15 Best Cameras for YouTube – From Beginner to Pro

David Utke •  Updated: January 16, 2024 •  YouTube

I have a vlog channel where I show my travels as a digital nomad and a professional YouTube channel where I create helpful educational tutorials for creating websites, blogs, and online stores. So, I’m uniquely positioned to explain to you what the best cameras for YouTube are.

From your typical “run and gun” vlog videos, recording on-screen tutorials with a webcam, and streaming or creating long-form online courses. Creating content for YouTube and a blog is an effective way to build traffic and an audience.

Depending on the type of video content you want to produce will dictate what kind of camera you should get. In this complete beginner’s guide, I will cover the best cameras for the most popular styles of creating videos at different price ranges.

#1 Sony Alpha 7 IV

The best, most versatile camera for all types of content. A great selection of expensive lenses and advanced features videographers need.

#2 Osmo Action

The Osmo Action 4 is the best vlogging camera. Small, light, easy to use with a wide-angle look, 4k video, stabilized, and great audio.

#3 Sony ZV-E10

The ZV-E10 is a small APS-C camera that comes with a good kit lens. You can can also use the Sigma 16mm for impressive quality.

#4 Lumix S5 II

The best price and performance camera. 4k recording, stable, acceptable autofocus. Lens selection could be better though.

*If you click the links on this page to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

Why you should trust this guide

I’m a professional YouTuber. I make thousands of dollars a month from YouTube, and my team and I all make different styles of video. From casual vlogs shot with an iPhone or action camera, to long form tutorial videos to YouTube shorts.

I know what works and what you need depending on what your needs are to shoot YouTube videos with.

The Best Camera for YouTube – Complete Guide

In general, anyone looking to start making YouTube videos wants a camera that can do a little bit of everything: Record talking head videos, make online courses, stream, and vlog.

While no one camera can do everything well, quite a few cameras are feature-rich enough to handle most tasks you throw at it. So let’s cover the best cameras for YouTube.

Sony Alpha 7S IV – The best YouTube camera

Want to future-proof your video creation for the next five years by getting one of the best cameras that money can buy? You’ll want to get a Sony A7S IV. The A7S IV is a full-frame mirrorless camera from Sony.

Sony A7S IV

An excellent full frame camera for all types of content. Pairs perfectly with Sony’s line of G Master lenses.

It has all the video features needed for filmmaking, creating talking head videos and vlogs, like the included 5-axis in-body stabilization and a wide selection of lenses.

Small body, expensive lenses

As a full-frame mirrorless camera, the actual body itself is small and light. The lenses for this system are relatively small as well depending on the focal length. It’s a native 4k camera that can record up to 120p for slow motion and outputs 16-bit raw video.

Flip out screen and stabilization

A useful feature for any YouTuber is the ability to frame yourself and this camera allows you to do exactly that with the flip out screen. You also get in body stabilization which allows you to walk and record with this camera.

Top features

The Sony A7S has a 33MP full-frame CMOS sensor and a BIONZ XR image processing engine. It can record up to 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 with full pixel readout in all recording formats, and 7K oversampling full-frame 4K 30p 10-bit 4:2:2 with no pixel binning. S-Cinetone color profile is also available for easy color grading.

Overall, this best camera on the market. It’s expensive and a bit excessive for new content creators, but if you’re wanting to know what camera most professional YouTubers use, this is what they select.



Osmo Action 4 – The best vlogging camera

The GoPro has finally been beat out by the Osmo Action 4. I’m very impressed with this action camera; the video quality I prefer over the GoPro, the audio quality is excellent and sounds better than any GoPro I’ve used, and the magnetic mounting system is far superior to the complicated mounts GoPro has.

Osmo Action 4

Durable 4k action camera. Multiple filed of views and can be bought with the adventure combo for more batteries and a grip.

This action camera also comes with a log profile so you can color grade if that’s your thing, and the record button works faster and without issue. Unlike GoPro’s that sometimes lock up and require you to do the GoPro reset (aka taking the battery out), I’ve never once had this camera lock up in any way.

Last, the menu system is easy to use, and you get both a front-facing touch screen to frame yourself and make adjustments and a big back screen that doubles as the menu panel.

Osmo Action 4 Field of View

The Osmo Action comes with a few different viewing angles, everything from super wide to standard. So if you want that warped action camera look or if you want more of a standard, wide angle view for walk and talk vlogging, the Osmo Action has the right settings.

Rocksteady stabilization

Good stabilization is a non-negotiable for me when it comes to a vlogging camera and the Osmo Action 4 does not disappoint as it has all the features you need to create stable, enjoyable to watch video content.

There are a few different stabilization options with this camera which are branded by Osmo as “rocksteady.” You can turn off stabilization all together , then you have Rocksteady stabilization and Rocksteady+ stabilization which is the highest setting.

Excellent audio quality of the Osmo Action 4

This camera finally sounds as good, if not better than the classic Sony X3000. On top of that, you can attack an external mic to the camera via the USBC port without needing an adapter. It’s designed to pair with the DJI wireless mic.

High frame rates and slow motion

With the Osmo Action, you can record up to 4k and shoot in high frame rates of 120, 100 and 60. You also can record in 30 FPS as well. I find that 60 FPS looks best for vlog style content where you’re walking around talking about something. The 100 and 120 frame rates are ideal for slow motion.

Last, you can record in 1080P and at this rate you can record slow motion of up to 240 FPS. I don’t find this particularly useful for YouTube, but it’s a fun to have feature.



Must have accessories:

Adventure Combo – The Adventure Combo is where you get the camera, a shooting grip for the action camera and multi-charger battery pack.

DJI Wireless Mic – This is an outstanding microphone system and it pairs perfectly with the Osmo Action 4. It is an optional buy however as the Osmo sounds great out of the box.

Sony ZV-E10 – The best cheap YouTube camera

The first version of this camera was the ZV-1, but many consumers wanted more flexibility by being able to have interchangeable lenses. As such, Sony released the ZV-E10, which is now the best budget mirrorless camera for vlogging on the market for under $1000.

Sony ZV-E10

An affordable, APS-C sensor size camera. Small, light, fairly stable. Pair this with a Sigma 16mm lens and you got a pro setup for cheap.

The ZV-E10 paired with a Sigma 16mm f1.4 lens is excellent for making YouTube videos. Sigma produces some of the best glass around, and at a 1.4 aperture, you get that subject separation, blurry background look.

In addition, the ZV-E10 is not limited in the same way as other budget option cameras, like having a cropped 4k or no slow motion. With the ZV-E10, you get a more dynamic range, no 4k crop like you’ll find on Canon’s M50, which has an additional 1.6 yield when in 4k (and it’s why the M50 is not on this list).

You also get autofocus when recording in 4k, unlike the M50. Last, this camera can record in slow motion up to 120p and can easily be used as a webcam by adjusting some settings on the back end and plugging it into the USB-C port on your laptop.



Best lens:

Lumix S5 II – Best value full frame camera

An excellent choice for aspiring filmmakers and YouTubers looking for professional level quality at a more affordable price. This camera is a bit bulky but overall it’s quite ergonomic and comfortable in the hand.

Lumix S5 II

Full frame camera from Panasonic that finally has reliable autofocus. Good price point and a handful of excellent lenses available.

My top choice is the Sony A7S because you get access to G Master lenses which are the best glass you can buy. But if you’re more price sensitive and want the best value for money, then I would get the Lumix S5 II and one or two lenses for recording YouTube videos.

For a full-frame camera it is compact and lightweight, which makes it easier to carry around for vlogging and shooting while on the go. Don’t forget that this camera is also stabilized and now as good autofocus.

The Lumix S5 II has a wide range of pro features like:

If you’re a film maker or aspiring film maker who wants to create both talking head videos as well as point of view, travel videos that are dynamic an interesting then the Lumix S5 is a great camera option for YouTubers who value high-quality content creation.

With its combination of impressive video quality, dependable performance, and versatile features. You’ll be happy with your purchase. If I didn’t already own the Canon 90D, the Lumix S5II is what I would get for myself.



Best lenses:

Osmo Pocket 3 – The most versatile camera

This is a tiny gimbal camera with a 1 inch sensor that fits in your pocket and produces some high-quality video with a blurry background. It’s perfect for any point of view, walk and talk video and is ideal for travelers looking to show off different locations.

Osmo Pocket 3

A good vlogging camera with a blurry background. Can also be used as a webcam or as a studio camera due to it’s sensor size.

The camera field of view is about a 20mm lens equivalent (improved from 24mm of the previous versions) which ideal for talking head style shooting. The Osmo Pocket also now comes with a tiny wide-angle lens adapter that make the field of view a bit wider.

The video quality out of the Pocket 3 is pretty impressive for such a small camera. With it’s 1 inch sensor and F/2 aperture, you get a slightly blurry background using this camera. The only issue is that the aperture is fixed at F2 so if you don’t like that blurry background, there is no way to change it.

Finally, this camera can double as a webcam easily as you just plug it into your laptop and it auto detects. The gimbal can also be set to track your face so you’re always in frame, and you can pair it with a wireless mic for good audio.



Must have accessories:

Creator Combo – You can buy just the camera itself or the creator combo. The creator combo provides a DJI Mic 2 Transmitter and windscreen, two clip magnets, a battery handle, a mini tripod, and a carrying bag.

Canon 90D – The best APS-C camera

The Canon 90D is a “do everything” camera. It’s more affordable than the Sony A7S IV and can get the same quality of video and audio at a lower price point. This camera can shoot in 4k uncropped and can be paired with an external microphone. It should be noted that the 90D has excellent preamps for quality audio.

Canon 90D

A good, “do everything” APS-C camera from Canon. You have a wide selection of lenses as well, from cheap to premium.

As this is a Canon DSLR, it pairs with Canon’s extensive library of “EF” mount lenses. The only drawback of this camera is that it has an APSC sensor so it’s not full frame and there is no built-in stabilization. If you intend to move the camera vlog style as you’re recording, the 90D is a poor choice.

However, if you’re looking for a high quality camera for talking head videos, slow motion, photography or online course creation that can shoot in 4K with premium audio without breaking the bank, consider the classic 90D. Overall this is a good hybrid camera designed with mirrorless and DSLR features.



Best lenses:

Sony ZV E1 – Small, light full frame setup

The Sony ZV E1 is a full-frame camera that is small, light, and cost-effective compared to other full-frame, that cameras. With it, you get a sensor that is 2.3x bigger than an APS-C camera, better dynamic range than APS-C cameras, better low light performance and that blurry background (bokeh) so many love.

Sony ZV E-1

A budget friendly full-frame camera that is ideal for vloggers and studio recording for YouTube videos.

With the ZV E1 you’ll be able to do walk and talk shots, have a nice blurry background, long battery life, be able to shoot in 4k and be able to get some pretty impressive b-roll with this camera. It comes with IBIS which is essential for any vlog as you’ll typically want to move the camera around.

Finally, this camera includes a lot of features helpful for non-videographers like a button to automatically blur out the background and an included “cinematic mode” that adds black bars to your video footage.

The ZV E1 is a beginner friendly YouTube camera with pro features and a pro price point, but designed for those who are new to recording video content.



Best lens:

Sony 20mm F1.8 – This full frame prime lens paired with this camera body is pretty much all you need for both talking head content and vlogging.

Canon R6 Mark II – The best mirrorless camera for 6K

Canon has an R6 and an R5. The R5 is the more expensive camera body and has a higher megapixel sensor at 45 pixels compared to the R6, 20 pixels. 45 pixels is just 5 megapixels away from being a medium format camera.

Canon R6 Mark II

The best Canon full frame camera. Records up to 6K, sharp, excellent colors, lenses and focus system.

However, megapixels are most useful for photography, not video. So functionally speaking, the Canon R6 costs less and produces video quality on par with the R5. The R6 can record up to 6k oversampled uncropped 4k at up to 60 FPS. It can record at high frame rates like 180 FPS without overheating as well.

As this is a professional grade camera, you get access to different log profiles which are essential for color grading. The R6 comes with C-log, but if you don’t want to color grade then Canon cameras are famous for their native colors that need minimal work.

My favorite lens for this system is the 15-35mm F2.8. This single lens allows you to have a wide angle look with a slightly blurry background and the ability to punch in when needed.



Best lens:

Fujifilm X-S10 – A mid-range mirrorless camera

If you want a great mirrorless camera that is a significant step up from the EV-10 but more cost-efficient than the Sony A7S IV, you’ll love the X-S10 from FujiFilm.


The best YouTube camera from Fujifilm. A good mirrorless APS-C camera body that pairs with small lenses.

As a mirrorless camera, it’s on the smaller side regarding body and weight. It comes with an electronic viewfinder, a flip-out screen, and the ability to attach an external microphone. It does have an APS-C sensor so if full frame is what you’re after you won’t find it here.

Last, it also offers F-log for your color grading needs, and you can get it with an outstanding 15-45mm kit lens. Earlier, the X-S10 had built-in stabilization so that you could make point-of-view shots, walk-and-talk vlogs, and more.



Best lens:

Canon SL3 – A budget 90D DSLR

The SL3 is like a mini 90D in that you get a lot of overlap in features, and you can use the same lenses on the SL3 that you can use on the more expensive 90D. It produces similar quality video but if you want to shoot in 4k, skip the SL3.

Canon SL3

The best budget APS-C camera from Canon. Pairs with EF lenses, but no usable 4k and no stabilization.

What makes this camera so great is its low price point, small ergonomic body, lightweight design and that it pairs with Canon’s extensive line of EF mount lenses and is the world’s smallest DSLR.

It can technically shoot in 4k, but when in 4k, there is an additional massive crop, so it’s not usable as a 4k YouTube camera. The SL3 has a flip-out screen shoe mount for an external microphone and is designed with the total beginner.



Best lens:

Osmo Action 2 – Best multi-purpose camera

The Action 2 is a unique departure from the previous Osmo Action cameras. It’s a useful little camera for recording all types of shots due to its small square size. It attaches magnetically and allows you to get unique shots from different angles.

Osmo Action 2

Little square camera that can be attached in unique ways. Surprisingly useful and fun for vlogging or as a second angle.

From vlogging to POV recording, this camera comes with an ultra-wide-angle lens that can capture up to 140 degrees of footage, giving users the ability to fit more into their frame without having to move around as much.

Feature rich in a small package

The Action 2 boasts 4K video recording at 60 frames per second, giving users smooth video that is perfect for a vlog. It also shoots in HDR which helps bring out colors and details more vividly. Additionally, it comes with a range of customizable settings such as slow motion modes and digital zoom that give users more control over their recordings.

The DJI Action 2 is equipped with other useful features such as digital stabilization, waterproof housing for shots in wet environments, and a screen to see yourself as you’re recording. It also comes with a lanyard so you can do POV shots hands free.

Overall, this is a unique camera system that I find to be a good secondary system to using a full frame setup.



Sony ZV1 – The best point and shoot camera

The Sony ZV1 is the best point and shoot camera I’ve used and a solid upgrade to the Canon G7X series. It has many features that YouTubers will love and is ideal for anyone looking for a hybrid camera that can be used for vlogging and studio recording.

Sony ZV1

While most point and shoot cameras have been replaced by phones, it’s still a popular category for anyone looking for a second angle camera.

This camera can shoot in 4k at up to 30 frames a second and 120 frames a second at 1080p for some impressive slow-motion b-roll. You can also record at 60 frames if you like more of a smooth, look.

It has a flip-out screen to frame yourself, a microphone jack for improved audio with an external microphone, and a 24-70mm zoom lens. It’s a complete package and you don’t need to buy anything else.

Last, it has a “skin smoothing” feature you can turn on or off to soften the look of your skin as well as a button that blurs the background slightly. It also comes with image stabilization.

It’s a 24mm point and shoot

I just want to emphasize that this is a point and shoot camera, that means you can’t switch out the lens. The lens is a 24mm which is a bit tight on the face for vlogging, ironic because this camera is marketed as a “vlogging camera.”

In practice I found it more useful as a backup camera for different angles, it can also be used as a webcam too which is quite helpful considering this camera’s size.



Must have accessory

GOPRO 12 – A good action camera and vlog camera

The GoPro is an excellent choice for vlogging because you can tell a great story and get the shot which is the most critical aspect of a vlog. Having a small, unassuming camera like a GoPro is easier to use than carrying a big, heavy camera all day.

GoPro 12

A reasonably priced action camera that can also double as a vlog camera as it now has good audio and video.

Even professional travel vlogger/YouTuber Drew Binsky uses a GoPro for his day travels as it’s more convenient and draws less attention. The GoPro is ideal because of its wide-angle view, sharpness, good colors, good audio, durable, and the latest version now comes with a monitor on the front to frame yourself.

It can record up to 5k and has fun video features built in like time warp and time lapse to help add interesting b-roll to your vlogs making it one of the best YouTube cameras.

Wide angle shots

The GoPro is wide, making it perfect for narration and point of view shots. Too many “vlogging cameras” end up being way to tight on the face like the old G7X from Canon. As a vlogger you want your camera angle to be wide.

Hypersmooth stabilization

Hypersmooth is GoPro’s internal, digital camera stabilization. It’s designed to give users an incredibly smooth and stable video experience no matter how fast they’re moving or how bumpy the terrain. With automatic image stabilization, you can capture super-smooth footage without having to bring additional equipment like tripods and gimbals.



Must have accessories:

Media Mod – The media mod provides a high quality microphone with a wind filter for your GoPro so the audio sounds great. Remember, audio is just as important as video quality for a vlo

Elgato Facecam Pro – Excellent webcam for streaming

The Facecam Pro is one of the best webcam on the market. It can shoot up to 4k at 60 FPS and it has a surprisingly large Sony Starvis sensor which produces a slightly blurry background, good low light performance and some of the the best optics of any dedicated webcam I’ve used.

Elgato Facecam Pro

Large, expensive webcam designed for streamers.

In addition to the gimbal control features, you can also adjust the image settings, auto exposure, white balance, image saturation ISO, shutter speed and even an exposure curve. All in a webcam, it’s pretty impressive how feature rich this device is.

You can record in vertical and set the webcam to “desk mode” where it points down to record your keyboard area. Good if you’re sharing notes or doing an unboxing.


It also can zoom in up to 5x, it takes nice pictures, has three field of view presets so if you want a wide angle look you can get it and best off all it’s plug and play. Another aspect is that it comes with software that allows you to customize the video settings for different applications like Zoom, Skype and OBS.

If you’re looking for the best webcam on the market you’re going to be hard press to find anything that can rival the Insta 360 Link. My only gripe is that it can’t record at 4k 60 FPS. It can do 60 FPS at 1080P however.



iPhone 15 – High quality footage

IPhone camera technology has grown to replace point-and-shoot cameras like the G7X or Canon Powershot. With the latest iPhone, you can access to a wide-angle lens, a medium shot lens as well high-quality 4k video recording at a high frame rate.

The iPhone also allows for slow motion, high quality photography, good audio and a built-in video editor with iMovie. With the iPhone 14 you now get very useable cinematic mode where the background is blurred out.

I am a big fan of the iPhone Mini series as it’s pretty tiny, powerful, and has all the features of the larger iPhones. However, the latest and greatest iPhone will always have the latest and greatest tech to help produce high-quality audio.

What stands out now is how good the cinematic mode is along with the 60 FPS, 4k recording. As this is a phone, you may want to consider getting a grip and microphone for it. If you want to learn more, checkout my guide on how to vlog with an iPhone.



Must have accessories:

Mini iPhone tripod – This cheap little tripod holds your phone horizontally, making is easy to vlog and shoot b-roll with. A must have if you’re going to record with an iPhone.

Shure MV88 – This little microphone plugs into your iPhone and provides a massive improvement in audio quality.

Best YouTube Camera Conclusion

That is it for my guide on the best cameras for YouTube. From using cameras used for vlogging to streaming to filmmaking, you have a lot of choices. Make sure to pick the camera that can create the kind of content you want. Also, don’t think you need to spend much money to produce quality YouTube videos.

What I use personally for my videos is the Canon 90D and the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 wide angle lens with the Rhode Video Mic Pro+. It’s a good mid range setup that allows me to get professional level video quality. Last, checkout my microphone recommendations for your camera of choice.

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Hey I'm David. I'm a blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated UX consultant on Fiverr. My writing, videos and courses have helped tens of thousands of people make their first 1$ online. I write this blog to show you the "how to" for turning knowledge into income so you can live life on your terms.