If you’re looking for the best video camera for blogging in 2017, I’ve put together a list of things to look out for. After lots of testing and research, I believe these are the best.
I’ve compiled a list of 8 best video cameras for blogging but I’ll only share the first 2 with you. These two that I’ve chosen are the most popular and in demand. I will also add what I believe is the best camera for creating video blogs.
Today we are going to take a look at the best video camera to use while blogging. It’s not an item I’ve purchased myself. However, I have spoken to many blogging veterans and asked them which camera they use.
Best video camera for blogging
Social media dominates all, and there’s a good chance you already vlog on YouTube, Twitch or TikTok. There are endless amounts of tutorials, video game playthroughs, podcasts — you name it. Whether you’re an amateur or trying to hit it big as a professional vlogger, you need a good vlogging camera to do so. The days of potato-quality, grainy footage are over. For the best image and sound possible, we have a few suggestions.
A good starting point is to decide what kind of video recording you want to do. You don’t need to spend thousands or even hundreds of dollars on a high-end DSLR camera if you can easily get the video quality you want with your phone or a webcam with a microphone. Also, a good vlogging camera doesn’t have to cost a fortune or shoot 4K video. Most of the affordable vlogging cameras have features such as optical image stabilization, slow motion, autofocus, LCD touchscreens, low-light sensitivity, external mic input and more.
If livestreaming is a priority (which may or may not be for someone interested in YouTube vlogging), you might need additional hardware beyond a camera. I’ll include suggestions for that, as well as other accessories to consider, following the cameras’ details.
With a small handful of exceptions, every vlog camera listed here has been fully reviewed or anecdotally tested by me or other CNET editors. Those exceptions in the accessories sections are based on positive Amazon user reviews and additional word-of-mouth accolades. I’ll periodically update this list of the best vlogging cameras. Happy video recording and streaming!
DJI OM 5
Best default YouTube rig: Your phone and this gimbal
DJI’s latest phone gimbal, the OM 5, uses a clever folding system and magnetic phone clamp to pack down to a pocketable size. Add to that a solid battery life, impressive performance and a neat built-in extending selfie stick. The OM 5 is a great choice for mobile creatives wanting to shoot better-looking video without carrying a big camera setup with them.
Read our DJI OM 5 gimbal review.
$129 at Amazon
Best PC webcam for vertical video
Whether you’re looking to do a quick how-to from your computer, want to stream yourself while you game or anything in between, the simplest option for your vlog is a compact camera that doesn’t need to move from your computer. Yes, we’re speaking about the noble webcam. True, you won’t be able to move around too much, but this vlog camera is pretty much a plug-and-play experience because you don’t need an encoder.
Our top pick for vlogging is the $125 Logitech StreamCam because it is purpose-built for streaming at up to 1080p at 60fps. And this cheap vlogging camera is designed to be mounted horizontally or vertically.
It’s worth noting that because of the increased demand for webcams, many camera-makers including Canon, Nikon, GoPro, Sony, Panasonic and others have made it possible to use some of their camera models as a webcam without additional equipment. Check out our list of best webcams for more options.
$140 at Amazon
GoPro Hero 10 Black
Best camera for vlogging wet-and-wild YouTube videos
From its small waterproof design to its incredible image stabilization to its excellent video quality, the Hero 10 Black is one of the most versatile GoPro cameras you can get for creating YouTube vlog gold. You can use the GoPro Hero Black as a studio camera, but it’s really an action camera made for video recording on the move.
Adding to the argument in its favor are the Mods designed to make the Hero 10 Black even more vlogging-friendly. The main Media Mod is a housing that adds a directional mic as well as a 3.5mm external mic jack for additional mic input, an HDMI output and two cold shoes. Display and Light Mods can then be slotted into the shoes to brighten your shots and let you see yourself when you’re in front of the camera. And if you want to livestream, you can do it through GoPro’s mobile app. I do recommend buying it from GoPro and taking advantage of its deal that knocks the price down to $400 ($150 off) if you sign up for a year of its cloud storage service that’s included in that price.
$350 at GoPro
Point-and-shoot video camera
Sony turned its RX100 enthusiast compact into a good camera for vlogging with faster autofocus and a quick way to defocus backgrounds. It gives you a big image sensor and a bright lens for better video quality even when you’re working with low light. This Sony camera has a flip-out LCD screen so you can see yourself when you’re shooting. It has a handgrip and mics better suited for selfies. And the Sony ZV 1 has a clean HDMI output, too, so you don’t have camera settings and info in your video if you output to an external recorder, encoder or display.
See it at Sony.
$748 at Amazon
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5
This Panasonic Lumix GH5 mirrorless digital camera might be shaped like a traditional SLR camera, but the GH5 was built for video. You’ll find all the features you need in a camera for vlogging, and then some, regardless of your experience level, and it’s all wrapped up in a splash-, dust- and freezeproof body.
Panasonic released its update, the GH6, earlier this year. It, too, is aimed at video shooters, offering a greater range of resolutions and quality settings compared to the GH5. However, it comes with a steep $2,200 price. The GH5 should continue to meet the needs of many and with a lower $1,298 price, you’ll have room in your budget to get a lens or two also.
Read our Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5 hands-on.
$1,398 at Amazon
Best vlogging camera for on-location YouTube livestreaming (Update: Unavailable)
Mevo Start lets you create the look of a multicamera shoot with a single small camera. It lets you stream 1080p video live to every major platform instantly with the Mevo app for up to 6 hours without an external power source. It can also simultaneously record high-quality 1080p video to a microSD card in the camera.
Livestreaming can be done by connecting both a mobile device and the camera to the same Wi-Fi network, or you can directly connect by Wi-Fi to the camera and use your phone’s LTE mobile broadband signal to stream. Or, you can use a power-over-Ethernet adapter to power the camera and stream with a wired connection. The Mevo Start also has NDI HX built into the camera that’ll work on your network with either a wired or wireless connection.
The mobile app is the true star of the show here, though, as it lets you use its high-resolution sensor to create multiple tight and wide shots, and switch between them with a tap on the screen. Or, you can have the software automatically track people and switch between shots.
$399 at Best Buy$430 at Amazon
Getting great video for YouTube requires a little more than the best vlogging camera and Wi-Fi connection. You’ll want good lighting and audio, too. And if you’re planning to stream, you might need a capture card or encoder to get video from your camera and up on YouTube or other video-sharing sites.
Lume Cube Panel Mini
Best mobile light
The compact Lume Cube Panel Mini gives you a bright boost when you don’t have enough light but still fits in a pocket. It puts out a lot of light that’s adjustable in 5% increments and the color is adjustable too, from 3200K to 5600K in 100K increments — all done with a small toggle wheel on the side. It charges via its USB-C port and can run for up to 14 hours (just not at 100%) and it can be plugged in and run that way as well.
It comes with a diffuser to help soften its light and the compact, lightweight design and a cold shoe mount so you can just slide it on your camera and start shooting. It also has standard tripod mounts on the bottom and side.
The VC kit, which stands for video conferencing, comes with a small suction cup mount that you can easily stick to your phone, tablet or display for brightening your face or subject without having to reposition the light every time you move your camera.
See it at Lume Cube.
$70 at Amazon
Best on-camera microphone
An external microphone is a must for high-quality vlogging. When it comes to mobile or on-camera mics, I lean toward Rode’s microphones, such as the SmartLav Plus and the VideoMicro (shown here, mounted on a DSLR).
$50 at Amazon
Blue Yeti microphone
Best studio microphone
Whether it’s the long-standing favorite Yeti or its new $99 Ember XLR mic, Blue continues to make some of the best studio and livestreaming mics for the money.
Read our Blue Yeti USB review.
$115 at Amazon
Atomos Ninja V portable monitor and recorder
Monitors like the Ninja V not only give you a better view of what you’re shooting, including seeing your framing when you’re working solo, but also let you continuously record to their built-in storage. The Ninja V, for example, has an internal 1TB SSD so you can record up to 150 minutes of 4K video. Along with monitoring and recording, it also supports playback so you can instantly make sure you got the shot you wanted. And it’s not just for cameras: You can also use the Ninja V for video game capture and playback at 4K resolution in HDR.
$499 at Amazon
Magewell 53010 Ultra Stream HDMI Encoder
Best hardware encoder
If you want to livestream from most cameras, you’ll need a hardware encoder like the Magewell. It allows you to connect HDMI and USB audio and video sources and stream from them to YouTube, Twitch or Facebook over Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It has an HDMI output, too, so you can monitor your stream.
See it at Magewell.
$450 at Amazon
Elgato HD60 S
Best game-capture card
A software encoder will let you stream your PC games and webcam video to YouTube and Twitch. However, console players will need a capture card like the HD60 S. Connect this to your Nintendo Switch, PlayStation or Xbox and then to a PC or Mac and a display, and it will capture your gameplay and set you up for streaming. The included software will help you mix in webcam video as well.
See it at Elgato.
$170 at Amazon