Last updated: January 26th, 2018
Looking for the best vlogging camera?
Then this guide is for you!
The problem is, I noticed there isn’t too much helpful information online when it comes to what equipment is worth using, how to start a vlog, how to edit videos and how to grow a YouTube channel.
While this might seem like pretty basic info for an experienced YouTuber or content creator it’s probably not that easy to figure out if you’re just getting started, so I’m here to help.
In this post I want to talk about how you can find the best camera for vlogging.
To be upfront, it’s not completely about the equipment. The gear you have doesn’t play as big a role in your development or success as you might think.
It’s likely that you already have a suitable camera already, whether its your smartphone or even the webcam in your laptop, and the best camera to use is the one that’s right in front of you.
However, if you’re looking to up the quality of your videos or you want to take your vlogs to a more professional level I’m going to go over some of what I think are the best cameras for vlogging.
Before I get into my recommendations let’s take a look at some of the features that you’ll want to look for in a camera to use for your blogs.
- 1 What to Look For in a Vlogging Camera
- 2 The Best Vlogging Camera
- 3 Good Vlogging Cameras
- 4 The Best Professional Cameras for Vlogging
What to Look For in a Vlogging Camera
One of the most important things to consider when you’re looking for a new camera is the value that it offers.
I don’t mean the price, but what I mean is that you’ll want to consider whether or not what you’re spending is actually worth it.
Do you really need something that can shoot 4K or is 1080P at 60FPS good enough? Is a flip-up screen a must or could you just use a mirror or film yourself without seeing everything?
There are different features that you’ll be able to take advantage of at every price point but eventually you’ll start to experience some diminishing returns in the quality and features that are available.
It’s a good idea to write down exactly what you’re looking for in a vlogging camera and try to find one within your price range that is well reviewed and meets all of your requirements.
You can always upgrade in the future so it’s important not to spend too much time worrying about the camera using and just pick one up and get started.
Keep in mind that you’re also going to want to have a computer that you’re able to edit and render your footage on.
Otherwise, you could just use the iMovie or other editing apps that come with your iPhone or smartphone.
At the bare minimum, I recommend looking for a camera that can capture video in 1080p.
Unless you’re setting your camera up on a tripod and talking directly to it from a fixed position then the weight of the device is something else you’re going to want to consider before you pick one out.
When it comes to vlogging you’re probably going to be holding your camera in front of you, directly pointed at your face, so you’re not going to want to use the something too heavy or bulky where it’s not going to be comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.
I recommend keeping an eye out for light weight cameras and sticking to point-and-shoots or mirrorless options when you’re first getting started.
Like I mentioned up above, you can always upgrade to a DSLR if you want even higher quality footage or you can pick one up from the start if you plan on sitting in one place and just talking to the camera while it’s positioned on a tripod.
There are basically two types of cameras available today that either offer fixed screens or have one that flips out.
This boils down to your personal preferences when it comes to the type of screen you’re going to want to use.
Some people don’t mind not being able to look at themselves while they’re filming so a fixed screen isn’t a problem.
Other people prefer looking at themselves and in this case a screen that flips out is a much better bet.
Personally, I prefer having the flip out screen because I can use it to position shots without having to run back and forth to behind the camera and I like being able to see how I look while I’m filming myself.
Another important feature you’ll want to think about is the image stabilization that the camera comes with.
If you’re going to be bringing around your camera with you on a regular basis and filling yourself while you’re walking around for participating in any other activities where you won’t be sitting still then you’re going to want to look for something that offers built-in image stabilization.
Without any stabilization your footage is going to look quite shaky and isn’t going to be that enjoyable for your viewers.
If you’re using a tripod then stabilization probably isn’t something you have to worry about but if not it’s something that you’re going to want to consider when you’re looking for a new camera to use for vlogging.
There is an alternative, you can fix shaky footage in post production using plug-ins with your video editing app or you can even take advantage of YouTube’s own stabilization feature.
Sound Quality (Audio)
Fresh out-of-the-box many cameras don’t sound that great when they’re recording footage but for most people it’s probably good enough.
You can help offset the drawback of not using an external mic by recording yourself in quiet areas where your voice isn’t echoing around you.
You could also record yourself on your phone and then just sync the footage with the audio when you’re editing the video.
Almost every camera comes with a built-in microphone and with some of the higher-end models the audio actually sounds quite good.
As you get better at vlogging you can consider using an external microphone but that’s something to worry about in the future.
Since you’ll be mostly recording yourself you’re going to want to make sure that the lens you’re using doesn’t focus too up-close and is able to capture your entire face, head or whatever else you want to framed in your shot.
I notice that with some lenses, especially on some of the lower end models, it zooms in quite a bit and it isn’t able to capture a wider angle of view.
You’ll also want to make sure that the lens can focus quickly and properly.
If you’re using a lens that isn’t able to quickly focus or loses focus while you’re filming you’re going to have to spend a lot of time re-doing shots or just having to put together content with out-of-focus footage.
It’s annoying to your views having to deal with out-of-focus footage and using a poor lens will have a negative impact on the long-term success of your blog.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to the best vlogging camera is that you find one that you’re happy with, that meets all of your preferences and that you’re comfortable with using.
You’ll want to look at a range of different cameras and in the back of your mind try to remember what your different preferences and requirements are before you pick one up.
- Do I want to shoot in 1080p or do I want to capture footage in a higher resolution?
- Do I want a flip-out screen?
- Will I be capturing video in a fixed position or will I be walking around with the camera in my hand?
- What’s my budget and how much am I willing to spend on a camera?
- Do I want something small and portable like a point-and-shoot or do I want something more professional like a DSLR?
The Best Vlogging Camera
Best Beginner Vlogging Camera
If you’re just getting started or if you’re on a budget and you’re looking for a cheap camera here are some of the options I’d recommend for you to consider.
Panasonic DMC-ZS45 LUMIX
The Panasonic DMC-ZS45 LUMIX is what I came across when I was looking for the best cheap vlogging camera with flip screen.
- Captures video in 1080p
- Screen flips out
- Automatic image stabilization
- 16 megapixels
The Panasonic DMC-ZS45 LUMIX is what I would recommend checking out you’re just getting started with vlogging and you’re looking for an entry-level camera that has a flip screen.
It’s able to capture high-definition video at 1080p, which is what I recommend as the baseline if you’re planning on uploading your videos to YouTube and the flip screen is great if you want to be able to see yourself and frame your shots to your preferences.
Having the flip screen is also great because you’re able to tell whether or not you’re in focus and being able to see yourself, especially when you’re first getting started, might make things a little bit easier than just staring straight into the lens without any insight as to how things look.
It’s more of a smaller sized point-and-shoot, so you can carry it around in your hands without it being too heavy like a mirrorless or DSLR.
Its lightweight build makes it suitable for regular use, traveling with and carrying with you without having to sacrifice too much space in your backpack or bag while still being able to fit into your pocket.
Some additional features include a burst shooting mode that will take 10 frames per second, a nifty little selfie feature where you can have the lens focused onto your face and if you wink at it the camera will take a photo and there is a 20x zoom if you ever want to get up close with your photos or video.
Overall, if you’re just getting started with vlogging and you’re looking for an entry-level camera that’s small, lightweight and has a flip out screen then it’s the Panasonic DMC-ZS45 LUMIX that I would recommend for you to check out.
Nikon COOLPIX S6900
The Nikon COOLPIX S6900 is another option that I came across when I was looking for the best affordable vlogging camera.
- Captures video in 1080p
- Has a multi-directional flip screen
- Built in Wi-Fi for sharing photos
Again, similar to the one that I just mentioned it has a flip out screen, which is something you’re going to want to consider using when you first get started and I think that it’s a pretty reasonable price, especially for an entry-level camera.
The flip screen on the Nikon COOLPIX S6900 is pretty unique in the fact that it doesn’t just flip upwards but it actually flips outwards and can be turned in a few different directions.
Not only does this make it suitable to use for filming yourself, but it’s also good if you want to take selfies of yourself or when you’re with your friends as well.
What I really like about the flip screen is that rather than just flipping upwards it actually flips outwards to the side, which is more similar to what you get with a DSLR.
It’s able to capture video in 1080p HD and there’s a built-in mic that will allow you to record yourself or any audio that you want to capture on video.
There’s even 19 different scene modes you can choose from depending on the settings and scenarios that you’re shooting in. These modes can be used to help you capture better footage whether you’re on the beach, in the snow, watching the sunrise and sunset, in low light or in a variety of other different situations.
As for its size, I find it to be quite small and it’s not that heavy that my arm would get tired holding for extended periods of time while I’m filming myself.
If you’re looking for an entry level camera to use for vlogging that’s lightweight and comes with a flip out screen then it’s the Nikon COOLPIX S6900 that I would recommend checking out.
Good Vlogging Cameras
If you’re interested in capturing high-quality video but you still don’t want to shell out completely for something too expensive then here are some mid range cameras for video blogging that I recommend checking out.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 110
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 is a great mid range camera and it’s what I would recommend for you to consider if you’re starting to take your vlog more seriously and you want better quality footage and more features.
- 16.1 megapixels
- Captures 1080p HD video
- Has a dedicated movie button for quick filming
- Optical image stabilization
My favorite feature when it comes to the Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 is the dedicated movie button.
Instead of having to change settings you can just use the movie button to start capturing right away and stop filming at the quick touch of a button.
This way you can avoid having to deal with different settings or switching to the menu just to start recording – it’s always ready to capture whatever you’re pointing at.
There isn’t a flip-screen, but at least for me the quality of this camera more than makes up for it. Not only is it able to capture high-definition video but I find that it takes pretty good photos as well.
When it comes to vlogging it’s always good to have a device that small, lightweight and fits naturally in your hand.
I think that the Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 meet those requirements and its size makes it a portable and suitable choice to bring it around if you’re trying to capture various aspects of your day.
Using the Smart AUTO feature you can take advantage of the wide variety of different shooting modes that are available. This feature gives you the ability to choose a specific setting depending on the conditions where you’re shooting.
I really like the Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 and if you’re looking to capture higher-quality videos for your vlogs and you want to be able to take some good looking still photography shots as well it’s this camera that I would recommend for you to check out.
The Canon S120 is what I settled on for my search for the best vlogging camera and it’s actually one of my top recommendations overall.
- Captures 1080p in 60FPS
- Touch screen
- Quick record button
- 12.1 megapixels
- Comfortable to hold
The Canon S120 is one of my favorite cameras, not only for vlogging but for making travel videos as well.
It’s able to capture video in 1080p at 60FPS, which I love to use when I’m uploading to YouTube since it’s better quality video and makes the content more enjoyable for my viewers to watch.
My experience with the camera has been positive so far and not only do I love how crisp and highly detailed the video looks but I also love how long the battery lasts and the touch screen capabilities.
With the touch-screen it’s possible to quickly focus on whatever it is you’re trying to capture and it makes it easier, at least for me, to change settings and browse through any of the videos or photos that I’ve already taken.
There is also built-in wi-fi and it’s possible to use it to share photos to social media and you can even share videos directly to YouTube.
I find that the focus is very quick, the video quality is very good and the only drawback is that it doesn’t have a flip out screen, but that’s just my personal preference.
I haven’t run into many issues filming in low-light and so far I’m quite happy with the built-in microphone.
One of the more interesting features with the S120 is the control ring on the front of the camera.
This ring can be turned and it gives you the ability to change a range of different settings including the focus, exposure, shutter speed, aperture, white balance and more.
I think that there are many vloggers already using this camera and I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something better than the entry-level options that I went over and you want to be able to capture crisp, high-quality video with good sound as well.
The Best Professional Cameras for Vlogging
If you’re a professional and you want to be able to capture high-quality videos and photos here are some of the best cameras for vlogging that I would recommend overall.
Keep in mind that you can really go wild when it comes to what you want to spend, especially if you’re interested in getting into the higher end DSLR cameras, but the recommendations that I’m making here are a bit more reasonable and practical for more of your every day video blogger.
Canon PowerShot G7 X
You might have already noticed that it’s the Canon PowerShot G7X that many bloggers are using on a regular basis for filming their videos.
I recently picked up myself and the flip screen combined with the high quality video that it’s able to capture makes the G7X, in my opinion, one of the best point and shoot cameras for vlogging.
- Flip up touch screen
- Captures full HD video (1080p/60FPS)
- 20.2 megapixels
- 3-inch screen
This is another one of my most favorite cameras and it’s what I picked up myself when I wanted to get into vlogging.
Not only is it capable of taking high-quality videos but in my experience it also captures some great photos as well. I picked this one up when I wanted to upgrade from the S120 and so far I haven’t been let down in what it’s able to deliver.
The screen flips upwards and it’s also touch controlled which makes it a lot easier to focus on yourself when you’re filming your face and the flip screen let’s you change settings without having to head to the back of the camera when you’re already filming.
I find that the lens itself focuses quite quickly and I love having the touch to focus ability as well.
It’s a 20.2 megapixel camera so it captures high definition video, at 60 FPs which I love to use, and is also able to take great photos.
Similar to some of the other higher end cameras that I’ve mentioned the G7X has the ability to be connected to wireless internet where you can then use it to share photos and videos.
It’s definitely hard to pick an all around best camera for vlogging but in my opinion the Canon G7X is a top contender and it’s what I would recommend if you’re interested in taking your video blogging to the next level.