The best cameras for vlogging have certain features that made them perfect for this new style of content creation. More often than not, vloggers don't have anyone to help them film, they are solo content creators that rely on things like a flip-out screen, decent stabilization and mic input. Vlogging cameras can be anything from a compact action camera for the adventure seeker or larger mirrorless system that can shoot great pictures too. We've included a selection of different cameras to cover many different needs.
Deciding what kit to include in best cameras for vlogging was no mean feat but we think our final shortlist has something in it to suit everyone's needs and budgets. We've included the best all-rounders near the top and the more specialized, advanced systems appear lower down the list. They're all excellent cameras capable of producing excellent quality video but what you want to record and how much you want to spend will massively determine which is best for you.
There are so many cameras we could've included such as the Panasonic GH5 II but we opted for Panasonic S5 instead as it's a full-frame camera that offers excellent image quality as well as 4K video and a lot of other handy features Who knows, once we've had a play with the brand new Panasonic GH6 maybe that will take its place...
Most people associate vlogging with portable, video-focused mirrorless cameras, but the range of video content and styles that people want to create is expanding at breakneck speed, so we've adapted and expanded our guide to include a wider range of camera types.
With this in mind, we've added a section for compact and action cameras. For some kinds of filming, even the smallest mirrorless cameras can be too heavy, too expensive and perhaps too fragile. A compact or action camera might not give you the same high-end controls as a mirrorless camera, but it will be able to go places a mirrorless camera can't.
What should the best cameras for vlogging include?
1. Stabilization: If you plan to use your camera mostly on a tripod or with a gimbal stabilization won't matter too much. However, if you want to use your camera to shoot hand-held video, stabilization helps to achieve smoother shots. See: Best gimbals
2. Tripod: Any tripod will be fine if you're just recording static shots but if you want to start incorporating movement a tripod with a fluid video head will be much better. See: Best video tripods
3. Audio: If you want to record high-quality audio you'll need to invest in an external microphone. In-camera microphones often don't have the best audio quality, they aren't very directional and they pick up wind much easier. See: Best microphones
4. External recorder: Most cameras come with a record limit so if you're trying to shoot for more than 30 minutes the recording will stop. External recorders not only provide a bigger screen for you to see what you're recording, they offer more storage and enable you to capture higher quality video. See: Best external recorders
Interestingly, more and more makers are coming up with vlogging kits and vlogging accessories like these. We recently reviewed the Nikon Z6 II Essential Movie Kit, for example, which comes with a SmallRig camera cage and Ninja V recorder.
The best vlogging cameras in 2022
If you're a serious content creator, a mirrorless camera offers powerful video capabilities, the versatility of interchangeable lenses and almost all of them will take high-quality images too. While DSLRs such as the Canon EOS 90D shouldn't be ruled out, mirrorless cameras are stealing the limelight at the moment thanks to their more advanced features and better handling especially when it comes to vlogging.
The Fujifilm X-S10 is such a great camera in our eyes it even came first place in our best Fujifilm cameras guide. It doesn't have the external exposure dials you'd find on the Fujifilm X-T4 which might disappoint hardcore Fujifilm fans, however, it's still an impressive bit of kit. It features a flip-out screen (which is what makes it so good for vlogging), can shoot 4K video and has 6 stops of in-body stabilization. Should you also want to take photos thanks to its 26.1-megapixel APS-C sensor it can produce beautiful, high-quality images. For the feature, size and handling, this is probably the best APS-C camera you can buy at this price point.
The Sony A6400's front-facing camera makes it perfect for single-handed video shooters who need to talk directly at the camera. It has a 180-degree flip front-facing screen rather than a vari angle which would've been better but if you just need to see yourself, it shouldn't matter too much. If you're a multi-media content creator, the A6400 is also a great stills camera as well as being able to deliver 4K video. We're not sold on the design, it's practically the same as when the A6000 was released and it's starting to feel a bit outdated. However, we can just about let that slide due to its state-of-the-art focusing system and impressive Eye-AF performance. Since it's release, Sony has also brought out the slightly cheaper A6100 and the more advanced A6600 but for us, we think the A6400 hits the sweet spot for vloggers when it comes to cost and quality.
The Lumix G100 is a compact, easy-to-use camera that has an approachable button and menu layout. It;s simplicity will be a big pull for vloggers and creatives who don't want or need anything too complicated. That being said, it still delivers high-quality video and has desirable features such as a viewfinder should you also want to take stills plus it feels like a "proper camera" with its ergonomic grip. While it can shoot 4K, there is a crop factor so you're not making the most of the sensor. The vari-angle screen makes it great for recording yourself or even recording footage overhead or from the hip. However, it's worth noting the G100 doesn't;t have any in-body stabilization so you might have to invest in one of the best gimbals if you plan on doing a lot of handheld shooting. Overall, it's a compact, cute and quite cheap camera that does the job but is lacking a couple of features.
The Lumix S5 might be on the larger size for a vlogging camera, but with a full-frame sensor, 6.5 stops of image stabilization and a weather-resistant body we think it deserves this spot. Even though the Panasonic GH5 II is newer, you got a lot more camera for the same money with the Lumix S5 and it's much better in low light. It has a fully articulated screen which makes it perfect for self-recording, 14+ stops of dynamic range and 4K video. Perhaps the only downside to this powerhouse of a camera is that it uses contrast AF rather than phase-detect AF which is often not as responsive. If you want a camera that's going to be good for stills and video, the Lumix S5 offers 96MP high-resolution RAW+JPEG capture. If you're a serious filmmaker then perhaps the feature of the Lumix GH5 will tempt you more but we think the Lumix S5 gives you more for your money.
The third version of the camera that put Olympus on the mirrorless map is a truly fantastic option for vlogging. It doesn't have the 4K 60p capability of Panasonic Micro Four Thirds rivals like the Lumix GH5 II, but 4K 30p is enough for most vloggers, and the Olympus wins for autofocus, using on-sensor phase-detect AF rather than the DFD contrast AF system still used by Panasonic. For regular filmmaking this is less of an issue (as "proper" videography should be done with manual focus), but vlogging leaves you at your camera's mercy to keep you in focus – and Panasonic's DFD contrast AF is prone to pulsing, hunting and reprioritizing. The E-M5 Mark III delivers crisp, clean 4K video with rock-solid image stabilization and phase detect AF that won't let you down – and its stills photography performance is top-notch as well.
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II isn't the wholesale upgrade over the original Canon EOS M50 that many were hoping for, but it's an excellent hybrid mirrorless camera that performs well for stills and video. Its 4K capabilities carry a number of caveats; Canon's brilliant Dual Pixel AF is replaced by contrast detect AF when not shooting in 1080p, and shooting in 4K also results in a significant crop factor. Thus, we can't recommend this camera if you intend to film 4K video.
However, if you want to shoot 1080p and you're looking for a powerful, easy to use body with great autofocus that's at home with run-and-gun videography, vlogging and creating for TikTok and Instagram, the M50 Mark II is in its element. Canon certainly offers more powerful APS-C cameras, such as the Canon EOS M6 Mark II, which deliver superior results in both stills and video (especially in 4K). However, the M50 Mark II's party trick is its perfectly pitched performance-to-price ratio. This is an affordable, powerful, compact and easy to use camera that's ideal for travel and everyday photography, as well as all manner of content creation.
Generally we would recommend a mirrorless camera for more serious vlogging, but there are a couple of compact cameras that are especially interesting thanks to their smaller size, front-facing screens and video capability. Beyond that, though, there are some terrific action cameras which can take your vlogging in a whole new direction.
Read more: The best compact digital cameras
While the new Sony ZV-E10 spiritually supersedes it, the ZV-1 remains a great option that doesn't require you to faff with lens changing. Some might dismiss the ZV-1 as yet another Sony RX100 variant, but it’s much more than that. The sensor and lens might be familiar, but the body, the controls, the audio and the rear screen are all new and different and optimized brilliantly for vlogging. There are a couple of niggles. The huge change in the minimum focus distance when you zoom in is annoying and the SteadyShot Active stabilization didn’t work too well for us, but the autofocus is exceptional and the ZV-1 is a joy to use, not least because here at last is a vlogging camera that really is designed specifically for vlogging, right down to that fully vari-angle rear screen and the supplied mic wind shield, which really does work brilliantly. It's also a LOT cheaper than the flagship Sony RX100 VII camera, despite offering a better proposition for vloggers.
When the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II showed popularity with vloggers, Canon sensibly leaned into it and gave us the Mark III, a compact that improves on it in all the right ways to provide a perfect compact vlogging solution. It's got 4K video with no crop, an external mic port, and even lets you livestream to YouTube! There's also the option to extract high-quality stills from 4K footage (useful for those thumbnails), and the excellent autofocus system works well with the 24-100mm (equivalent) f/2.8-1.8 lens and stacked 1-inch CMOS sensor to produce video of enviable quality. It even enables you to shoot vertical video that's very phone and Instagram story friendly – an incredibly useful function. It's still good, but it has been upstaged rather by the Sony ZV-1.
Welcome to the newest and best GoPro around. Though launched without much fanfare and looking identical to the Hero9 Black in almost every way, the Hero10 Black is nevertheless a significant upgrade. That’s all down to its use of the all-new GP2 processor, which powers both a speedy user interface, doubles the frame rates and fuels the best image stabilization tech yet. The larger, 2.27-inch display and the handy front-facing screen is what makes this camera perfect for vlogging - especially if you like to blog on the move, up a mountain or even when riding a bike!
The highlight is its 5.3K 60p video capabilities and GoPro's new HyperSmooth, 4.0 video stabilization. It works in all modes and alongside its 23MP camera, it produced the best photos and has the best low-light performance of any GoPro. Content can be transferred super fast via a cable and it has an auto-upload feature that automatically adds photos and video to the cloud while it recharges. Some upgrades aren't all that exciting but the Hero10 Black was definitely worth the wait.
• See also GoPro Hero 9 vs Hero 10 Black
If you want a best-in-class tool when it comes to combining stable video and pocketable size, nothing else trumps the DJI Pocket 2. If you get it as part of the Creator Combo, external audio and the ultra-wide lens are excellent additions, and it’s basically a pocket studio. Noise handling is probably the Pocket 2’s weakest area, and it struggles with highlights, though in most well-lit environments, the convenience, versatility, and stabilization it offers can’t be overstated. Better still, the gimbal stabilization brings a level of smoothness to run and gun style video that's difficult (or impossible) to achieve with a bigger camera.
360 cameras are really quite mind-bending to use, not least because it doesn't matter where you point them! But to show off your video you either need a VR playback device, such as a smartphone or YouTube's 360 mode. The alternative is to edit your spherical footage into a regular 'flat' video where you can choose where to point the camera AFTER you've captured the video – but that requires some editing effort. The One X2 is a seriously impressive action camera that uses its 360º lenses not only for virtual reality, but for a plethora of creative editing modes for widescreen videos, the One X2 consistently produces exquisite videos and photos. It takes time and patience to master, and its processing-intensive app demands the latest phones, but for filmmakers wanting to try something different the One X2 cannot be ignored.
How we test cameras
We test cameras both in real-world shooting scenarios and in carefully controlled lab conditions. Our lab tests measure resolution, dynamic range and signal to noise ratio. Resolution is measured using ISO resolution charts, dynamic range is measured using DxO Analyzer test equipment and DxO Analyzer is also used for noise analysis across the camera's ISO range. We use both real-world testing and lab results to inform our comments in buying guides.
What to look for in a vlogging camera
1) External microphone port
When it comes to producing professional-looking videos you'll need good quality audio. In-camera mics are ok but you'll want to use an external mic if you plan on recording audio so make sure to invest in a camera with a mic input.
2) LCD screen that can flip round to the front
A full articulated screen is essential if you want to record yourself talking to the camera. It takes away any guesswork involved and ensures the framing of the shot is just right. Most of the time you can get away with just having a tilting screen but vlogging is the one area of photography and videography where a front-facing screen is a must.
3) AF system with effective tracking
If you plan on recording yourself while moving away, you'll need a camera that has responsive AF tracking. Since you won't actually be able to change the focus point while filming, you'll want to use eye or face AF so that the focus is always on you. This is when cameras with phase-detect AF are particularly good as they are much more consistent with moving images, unlike contrast-detect which has a tendency to hunt and drift.
4) 4K video
You can probably get away with a camera that doesn't have 4K capabilities however, technology is advancing so quickly you may as well future-proof your purchase. Even if you shoot in 4K, you can upload in 1080p to save on time but at least you have that option. You can crop into 4K, reframe your video and still output at 1080p so it's more flexible to get a camera that is 4K ready. For more information on post-production, check out our guides on the best video editing software.
5) Great stills quality
Chances are if you're a vlogger you'll have an Instagram account and want to be able to capture stills as well as video. Nobody wants to carry around two cameras if you can get one that will do both jobs equally well. Of course, some of the best camera phones will be great for creating content, but it'll never be as good quality as an actual camera. Our guide on the best cameras for Instagram will be a good place to look if that is your chosen platform.
All of the cameras on our list are ideal for vlogging, you'll just have to decide how much you want to spend, how portable you need it to be and what types of vlog you'll want to film
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