Top 15 Best Cameras for Youtube 2021
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First, Choose Your Main Camera
The following 3 camera types are the main ones you should consider for YouTube.
- DSLRs offer great quality but they are heavy (great for recording at home).
- Compacts offer good quality and portability (great for vlogging).
- Mirrorless perfect balance between the two above (my personal favorite).
Why Mirrorless is the Best
Like it or not, DSLRs are slowly being replaced by mirrorless.
They are lighter, faster and they can constantly be updated.
It's like having an Android phone that is constantly being updated with new cool features for free.
So if you're starting on YouTube, you should probably look for a mirrorless first.
I'l only tell you to go for a compact instead if you plan to record 100% of your content on the go.
There are still some DSLRs that I still recommend.... but I can't tell you any real reason to go for one of those instead of a mirrorless.
Did I mention that mirrorless is king for YouTube?
What Sensor Size is Right For You?
What's the camera sensor?
You'll see that I'll talk about sensor a lot.
The sensor is the part of the camera that captures the light from the outside world to turn it into a still image (or something like that).
What happens is that the bigger the sensor, the better the camera will be in low light.
But also, the bigger the frame will be and the more intense the Bokeh — that beautiful blurry background — effect you'll achieve.
In other words, the largest sensors will achieve an outstanding image quality, especially when it comes to the Bokeh effect.
But also, they are much more expensive.
There are three camera sensors you'll see mentioned here:
Micro Four Thirds
This is found in Panasonic cameras, and they are the smallest sensors.
They're still larger than any compact camera out there, and they're still pretty useful in low light.
This is the standard DSLR size that is also found in a lot of mirrorless cameras.
They are the middel size right between four thirds and full-frame.
Cameras with this kind of lens are much more expensive, but they also offer most of the benefits.
You can achieve an intense blurry background effect and they're the best when recording in low light without losing quality.
Which one should you choose?
I don't think this should be one of the big deciding factors in your decision.
Four thirds cameras still offer excellent quality when compared to the APS-C, and the difference is almost seemless.
On the other hand, full-frame are the highest quality, but they are also the most expensive and you'll see that they lack a feature that most people find essensial for vlogging: a flip screen.
So just choose whatever you can afford and that has most of the features that you're craving for.
Secondly, Don't Forget Your Lighting and Microphone
Don't Confuse a Situational Camera With Your Main Camera
The following 2 camera types are entirely SITUATIONAL.
- Action cameras (GoPro)
This means that you shouldn't choose one of these unless you got a very specific use for them. More explanation below.
We'll review these cameras at the end of this article.
The 12 Best Cameras for YouTube 2020: Reviews
If you are still not sure about which one to choose after that, remember: if you got the money for it, you’ll never be wrong with a mirrorless. I only wouldn't use them for action vlogging or gaming. They will give you top DSLR quality and the luggability of a compact.
Now let’s see the top models that others YouTubers are often using.
Table of Contents
- First, Choose Your Main Camera
- Secondly, Don't Forget Your Lighting and Microphone
- Don't Confuse a Situational Camera With Your Main Camera
- The 12 Best Cameras for YouTube 2020: Reviews
- Best Situational Cameras
- Best Situational Cameras
Top 5 Mirrorless Cameras for YouTube
Canon EOS M50 – Best “Bang for Your Bucks”
The reason is that it has the perfect balance of useful features for recording videos for your channel.
It has everything that you need, and not much more, which makes it the best bang for your bucks if you’re looking for a YouTube camera.
Articulating screen, in-body image stabilization, external microphone jack and it can even record in 4k (although with a significant crop factor).
This means that 4k videos won’t capture the entire frame that the camera is capable of in 1080p, but that shouldn’t be a big deal since you shouldn’t be recording in 4k for YouTube anyway.
This is a mirrorless camera that seems like it was designed for YouTubers and vloggers alike.
And that’s why it is in the first place.
Recommended lens: 15-45mm kit lens
Recommended SD card: Lexar Professional 633x 128GB SDXC UHS-I Card
Read the full review: Canon EOS M50.
- Good quality and cheap price
- Made for YouTube
- Lightweight and APS-C sensor
Panasonic G95 - Best Quality for the Best Price
The Panasonic G95 seems like the perfectly balanced camera for YouTube, at least for me. After reading about cameras and reviewing them for years, I feel like this one comes the closest to being perfect for this job.
The reason is that since Panasonic has focused effort in giving their mirrorless exceptional performance for video, you get a lot of value for your money if you are a YouTuber.
The camera comes with the basics to be considered a camera made for recording: articulating screen, image stabilization, and external microphone port.
It can record 4k up to 30fps (cropped, sadly), and the fact that you have V-Log profile available without any extra cost, which allows you to achieve the most realistic colors, tells us that Panasonic made this camera thinking about video first.
Compared to the rest of the mirrorless in here, its sensor is a bit smaller, so the performance in low light is not as good as its competitors here.
However, the low-light performance won’t affect your quality unless you are recording at night and without lighting. Its sensor isn’t as small as a compact camera, so it still performs pretty well and above average. It is just a small disadvantage when compared to other mirrorless cameras.
Recommended lens: 12-60mm F3.5-5.6
Recommended SD card: Sandisk Extreme Pro - Flash Memory Card - 64 GB - SDXC UHS-I
Sony a7 III - Astonishing Quality, at a Cost
It rocks a full-frame sensor in a relatively small body, which is the main selling point of this camera.
It can also record in 4kp30 without cropping and has a 5-axis stabilization body.
The big downside? The lack of a flip screen.
This camera was meant to be used from the rear, so this will be the most common dealbreaker for most people — besides its price.
On the other hand, since it's a full-frame, it will be difficult for you to accidentally be outside of the frame, but it's always nice to be able to check if everything is going on as planned.
The low light performance of this camera is unmatched by others on this list thanks to its sensor size.
But its price, the lack of flip screen and the fact that it isn't one of the lightest cameras here, might be a big disappointment for many.
Read the full review: Sony a7 III
Panasonic GH5 - Mirrorless King for Video
The Panasonic G95 is a great camera for video, but it has its limitations.
On the other hand, the Panasonic GH5 truly is a camera made for professional filmmaking work.
It can record in 4k at 60 fps without any crop, its autofocus is fast and reliable, and it has what the Sony a7 III lacks: a flip screen.
Also, it comes with Panasonic's famous Dual I.S., which gives you the best image stabilization if you're using a compatible lens with OIS.
The problem? It is quite heavy, even though its sensor is a small micro four thirds.
However, if you don't plan to record in selfie mode with this camera, and you want it for recording on a tripod from home, it is an amazing filmmaking machine.
But bear in mind that one of the main reasons this camera is so expensive is its 4k capacities, and that might be too much for YouTUbe.
After all, youll probably avoid 4k since it requires an extremly fast computer and YouTube will decrease and compress the quality of your videos anyway.
Read the full review: Panasonic GH5
Sony a6400 – Great Quality and Lightweight Alternative
There are of course higher end mirrorless for video like the A7SII, but this one shows incredibly high quality for its price tag.
Sadly, it falls short with something that is a big deal breaker for many vloggers: no in-body stabilization.
This means that you’ll need a lens with OIS if you want to walk and record video at the same time.
However, this camera has one of the best autofocus system on the market. It’s the fastest autofocus and it’s also accurate and reliable.
You will not have problems with the camera focusing the wrong thing during your videos and it will track your face pretty well no matter how much you move while talking.
The camera is also really small and lightweight even though it has an APS-C sensor. This makes it easy to carry around, but it’s a shame that it doesn’t come with the needed stabilization for it.
I’d recommend this camera as one of the top choices if you plan to record most of your videos from home on a tripod.
Recommended lens: 16-50mm Lens f/ 3.5-5.6
Recommended SD card: SanDisk 128GB SDXC Extreme Pro
Read our full review of the Sony a6400.
Top 2 DSLR Cameras for YouTube
Price / Rating
Their first Rebel camera to make it big was the T3i. It was an extremely popular choice for makeup channels since it offered great video quality and beautiful colors for the best price. Since then, this lineup has become the main choice as a video DSLR for starters.
The current model is the Canon EOS Rebel SL3. After the T3i we got lots of disappointments with the following models, but lately, Canon has stepped up their game once more.
Currently, Canon markets it as the “lightest and smallest” DSLR — and my question is, why don’t just make it mirrorless then?
Even though it’s pretty small for a DSLR, the Canon EOS M50 is still a lot ligher than this one, so that shouldn’t be the main reason to choose this one.
But hey, if you’re still in love with the mechanical sound of the shutter, then this camera is for you.
This camera has everything that you need for YouTube videos: stabilization, flip screen, mic input and it can also record in 4k (with a big crop).
The main reason to choose this one over any mirrorless would be its battery life.
Battery can last twice than most mirrorless cameras out there.
So, if you don’t want to spend half the time recharging batteries — although if you’re recording from home, this shouldn’t be a problem because most modern mirrorless cameras can be powered through USB —, then this is a good option.
Recommended lens: 18-55mm kit lens.
Recommended SD card: SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I
For many years, the best DSLR specifically made for video was the Canon EOS 70D.
Now the 90D stands as the new DSLR king for video.
This camera has a new processor and sensor, increased battery life, more focus points, better dynamic range and a couple more advantages that semi-pro filmmakers will find more meaningful than most YouTubers.
This camera has one of the best autofocus systems on the market, and it’s reliable even for action shooting.
And thankfully, this new model can record 4k video up to 30fps without any crop.
Overall, this camera is priced just right and it’s excellent for video.
The main downside is that it’s heavy, like most DSLRs. And also, that it lacks in-body stabilization.
However, this last part isn’t so bad for this camera because there are plenty of lenses with OIS available that have a fair price.
Recommended lens: 18-55mm IS STM
Recommended SD card: SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I
Remember how the 70D was so good that it didn’t have competition for around 3 years? The same happened to the 5D… but for almost 5 years.
Finally, Canon recently decided to bring their flag camera to the modern times, mainly by giving it 4k recording, touchscreen, GPS, time-lapse and wireless connection.
However, this camera is a complete overkill for 90% of YouTube channels out there. This is a DSLR made for professional photographers. It is the main DSLR used to capture professional shots, be it in weddings, concerts or any kind of event that requires professional results.
It has great autofocus, huge dynamic range, long battery duration, multiple memory card slots, huge ISO range and a full-frame sensor. And these are just a few of the features that make this camera the best for pros.
However, in scenarios where you have a lot of control —like recording from home with your own lighting setup— you are not going to take advantage of its fullest potential. Although it will still help you get top-notch image quality.
This camera is a professional tool that the serious photographers need, so it’s probably a bit too much for your channel. I’ve still seen a few YouTubers own this camera and use it for their content, but they are mostly people involved with big brands and they have already made YouTube their career.
So please, if you want to go for it, at least learn about exposure and how to use ISO, lens aperture, and shutter speed to get the best quality out of a picture.
Use this camera in auto mode and you will earn the hate of any photographer that gets to see it.
Top 3 Compact Cameras for YouTube
Compact cameras are the main choice for vloggers for many reasons. The first and most important one is their luggability. Taking a DSLR camera around can be a real pain in the arse, especially if you got a full kit of lenses to take with you. However, the high-end compact cameras come with non-detachable lenses that are of extremely high-quality for their price and come with a good zoom to work with.
Canon’s G7 X is a very common choice between vloggers. It all comes down to it being very small and easy to carry around, while also having an articulating screen and way above-average performance in low light for a P&S.
Probably the biggest value you get is its incredibly high-quality lens.
I don’t think there’s any detachable 24-100mm f/1.8 lens for sale on the market. The closest I can find is the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 and it goes on sale for no less than a $1000. However, this camera doesn’t hit the 4 digits price mark. This is a top quality lens for a bargain price.
This makes the G7X at least the top 3 compact cameras on the market.
However, not everything is good: the downside for video is that the autofocus motor is quite loud, so you will be hearing it in your videos.
You can get rid of this by getting an external recorder and an external mic to go with it, so you can have top audio quality and video at the same time.
For the rest of the features, there are really not many complaints you can make as a YouTuber: it has great image stabilization, good low-light performance for a compact and articulating screen. It only lacks the external mic port, but that’s just a common problem with this type of camera.
Of course, you will have to give up a few things for this superior resolution quality.
The Canon camera seems to perform a bit better in terms of getting less shaky videos, and its autofocus seems a bit more reliable. Also, I like its rubber grip, which makes it harder to slip off my butter hands.
Nevertheless, the value you get as a YouTuber is really good, especially because of that yummy 4k for such price.
Bear in mind that this camera captures more light than the Canon when you use its lens at its widest capacity. You can record at 24mm with a f/1.4 aperture instead of f/1.8 like the Canon. This makes it slightly better in low light.
However, that advantage is gone as soon as you zoom in a bit because the lens becomes a lot slower. On the other hand, the G7 X doesn’t get that as slow as you zoom in.
This is a bit technical, but all you need to know is that the LX10 is better in low light but only when recording at 24mm, which is when it’s completely zoomed out.
Also, its autofocus motor isn’t as noisy as the G7 X’s, so it is a better option if you hate the idea of using an external microphone —although if you are a YouTuber, you should NEVER hate this idea, but alright.
While the LX10 has top recording quality, its autofocus isn’t very good. On the other hand, while the G7X can’t record in 4k, its autofocus and stabilization are great. This Sony is the best way to combine the best of both, but it is also the most expensive option of the three.
It can record 4kp30 like the LX10 but has a reliable and fast autofocus, similarly to the G7X II. The camera is completely pocketable and can be carried anywhere.
The most original feature it offers is the ability to record slow-motion at 960fps. This allows you to record extremely slow-motion video to bring some creativity to your vlogs.
The colors achievable by the camera look extremely real. If you’re looking for realism, this Sony will give you a less cartoonish color profile than the Canon G7X.
Still, it’s not like this camera outperforms the last two cameras in every way. For example, the Canon G7X does a better job at keeping the exposure clear. This Sony tends to make things a bit darker than they should be. This is why I prefer using this camera in manual exposure mode for the most part.
The Canon might still be a better option for newbies, and it makes sense since that’s the most common choice vloggers make.
Read the full review: Sony RX100 Mark V.
Best Situational Cameras
Best Situational Cameras
Best Action Camera for YouTube
Action vlogging, and everything that is filmed outside your house, cries for a wide-angle lens.
This type of lens will allow you to record wide shots, so it’s great when holding the camera and recording yourself while walking around.
There is no doubt that the best brand out there for action cameras is GoPro. There is just something about these cameras that make a lot of people want them.
I know A LOT of people that think this camera is the ultimate recording device, and so they will buy it for any purpose.
This is a big mistake. GoPro is made for shoots that are impossible with another kind of camera, mainly because of their size and rugged build.
They are made for very particular environments. And these environments do not include calmly walking while talking to the camera.
That’s why looking at videos recorded by these cameras for too long can make you dizzy. Their sound is utterly awful, and the colors look really cold—mainly because they are made to record underwater, where light is naturally bluish.
However, the ability to show your perspective through a wide-angle lens located on your head is unachievable by any other camera. This is just gold for people that do incredible stuff and want to show it to other people.
You just have to know what this camera is made for. If you use it for that purpose, it will be the best buy you’ll ever make. However, if you just want to get it to record your typical daily vlogs, you will be highly disappointed.
Do not buy it for the wide-angle lens. You can have a normal camera with many useful features and much higher quality in both day and night with a wide-angle lens.
It comes with improved image quality, an electronic viewfinder on its larger touchscreen and of course, a few hardware and software tweaks.
One cool — but costly — thing about this new model is the ability to use “mods”.
These are basically sold-separately parts that can be attached to your camera to turn it into a serious vogging rig.
You could even add a flip screen to it:
And another great thing about this new model is the fact that the microphone is located on the front of the camera.
This makes it the first GoPro model with decent audio quality for vlogging.
Still, I wouldn’t use this camera as my main vlogging camera.
Instead, use it for its luggability and durability when it’s not easy to use a classic camera.
The fact that you can only use a wide-angle lens and the small sensor limit this camera a lot, especially in low light.
Best Webcam for YouTube
Webcams are extremely cheap and useful. And even though most of them are not that useful if you want to record a decent quality video, there are a few exceptions that I will include on this list. The problem with webcams is that many of them say they can record 1080p video, but most of the time it is a lie. The only one that can truly record 1080p is a model that I’ll talk about in a moment.
These cameras are extremely cheap mainly because you can only use them with your PC and their sensors are extremely small. So, if you are someone that will record mostly from your computer you should take advantage of their cheap price. Some webcams are good enough to create Twitch or YouTube content.
There are good reasons why this camera is the preferred one for Twitch streamers by a big margin.
The main one is that there’s no match for its quality. And the best thing is that it is extremely cheap since it is a webcam. The camera can pan and tilt, and it is compatible with tripods, so you have a bit more versatility.
A lot of webcams will tell you they can record 1080p, but they are lying. Basically, the C920 is the only one telling the truth. I haven’t found a webcam with better image quality.
That’s a lie.
It just gives you some really small features that a lot of streamers want, like background removal tool and 6 months of Xsplit license. But the truth is that, even if you are a streamer, you can do all this with free software and pay a lot less for the camera.
It’s a lot more expensive for basically nothing new in terms of quality. Get the C920.
Also, do not go for the C930e; that camera is slower and has some compatibility issues, and it’s more expensive just because it’s supposed to be its successor. There’s no real difference in image quality.
Just get the C920 and an external microphone, and you’ll be good to go.