The best vlogging cameras give you a powerful set of features to film top-notch video that’s ready to be edited and published to YouTube (or your favorite video distribution platform).
To find out which camera you should buy, we took a close look at the video features of the top compact and DSLR cameras, looking for the best autofocus, the best optical image stabilizer, great resolution options, handy connectivity, and many other features that help serious vloggers take excellent clips.
Our top choice was the Panasonic Lumix LX10, which combines a more affordable price range (under $500 is fairly affordable in this market) with 4k video capture capabilities, live video cropping, light composition from video, slow-motion video capture, and a whole set of additional tools that help you create the perfect vlogs – plus, you can take still pictures with it.
However, it was a very close call with a lot of great vlogging cameras to consider: check out our full list to find out what we thought, and what to keep in mind when buying a vlogging (aka video blogging) camera.
#1 Panasonic Lumix LX10 ($550) – Editor’s Choice/Best 4k Vlogging Camera
- Excellent 4k video capture options
- Post focus, living video cropping and other useful tools
- Light composition lets you knit photos from your video
- On-camera editing can be a little clumsy to use
- The large lens requires careful handling
- No waterproof or dustproof protection
This compact camera can take excellent photos and even better video, with many features focused on extracting every ounce of value from your footage, including light composition photos, 120fps 1080p video for slow-motion shots, and live cropping for your 4k video when you want to pan around. This camera offers professional video capabilities that can fit in your pocket, and that’s probably just what you’re looking for. The one downside worth mentioning is that there aren’t any video-friendly bundles you can choose from, and it may be difficult to find the right accessories for specific vlogging needs on this model. Also the battery life, rated at 260 images, isn’t particularly impressive.
#2 Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II – Best Canon Vlogging Camera
- Handles both 20.1-megapixel images and 1080p video
- Digic 7 image processor allows you to self-select focus points and much more
- At $680, it’s more affordable than many other vlogging camera favorites
- A lot of focus on pics when vloggers may prefer a little more focus on video
- Manual controls may take some getting used to
- Canon Camera Connect app isn’t the greatest
If you want a camera that can do a little of everything, this Canon model is the perfect place to start. It has pretty much everything a starting vlogger needs, including Wi-Fi, RAW conversion, a pop-up LCD screen, and many types of picture modes. There may be a little too much focus on pictures if you’re primarily interested in video alone, but otherwise, this camera deserves your attention – and if you need to use it to take single shots, all the better. Note the 240 image battery life, though – you’ll be recharging this guy a lot.
#3 Canon Vixia HF R700 Camcorder – Best Affordable Vlogging Camera
- With prices below $200, it’s an affordable alternative
- The compact camcorder places its focus on video
- Real-time image stabilization for handheld video
- No ultra HD capture
- Battery life struggles to reach an hour of filming
- SD memory card required
A compact camcorder may be just what you had in mind for a vlogging upgrade, and this Canon model certainly delivers. It’s not the most powerful video-taking beast out there, but it’s very user-friendly and it’s an inexpensive vlogging camera for those who may be on a budget, making it a great low-cost choice (although we encourage you to get the accessory bundle). Image stabilization, in particular, make this cam a great choice if you like to be on the move. The major downside is that there is no 4k video option on this model, which may limit you a little. Also, some vloggers may want a camera that easier to transition to pics for additional content, rather than a camcorder that’s really only made to handle video.
#4 Nikon D3400 Ultimate Parent’s Camera Kit – Best Vlogging Camera for Beginners
- Great accessories and an online class for working with kids and pets
- Very powerful image sensor
- Great 1200 image battery life
- The Parent’s Kit may be too pricey for some
- Not everyone may want to manage a DSLR
- No true Wi-Fi connectivity, so you need to keep another device nearby
- No 4k video option
Are you a vlogger who wants to specialize in kids and pets (you know, two of the most popular vlogging subjects ever)? Check out this Nikon model parent kit edition, which bumps the price up but gives you unique tools for improving your craft and capturing your favorite darling subjects. The 24.2-megapixel sensor is one of the best on our list, you get several wide lens options for different shoots (or you can add another wide angle lens), and the SnapBridge app is one of the better interfaces for managing your content—although you will need a separate device, like tablet computer, to use it. If you are on the move this can be a little annoying, but if your vlogging tends to stay in one room or area, it’s not a bad requirement.
#5 Canon EOS 80D – Best Camera for YouTube Vlogging
- Powerful autofocus software
- NFC and Wi-Fi Connectivity
- Offers excellent video creator kit
- Price puts it beyond the reach of some buyers
- Full feature adjustment options may be overwhelming to newcomers
- No 4k video
Yes, this Canon (the same brand of camera Casey Neistat uses) model may be expensive, but it offers high-end power for instant, powerful results. If you really want to capture everything and are interested in high-quality production, this camera may well be worth the investment. Also note that while the rated battery life is around 960, but this camera appears to overperform here.
We also really like the video creator kit, which adds around $600 to the price but gives you a camera-mounted mic, larger 18-135mm lens, and a camera stabilizer to turn this DSLR into your personal filmmaking setpiece (read more about vlogging accessories below our list). If money is no object, this is a great way to ensure your production and audio never let you down. Does that sound too pricey? Note that the 70D model is still a very popular vlogging camera among professional vloggers, and you may be able to find it for a lower price if you really like this model…but can’t quite afford it.
#6 Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 – Best Sony Vlogging Camera
- Hybrid autofocus for steady videos no matter what
- 4K video capture and photo capture from video
- 960 fps slow motion video mode
- A lot of tech focuses on pictures, which doesn’t necessarily help the video settings
- Battery life lasts a few hundred shots at best
- Design is a little dated in places
We love that this camera has super-fast video autofocus and the ability to film in 4k (plus you can extract images from the video later as needed). There’s also a slow-motion video mode, a really nice flip-around LCD screen, and even the option to bundle it with an underwater case for water-related filming. It’s no wonder Sony is marketing this camera specifically for vlogging. However, some may find the design unnecessarily traditional – and a lot of that pricey technology is focused more on photos than video, so you may be paying for features that you won’t really use.
#7 YI 4K Action and Sports Camera – Best Budget Vlogging Camera
- Affordable camera for vlogging beginners
- Cheapest 4k option
- Modern design is quite user-friendly
- Image sensor is weaker than many of our picks
- No DSLR customization options
- Best bundles include expensive accessories
Even with the low price, this camera still offers 4k/30fps videos, with the ability to take over 120 minutes of video on one battery charge. It also has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (dual-band) support for communication – plus extra functions to help with low light performance, timelapse, and other more unique experiments. The latest software update even includes voice control options. This is definitely a modern camera for a modern generation: That being said, there’s nothing in the way of lens customization, and the really cool accessories like a gimbal, a selfie set, and a waterproof vlogging camera case are locked behind much more expensive bundles, so you may have to pay more than you’d expect for everything you want. Battery life for this camera is rated at 2 hours of video.
#8 GoPro Hero4 Silver – Best Video Camera for Vlogging
- Great camera control and mounting options
- Built-in video trimming
- Excellent wide- capture
- Limited outside action video capture
- Difficult to manage without other devices
- No 4k option
If you have experience with cams, you probably already know a bit about GoPro and their line of famous action cams that are designed to attach to helmets, bikes, shoulders and other various mounts, to help capture sport-related and action-packed video.And, of course, GoPros are incredibly durable, designed to go pretty much anywhere any film pretty much anything: Keep it in its case, and there’s little you can’t film (for a bit over 2 hours of battery life).
You can control the camera via a smart remote app after you mount it, and mark the best moments of the video immediately so you know where to find them later. There’s also some great night modes. GoPro may not be on the very top of its game as it once was, but for more extreme vlogging this cam is still an excellent choice. However, at this price you aren’t going to get 4k – those models require much more investment.
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