The 10 Best Vlogging Cameras for Creators
Starting a vlog is an excellent way to get into video content creation. However, you have a lot of choices when it comes to picking the best vlogging camera for you. When making a decision, you need to step back and think about the type of content you want to make.
Are you going to be on the go and traveling around a lot or are you going to be stationary in your home studio? Do you want to be able to do point of view, walk and talk videos or are you fine with framing a shot and not moving the camera. What about slow motion, color grading, lens selection and more? Answers to these questions will help dictate what camera you should get.
What is vlogging?
Vlogging is simply recording your thoughts or your day casually using a camera. Vlogs can and should have a theme, that theme being some aspect of your life that is interesting and unique. People will subscribe to your channel because of this general theme and you should try to stay on topic.
Nick Bare vlogs about his life as it relates to fitness and building his business. Reekay vlogs about his expat experiences aimed at an older audience. Holistic Trainer vlogs about going on fun trips with his cute Thai girlfriend. Brandon Hurley is an expat who vlogs about Vietnam for a Vietnamese audience.
You’re going to annoy and lose subscribers if you radically change your vlog topic week to week. People and YouTube want to box you in, so pick your theme and go with it. If you’re about travel, then 90% of your vlogs should be about travel stuff with 10% off topic stuff.
Some popular themes for vlogs are travel, diet, health, over coming some struggle or difficulty in your life, parenting and so forth.
What do you need in a vlog camera?
For vlogging, in general smaller and lighter is the way to go. Cameras are becoming better, smaller and lighter as technology develops. With the advent of mirrorless cameras the body and lenses are smaller than ever before. Action camera have also drastically improved with regards to video and audio quality.
Small and light
Small and light is the primary feature you will want for a vlogging camera. A camera that is small, light and easy to carry will allow you to record videos on the go. Larger setups become clunky and annoying to carry, particularly if you’re wanting to vlog your day. Large setups are ideal if you’re fine with planning out your vlog beforehand.
Stabilization – Digital or IBIS
Stabilization is what makes your videos smooth and watchable when you’re walking and talking into the camera or if you’re doing a point of view video.
Without stabilization in the lens and the camera body, your videos will be way too shaky for people to enjoy. Stabilization comes in two forms, digital or in body stabilization (IBIS).
Digital stabilization means the camera automatically stabilizes the video footage digitally. IBIS however is mechanical and is far superior to digital stabilization. Though having digital stabilization is much better than no stabilization.
Audio is often overlooked for video quality but audio is just as important, if not more important than the video quality. Some camera have good internal audio already but for most options you’ll at least want the ability to connect an external microphone like a shogun mic or a lapel microphone for that deep rich audio.
Best Cameras for Starting a Vlog
So what are the best vlogging cameras for content creators? No one thing to take away from all this is that no one camera can do it all so think about the type of vlogs you want to make first. When you’re ready, here are what we suggest you look at for vlogging cameras:
- GoPro Hero 9
- iPhone 12
- Sony X3000
- Sony ZV-1
- Fuji X-S10
- Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
- Canon 90D
- Osmo Pocket
- Canon M50
- Sony A7S iii
GoPro Hero 9 – The 5k Vlogging Camera
The GoPro Hero 9 is an action camera that is slowly becoming the vloggers choice of camera. It’s an affordable, rugged camera. You can drop it, dive under water with it, run out in the rain and so forth. It has various built in angles from the classic super wide to a more natural linear angle.
What is also great about this device is the front facing monitor so you can see yourself vlogging. The only downside is that the GoPro is not as discrete as it used to be. However, for most on the go vloggers it’s still an ideal choice.
- Front screen to frame yourself.
- Incredibly stable.
- Small, light and easy to use.
- Multiple viewing angles from super wide to linear.
- Durable design.
- Has time lapse and time warp which add character to your videos.
- The option to record up to 5k.
- Battery life is terrible at 1 hour or so. You’ll need at least 1 spare battery in your pocket.
- GoPro audio is still mediocre.
iPhone 12 Pro – The Easy to Use Choice
The latest iPhone 12 is an excellent choice for a vlogger for a whole host of reasons. You can easily change the angle of the shot your taking from narrow to wide with ease, it shoots up to 4k and it has the ability to record both cameras at the same time.
So you can have a clip of you with the front facing camera imposed over the main camera. Last, as this is an iPhone it comes with iMovie which is good entry level video editor and it’s you’re phone, you’ll always have this on you.
- Excellent video quality with the ability to have a wide angle.
- Comes with iMovie for free or you can get Luma Fusion at a fair price.
- It’s a phone. So if you find out vlogging is not for you, you still have a useful device.
- It may be risky to constantly vlog with your phone as mistakes and accidents can happen.
- Some users may prefer to have a dedicated camera for vlogging.
- You can not transfer clips to a Windows PC. You must edit videos on your phone or an Apple product like an iPad or Macbook.
Sony X3000 – The Best Vlogging Camera For Casual Travel Vloggers
This camera came out years ago and is still our top choice for casual travel vlogging. It’s a small pocketable design that has a wide angle lens. Great audio that does not need an external microphone and it comes with mechanical stabilization so your video clips are stable in a natural looking way.
Put this on a cheap selfie stick or pick up the tripod designed for this camera and you have an effective and affordable vlogging setup. It also comes with a tiny monitor that connects to the camera via a blue tooth connection so you can see what the camera sees.
The dedicate tripod for this camera is worth getting because it allows you to attach the monitor to it so you can see what the camera sees.
- Small and light camera that fits in your pocket.
- Excellent built in audio.
- Can attach an external microphone like a lapel mic.
- Has wide, medium and narrow angles of video.
- Comes with a monitor so you can see what you’re doing.
- Comes with a water proof case that can double as a protective case.
- Good battery life for an action camera.
- Can record in 4k.
- Wind noise is an issue however you can use a lapel microphone as a work around.
- Mediocre low light performance.
- Due for an update, everyone is waiting for the X4000 with an improved sensor.
Sony ZV-1 – The Best Value Vlogging Camera
Sony has created an outstanding vlogging camera with the Sony ZV-1. It produces better image quality than the their X3000 action camera and has a longer battery life. Like the X3000, it has it’s own dedicated tripod (sold separately) which adds a lot of value to this setup.
This camera can shoot 4k at up to 30 frames a second or 1080P at up to 120 frames a second for slow motion. You can also vlog at 60 frames a second at 1080P which provides the most natural looking video.
It should also be noted that you can shoot up to 960 frames a second at 420P. Totally unusable for YouTube or professional use but fun to have. Last the lens on this camera is 24-70 mm. 24mm is tight on the face for vlogging but the flexibility of having a zoom lens can make for potentially interesting vlogs.
- Good video with the option to blur the background at the click of a button.
- Flip out screen to frame yourself.
- Point and shoot zoom lens, no need to buy additional lenses.
- Good autofocus.
- Flexible zoom lens and slow motion features.
- Not durable. You need to be careful not to drop this camera.
- No wide angle look on this, 24mm is a tight shot but doable. If you want wide look elsewhere.
- Not particularly stable for walk and walk, on the go vlogging.
Fuji X-S10 – The Best all around mirrorless camera
Fuji has really made an outstanding mirrorless camera with the X-S10. It comes with a 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and the X-Processor 4. This means this camera can process high quality stills, slow motion and 4k recording with no issue.
For vlogging, the Fuji comes with IBIS so you don’t need an expensive gimbal if you’re planning on doing walk and talk, point of view shots. In addition you also get F-log for color grading, various slow motion features and a wide range of lens selection.
Overall, the Fuji X-S10 is the best all around mirrorless camera if you’re wanting to vlog but still have the flexibility to record studio shots or take stills. Consider getting the 15-45mm kit lens instead of the 18-55mm as 15 is a bit wider.
- Excellent audio and video.
- 4k uncropped and a wide selection of lenses.
- In body stabilization.
- The 15-45mm kit lens is excellent.
- Batteries are small, you’ll need two batteries for all day shooting.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III – 4k Wide angle
Want a mirrorless camera that has good stabilization and a super wide angle lens for vlogging? That camera is the Olympus OM-D M5 Mark III. While in general we prefer the look of the Fuji, if you want a wide angle shot with stabilization on a mirrorless camera then getting the OM-D Mark III and the 9-18mm wide angle lens is a great combination.
It can shoot in 4K at 24p or 30p and 1080P up to 120p for slow motion. There is no headphone jack which is not important to vloggers. What is does have is a flip out screen and a shoe mount on top for an external microphone. Overall and impressive vlogging package.
- Image stabilization.
- Can use a super wide angle lens on this system.
- Professional level audio and video.
- No autofocus in slow motion.
Canon 90D – The Classic Choice
The Canon 90D is a classic DSLR for YouTube. While DSLR’s are being replaced by mirrorless cameras, the Canon 90D is still the best mid-range camera Canon makes.
With excellent colors right out of the camera without any color grading, the ability to add an external microphone, flip out screen and 4k uncropped video, this is the camera to get if you need 4k at a reasonable price.
In addition, as it is a DSLR it uses Canon’s wide range of EF mount lenses. Everything from the famous “nifty fifty” 50mm lens for close ups, to the 24mm pancake lens for mid shots and the amazing 10-18mm vlogging lens. The Canon 90D has something for everyone. The only drawback is that it has no stabilization.
- The best mid range camera Canon makes.
- 4K uncropped video is a big selling point.
- Excellent dual pixel autofocus.
- Affordable wide angle lens.
- No stabilization in the body, not even digital stabilization.
Osmo Pocket – The gimbal like vlog camera
The Osmo Pocket is a unique alternative to action cameras on the market. It products outstanding video quality that is very stable due to it’s built in gimbal. The audio quality is also very good so long as there is no wind noise.
The main issue with this camera is the gimbal needs to set every time the device is turned on. Also, it has an 18 mm lens which is a bit tight on the face. As you can’t put this device on a tripod, you’re stuck with very close up vlog where only your face is in the shot.
For some, this may be a deal breaker. But if you intend on doing point of view videos then this camera my be perfect for you.
- Very small and easy to use and carry.
- Excellent video and good audio in a small package.
- Lot’s of pro features like time lapse and time warp built in.
- Video is a tight shot and too close to your face for vlogging. You will need to buy an additional wide angle lens adapter.
- No built in screw mount. You can’t put this on a tripod or a selfie stick.
- No external battery.
Canon M50 – The affordable vlogging/studio camera
The M50 is a small mirrorless camera with digital stabilization. Because of the built in stabilization, it’s ideal for both vlogging and talking head videos.
The M50 you can pair with a range of lenses. Our favorite is the 11-22 mm lens for vlogging. It’s wide enough for talking head shots as well as online course creation. Pair this with a quality microphone and you have a small, lightweight setup that allows you to shoot in 4k (with a big crop however).
- Digital stabilization to help minimize shaky camera footage.
- Can pair with quality microphones and wide angle lenses
- A flexible camera for vlogging and professional use.
- It’s not as portable or durable as a GoPro or the RX0 ii.
- Minimal lens selection for Canon’s mirrorless system.
- The 4k has a big crop so it’s not ideal for walking and talking shots when in 4k
Sony Alpha 7S iii – The Professional Option
The Sony A7S iii is the full frame camera of choice for most pro YouTubers due it it’s combination of 4k, stabilized video, a wide selection of lenses and impressive overall video quality. Also, as a mirrorless camera, the body is smaller and lighter than comparable DSLR’s.
Last, there are excellent lenses for this system. Our favorite is the 16-35mm lens. As this is a full frame camera, the 16mm focal length is quite wide with decent background separation.
However, this camera is quite expensive and it’s not as portable and on the go as other options on this list. This camera is for the vlogger who wants to create cinematic vlogs as well as talking head shots and perhaps future proof their work.
- Beautiful video quality, can shoot up to 4k.
- Full frame sensor.
- Smooth stable video.
- A great selection of lenses for different types of shots.
- Not as portable and on the go as the GoPro, X3000 or Osmo Pocket.
- Very expensive camera body and lenses.
Should You Start a Vlog?
Vlogging is a great way to begin learning how to make video content. Video is going to continually grow in importance and learning how to start a vlog, create tutorials as well as online courses will help you as a blogger or a small business owner long term.
Last, embedding monetized videos onto a high traffic blog post is a great way to grow your YouTube channel and make money. It adds to the overall user experience and helps your readers connect more with you.
Best Vlogging Cameras Conclusion
So those are our favorite vlogging camera based on price, performance and the type of content you want to create. For most creators just stick to an iPhone or an action camera for day to day use. Get a mirrorless camera when you want level up the video quality of your vlogs or if you eventually want to create online courses.