The Buyers guide to...Best cameras for vlogging

Simplicity and outstanding video quality: it's the perfect package we're all looking for. If you have dreams of growing a YouTube channel, these are our picks for the best cameras for vlogging

Best cameras for vlogging
Buyers Guide

If you’re looking for a vlogging camera, or a camera for content creation, then you’ll likely be after something which can not only produce excellent footage, but is also easy to use.

The majority of the cameras in this round-up feature tiltable or articulating screens that allow you to point the camera at yourself and still compose your shot. That’s super-useful if you don’t happen to have your own camera operator on hand.

We’ve also taken a look at the best action camera on the market, for those of you who like to create adventurous vlogs.

Another essential feature is the ability to connect your camera to your smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi for quick sharing – all of the cameras here have that function.

Read on to find out our pick of the best vlogging cameras.

Panasonic Lumix G100

Panasonic Lumix G100

Price when reviewed

£589.99

$747.99
Check current price
Website: Panasonic

For

  • Very compact
  • Viewfinder and vari-angle touchscreen
  • Clever Ozo Audio by Nokia onboard

Against

  • Crop in 4K mode
  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 24th June 2020
  • Sensor: 20.3Mp Four Thirds type CMOS
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Screen: 3-inch 1,840,000-dot vari-angle touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: 3,480,000-dot electronic viewfinder
  • Key video specifications: 4K (3840x2160) at 24,25,30p and 100Mbps, V-Log L and Ozo Audio by Nokia
  • Weight: 310g body only, 352g with SD card and battery, 412g with the 12-32mm lens
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 115.6x82.5x54.2mm

Panasonic’s GH series of mirrorless cameras have a good reputation amongst videographers and filmmakers. The G100 is designed as an entry-level video camera that’s also a capable stills-shooter.

Although it has a 3.5mm mic port, one of the key selling features of the G100 is the Ozo Audio technology that’s built in. This can be set to operate in different directions and in Tracking mode it works with the face detection system to follow the subject in the frame and keep the audio consistent. It works very well.

There’s also a good quality electronic viewfinder built-in along with a 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen.

Sony ZV-1

Sony ZV-1

Price when reviewed

£700

$749.99
Check current price
Website: Sony

For

  • Designed specifically for vloggers but also a capable stills camera
  • Stabilised 4K video
  • Vari-angle touchscreen

Against

  • No viewfinder built-in
  • The redesigned grip is best for left-handers
  • Camera type: Compact
  • Announced: 26th May 2020
  • Sensor: 20.1Mp 1-inch type (13.2mm x 8.8mm) Exmor RS CMOS
  • Lens: Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 9.4-25.7mmm (24-70mm equivalent) f/1.8-2.8
  • Sensitivity range: Stills: ISO 100-25,600, Video: ISO 125-12,800
  • Autofocus: 315 focal-plane phase-detection AF points, Eye AF: Humans (stills and video) or Animal (stills)
  • Burst Mode: Hi: 24fps, Mid: 10fps, Low: 3fps
  • Video: 4K in-body movie recording with full pixel readout and no binning, Log & Gamma options, slow-mo at up to 1000fps
  • Viewfinder: No
  • Screen: Vari-angle 3-inch touchscreen
  • Stabilisation: Optical for stills, optical and electronic for video
  • Hotshoe: Multi-interface (can connect an XLR mic via an adapter)
  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 105.5 x 60 x 43.5mm / 4 1/4 × 2 3/8 × 1 3/4inches
  • Weight: 294g with battery and SD card or body only

The Sony ZV-1 is specifically designed with vlogging in mind. In a first for Sony, it has a vari-angle touchscreen that can be seen from in-front of the camera. There’s also an excellent mic built-in which can be covered by a bespoke windshield that comes in the box and can be slipped in to the camera’s hotshoe. There’s also a 3.5mm mic port if you want to use an external mic and with the right adapter, you can even connect an XLR mic via the hotshoe.

Its autofocus system is also excellent and the Eye AF and Product Showcase are especially useful for vlogging. Plus, Background Defocus and the Face Exposure Priority system help inexperienced videographers get the results they want.

Experienced vloggers will love the compact size of the ZV-1 as well as its high level of control along with the ability to shoot in S-Log3.

Nikon Z50

Price when reviewed

£849

$989
Check current price
Website: Nikon

For

  • Superb build and handling
  • AF fast and accurate in low light
  • Weatherproof

Against

  • No joystick
  • Can't use the screen to set the AF point while you look in the viewfinder
  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: 20.88Mp APS-C / DX (23.5x15.7mm) CMOS
  • Processing engine: Expeed 6
  • Lens mount: Nikon Z mount
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 100-51,200; expands to 204,800
  • Viewfinder: 0.39-inch 2,360,000-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
  • Screen: Tilting 3.2–inch 1,040,000-dot touchscreen
  • Autofocus: Hybrid (phase and contrast detection) AF with 209 AF points, Eye AF and Subject Tracking
  • Continuous Shooting: 11fps with continuous AF and exposure metering
  • Video: 4K at 30fps and Full-HD at 120fps
  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I
  • Connectivity: Snapbridge 2.6; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 126.5 x 93.5 x 60 mm / 5 x 3.7 x 2.4-inches
  • Weight: 450g / 15.9oz with battery and memory card but without body cap, 395g /14oz body only

The Nikon Z50 is a great little 20.88Mp APS-C format camera with a solid build and good feature set. Its control arrangement is also very good, combining buttons and dials with touch-control very well.

On the back of the Nikon Z50 there’s a 3.2–inch 1,040,000-dot touchscreen that can be tilted down to be visible from in front of the camera. It’s fine to have the screen under the camera if you’re hand-holding it, but if you’ve got the camera on a tripod or support, the screen is obscured. The solution is to buy the SmallRig Vlogging Mounting Plate for Nikon Z50 Camera LCN2525 which fits on the bottom of the camera and enables a tripod to be mounted off to the side. This neat unit is supplied as part of the Nikon Z50 Vlogger kit.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

Price when reviewed

£699.99

$699.99
Check current price
Website: Canon

For

  • Live-streaming possible
  • No cropping in 4K video mode
  • Excellent blend of touch and button/dial control

Against

  • No viewfinder
  • Would be nice if the ND filter were stronger
  • Camera type: Compact
  • Sensor: 20.1Mp 1-inch type Stacked CMOS
  • Lens: 24-100mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.8 – f/2.8
  • Viewfinder: 0.39-inch type 2,360,000-dot OLED
  • Screen: 3-inch 1,040,000-dot tilting touchscreen
  • Autofocus system: AiAF (31-point, Face Detection or Touch AF with Object and Face Select and Track), 1-point AF (any position or fixed centre)
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 125-12,800 expandable to ISO 25,600
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 105.5 x 60.9 x 41.4mm
  • Weight: 304g with battery and memory card

Canon’s PowerShot G7 X Mark II was a big hit with vloggers but the Mark III has even more to offer. For instance, the PowerShot G7 X Mark III is capable of shooting 4K (3840 x 2160) video at 29.97 / 25fps without cropping. There’s also a 3.5mm mic jack and the HDMI mini port can supply a clean feed to external devices.

Further good news is that Canon has enabled live-streaming to YouTube when the camera is connected to a Wi-Fi network.

It’s also the first camera from Canon to feature a stacked sensor design. Paired with the Digic 8 processing engine, this enables a maximum shooting rate of 30fps.

Like the Mark II, the PowerShot G7 X Mark III has a 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 lens and a flip-up screen that can be viewed from the front. This makes it an ideal camera for handheld vlogging.

Canon EOS M50

Canon EOS M50 Review

Price when reviewed

£540

$680
Check current price
Website: Canon

For

  • Excellent image quality
  • Superb implementation of touch-control
  • High-quality viewfinder built-in

Against

  • 4K video mode crops the frame
  • Plastic feel
  • Limited lens range
  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 26th February 2018
  • Sensor: 24.1Mp APS-C format CMOS
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-M
  • AF system: Dual Pixel CMOS phase detection with up to 143 points
  • Viewfinder: 0.39-type 2,360,000-dots OLED EVF
  • Screen: Touch-sensitive vari-angle 3.0-inch LCD with 1,040,000 dots
  • Max video resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98, 25 fps 10fps
  • Max continuous shooting rate: 10fps
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7mm
  • Weight: 387g (black), 390g (white) including battery and memory card

To get the bad news out of the way first, although the EOS M50 is 4K-enabled there’s an additional 1.6x crop factor applied to the framing in 4K mode and that’s not ideal for close-quarters filming. Also, the AF system reverts to contrast detection rather than the excellent phase detection system that operates in Full HD video mode.

Now to move on to the good news, the Canon M50 is an excellent camera for vloggers as its APS-C format sensor delivers high-quality video footage, the screen flips out to the side to give a clear view when you’re filming yourself and the AF system does a great job of keeping the focus on the subject. If you’re speaking to camera, you’ll see a reassuring square around your face to let you know you’re in focus.

With the 15-45mm kit lens mounted the M50 sits nicely in your hand and is easy to hold at arm’s length for fairly long periods. It’s also easy to use yet has advanced exposure options if you want to use them. Crucially, there’s also an audio-in port for connecting an external mic.

GoPro Max

GoPro Max Review

Price when reviewed

£479

$464
Check current price
Website: GoPro

For

  • Shoot full 360º video
  • Features HyperSmooth image Stabilisation
  • Reframe your video for 1080p or 4K output

Against

  • Design still quite cumbersome
  • Requires a powerful computer to edit footage
  • Stabilisation: HyperSmooth stabilisation
  • Video Resolution: 5.6K at 30fps

Say what, a 360 camera on a list of the best cameras for vlogging? Trust us on this one. We’ve been filming with the GoPro Max since its launch in winter 2019, and we’ve been slowly falling in love with it.

For starters, the Max can shoot 360 video in 5.6K resolution at 30fps. This is actually 6K footage, but it renders at 5.6K after it is stitched in-camera. There’s an excellent Reframe feature, however, that allows you to pick any vantage point within your 360 footage and follow that as a standard-format movie.

You can also swap from 360 to Hero mode where the Max functions as an action camera using just one of its dual lenses – resolution here is limited to 1440p at 60fps or 1080p at 60fps, but the image quality is still superb.

The Max also supports HEVC video format, which produces smaller files while prioritising image quality.

For vloggers, the Max also lets you swap between lenses when filming in Hero mode. This means you can speak to the lens facing you, then swap to the other to show something off-screen. The Max also features six microphones built into its body to capture spherical audio, and you can prioritise audio from one side of the camera. This is very handy when delivering a monologue to the camera.

What’s more, the GoPro Max can livestream Full HD video just like the GoPro Hero8 Black.

GoPro Hero9 Black

GoPro Hero9 Black

Price when reviewed

£329.98

$349.98
Check current price
Website: GoPro

For

  • No need for waterproof housing
  • Dual Screen
  • 8X Slow-motion

Against

  • Mods are expensive
  • Not great in low light
  • Camera type : Action Camera
  • Max video resolution and frame rate: 5k 30p, 4K 60p, 2.7K 120p, 1440 120p, 1080 240p
  • Video file formats: MP4 (H.264/AVC), MP4 (H.265/HEVC)
  • Max photo resolution: 20mp
  • Max bit rates: 100Mbps (2.7K, 4K, 5K)
  • Screen: Rear: 2.27-inch touchscreen, Front: 1.4-inch colour screen
  • Livestreaming: 1080p
  • Voice control: 4 commands in 11 languages + 6 accents
  • Battery: Removable, rechargeable 1720mAh lithium-ion
  • Storage: MicroSD USH-I
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Stabilisation: Hypersmooth 3.0
  • Waterproof: To 10m / 33 feet
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 71 x 55 x 33.6mm
  • Weight: 124g

GoPro’s latest action camera is the best on the market and makes a great all-rounder that gives you the option to record all of your most exciting adventures – whether that’s a simple walk in the park, kayaking down rapids, or carving through the Alps.

There’s a huge range of mounts and accessories, so whatever type of video you want to create, you can do it with it the Hero9 Black. It records in a variety of frame rates, including 5K at 30fps, 4K at 60fps, 2.7K at 120fps and Full-HD at 240fps. There’s also the superb HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilisation system that enables you to capture steady footage in extreme situations – even when mounted on a bike.

Further good news is that the GoPro Hero9 is waterproof without an extra housing, so you can pop it in your bag ready to record your next adventure, whatever that may be.

We found the battery can last for more than a couple of hours, but it’s worth having a spare or two for a full day of adventure.

The GoPro Hero9 produces great footage that you can edit on your computer or you phone, but it can also live-stream if you want to tell everyone what you’re up to straight away.

DJI Osmo Pocket

DJI Osmo Pocket review

Price when reviewed

£329

$399
Check current price
Website: DJI

For

  • Excellent stabilisation
  • High-quality video footage
  • Very easy to use and video can be edited on a smartphone using the DJI app or on a computer

Against

  • Works best with the Control Wheel
  • No live streaming
  • Camera type: Stabilised action cam
  • Sensor: 12Mp 1/2.3-inch CMOS
  • Lens: 26mm (35nn focal length equivalence) f/2.0
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 100-3,200
  • Stills shooting modes: Single Shot, Panorama, Timelapse, Motionlapse, Hyperlapse
  • Video resolution and frame rates: 4K Ultra HD: 3840×2160 24/25/30/48/50/60p, FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p
  • Max Bit rate: 100Mbps
  • Dimension: 121.9×36.9×28.6mm
  • Weight: 116g

DJI Osmo Pocket, the smallest, lightest and most impressive Osmo to date. It weighs just 116g and measures 121.9 x 36.9 x 28.6mm.

The 12Mp 1/2.3-inch CMOS camera is mounted on a 3-axis mechanical image stabilisation gimbal and it’s capable of capturing 4K video at 60fps. There’s also a series of intelligent shooting modes.

It’s a compact and robust device, and it comes with a Lightning and USB-C adaptor to connect a smartphone. This enables you to view images on a much larger screen than the one built-in to the Pocket. DJI’s free Mimo app also makes editing your video easy.

Movies are captured in MP4/Mov and stills are saved as JPEG, DNG or both. Files are stored on a MicroSD card of up to 256GB capacity.

The audio is decent when the noise reduction is turned off but there’s also a mic adaptor that takes things up a notch.

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D Review

Price when reviewed

£529.99

$599.99
Check current price
Website: Canon

For

  • APS-C format sensor
  • Phase detection autofocus system in video mode

Against

  • Switch between using the viewfinder and screen isn't seamless
  • Camera type: DSLR
  • Announced: 10th April 2019
  • Sensor: 24.1Mp APS-C CMOS
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-S
  • AF System: 9-point phase detection, Dual Pixel CMOS AF (via Live View or Video)
  • Viewfinder: Pentamirror 95% coverage optical viewfinder
  • Screen: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen with 1,040,000 dots
  • Max video resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98, 25fps
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8mm
  • Weight: Black/Silver 449g, White 451g

The world’s lightest DSLR with a fully articulating screen, the Canon EOS 250D (known as the Rebel SL3 in the US) is a good entry into the DSLR market. Videographers will enjoy the articulating screen, while buying into the Canon EOS system means compatibility with a huge range of accessories, including a vast swathe of different lenses.

Although the 250D / SL3 can shoot 4K video, the crop factor increases by an extra 1.5x so the widest point of the 18-55mm kit lens is effectively around 43mm. That’s a bit wide for vlogging at arm’s length, so you may need to add a wide-angle lens to your kit. The focusing also switches from the impressive phase detection system facilitated by the Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor, to contrast detection which is a little slower. That may mean you want to stick to Full-HD video, but the camera produces great results at both resolutions.

There’s also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity which means you can connect the 250D to your smartphone to control it remotely and share your videos online.

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