So you want to vlog your amazingly exciting (or boring) life? You’ll need a vlogging camera for that, so what are the best cameras for vlogging? Unlike big faceless brands, I have vlogged on YouTube. Specifically, I make fun, casual travel vlogs, so I know what you need, what’s nice to have and what is not important for vlogs.
Vlogging is a lot of fun; it teaches you how to record and edit a video, and you may build a massive audience that could become a full-time income. If I could advise on how to start a vlog, it would be to live your life and share your story.
So what do you need to look for in a vlogging camera?
Unless you’re an aspiring filmmaker, I prefer action cameras because they’re small, light, easy to use, have a wide-angle view, have good audio, and can record in 4k. The video quality on smaller devices like action cameras is much better than even just a few years ago.
Built-in image stabilization is essential
Image stabilization is a must when vlogging because you’ll be moving the camera around a lot to get different scenes, and you’ll also want to do walk-and-talk or point-of-view shots. With built-in stabilization, your video will be too shaky and easy to watch.
You may use a gimbal if your camera lacks in-body stabilization (IBIS) or software stabilization. But a gimbal is not a glorified tripod. It’s a professional piece of equipment that needs to be balanced and taken care of
Small and lightweight camera body
Small and lightweight is the way to go for most vloggers. You don’t need a big camera with a fluffy microphone to make quality YouTube vlogs. A small camera is more comfortable to use in public; you’ll want to take it with you and can get the required shots that make for a compelling video.
It’s also a good choice for total beginners because you can focus on the story instead of being bogged down with tech issues and understanding the intricacies of how a professional level camera works.
In an ideal vlog you should mix up your shots from close ups, medium close ups and wide. Wide in general is what you’ll want to be shooting in for most of your clips because if gives better context to the video and is a reliable choice for narration clips and point of view clips.
The best vlogging cameras for YouTube videos
So what are the best cameras for vlogging currently? Below are the cameras my team and I have found to have the right mix of good audio, stabilization, wide angle, high frame rates, easy to use and at a reasonable price point.
- Osmo Action 4
- GoPro 11
- Sony ZV e10
- Osmo Pocket
- Sony ZV-E1
- Osmo Action 2
- Sony X3000
- iPhone 14
Osmo Action 4 – The best overall camera vlogging camera
I primarily vlog with an iPhone or my Sony X3000; however, if my X3000 ever breaks, I’m picking up the DJI Osmo Action 4 ASAP – heck, I may even get it after testing it out; it’s that good. It is an action camera with a 1-inch sensor for good low-light performance and higher quality video, and it records in 4k 60 FPS. It comes with various viewing angles (standard, wide, ultra-wide) so you can mix up your shots.
The audio quality is acceptable, and because of how it’s built, it also helps reduce wind noise. You get both a front-facing and back touch screen built into the camera. The front-facing camera is quite helpful for framing yourself, and the rear touch screen is useful for navigating your settings.
The battery life for this camera is also better than the GoPro, and unlike the GoPro, it does not overheat and shut down randomly. My X3000 is quite reliable, but I’ve used GoPro’s in the past that randomly glitch where you have to take the battery out to restart it. It’s not ideal if you’re in the middle of recording something.
With the Osmo Action series, I’ve never once had this camera glitch, freeze, or malfunction in any way. You press record, and it just works.
My top vlogging camera
This camera is now my top recommended choice. Good picture quality, high frame rate, reliable audio, waterproof up to 18 meters. Best of all? It comes bundled with an “adventure combo,” where you get a bunch of batteries and a grip for the camera to vlog.
If you’ve been looking for a durable, reliable camera for vlogging your travels, thoughts, or adventures, I highly recommend the Osmo Action 4. It’s a massive upgrade of the previous models.
- 4k 60 FPS recording – a must for vlogging today.
- Good audio and build quality.
- Front facing screen to frame yourself.
- 1 inch sensor for better low light and video quality.
- It’s an action camera, so don’t expect subject separation.
Must have accessories:
Adventure combo – Get the camera, a grip stick to vlog with and a bunch of batteries with a charger.
GoPro 12 – Action and vlogging camera
The GoPro 12 is one of my top choice for anyone looking to start a vlog. You get a durable compact vlogging camera that’s waterproof, has multiple angles (wide, linear, and narrow), the ability to record in 4k at 60 FPS, and finally, acceptable audio if you use a media mod kit.
With both a front-facing and back-facing camera, you can easily frame your shot of whatever it is you’re recording, and you get helpful b-roll features you can use for transitions like time-lapse and time warp. Next, GoPro has software that masterfully stabilizes all your clips.
The only issue with the GoPro is that it does overheat if you record for long periods in 4k and above, and sometimes the software freezes up. Meaning you think you’re recording when you’re not. The GoPro has come a long way with its video quality, audio, and stabilization. This is a fantastic action camera and a compelling choice for anyone looking for a dedicated vlog camera.
The highest resolution offered by the GoPro Hero 11 Black is 5.3K. 5.3K has a pixel count of 15.8 million pixels, which is 91% more resolution than 4K. I suggest recording in 5.3k, but rendering and uploading your vlogs in 4k. The camera supports frame rates of up to 60 fps in this resolution.
This action camera also supports 4K resolutions up to 120 fps, ideal for capturing fast-paced action or high-resolution slow motion. The GoPro Hero 11 Black can also record in Full HD 1080p at up to 240 fps! If you’re wanting to incorporate slow motion into your vlogs then you’ll love the GoPro.
Last, the new sensor captures video in an 8:7 aspect ratio, making it incredibly convenient for shooting vertical content intended for popular social media platforms like Instagram reels and TikTok.
Hypersmooth Image stabilization
HyperSmooth allows anyone to easily create high quality films without worrying about shake or motion blur. There are few different settings the stabilization, like boost which does crop in on the video footage and autoboost wich is more dynamic.
I suggest just turning hypersmooth image stabilization “on” and leaving boost off as this gives you stabilized footage without cropping in.
- Small, light and durable.
- With a media mod kit, GoPro finally has good audio.
- A front facing built in monitor to frame yourself.
- 4k+ video recording.
- GoPro’s still have an issue of your camera’s software freezing up. It doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does it’s quite annoying.
Must have accessories:
Creator edition – The creator edition is a combination of a microphone, shooting grip and light in addition to the camera.
Sony ZV-E10 – Budget APS-C, interchangeable lens camera
If you’re looking for an affordable camera with interchangeable lenses, consider picking up the ZV-e10 from Sony. It’s the follow-up to their popular ZV-e1 point-and-shoot camera, initially marketed as a vlogging camera. Still, with a 24mm built-in lens, it’s too tight on the face.
With the ZV-e10, you can purchase high-quality lenses by contrast; my favorite for this system is the Sony 11mm F1.8. With that lens and this body, you get a wide-angle look and that blurry background.
APS-C, not a full-frame camera
This camera body is quite affordable, in part because it’s an APS-C camera, not full frame like the A7C, so your best options for lenses are the Sigma 16mm F1.4 or the Sony 11mm for vlogging shots and the Sony 16-50mm for everything else (b-roll, medium, close up).
The ZV-e10 also has a flip-out LCD screen allowing you to view yourself when recording. It is compatible with the Sony Imaging Edge web app to edit on your smart device. This lightweight camera has an electronic shutter for smooth motion capture. It features 4K video, 120fps slow motion, high ISO range shots, time-lapse, and face tracking.
Why I like this vlogging camera
If you’re looking for a great vlogging camera, the Sony ZV-e10 is an excellent choice. It has all the features you need and won’t break the bank. Plus, its flip-out LCD screen makes it incredibly easy to keep an eye on yourself during recording. So whether you’re a beginner or a professional, the ZV-e10 has you covered.
In addition to its great features, it’s also highly affordable among mirrorless camera options. So if you’re looking for lightweight, compact camera that’s capable of producing quality vlogs with that blurry background the Sony ZV-e10 is the perfect vlogging camera for you.
- Lightweight, affordable and compact.
- Interchangeable lens camera.
- Fully articulating flip out screen to help frame yourself.
- Can use an external microphone to capture high quality audio.
- Pairs with some fantastic APS-C lenses.
- Has built in software stabilization which is mediocre, good enough if you’re walking slowly.
- A crop when in stabilization. You need to get my recommended lens, the 11mm in order to have that wide field of view.
Must have lens:
Sony E 11mm f/1.8 – 11mm on this crop sensor camera is going to nice and wide. Perfect for vlogging and any close up shot will have that blurry background due to the f/1.8 aperture.
Osmo Pocket – Popular among travel vloggers
The DJI Pocket Gimbal is a compact and lightweight combination of a gimbal stabilizer and a 4K camera. It’s perfect for capturing smooth and steady footage on the go. Weighing just over four ounces and standing at only 4.8 inches, this all-in-one device incorporates a 3-axis gimbal to ensure steady movements and image stabilization. It also fits in your pocket as the name implies.
Equipped with a 1/2.3″ sensor and a wide f/2.0, 80° angle-of-view lens, the Osmo Pocket allows you to capture stunning cinematic videos in up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. Additionally, it allows for capturing high-quality 12-megapixel still photos, which can be stored on a micro SD card of up to 256GB.
The DJI Osmo Pocket Gimbal is a versatile, portable tool that empowers you to shoot effortlessly professional-grade videos and photos. Perfect for a wide range of vlogs where you want to focus on the story more than you camera settings.
Osmo Pocket vs iPhone
In contrast to a smartphone of similar size, the compact Osmo Pocket offers smart features such as Active Track, FaceTrack, and Motionlapse, allowing for captivating and artistic effects. Capture expansive landscapes with 180° or 3 x 3 panoramic shots. The FPV mode provides a unique perspective, while Night Shot enables the capture of moonlit or low-light scenes.
To note, the Osmo Pocket can attach pair with your phone which you can use as a big monitor and you can but a tripod extension for an easier grip if you like.
Osmo Pocket wide angle lens
The Osmo pocket comes with little magnetic lenses too if you’re wanting a wider shot instead of the the built in medium shot. It’s not a dramatic difference but it helps. One annoying thing though is you need to take the lens off each time you go to turn the camera on as the gimbal won’t balance.
- I love the video quality that comes out of this device, it’s better than an action camera.
- Your video will be smooth and stable, perfect for walking POV shots.
- Fits in your pocket easily.
- Can use your phone as a big monitor.
- The native 24mm is great for POV but not if you want to talk into the camera and narrate.
- You can use magnetic little lenses to make the video wide, however you need to be careful not to lose the lenses and you need to make sure to take them off when you’re done. A slight hassle, would be easier if like an action camera you could just change the field of view in the settings.
Sony ZV-e1 – Best full frame mirrorless camera for vlogging
The Sony ZV-e1 is a full-frame camera that’s also one of the smallest, lightest full-frame camera to date. It pairs well with equally small (though quite expensive) lenses. Making for a lightweight, easy to use setup. The ZV-e1 is an excellent choice for someone who want’s to create cinematic vlogs that look beautiful.
This camera can shoots 4K video up to 60FPS and can also do 120 FPS slow motion. It also features 5-axis stabilization for stabilized video that is stabilized by hardware, not software for better stabilization performance in varied lighting. Additionally, it can be used to live stream with the Sony Imaging Edge app.
The use of this camera as a webcam is an under rated feature, you simply plug it into your laptop via a USB cable and you’re good to go. No need for a complicated HDMI cable and adapter with this device.
Full frame vs APS-C
Because this is a straight-up full-frame camera, it has a 2.3x bigger sensor than an APS-C lens camera. That means you get more detail, and it’s much easier to get that subject separation called bokeh because full-frame lenses often have low apertures.
At the same time, Sony’s Eye AF feature allows you to take sharp pictures of your subject quickly. You can also video in 4K in 24 or 30 fps and get great results. If you want something more cinematic, you can record at 1080p up to 120fps for beautiful slow-motion shots.
Last, the Sony A7C comes with a handy little flip-out screen to frame yourself in the shot, excellent audio through the option to attach an external microphone, and mediocre stabilization. That’s really the only weak point of this camera after using it; handheld footage could be more solid and smoother than what an iPhone or an action camera can provide.
My last favorite noteworthy feature of this full frame camera is the microphone directivity feature. It will auto detect where your voice is coming from and adjust the microphone automatically.
With most interchangeable cameras, when you point the camera away from you, the audio sounds bad. If you’re using an external mic, you would have also needed to stop recording, and adjust the mic as you switch between recording yourself and doing a POV shot.
This was one thing I always like about my Sony X3000 action camera, my voice always sounded great regardless if I pointed the camera at myself or at the world at large. Now with the ZV-e1, you can get great audio and be more free to move the camera about without having to adjust the audio.
- A beginner friendly full frame camera.
- Pairs with small, high quality lenses for excellent video quality.
- Flip out screen, 4k 60 FPS recording.
- Live streaming capabilities.
- Price point, this camera with a microphone and lens is an expensive setup.
- Still not as portable or convenient as an action camera.
- No view finder and the pictures this camera takes are average. But this camera system is not designed for photography.
- Overheats, but only in direct sunlight and only if you’re recording for a long time in 4k.
Must have accessories:
Sony’s 20 mm F1.8 lens – 20mm is wide nice wide angle shot and the F1.8 will give your videos that nice blurry background. This lens and camera are pretty much all you need for film maker vlogging.
Osmo Action 2 – Versatile vlogging camera
The Action 2 is the proverbial black sheep of the Action series. It’s a tiny square camera that is designed with a magnetic mounting system to add and expand onto the camera. This is the most versatile vlogging camera I’ve come across that it not only very small, but you can use the magnetic mount system to get some great vlogging clip.
With its innovative magnetic design, Action 2 lets you effortlessly swap out accessories to your liking as and unlock a wide array of creative possibilities to record your vlog.
Ultra-compact vlogging camera
The DJI Action 2 is the text book definition of an ultra-compact camera. It occupies minimal space in your travel bag or just toss it in your pocket. Wear this lightweight camera on your head or chest using the Magnetic Lanyard and Magnetic Headband (made by DJI) as you seize the opportunity to capture the awe-inspiring world around you.
Good vlogging camera for adventure
Snap on the Magnetic Protective Lens Cover to protect your camera from dirt, dust, and scratches. Whether in the sand or snow, you can feel safe leaving your camera behind without worrying about damage to the lens. The Action 2 easily attaches to any helmet with its innovative three-point design of powerful magnets. Document hours of extreme activities as well as vlogs.
Frame rates and video quality
Capture 4K/120fps video that is stabilized. With Action 2’s ultra-wide field of view, you can get the proper angle for vlogging that it not too tight on the face.
The DJI Action 2 comes ready with a durable and waterproof design that lets you capture all the excitement of your aquatic adventures. The camera unit can dive down to depths of up to 10 meters, and when paired with the Waterproof Case, it can go as deep as 60 meters.
- Ultra compact vlogging camera.
- Magnetic system is really smart and much easier to use than a GoPro.
- Multiple angles, framerates and time lapse features for dynamic and interesting videos.
- Can get a little screen attachment to frame yourself.
- Video quality is not as good as the GoPro or the Osmo Action 4, but the form factor of this camera system is better.
Sony X3000 – Best audio quality and easy to use
The Sony X3000 came out years ago and is still one of the best vlogging cameras today. It captures outstanding audio without needing an external mic (though you can attack an external mic), three fields of view (wide, medium, and narrow), can record at 4K at 24 or 30 FPS, and fits in your pocket.
This little white action camera, shaped like a camcorder, has a compact body and records video footage as well as it can capture high quality audio on par with more expensive optons
Boss image stabilization
One unique feature of the Sony X3000 is that it comes with mechanical stabilization called “Boss” which helps the video clips be stable and it performs much better with it’s low light performance than the GoPro which falls apart at night. Not to say the X3000 is good at night, but it’s better than the GoPro.
The additional accessories you can get are first the Sony shooting grip. This grip is part handle, part tripod for the X3000. You can also attach a monitor to the shooting grip, which connects via Bluetooth to the X3000. You also get an underwater case, as the X3000 is splash-resistant but not waterproof.
Still the best vlogging camera?
There is a reason why after all these years and with a wide range of options the Sony X3000 is still sought after by both vloggers and Twitch streamers. It has great audio, good video quality, acceptable battery life, is small and compact and comes with the ability to shoot in 4k and you can view yourself with the included screen that pairs with the camera via Bluetooth.
My only issue with this camera is the video quality is starting to show it’s age slightly as it is not a sharp and colorful as say a 4k clip from an iPhone is. However, if you’re looking for a dedicated camera for strictly vlogging where you’re walking and talking into the camera then you’ll love the X3000.
- Superior audio, small, pocketable and a wide (but not warped) field of view.
- The Sony X3000 has the best built in audio of any camera I’ve ever used. You can also attach an external mic if you like too.
- Can shoot in 4k 30FPS, however I’ve found 60 FPS to look best.
- Video files are saved in order and not broke up into 10 minute clips like other action cameras.
- The video quality is still acceptable even today but it is starting to show it’s age.
- Wind noise is an issue. You can fix this by cutting a piece of a sponge and using a rubber band to attach it to the front of the camera.
- You can’t record at 4k 60 FPS.
Must have accessories:
Shooting grip – This is part tripod, part grip, part holder for the Bluetooth LED screen. It’s a clever, comfy grip for the camera to record yourself with.
Insta360 GO 3 – The most compact cameras I’ve used
The InstaGo360 GO is a tiny magnetic camera that captures stunning POV videos or creative angles in 2.7K resolution. 2.7K is not 4K, so if 4k is essential to you, skip the 360 GO as it can’t record in 4k.
This camera is part action camera, part vlog camera. It is ideal for mountain biking, documenting your travels, or recording at fun angles, as you can attack this camera on anything metal.
With its versatile magnetic design and convenient accessories like the Magnet Pendant and Easy Clip, GO 3 opens up a world of creative possibilities. Capture angles other cameras can’t handle, and unleash your creativity to the fullest.
This pendant you wear under your shirt, and the camera attaches through your shirt to the pendant, allowing you to give your audience a unique POV shot where you’re also hands-free. Perfect for showcasing action shots, POVs, or any tutorial.
Multi-functional Action Pod
With a battery life of 170 minutes, a flip touchscreen, remote control, live preview, and a magnetic mount that works seamlessly with both the camera and the pod, the action pod is a very clever invention.
It also allows for remote viewing as you can detach the camera from the pod and attach it to a different mount. The pod also charges the camera when attached.
- Magnetic system that allows you to place this camera in some pretty creative spots.
- The multi-purpose pod is very useful. It not only charges the camera, it also provides a Bluetooth connected screen that flips up so you can view yourself.
- The camera itself is very flexible with where and how you can use it.
- The magnetic pendant allows for some fun and creative POV clips.
- If you want to vlog, you’ll need to always use the pod because you can attach a handle to it.
- The pod itself is the size of the GoPro roughly.
- The image quality is improved over previous versions.
iPhone 14 – Video quality on par with a mirrorless camera
The iPhone is an outstanding choice as a vlogging camera. It is probably one of the best vlogging cameras because of the dual lens system with a medium shot and wide angle lens. I don’t suggest using the selfie camera but use the iPhone’s main cameras.
Yes, this means you won’t be able to see yourself when you’re vlogging. Still, the primary camera allows you to record at higher frame rates and produces much better video quality. The wide-angle lens is also similar in look to any action camera. It is perfect for “walk and talk” style clips, whereas the medium shot camera is suitable for close-ups and low light performance.
Why the iPhone instead of a dedicated camera?
First, it’s your phone, so you’ll always have it on you. Great for impromptu videos and very helpful for recording clips that you could pair with another camera. The iPhone also has a wide-angle lens and a high-quality primary camera. You can easily mix up clips to make a more visually engaging vlog.
The audio is also acceptable, but there are external microphones you can use to get better audio if you like. You can do fun video edits like time-lapse and slow motion. Recording in 4k at a high framerate is possible too. Last, every iPhone comes with iMovie, so you can edit your clips together into a vlog that you can export and upload to YouTube.
- Can record in multiple angles from wide, medium to close up easily.
- 4k at a high frame rate.
- Excellent pictures to help create thumbnails.
- All iPhones come with iMovie and picture editing software.
- It’s your phone so you’ll always have it on you.
- Vlogging kits exist for phones that provide a tripod and external microphone for better audio.
- Vlogging in public with an iPhone brings the risks of theft or you dropping an breaking your phone. As it’s your phone, you most likely have sensitive data on it.
- With recording at 4k, you’ll fill up your storage fast if you don’t delete the clips after you’re done editing.
- As a vlogger, I do like having a separate “vlogging camera” apart from my phone to compartmentalize vlogging as a separate activity. I use my iPhone typically as a backup if I don’t have my Sony X3000 on me.
Mini tripod handle – This cheap, little tripod doubles as a grip for the iPhone. It’s small, lightweight and makes a big difference over hand holding your iPhone. Easily rotate the iPhone to film you or a POV shot.
Best cameras for vlogging – Conclusion
So that’s my complete list of the best vlogging cameras available. I strongly suggest you use a small, durable action camera. But if you’re set on having a more traditional setup then the Sony A7C or ZV-e10 are good options too. Last, there is always the iPhone. Lot’s of people have built massive vlog channels using only an iPhone.
David UtkeDavid Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 27k+ YouTube subscribers!
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