Top 7 Best Vlogging Mirrorless Cameras
If you’re here, you’ve probably told a friend that you want to get a vlog camera, and they told you that mirrorless is the best option. Well, they were right. I will always recommend a mirrorless to any vlogger, newbie or pro. They are basically compact cameras that can record just as good as a DSLR. What vlogger wouldn’t like this?
For me, mirrorless is the future of photography. You wouldn’t like to stay behind, would you? This list of the best mirrorless cameras for vlogging will help you choose the right one for your needs.
Comparison: Top 7 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Vlogging
Price / Our Rating
Table of Contents
- Comparison: Top 7 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Vlogging
- How to Save Money and Get the Most Out of Your Mirrorless
- The 5 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Vlogging:
- The 3 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Vlogging Under 1000$:
How to Save Money and Get the Most Out of Your Mirrorless
First, all these cameras have interchangeable lenses, meaning that you can upgrade the lens later on. For most of them you will have the option to buy the camera with a kit lens—a cheaper bundle, but with the most basic lenses—or get only the body and get a good lens from the start. The kit lens is the cheapest option in the short term, but I always recommend getting a good lens from the beginning. You will save money in the long run if you ignore the kit lens now and go straight for the better one. You will end up doing it anyway.
Some of the prices you’ll see here are only for the camera body. I tried to organize all these by price without a lens, but some of these cameras don’t have the option of buying only the body unless you buy used. Just make sure that you’re taking into account the extra money you will need for the lens and—even more important—for a good microphone. You should be worrying more about audio than video right now.
You will always get more out of money if you learn a bit about the basics of photography and filmmaking. Knowing about the exposure triad—what lens aperture, shutter speed, and ISO do—will let you use your camera to its full potential. Honestly, it’s not worth getting a $3000 camera if you don’t know any of this. This will let you solve problems you will get while recording. Also, it will let you personalize your shooting and develop your own style.
Now, I think you’re ready to make a decision.
The 5 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Vlogging:
Sometimes people think they are looking for the best until they see the price tag. The following options are the top vlog mirrorless cameras available. These are the ones you’ll want if you’re serious about this:
Sony Alpha 7S Mark II: The King of Low Light
The Sony Alpha A7S II is a camera that has been getting a lot of different opinions everywhere. Before anything, you need to know that the camera does have some problems that make it a bit annoying to use daily. And for the price you pay for it, it feels really unacceptable…
…until you record in low light. Even people that think it’s a very poorly designed camera admit that they would prefer the A7SII over another mirrorless if they had to choose only one. The camera can achieve shots at night that no other competitor is able to shoot. The high-quality image the camera can keep up in extremely low-light conditions thanks to its full-frame sensor, dynamic range and ISO capacities is just too good. You can get shots you couldn’t get with any other mirrorless camera.
That is why this Sony is the one I recommend for serious vloggers that really need to shoot a lot in the dark. If you’re a nightlife vlogger, I don’t think you have many other options.
But what exact problems does the camera have? Well, to start with, it doesn’t have an articulating screen. Also, the camera doesn’t have a touchscreen, and it feels a bit unresponsive with its controls; it is not very user-friendly. You have to go through a lot of options and menus just to change one thing. This is something filmmakers are hating about it. Its continuous autofocus is not great and its low battery life makes you need 3 batteries when a Panasonic GH5—which I’ll review in a bit—would use just one.
Still, its full-frame sensor will allow you to get truly shallow depth of field, and the camera captures incredible 4k footage. It can record 1080p at 120fps for slow motion and its 5-axis image stabilization is extremely good.
Any filmmaker will need this camera if they want to record a lot at night. It makes it possible to achieve scenes that no other consumer camera could. This alone makes it arguably the best mirrorless for video.
I know that things like lack of an articulating screen make things harder for vlogs. But take into account that the camera captures a lot of space through its full-frame, so you don’t really need feedback to know you’re inside the frame. This camera is still the one I’d go for if I needed to record a lot in low light.
Panasonic GH5: The Most Complete Youtube Camera
While the A7S II is pretty annoying with its design, the GH5 is the opposite. It has a flip-out touchscreen, all its controls are well placed and changing settings is extremely fast and easy.
It also captures beautiful image quality in 4k and can record 1080p up to 180fps for extreme slow-mo. In terms of dynamic range, it has little to envy to the Sony, and its image stabilization is even better if you use the dual IS 2.0, which is compatible with a handful of lenses. This allows the camera in-body and in-lens stabilization to work together to achieve smooth videos while moving. This is an awesome feature for vloggers. But even if you don’t have the compatible lenses, you can still use the 5-axis image stabilization.
You can’t really use this camera the same way you’d use the Sony. It is still useful at night, but the image quality is not nearly as clean, and it’s impossible to shoot in total darkness. It features a Micro Four Thirds sensor, which cripples its capacities in low light. The sensor neither allows you to achieve a shallow depth of field as you would with an APS-C camera, and let’s not say a full-frame.
But hey, it’s about $600 cheaper, has a lot more battery life and it shoots just as well in normal light conditions. Both cameras don’t have the best continuous autofocus, which is a shame for their price. But that’s why they aren’t the only two cameras on this list.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II: The Heavy but Best Plug & Play
Considering this as the best for newbies is like saying it is the best for most vlogger. I mean, let’s face it: most vloggers know as much as cameras as the average Joe. Cameras are a bit complex and you do need to have some interest in it if you want to learn all those weird concepts like lens aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. And let’s not even talk about color grade.
Normally, when you record a video, if you want it to have the best colors achievable by the camera, you need to do a bit of retouching in an editing software. The most basic thing is color graduation, which will let you improve the colors of your images after record. If you don’t do it, the image might look washed out. What the Olympus offers is true good colors straight out of the camera. You don’t need to worry about applying your own coloring to the image.
Knowing how to do it can be really good to achieve your own style. Still, it’s just something most users don’t want to worry about, even though it is easy to do.
This is the main advantage I give it, but it is not the only good feature it offers. It has a flip screen, really good image stabilization, external mic input and 4k recording—not as high-quality as the GH5 though. It is also lighter than the last two cameras. It falls short a bit in autofocus; it is pretty fast, but it can lose it focus, so it’s still not the most reliable option for this. For that, we got the following camera.
Finally, it is a Micro Four Thirds sensor, just like the GH5. This means that it still isn’t the choice to go for if you need the best low-light quality. But it is, in general, one of the best options for vloggers.
Sony Alpha 6500: The Best Autofocus
If I had to mention the main thing that this camera does better than its competitors here, is its continuous autofocus. It honestly has no other like it. If you want a reliable autofocus, this camera is the go-to for vloggers.
It is an APS-C sensor camera, so you will also get good low-light performance, although not as close as its full-frame cousin, the A7S II.
I should also mention that it is a lot cheaper than the cameras you’ve seen up until this point. And still, it can record truly crisp 4k video, which I can only compare to the GH4 and Sony A7S II. It can also record 1080p up to 120fps for slow motion.
The last thing you will love is that it is a lot lighter and smaller than the others. This is especially good if you have weak arms (like me). It’s hard to carry a camera while recording vlogs for an entire day. The size of this Sony makes it a lot easier.
Still, it does has some downsides. It doesn’t have flip-out screen. Ouch! It would’ve been perfect if it did. You can still create your own if you’re a DIY person, like YouTuber Hozz did. It is better than getting a $400+ external LCD monitor.
It is a really high-quality camera for the price, and it is as light as a mirrorless can get. I feel like its image stabilization isn’t as good as the cameras above, but it’s still good.
The 3 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Vlogging Under 1000$:
These cameras are a lot more affordable than the ones from the above list. Yet, they are good cameras for their price. You can start with one of these and later on upgrade to a more expensive option. This will give you some time to think if vlogging is really for you before going all in from the start. The first option of the list can still record 4k, so don’t think for a second that you will get bad video quality with them:
Canon EOS M50: The 2018 Vlogging Camera
The Canon EOS M50 retails for around the same base price as the EOS M6 but with new and improved features.
It is the first of the M-series line of Canon mirrorless cameras to have a fully-articulating LCD touchscreen and the first one to use the company’s new DIGIC 8 processor. This upgrade allows the M50 to have a better and faster autofocusing system which covers a significantly wider area than the M6. For reference, the latter has only 99 AF points while the M50 has 143 AF points.
This camera truly hast it all for vlogging: flip-out screen, external mic port, APS-C sensor—which is the same size DSLRs use— and it’s really light and easy to carry around.
Of course, there’s also the fact that the Canon EOS M50 is the first M-series camera to have the capability to shoot 4K at 24/25p which is already a great deal considering its relatively affordable price point. Just be warned that 4K shooting with the M50 entails an added crop factor further decreasing its field of view.
The M50 has also been upgraded to perform better in low-light situations with its ISO sensitivity range pushed to 25600 and a five-axis in-body image stabilization system.
I’ve been writing for a while about vlogging cameras, and I can tell you that this model is what I’ve always dreamed of in a camera made just for vlogging. It doesn’t offer much more than what you need for your vlogs. And that is perfect because you don’t have to pay extra for features you won’t use.
Panasonic G7: The Affordable Most Complete VLOG Camera
I like to think of the Panasonic G7 as the budget version of the GH4 or GH5. This is a camera that was made for video recording, like the other latest releases from Panasonic. It has everything you’d want in a vlogging camera, and it can even record 4k. The only exception is the lack of image stabilization, but as an interchangeable-lens camera, you can get a lens with OIS. The included kit lens has it installed.
It is lighter than the A6500 without a lens, even though it’s slightly bigger. It also features a hot-shoe mount that lets you use a shotgun microphone on it.
The autofocus feels a bit slow, but it does not do an excessive amount of hunting. It can’t be compared to the a6500’s autofocus, but we are talking about a camera that almost doubles its price.
Taking into account its price tag, this one is amazing for video blog recording. You can’t have a good interchangeable-lens camera that can record 4k25p for cheaper than this. And it’s extremely hard to find a camera that has all the features that make video recording easier for this price. Maybe the reason is its Micro Four Thirds sensor, which is not as big as Sony’s sensors, but they do a pretty good job at taking advantage of this by adding more features.
Sony a5100: Best Mirrorless for Starters
The Sony a5100 is definitely the perfect camera for the vlog amateur. This is the first camera I’d recommend you to get if you just want to try vlogging out to see if it’s something for you. It is as small as a Sony can get, extremely light and has just the basics you need to vlog comfortably. All this while being an APS-C camera.
It has an articulating screen and features an autofocus system that is pretty good for the price. With cheap cameras like this, I usually recommend using the manual focus, but I’ve felt pretty comfortable with its autofocus while vlogging. I’ve found it also does a good job at predicting who to focus when there’s more than one subject having on camera. And what’s better, the focus is pretty fast.
This is the first camera on the list that can’t record 4k, but its 1080p60 recording looks pretty good, and it’s not a big deal for YouTube to record in 4k.
As it was predictable for the price, it doesn’t have an external microphone port, so you will need an external recorder for your microphone. The good thing is that you can also use your smartphone for this.
It also lacks internal image stabilization, so you will need to get a lens with IS. The good thing is that the kit’s lens has it. I’ve made a list of lenses with image stabilization for Sony in case you want to get a good lens straight from the beginning.