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Video-blogging, or vlogging, has become extremely popular in recent years. Thousands of YouTube channels have appeared, offering content created by a single person. If you want to start vlogging, it’s now easier than ever before.
We can help you choose the best vlogging camera for your needs.
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What Is Vlogging?
Vlogging is the term used for video blogging. You can vlog about anything from your everyday life to a topic that you know.
You can upload your vlog to social media platforms, such as YouTube. Uploading regular vlogs is key to gaining a high following.
The quality of your work will depend on many factors. The most important factors are the content and your expertise.
But your video setup, lighting, sound, and image are all essential.
What Is a Vlogging Camera?
You can use any camera for vlogging that shoots video. But some features will make your life much easier. So, you should choose your future vlogging camera wisely.
These are the factors to consider when looking for the best vlogging camera:
Portability. You don’t want to carry a weighty camera rig when vlogging. The more portable your kit is, the further you can go with it. It’s not a good idea to choose a big camcorder or a chunky, full-size DSLR camera for vlogging.
Flip screen. You’ll need to see yourself and compose accordingly. Vlogging without a flip screen is a pain in the neck. The best vlogging camera lcd screen is the type that comes out to the side, so it does not cover the hot shoe.
Microphone port. The one thing that’s crucial to a good vlog is high sound quality. Built-in microphones are not the best option. Having a port for an external mic is necessary for a vlogging camera. You can also use an external recorder, but it is more complicated.
Video resolution. Most modern cameras can record in 4K video quality. It’s a handy thing to have. Even if you only export in Full HD, you can either crop or gain more detail in post-production. Cameras that have 4K can record slow-motion in 1080p, which can be useful for vlogging.
Stabilization. If you want to keep your kit relatively small, carrying a gimbal around isn’t feasible. Shooting handheld requires other means of image stabilization. It can be either the lens or the body, but the best is to have it in both.
Don’t forget that you also need to get some accessories for vlogging. An external mic is necessary, as is a tripod or Gorillapod. Getting a good lighting setup is also vital. Without that, not even the best camera can make your vlog look great.
The Best Vlogging Cameras in 2021
Here is the list of our best vlogging camera recommendations (in no particular order). We deliberately left out the least and most expensive options. If you want to do vlogging seriously, you should start with a decent camera for vlogging. If you’re an expert who wants to invest thousands of dollars – you’ll figure it out yourself anyway.
Interchangeable Lens Vlogging Cameras
These six cameras are great starting points for serious video kits, as well as standalone vlogging cameras. You can find the lens that fits your style or budget and get excellent image quality. Upgrading in the future is also easy.
Our favourite traditional DSLR
Canon EOS 90D
If you don’t mind holding a sizable DSLR, the 90D is a great option.
Among the other cameras on this list, the 90D has a relatively big APS-C sensor.
It’s well built and gives you a steady grip. The bright and sensitive touchscreen flips out to the side. You can attach a microphone using the headphone jack, and monitor the sound through the headphone socket.
Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus works like a charm for video quality. It always locks your face and transitions smoothly.
A single SD card slot is located on the side of the camera.
You can shoot uncropped 4K videos at 30fps. When you switch back to photo mode, the 32MP sensor provides tons of detail. To fully utilise this resolution, you’ll need extremely sharp lenses.
Little brother of the legendary GH5
This camera has two names, but the only difference is in the kit options.
It’s surprisingly rugged for a 4/3 sized mirrorless camera. You get a nice grip and quality materials. The body also protects against the anger of nature with sealed buttons and sockets.
The lcd screen flips out to the side, so you can check the footage while filming yourself.
The G90/95 also records 4K in 30fps and has options to increase the dynamic range with V-Log L. (This V-Log is a picture profile. Not be confused with the term vlogging.)
Be aware that during recording in 4K, this camera does not utilise the whole area of the sensor.
Unlike in most cameras, you are not limited to 30 minutes of continuous recording here. Your only barrier is the size of your SD card.
The GH5 is a professional-grade mirrorless camera, the bigger brother of the G90/95.
You get exceptional video quality, with 10-bit 4:2:2 in 4K 30fps. There is an option for 4K 60fps in 8bit 4:2:0. You can also shoot slow-motion in 1080p at 180 fps. V-Log L is available in the GH5 too, of course. There’s an option to squeeze the aspect ratio to fit anamorphic lenses.
All of this gets recorded to two UHS-II SD cards, at a bitrate up to 400 Mbps.
An effective built-in stabilizer helps to shoot handheld.
You get a cinema-quality camera in a small mirrorless body.
You might think that a camera as capable as the GH5 would cost a lot. In fact, it’s not even the most expensive camera on our list. If ultimate video quality is a preference for you, the GH5 is the best option in this price range.
Another Pro Micro Four Thirds
Olympus OM-D E-M1 II
Olympus’s flagship standard-size mirrorless is exceptional for video, although it doesn’t match the GH5. But, it packs a lot of features suitable for photography, especially for action.
It records 4K 30fps to two UHS-II SD cards. Its sensor stabilization is one of the best on the market, only surpassed by the Olympus E-M1X.
You also get a very powerful autofocus system, never seen before in a Micro Four Thirds Camera.
Burst shooting is also outstanding, maxing out at 60fps with the focus locked.
Brand new, but vintage looking
Olympus OM-D E-M5 III
The E-M5 MkIII is a very recent addition to the OM-D line. It’s small, lightweight, but a very strong offering.
Featuring 5 stops of sensor stabilization and an advanced focus system, it’s great for vlogging.
4K recording today is a basic requirement, which the E-M5 III matches.
It records to a single UHS-II SD card.
Note: this camera is available for preorder.
Sony’s newest APS-C champion
Sony Alpha A6600
Sony’s most recent addition to the A6000 series is a lightweight but efficient vlogging camera.
Despite its size, it’s comfortable to hold. A built-in 5-axis stabilizer counteracts your handshake. This is really handy when you’re shooting without a gimbal.
The A6600 is officially weather-sealed, but this is an opaque term. According to many sources on the internet, Sony’s weather sealing is not as excessive as other brands solutions.
Like the 90D, it also has an APS-C sensor, although with smaller resolution. For vlogging though, it doesn’t matter.
The A6600 records uncropped 4K videos in 30fps, without time limit.
You can also adapt more lenses to this mirrorless body, than to a DSLR. Its sensor size is bigger than the other mirrorless options here. If you’re experimenting with vintage lenses besides vlogging, this is a big plus.
Note: this camera is available for preorder.
Fixed Lens Vlogging Cameras
Want to buy a camera that’s ready for shooting, and don’t want to bother with switching lenses? Some of these might do the trick for you. Getting an external mic is always a good idea, though.
Powerful, but fits in your pocket
Canon G7X III
The G7X III is Canon’s flagship compact camera, with a lot of advanced features.
It has a relatively big, 1″ sensor (which is still smaller than Micro Four Thirds, though).
Despite the tiny size, it gives you extensive manual controls or 4K shooting. Sadly, you can’t access them at the same time. Hopefully, Canon will solve this issue with a software update.
This camera is expensive for a compact camera, but still much cheaper as a fully-fledged mirrorless kit.
Don’t let the size fool you
Sony RX100 VII
Another flagship compact on our list is Sony’s latest offering. The RX100 gives you exceptional performance, matching or surpassing a lot of midrange mirrorless cameras.
Image quality is remarkable, 4K 30fps is available in every mode. Autofocus is probably the snappiest that we’ve ever seen in a compact camera. Sony says that it uses the same engine as the A9.
It’s well usable for stills as well, with good noise levels on higher ISOs and sharp details.
The only drawback to the RX100 VII is that it’s not ergonomic. There’s no protruding grip and the whole thing feels too small.
Of course, you have to pay a hefty price for this device, but it’s the best you can get in this category.
DJI Osmo Pocket
The Osmo Pocket is a gimbal with a camera, rather than a camera with a gimbal. It’s originally been pitched as an action cam to compete against GoPro. But it’s great for vlogging, too, especially if you’re on a budget or want a tiny camera.
You get unbelievably smooth 4K footage from it. This comes as no surprise since DJI has always been a pioneer in gimbal technology.
Sadly, the image quality itself is not as pleasing, but it’s usable. There’s also only no place for a big screen on this device. You’ll have to use your smartphone to review the recordings via a wireless connection.
You can connect an external microphone with an adaptor.
The Osmo Pocket is certainly a unique option, and for that it’s great. Its price is also rather low. Depending on your style of vlogging, it might be the best option for you.
Zoom to the Moon
This Panasonic bridge camera lives up to the reputation of the brand.
It shoots standard 4K 30fps to an SD card. If you really want to get serious, it can output 10-bit 4:2:2 via HDMI. You can grade the footage as well, V-Log L is available for a further one-time price.
It has a 24-480mm equivalent superzoom lens, which is fairly sharp and well-stabilized.
Built into the lens is an ND-filter, which is the dream of vloggers. Shooting in bright light becomes much easier while using it.