Top 10 Best Vlogging Cameras 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 in 2020 will save you a lot of time since I’ve done all the work for you.
My objective with this post is that you learn EVERYTHING you need to purchase the right vlogging camera for your channel.
I’m so excited for you! I remember when I decided to start my YouTube channel. Not knowing what was going to happen was a bit scary, but also really exciting!
Having the right camera will help you build an audience that loves you and that can’t wait to see your next video.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy. We’re in for a ride!
Table of Contents
- Our Top 3 Picks
- The 3 Types of Cameras to Choose From
- How Do We Choose a Good Vlogging Camera?
- Features That Are Nice to Have in a Vlog Camera, But Aren't Needed
- Features You Can Completely Ignore For Vlogging
- What Camera Sensor Size Should You Go For?
- Summarizing: Making The Right Choice for Vlogging
- Winner of The Best Camera for Vlogging in 2020 Title
- Best Daily Vlog Compact Cameras in 2020
- Best DSLRs for Vlogging in 2020
- Best Mirrorless Cameras for Vlogging in 2020
- What About Lenses?
- Why GoPro SUCKS for Vlogging
- Our Favorites and Conclusion
**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 Picks
These are our 3 favorites, but there are more options below for different needs.
But first, we'll take a look at how we choose the best vlogging cameras for our ranking, and we'll help you make a better decision by explaining some key things you need to know like what lens and sensor size to get.
Remember: these are the best cameras out there, so they are quite expensive. You might want to find cheaper cameras here instead.
The 3 Types of Cameras to Choose From
There are so many types of camera, 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.
Or else you might end up with a really expensive paperweight.
By the way, I'm not reviewing GoPros here because they are useless for vlogs 80% of the time.
I'll explain why in a moment.
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.
So, which one is the right for you?
Point & Shoot
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.
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.
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.
What Camera Sensor Size Should You Go For?
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
Summarizing: Making The Right Choice for Vlogging
I highly suggest you read the entire post so you can make the best decision for your money.
But if you're in a hurry or want a "too-long-didn't-read" conclusion, here it is:
- You should try to get a camera with good image stabilization, good video autofocus, external mic port, and flip screen.
- If the camera lacks one of these, there's still a workaround for some of them (except bad autofocus).
- APS-C is probably the best sensor size for you if you're starting.
- 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.
I'll also help you choose the right lens for each camera, and I'll explain below this post how to choose the right lens for vlogging.
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.
That's just how things are. It's difficult to find the perfect camera. But this doesn't mean that they aren't worth it.
I know many vloggers that use these cameras and they're happy with their choice. They just need a workaround to fix their flaws.
Winner of The Best Camera for Vlogging in 2020 Title
Canon EOS M50
4k (1.7x crop)
Weight (No lens)
12.4oz / 351g
External Mic Port
This camera was released in March 2019, so it is pretty new.
And the best thing about it 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.
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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 light weight 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 decent. 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.
This is still my favorite vlogging camera, and it seems like it will remain like that until a new model is announced, hopefully later this year.
Recommended lens: Canon EF-M 11-22mm
Cheaper option: Canon EF-M 15-45mm (kit lens)
Read the full review and comparison with the G7XII: Canon EOS M50
Best Daily Vlog Compact Cameras in 2020
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.
Canon G7X Mark II - Best Camera for Daily Vlogging
Compact 1" CMOS
11.288oz / 320g
External Mic Port
This model has all the good things the G7 X Mark I 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.
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...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 might have some problems when your face is not shown clearly ---as it works with a face-recognition system---, but this is something you can easily overcome by using the camera's full manual mode. If you have good light, just set manual focus and increase your lens f-number so you won't have any focusing problem ever again.
This is why I still think the Canon Powershot G7X Mark II is one of the best vlog cameras in 2020. Still, if you want 4k recording for about the same price, you should check the next camera on the list.
The Mark III version came out already, but it was so bad that I couldn't put it here. The Mark II is still great though.
Read the full review: Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II
Panasonic LX10 - Best Cheap 4k Camera for Daily Vlogging
Compact 1" MOS
10.935oz / 310g
External Mic Port
Panasonic has been getting a lot of attention lately thanks to their video capabilities, so it's a brand that you can't skip in a list of vlogging cameras.
They've been making many good small cameras that can compete with the best from Sony and Canon, and the LX10 (LX15 in Europe) is one of the options vloggers are choosing, and for good reasons.
The main reason is that it's probably the cheapest camera that can record 4k and that is actually worth buying. It doesn't have the overheating problem many 4k cameras have (like the Sony RX100).
The flip touchscreen automatically makes it a good competitor for vlogs, but there are also some things that can make you go for the G7XMII instead.
Fenchel & Janisch
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...if you combine it with a good gimbal, most people couldn't tell the difference between this and a $5,000 setup if you just showed them the result
Even though its autofocus is not noisy like the G7X’s, it does require some work. It’s still usable and it works well in most situations, but I wouldn’t rely too much on it since it can often lose its focus.
However, it isn’t too far from the G7X autofocus performance. After all, it does focus faster than the G7X, but not as precisely as the Sony RX100. This is why I think you should take the recommendation on using its manual focus mode, decreasing the lens aperture to never get out of focus.
And finally, even though this one offers a f/1.4 lens, it isn’t as good in low light as the Canon. The reason is that you can use the f/1.4 only at 24mm. The Canon camera has faster aperture as you zoom in, and it also responds better to lighting changes during video, as the Panasonic can sometimes remain darker than it should when you enter a room with lower light.
However, it does perform well enough for a compact. Its sound quality is better than the G7X, the 4k recording is truly stunning and it can be done in 15-minute clips without interruptions. It’s a good option if you want the highest definition with the best colors.
Read the full review: Panasonic LX10
Sony RX100 Mark V - Best 4k Camera for Daily Vlogging
Weight (No lens)
299g / 0.66 lb
External Mic Port
The Sony RX100 is also often used by vloggers. It is certainly one of the bests, but it may also be a bit overkill for this job.
It is kind of a combination of a Canon G7X MII and a Panasonic LX10. I like to say that it has a reliable autofocus, like the Canon, with the image quality of the Panasonic (maybe even a bit better).
However, it is also the most expensive of the three, and not exactly better in other aspects.
Unfortunately, they (Canon) don't have a small tiny camera like this that does 4k .This will also shoot 120 frames per second, so a lot of the slowmo clips that you sometime see in vlogs will come directly from this little tiny camera.
Trying to choose between these options can come down to what you’re willing to give for more specialized features.
For example, both the RX100 Mark IV and Mark V come with an outstanding slow-motion mode at 960 fps. With a limited duration of 4 seconds on the Mark IV and 8 on the Mark V, this provides extremely slow short video clips.
But, do you really need it? That’s something you will want to check before paying so much for a camera that doesn’t bring many more benefits.
It is an outstanding machine, but it offers a lot of features that are mainly targetted to professional photographers looking for a small travel camera. It might come with too many unuseful things for a vlogger.
Read the full review: Sony RX100 Mark V.
Best DSLRs for Vlogging in 2020
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
Weight (No Lens)
1.54 lb / 701g
External Mic Port
Although it's true that it's not the ideal camera to take out (DSRLs 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.
It doesn't only has from the fastest, 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.
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 Mirrorless Cameras for Vlogging in 2020
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 a7SII - Best Low-Light Vlogging Camera
Weight (no lens)
1.38lb / 627g
External Mic Port
If there's a camera that can beat the classic Canon EOS 5D Mark III, that's the brand new mirrorless Sony a7SII.
That a pretty bold statement to say the least, and just imagine all the debate this camera is causing right now because of it.
I got this camera because it's really powerful for low-light shooting... whenever I travel I don't have control of the lighting. And the video quality just looks so gorgeous; it's like film, and people do shoot short films on this thing.
Be it for good or bad, this camera feels like the before and after of the industry.
But this is not something we should discuss here, so here's what you need to know about this Sony camera:
Besides being newer, this camera improves most aspects from the Canon 5D Mark III. You can find it around the same price range and it can record 4K, has a better sensor, better autofocus, new 5-axis image stabilization system (you won't need to get a lens with IS for it to work), WiFi, NFC, it's still full-frame and it's much, much smaller and luggable.
The only real disadvantage of the A7SII? The 5D Mark III can last for 950 shots while this one can only last for 340.
The Sony a7SII is one of the best high-level cameras you can buy in 2020 for any purpose, so even if it’s battery is really low for its price, we must know that this one unique advantages thanks to being a mirrorless; and it’s much lighter and easier to carry around when compared to a heavy brick like the 5D Mark III.
Remember that its weakest link can be fixed just by buying an extra battery. That’s why on Amazon, you can find this camera in a special bundle that includes bag, 2 extra batteries, 1 extra charger, memory, tripod and extra battery because of this reason—for the same price as buying only the body of the camera.
This should be the best camera for vlogging and for YouTube videos this year 2020.
Panasonic GH5 - Best Youtube Camera
Weight (No lens)
725g / 1.60 lb
External Mic Port
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), and this decision has made Panasonic cameras the best fit for vlogging.
They got arguably the best entry-level mirrorless for vlogs with the Panasonic G7, but they also have amazing choices for mid-range ---with the Panasonic GH4--- and one that might be the best mirrorless for video blogging and their best camera yet, the Lumix GH5.
I genuinely feel like they designed and made this camera with YouTubers in mind. It has super powerful front facing screen that's the same kind of screen that's on my cell phone. It gives you a really good image.
All these cameras share something in common: fully-articulating touchscreens, external microphone ports and relatively small sizes. They only sacrifice a bit of low-light performance and Bokeh effect due to their smaller sensors, but these sensors are still a lot larger than what compacts have.
The truth is that Panasonic has achieved amazing video quality with the GH5's 4k capacities, together with its dynamic range and low-light performance.
If you don't believe me, watch the following video:
The GH4 and GH5 might not be the smallest vlogging cameras you can get, but they are extremely useful. Even though I put here the GH5 since it’s the best option, I do believe Panasonic is the best brand for this job. I encourage you to check the full list of Panasonic vlogging cameras here.
I’m sure you learned from the video that the GH5 is much better than its predecessor, but remember that it doubles the GH4’s price. You might want to get one that isn’t as hurtful to your wallet.
Read the full review: Panasonic GH5.
Sony A6400 - Best Luggable Vlogging Camera
Weight (No lens)
External Mic Port
Have you ever dreamed of a camera that could record 4k, have almost perfect---because nothing is perfect---autofocus, external microphone port and everything for a relatively low price? The Sony A6400 is just that.
The bad thing? It lacks stabilization.
Still, it's not the end of the world.
You can always get a lens with stabilization and that problem is solved. The downside is that these lenses are a bit more expensive.
The camera honestly has it all, except for the stabilization. However, the camera compensates this downside by having an amazing autofocus. It's probably the best in the market. It's crazy how reliable and fast it is.
Still, lack of optimization is a shame. I understand this is a deal breaker for a lot of people.
In the end, it will depend on how much importance do you give to not depending 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.
Panasonic G9 - Best Versatile Vlogging Camera
Weight (No lens)
External Mic Port
When it comes to buying a camera, the first thing you do is make sure the model you want was made for what you intend to use it for, video or photo.
But the Panasonic G9 is an amazing camera for both jobs.
Since its firmware update in November 2019, the new autofocus features made it just as good for video as the GH5.
And now it is a video camera with incredible photography features.
The autofocus is pretty reliable if you put it in face detection mode, and it's also fast.
But one of my favorite things about it is the Dual image stabilization in video.
If you use your camera with one of the selected lenses by Lumix, you'll have the internal stabilization from the camera body and the optical IS from the lens working together to give you super smooth movement.
This makes your vlog look stable like a movie, which is a huge deal.
And besides recording in 4k60p (with a limit of 10-minute clips), you can record in 4kp30 and 1080p up to 180fps.
The only downside I can think of is the weight. Even though it's lighter than the GH5, it's still heavier than most mirrorless.
However, I don't mind it too much. I find that the weight is still viable for carrying around and record in selfie mode.
So if you want to shoot video and take a lot of photos, this camera is a great option.
There's a 6k photo mode, it can take up to 80mp photos, it comes with dual SD slots, and the bursting mode, viewfinder and focus modes—including one for animals—, make this one of the most complete and well-rounded cameras out there.
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.
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:
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:
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 are those that capture a wider area instead of making the subject look closer to you:
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.
Why GoPro SUCKS 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 4k quality and small size together with a "fair" price. There's a reason why they are far cheaper than the other 4k cameras.
That's because high resolution doesn't mean good image quality. You also want a camera that can record videos that your viewers won't mind watching for hours.
Furthermore, you can find a high-resolution camera with flip screen or even one with an external mic input.
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 Canon G7X Mark II. This is the most popular vlogging camera for a good reason.
- 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.
- 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.
If you still got some doubts on which one to choose, just ask and I'll answer you below.