Whether or not you’re recording your workouts in a gym or documenting travels halfway across the world, you probably landed on this article because you want to start shooting clearer, better vlogs.
Or better yet! You want to get started with vlogging this year.
But first things first. You need a good video camera that does the job.
There’s really no golden rule out there when choosing a vlogging camera. But it’s probably not going to work in your favor if you choose one that’s not color balanced, pixelated, grainy or just simply not portable.
The quality of your video camera becomes especially important if you’re a YouTuber (or an aspiring one, at least).
Your vlogs need to look professionally done. That means getting a camera with the right stabilization tools, portability, and audio features.
If you’re not sure where to get started, this article could be ground zero for you.
Also, if you are looking to get a camera for live steaming instead, we’ve got a guide that covers that.
What Makes A Good Vlogging Camera?
Let’s start off with how exactly YouTubers and vloggers out there choose their cameras.
Excellent video resolution – Shooting a video that’s YouTube-worthy (or even one that’s going to potentially garner millions of views) is a science. That science starts off with how clear and sharp a video is! 4k video footage is all the rage right now amongst vloggers, so having a camera that can record such footage is already a big plus. Of course, this is definitely just a bonus, and 4k video cameras tend to obviously cost more. Beginner vloggers are more than happy to start off with 1080p footage first, slowly moving their way up to 4k as their subscriber base grows.
Video and image stabilization – Most vlogs require a person to move around a lot. Therefore, having a vlogging camera that’s going to give you good optical image stabilization is necessary. This built-in software is there to keep your video from being too shaky or blurry when you’re on the move.
Wi-Fi connectivity – Modern vlogging cameras don’t rely on the need for an external cable or plug to transfer files, videos, and images anymore – they just get it done through a camera’s Wi-Fi abilities. Some cameras also have the Bluetooth option on top of their Wi-Fi connectivity, and that’s a good staple of a solid camera.
Here are 10 of the hottest vlogging cameras on the market right now, and what cameras YouTubers use to shoot their own videos!
YouTubers: Zoella, Sam Sheffer, and NigaHiga
- Very good autofocusing technology via Dual Pixel CMOS AF
- Full HD video quality, 1080p video at 30p and 24p
- Excellent hue accuracy that also comes with manual white balance
- Able to perform under harsh lighting through Highlight Tone Priority and Auto Lighting Optimizer features
- Handheld Night Scene modes to switch back and forth from, equipped with noise reduction features
- Fully charged battery possible to record continuous Live View shooting for approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes at room temperature (23 degrees Celsius).
- White balance gives warm lightning tones with Auto and Incandescent modes
- No dedicated white balance button
- No headphone jacks
It’s no secret that the Canon EOS 70D has been a favorite amongst some of the most famous YouTubers out there.
The EOS 70D has been synonymous with the elements of portability as well—which has made it an exceptionally fantastic vlogging camera!
If you do decide to opt for the EOS 70D, you’re getting a built-in stereo mic with a noise-reducing wind filter as well.
Coupled together with its ease switching back and forth between Video Snapshot, Movie Digital Zoom, and more – it’s honestly the perfect device to bring along on fast-paced adventures.
The base price of an EOS 70D inches close to $500 for just the body alone, and you’re definitely going to be paying more for lenses.
At the end of the day, if you’re willing to splurge a little on a good camera for vlogs, you can customize it by purchasing the video creator kit (that comes with a full microphone set and lenses!)
YouTubers: RiceGum, Jake Paul, and Jesse from BFvsGF
- Lightweight body frame
- 4k recording features
- Good performance under low-light settings
- Dust and moisture-resistant body frame
- Fast autofocus
- Battery life is mediocre at best
- No flip screen
Good things can come in smaller packages too. Just take the Sony A7S, for example.
The Sony A7S is a vlogging camera that many famous YouTubers use to capture a wider area of impact, especially in that selfie mode.
But of course, no review of this compact camera would be complete without at least mentioning their excellent low-light recording abilities. The Sony A7S really manages to record quality footage in dark conditions – reducing the ‘noise’ you get with trying to capture low-light footage.
It’s got fantastic 4k recording abilities too. Coupled with 120fps in 1080p, two of these features allow the Sony A7S to record awesome slow-motion footage should the occasion ever arise.
The biggest downside of this vlogging camera would perhaps be their low battery life of only around 360 shots.
It also doesn’t help that the overall price of this compact camera ($1,289 at the moment) is definitely a hefty one.
Regardless, it is a favorite amongst YouTubers! Many of them don’t mind spending a pretty sum on a top-notch vlogging camera, and the Sony A7S is no different.
YouTubers: CutiepieMarzia, Pewdiepie, Roman Atwood, Zoella
- Body frame fits comfortably in hand, excellent for prolonged use
- Interactive touch screen, easy-to-use Quick Menu navigation
- An affordable price tag for so many features
- HDMI output available for live playback
- No 4k video recording features
- Poor auto white balancing under incandescent lighting
The Canon G7 X is a camera for vloggers that really ticks our boxes.
One-touch Wi-Fi connections? Check. An affordable price tag that’s perfect for vlogging beginners? Check. A user-friendly touch screen that’s easy to set up? Check!
If you do end up opting for their latest model (the Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II), you’ll also notice some improvements to the camera’s body too. Now, it includes a rubber grip on the front of the camera—aimed at making it easier to hold and carry around for prolonged recording.
The only significant downfall of this compact camera is the fact that it doesn’t have 4k video recording abilities.
That kind of sucks, but also doesn’t impede on its ability to record stellar footage at 1080p and up to 60fps.
YouTubers: Shane Dawson, Jennxpenn
- Battery performance is pretty good
- Fast autofocus options
- Image sensor and capture features are solid
- 22-megapixel resolution
- Resolution is sharp even in raw files
- Heavy body frame
- Lack of in-camera stabilization features
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is known far and wide as the more ‘professional’ vlogging cameras.
This is a quality video camera that records a range of stunning colors and tones—all equipped with an awesome autofocus option that’s going to really shine bright for a YouTube video.
Perhaps the only catch of this device is the great big price that comes with it, a solid $1,299.
It’s definitely an investment, but you do get your money’s worth.
The EOS 5D Mark III is an excellent option if you decide to go vlogging at night, allowing you to shoot full-frame footage in low-light with the lowest video noise possible.
Plus, the 5D Mark III’s sensor encompasses much more surface area, which allows you to capture a wider space in your footage!
Word to the wise, though? It’s laden with lots of features and high-tech specifications that you might not need if you’re just only starting out as a vlogger.
Many YouTubers use the EOS 5D Mark III as a model that shoots their most demanding, graphic-rich videos, so you might want to work your way up to this one.
5. Sony RX100
YouTubers: Sara Dietschy, Jacques Slade
- 4k video recording capabilities
- Autofocus mode for smoother video footage
- Easy to switch back and forth between recording modes (slow motion, etc.)
- Lightweight, easy to carry around. Small and compact enough to be pocketable
- Wi-Fi connectivity options are still lacking
- Small sensor area (doesn’t perform so well in low-light conditions)
- No external mic jacks
We previously talked about the full-suite Canon EOS 5D Mark III vlogging camera, which was the real deal when it came to professional-grade, heavy-duty vlogging work.
This time around, the Sony RX100 is the other side of that coin.
This Sony model is the perfect starting point for a beginner YouTuber or vlogger just because of how user-friendly it is, yet, loaded with the right number of features!
For starters, it already comes off strong with solid 4k video recording abilities.
That’s also alongside its LED review screen to shoot videos in selfie mode, and a sweet hybrid autofocus option to make sure your videos are always centered on you (minus the shaky transitions).
The strongest point of the Sony RX100 might be its ultimate portability. It’s slim and light enough to fit in the pocket of your jeans, really.
Essentially, this makes it the perfect compact camera for the vlogger that’s always on the move, or one who wants to document their travels.
With an entry price of about $200, you’re not getting the best low-light performance or camera sensors, obviously.
However, it still has some pretty useful optical image stabilization features, RAW capture modes, fast-fps shooting and a few more decent abilities piled on.
Ultimately, the Sony RX100 makes for a really good starter vlogging camera, and easily one of our favorites on this list.
YouTubers: Jaclyn Hill, Tati, Manny MUA
- Good optical image stabilization
- Lenses are exchangeable
- Quick and accurate autofocus
- Built-in flash and wireless connectivity
- Strong battery life
- No microphone sockets
- Tilting screen, but with no swiveling options
- No dual card slots
When it comes to the Sony A5100, you’ll notice a very interesting fact about the majority of YouTubers that use them.
Famous YouTubers such as Tati, Manny MUA and Jaclyn Hill have all used this model before – along with other beauty and makeup gurus!
This, in large, is attributed to the Sony A5100’s ability to provide a blurring effect on human skin, making it seem smoother and more flawless. Granted, it’s not the most important feature to have if you’re not concerned about that sort of thing.
But otherwise, or if you’re a beauty/makeup/fitness vlogger, this is an excellent bonus to have in a vlogging camera.
This particular model also comes with an intuitive and user-friendly autofocus option that allows you to hone in on more objects or faces with ease.
Of course, some downsides to the A5100 would definitely have to be its lack of an external mic jack to speak into. It also doesn’t help that this model is missing a headphone jack as well, which makes life harder when you’re trying to listen back to your audio straight from the camera itself.
The Sony A5100 also doesn’t give you much storage to work with. It lacks a dual card slot! So, if you do eventually run out of storage space, you’ll have to go through the hassle of transferring the content to a separate device.
No doubt, there are cons to this vlogging camera, but it’s still a pretty solid machine for its price.
At only $699, it still captures stunning video with a 24.3-megapixel sensor and is always going to give you beautiful, striking colors.
Like we mentioned at the very start of the article, consider 3 main elements before making your decision.
What kind of video resolution are you gunning for? Will what you want fit in your budget?
Does the vlogging camera you’re looking at come with solid image stabilization?
How easy is it to transfer files, images, and videos to a separate device for future editing?
Once you have a brief answer to all those questions, it’s up to you to narrow down and decide what works best for your style.
This might go without saying, but there’s no need to opt for the shiniest, most feature-heavy vlogging camera when you’re making your first ever purchase!
Beginners can still benefit a lot from an entry point camera that’s got an accessible price tag, convenient portability, and decent recording capabilities.
By the way, if you’re figuring out how to make vlogging a viable side hustle that makes money, we cover how to monetize your vlog in Chapter 1 in our Ultimate Guide to Starting An Online Business. Check it out if you’re serious about making money with your vlogs!
Jesslyn has been a senior content strategist and writer for personal finance and side hustles for the past 4 years. She believes in the power of an idea and breaking the rules whenever necessary. Above all, balance is everything. When she’s not writing up a mad scramble, she leans towards wine bars and yoga studios on the weekends.