Here is Your Guide to the Best Camera for Youtube Videos for Vlogging, Live-Streaming, and Beginners.
So what is the best camera for Youtube Fimmakers?
So what is the best camera for YouTube this year when it comes to price and features? We are going to be reviewing my top picks for every budget, coming up. When it comes to picking out the best camera for YouTube, one of the most important questions to ask is, what are you actually going to be using the camera for. You know, there’s a lot of videos out on the subject, and a lot of people have different opinions, but it’s usually wrapped around their own bias and what they do. If you’re an indie filmmaker, then the GH5 might be the camera that you want to go for, but the GH5 is not the best camera necessarily for everybody, especially if you just want to make simple YouTube videos.
So in this review, I’m going to be breaking down different categories, like the best camera for vlogging, the best budget camera, the best budget 4K camera, and then talk about the right camera, hopefully, so that you can be connected with your actual needs, the practicality of what you’re actually going to be using it for, so you don’t have features you don’t need or a camera that’s too complex to even actually get videos done.
What is the Best Camera for Youtube Video Vlogging?
Let’s jump into topic number one, and that is the best camera for vlogging. Now, when I say vlogging, what I mean is turning on a camera, probably holding it up, and narrating your day, walking around, vlogging. For vlogging, I think it comes down to the G7 X, the Canon G7 X, and the Sony RX100. There are a couple different versions of each of them, and here’s why I think it’s the best.
First of all, I think the G7 X is best for most people. It’s one of the most popular vlogging cameras.
- The reason I would say it’s the best is that you get a flip screen so you can film yourself in a selfie,
- it’s got good autofocus,
- it’s very easy to use, and it also takes great photos.
If you want just a point-and-shoot camera like this that makes great videos and great for vlogging, the G7 X is the way to go. So a super-solid camera.
The only reason I wouldn’t recommend the Sony RX, V is this model, it can cost you about $1000, so it’s almost double the price of this one, and I don’t believe you get double the performance.
- But the RX100-V is more for somebody who wants more features.
- The Sony RX 100-V shoots in 4K the G7 X doesn’t do 4K, but I don’t think most people need 4K. But if you want to be able to shoot in flat color profiles, do a little bit more creative type of work, and especially shoot in 4K video, then the Sony RX100-V is definitely the way to go, but it also is quite a bit more expensive.
But if you really want to go deeper with any one of these cameras, I definitely recommend looking around for other example footage, because there are so many variables that go into it. Different cameras perform differently in different lighting settings. Even the user could have different settings.
Best Camera for Basic Youtube Videos- Ie, sitting still and talking.
Category number two is the best camera for basic YouTube videos. What I mean is videos like this, one where maybe you want sit in an office, you’re in your bedroom, and you want to create YouTube content. You want it to look awesome. Maybe you want to shoot some B-roll and even shoot some photos and do some social media content, but you’re not trying to make indie films. You’re doing a lot of content that’s kind of talking head, and even maybe beyond that, but you’re not wanting to color grade your footage and get super fancy. You just want to get content out to the world. So for this category, what I would recommend is any Canon camera with dual pixel autofocus.
We’ll actually put a list together for you, but these are cameras like the Canon 70D, the Canon SL2, also even mirrorless cameras like the M6, the 80D, the T7I, and the reason these are all so great is because they have flip screens to go to selfie, they have microphone input, so you can get better audio, and they’re very, very easy to use, which I think can serve the widest group of people.
Dual pixel autofocus is the game changer. It’s one of the most, probably the best autofocus systems on the market. Sony is definitely a competitor there, but a lot of people still rate Canon’s autofocus as unparalleled, and so it’s a camera that you can simply set up, turn on, tap your face, and record incredible content, but in a very user-friendly way, where you don’t need a ton of extra features. One of the downsides to a lot of these Canon cameras is they don’t have 4K, but I don’t that’s something that the average YouTuber, the person that wants to create YouTube content, needs. So when you pick up one of these cameras, you basically have everything in an easy-to-use package.
The standout for me this year is the Canon SL2, and the reason why is because these cameras, the dual pixel autofocus cameras, range from anywhere from around $500 up to about $1,300. But Canon recently released the SL2, which is pretty incredible, because it’s a very small DSLR. I mean, if you compare this camera to the 70D, you can actually see that they’ve shaved quite a bit of size off it, and a ton of weight. The thing is almost weightless. You still get your flip screen, and you get the same sensor that is in the Canon 80D, so even the $1,400 camera that’s out there, you can get the same video quality out of the camera. You get the mic input, and you also have new features like a faster processor, time-lapse modes built right into the camera.
I mentioned the G7 X and RX100 for vlogging, but even this camera is phenomenal for vlogging, because you can get the flip screen, but it also is much lighter than some of the other Canon DSLRs. You can put a mic on there if you want. The SL2, the body alone, is only around $550 as a new camera. That’ll probably go down as it’s been out for a while, just like other camera prices do. So again, for the average, basic YouTube creator that just wants a camera that works, that’s easy to use, that will always have you in focus, I think that any of the cameras with dual pixel autofocus are a great bet.
- Again, it has really good autofocus, so I have set to face tracking, so it’s tracking my face and it’s seeing it really good, as I can view myself on the LCD monitor.
But let’s actually check out the 70D, which is a much more expensive camera
This is the Canon 70D with the same Canon kit lens. This camera has definitely a bigger and better build quality, but it’s also a lot heavier, and when it comes to the video quality, we don’t really notice a huge difference, because the sensors are really the same or very similar. There’s image stabilization on this lens, so that helps with the shake a little bit, but this is hand-held, and I’m in the same lighting environment with auto everything on the Canon 70D. Lastly, all of the dual pixel autofocus DSLRs are going to look similar, so what you saw on the SL2, and the Canon 70D image is kind of the image that you’re going to be getting with the T7I, a 77D, an 80D. Sure, there’s going to be differences, but this Canon image is basically going to be the same throughout those models. Also keep in mind that for these cameras, we are up-processing the 1080p footage to 4K, because they don’t have 4K built into them.
One of the other things that I love about the SL2, and also some of the newer Canon cameras like the T7I and the 77D, is they’ve included a beginner mode.
It’s kind of cool, because if you are more advanced, you can just turn it off, but if you’re just getting into video, these are my top recommended cameras, because that beginner mode is going to help you start creating content right away without getting stuck in the complexity that some cameras cause, because of not knowing how to use them. So it’s something definitely to check out if you’re shopping for someone or you’re just getting started yourself, and you want a camera that’ll help you get the best results.
The Best Budget 4k Camera for Youtube
Category number three is the best budget 4K cameras for creating YouTube videos. So if you’ve decided you have to have 4K, but maybe you don’t have a huge budget to invest, then look no further than the Panasonic G7. This is a very popular camera because it has a lot of features. It’s got a flip screen, which a lot of YouTubers want, to selfie mode. Of course, it’s interchangeable lenses, and you get that 4K video resolution. It’s got a mic input, and so you can have that pro audio, and it is a phenomenal camera.
The one downside to the G7 is that the autofocus is pretty terrible during video mode. Now, keep in mind that plenty of YouTubers have been making great videos with cameras that didn’t have very good autofocus during video. But one of the reasons why it’s such an important thing to me is because with the people we coach. I think most people don’t want to become fancy video shooters. They just want to share the content, and they want simple equipment that works without having to worry about it. So when you don’t have that autofocus during video, you can do a whole shoot and be like oh crap, I was out of focus, and the background was in focus. You could see it. Sometimes we’ve had some issues where it’s doing face tracking, we think it’s tracking the face, but things are just not in focus.
This is less of an issue if you’re using the camera for a video production and not as much on yourself as a solo shooter, and there’s plenty of people, again, who can get around it. What most people do is you just get everything in focus, and then you just flip it to manual mode so the camera isn’t hunting for focus. So I don’t really want to put the camera down, but that is for me why I don’t recommend it to most people who want something that’s super user-friendly, where you don’t have to tweak too much to make sure that everything looks right.
From here, a newer version of this came out, called the G85, that leveled up some more pro features. The G7, again, can come in at around $600 or cheaper if you shop around, so it’s definitely probably the best budget 4K camera. The G85 jumps up to about $1,000, but added things like in-body image stabilization, which is one of my new favorite features of cameras. A lot of Sony has it, five-axis in-body image stabilization, which starts allowing for very smooth hand-held footage and can really help smooth out vlog footage as well, but again, it’s a little more expensive. So definitely check out the G7 or the G85.
The one other camera I’d recommend for creating 4K content for YouTube is the Sony a6500. I love it because it has great autofocus. The two brands that have really solid autofocus are Sony and Canon. They’re kind of head-to-head with really good autofocus, so you know that you can be always tack sharp. Things will always look right. You don’t find it hunting for focus like a lot of the Panasonic cameras do, or even other brands. And it’s a super-solid camera that also has in-body image stabilization and that can shoot 4K video. When we wanted to move to 4K, this was the camera that we picked out.
The one downside to the a6500 is that it actually has been overheating on us a little bit. And it also doesn’t have a selfie screen, and so if you shoot by yourself, you shoot in like your home office, your bedroom, that might be something you want so that you can easily set things up. So I feel like in the next version, if Sony adds that flip screen to selfie and maybe deals with the overheating issue, that they might have one of the most lethal, best cameras all-around on their hands. But meanwhile, the 6500 is definitely a good choice, especially if you want to start putting out 4K content.
Best Cameras for Indie Filmmakers on Youtube
All right. The next category is the best camera for indie filmmakers on YouTube, and for me, I think that comes down to either the Panasonic GH5 or the Sony a7S Mark II. These two cameras are incredible for having tons of features that support the needs of people who want to make short films, indie films, do a lot of color grading, shoot a lot of uncompressed, high bitrate footage so that they can get the most detail out of their footage. To be honest, though, this is a smaller segment of kind of the overall YouTube market. It is an incredible camera. I love it because of dual SD card slots. It’s great because it does have a screen that flips to the selfie. You’ve got a mic input, you’ve got a headphone jack. You’ve got features stacked to the moon.
These cameras are really a marvel at shooting content. It’s also something that we like to use for long-form content if I’m speaking at a seminar or a conference because there’s no record limit, dual SD card slots. Theoretically, I have a power cable that plugs into the battery, and you could actually alternate the SD card slots theoretically infinitely, as far as record time. So it is a very amazing tool for creating content, but it’s also $2,000 just for the body, and it’s overkill and a little complex for the average YouTuber.
So if it’s something that you already know about, then you’re already probably somebody that this might be a good camera for, but most people I think it would be overkill, and there has been a lot of issues with the autofocus, which makes it less than ideal for being a solo shooter and just flipping the screen on yourself and wanting to just get that face tracking, solid, no hunting for focus. One of the things that makes it that way is the fact that the focus is contrast-based, and that Sony and Canon’s focus is phase detection. Those are just some fancy words that you don’t really need to know, but there is a reason why the autofocus kind of falls short.
But this is an amazing camera. I’m not going to talk too much more about it. If you’re somebody who wants that really advanced feature set, definitely check this out. Then also the a7S Mark II. That body comes in around $2,400, but is incredible in low light. Lots of indie filmmakers are using it to make some incredible work. But this video is more about the practical, everyday YouTuber.
So that brings us to our final category, but I want to mention that every camera in this video is super-solid. I don’t think you’d be disappointed with any of them, but if you asked me, ” what is your personal pick, your top favorite this year?” these are the two that I would recommend. The first is the Sony a6500.
Despite a few issues, this camera is very amazing, and it’s a great daily shooter, and that was we wanted to go to 4K. Leading up to NAB this year, we did a ton of research, a lot of debating, really between this camera or the GH5. The reason we picked the a6500 is that of the great autofocus. Of course, the 4K is beautiful. There’s a lot of frame rate comparisons between them, but when it came to run and gun, having a small portable camera that produces a great image and can ultimately get us that 4K result, this was our choice.
Now, I don’t know if this is the right camera for a lot of people because again, the body comes in at $1,400, which leads me to my number one pick for the best camera for YouTube for the majority of people. Again, keep in mind I’m thinking price here, I’m thinking about how user-friendly it is, and I’m thinking about how many features you get packed in for the investment. For me, my top pick the Canon SL2, or again, any of those newer Canon cameras with dual pixel autofocus. The funny thing is that a lot of them are pretty similar, and it’s just small different features that they have.
But the reason the SL2 stands out to me is that this body costs only $550 here in the US for everything that you get: the flip screen, 1080p, 60 frames per second video, a microphone input. And you basically get the same sensor inside of here as the $1,400 Canon 80D, so the kind of picture and image that comes out of the camera is absolutely amazing. What tops it all off is that it’s super user-friendly and dependable. One of the things I’ve noticed with Canon cameras is there’s not overheating issues. There’s not weird, quirky camera turns off or it has these other challenges. I think those are things you can live through, but what I love about Canon the most is that it just works out of the box, and it’s easy to learn and easy to start creating content. And I think that that is the most important thing.
We’re talking about the best camera for YouTube, but ultimately the camera is not the most important part of YouTube. It’s not the production value that is the most important, it’s the content value, and what I love about Canon is they make it easy for the camera to almost disappear so that you can create your videos. You want it to turn on, you want to flip the screen open, you want things to look good, be in focus, the colors to look good, and you want it to work every time. That’s why I’d recommend this camera, plus the affordability makes it incredible.
One other thing to say about Canon is also that the lens selection is unparalleled, and so you can get a ton of different lenses that will make this camera look amazing, but even some very budget lenses … and as we compared other brands, whether it’s Sony or Panasonic, they actually don’t even have as many offerings for very affordable killer lenses, which we have a video about, by the way … we’ll link it up on the YouTube card in the description below … on the best budget Canon lenses. And so when I think about someone wanting to create YouTube content, investing in a camera like the SL2 or the 80D or the 77D or the T7I, as well as some lighting and a microphone, you’ve got the ultimate YouTube studio for what the average person needs for just creating great, great content.
Which brings us to the question of the day, and that is what camera do you think is the best camera for YouTube and why? I know there’s a lot of good reasons out there, maybe even some cameras I didn’t recommend, so I’d love to hear from you in the comment section.
The conclusion of our best camera for youtube video guide.
We hope this gave you some common sense advice when it came to comparing your camera options for shooting youtube videos. The fact is that all these cameras are great, but you really want to consider your needs, how you will use the camera, what kind of content you will be creating, and your budget before making the right choice for you. We hope this helped your decision.
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