If you want the best vlogging camera for YouTube in 2017, then you’ll LOVE this guide.
I personally tested and reviewed over dozens of cameras specifically for vlogging purposes and have narrowed the selection down to six cameras.
Depending on what you hope to achieve with your vlogging videos and your budget, you might gravitate towards one or the other.
Best Vlogging Cameras 2017
1. Sony RX100 V – Hands down the best vlogging camera for YouTube in 2017
As of 2017, the Sony RX100 V is the best point and shoot camera that Sony has ever made. It is light and compact and is perfect for everyday vlogging or shooting short footage on the go. The screen can flip 180 degrees so you can clearly see your face while shooting a selfie or vlogging. You can also flip the screen at 190 degrees if you’re planning to shoot at waist level. It is also worthy to note that this is one of smallest cameras out there to shoot 4k video.
One of my favorite things about this camera is that it is very discreet. When I’m filming outside, I don’t want to be too noticeable by the people around me, especially when I’m vlogging and talking to the camera. Overtime, you’ll care less, but in the beginning, it can be quite awkward and slightly embarrassing. If you are just getting started, try out the RX100 V or a camera equivalent to its size and weight. It’ll help you to easily transition to a DSLR or higher end camera once you’ve gotten use to the mechanics and requirements of vlogging.
- Lightweight and small enough to fit in your pocket
- Autofocus is top-notch
- Very easy to use even for complete beginners
- 180-degree flippable screen
- Battery life is poor when taking video
- No external charger
- No interchangeable lens
- No microphone jack
- Not cheap
2. Canon G7X – Cheaper Alternative
If the thought of shelling out 1k for a camera is daunting, the Canon G7X is a much cheaper alternative, but still excellent all-around camera that is quite popular with many YouTube vloggers. You can shoot high-quality HD videos and easily transfer footage on to a TV or laptop by simply using the micro HDMI port. Additionally, you can use Wi-Fi as well or simply pop out the SD card and transfer the usual way.
For enhanced user experience, it packs a 3-inch 1040k-dot 3:2 ratio LCD display that is also touch enabled. It helps in menu navigation, live view monitoring and image playback. This multi-angle display is tiltable and allows users to take selfies which are a big plus for such a compact camera.
The Canon G7X packs a large 20.2MP CMOS sensor and Canon 4.2x Optical Zoom Lens backed up by powerful DIGIC 6 image processing. With this camera, you need not worry about shooting in low-light environments. Canon brought on board their trademark Canon HS System that works with the f/1.8-2.8 max aperture to ensure clarity without blur in such environments. On the other hand, the 31-point AF system enables you to shoot still images.
If you want to shoot videos, then this camera will also suit your needs. It can shoot Full HD videos at 60 fps in the popular MP4 format. The stereo microphone ensures only clear sound is captured and allows direct playback. With this camera, making your videos even in the noisiest of backgrounds won’t be a problem.
When it comes to connectivity, the G7X lets you share your images and videos with ease. First, it is Wi-Fi enabled. This allows you to share images and videos with other Wi-Fi enabled devices. You can also connect to Android devices with the NFC (Near Field Communication) feature. This camera also has a dedicated Mobile Device Connect Button and Image Sync feature. The icing on the cake is that you can remotely control the camera from the linked device. Other connections include USB 2.0, HDMI and AV output.
- Sturdy metal body
- Easily portable
- LCD Display
- Touchscreen control
- Offers Full HD video recording
- WiFi & NFC connectivity
- Smartphone wireless connectivity is unreliable
- Short battery life
Our Final Verdict
The Camera’s high-quality shooting as well as ”Selfie” mode even in low-light environment make it just the best camera for vlogging. Even though it has a shorter battery life, it is still a worthy purchase when you consider its unique features – this is what makes it stand out!
3. Panasonic Lumix ZS60 – Best Vlogging Camera Under $500
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60 is a favorite among most YouTube vloggers and the vlogging industry in general. It is actually among the best there has ever been for video-makers mainly because of its Full HD and 4k UHD shooting ability. Its compact and lightweight design makes it easy to carry and shoot videos just anywhere. Considering the world class features, the Lumix ZS60 is a must have for any established vlogger out there. Here is a review of the Panasonic DNC-ZS60 Point and Shoot 18MP Digital Camera.
This camera has a large 3-inch LCD display with Liveview Finder. The 1.04 m-dot LCD display is also touch-enabled making basic operation and menu navigation so easy. You can also view existing photos as well as record videos on this display. All other controls are well positioned for ease of access and most importantly, to improve handling.
The Panasonic ZS60 offers excellent performance when it comes to photography as well as videography. It has an 18.1 MP 1/2.3″ sensor that can capture high-resolution images of up to 4896 x 3672p. The new High-Sensitivity sensor blends so well with the Venus Engine Image-Processor to deliver crisp images and UHD 4k videos. For shooting distant objects, it has an impressive 30x Leica DC Optical Zoom lens that can stretch it to 24-720 mm focal length range. The Hybrid 5-axis O.I.S. on the hand works to reduce and compensate any vibrations and camera shake to produce still and focused images.
For top videographers, the Lumix ZS60 is indeed the ultimate camera that can take UHD 4k 1080p videos at 30 fps. Even though we are still mesmerized by 4k LED TVs and HD digital cameras, we already have compact cameras with 4k capabilities. This enables users capture very clear lifelike videos even in the worst of conditions. There’s also high-speed HD at 120 fps and 240 fps VGA recording slow-motion playback. The ISO 6400 sensitivity further complements this with clear sound capture. Regardless of the shooting conditions, whether low-light or noisy background, the Panasonic ZS60 will deliver exceptionally. Besides 4k recording, there are also other 4k capabilities including; 4k burst, 4k pre-burst and 4k burst (S/S).
For any great vlogging camera, connectivity is a major concern and that’s why Panasonic made sure they stay on top of the game with the ZS60. This camera has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity that lets you share your images and video with other devices. Accessing Wi-Fi is very easy with the dedicated Wi-Fi button. You can also connect to iOS and Android via USB connection. With this camera, you can now share content with the touch of a button.
- Easily portable
- 3-inch touchscreen display
- Powerful 18.1 MP sensor
- HD and UHD 1080P 4K video recording
- Extended battery life
- Heavy price tag
- Slow lens in some modes
Our Final Verdict
4. Canon Powershot ELPH 360 HS – Best Vlogging Camera Under $250
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS is a top digital camera from Canon that has left a mark in the vlogging industry courtesy of its compact size and most importantly, unsurpassed video-shooting performance. This 20.1 MP camera offers remarkable shooting and impressive connectivity. This has made it a top seller as well as a great compact camera for most YouTube vloggers and videomakers in general. Today, we will review the Canon ELPH 360 HS to see why it ranks so high in the digital cameras battle.
By design, this camera was meant to be compact to make it easy for users to tag it along wherever they go. It measures 100 x 58 x 23 mm and weighs only 147 grams. It has a large 3-inch 461k-dot LCD display for easy controls, menu navigation and viewing photos and videos.
With this digital camera, capturing high quality images is very easy. First, it has a 20.2 MP Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor that combines very well with the DIGIC 4+Image Processor. The Canon HS SYSTEM on the other hand helps it capture clear images even in low-light environment. For still and focused images, Canon engineered this camera with Intelligent IS, a feature that analyzes the camera’s shakes and counters it to achieve still image capturing.
If you are looking for a camera that will offer you the best performance in video-making, then the Canon 360 HS is exactly what you are looking for. This camera can capture Full HD 1080p videos, something very unique when you compare it to other similar cameras in its price range. Background noise is also filtered leaving you with clear sound only.
This camera has been built to offer convenient connectivity. It has Wi-Fi connectivity that allows users to connect and send images and videos on several platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other platforms through the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY. You can also connect to a Wi-Fi enabled printer and print your photos directly. It also has a Wi-Fi button for easy connectivity and supports USB 2.0.
- Compact design
- 3-inch LCD display
- Face Detection Focusing
- Full HD video recording
- Wireless connectivity
- Low battery life
- Poor handling
Our Final Verdict
5. Nikon Coolpix L340 – Best Vlogging Camera Under $300
If you are looking for a simple camera that will help you make videos, the Nikon Coolpix L340 should be on your wishlist. The Coolpix L340 is a compact-size digital camera that has been engineered with the latest technology to offer the best photography and video shooting. Its 20.2 MP sensor, 28x Optical Zoom and ISO 80-1600 guarantees excellent video recording in terms of picture and sound quality. This is exactly what you need as a budding vlogger. It also has great handling and comes with a wrist wrap that makes shooting and carrying very easy. Here is a review of the Nikon L340.
This camera has been crafted in a simple bridge, compact and lightweight design giving it a great grip. It measures 111.1 x 76.3 x 83.3 mm and only weighs 430 grams. The outer body has a dot-textured surface to enhance the grip fro a more comfortable and secure handling.The lightweight design is what makes the L340 a great camera for short video-makers.
When it comes to display, the L340 has a 3-inch TFT LCD display. This display has a great Anti-reflection coating and a 5-level brightness adjustment that you can set depending on the environment’s lighting. Control buttons are few and have been strategically placed to allow easy access when shooting.
For excellent capturing, the Coolpix L340 has a 20.2 MP CCD sensor backed up by Nikon’s renowned NIKKOR lens with 28x optical zoom. With ISO 80-1600 sensitivity, you can still shoot clear, high-resolution images of up to 5152 x 3864p. For vlogging, this camera is still a force to reckon as it can record HD 720p videos at 30 fps. The microphone has also been crafted to ensure clear sound.
Other features include 5 exposure modes that you can choose from and 17 scene modes to complement the shooting environment. To get the best images, there is also the in-camera editing feature that allows you to edit your pictures and videos. The Coolpix L340 is powered by 4 AA batteries, which are common and readily available in many stores. It uses alkaline lithium and Nikon rechargeable batteries thus giving you wider battery options unlike most cameras.
- Easily portable
- Easy video recording
- Excellent picture and sound quality
- Large LCD display
- HD video recording
- Several battery-type options
- Not ideal for lowly-lit conditions
- Vibration reduction is not reliable
Our Final Verdict
6. Sony Cybershot DSCW800 – Best Vlogging Camera Under $100
The Sony CyberShot DSCW800 is a sleek, compact entry-level digital camera. Despite its compact size, it packs great features to suit any vlogger’s needs. It is loved by many basically because of its convenience in terms of size and reliability when it comes to image and sound quality. Here is a review of the Sony CyberShot DSCW800.
The CyberShot W800 sports a sleek and stylish design and is available in black and silver. Though the outer body looks like brushed metal, it is actually painted plastic. This is evident when it gets scratches and dents, a major downfall for this camera. The best part however in its design is the compact form. It measures 96.8 x 55.5 x 20.8 mm and weighs only 125g. This makes it a great everyday companion for video-makers. Handling is also excellent as it has an ergonomic grip, if still not comfortable, there’s the included wrist strap.
In terms of ease of usage, the Sony CyberShot W800 is quite easy to operate. It has a 2.7” LCD Display from where you can access the menu, image preview and live monitoring. Control buttons are also accessible making it easy to shoot videos even in tricky positions.
The Sony CyberShot W800 has a Super HAD CCD 20.1 MP sensor with an impressive sensitivity range of ISO 100-3200. It works well with the RGB mosaic filter system to capture Hi-Res images of up to 5152 x 3864 pixels. With the 5x optical zoom lens, 26-130 mm focal range and 5 cm minimum macro-focusing, this camera is ideal even when shooting images from a distance.
The Sony W800 has been engineered to offer HD video recording. Unlike similar compact cameras, the W800 will save you from the embarrassment of blurry videos. To make shooting even easier, there’s a dedicated movie button that allows one-time shooting once you get the perfect spot.
With the Sony W800, you have the power to do more. It has a cool 360 Panorama View feature that lets you create panoramic image easily. If you love to see images in different modes, you can use the inbuilt Picture Effect feature. For party photography, you only need to switch to Party Mode and capture the perfect, vibrant photos.
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy to use for beginners
- LCD display
- HD shooting
- No image stabilizing
- Limited LCD display view
- Poor battery life
Our Final Verdict
Vlogging Camera Buyer’s Guide
The perfect vlogging cameras are a combination of advanced technology which comes at a light and compact size. Before choosing your vlogging camera either from the list above or somewhere else, I recommend you continue on to read our Buyer’s Guide. It will definitely help you understand the important elements that you need to be fully aware to make the right decision.
So without further ado, let’s continue with our vlogging camera buying guide.
5 Things to Look for when Shopping for Vlogging Cameras
1. Front facing LCD screen First and foremost, you want a camera that has a front facing lcd screen so that you can make sure that your face is within frame and that the lighting is of good quality. Without a front-facing lcd screen, you’ll have less quality control.
2. Size and weight Unless you’re only going to be shooting with the camera on a tripod, you definitely want to consider the size and weight of the camera. Like many other vloggers, you’ll probably want to be walking around and shooting while holding the camera up with your arms and in front of you. Obviously with DSLRs and other larger cameras, the weight and bulkiness can take a toll and shooting discreetly in public will be out of the question. You want the flexibility to shoot quickly without getting tired out from wielding camera for hours.
3. Image Stabilization helps prevent your footage from appearing blurry because you’re holding the camera in your hands or the camera is fixed to a moving or vibrating platform like on top of your car’s dashboard. Image stabilization technology tries to predict the movement of the camera lens in order to compensate for shaky pans or tilts
4. Mic Port. People often overlook sound quality when it comes to making videos, but capturing sound is one of the most crucial elements of a well-shot vlog. With any camera, you purchase, you want to make sure it comes with a mic port so that it can capture your voice and the sounds of whatever you’re shooting. Some cameras like DSLRs often have a mic port where you can attach an external mic in order to really capture high-quality sounds. Also, keep in mind that if you are shooting outside, wind noise will often times be a factor.
5. Video quality. Obviously the more expensive the camera, the better the picture quality. Seems pretty intuitive, but what most people don’t realize is that as the price of the camera increases, the picture quality doesn’t increase at the same rate. Cameras obey the law of diminishing returns and you’ll get to a point where the difference in quality between a 5k camera is almost negligible to a camera that costs 3k.
Does Camera Quality Matter?
Keep in mind that just because you have the most expensive camera in the world will in no way make you the best vlogger or filmmaker in the world. If that was the case, big name directors in Hollywood like Michael Bay with their hundreds of millions of dollars will always make the best movies. And we all know that this is not the case.
Someone like Steven Soderbergh with a budget of $1.2 million (a very modest budget in the world of cinema) was able to win the prestigious Palm d’Or Award at the Cannes film festival in 1989.
While you do need equipment to vlog, don’t pay an arm and a leg if you’re just getting your feet wet and want to see if it’s right for you. I highly recommend that you purchase a cheap point and shoot camera and make videos with it before you decide to invest in a more expensive camera. Better yet, you can just use your smartphone to create short vlogs, which you can use to practice a bit of editing. However, if you are dead-set on purchasing a cheap starter camera for beginners, I highly recommend the Canon Powershot ELPH 160, which you can buy for less than $100. A lot of vloggers on YouTube started with this camera and eventually graduated to bigger things.