Best Vlogging Cameras

Updated March 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

20 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
403 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Shopping guide for best vlogging cameras

Last Updated March 2019

If you want to take your written blog to the next level, consider video blogging, or vlogging. With vlogging, you can give your fans a whole new perspective on your message.

To make the most of your vlog, you need a high-quality vlogging camera that’s easy to use. Although any digital camera or smartphone camera can shoot vlog-worthy video, vlogging cameras have specific features that simplify the process.

We at BestReviews are ready to help you learn everything you need to know to find the right vlogging camera. We break down the jargon associated with these cameras so you can understand what you’re buying.

When shopping for a great vlogging camera that will deliver the best video quality, look for one that can record 4K video.

Important vlogging camera features

As you study these cameras, you might be a little surprised to learn that many digital cameras also work well as vlogging cameras. In fact, you may already be using a digital camera for vlogging. However, there are a few features that set the best vlogging cameras apart from the competition, features that can make your video easier to shoot and your vlog really stand out.

Audio recording: A vlogging camera has a simple microphone built into the case, so you can easily record audio when you’re near the camera. Look for a model that has a port for plugging in an external microphone for those times when you’re standing far away from the camera.

Image sensor size: A large image sensor gives you better results when shooting in low light. Find a camera with an image sensor of at least one inch for the best results.

LCD screen: You’ll have an easier time recording video if you have a camera with a swivel LCD screen. The swivel screen can be flipped 180° so you can see it while you’re recording. This makes it possible for you to frame the shot properly at all times. Having a touchscreen is helpful, too.

Travel vlogging: If you’ll be vlogging while away from home, you’ll want a small camera that’s easy to carry. You might want a zoom lens, too, so you can shoot objects in the distance. Additionally, optical image stabilization counteracts any vibrations while you're walking and recording at the same time.

Perfect size for vlogging

If you like to vlog on the go, the PowerShot G7 X is perfect for portability. The LCD screen flips 180°, making it easier to record yourself. This camera performs pretty well in low light compared to other non-DSLR cameras, and includes a convenient 4.2X zoom lens.

Understanding video resolution

When looking for the best vlogging camera, it’s important to understand your video resolution options. Most cameras can shoot more than one by simply adjusting the camera settings. This feature can be helpful when you need to conserve storage space on a memory card, which is accomplished by shooting at a lower resolution.

4K video: A 4K resolution camera provides extremely sharp video quality. Among vlogging cameras, 4K usually is the maximum video resolution you’ll find. Occasionally, a vlogging camera can shoot better than 4K resolution. However, because most display screens are limited to 4K, higher resolution isn’t really necessary at this time.

One downside to 4K video is it requires quite a bit of storage space. You might need multiple memory cards on hand if you plan to shoot a lot of 4K video. It also takes more time and a fast Internet connection for the person viewing the vlog to download a video with 4K resolution.

Quad HD video: Some vlogging cameras give you the option of recording in Quad HD (or QHD) video resolution, which records 2560 x 1440 pixels (or 1440p).

Not a lot of display screens can show 1440p video at its native resolution, usually downscaling it to full HD. So it’s more common for vloggers to shoot at 4K or full high definition (full HD) rather than QHD.

Full HD video: Vloggers often record full HD video, which has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (or 1080p). It provides excellent video quality while occupying roughly one-quarter of the storage space of 4K video. Older or less expensive vlogging cameras are often limited to full HD resolution or less. You will need a relatively new or more expensive camera to achieve 4K resolution.

HD video: HD video measures 1280 x 720 pixels (720p). It requires about one-half the storage space of full HD video. When viewing 720p HD video on a smaller screen, such as a computer display, tablet, or smartphone, it appears sharp. This video also downloads much faster than 4K or full HD, which viewers appreciate.

SD video: Standard definition video (SD) records 640 x 480 pixels at a 4:3 aspect ratio. Although modern television rarely uses SD video, it’s still used in Internet video because it loads very quickly. However, it doesn’t have the overall quality of full HD, QHD, or 4K resolution video.

EXPERT TIP

The weight of your camera will be an important consideration if you shoot in different locations.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

For the best audio quality, choose a vlogging camera with a port so you can plug in an external microphone.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Look for a camera with at least a one-inch image sensor for the best performance when shooting video in low-light conditions.


Staff  | BestReviews

Vlogging camera prices

Inexpensive

You can find basic vlogging cameras for less than $200, perhaps even as low as $100. These cameras usually have optical image stabilization, and they’re lightweight for use on the go, but they won’t offer many other features to simplify the vlogging process, such as swivel display screens. Many of these won’t be able to record full HD video. They have small image sensors, too, so they struggle with recording in low-light conditions.

Outstanding 4K video resolution

It’s easy to control the Lumix G7 while vlogging because of its LCD touchscreen that rotates 180°. You can record at 4K when you want the highest video quality, or you can reduce the resolution for faster downloads. Plus, you can swap out the lenses on this mirrorless camera for different shooting situations.

Mid-range

These vlogging cameras cost from $200 to $400. In this price range, you might be able to find a camera with one or two high-end features, but it’s rare to find one with three or more. They can shoot full HD video, and some may shoot at QHD or 4K, too. You can also sometimes find a swivel LCD with a touchscreen in this price range. Some of these cameras have large image sensors, making them good choices for shooting in low light.

Expensive

Cameras that provide several desirable features for vlogging cost at least $400, and can be as high as $2,000. In this price range, nearly every camera has a large image sensor and excels in low-light situations. Nearly all of these cameras have microphone ports and can shoot 4K video. However, you might have to shop around to find one that has a swivel LCD screen.

If you always vlog from one location, use a tripod to hold your camera in place at the desired angle.

FAQ

Q. Can I use my vlogging camera for everyday photography, too?

A. Yes, although some vlogging cameras will be better at video recording than still image photography. If taking still images is important to you, shop around to find a vlogging camera that excels in both areas.

Q. How can I avoid a shaky image?

A. Modern digital cameras usually have optical image stabilization built in (sometimes shortened to optical IS). This feature automatically adjusts the position of the camera’s internal components to compensate for tiny movements as you hold the camera. Optical IS doesn’t overcome huge bobbles, but it works well for tiny tremors. Always look for a camera with optical IS rather than digital IS, which isn’t as effective.

Q. What is the best vlogging camera when shooting in dark conditions?

A. A large image sensor (in terms of physical size) will give you the best results in low light. Large image sensors include one-inch sensors, 4/3 sensors, APS-C sensors, and full-frame sensors. Look in the camera’s specifications to find the image sensor size.

The team that worked on this review
  • Austin
    Austin
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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