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.
The GoPro 11 is the best vlogging camera. Small, light, easy to use with a wide-angle look, 4k video, stabilized, and good 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 Canon 90D
A camera body that has access to a massive library of lenses. Shoots in 4k, great color science, excellent audio.
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.
We 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. 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.
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.
- 4k recording up to an hour.
- Twin card SD card slots (essential for professionals as you’ll always have a backup of your work).
- 5 axis in body image stabilization
- A great selection of premium lenses for excellent video quality.
- Articulating touch screen.
- Only established content creators should get this camera as it’s overwhelming for beginners.
- The body and lens selection is very expensive and cost prohibitive.
Most popular lens:
- 18-35 f/2.8 G Master – This lens on a full frame like the A7S IV is wide, has good shallow depth of field and can zoom in enough to diversify your shots.
GoPro 11 – The best vlogging 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.
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 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.
- Very stable, 4k video capabilities at high frame rates.
- Much improved video quality with 10 bit color.
- Small, pocketable, durable and light.
- Multiple recording angles. Everything from super wide to linear.
- Built in front screen for framing yourself.
- GoPro’s are waterproof which tend to make the audio average, you’ll need the media mod kit.
- No front facing touch screen.
- These devices sometimes freeze and you’ll think you’re recording but surprise! You just wasted a bunch of time and have to re-do what you just did.
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
Canon 90D – A mid-range “do everything” YouTube camera
As far as YouTube cameras go, the Canon 90D is much more affordable than the Sony A7S IV and can get the same quality of video and audio at a fraction of the price. You can shoot in 4k, attach an external microphone and it the 90D has excellent preamps for quality audio.
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.
- Can shoot 4k uncropped.
- Ergonomic and comfortable to use.
- Can record at 24p, 30p and 60p.
- Flip out touch screen.
- Excellent audio preamps.
- Articulating touch screen
- No stabilization. Not ideal for vlogging and on the go recording.
- APSC sensor, the 90D is not full frame.
- It’s a DSLR camera, a technology that has been replaced by mirrorless bodies
- Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 – This is the best lens ever made for APSC cameras. The 1.8 aperture allows for that blurry background look. The 18 mm length is also perfect as well for talking head shots.
- Tokina 11-16 f2.8 – A wide angle lens with a blurry background. If you want that wide angle look with blurry background you’ll love this lens. The auto focus though is quite loud though.
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.
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.
- Headphone port to test audio.
- Can use an external mic.
- 4k video resolution at 30FPS without an additional crop.
- Eye autofocus in 4k that works well enough.
- Unlimited record time unlike Canon’s 29 minute limit.
- Interchangeable lenses and can use e-mount lenses.
- Articulating touch screen.
- Stabilization is mediocre on this camera.
- Lens selection is limited and this camera is ideal for those looking to vlog.
- APSC sensor, you’re not getting full frame at this price point.
- Sigma 16mm f/1.4 – A wide angle lens that has a low aperture for that blurry background. Record in 4k with this lens and you get quality on par with more expensive systems.
Sony ZV E1 – Small, light full frame setup.
Video first camera. 4k 60 FPS with a small, light body.
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.
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. Last it comes with IBIS which is essential for any vlog as you’ll typically want to move the camera around.
This camera also 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 smallest and lightest full frame camera today.
- Wide angle with a blurry background is possible with the right lens
- Nice selection of small, high quality lenses.
- Over-heats in excessive 4k shooting.
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 – The best mirrorless camera for 8K
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.
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 4k at various framerates with no crop, and you get C-log for color grading.
Our favorite lens for this system is the 15-35mm. You have the option to have a wide angle look with a slightly blurry background.
- 4k video, no crop and no over-heating.
- C-log is included.
- Excellent stills camera.
- Wide selection of high quality lenses for a full frame.
- Has an APS-C crop mode.
- Articulating touch screen.
- The IBIS is pretty mediocre overall. It’s good enough for a vlog but if you want full frame camera that’s “Go Pro smooth” then get the A7S instead.
- Lenses for full frame cameras are quite expensive, $1000 or more per lens is not uncommon.
- 15-35mm f/2.8 – This lens on the R6 allows for both a wide angle look with a blurry background and the ability to zoom in when needed.
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.
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.
- In body stabilization for vlogging.
- 4k uncropped recording for quality studio recording.
- Flip out screen and external microphone jack.
- Poor battery performance if you’re going to be out vlogging.
- 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 – The kit lens that comes with the camera body is surprisingly good. 15mm is great for vlogging and in studio recording and 45mm is enough zoom to enable different styles of shooting.
Canon SL3 – A good consumer camera
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 (though the 90D is better); however, if you want to shoot in 4k, skip the SL3.
What makes this camera so great is its low price point, small ergonomic body, and lightweight design. It is designed to use 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 price and performance option on the list. A great beginner camera to get started creating content.
- Works with EF lens mount by default, no expensive additional speed booster needed.
- Flip out screen, beginner oriented menu.
- The video quality is on par with the more expensive Canon 90D.
- Excellent dual pixel auto focus.
- Clean HDMI output so it makes for a solid choice for streaming.
- No stabilization, video footage will be shaky if you walk and talk with this camera.
- APSC sensor with a 1.6x crop and an additional crop factor for a 2.4x total crop in 4k, making any shot too tight on the face.
- No autofocus in 4k which is a huge deal breaker.
- 18-55 f/4-5.6 zoom lens – This is the stock lens that comes with the SL3. It’s a small starter lens that is acceptable for anyone looking to record 1080P videos.
- 10-18 f/4.5-5.6 – This body uses the same lenses as the 90D. This small, light wide angle lens is a perfect fit for the small and light Canon SL3.
Osmo Pocket – The best cinematic vlogging camera
This is a tiny gimbal camera that fits in your pocket and produces some high-quality video. It’s perfect for any point of view, walk and talk video and is ideal for travelers looking to show off different locations.
The camera is about a 24mm equivalent which is a bit tight on the face for vlogging. The Osmo Pocket does however come with a tiny wide-angle lens adapter.
This adapter is a small attachment and can be difficult to use as you need to turn the camera on first and let it balance before applying the wide angle lens.
The picture quality and audio quality out of this device is much better than other action cameras on the list however so it’s a tradeoff. Last, the tripod also comes with an adapter so you can mount it up and the camera has face tracking and time lapse features built in.
- High quality video on par with the ZV-1, except in a pocketable form factor.
- Stabilized video that is enjoyable to watch.
- Small and can actually fit in your pocket. Ideal for point of view, walk and talk vlogs.
- Wide angle adapter essential for vlogging.
- The native 24mm is a bit close on the face for vlogging.
- Needs a lot of adapters and accessories to make it work optimally.
Osmo Action 2 – Best cheap camera for vlogging
There is an Action 3 from DJI, but it’s quite similar to the GoPro and I can’t recommend it over the GoPro. However, the Action 2 is still a unique, useful little camera for recording all types of shots due to its size. It’s actually a surprisingly good vlogging camera too.
The Action 2 is a great option for vloggers, and POV recording due to its versatile capabilities and advanced features. It 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.
The Action 2 also boasts 4K video recording at 60 frames per second, giving users incredibly 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.
In addition to its shooting capabilities, 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. All these features make it an ideal camera for both professional vloggers and casual content creators who want stunning videos without having to invest in additional equipment.
- Very small camera that’s comfortable to use in public and can be used in very creative ways.
- Magnetic mount is surprisingly useful.
- Wide angle that is ideal for multiple shots and point of view.
- Can shoot in 4k video resolution and do slow motion.
- Great on-board audio.
- The video quality is soft. You’ll look great on camera but the your clips won’t be as sharp as the GoPro. Also this camera tends to blow out the sky.
Must have accessories:
Adventure combo – Get the camera, four batteries and an extension rod.
DJI wireless microphone – You can attach wireless mic to the Action 3 for high quality audio. The only slight issue is how to properly hide the microphone when doing talking head shots.
Lumix S5 II – Best camera for film makers
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 quite ergonomic and comfortable. 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.
It has a wide range of pro features like:
- Built-in stabilization.
- Can record in 4k at 60 frames a second.
- Good, reliable autofocus.
- Bluetooth connection of the camera to your phone or tablet.
- Cine-d color profile.
- A full frame sensor with a good lens selection.
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.
- Excellent in-body stabilization.
- 4k at 60 frames a second.
- Cine D Color profile.
- Video centric full-frame camera.
- Dual card slots.
- Articulating touch screen.
- The lens ecosystem could be better developed.
- Sigma 16-28– This is a must have lens for this system. A great zoom lens for recording yourself and the ability to punch in on a subject when needed.
Sony ZV1 – The best budget camera
The Sony ZV1 is Sony’s dedicated vlogging camera. It has many exciting features that vloggers will love and is ideal for anyone looking for a hybrid camera that can be used for vlogging and studio recording.
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.
- Impressive image quality and can blur the background slightly digitally.
- Flip out screen to frame yourself.
- Shoots in 4k, can do slow motion and has a zoom lens.
- Has a dedicated tripod to enhance it’s usefulness.
- Slow motion and useful time lapse features for b-roll.
- 24mm is tight on the face. If you want a wide angle look you won’t get it with this camera.
- Video footage is a bit shaky and not smooth like other vlogging options such as the GoPro.
- No interchangeable lenses.
Must have accessory
- ZV-1 tripod – This is designed specifically for use with this camera and comes with a nice selection of on-board buttons to control the camera with ease.
Sony X3000 – The best pocket camera
The Sony X3000 is a cult favorite among YouTube vloggers. With its best-in-class audio, wide-angle field of view, ability to shoot in multiple framerates, 4k recording ability, and the functionality to use an external microphone, the X3000 is one of the best vlogging cameras available (if you can get find one).
This action camera came out a few years ago and is no longer made by Sony as they’ve moved on to other cameras like the ZV-E10 and the ZV-1. If you can find this action camera, consider getting one, as it’s a fun camera to use for making YouTube vlogs.
With your purchase, it comes with a monitor that connects to the camera via Bluetooth and a waterproof case so you can record underwater with the Sony X3000. This is one of the few truly pocketable cameras as well.
- Boss stabilization for smooth video.
- Excellent, best in action camera class audio.
- Ability to shoot in 4k at 30 FPS and 1080 at 60 FPS.
- Multiple viewing angles including wide, medium and narrow.
- Small, light and fits in your pocket.
- Video quality is acceptable, but it’s starting to show it’s age.
- Wind noise ruins the audio, you’ll need a small wind muff.
- They are hard to find as Sony no longer makes this camera but the demand for it is high. You can use Sony’s store locator to find one if not available at your local retailer.
Must have accessory:
Shooting grip – This tripod is designed for the X3000. It can be used as a tripod, grip to hold the camera and has a section to clip in the X3000 monitor.
Logitech Brio – A best webcam for tutorials
The Brio is the best in class webcam. It can shoot up to 4k at 60 FPS and produces high quality video. In fact, this webcam can record up to 90 FPS if you find yourself needing to do slow motion with a webcam.
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 Logitech Brio. If you’re serious about streaming and don’t want to use a DSLR or mirrorless camera with your laptop then I strongly recommend this webcam.
- 4k recording (no records in 4k for streaming yet but it’s good to future proof).
- Up to 90 FPS.
- Three built in angle presets.
- As close as you can get to DSLR/mirrorless quality video.
- Price point for this webcam is high.
- Poor white balance and the video clips will need color correction (which you can do in the settings.
Logitech Streamcam – Best YouTube streaming camera
Next on the list is the Streamcam. With the growth in popularity of streaming on YouTube, Logitech made a dedicated webcam that is a bit more color accurate than the Brio.
So how does the Brio and the Streamcam stack up to one another? First the Brio has a better field of view with it’s three angle presets. So if you want wide, you’ll want the Brio.
Where the Streamcam stands out is the video quality. Colors are beautiful and accurate and it produces and overall more pleasing video However, you don’t get 4k recording.
- Good video quality that’s color accurate.
- Up to 60 FPS recording.
- Helpful software for customizing the colors like all Logitech webcams.
- No 4k recording.
- Significantly more expensive than the C922 but only slightly better in video quality.
Logitech C922 – Best budget webcam for YouTube
This is the best webcam for streaming as well as screen capture software. If you’re creating tutorials and want to have a picture in picture shot where you’re in the corner, you can achieve that look with this affordable webcam.
If you decide you don’t want to setup a camera as a webcam and would prefer the ease of use of a plug and play webcam, the C922 is one of the best. It provides clear video, good colors, a wider angle than your built in webcam and works by simply plugging it into any USB slot.
If you’ve been looking to stream on YouTube or you want to create tutorials using picture in picture shots, get the C922 or use a camera with a clean HDMI output like the budget friendly SL3.
- 1080P webcam.
- Good built in audio and video.
- Works by plug and play and is compatible with streaming software.
- A good choice for YouTube short, talking head videos.
- No 4k recording.
- 60 FPS can only be recorded at 720p.
iPhone 14 – 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 wide-angle, high-quality 4k video recording. 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 at 24p on top of that.
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. In fact, I have to say it rivals my Canon 90D with the Sigma 18-35 lens in terms of quality. As this is a phone, you may want to consider getting a grip and microphone for it.
- It’s a phone so you’ll always have it on you.
- Wide angle camera and good front facing camera for narration shots.
- Built in iMovie to edit your vlogs.
- Cinematic mode, 4k and slow motion.
- It’s your phone and you’ll most likely have sensitive data on it.
- You run the risk of breaking your phone or having it stolen if you’re vlogging with it.
- You may fill up your storage which can get quite annoying when you want to use your phone for personal use.
Must have accessories:
iPhone vlogging kit – A helpful kit for recording video with a phone, microphone and a tripod to hold.
Best YouTube Camera Conclusion
That is my guide on the best cameras for studio recording for YouTube. From using cameras 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. Don’t think you need to spend much money to produce quality YouTube videos.
What I personally use for my videos is the Canon 90D and the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 lens or the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 wide angle lens.
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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