As someone who travels a lot, the only thing that beats a smartphone with a good camera is a P&S that is good for video. In this post, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite compact cameras for recording videos.
Before you even start reading, know that you won’t find cameras here under the $400 mark, so be aware. You can check my list of cheaper cameras by price if you are looking for more budget-friendly machines.
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Our 5 Favorite
Are Point-and-Shoot Cameras Good for Video?
This depends on the type of point-and-shoot. Most cheap ones aren’t made for recording video. However, in the last few years, many brands have released pretty decent point and shoots for video recording.
For a P&S camera to be good for video, it should have all of the following:
- Flip Screen
- In-body or optical stabilization
- Good eye-tracking autofocus
- Good audio recording or an external microphone input
These are small, compact cameras that can record in 4k, come with a fast lens that helps with low-light recording, and most of them come with stabilization, which results in a smooth video.
Most of them don’t come with an external microphone jack or flip screen. But thankfully, as vlogging has become more popular, brands have started releasing better cameras for this activity, which is good news for all video creators.
- 4k recording
- All the features for vlogging in a small size
- Pricey for a compact
The Sony ZV-1M2 is a tiny camera that can record 4k at 30 fps and 1080p at 60 fps. But the resolution isn’t the main reason why this is a great compact for video.
It comes with a fast f/1.8 lens with stabilization. Add a flip-out touchscreen, excellent eye-tracking autofocus, a directional microphone, and an external mic jack, and you have the best competitor on the market right now.
The camera also comes with a button they call a “background defocus switch”, which will prioritize lens aperture to get a more intense Bokeh. It’s still a small sensor, so the Bokeh won’t be nearly as good as a mirrorless camera, but it’s a beginner-friendly feature that most vloggers will like.
The Mark I is still available, but it’s not as good as this one. One of the main issues of the former was that the lens wasn’t as wide. The new version fixed this and also has a better microphone and autofocus. The older one is cheaper, but going for the M2 is well worth the money if you can pay it.
- High-quality lens
- Excellent image stabilization
- Great autofocus
- Small and lightweight
- No external mic port
- There are cheaper cameras with 4k
The Canon G7 X lineup has been one of the favorites among YouTubers. This is because they have very vlogging-friendly features.
Now, the G7 X Mark III has improved this model and made it even better.
Its autofocus is fast and accurate. It really is on point and doesn’t lose its focus point easily when you’re moving around.
But my favorite feature is its lens. The camera comes with a high-quality lens that could be priced for much more than what this whole camera costs.
It is a f/1.8 24-100mm lens that gives you all the focal length ranges. However, I wish it allowed for a wider aperture, as I prefer around 18mm for vlogging.
Its f/1.8 aperture lens can give you the blurry background effect we all like, and combined with its 1-inch sensor, it gives the camera good performance in low light when compared to most compact cameras.
Finally, it has a flip-up touchscreen that you can use to change the focus point while recording.
It also includes a time-lapse video feature you can use to record the videos that YouTubers like Casey Neistat made famous.
Panasonic LX10 – Affordable 4k Recording
- Most luminous lens at wide focal length
- 4k Recording
- Relatively low price
- Unreliable autofocus
- Slightly shaky stabilization
The Panasonic LX10 is the cheapest option among the very best, so you can expect that it can perform a little bit worse in some ways, but the price difference makes it worth it.
To start with the good things, you can expect a faster lens at wide, with the f/1.4 maximum aperture. This is an amazing lens for low light and it’s without any doubt, the best feature of this camera.
This is saying a lot because we’re talking about a camera that can also record 4k video, something that even the popular G7 X cannot do.
However, some of the good things about having a fast lens get lost since you can’t rely on this camera’s autofocus. It often loses its focus subject, so you should probably use the manual focus mode and close the lens aperture, which won’t allow you to achieve the blurry background effect you might love.
As for the rest, it is a light, pocketable camera with top-quality recording quality and a flip-up screen.
It is a good tradeoff for the price, and it’s the reason why this camera is still at least the top 3 choice between compact vlogging cameras.
- High-quality lens
- Excellent image stabilization
- Great autofocus
- EVF and flash for photography
- No flip screen
The RX100 VII is a great camera for video, but it also has more features for photography than the cameras above.
For starters, it has an electronic viewfinder, flash, and burst speeds of 20 fps. These are vital for most photographers, but its video capacity is also great.
It can record 4k at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps and has an external mic input. Although, unlike the ZV-1 II, it lacks the flip screen and the lens is not as fast with the minimum f/2.8 aperture.
As with every late Sony camera, its autofocus is fast and reliable. This is one of the main reasons it’s included in this list.
This is a good camera that offers what photographers want, but that can also record good and smooth video.
Sony RX100 VA – Best Video Quality
- Flip screen
- Great lens quality
- 4k video recording
- No touchscreen
- No external mic jack
If you’re willing to pay more than what you need to spend on a G7 X MII, the best option will probably be a Sony RX100 VA.
This camera is extremely small for all that it can achieve. It’s even lighter than the G7X, and has more features (although it lacks a touchscreen).
The Sony RX100 cameras have been the favorite choice between professional photographers and filmmakers for quite some time now.
Each one of its versions has offered a great deal to them since they’re basically a professional camera in a very small body.
Its fully manual mode, RAW shooting, high-quality lens, incredibly fast continuous shooting, and 4k video recording have made it a really good option for demanding people who are tired of carrying heavy gear around.
The colors with this camera feel more real than with the G7 X, and it has incredible ultra slow-motion modes with a really high-quality lens and optical IS.
However, it still lacks the external mic jack, which is another disadvantage compared to the Mark VII. But take into account that this one is a lot cheaper.
- Up to 360mm focal length
- Good low-light performance
- Does a bit of focus hunting
- No external mic input
The Panasonic Lumix ZS200D, also known as the TZ200 outside of North America, stands out for its ability to record UHD 4K video, but also supports high-speed 1080/120p footage, which is great for creating slow-motion videos.
The camera is equipped with a 20MP, 1″ sensor that’s larger than what you’d typically find on a long-zoom camera. This larger sensor can result in better image quality and improved performance in low-light conditions.
The ZS200D also boasts a 24-360mm equivalent lens. For a camera made mainly for video, the long zoom adds more versatility for photography too.
However, the autofocus does tend to hunt a bit more than others. This can result in moments of blurry footage as the camera adjusts its focus.
The Panasonic Lumix ZS200D could be a good choice for video due to its 4K capabilities, large sensor, and zoom range. However, potential issues with focus hunting should be taken into account.
- Up to 720mm
- Decent stabilization
- Good autofocus in 1080p
- No mic input
- Image quality is not the best in 4k
The Panasonic LUMIX ZS80D supports 4K UHD video at up to 3840×2160 (30p/24p), and Full HD video (1920 x 1080) capture at up to 60 fps. This makes it not so interesting as others we mentioned on this that can record slow-motion without a problem.
Its autofocus system does a decent job tracking moving subjects in Full HD, keeping them in focus during recording. However, the autofocus performance is not as good when recording in 4K.
In terms of stabilization, the ZS80D features a POWER Optical Image Stabilizer, which helps to reduce the effects of camera shake for smoother video recording.
However, its outstanding feature is the 24-720mm lens. It allows you to use a 30x zoom, which is great if you’re looking for a camera that is decent for video, but that you can also use for photography and capture all sorts of landscapes.
Will has been a full-time content creator since 2014. He’s an audio, video, and tech hobbyist dedicated to reviewing products and giving you the best tips he knows to grow your audience.