Whether you’re jumping into vlogging for the first time or just need to replace your equipment, it’s a daunting task to choose a new camera that will help you create high-quality video content.
Choosing the right camera is important, and it will directly affect the overall quality of your videos. The choice you make for your vlogging camera or camcorder will impact visual clarity, sound quality, ease of use, and physical limitations of where you can shoot.
This makes the right camera choice, in many ways, an individual choice, especially once factors like experience level and budget is factored in. Outdoor vloggers who take their viewers on crazy adventures will want a very different type of camera than makeup artists who show detailed, hyper-zoomed videos of their contouring.
So which camera is right for you? In this post, we’ll look at the best cameras for YouTubers and vloggers depending on factors like budget, portability, experience level, and overall quality. These cameras were each recommended to us by Uscreen customers who use them personally in creating content they upload to their video websites. Remember that any camera that works well for YouTube will help you for all your other video marketing, too, so it’s worth the investment as you build your VOD channel.
Budget-Friendly: Smartphone Cameras
Believe it or not, Smartphones actually have pretty good cameras for YouTube. They have decent sound and image quality, especially if you opt for a more recent model of your desired phone line. And if you’re on a budget, you likely already have a decent smartphone, so this could save you from needing to go out and splurge on more equipment.
According to TechRadar, some of the smartphones with the best cameras are:
- iPhone X
- Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
- Huawei Pro 2
- Google Pixel 2
For best results with a smartphone camera, you’ll want to be particularly careful with lighting, because that can make a big difference. Practice using the camera in advance so you can discover how to zoom and choose focal points correctly.
It’s also a good idea to consider a tripod for long-form video shooting because it can be difficult to hold the phone steady otherwise.
Beginner-Friendly: Nikon D3300
If you’re brand new to video creation, you should consider the Nikon D3300. It can shoot 5 frames per second, giving it good (though admittedly not superb) resolution, but it’s the self-focusing capabilities and user-friendly interface that makes it so perfect for beginners. You won’t need a lot of technical skills to be able to shoot good video, and (just as importantly), you won’t have to spend six hours trying to figure out how to save, shoot, or download it.
This camera is a little expensive for a beginner’s camera at $399, but the ease of use could be well worth it. You can take a look at different models here.
Adventure-Friendly: Go-Pro Hero
This is the best camera for vlogging if you want to shoot your videos on the go and in all sorts of different conditions. It can withstand the great outdoors, and can even handle being submerged in water for those must-have underwater shots.
This camera is capable of 1080 pixels every 60 seconds, which is a great resolution. It uses a touchscreen, and it even has cool features like voice control. It costs $199, and can be purchased here.
Reasonably-Sized: Canon Vixia HF R70
If you want a powerful camera that’s also small enough to be portable and easy to use wherever you go, the Canon Vixia is the way to go. It’s a small camcorder that’s well suited to beginners, and it lets you record up to six hours of video.
This camera is small but it still has great video quality, with HD video capabilities. It has great features (like its superzoom and the fact that its wifi enabled), which makes it all the more appealing. Perhaps its best feature is its optical stabilization, which corrects camera shaking that can happen when someone is holding the camera. This improves video quality instantly.
The Vixia costs $399, and can be purchased here.
Audio Excellence: Sony Handycam CX405
In most cases, if you’re really focusing on the audio in your videos, your best bet is to invest in a separate microphone that has all the fancy features you could want.
If you want an all-in-one tool that could help you capture great audio (which would be good for vloggers teaching music lessons, for example), the Sony Handycam CX405 is a good place to look.
This camera has excellent sound quality, with tons of reviews saying they were pleased with how crisp and clean the audio was. This is excellent news since this small camcorder is also portable and capable of getting HD video, too.
This handheld camcorder costs $229 from most retailers, and can be purchased directly from Sony here.
Best In Class: Panasonic Lumix G7 4K Mirrorless Camera
If you want to go all out for your vlogging camera, the Panasonic Lumix G7 4K Mirrorless Camera is a good one to look into. It can actually shoot exceptionally high-quality video, despite the fact that it’s much smaller than the traditional DSLR cameras that typically offered this kind of quality.
Unsurprisingly, there’s other great features that come at this price point. There’s integrated wifi sharing, and uncannily precise subject auto-tracking to keep the star of the show in focus. You can even pause the video to extract an image, giving you great marketing materials when images are needed instead of pictures.
This camera is an investment, typically costing around $800-900 (depending on which camera kits you get), but it’s an investment that can pay off when your high-quality video starts reeling in subscribers for your VOD business. You can purchase it here.
Choosing the best vlogging camera will look a little different to each individual content creator because “best” is a subjective term that depends on desired usage, experience level, budget, and more. Don’t worry about trying to find the most expensive camera out there if it’s not what will actually deliver results for you; get what you really need instead.
Remember, too, that great YouTube videos may need more than just a great camera. Overall production quality should be high, which means that you may need to invest in more equipment, too. This includes:
- A tripod to stabilize the image and reduce shakiness. You can get these for relatively cheap.
- A microphone can significantly improve sound quality, and make it easier to later add voice-over narration.
- A lighting system for indoor shoots
- A backdrop or green screen if you want an indoor background to be consistent and register as high quality
Got your equipment and ready to start your vlogging business? Check out what Uscreen can do for you.