Top 6 Best DSLR Cameras for YouTube Vlogging 2019
Digital single-lens reflex cameras are really popular between YouTubers. Some of these have really nice features for vloggers, and their recording quality is the best. Their performance in low light makes them great for indoors and they’re highly adaptable. That’s why I’ve made this list of the 6 best DSLR cameras for YouTube vlogging.
Table of Contents
- Comparison Table: 6 Best DSLR Cameras for YouTube Vlogging
- How to Save Money When Buying a New DSLR for YouTube Vlogging
- A Quick Guide on Sensor Size
- And the 6 Best Are…
Comparison Table: 6 Best DSLR Cameras for YouTube Vlogging
Price / Our Rating
How to Save Money When Buying a New DSLR for YouTube Vlogging
When it comes to DSLRs, quality is attached to the lenses you buy with them.
This is why when buying a DSLR, I always recommend not buying the starter lens kit. Instead, get a good lens straight away.
Usually, starter lens kits are low quality. For vlogging from home, you will want to start with a fixed 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 lens. With them you won’t suffer perspective distortion, your image will be sharper and low-light recording will be much better. On the other hand, you’ll need a wide-angle lens (18-35mm) if you want to show more of your surroundings, or if you’re recording really close to the camera (like when walking around with the camera).
You might want to get an 18-50mm f/1.8 lens if you want to have a lens that is good for both situations. Nevertheless, when your vlogs involve speaking in front of a static camera, a prime 50mm is best.
Most of the time, buying with a starter lens kit will be more expensive. If this is the case, buy the body and get one of my recommended lenses straight away. The mistake of buying the starter lens kit is that you will more sooner than later need a better lens. Why not buy it straight from the beginning and skip the starter lens kit?
Still, bear in mind that few DSLRs come with the starting lens kit for no extra price. Just make sure they aren’t going to charge extra for it before ordering one.
Take into account that you will also need a good microphone. DSLRs’ built-in microphones are not good. If you want to get the best quality with a DSLR, you better pick up with sound quality too. Here you will find a list of good shotgun mics you can use. You should bear in mind their cost before finally deciding which DSLR to get.
Finally, you will want to consider a tripod either for recording in selfie mode or for recording in a home studio setup. I’ve reviewed the best for vlogging right here.
Now, let’s start.
A Quick Guide on Sensor Size
You will see that the most significant difference between some cameras here is their sensor size. The best ones are Full-Frame, while the rest are APS-C.
Their difference? The explanation is simple:
Full-Frame is the biggest sensor size. This means that they are significantly better in low light—and by low light, I’m including indoors during the day— they can also achieve a more intense Bokeh effect and they are able to capture a wider frame, like if you were zoomed out.
The image above shows how much more full-frame cameras are able to capture from the same distance and with the same lens in comparison to APS-C size. It also makes it obvious why they capture more light since they’re bigger.
Full-Frames are capable of suppressing Perspective Distortion because they can use tele lens that still capture a wide area.
Since they’re better in low light and can use better lenses, they offer the highest quality. Colors and sharpness are just on point—and it’s the main reason they cost a lot of money.
APS-C cameras listed here have smaller sensors, but they’re still good. In fact, their sensors are larger than any compact or camcorder.
The most common choice for YouTube is an APS-C DSLR when recording from home, and a good compact camera for traveling and street vlogs. Only the most serious vloggers get a full-frame camera.
After all, they are not cheap.
Now that you know all this, here is the complete list of the best DSLRs for YouTube vlogging:
And the 6 Best Are…
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – The Professional Youtube Camera
The Canon EOS 5D truly is the king of prosumer-level DSLRs, especially for video. The Mark IV is the latest update, which introduces 4k recording.
This update took a long time — around 4 years — and I’m sure it was mainly due to Sony mirrorless cameras becoming more popular.
But that doesn’t matter now. We already got the update we needed for arguably the one of the best DSLRs on the market.
This camera has the great autofocus and dynamic range for high-contrast scenes. It also offers great sharpness and colors. This makes it really good for makeup and beauty. This is why it’s a very popular camera between wedding photographers.
You can trust this camera will live up to the challenge of giving the best quality in low light—unless you’re recording in a cave, of course.
Now, one of the biggest downsides is that this camera isn’t the lightest DSLR. But for vloggers, the main problem is the lack of an articulating screen. This can be a deal breaker for Youtubers.
Still, remember that this is a full-frame camera, so it’s really hard to end up outside of the frame by accident. Still, even for me, the lack of an articulating screen can be annoying.
This is why the 5D Mark IV might be the highest quality camera you could get for Youtube, but it might not be the right one for you.
Canon EOS 80D – Best Video DSLR for Youtubers
The 5D Mark IV is an amazing camera, but it might be too much if you just want to record YouTube videos. Besides, it doesn’t have an articulating screen.
If you want a great camera to record your YouTube videos and even make short films, the Canon EOS 80D should be your main option.
The Canon EOS 80D’s autofocus is the best you can find for this price.
It is good even in low light.
One of the most common troubles vloggers face is the lack of a good lighting setup. If you know a little bit about lighting, you can, of course, get away with a DSLR that doesn’t perform well in these situations. However, you can trust the Canon EOS 80D when used in non-optimal lighting conditions.
This gives you an idea of the kind of value you’re getting for your money.
However, the camera isn’t perfect. It can record only up to 1080p60/30, which is a bit disappointing knowing that many compact and mirrorless are coming with 4k recording.
Also, the newer T7i and 77D are both cheaper, but they have a new sensor and all the video features the 80D brings. The 77D is especially focused on filmmaking and comes with a lower price and in-body image stabilization, something you will miss from the 80D.
So, if you plan to only give your DSLR usage for home video, you can sacrifice battery life and extra-sharp autofocus for a cheaper price tag with these camera cousins. If you choose the 77D instead, you will pay less in the initial upfront for the body and for future lens upgrades since you’ll be able to get cheaper lenses that lack the stabilization the 77D includes.
Canon EOS 77D – Best Value DSLR for Youtube Vlogging
The Canon 77D is a 24.2-megapixel DSLR camera marketed for advanced amateur videographers and photographers. Often said to be a midpoint between the lower-end Canon T7i/800D and the higher-end Canon 80D, the 77D shares a lot of common features with the other two.
All three are equipped with APS-C CMOS sensors, have articulated LCD touchscreens and external microphone ports. They are also equipped with an impressive dual-pixel autofocus system which is one of the most effective autofocus systems for DSLRs.
So, what makes the 77D standout from its siblings?
Well, for a significantly lower starting price, the 77D offers a higher ISO capability than the 80D. This is because the 77D (as well as the T7i) has a more advanced image processor than the 80D. Thus, giving the latter a step of ISO advantage, which may be useful when shooting in extremely dark situations.
The Canon 77D also has a 5-axis image stabilization feature in video mode which makes it better for handheld operation as compared to the 80D. This is also an advantage when compared to the T7i.
It is also unfortunate that the 80D does not offer 4k video recording. Now, the 77D doesn’t offer 4k as well but getting the 80D for that high price tag might not be worth it for you as they offer the same video features and quality.
On the other hand, the 77D and the T7i are almost identical. You might ask then, “why would I go for the more expensive 77D then?”. Well, there are some features the 77D has that you might want to spend those extra dollars on.
One of them is anti-flicker recording mode which counters light flickering when you’re shooting in a particularly sunny setting.
But most differences are about design. For example, the 77D has an LCD screen on top of the camera for easy review of shooting settings. It also has a quick control dial to navigate the options more easily
But the most important one is the inclusion of in-body stabilization, which will allow you to get cheaper lenses without OIS.
And although neither the 77D nor the T7i has a weather-sealing, the 77D’s body is constructed to be more rugged than the T7i’s making it the better choice for vlogging outdoor activities.
However, like most DSLR’s the 77D is a bit bulky and heavy especially compared to the more sleek and pocketable mirrorless cameras.
Canon EOS T7i – Best DSLR for Starters
The main reason Rebels are the first DSLR many YouTubers start with is because they achieve good cinematic quality and are video friendly. It’s also because Canon offers a huge float of high-quality lenses for any kind of Youtuber, and you’re able to use them for a relatively low price thanks to Rebel cameras.
Now the Rebel lineup is much better, they now come with video autofocus, WiFi, NFC, more MPs and better performance in low light.
Also, compared to the previous T6i, this one comes with a new sensor. It gets really close to the image quality you get from the more expensive Canon EOS 80D, and the main reason is that this one is using an even more up-to-date sensor.
It can record 1080p60/30, which is the least we can ask for, since there are already several mirrorless and compact cameras that can record 4k at this price range.
This camera also has an articulating screen and a pretty decent battery duration of around 600 shots. This is also part of the reason why it’s a popular YouTube camera.
It might still be a good idea to get the T6iinstead of this one for the price difference. However, remember this new sensor will give you more quality in low light.
Canon EOS Rebel T6i – Cheaper Alternative to the T7i
Even though Canon REBEL cameras were supposed to be the low-price lineup for Canon video DSLRs, their price went up a lot as they released new models.
That’s why getting an older Rebel camera is not a bad idea. The T6i is still a pretty decent camera for Youtube starters.
The camera has all the basics for video, but it’s like a toned-down version that is slightly cheaper.
It comes with an older image processing technology, which results in slightly noisier images in high ISO. It also has fewer focus points (45 vs. 19), a lot less battery life (600 vs. 440 shots), and it lacks Bluetooth and the timelapse feature.
All these differences make it seem as if getting this older version isn’t worth the hundred bucks you’ll save, but it is a viable option if your budget is getting tight.
After all, it still has a flip screen, mic jack, hot shoe, 1080p30 recording, touchscreen, WiFi, and NFC.
Nikon D5300 – Best Cheap DSLR for Starters
This Nikon camera doesn’t offer the nice video snapshots feature from Canon, but it does have some advantages you might like more. It’s the direct alternative to the Canon EOS Rebel T7i for those that don’t want to spend so much money on a camera to start out.
The camera has all the basics you will want in a camera for self-recording. It is an APS-C sensor camera that comes with a flip screen, mic jack, and hot shoe.
It is the cheapest DSLR for video with just enough of what you need to record high-quality video.
But really, do not let the camera price fool you. It even performs decently in low-light conditions, as long as you don’t have to go above the 3200 ISO mark.
If you got a basic lighting setup at home, this camera is enough to deliver the image quality you will need to start your Youtube channel on the right foot.
You’ll just need to take a couple of things into consideration:
Its autofocus is not as good as the Canon’s. The T7i’s autofocus is more reliable and much faster. It’s a bit slower and does more hunting.
On the other hand, It has more battery life than the Canon. This one lasts for 600 shots, a big difference compared to the Canon’s 440 shots.
It includes WiFi, but doesn’t have anti-aliasing filter. A camera with low-pass filter will get rid of the moiré effect. This one doesn’t have one, but it has a sharper image thanks to this. It will be a better option as long as you don’t wear any striped clothing for your YouTube videos.
It might not have a touchscreen, Bluetooth and NFC like the T7i, but this is not something you will miss so much for the huge price difference.