime lenses you can use in different situations.

Got any questions? Don't hesitate to ask below and share this with your other blogger friends 🙂

Welcome to blogging (it's AWESOME), and I wish you the best success.

Will A.

Will is the founder of VloggerPro. He's a YouTube Certified partner and has been reviewing equipment and teaching others how to grow and generate real income on YouTube for the last 5 years.

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