Vlogging Camera for YouTube

Top 5 Comparison and Buying Guide

Vlogging Camera for YouTube

YouTube is the 2nd most visited website in the world, providing near limitless potential for people who are able create intriguing videos. Social media has exponentially increased the rate at which media can be shared to the point where a video can spread and reach hundreds of millions of people in a single day. Some people have launched careers through YouTube, while others have achieved fame. Many of today’s celebrities got their start on YouTube. There videos got views from the right people who recognized there star power and provided them with the resources they needed to take their talent to the next level.

Most of us will not have a video that spreads across the world overnight (although some of you might!), but that’s ok. A moderately successful video blog can actually be quite lucrative. If you are able to create videos that people are interested in, you can easily build an online following. If that following grows at all you have the ability to monetize your views and earn a nice side income, and potentially a primary income if you work hard.

So how do you increase your audience? Obviously substance is important. But aside from content and marketing we believe that the quality of your video is the next most important characteristic that influences an audience’s approval of a video. A member of the ExpNet team actually conducted an experiment confirming this last year. She recorded a how-to video using a high quality camera and a low quality camera right next to each other. She then showed each video to a separate audience and asked for their feedback on how informative the videos were. The results confirmed our theory that the quality of the feed significantly influences what audiences think of the video.

So what is a good camera YouTubers use? This is where ExpNet can help. Our team of videography subject matter experts has rigorously reviewed the top YouTube vlogging cameras and have determined the best camera for beginner YouTubers, the best indoor YouTube camera, as well as the top rated vlogging camera for YouTube videos in general. We are excited to share our results with you and hope that you can use our technological expertise and combine it with your content expertise to take your vlog to the next level.


Vlogging Camera for YouTube Reviews
Top 5 Comparison Table

Rank Product Price
1 Canon - EOS 80D
Canon - EOS 80D
2 Panasonic - Lumix FZ80
Panasonic - Lumix FZ80
3 Canon - PowerShot SX720 HS
Canon - PowerShot SX720 HS
4 Nikon - D3300
Nikon - D3300
5 Sony - CyberShot DSC-RX100 V
Sony - CyberShot DSC-RX100 V

Vlogging Camera for YouTube Reviews
Top 5 Comparison Reviews

Canon - EOS 80D

In playing with the Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR Camera, it appears the only thing it doesn't do is wash your car, or perhaps I just haven't found the button yet. Humor aside, the onslaught of features this device employs to double your productivity and quality of shots is astounding. This is a camera built with shortcuts and attributes to help you become a better photographer or videographer each time you pull it out of the bag. It also delivers some of the best vlogging components of any camera for YouTube on the market.

The Canon harbors a solid black color scheme (minus the lens) that grips to your hands without slippage with a slightly rough surface to contour to your fingers. Because the lens is removable, it is a quickly packed item that can fit in every bag or backpack imaginable. The intelligent viewfinder has 100% coverage and can be tucked and clicked secure when on the move, or popped out with zero resistance to capture time sensitive shots. AF mode, grid display, and AF points all show up on the screen to keep you constantly aware of how you are gathering shots, and with a simple change can be removed if you want a less cluttered view. The LCD is touchscreen and can maneuver 270 degrees freely. Even more crafty is 175 degrees of rotation that can be executed horizontally. 1 million dots of detail on the screen promises the most realistic, intense visuals the planet has to offer.

The idea to have the 10 buttons on the back of the camera spaced out is invigorating because it administers a new level of organization almost no other camera in this field can claim. The reward of this addition comes into play frequently when navigating through menus because each component is contained to its own button, cutting down on confusion.

A bazooka of powerful features are contained in the Canon SLR that aid in snapping, altering, storing and displaying any type of shot your skill set grabs. 24.2MP (APS-C) capability in accordance with a CMOS sensor that detects and amplifies images records bright, eye-popping content at peak resolution. 16000 IOS speeds can expand to 25600 for stills, with movies at 12800. The dual pixel CMOS AF is also advantageous because the autofocus adjusts quickly to make sure shots you want to take on a whim are obtained accurately with precise specifications.  Movie Servo AF uses a predictive algorithm to guarantee that moving subjects are tracked smoothly. Full HDR movies and 60P HD captures are smoothly recorded with the DIGIC 6 image processor and dual pixel CMOS AF working in conjunction. Are you starting to understand why this is one of the best vlogging cameras for YouTube videos? Let's continue.

The Canon cannot be discussed without referencing its state of the art 45 point AF system1, which produces amazing results, even in low light settings. Large zone AF, Zone AF, single-point AF, and 45 point AF auto selection round out the area modes to give users a diverse palette to shoot with.  It is compatible with several EF lenses, and even those with f/8 or higher apertures can sustain 27 point operation.

Various shooting speeds can give the shooter freedom to go up to 7FPS, which is handy when targeting moving subjects and wanting to limit blur and 'trailing.' Time-lapse grants the opportunity to take stills in specific intervals to produce your own creative videos. The high dynamic range (HDR) makes various degrees of light sources an easy fix within the camera. 7 filters for shooting stills and 5 for movies mean you can apply adjustments in real time to preview their effect. These can also be added later as well if you prefer a more traditional method of videography.

WiFi2 connectivity allows users to operate exposure settings, and the Canon Camera Connect2 app delivers remote shooting and the ability to sift through images on a compatible smartphone. To share on YouTube in seconds, captures can be uploaded to Canon Image Gateway4. You can even print your photos without a computer if you incorporate a printer that is PictBridge certified. Near field communication (NFC) is the pinnacle of organization through the Connect Station CS100.  Storage capability with memory cards can go up to a whopping 64GB.

The Canon EOS 80D is a marvel in design, convenience, and execution. The second you feel you have expended all of its options, three more seemingly take their place to offer a different avenue to shoot, capture and share. It is also a camera that bundles well with components not included, such as a 50mm lens and Speedlite flash. Overall, you can't go wrong with this vlogging camera for creating YouTube videos.

Panasonic - Lumix FZ80

The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is the least expensive YouTube video camera on our list, but the one that has the most bang for your buck as well. This is because so many features of value are packed into its cleverly designed inner-workings. A common misconception is that its cost renders this to be a device solely used by beginner YouTuber’s, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The FZ80 displays a glossy black finish to go with its 8 control buttons on the back.  The grip provides maximum comfort for extended shoots because it is ergonomic in its design and has a logical fit to your palm.  The DC Vario lens can go from 20 to 1200mm in a second, and the LCD flip screen has a 3 inch size and utilizes touch capability.  Moreover, the sensor resolution is 18.1MP, producing unrivaled clarity.

The Lumix DFD focusing program is quick and a benchmark of accuracy. The full range long zoom of 60X can jump from pinpoint shots to wide-angle mastery when gathering landscapes or moments off in the distance. What makes this one of the best cameras for YouTube is the 4K photo and video mode that is especially fun to implement. Videos can be recorded at 30 frames per second, making for the highest quality footage imaginable. Of course this 4K output looks glorious on YouTube, and shifting your content there via Wi-Fi is done with one button.

Because of its 4K power, the Lumix is one of the best solutions at capturing moving people or objects while guaranteeing that the quality is never compromised.  In fact the camera is so smart it will account for drag and blur effects and eliminate them so fleeting moments are recorded in succession without missing a beat of the action.

An F2.8-5.9 aperture uses Panasonic's O.I.S. tech to make the viewfinder bright and allow for easy frame manipulation. The low-light feature is a wonderful tool to have in your back pocket if you plan to record nightlife or events in less than ideal conditions.

If you are a perfectionist and prefer to alter components of your content later, the post focus option is a must. This tool allows users to set points on the picture where you want to highlight and focus on as opposed to the whole snap. Focus stacking is also integral in altering the depth of field to your liking.  Both of these options are valuable to experienced shooters, but are most rewarding to those lacking skill when taking the shots themselves. It is a relief that you can improve the quality of what was captured after the fact, even if you are no longer at the location of your snaps.

Of all the units being compared for the best camera for YouTube, the Lumix has the highest ceiling of potential.  This is because so much can be accomplished from such a direct, simple interface.  Since the quality is so crystal clear, virtually everything the shooter takes can be printed out and be display ready immediately.  The camera serves multiple purposes because various skill levels can pick it up and have their performance enhanced exponentially.  It is a 'teacher's' camera, meaning that if you are already a sound videographer, it will make your results that much better.  The same is true if a novice handles the unit.  Any expert will tell you that a camera that can expound upon your abilities is one that should not be overlooked.

The Panasonic FZ80 is ready for travel with wireless capability and charging via USB.  Though not as small as some other competing models, it is definitely compact enough to fit in your bag without it being overly bulky or cumbersome.

After playing around with the Lumix, the most obvious conclusion one can draw is that few competitors are as versatile.  If you are primarily focused on up close videography, it delivers this as well as any camera, including those with significantly higher price tags.  Conversely, if landscapes and far off snaps encompass your interests, the camera produces them routinely without error.  It is a model that is efficient, fun and adaptable.

The FZ80 requires little knowledge to use effectively, and getting to know the basics behind each menu can be accomplished in a relatively small window of time.  Maybe the most interesting aspect of this model is how it can be used both casually and professionally with the same degree of impact.  The camera is intelligent without being impossible to get the hang of, and makes the vision from conception to video as easy as its ever been, whether you’re an experienced or beginner YouTuber.

Canon - PowerShot SX720 HS

If you are looking for an affordable digital vlogging camera for YouTube that is able to shoot quality video that can be uploaded to your vlog channel, we found one that we are excited to share with you. Despite coming across as somewhat average on paper, the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is quite a powerful little digital camera. We highly recommend it for anybody looking for a sharp and reliable point and shoot camera, but doesn’t want to pay extra money for bells and whistles that they might not need.

The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS has one of the most impressive zoom capabilities of any digital camera on the market. Its 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 lens can zoom farther than most DSLRs. While this might not be a high priority for somebody intending to use their camera solely for video blogging on YouTube, the ability to zoom adds value in our eyes because we occasionally find ourselves using our digital cameras in other situations, outside of its primary role of vlogging.

One of the concerns that is often associated with a camera that has a longer zoom and focal length is a loss of crispness. Canon made sure quality was not sacrificed by adding a three-stop intelligent image stabilizer system for pictures and an advanced dynamic image stabilizer for shooting video. You’re never going to see any vibrations from recording yourself on a rigid tripod. And when you freehand video you’re going to notice significantly more stable results. Image stabilization is a must-have feature when purchasing a vlogging camera and the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS has one of the best available on the market.

The focal range, quality, and price point already make this camera extremely competitive for any type of photo or videography. But, its selfie-friendly features cause it to emerge as one of the best cameras for YouTube that is available today. Self-portrait mode narrows the focal length, producing an aesthetically pleasing image of a subject in focus against an out-of-focus background. Smooth-skin mode automatically optimizes image color and brightness levels that compliment a face’s appearance by reducing the contrast of blemishes and lines against the face. To put it simply, this camera makes you look better.

The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS has a 3-inch LCD screen that completely turns around to face the front. I can’t begin to explain how valuable this is for video blogging. The ability to see what you’re shooting in the live video is much easier to maintain the correct positioning within the frame. We sound much more natural when we feel like we’re talking to somebody, even if it is ourselves.

This camera makes video blogging exceptionally fun because it skips the administrative tasks that come with capturing video. It has built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so you can wirelessly transfer your new video directly to your computer without the need to tether it to a USB port. You can post images/video straight to social media or your YouTube channel from the camera if you wish. Shoot, transfer, edit, post!

The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS captures video in crisp full HD. When you use its 60p recording option, you are able to capture high quality video that you can be proud sharing. It’s image quality great too. Video and images both display a nice balance of shadows, highlights, and midtones. Canon’s MyColor setting allows you to record in alternative modes such as Black & White, Vivid, and Neutral. It has an auto focus system standard to most cameras in its range. But, its macro mode is unique and allows you to shoot pictures from 1cm from away. We found this gives you the ability to shoot some spectacular videos or images. In moderate and low light situations autofocus assist comes to life to reduce focus times, and the camera is able to take some pretty sharp videos.

The camera has a DIGIC 6 processor, which is more than capable of handling all the work it is built for. Once you turn it on, it takes about a second to be fully ready for action. Its body is a polycarbonate refined smooth finish with a textured rubber grip and thumb rest. The LCD screen is hinged to the body securely, whereas many of the other cameras in it’s price range have flimsy hinges.

Overall, some of the most well-known YouTubers use the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS to film video as it’s an excellent point and shoot digital camera. It has the looks and feel of a very expensive camera, despite being relatively affordable. It captures beautiful HD video and has all of the features that you look for in a vlogging camera. The self-portrait and smooth skin mode, front facing LCD screen and dynamic image stabilizer for video, among others, make this a good camera for YouTube beginners especially. If you are planning on sharing your video in any kind of professional way, such as a video blog, do yourself and your audience a favor by investing in a device that is capable of producing a crisp clear video. Invest in a quality digital camera like the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Nikon - D3300

Perhaps the most user-friendly YouTube vlogging cameras in this space, the Nikon D3300 digital SLR camera is both cost-efficient and productive in its abilities. It is refreshing that Nikon has provided a model that can achieve so much potential out of every shot framed without mortgaging your house to pay for it.

Jet black and having a commanding appearance, the D3300 is thick and firm to the touch.  Just holding it gives you the feeling of being an expert in shooting, and the 921,000 dots that make up the laser fine quality of the 3 inch LCD display make framing your subject stress-free.  It has a little weight to it in your hand, which is preferable for steadiness and mounting while filming.

The photos you can grab with the Nikon D3300 explode with 24.2MP of vibrant colors.  The CMOS DX-format sensor uses smart technology to fill in the gaps where your photography skills lack. But what we’re mostly interested in is the 1080 HD videos that are recorded with the soft tap of a button, and uploading them to YouTube with the wireless adapter takes seconds.  Continuous shooting at 5 frames per second and clear panoramic capability gives you shots of the highest resolution and quality.  11 AF points make 3D tracking a reality, and its ISO can expand all the way up to 25600 which are phenomenal specs in this price range.

One of the upsides to this DSLR Nikon is that it allows for plenty of upgrades in the future.  Some of the newer vlogging cameras that YouTuber’s use are known as a 'jack of all trades', having everything incorporated within.  This sounds great in theory, but in actuality allows the shooter less freedom to pick and choose what they want to add to their camera.  Style and substance are things every true videographer values, and the D3300 is a great unit to mix and match with additional accessories.  It also allows a solid framework for beginner YouTuber’s that are building their channel and want to add more elements to it as their art begins to take flight with experience.

An added bonus to the D3300 is the special effects built in that are effortless to incorporate.  These features are great to leisurely add some substance to what you have shot right after the capture has taken place.  They are simple to understand and provide some spice to the content you have gathered.  Additionally, effects rendering is swift and makes the content upload to your blog or YouTube ready at the drop of a hat.

This camera is really the ideal fit for the cost conscious video blogger.  Most (certainly not all) shooters in this space are on a budget, and as such need a solid unit so the rest of their funds can go elsewhere.  The D3300 delivers this promise, but a potential drawback is that you may need to acquire further elements to successfully use the vlog camera in accordance with your project vision.  An example of this would be the wireless adapter, which is optional.  That said, just because it is a little cheaper than the top shelf alternatives does not mean that Nikon left the cupboard bare in its design. It is constructed with ingenuity and performance on the brain and with every successive use allows owners a level of comfort few other models can boast.

The D3300's strong suit is its small learning curve and quick capture capabilities.  It takes just minutes to get up and running with this model and does not require extensive trial and error.  Because of this, we think this camera as a great gift idea to those who aspire to document their creativity on YouTube.  While its bread and butter is not its zoom, its 3X ability is by no means something to scoff at.  It is a powerful device but not the bazooka that the Canon offers at a price.  Self-portraits and controlled environments allow this unit to shine more than heavy zooming, though that too can be mastered with practice.

Nikon is a brand that prides itself in catering to a wide range of ages, and this camera does not disappoint.  Children in their early teens can enjoy this unit just as effectively as life-long photographers and videographers.  This camera is made with longevity in mind.  Though delicate, it is housed in a solid frame and with proper care will not need replacement for years, if ever.  Moreover it relies on its internal components to routinely procure amazing photography, regardless of experience level.  Overall the D3300 checks all the boxes for one of the best cameras for Youtube, and its features ensure a visceral experience for the person who wields its potential.

Sony - CyberShot DSC-RX100 V

Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-RX100V is the latest iteration of the RX100 family and is a solid little SLR vlogging camera that easily exceeds any video bloggers needs; whether it’s action, tutorial, lifestyle, gamer, or travel. If you are just starting out, you'll likely encounter a bit of a learning curve but once you've customized the menu and gotten comfortable with a few quirks, you'll find that the camera's superb image quality, clean colorful images and superior portability will win you over. Take a look at our review of the RX100V that are worth keeping in mind as you look for a good camera to record your YouTube videos.

YouTubers need a flip screen, there's no way around it. You want to see yourself as you film so you can easily check your background, lighting and other factors. And you want an easily accessible way to accomplish this using only one hand. The Sony RX100V is the first RX100 to offer a flip screen and the result is a YouTube-ready camera that is fast and easy-to-learn for beginners but also offers manual controls for experienced videographers.

Combine the flip screen with the dual-angle camera and you can shoot video with greater control and flexibility. You can tilt the screen and take shots above your head or angle it down for better footage low-level shots. The 3-inch wide LCD screen angles up to 180-degrees and down to 45-degrees. It has a 1,228-dot resolution and can be used in full daylight without losing the image, thanks to WhiteMagic technology.

YouTuber Faze Rain is well known for shooting with the DSC-RX100 family of cameras. In a few of his videos, you can see the various angles and extras he likes to use: shooting at low objects, filming while on the move and lots, yes lots, of zoom. This kind of control would be difficult to achieve without a versatile flip-screen.

Newer vloggers quickly learn the importance of mic location. On the top, and you might inadvertently smother your audio. On the side, and your fingers could mute all noise. I prefer a front-facing microphone so that I don't have to yell to be heard and so that important sounds aren't muffled. A good camera for YouTube beginners doesn’t always have the best mic placement, but new videographers need to be aware of their vlogging camera limitations.

The RX100V has built-in stereo microphones on the top of the camera, one directly above each side of the lens. What's helpful about this placement is that, unlike various Canon cameras, your fingers won't cover the mic when you shoot footage. I purchased windscreens because the top-placement makes the microphones susceptible to wind noise.

We think one of the most important specs for any good camera for YouTube videos is image resolution. You’ll want a camera that keeps your viewers engaged. This is easy to do with bright colors, deep blacks, and unmatched sharpness. Whether you're trail running, biking or just in your home office, you'll want a stable undistorted high-resolution image. The RX100V boasts "the world's fastest continuous shooting speed, 24fps." Auto-focus (AF) keeps up with the camera's rapid shutter speed using a hybrid system that makes exceptional use of contrast and phase detection. The RX100V's AF speed is also billed as the world’s fastest, according to Sony, in part because of the industry leading 315 auto-focus points that captures the world around you with blinding speed.

The fast Auto-Focus also backs the RX100V's 4K video capabilities, and with built-in WiFi, vlogs are rapidly uploaded to Youtube or any editing software. And then there's the 3.6 optical zoom and slow-motion features that accentuate subtle movements, from falling snowflakes to bird's wings to longboard freestyle tricks at speeds of 960 fps.

All that speed in such a compact package comes at a cost. Battery life is limited, especially if you are using burst or taking advantage of the RX100V's continuous shooting capabilities. Since most action vloggers post short videos, this isn't a major issue, but long-form lifestyle vloggers should consider investing in multiple Sony batteries. The generics won't work on this camera.

The RX100V's SLR is responsible for its pocketable portability. Less clunky than a DSLR, and more user-friendly than manual-only cameras, the RX100V does have a few shortcomings when compared to non-compact cameras. However, despite its 1-inch sensor, low-light capabilities are spectacular. OLED technology found in the pop-up electronic view finder explains some of camera's high-performance in this category. Couple this with the lens' light-capturing, wide aperture that starts with f/1.8 and moves up to f/2.8 giving impressive low light capabilities and you can easily see how this vlogging camera separates itself from the rest of the field.

While this Sony lacks a touchscreen and an external mic audio port; the camera's 4K video quality, state-of-the-art high speed auto-focus, super slow motion frame rates, and easy portability make it one of the best contenders for any new or experienced YouTube video blogger. The price tag isn’t for the faint of heart, but we found the quality makes a strong case to justify the sticker price.