The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021

Icons with woman selecting different vlogging cameras for YouTube

Posted on June 4, 2021

YouTube is a great platform for entrepreneurs to share their stories. You can show your audience your business process, how you started the company, and what it takes to make a successful product.

Vlogging (short for ‘video blogging’) covers a wide range of styles but ultimately it comes down to shooting and editing videos on certain topics from a first-person perspective.

Vlogs are becoming more popular as people want to see what goes on behind the scenes of a company. They also provide an opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs to share their thoughts with the world.

If you’re getting started with vlogging, you want to make sure you set yourself up with the right gear.

Vlogging cameras should be portable and lightweight. They should make it easy for self-recording (aka filming yourself). You want a mix of powerful features without carrying an entire studio inside your bag.

Whether you’re starting a YouTube channel, filming for personal use, or capturing vlogs professionally, there’s something for you here. 

We’ve ranked all of these cameras according to specific situations, like portability, quality, budget, and more.

Here are our 13 best cameras for YouTube vlogging this 2021.

Vlogging Cameras — What to Look For

The world of cameras can feel intimidating. 

Vlogging requires a ton of features and specs, so you can always record high-quality videos regardless of the lighting. While there’s a debate between DSLR and mirrorless cameras, the list below combines the best of both worlds.

Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras are the big daddy of cameras. DSLRs achieve this quality with large sensors and big interchangeable lenses. 

Mirrorless cameras are similar to DSLRs in that they have large sensors but do not have a physical moving mirror. 

Micro Four-Thirds are smaller cameras that have no mirror mechanism and a much smaller sensor than DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. 

The compact or point and shoot camera is a happy medium between the tiny but limited action camera, and the massive but versatile DSLR.

Finding the best camera for YouTube vlogging is a meticulous process.

Unlike streaming cameras, vlogging doesn’t need you to have your camera recording for 30 minutes or more, so no overheating. Vlogs are also taken throughout the day and in little minutes at a time, hence stronger batteries are a must. 

Product review cameras are also different since these don’t need autofocus and can be more affordable to buy. They also aren’t picky with lighting situations, since you can set up an ideal lighting environment in your studio.

Vlogging cameras are leagues above the cameras mentioned because they’re portable and used in all sorts of places. A snappy auto-focus with face tracking is a necessity to record moving objects, like your face or the environment. Battery life that will last you throughout the day also becomes super important. Finally, a camera that records beautiful video in dark or blindingly bright lighting situations is just as crucial.

Here’s what you should be looking for in a vlogging camera:

Autofocus

Vlogging cameras need snappy autofocus, so your face doesn’t get blurry in the middle of a recording.

Front-Facing LCD Screen

Cameras with a front-facing LCD help you see yourself on the screen as you record. This way, you can position yourself properly in the frame of the camera.

Audio Input / External Mic Port

Built-in camera microphones won’t cut it for professional audio, so an external microphone port lets you plug in a higher-quality sound recorder for your audio.

Max Video Resolution – 4K Video

Recording in 4K is a great way to zoom into your shots without losing quality. This is especially valuable for zooming into faces for emphasis or comedic effect.

HDMI Output

HDMI ports let you use external recorders to record videos in more color, RAW format, and for longer than most built-in camera recorders. The external screen is often bigger than the camera LCD too, which is easier to look at. Cameras with HDMI can even be used to live stream videos.

Media Type and Cards

Videos produce some of the largest media files. That requires large media cards, which can add up. In order to record at a camera manufacturer’s advertised specs, some require fast media cards which tend to be more expensive.

SD cards are one of the most common and generally pretty affordable, even for fast, high-quality cards. CFast cards are gaining popularity but can cost a lot more. If budget is an issue, make sure you factor in the cost of purchasing media cards since cameras do not come with them.

Think about how and where you’ll vlog and make sure your camera can capture high-quality videos in those situations.

Best Cameras for Vlogging

Camera NamePriceUser LevelAutofocus TechnologyMax Video Resolution
Panasonic Lumix G100$597.99BeginnerContrast detection4K 30fps
Sony Alpha 7S III$3,948AdvancedPhase and contrast detection4K 120fps
Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II$499BeginnerContrast detection1080p 60fps
Fujifilm X-S10$1,399IntermediatePhase and contrast detection4K 30fps
Canon EOS M6 Mark II$1,099IntermediatePhase detection4K 30fps
Panasonic LUMIX GH5S$1799IntermediateContrast detection4K 60fps
Sony ZV-1$748BeginnerPhase and contrast detection4K 30fps
GoPro Hero9 Black$399BeginnerHyperSmooth 3.05K 30fps
DJI Pocket 2$345BeginnerPhase and contrast detection4K 60fps
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III$749BeginnerContrast detection4K 30fps
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III$949EnthusiastPhase detection4K 30fps
Nikon Z50$1.196.95AdvancedPhase and contrast detection4K 30fps
Sony A6400$898IntermediatePhase detection4K 30fps

Panasonic Lumix G100

Best Vlogging Camera for Beginners

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 14
Source: Panasonic

User Level: Beginner
Sensor Size: 17.3 x 13 mm MOS
Screen: 3-inch vari-angle, 1,840k dots
Autofocus: 49-point contrast-detection with DFD technology
Max Video Resolution: 4K 30fps, 1080 60fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes

The Lumix G100 is one of the best video cameras for vlogging that’s beginner-friendly. 

This vlog video camera is equipped with an LCD that automatically switches to Video Selfie Mode. Doing so increases the depth of field while keeping your face and the background in focus. 

Beginner vloggers setting up a YouTube channel will find the Lumix G100 useful in many ways. It’s lightweight and utilizes OZO Audio, meaning it has three microphones that record whoever is speaking on camera by tracking their faces. The microphones adjust further and closer to the camera, even if you’re behind it, to record your voice dynamically. 

The G100 uses a micro USB, not a USB-C, for power input, which is outdated. There’s also no way to monitor the audio coming out despite having a 3.5 mm microphone input. 

Pros

  • Smart audio recording
  • Bright LCD for outdoor shooting
  • Lightweight and small, perfectly portable
  • AF with face tracking is snappy
  • Takes beautiful pictures 
  • Affordable and made specifically for vloggers


Cons

  • Doesn’t record up to 60 frames
  • No USB-C port or headphone jack
  • E-stabilisation crops the video

$597.99

View on Amazon

Sony Alpha 7S III

Best Camera for Professionals

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 15
Source: Sony

User Level: Advanced
Sensor Size: 35.6 x 23.8 mm CMOS
Screen: 3-inch vari-angle, 1,840k dots
Autofocus: 759-point phase-detection and 425-point contrast-detection
Max Video Resolution: 4K 120fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes

After waiting for five years, Sony’s A7S series has gotten its Mark III upgrade.

The Alpha 7S III is designed to take professional full-frame 4K videos reliably. Whether it’s in low-light situations, 120 frames, or while using advanced autofocus, the Alpha 7S III works flawlessly. Instead of trying to cram larger components and making the 7S III support 6K or 8K footage, Sony focused on optimizing 4K recording.

With an ISO range between 80 to 102,400 (expands from 40 to 409,600), it’s one of the best professional video cameras for vlogging or creating marketing videos, regardless of lighting situations. The camera basically sees in the dark. 

All in all, it’s a pricey but complete vlog video camera package for professionals.

Pros

  • Full-frame 4K footage at 60 fps, also HD at 240 fps but without sound
  • 4K at 120 fps only has a slight 1.1x crop.
  • Powerful and long-lasting battery
  • AF works consistently across extreme lighting conditions
  • Light and ergonomic for a camera this powerful
  • Tons of file management options for output and image-viewing


Cons

  • For its price, 6K or 8K video would have been great
  • Photos are only captured with 12MP
  • No waveform display or shutter angle control

$3,498.00

View on Amazon

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Best Budget Vlogging Camera

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 16
Source: Canon

User Level: Beginner
Sensor Size: 1” CMOS
Screen: Fixed Touchscreen LCD
Autofocus: 31-point contrast detection 
Max Video Resolution: 1080p at 60fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes

Our best budget option also happens to be the best vlogging camera made by Canon. The PowerShot G9 X Mark II.

Canon delivered one of the best YouTube vlog cameras for those on a budget with this ultra-compact camera. Granted it doesn’t capture 4K video, the G9 X II still takes HD video at 60 frames, which is what most people need. The G9 X II improved more on software than hardware, making it snappier and more responsive to use.

Since this is a smaller camera, you’re sacrificing a good portion of physical controls into on-screen buttons. Still, it’s an excellent yet cheap video camera for vlogging.

Pros

  • HD video at 60 fps
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Decent subject tracking for the price
  • Built from sturdy materials, ultra-compact body
  • Customizable lens ring, menus, and buttons
  • Small and portable, weighs only 206 grams


Cons

  • Fixed LCD screen
  • No viewfinder 
  • Can’t record 4K video

$449.00

View on Amazon

Fujifilm X-S10

Best All-Rounder Camera

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 17
Source: Fujifilm

User Level: Intermediate
Sensor Size: 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS
Screen: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04 million dots
Autofocus: Intelligent Hybrid (contrast and phase detection)
Max Video Resolution: 4K 30fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes

If you’re looking for the best YouTube vlog camera for outdoor videos, then look no further than the X-S10. It has one of the best stabilizers in the market at this price range.

Fujifilm’s X-S10 is perfect for recording while you walk. Colors right out of the camera are also great and its 15 to 50mm kit lens is sufficient for vloggers’ use cases. With no additional gear, it should be good enough to give you the eye-catching content quality that will impress your audience.

With its comfortable grip, solid build quality, compact form, and simpler layout, it can get you through a day of enjoyable vlogging around the city in nice weather.

Pros

  • 4K videos with no cropping
  • Allows USB-C charging
  • Has an HDMI connector and headphone jack
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Great image quality for up to 6400 ISO
  • Dedicated video capture button

Cons

  • Autofocus system can be unreliable
  • Battery life is mediocre
  • Not weather-sealed, unlike its competition at its price point

$1,399.00

View on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Fujifilm-X-S10-Mirrorless-XF18-55mm-Kit/dp/B08KYGM5K5/

Canon EOS M6 Mark II

Best Lightweight Vlogging Camera

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 18
Source: Canon

User Level: Intermediate
Sensor Size: 22.3 x 14.9 mm CMOS
Screen: 3.0-inch 1,040k tilt touch
Autofocus: 143-point phase detection
Max Video Resolution: 4K 30fps, 1080p 120fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes

Despite its size, you can change the lenses on this camera to fit the setting you wish to film with Canon’s EF-M mount. Although the kit lens should be good enough, wider lenses are available for capturing more in-frame for your vlogs.

A Movie Servo AF mode is available for shooting video for better focusing of objects and people from varying distances. You can even control the tracking sensitivity and change the elements focused on with the touch screen. Overall, subject tracking is definitely great on the Canon EOS M6 Mark II.

This lightweight high-speed camera by Canon can be put in your pocket, ready to shoot scenes that go as fast as they come.

Pros

  • Available USB Type C Connector
  • Can connect with the Canon Camera Connect app, which allows editing in-app
  • Wide 32.5mp APS-C sensor
  • Uncropped 4k video
  • Comes with an optional electronic viewfinder
  • Can shoot in Raw Burst mode in 30 fps with AF tracking

Cons

  • No articulation on the screen
  • No in-body image stabilization
  • No headphone port

$1,099.00

View on Amazon

Panasonic LUMIX GH5S

Best Micro Four Thirds Vlogging Camera

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 19
Source: Panasonic

User Level: Intermediate
Sensor Size: 17.3 x 13 mm MOS
Screen: Articulating Touchscreen LCD
Autofocus: 225-point contrast detection
Max Video Resolution: 4K 60fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes

The GH5S is Panasonic’s micro four thirds solution for full-time videographers who also want to capture stills.

Panasonic combined intuitive use for beginners with powerful and impressive video quality for professionals with the GH5S. Compatible with all the accessories of the previous GH5, the GH5S is both a perfect upgrade or an easy camera to start with. Conveniently switch the large viewfinder to face your way and start vlogging.

For vloggers looking for a video camera and photography, the GH5S makes a convincing two-in-one package.

Pros

  • Dual native ISO, better lighting and signal noise reduction
  • Slightly wider ratio 17:9 (Cinema 4K)
  • Unlimited recording at 4K 
  • More responsive and faster shutter than its predecessors
  • Water-resistant for rainy weather
  • Large HD viewfinder


Cons

  • Autofocus sometimes hunts
  • Photo still resolution is 10.2MP
  • Subpar stabilization

$1,799.99

View on Amazon

Sony ZV-1

Best Compact Camera

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 20
Source: Sony

User Level: Beginner
Sensor Size: 1″ CMOS
Screen: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 0.921-million dots
Autofocus: 315-point phase-detection and 425-point contrast-detection
Max Video Resolution: 4K 30fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes

Pop the screen out, and you’re ready to vlog on the Sony ZV-1, making it one of the best vlogging cameras for YouTube.

This camera is marketed for video producers right on its launch. It has simple but reliable functionalities that make it easy for anyone to film on the go. Audio straight out of the ZV-1 is crisp enough for most people, so investing in an external mic is no longer needed. On a windy day, pop on the wind-screen and you should be good to go.

Operating this camera is a pleasant experience. No cables, cages, and other gear will be interfering as everything you need should be ready straight out of the box. 

Pros

  • Can be charged via USB while in use
  • Built-in ND filter
  • Shoots in professional video profiles like S-Log 2, S-Log 3, and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG)
  • Comes with a reliable directional 3-capsule microphone and wind-screen
  • Swapping to video settings is easy, especially with the memory recall function remembering your preferred settings for you
  • Has a Product Showcase mode for making sure products are in focus when advertising them

Cons

  • No headphone jack
  • Adjusting shutter speed and aperture can only be done on the inaccessible control ring
  • Noise is a bit noticeable when shooting in low-light

$748.00

View on Amazon

GoPro HERO9 Black

Best Waterproof Camera

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 21
Source: GoPro

User Level: Beginner
Sensor Size: 1-Chip CMOS
Screen: Fixed Touchscreen LCD
Autofocus: Hypersmooth 3.0 
Max Video Resolution: 5K 30fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes
Waterproof: 10m

GoPro cameras are famous for underwater filming. Now equipped with a front-facing screen, it should be fit for daily vlogging too.

The Hero9 comes with excellent image stabilization given that it’s even typically used for sports. Lens covers are also available so you can stick an ND filter on there for bright sunny days. It’s made for movement but you can use it for vlog streaming too with GoPro’s Media Mod accessories.

This is a versatile choice to use for YouTube vlogging.

Pros

  • Bigger battery life compared to its predecessors
  • Great tough hardware
  • Compact portable design
  • Various unique video setting such as TimeWarp, HyperSmooth, and Horizon Leveling
  • Some helpful advanced features include Scheduled Capture, Duration, and HindSight
  • One of the cheapest options on this list

Cons

  • Occasionally unresponsive touchscreen
  • Voice controls are still unreliable
  • No 4K 120fps filming option

$399.99

View on Amazon

DJI Pocket 2

Best Pocket Camera with Gimbal

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 22
Source: DJI

User Level: Beginner
Sensor Size: 1-Chip 1/1.7″ CMOS
Screen: Fixed LCD
Autofocus: Hybrid phrase-detect and contrast-detect AF
Max Video Resolution: 4K 60fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: none

This 3-axis motor stabilization portable gimbal has a FOV 93-degree f/1.8 lens that will capture every moment that matters on the go.

The DJI Pocket 2 has an HDR video mode, timelapse, motion-lapse, and hyperlapse to support your creative vlogging. Plus, now with a customizable Mini Control Stick, you have easier control of your device. You can also pair it with a Do-It-All handle accessory that will help with live-streaming if this is in your YouTube content goals.

As a handy travel partner, the DJI Pocket 2’s subtle presence is less likely to disturb the candid moments you’re trying to capture.

Pros

  • 4k video recording up to 60 fps at 100 Mbps bitrate
  • Multi-directional DJI Matrix stereo with Audio Zoom and SoundTrack
  • DJI Mimo app lets you view and easily upload video content from a smartphone
  • Motorized stabilization is leagues above lens and in-body stabilization
  • Front-facing selfie camera switching is seamless and has added glamour effects
  • Packed with features even for its small pocketable size

Cons

  • Lower image quality when zoomed
  • Very low battery capacity
  • Not good in low light

$345.00

View on Amazon

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

Best Starter Camera for YouTube Vlogging

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 23
Source: Canon

User Level: Beginner
Sensor Size: 1” CMOS
Screen: 3-inch vari-angle, 1,840k dots
Autofocus: Contrast-detect autofocus system
Max Video Resolution: 4K 30fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes

Take it out of your pocket and start recording.

The Canon G7 X Mark III is one of Canon’s pocket-sized vlogging cameras. Small and compact yet records in 4K, supports live streaming, and a faster interface than its predecessor. The Canon G7 X Mark III is easy to hold for long periods and carry around in your pocket. 

For its price, it’s a powerful video recorder for on-the-go recording. The battery won’t last you the entire day, but the video quality is superb.

Pros

  • Lightweight and very portable
  • Responsive LCD screen
  • Supports live video streaming 
  • Bright zoom lens
  • 4K video no crop 
  • Portable and easy to handle


Cons

  • 10-minute recording limit at 4K
  • Battery doesn’t last long

$749.00

View on Amazon

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 24
Source: Olympus

User Level: Enthusiast
Sensor Size: 17.4 x 13 mm MOS
Screen: 3” tilting touchscreen, 1.04 million dots
Autofocus: 121-point phase-detection AF system
Max Video Resolution: 4K 30fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes

The retro weather-sealed design of the Olympus E-M5 III is perfect for staying on trend as an on-the-go video producer.

With its fully articulating screen and customizable slots on the mode dial, the OM-D E-M5 III’s functionality is spot-on. It even has an improved viewfinder eye relief of 17 mm so looking through with prescription glasses is easier. Taking your videos should definitely be seamless with this camera.

If you wish to take photos, you’ll be glad to find that it comes with a unique ProCapture burst system. This allows you to save the last 14 shots taken while half-holding the shutter button when you fully press it. Timing the perfect shot is no longer an issue. You can also take a 50 mp photo on High-Res mode from a tripod.

Its price is worth it, considering the packed features you get in this compact vlogging camera for YouTube.

Pros

  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • TruePic 8 Image Processor for improved low-light performance
  • Compact weather-sealed body
  • Robust autofocus system
  • Both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity for faster linking to devices
  • Remote port USB and HDMI with in-camera USB charging

Cons

  • Low battery capacity
  • No headphone jack
  • The interface can be difficult to learn for a first-time user

$949.00

View on Amazon

Nikon Z50

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 25
Source: Nikon

User Level: Advanced 
Sensor Size: 23.5 x 15.7 mm CMOS
Screen: 180° Tilting Touchscreen LCD
Autofocus: Hybrid phase- and contrast-detection with 209 AF points, Eye AF and Subject tracking
Max Video Resolution: 4K 30fps, 1080p 120fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes

With Nikon’s wide Z mount and constant firmware updates, this mirrorless camera has access to better features like low light performance and autofocus speed.

Settings like 4K Ultra HD and time-lapse, 1080p slow-motion, and vertical video makes the Nikon Z50 a content creator’s reliable companion. The grip is also sufficient enough to hold for long periods of time when vlogging. Edit on the camera and seamlessly deliver your content straight to your platform to make your audience feel like they’re with you on your adventures.

For its price, in-body stabilization should perhaps be there. Nonetheless, it does pack a punch.

Pros

  • In-camera editing is available
  • SnapBridge app can be used to shoot remotely and transfer your content to your smartphone
  • Vibration reduction on the native lenses is excellent
  • Come with a built-in flash
  • XSPEED 6 image processor handles high ISO setting excellently
  • Sturdy weather-sealed magnesium alloy construction

Cons

  • Screen flips downward only, which means filming by yourself with a tripod is impossible without an external monitor
  • No log profile for video as 10-bit shooting is not possible
  • No in-body image stabilization

$1,196.95

View on Amazon

Sony A6400

Best Camera for YouTube Vlogging

The 13 Best Cameras for YouTube Vlogging in 2021 26
Source: Sony

User Level: Intermediate
Sensor Size: 23.5 x 15.6 mm APS-C
Screen: 3-inch 180-degree flip touchscreen, 921,000 dots
Autofocus: Real-time Eye AF and Tracking AF, 425 contrast and 425 phase-detection points
Max Video Resolution: 4k 30fps (6k downsampled), 1080p 120 fps, 1080p 60 fps
HDMI Output: Yes
Microphone In: Yes

Paired with a Sigma 16mm f1.4 lens, Sony’s A6400 is our pick as the best vlogging camera in 2021.

Instead of in-body image stabilization, it has Optical SteadyShot in its kit lens. With either one of those technologies, excessive movement is found to produce incredibly shaky footage on most cameras. The extra bucks you have lying around after getting the a6400 is worth spending on a gimbal and perhaps some extra in-brand batteries.

Its quick autofocus also makes it the best video camera for self recording.

Despite its small nuisances, this device gives you the most value. It packs many video features that you could find in professional cinema cameras. At the same time, photography on it is stellar.

This beefy compact camera is definitely a bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Has a high-speed and accurate autofocus system
  • 100 to 32,000 ISO in native mode and up to 120,400 ISO for low-light settings
  • Supports S-Log 2, S-Log 3, and HLG
  • Has focus peaking and zebra settings
  • Has HDMI output and micro USB charging
  • Has a microphone jack with an optional XLR adaptor for pro microphones
  • Customizable buttons and dials for personalized functionality
  • Weather-sealed for moisture and dust

Cons

  • No in-body stabilization system
  • Low battery life
  • No headphone jack, though you can see audio levels on the LCD screen

$898.00
View on Amazon

Wrap Up

There you go! Those are our picks for some of the best vlogging cameras. We studied the market and picked the most reliable and recommended cameras from all sorts of brands.

Vlogging cameras for YouTube are a huge investment, especially for newbies who are starting out. Think about the environments that you’ll be filming in. The Lumix G100 is the best entry camera for beginners right now. Professionals will find Sony’s Alpha 7S III a perfect choice for long-lasting 4K recording, perfect for growing businesses. If you’re on a tight budget, Canon’s PowerShot G9 X Mark II is a fantastic choice.

Refer to the table above to help you check out the differences between the cameras in this article. Whether you’re just starting out or are looking for the next best upgrade, these are the best vlogging cameras in the market right now.

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