Top 10 Best Vlogging Cameras in 2021

The time has come.

You’ve decided that you want to start your own vlogging channel… but there’s one big obstacle:

You need a camera… A good camera.

This list of the best vlogging cameras will save you a lot of time. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to choose the perfect camera for your YouTube vlogging channel.

**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 3 Choices

CameraFlip ScreenStabilizationResolutionPrice
Canon EOS M50 Mark II
YesNo2160p24 (4k)
$893.94
Sony ZV-1
YesOptical2160p30 (4k)
$648.00
Sony Alpha ZV-E10
YesNo2160p30 (4k)
$799.99

These are our 3 favorites, but there are more options below for different needs.

Remember: these are the best cameras out there, so they are quite expensive. You might want to find cheaper cameras here instead.


The Best for Most Vloggers in 2021

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

SensorMirrorless APS-C
Image Quality4k (1.7x crop)
Weight387 g (0.85 lb / 13.65 oz)
Flip Screen
External Mic Port Yes
StabilizationNo
Our Rating 4.5/5
Price$893.94

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

Recommended for:

  • Daily vlogging
  • Beauty
  • Travel
  • Indoors
  • Basically any type of channel

The best thing about this camera is that it really seems like Canon thought about vloggers when they designed it.

Despite being a newcomer in the vlogging scene, many reputable camera reviewers like Jared Polin and Kai Man Wong have dubbed the M50 as the best new vlogging camera for beginners and vloggers on the go.

Jared Polin, 1,000,000+ YouTube Subs

“I do think this is going to be a great option for anybody that is up and coming, who’s looking for a vlogging camera to make themselves some YouTube videos.”

Reviewers praised the crisp quality of the 4K footage produced by the M50 but found it underwhelming considering the added crop factor and lack of dual pixel AF function when shooting in 4K mode.

However, what makes this camera excellent for vlogging is its slim design and lightweight combined with the fact that it has every feature vloggers need in a camera.

It’s equipped with a fully-rotating LCD touchscreen which some higher-end vlogging cameras still lack. And it produces top-quality videos at 1080p with Canon’s top-of-the-line dual-pixel autofocusing system.

And even though it doesn’t have in-body stabilization, the optical stabilization from the Canon EF-M lenses is good enough. Also, you have the option to use digital stabilization in 4k, taking advantage of the fact that the image will be cropped in this recording mode.

Additionally, the Mark II version brings a vertical video mode for social media, allowing you to also upload directly to your online accounts. Its autofocus system has also been improved. The eye and facial detection autofocus has been improved for subjects that are further away from the camera, and you can use the AI Servo AF mode in movies too.

This is still my favorite vlogging camera, and it seems like it will remain like that until a new model is announced.


Best Vlog Compact Cameras to Take With You

A compact camera is often more useful for vloggers that want to take their camera out. They are usually not good for low light, but the compact cameras listed here have high-quality sensors that allow them to keep decent quality even in the dark, and that’s why they are the best ones you can find on the market.

Sony ZV-1 – Best Portable Camera

SensorCompact
Image Quality2160p30 (4k)
Weight10.37 oz / 294 g
Flip Screen Yes
External Mic Port Yes
Stabilization Yes
Our Rating 4.5/5
Price $648.00

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

Great for

  • Daily vlogging
  • Travel

The Sony ZV-1 was specifically made for vlogging. This is good news for us, so you can expect to find basically everything you need to record your video blogs: external mic jack, flip screen, stabilization, and reliable autofocus.

Famous Vlogger Who Owns It

Parker Walbeck
1.6M Subs

I think it’s a great fit for vloggers. I can’t think of another camera on the market in this size at this price point.

One advantage this model has is that Sony was cautious when designing the built-in microphone. It’s a directional mic located at the top, which helps it capture your voice over other noises in the background. And it even comes with a windscreen in the box.

And, of course, it can send everything to your smartphone with cool filters and has a live streaming mode.

We didn’t choose it as our favorite because it has a tiny sensor. Of course, many people like this for the portability, but we prefer a larger size to guarantee we have the best recording quality in low light.

You can get a good mirrorless APS-C camera for vlogging for the same —and even lower— price, so this is the main disadvantage.

Still, it should be your go-to choice if you want a luggable travel camera and you have the budget for it.

Canon G7X Mark III – Best Camera for Starters

SensorCompact 1″ CMOS
Image Quality1080p60
Weight11.288oz / 320g
Flip Screen Yes
External Mic Port No
Stabilization Yes
Our Rating 4.5/5
Price $749.00

The Good

  • High-quality lens
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Great autofocus
  • Small and lightweight

The Bad

  • Small sensor
  • No external mic port

Check on Amazon

Great for:

  • Daily vlogging
  • Travel

This model has all the good things the G7 X Mark II offers, but with some additional features and tweaks that improve its performance.

So, this model has the same amazing lens, flip touchscreen, wireless connection, great image quality even in low light and accurate and fast autofocus.

But besides all these great things, the Mark II has few additional features like a new rubber grip that helps you hold the camera so it won’t slip through your hands that easily. It also comes with a better processor, which makes it faster, especially when turning on. It also has improved autofocus in low-contrast situations and cleaner quality in low light.

Finally, it has better battery management. It uses the same one from the previous model, but this one lasts for around 265 shots instead of 210.

It still lacks a microphone port, but there’s not much Canon can do since it’s still a small compact camera that is easy to carry around.

Famous Vlogger Who Owns It

Zoella
12,000,000+ YouTube Subs

…the quality is the best… I love it. I really love it. It goes everywhere with me.

The autofocus in video mode is not perfect, but believe me, it’s good for a compact camera. It will perform well in most cases.

It used to have some problems with the autofocus, but some updates have fixed this and now it’s not bad, but it feels like Sony cameras have slightly better autofocus.

Read the full review: Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II


Best Mirrorless Cameras for Vlogging

Mirrorless cameras combine the best of both worlds: interchangeable lenses, large sensors, and they are easier to carry around than DSLRs. It’s probable that if you are the kind of vlogger that is looking for a camera to record both at home and outside, a Mirrorless will be your most valuable ally. If you don’t mind not being able to put them in your pocket, go for one of these.

You may also like: Best Mirrorless for Vlogging: The Complete List

Sony Alpha ZV-E10

SensorAPS-C
Image Quality4kp30
Weight12.1 oz / 343 g
Flip Screen Yes
External Mic Port Yes
Stabilization No
Our Rating 4/5
Price$799.99

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 port

The Bad

  • No in-body stabilization

Check on Amazon

Great for

  • Daily vlogging
  • Beauty
  • Travel
  • Indoors

This model is very similar to Sony’s ZV-1 point & shoot camera, but with an interchangeable lens and a larger sensor.

The bad thing? It lacks in-body stabilization. Not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world.

However, you can always get a lens with stabilization to solve this problem. But these lenses are a bit more expensive.

To compensate, it comes with an electronic stabilization that works well, but that will crop your image by 1.44x. This means that your wide-angle lens will look more zoomed-in. Not so good when you’re recording yourself.

Besides the stabilization, this camera has it all.

Famous Vlogger Who Owns It

iJustine
6.92M+ YouTube Subs

This camera’s really great for people who are looking for a vlogging camera but not quite just a simple point and shoot.

In the end, it will depend on how much importance you give to not relying on a lens with OIS.

But if you’re having troubles with your current camera’s focus—which is a pretty common problem vloggers face—, this camera is almost perfect.

For me, this is the second-best vlogging camera right now. I could probably put it in the first place just because of how reliable the autofocus is.

Sony a7S III – Highest Quality Video Camera

sony a7rii, the best vlogging camera for youtube in 2016

SensorFull-Frame
Image Quality2160p120 (4k)
Weight1.54lb / 699g
Flip Screen Yes
External Mic Port Yes
Stabilization Yes
Our Rating 4.8/5
Price $4,199.95

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

Great for

  • Beauty
  • Travel
  • Indoors

Back when the Sony a7S was released, there were some problems with overheating, battery duration, and lack of a flip screen. All this was terrible for a camera marketed for video makers, but Sony slowly improved it version after version.

Now, this latest model is arguably the best video camera on the market. This is so true, that it’s an overkill for most vloggers, especially if they’re just starting. We recommend it only if you want to use it for more than just vlogging.

Famous Vlogger Who Owns It

Allison Anderson
600,000+ Subs

It’s just a whole other level of auto-focus in this camera. I am so impressed with it.

But this is not something we should discuss here, so here’s what you need to know about this Sony camera:

It can record 4K up to 120p for slow-motions, has a full-frame sensor, smooth autofocus, a new 5-axis image stabilization system (you won’t need to get a lens with IS for it to work), WiFi, NFC, and even a flip screen.

The Sony a7SII is one of the best high-level cameras you can buy in this year for any purpose, and even its battery is not bad at all for a mirrorless (around 600 shots). It’s not close to being as light as a compact camera though, so you might still prefer to get a lighter model if you want to be able to comfortably carry it around.

In conclusion, this should be the best camera for video this year. Just be aware that you’ll need a fast computer (preferably a MAC with a lot of disk space) if you want to use it for your videos, as it can record extremely rich —and heavy— video files.

Panasonic G100 – Best Value Mirrorless

SensorMirrorless Full-frame
Image Quality2160p30 (4k)
Weight14.8 oz (419 g)
Flip Screen Yes
External Mic Port Yes
StabilizationNo
Our Rating 4.8/5
Price $597.99

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

Check on Amazon

Great for

  • Beauty
  • Indoors
  • Travel

This camera is very similar to the Canon EOS M50 Mark II. It’s a mirrorless camera with an affordable price that has everything for vlogging.

We like the Canon’s autofocus slightly more and also the fact that it has a larger sensor (APS-C vs Micro 4/3). But this is the most affordable out of all of these options, so a lot of people will be pleased with this model.

While most mirrorless brands like to imitate DSLRs by adding an APS-C sensor, Panasonic decided to include a slightly smaller sensor (Micro Four Thirds), which has allowed Panasonic to offer good cameras for a fair price without sacrificing a lot of quality.

And you can feel this with the G100. It feels like it gives you all the vlogging-friendly features that it can for the lowest price.

It offers 4kp30 video but cropped if you want to use digital stabilization. As a vlogger, you’ll probably want to use the 1080p mode instead. It still crops the image for stabilization, so you’ll want a wide-angle lens if you want the most smooth result.

It also has a social-media-friendly vertical video mode, easy smartphone upload with LUMIX sync, and even a recording indicator on the front so you know for sure that the camera is recording.

You won’t find the most reliable autofocus technology for this price, but it is a good camera if you’re just starting and don’t want to blow up too much money on a new camera.


Best DSLRs for Vlogging

DSLRs are really hard to hold and carry around. Most of them are also just as good for low light as a similar-priced mirrorless camera. This makes them the worst choice if you want to take the camera out a lot. However, they all have an external mic input and come with a larger battery. That’s why DSLRs are excellent options for vloggers that want to record from home. Choose one of these unless you need to take your camera out a lot.

Canon EOS 90D – Best DSLR for Vlogging

SensorDSLR APS-C
Image Quality2160p30 (4k)
Weight1.54 lb / 701g
Flip Screen Yes
Stabilization No
External Mic Port Yes
Our Rating 4.5/5
Price $1,199.00

The Good

  • Hot-shoe, mic. port and flip screen
  • Great, reliable autofocus
  • Good for low light and Bokeh effect (APS-C Sensor)
  • Long battery life

The Bad

  • No image stabilization
  • There are cheaper cameras with 4k

Check on Amazon

Great for

  • Beauty
  • Indoors

The previous versions of this camera were always a favorite for YouTube.

This new version is still a DSLR that is great for YouTube.

Its biggest upgrade: 4k recording.

But it’s also lighter, has a newer sensor, and much more battery life.

Although it’s true that it’s not the ideal camera to take out (DSLRs are heavy after all), the Canon EOS 90D has a fair weight, compared to most DSLRs.

And it is one of the few DSLRs that was made for video recording.

Here’s why:

It doesn’t only has from the fastest, most silent, and accurate autofocus systems to above-average battery life (1300 shots), but also this DSLR doesn’t fall short with other features that help a lot for video blogging.

It —of course— has WiFi to upload your videos, Video SnapShots mode, and touchscreen focus, and Bluetooth.

I still prefer to go for a mirrorless camera, but you still get a lot of value if you want this DSLR and I can recommend it.

Read our full review of the 90D here.

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 – Best DSLR for Starters

SensorDSLR APS-C
Image Quality2160p25 (4k)
Weight0.99lbs / 449g
Flip Screen Yes
External Mic Port Yes
Stabilization No
Our Rating 4/5
price $599.00

The Good

  • Really light for a DSLR
  • Good for low light and Bokeh effect (APS-C Sensor)
  • Hot-shoe, mic. port and flip screen

The Bad

  • No image stabilization

Check on Amazon

Great for

  • Beauty
  • Indoors

I’m sure that by now you’ve noticed that Canon makes excellent cameras for vlogging, well, here comes another!

The Canon EOS Rebel cameras have been used for YouTube for many years. It’s a pretty common choice as the first DSLR if you want it for video. 

In fact, this lineup from Canon has been the most common choice between makeup YouTubers. The reason is that they are more affordable cameras that are better than other DSLRs in the same price range when it comes to video. These DSLRs are the cheapest ones you can get that can record excellent video.

To be fair, it really isn’t completely necessary to get the 90D if you want a DSLR for vlogging, so the Rebel SL3 will give you just what you need for the lowest price.

Of course, unlike with the 90D, you won’t have environmental sealing, headphones port and a LCD screen at the top.

Also, the autofocus is much less reliable than the 90D — this is natural because it’s the strongest point of this more expensive camera.

But you still get 4k recording (with more crop, unlike the 90D). This means that the frame when you use 4k will be smaller — or look more “zoomed in” — than if you used 1080p.

However, for this price, this camera is a good choice.

It has almost everything else you need for vlogging: flip screen and external mic jack.

Canon loves to market this camera as “the lightest and smallest DSLR ever made”. With only 0.99 pounds, we can’t argue with that.

It’s almost as light as most mirrorless, so if you still want a DSLR, this one is an excellent choice for vlogging.

I really recommend for you to invest in a lens with image stabilization since it doesn’t come with in-body IS. You can learn what kind of vlogging lens to buy here.


Best Secondary Vlogging Cameras

GoPro HERO9 Black

TypeAction Camera
Image Quality5.3K60 + 4K120
Weight10.935oz / 310g
Flip Screen Yes
External Mic Port No
Stabilization Yes
Our Rating 4/5
price $349.00

The Good

  • High-quality lens
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Great autofocus
  • Small and lightweight

The Bad

  • Small sensor
  • No versatility

Check on Amazon

Great for

  • Action and sports vlogging

If you’re looking for sidekick camera, a GoPro is a good tool you want to have.

It’s the only type of camera that can allow you to record while doing almost anything. Most vloggers use it as a B-roll camera to make their videos more engaging and interesting.

However, it’s important to understand that it’s only recommended as a secondary camera, and should never be your main go-to camera for vlogging.

As a vlogger, you need people to hear you, and GoPros have the worst audio recording you could find.

But that’s not all.

They also are limited to a single fish-eye lens.

Imagine watching the world 24/7 behind a fish-eye lens… I’m sure it would get uncomfortable at one point.

That’s exactly what will happen to your viewers. They will get sick of seeing all things so stretched out for a long time.

Only use a GoPro as a complementary camera. It is really useful to take wide-angle shots and for point-of-view recording (those videos where people can see the perspective of what you see), which is nice for sports content.

However, their usefulness is very limited to only this kind of recording.

If you want to record anything else, you will want one of the cameras that we talk about here.

Don’t get deceived by their 5k quality and small size together with a “fair” price. There are good reasons why they are far cheaper than the other 4k cameras.

Still, I don’t want to sound like a GoPro hater. I’m not. I just see so many new vloggers try to use one of them as their main camera, and it really hinders their ability to grow.

They’re excellent tools, but use them for what they were made for!

iPhone 12

TypeSmartphone
Image Quality4kp60
Weight579g
Flip Screen Front-facing camera
External Mic Port Yes
StabilizationDual Optical I.S.
Our Rating 4.5/5
Price$549.99

The Good

  • Top quality 4kp60 quality
  • Great continuous autofocus
  • Smooth stabilization

The Bad

  • Not good in low light

Check on Amazon

Great for

  • Daily vlogging

If you’re still not sure what camera to get, you might want to consider just getting a new smartphone. Most people can’t tell between a 4k video recorded with a good smartphone or a top-of-the-line camera.

The downside to this is that you won’t be able to use your phone for other things while recording and that you’ll need a portable charger to take with you all the time.

On the other hand, it’s just easier to bring the phone with you. If you don’t plan on recording during the night, a smartphone might be good enough.

The reason we recommend the iPhone 12 is because it has arguably the best camera of any smartphone.

It comes with wide and ultra-wide lenses with an aperture of f/1.6 and f/2.4 respectively. It has great stabilization (often better than most mirrorless and DSLR cameras). And it can record 4k at up to 60 frames per second, which allows you to record slow-motion movies.

And it has all the advantages of using a modern smartphone. You can use an unlimited array of filters and can upload directly to your social media accounts without needing the middleman.

Of course, you can’t upgrade the lens like with an interchangeable lens camera, but you can make calls! That’s quite a unique feature for a camera, if you ask me.


What’s Better For My Vlogging Channel? Compact, Mirrorless or DSLR Cameras?

There are so many types of cameras, but which one is the right for vlogging?

You have to know the advantages each kind of camera offers and choose the one right for your style.

By the way, I’m not reviewing GoPros here because they are useless for vlogs 80% of the time. I’ll explain why at the end of this article.

For now, you should be looking between 3 types: mirrorless, DSLR and point & shoot.

Which one you choose will depend on the kind of vlogging channel you run.


Point & Shoot (Compact)

Point & Shoot Camera Icon

The Good

  • Pocketable and luggable
  • Can record high-quality video for a lower price

The Bad

  • Really low battery life
  • No external mic input
  • Low quality when in low light
  • Can’t upgrade the lens

Mirrorless

when to choose a mirrorless camera for vlogging

The Good

  • Medium Size
  • Good in low light
  • Interchangeable lens
  • Some have external mic input

The Bad

  • Lower battery life than DSLRs

DSLR

when to choose a DSLR camera for vlogging

The Good

  • Interchangeable lens
  • Good in low light
  • Good battery life
  • They all have external mic input

The Bad

  • Big and heavy

Our Best Recommendations When Choosing The Right One for Your Vlogs

In few words, this is what we recommend:

  • A good vlogging camera should have good image stabilization, good video autofocus, external mic port, and flip screen.
  • APS-C is probably the best sensor size for you if you’re starting. This is the standard size for Mirrorless and DSLR.
  • Your smartphone’s camera is probably very similar to a point & shoot, especially if you have one of the latest phones. So make sure you test your phone’s camera first before buying a P&S.
  • You need a wide-angle lens to go with your camera. I recommend 15mm for every sensor size. You can choose the wide-angle kit lenses with a zoom range around 15mm-50mm if you’re not sure what to go for.
  • If your camera doesn’t have in-body image stabilization, then make sure your lens has optical image stabilization.

Now, we’re ready to list and review the best cameras for vlogging.

I’ll start with what I believe is the safest option for most people, and then I’ll give some other nice alternatives.

Bear in mind that very few cameras have the exact 4 things we mentioned that make the perfect vlogging camera. Most of the time you’ll need to make some sacrifices, depending on what you value the most.


What Are The Differences Between Full-Frame, APS-C and Micro 4/3 Sensors?

We already talked about types of camera: DSLR, Mirrorless and Point & Shoot. These are the ones we’ll review here because they’re the best options for vloggers.

However, DSLRs and Mirrorless come with different sensor sizes. The size that you choose will highly affect how your camera ultimately works, and even what lens you can attach to it.

There are 3 sensor sizes most of these cameras come with. 

In order from largest to smallest, they are: Full-frame, APS-C and Micro Four Thirds (or Micro 4/3).

Most Point & Shoot cameras usually come with a 1″ sensor, which is a lot smaller than any of the three sizes I just mentioned.

How Does Sensor Size Affect Your Vlog?

The sensor size you choose will affect:

1. Low-light Performance

A larger sensor allows the camera to capture more light.

And when we’re talking about cameras, more light means better image quality.

If you need to record during the night, a point & shoot with its tiny sensor won’t allow you to record high-quality video.

If your sensor is too small, it will have to increase its sensibility to light while recording in the dark. 

This causes your image to show little dots called noise, and the image loses a lot of depth:

If the sensor doesn’t get enough light. Little dots called noise will appear in your image.

2. Depth of Field or Bokeh

Depth of field means how blurry the background will be when you’re focusing on a subject — this is also referred to as Bokeh effect.

The larger the sensor, the shallower the depth of field will be. 

In other words, the larger the sensor, the more blurred the background will look:

shalow depth of field example
Example of shallow depth of field. This is easier to achieve with a large sensor.

3. Crop Factor

The larger the sensor, the larger the frame.

So using a smaller sensor will add more “crop” factor. It will effectively crop in your image a bit when compared to a larger sensor.

Here’s a comparison of the same image and how it would look like taken with different sensor sizes:

crop factor example picture

4. Price, Weight, and Size of Your Camera

If you need to include a larger sensor, then it’s only natural to think the camera will be bigger and more expensive. And that’s exactly right.

And it will not only affect the weight, size, and price of your camera, but also the lenses.

So, getting the largest sensor (Full-frame) will give you arguably the best quality, but will also make everything so much more expensive and difficult to carry with you.

The Sensor Size I Recommend If You’re Starting

I recommend starting with an APS-C sensor. Most people find the “perfect spot” with it.

Full-frame is for very specific needs and wants.

Also, micro 4/3 can backfire if you’re new to content creation and you’re not sure about what you want.

APS-C is the perfect medium range, and most starters will be more than happy with one of these.

It will give you the perfect medium-sized camera to start. Most APS-C are as light as Micro four-thirds, and only slightly heavier than point & shoots.

That’s why they’ll give you the best balance between image quality, size, and price.

Micro 4/3 Sensor Size
wide-angle lens result example
Full frame sensor size at the same distance as the previous picture

What About Lenses?

If you’ve been reading carefully, now you know how to choose a good camera for vlogging. 

You almost know everything there is to know to make a good, informed purchase decision you won’t regret.

But what about the lens? If you go for a DSLR or Mirrorless, you’ll also need to choose the right lens for vlogging. 

How Lenses Affect Your Image

When you’re looking to purchase lenses, you’ll need to understand two things: focal length and lens aperture.

Focal Length 

This is measured in millimeters. To make it simpler, let’s say it indicates the “zoom” of the lens.

For example, a 15-50mm means the lens has a zoom range from 15mm to 50mm.

The lower the number, the less “zoom” the lens will have, and the wider the image will look.

However, the size of the sensor will also affect the frame of the image.

Larger sensors give you a wider image naturally. Since the sensor is bigger, the frame is bigger.

Smaller sensors will give you a closer image. Since the sensor is smaller, the frame is smaller, so your subject will look closer to the camera.

This means that, for example, a 15mm lens looks entirely different on a full-frame when compared to an APS-C or Micro 4/3.

To understand this difference, here’s a comparison using the same focal length on the three sensor sizes:

mft, apsc and full frame crop comparison
How 24mm focal length looks like on the three sensor sizes

Lens Aperture 

This is measured on a scale called the f-number. 

The lower the f-number, the larger the aperture, and the better the quality of the image. 

This is because more aperture equals more light that reaches the sensor of the camera. 

With more light, the camera can capture higher quality, sharper images.

So, get the fastest lens that you can get. In other words, get the lens with the lowest f-number that you can afford.

If you’d like to understand lens aperture better, check out this resource by PhotographyLife.

Types of Lenses

Now, here are the 2 types of lenses you can choose from:

Telephoto Lenses

A telephoto lens can be anything above 24mm focal length. These will make your subject look closer, or “zoomed in”:

They’re popular for sports and wildlife because you usually need to be really far away from the subject in these scenarios.

But they’re also popular for portraits because they achieve a result that looks a lot like what the human eyes see.

If you want the most natural look, a 50mm lens on a full-frame will give you the closest result to the human eye. 

I like using one of these to record from home on a tripod. 

If you can leave the camera far away from you, using a 50mm on a full-frame (30mm on APS-C and 24mm on Micro 4/3) will give the best-looking result.

However, these lenses are almost impossible to use if you want to vlog while holding the camera with your hands.

Since you’ll record with the camera close to your face, you’ll need to “zoom out”. And that’s where wide-angle lenses come in.

Wide-Angle Lenses

Wide-angle lenses are those that capture a wider area instead of making the subject look closer to you:

wide-angle lens result example
Lenses that are below 24mm focal length can be considered wide-angle.

But for vlogging, you need to go really wide. That’s why I like to recommend around 15mm for vlogging.

This focal length works well for all sensor sizes. Of course, it will give you a wider angle if you use a full-frame, but I’ve tested it on the 3 sizes and it’s doable with all of them.                                    

I mentioned above the lenses that I like for each camera. But if you’re still not sure, or you want to save some more money on your lens, you can just get the kit lens that comes with it.

They’re not great lenses, but they have a good price and are just good enough to get started.


How Do We Choose a Good Vlogging Camera?

There are 5 really important things that the perfect vlog camera should have. 

If your camera is missing one of these, it will make vlogging more difficult. 

1) Good Continuous Autofocus

It’s really frustrating to record a video with a camera that is always struggling to focus on your face. 

It’s very distracting for you and your audience and can make an entire video useless.

So it’s great to have a smart camera that knows when it should change focus point (for example, when you show a product in front of you), and that can quickly come back to your face as soon as you start talking.

The latest cameras come with face-detection autofocus, which is great for vlogging. This is what we’ll be looking for.

We want to find a camera with a lot of phase-detection points, which is the best type of autofocus there is. The more detection points, the more reliable the autofocus should be.

This might be the most important thing you need: reliable autofocus. 

After all, there’s simply no workaround if the autofocus sucks. You’ll have to deal with it forever.

2) In-Body Image Stabilization (Workaround Available)

In-body image stabilization (IBIS) will allow you to move around with your camera without making everything too shaky and making your viewers throw up.

This is something you’ll certainly need if you want to take the camera out with you and record while holding the camera in your hands.

Just remember that you only need this for handheld recording. If you want to record from home and set your camera on a tripod, you don’t need it. 

Also, there’s a workaround available.

If your camera doesn’t come with IBIS, you can always get a lens with optical IS.

The downside of this is that lenses with OIS are more expensive, and a bit heavier. 

Plus, you’d always have more stabilization if you used a camera with IBIS and a lens with OIS at the same time.

3) External Microphone Input (Workaround Available)

The latest cameras can record decent audio. However, it’s not the way to get the best audio quality.

Eventually, most vloggers will want to get a dedicated microphone. It will improve your audio so much.

It’s ideal to have a camera with external mic input because it will make it easier to record high-quality audio.e

However, if your camera doesn’t come with a mic input, it’s not the end of the world. 

You can always use your smartphone. Connect a microphone to it and record the audio with your phone. 

Then, just sync both audio and video in your editor. 

This just adds an annoying extra step, but it’s doable.

4) Flip Screen (Sometimes Optional)

Imagine recording a 15-minute video and not knowing if you’re inside the frame, or if the camera is indeed recording and hasn’t stopped randomly for some reason.

There’s nothing better than being able to check that everything’s fine as you do your thing. Otherwise, it can make vlogging a very difficult task. 

I guess it’s not like it would be IMPOSSIBLE to vlog without a flip screen. But let’s agree that it’s a pretty important thing — I know I wouldn’t want to do it without one.

5) Light Weight

Finally, if you want a camera to hold with your hands and record yourself walking around with it, you’ll NEED a lightweight camera.

When you need to hold your camera for hours non-stop, and need to travel around to a lot of places, a lightweight camera will make everything so much easier.


Features That Are Nice to Have in a Vlog Camera, But Aren’t Needed

These things aren’t needed, but they do add a lot of points to a vlogging camera.

If you want to save some money, you can ignore these features, but they will give you a better experience with your camera.

4k Recording and 60+ Frames Per Second:

Most of the latest cameras are offering 4k recording. But the main difference between them is the frames per second.

Most of them can only offer 4k at 30 fps, which is fine for YouTube. However, 4k at 60fps will allow you to record slow-motion videos in 4k.

But bear in mind that 4k files are a lot heavier and require more processing power from your computer.

This is one of the main reasons I prefer recording in 4k and downsample to 1080p

This way I’m handling lighter files that still look pretty neat and almost as good as 4k. 

Thankfully, the cameras that offer 4k also allow you to record in 1080p at 24, 30, and 60 fps per second.

If you get a camera that can do 120fps, it means that you can achieve extremely slow-motion clips — slower than at 60 fps. Cool.

If you want to geek out about this. Here’s a great explanation about frame rates and slow motion.

And one more thing, some cameras (like the Canon EOS M50) offer 4k, but they lose some features with it. 

For example, that camera adds an extra crop factor and the autofocus loses a lot of capacity.

Crop factor means that you’ll lose part of the frame when using 4k, so your video will look more “zoomed in” in this mode.

But honestly, 4k is nice to have, but it’s not something you need, especially for YouTube.

Timelapse :

A timelapse is that technique when you set your camera on a fixed tripod and let your camera take pictures every minute or so. Then, you put them all in a video and it looks like time’s passing really fast.

It’s a common technique used in vlogs to let people know that some time has passed since the previous clip.

Some cameras include a mode that lets you include the timelapse interval and set everything exactly as you want it. 

This is something cool to have in a vlog camera.

USB Charging While Recording :

This is very handy, especially if you’re using a mirrorless camera. These cameras have very low battery duration, and some of them can’t handle more than 1 hour of non-stop recording.

So there are two ways to fix this problem: get a camera that can be charged while recording, or get more spare batteries.

This allows you to use a power bank to recharge the battery if you’re going out, or to simply connect it to the outlet while you record your YouTube video at home.

Unlimited Recording Time :

Most non-professional video cameras (like every camera mentioned in this article) have a recording limit time of around 30 minutes.

This means that you can’t record a clip that is longer than half an hour.

Why does this happen? This is due to government regulations, especially in the EU. If it can record longer than 30 minutes, then it’s considered a video camera, and the taxes and bureaucracy changes.

So most cameras are fixed at 30 minutes per clip.

However, lately, this is becoming less common.

As a vlogger, this isn’t such a big deal because it’s unlikely you’ll ever record 30 minutes straight of video. You’re probably going to record in shorter clips.

Social Media Wireless Upload :

Being able to take a picture or video and send it directly to Instagram or even YouTube is very handy. 

Some cameras with WiFi offer this. It makes everything easier, but it’s not the end of the world if you need to use a cable.

Log Recording :

This is a log profile that gives you a higher dynamic range and tonal range. If you know about coloring in post-production, you can achieve amazing colors with these profiles.

Also, if you’re using more than one camera at the same time, it allows you to have the exact same colors on both cameras, so everything looks consistent.

This is for more advanced users, but you might eventually want to learn about it to achieve the absolute best quality.


Features You Can Completely Ignore For Vlogging

It’s important to know what you don’t need so you can save some money and get only exactly what you need.

Ignore the following features because they will only add unnecessary costs to your purchase.

  • MegaPixels: MPs just mean something if you’re going to print your pictures or crop your pictures. What really matters is the resolution (6k, 4k, 1080p, etc.).
  • Viewfinder: do you know that little hole most cameras have for you to use to compose and take a picture? That’s called the viewfinder. As a vlogger, you can use a camera that only has a screen and no viewfinder without a problem.
  • Picture oversampling: when a camera can, for example, take a picture in 6k. Some other cameras offer this, but for videos. They capture video in 6k and then downsample to 4k or 1080p. This latter feature is cool to have, but if it’s only for pictures. It’s not needed.
  • Fast shooting: some cameras can shoot a bunch of pictures very quickly, for example, at 12 frames per second. This is useful for action and wildlife photography, but not something you’ll use while vlogging.

Our Favorites and Conclusion

Vlogging is steadily becoming more popular as years pass by. Vloggers gather large audiences of followers, be it through it their Youtube channel, Instagram account, and building their own communities.

Because of this, YouTube is becoming really competitive, and viewers are becoming more difficult to impress.

That’s why it’s important to get the right camera that can record the image quality people is used to nowadays.

If you’re still not sure about which one to choose, remember:

  • Compact cameras are the best choice to go for if you aren’t sure. You will be happy with a Sony ZV-1
  • Mirrorless cameras are better if you want a camera to keep in the long term. You can update them with new and better lenses, and most of them are still fairly simple to carry around. Our favorite choice for vlogging is the brand new Canon EOS M50 II.
  • DSLRs are extremely reliable, but they are so heavy that they become almost useless for travel vlogging. However, they can record for longer time and you can get the best out of them if you often record at the same place. Our favorite choice is the Canon EOS 90D.

We also recommend visiting these posts for more vlogging gear ideas: