Over the past few years YouTube has become a lot more popular and every day there are more people looking for the best camera for YouTube that they can use to start their video creating career.
Making money on YouTube isn’t as farfetched as it once was and these days you can simply pick up a good camera, record yourself, upload it, and start making some money!
There are quite a few different ways people are creating content for YouTube with the most popular being things like vlogs (video blogs), travel videos, news content, pranks, and a wide range of other types of videos.
As long as you upload high-quality and engaging content you can definitely turn making videos into a career, but you definitely want to make sure you have the right equipment for the job.
When you’re in the market for a new camera there are a few things you’re going to want to consider before settling on a specific one.
These factors will include:
- Your budget
- Image quality
- Audio quality (without an additional mic)
- Battery life
Choosing the best vlogging camera or something to use for making other types of YouTube videos ultimately depends on you finding something that’s a suitable choice regarding all of the above factors.
You also want a device that’s designed to capture what you’re hoping to film
For example, travel vloggers are going to want a camera that’s lightweight, portable, and that likely comes with a flip-up screen while beauty vloggers are probably looking for something a little more heavy duty with a great autofocus and quality audio right out of the box.
For people like motorcycle vloggers or adventure video creators, they’re going to want something portable but that’s also very durable.
Ultimately, it depends on your preferences and what you’re going to be recording and with so many cameras available to choose from there’s bound to be something that meets all of your requirements.
In this post I want to go over some of my recommendations when it comes to the most popular cameras for vloggers as well as some other options to consider depending on what you’re hoping to capture.
The Best Cameras for YouTube
Types of Cameras for Vloggers and YouTubers
Before settling on any single device, it’s a good idea to know what the different options are you have to choose from and which types are the best for what it is that you’re hoping to capture on film.
DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) Cameras
When it comes to photography and shooting high quality film, DSLR cameras are favored by many.
Not only can they be used for vlogging, but they’re also suitable for a wide range of other video applications regardless of what you have in mind.
One of the main reasons they’re so popular is because it’s possible to change the lenses depending on what you’re capturing and DSLRs also come with a wide range of different options so you can control things such as:
- Focus points
- Depth of field
And just about everything else that the camera is capable of doing can be controlled and fine tuned to your preferences.
DSLRs typically after the best low light performance in the camera market and also are able to produce incredible images, even if you’re just a beginner.
Still, there are some drawbacks to using a DSLR including their bigger size, total weight, and they also have a pretty steep learning curve if you’re hoping to take advantage of all of the different features that they offer.
Mirrorless cameras are pretty new and they have quickly become a popular choice among videographers and photographers because of their lightweight design, ability to change lenses, overall versatility, and great image quality.
These days the best mirrorless cameras can cost just as much, if not more than a DSLR, although there are still some suitable options for beginners on a budget.
This type of camera is a good idea if you’re looking for something that’s very similar to a DSLR but is much more portable, smaller, and still capable of using to create great videos.
Point and Shoot
When it comes to vlogging, a point and shoot camera is the easiest device to start with and many of the better quality ones boast incredible image quality for a camera of their size.
Of course, they don’t come with nearly as many features as a DSLR or mirrorless, but they can’t be beat when it comes to portability and ease of use.
These are good choice if you’re looking for something small that you can just put in your pocket or toss in your backpack and that’s capable of capturing great quality video without you having to worry about any lenses or different settings all the time.
Lately I’ve noticed quite a few people using a GoPro for vlogging and I actually find it pretty practical myself.
Action cams, such as the GoPro and the many alternatives, capture surprisingly high quality footage and also come with a host of different features that makes them pretty versatile for a wide range of different filming scenarios.
They can be used on a regular basis for just daily filming but the great thing about them is that you can just strap and action cam onto your chest or mount it on the hood of your car and capture everything that’s going on without having to worry about anything.
They’re also quite small with some of the newer models, such as the GoPro Hero 5, having a great battery life and tons of different features that make them a good choice for daily use.
Finally, a lot of people don’t realize that they have a great vlogging tool with them all the time.
Today, smartphone are very well equipped for filming and since you always carry it with you you’re always able to film whatever is coming on without having to deal with a bulky DSLR or something similar.
This is likely the best choice for beginners because most people already have a smartphone so there’s no need to upgrade to something more expensive unless you want to get really serious with your YouTube filmmaking.
What Cameras are Famous YouTubers Using?
One of the main reasons you probably got into making videos for YouTube is because you got inspired by watching one of your favorite YouTubers.
Here’s a quick look at the different types of cameras that they’re using so you can get a better idea of what you can replicate if you’re hoping to become more like one of them.
Zoella (11.7 million subscribers)
- Arguably one of the most famous and popular beauty vloggers.
- Zoella most often uses the Canon G7x and the Canon 70D for filming her videos.
Casey Neistat (7 million subscribers)
- Casey uses the newer Canon 80D and the Canon G7X II.
- Lately he has started using the Sony a7s II.
iJustine (3 million subscribers)
- iJustine usually films with the Canon G7X II.
For many vloggers and YouTubers the Canon G7X, or the newer G7X II, are the camera of choice because of the front facing screen, durability, and great image quality for photos and videos.
Inexpensive Cameras for YouTube
For those of you that are just getting started with making videos there’s no need to go out and spend thousands of dollars just for some beginner gear.
For typically under $500 you can find quite a few great devices out there to start your YouTube journey.
Keep in mind that some of the more budget cameras for YouTube aren’t going to come with all of the features that you see on better quality ones so you might have to give up something like a front facing screen, manual mode capability, or higher quality video.
However, any of these options are great if you’re just getting started and at the very least you can capture 1080p HD resolution video, which is definitely still good enough these days.
GoPro Hero 5 Black
For beginner vloggers or anyone looking to start making some videos it’s the GoPro Hero 5 Black that would be my top recommendation if you’re looking for something affordable, durable, and extremely portable.
The GoPro Hero 5 Black is very small so you can put into your pocket or toss it into your backpack and always carry around with you without having to worry about it being too bulky or heavy.
It takes surprisingly high quality footage, able to capture video at up to 4K resolution, and it can even capture 12 megapixel photos making it very versatile when you’re out working on content.
There isn’t a front-facing screen that you can use but there is a great touch screen on the back that allows you to quickly change settings and recording modes depending on what you’re capturing at the time.
On it’s own it comes completely waterproof and there are a wide variety of different mounts that you can use the so you can position it basically anywhere you want and just start recording whatever is going on in front of you.
Another interesting feature I really like is the time-lapse mode and this allows you to quickly take time lapses at just the touch of a button.
For beginners looking for a cheap vlogging camera that’s durable, reliable, and able to capture high quality footage, it’s the GoPro Hero 5 Black that I would recommend checking out.
The Sony DSCHX80/B is a great choice if you’re looking for a cheap vlogging camera with flip screen capability.
It’s a pretty basic little point and shoot but the flip screen does make it easier to vlog with and for recording yourself making any other videos as well.
The image quality is fairly decent, thanks for the Zeiss optics, and for filming there is a built-in 5-axis image stabilization.
The stabilization makes it so that you can get steady shots when you’re recording footage and you can avoid that shakey look like when you’re using something like one of the older GoPros.
For vlogging or making YouTube videos I’d recommend using a smaller tripod or even a monopod if you’re going to be filming yourself, rather than just holding it with your hand and walking around.
One interesting feature that the Sony DSCHX80/B has is the Lock-On Auto-Focus and this allows you to select a focus point, your face for example, and the camera will track it and keep it in focus even when you’re moving around.
For photos, there is a nifty 18.2 megapixel sensor so you can even use it to get some great shots, especially with a little bit of post-processing editing.
As for resolution, this bad boy can capture at up to 1080p, making it a suitable choice if you’re making YouTube videos to share online.
I would recommend taking a look at the Sony DSCHX80/B if you’re looking for a cheap camera for YouTube filming that also comes with a flip-screen.
The Sony a5100, though a bit on the higher end of the budget-camera range, is an amazing choice if you’re looking for a great device with a flip-up screen.
There are quite a few new Sony’s out lately, but this doesn’t take away from the overall quality of the a5100 if you’re looking for a good camera for YouTube.
For starters, I find it to be quite inexpensive and it’s what I would recommend checking out if you’re looking for a cheap mirrorless camera for vlogging.
With the Sony a5100 it’s possible to change the lenses, depending on your preferences and filming needs, and there are plenty of different Sony mirrorless lenses to choose from.
The auto-focus on the a5100 is super fast and uses 179 different AF points to keep the focus on your face or whatever else you decide to set it on.
It can capture 1080p resolution video footage at up to 60FPS so you can get the good quality video with the smooth look from the higher frames per second.
Along with being able to capture quality video, you can also use the a5100 as a regular camera for photos and take advantange of the 24 megapixel sensor.
The battery life is decent, though I would recommend picking up a spare if you’re going to be filming regularly.
One more thing I want to mention is that the a5100 comes with image-stabilization and this helps to keep your footage more steady when you’re filming and walking around.
I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Sony a5100, especially if you’re looking for something higher-quality and lightweight with a flip-screen but still within a reasonable budget price range.
Good Cameras for YouTube
For those of you not on a budget that are looking for a good YouTube camera then there are really quite a few different options available.
There is a sweet spot between a few hundred dollars up to about a grand where you can find a great selection of mid-range camas that offer high performance, high quality video, and plenty of other features that will allow you to make better videos.
At this price point you’ll be able to find some great cameras such as entry-level DSLR’s that come with lenses that you can change out, some entry-level mirrorless cameras, and some of the best point and shoot camera for video and vlogging options.
- Some of the features you’ll be able to enjoy include:
- Manual settings that offer better control over what you’re able to capture
- Flip screens for vlogging
- Touch screens for quickly choosing focus or changing settings
- Incredible image quality for taking actual photos
- External microphone ports so you can use a microphone for better audio
- The ability to capture video at 1080p or higher resolutions
Even for beginners, I’d recommend saving up a bit of money until you’re able to afford something in this price range.
Not only is the quality going to be a lot better, especially since I consider this to be the sweet spot of cameras, but the device will also last you a long time if you’re careful with it.
Let’s take a look at some of my recommendations!
Canon G7X Mark II
The Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II is the successor to the original G7X, which is a total favorite among bloggers, vloggers, and YouTube video creators.
In my opinion this is the best camera for blogging and using if you’re looking to take making money with YouTube seriously.
It comes packed with features that make it a good choice for making videos and it’s also great if you’re hoping to use it for taking photos as well.
For vlogging, it comes with the flip up screen so you can see yourself clearly when you’re recording and the screen also has touch capabilities so you can quickly adjust focus or change settings with a few taps.
When it comes to video, the Canon G7X Mark II is able to capture full HD video at 1080p resolution and the sound it records is pretty good, even right out of the box.
For a more professional set-up you can use it for taking photos in RAW mode if you want more editing control, though they come out looking really nice just in JPEG.
Some more notable features include its size, making it very portable as a point and shoot for vlogging or, and the battery life is great as well.
Overall, I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II if you’re looking for a top of the line camera to use for making videos, capturing photos, and that’s also very portable, reliable, and durable.
Sony RX100 V
The Sony RX100 V is a total powerhouse of a camera.
It’s the latest, as of early 2017, in the line of RX100 cameras from Sony and if you’re looking for a totally capable vlogging or video creation device, then is one of my top recommendations.
It comes equipped with a flip up screen, perfect for recording yourself when you’re working on content.
Another one of the best features about it is that it’s capable of capturing video in 4K resolution so it’s going to still be a good option to use a few years in the future when 4K becomes more of a standard.
The autofocus is super fast so it’s going to be able to track your face even when you’re moving around and thanks to the 1 inch sensor, you can use the RX100 V to capture photos at up to 20.1 megapixels in resolution.
Despite all of these great features it’s still a very lightweight and portable device and I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Sony RX100 V if you’re looking to capture high quality videos for your YouTube channel and you also wanna take some amazing photos while you’re at it.
Sony Alpha a6000
The Sony Alpha a6000 is one of my favorite mirrorless cameras for vlogging and although there are a few newer versions out there, I still recommend it if you’re looking for something with a mid-range budget.
Unfortunately, the screen tilts but it doesn’t flip up completely so it’s better equipped if you’re going to be making videos in a stationary place or if you don’t mind not being able to see yourself when you’re out recording a vlog or YouTube video.
When it comes to video, it’s able to capture footage at up to 1080p resolution at 60FPS and it can capture photos with a 24 megapixel resolution.
The rear screen is 3 inches in size, and this is pretty good for looking back at videos or quickly changing settings when you’re already recording.
The base model comes with a 16-50mm lens and there are actually quite a few different a6000 lenses to choose from so you have some options if you’re looking for something with interchangeable lenses.
For a mirrorless, the Sony Alpha a6000 is pretty light and portable, though you won’t be able to slip it into your pocket so I recommend picking up a case for it or using a dedicated camera bag if you’re bringing it out with you.
Overall, I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Sony Alpha a6000 as one of my top recommendations because it comes with quite a few useful features, a decent battery life, and it can capture some pretty high quality video as well as photos making it a good choice for most people.
Canon EOS REBEL T7i
The Canon EOS REBEL T7i would be my recommendation if you’re looking for the best beginner DLSR for vlogging or using for general video creation and photography.
The Rebel line of Canon cameras is popular and that’s not so surprising given their quality, durability, and ease of use.
The first camera I ever started using seriously was the T3i and it’s nice to see that they still moving forward with this line of models all the way up to the current T7i.
The Canon EOS REBEL T7i comes with a flip screen that flips out from the side, so you can use it for vlogging and making videos if you need to see yourself when you’re recording.
The photo quality is also magnificent, thanks to the 24.2 megapixel sensor and when it comes to recording video it’s possible to do so at 1080p.
It’s quite bulky, considering that it is a DSLR, so I would recommend using a camera bag when you’re travelling with it.
The bonus of using a dedicated Canon DSLR is that you have a wide range of different lenses to choose from depending on what your shooting preferences are and whether you want to use it for a video or switch into photography.
The interface is very user-friendly so it’s easy to pick up right away when it comes to how to use the camera properly and the touchscreen controls are great for choosing a focus or quickly changing settings.
Overall, I would definitely recommend taking a look at the Canon EOS REBEL T7i if you’re looking for an entry-level best DSLR for YouTube and vlogging that’s able to capture great quality video, photos, and comes packed with professional level features.
Best Cameras for YouTube
When it comes to the best, you’ll want to check out some of my camera recommendations down below.
If you’re looking for something high-end that offers premium features such as external mic capability, incredible video quality, and that you can also use for taking great images then these are some options you’ll want to consider.
In my opinion, I believe that for most people these are some of the best cameras that money can buy and if you’re looking to take videography or photography seriously then these are suitable models.
Panasonic Lumix GH4
The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is one of the more reasonably priced models in this section and if you’re looking for the best 4K camera for YouTube that is still affordable then I’d recommend checking it out.
It’s a mirrorless, so it’s not as bulky or big as a DSLR, and this also means that you can use a variety of different lenses with it depending on your shooting preferences.
As for video, the Lumix GH4 is capable of capturing video at up to 4K resolution with 30FPS, and this is really good if you want to create videos in the highest possible quality without having to spend a few thousand bucks.
For vlogging it even comes with a swivel screen that comes out of the back and that you can turn around so it’s facing you when you’re recording something.
The auto-focus is awesome, with a 49 area auto focusing spread, and it’s going to be able to keep focus on you whether you’re stationary or out and about moving around.
This camera is definitely better suited for videos, but it does feature a 16.1 megapixel optical sensor if you’re hoping to use it for taking photos with.
There is a 3.5mm microphone jack that you can use for adding an external mic and the rear screen is a decent 3-inches in size so you can review photos, video, or quickly change settings with ease.
The base model comes with the body only and you’ll either have to pick up a package that comes with a lens or take a look at the different lenses for the GH4 to find one you would like using.
The Panasonic Lumix GH4 would be one of my top recommendations if you’re looking for a camera capable of capturing 4K resolution video and that’s well-designed to be used for YouTube videos and other digital media content.
Sony a7R II
The reason I didn’t recommend the Sony a7R II first was because of the price, so if you’re willing to spend a pretty penny for arguably one of the best cameras out there right now then you’re definitely going to want to check it out.
Whether you’re a vlogger working on YouTube videos or you’re a photographer hoping to capture some stunning shots, the a7R II has got you covered.
This camera features a huge 42.2 megapixel full-frame sensor and it’s able to capture video at up to 4K resolution for a stunningly beautiful crisp image.
It’s a mirrorless, so you can change out the lenses with any of Sony mirrorless lenses you’re interested in using, and this really helps to open up a world of possibility when it comes to creating content.
Unfortunately, while there is a tilting screen, it doesn’t flip to fully face the front, but other than that one issue I still would argue that this is a top of the line vlogging camera that you’ll want to seriously consider if you’re looking to take your video creation to the next level.
To make it even better for creating content there is a built-in 5-axis image stabilization that allows you to capture that smooth shot without having to worry about motion blur or vibrations in the footage.
The body is quite small, especially compared to some of the bigger DSLRs out there, and it’s a suitable choice if you’re looking for something portable that you can easily bring with you when you’re heading out to film.
With 4K video capability, a lightweight body, and the option to choose from plenty of different lenses, the Sony a7R II is definitely a camera I’d recommend taking a look at if you’re looking for something truly incredible to use for your YouTube channel and making movies.
Canon EOS 80D
Equipped with a flip screen to use for vlogging and YouTube, the Canon EOS 80D is my top recommendations if you’re looking for a DSLR to use for making videos.
The 80D is capable of capturing video at up to 1080p resolution in quality and it features a 24.2 megapixel sensor so it’s a suitable choice to use for photography as well.
The base package comes with just the body, but as a Canon DSLR it can be used with a wide range of Canon lenses so you can pick and choose any of the different options that are best suited for your videography needs.
At the moment, I believe that this one of the cameras that Casey Neistat uses for creating content for his channel and I definitely stand behind the choices he makes for gear.
As a DSLR it is a bit bulkier compared to a mirrorless or point-and-shoot and you’ll want to pick up a camera bag to use when you’re bringing it around with you.
With the 80D you also have a lot more control when it comes to the different manual settings you can use and this is a great choice whether you’re just making videos or you want to use something for photography as well.
There are plenty of autofocus points, meaning you don’t have to worry so much about the camera losing focus when you’re recording, and the dynamic range is excellent for creating the type of high quality content you might be looking for.
I find that the Canon EOS 80D is a great option to use for vlogging, YouTube, and it offers plenty of versatility for most photographers and videographers so I really would recommend checking it out.