YouTube has moved from being a tool for sharing cat videos to a fully fledged media platform. So if you are thinking of building a career as a content creator, you better get started on the right foot. In this post, we will be looking at 10 of the best cameras for YouTube. We have gone through tons of reviews to determine the best options for both beginners and pro-youtubers.
Here’s a rundown;
TLDR (top 3)
The Canon M50 is hands down the best camera for YouTube. It is an affordable 4K camera that also boasts of an autofocus performance that is hard to beat. Our second best pick is the SonyA6400. It’s a 4K shooter that packs as much convenience as a DSLR yet it’s compact and easily portable. You will also love the Panasonic Lumix G7 for its 4K video quality. It also comes with a flip screen that makes one-man shoots possible.
Best cameras for YouTube
1. Canon M50 – top pick
When compared to other options, the one feature that stands out about any Canon cameras is their ease of use. In fact, with the Canon M50, you get a beginner photography mode that will walk you through to your first snap.
The Canon M50 represents Canon’s first move towards novice friendly gear. This here is a decent alternative to Canon’s line of DSLRs.
It features fast and accurate autofocus that Canon is known for and brings to the fore the latest Digic 8 processor for stunning 4K video recording.
With a 24.1MP resolution, the Canon M50 delivers better-looking JPEG images, especially when compared to rival units. The camera easily connects to a camera app on your phone for convenience and ease when it comes to transferring your photos and videos to your Smartphone or computer.
The camera also comes with an Auto Lighting Optimizer that does a good job at lighting up your scenes with a white balance that gives you the right shade in your shadows. And when it comes to vlogging, the Canon M50 gives you a touch screen LCD that is perfect for framing your shots.
After you are done shooting with the Canon M50, transferring your footage is as easy as connecting the built-in Wi-Fi with your computer or your phone.
You also have the options of using the USB transfer or the Bluetooth connections. So far, there is nothing but praise from vloggers who have tried out the Canon M50. Its compact lightweight build makes it easy to hold and carry around throughout the day.
This is a huge plus for travel vloggers or a makeup youtubers. With interchangeable lenses, this camera gives you versatility since you can work with a wide variety of Canon's lenses. For the best 4K quality, it's recommended that you use a wide angle lens. You might also want to get a Canon M50 lens adapter.
2. Sony A6400 –Second Best
It’s tough choosing the best camera for YouTube when you have to compare between the Sony A6400 and the Canon M50. The reason is simple. These two cameras offer nearly the same specs with very few differences.
In terms of size, however, the Sony A6400 easily fits into your back pocket making it the more portable option.
If you are looking for a midrange 4K shooting camera with a compact lightweight body, the Sony A6400 makes up a decent choice. It comes with a flip touch-screen that is simply a must-have for vloggers and with its enhanced autofocus and object tracking technology, this camera is able to deliver steady looking footage even if it was shot on the move.
Compared to other Sony cameras such as the Sony Alpha A6500 and the Sony a7SII, this camera is more affordable. Apart from its flip screen, another feature that most YouTubers will appreciate is that fact that it comes with a microphone jack that is compatible with XLR adapters. This makes it easy to use with an external microphone for better sounding audio.
Its Autofocus performance is stunning. Like the Sony Alpha a6500 and the Sony a7SII, this camera is built for easy portability and comfortable handling.
Although the Sony A6400 does image stabilization well, it’s no match to the built-in image stabilizer that comes with the Sony Alpha A6500 and the Sony a7SII. But if you consider the price of the Sony A6400, this drawback is a small price to pay. Apart from that, the good news is that the Sony A6400 boasts of the same features with its pricier counterparts when it comes to continuous shooting at 11 frames per second and a 24megapixel image processor.
3. PANASONIX LUMIX G7- Cheapest 4K option
Professional photographers and videographers love the Panasonic Lumix G7 for its design. YouTubers love it for its price. It comes with a standard ergonomic grip that gives you easy access to all the controls making it easy to shoot on the go. And it shoots 4K at a pocket-friendly price.
The Panasonic Lumix G7 sits right up there with the Canon M50 in terms of ease of use and affordability. It features a notable viewfinder that boasts of high visibility at 2360K dot OLED resolution.
You also get a touch-enabled LCD display that tilts. It comes with Wi-Fi connectivity that gives you access to a Panasonic Image app on your phone.
You can use the app to post pictures from the camera to your social media. In terms of shooting, the camera comes with a 4K photo function that lets you shoot in a variety of modes allowing you to take full advantage of the camera's 30 frames per second image capturing speed.
With its 16mp image sensor, the G7 delivers refined image processing not to mention a high-quality ISO performance.
Also, it comes with a port for an external microphone plus other connectivity features such as a micro-HDMI port and a USB 2.0 port. It has a lightweight plastic build that is ideal for those who want a camera that will reduce fatigue during shoots.
Despite having a smaller image sensor, the G7 is still capable of shooting crisp videos in 4K. Its angular design gives it a comfortable grip for vlogging on the move. Let’s just say you will love the secure feel of its rubberized grip.
It can be incredibly frustrating to film all day only to realize your frame was incorrect. To solve this, the G7 gives you one of the best tilting OLED displays that is simply a must-have for any serious Youtuber.
The camera is also pretty easy to control however there is a slight learning curve if you are a total beginner. You can shoot up to 30 frames per second in 4K which is a plus for creating stunning slow-motion videos.
All in all the G7 is not perfect. Its autofocus is not the best especially if you are shooting random fast-moving subjects. However, considering its price and it 4K performance we can conclude that the G7 sits in a totally different class.
4. Canon Power Shot G7 Mark II
The Canon Powershot G7 mark II shoots at a speed of up to 60 frames per second making it a perfect fit for filmmakers looking to shoot buttery slow motions footage for their short films.
This camera features a neutral density filter that acts like a pair of sunglasses for your camera giving you just the right shade of light when shooting in direct sunlight. Also, it comes with a 1.8 aperture that works really well if you want to blur out your backgrounds for a cinematic look.
Thanks to the large 20-megapixel CMOS image sensor, the Canon Powershot G7 mark II delivers high-quality frottage with a wide dynamic range. In terms of connectivity, this camera comes with built-in wireless and NFC connectivity.
The G7X Mark II does a great job for creative artists who want to incorporate dynamic movement in their footage thanks to its optical image stabilization. With its image stabilization, you can capture videos in a variety of situations without shaky scenes. You can also set it to different levels of image stabilization depending on how shaky you want your final footage to be.
If you are just starting out with YouTube, you will enjoy the fact that this camera comes with the Neutral Density Filter that allows you to get great looking footage right out of the camera without messing with the aperture.
Just like other Canon camera, the Canon Powershot G7 mark II comes with Canon's dual pixel autofocus that easily tracks subjects while shooting videos. In fact, if you are looking to take self-portraits, its built-in face tracking will allow you to focus with a simple tap on the tilting LCD screen.
The camera’s low light performance is also pretty decent. This camera is considered a travel-friendly and compact alternative to those who own larger DSLRs. Even though it does not shoot in 4K it can still do a great job as the main camera for any Youtuber.
Rumors about the long-awaited Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III
For most YouTubers, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II has been a go-to gear for creating awesome content. For this reason, most enthusiasts have been waiting eagerly for an upgrade. In fact, there are rumors going around that the long-awaited Mark III upgrade could be the Canon PowerShot G7 X. The G7X comes with a 20mp high sensitivity image sensor and just like the Mark II it shoots full HD at 60 frames per second.
The CPU has good overclocking tolerance and support
It’s a good gaming CPU
The Intel HD Integrated Graphic card doesn’t offer decent performance
It might struggle with the newest games and more demanding programs
5. Canon EOS Rebel T6i
In some situation, you can only do so much with a point and shoot camera or your Smartphone camera. To get better customization of your footage, you might want to get your hands on the Canon EOS Rebel T6i.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6i is built small and compact with a textured body that is ergonomically designed for a firm grip. With an ISO range of 100 to 12,800, you can shoot your vlogs even in low light situations and still get decent performance.
The camera comes with a 19 point autofocus system that allows you to lock in the focus even on fast moving subjects. With a 24 mp CMOS sensor not to mention a brightness control that can be adjusted on several levels, you can use this camera both for still photography as well as taking videos.
Although the Canon EOS Rebel T6i comes with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, most first time users will find it a bit complicated. A decent alternative is to connect the camera to your computer or a TV with the provided mini USB port.
Performance wise, the Canon EOS Rebel T6i boasts of a microphone jack that you can be used to attach your external microphone. This is a great feature that most YouTubers will appreciate since it allows you to get quality audio with your footage.
With 19 points all across its viewfinder, the Canon EOS Rebel T6i does a great job of focusing on moving subjects. Although it does not shoot in 4K, it can capture brilliant full HD movies even in low light situations thanks to its ISO range.
How it compares to the Canon EOS REBEL T7i Body
There is no denying that Canon’s DSLRs are among the best in the market. If you are looking for an upgrade to the T6i that won’t put a dent in your budget, going with T7i would be wise. Although the Canon EOS Rebel T7i is only available as the body, it features a high-speed continuous shooting at 60 frames per second which is way more than what you get with the T6i. The T7i is a bit pricey but you will find that the 45 points on its viewfinder give you superb autofocus that is worth the money. It’s also built for versatility and you can use it with multiple canon lenses which is a plus.
6. Sony FDRAX53/B 4K HD Video Recording Camcorders
Sony’s camcorders are known for their remarkable zooming power that gets you really close to the action. If you are going for a camera with a wide-angle 4K shooting capacity, these two Sony Camcorders offers the best deal. But first, let's start with the entry level Sony FDRAX53/B.
The Sony FDRAX53/B comes with a Balanced Optical Steady Shot Image Stabilizer that is built to impress. You can perform amazing handheld shoots with this camcorder and get smooth looking footage that is quite similar to having gimbals or sliding tripods.
With its 26.8mm ZEISS lens, the Sony FDRAX53/B gives you 20X optical zoom in 4K. The unit also comes with a time-lapse mode that is great for adding a touch of creativity to your videos.
If you are planning to shoot fast-moving action scenes, the Sony FDRAX53/B will do a great job of capturing your subjects with increasable image clarity and accuracy thanks to its fast and intelligent Autofocus. The camera boasts of a sensitive image sensor that is capable of shooting stunning 4K. However, what stands out the most is that it can shoot in full HD at 100 frames per second giving you the best quality footage for adding some slow motion effect to your videos.
Wi-Fi connectivity requires some getting used to
7. Sony FDR-AX100/B
The Sony FDR-AX100/B is more like the premium version of the Sony FDRAX53/B. It comes with a slightly larger body but maintains the same compact camcorder look. One of its main features is that it shoots in 4K and it has the new BIONZ image processor that delivers shooting speeds as high as 120 fps.
Since you can record at 120fps, shooting slow motion with this camera, unlike the Sony FDRAX53/B, is much easier and the end results are a smoother looking footage.
Also, connectivity has been simplified with the Sony FDR-AX100/B. You can use an android app to connect your phone to the camera and upload images and video to social media platforms. The camera records videos in compressed mp4 files that make it possible to record for long hours.
Just like the cheaper Sony FDR-AX100/B, the FDR-AX100/B comes with a wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens with a 12X optical zoom. This type of lens is capable of capturing grand landscapes which is great.
The camera comes with a multi-media interface-shoe that works well for attaching an external microphone for vlogging. In term of image processing, this camera delivers a lifelike image quality at 4K resolution which is great. It features a built-in noise reduction technology that is able to reduce graininess on your footage.
However, since it’s a semi-professional camera, it does not come cheap. Also, some users noted that even though its low-light performance is great, it could be better especially at its price range
- Powerful optical zoom performance
- Versatile connectivity options
- Easy to operate
- Shoots 4K at 30fps
- Low light performance could be better
- It’s expensive
7. DJI Osmo Pocket
When it comes to vlogging, the size of the camera really does not matter as much as the creativity options a camera gives. The DJI Osmo Pocket is one of the smallest cameras on this list but with the most versatile shooting options in 4K.
Yes, that's right; this small camera that comprises of a 3 axis gimbal stabilizer can shoot in 4K at 60 frames per second.
The DJI Osmo Pocket is a lot smaller than other gimbals from DJI and it only weighs 116 grams. It features a CMOS sensor with 12MP. The camera can support a maximum of 256 GB memory space which more than enough for vlogging enthusiasts.
When it comes to performance, the DJI Osmo Pocket is amazingly powerful for its size. Although it can only shoot 4K at 60fps it can shoot full HD videos at 120 frames per second which is great for slow-motion videos. It allows you to shoot panoramic videos and images and it also includes a time-lapse mode.
On top of that, this tiny camera allows you to attach your phone via a USB connection to unlock the full potential of the camera through DJI’s mimo app. Because the DJI Osmo Pocket has a small image sensor, getting wide-angle shots tends to be a problem. However, you can get the Wide Angle Lens for DJI Osmo Pocket and improve its performance.
- Compact pocket size body
- Comes with a carrying case for protection
- Very easy to use
- Decent stabilization
- A slight noise in low light performance
9.PANASONIC LUMIX GH5 4K Digital Camera
Compared to any Sony or Canon professional camera, the video quality of the PANASONIC LUMIX GH5 is simply outstanding.
The best thing about shooting in 4K is that it allows you the flexibility of adjusting your footage in post.
Panasonic must have had this idea in mind while making the PANASONIC LUMIX GH5. It records silky smooth 4K videos at 60 frames per second. The PANASONIC LUMIX GH5 features twin SD card slots, as well as a microphone and headphone terminal making it easy for vloggers to monitor their audio.
There is a good reason why the GH5 was voted the best indie filmmaking camera in 2017. While shooting 4K at 60 frames per second, this camera gives YouTube filmmakers the flexibility to alter the footage in post with ease.If you are looking for a professional grade camera gear that will allow you to shoot RAW videos, the GH5 might not be a good fit for you. However, it uses the VLOG-L picture profile that gives you a dynamic range similar to the one you can achieve with RAW shooting.
- The autofocus could be better
- Requires additional accessories for professional settings
10. GoPro Hero7 Black 32GB MicroSD Card Bundle
The GoPro Hero7 tells the story of how GoPro has dominated the action cam market since its founding in 2012. Although it is almost similar to the previous Hero6, it brings about a couple of upgrades to the User Interface, plus, live streaming capabilities as well as 4K video shooting.
Other features that come with this camera include a wide angle lens with a 12 mp image sensor. The camera can record 4K at 60 frames per second or full HD at a whopping 240 frames per second which is great for slowing down your footage for a dramatic effect.
The performance of the Hero 7 in low light is also remarkable since the camera is able to deploy a multi-frame noise reducer while shooting. Since it's an action camera, it boasts of a waterproof design and it can be submerged up to 33ft making it a must-have for adventures out in the ocean.
The build quality of the Hero 7 feels as rugged as other GoPro cameras in the past. However, compared to other GoPro cameras, the Hero 7 is the first model that has live-streaming capabilities built inside.
The Hero 7 has a reliable performance both in and outside water. With an intuitive user interface, this camera is easy to use, and navigating through the setting is a no brainer even for beginners.
It also comes with a 2-inch touch screen display that is responsive and ideal for framing your shots beforehand. On top of that is a voice control feature that is decent for hands-free control.
11. Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Finally, let’s look at the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. This camera has been around for quite some time and even though it does not shoot in 4K, it offers a wide range of features for professionals looking for better manual control of their camera.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III has a battery life that will last you through 300 to 500 shots depending on the setting you shoot with. The camera has a well-built body that houses a 22MP CMOS full-frame sensor. With up to 61 points on its autofocus system; this camera delivers a sophisticated level of clarity when zooming in and out of your subjects. The ISO range is perhaps one of its biggest selling points. It goes from 100 to 25600 which is decent for increasing shutter speed or freezing images.
Perhaps the only downside to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is that it does not shoot in 4K. However, you can grab the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV which shoots in 4K and boasts of a much larger ISO range at 100-32000. Apart from 4K video recording the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV also has a touch screen LCD monitor that is convenient and easy to use.