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The 5 best vlogging cameras: Finally start that YouTube channel

What is the best vlogging camera? The Sony ZV-E10 is ZDNet's top choice because of its mirrorless technology and 24.2MP camera. We researched and compared cameras by their size, stabilization and digital zoom capabilities, weight, sensors, and flip screen features -- all to determine our No. 1 pick and several other honorable mentions.
josh-slate
Written by Josh Slate, Contributor on

People who want to log their days can now do so through videos or vlogs rather than blogging and journaling. But talking to a camera and sharing your day on the internet can be a pain in the... arm if you have a big, heavy camera. These cameras are all small, and all of their bodies weigh less than one pound.

But don't let the size of the camera confuse you. These units are powerful and can capture amazing videos. In fact, all of the cameras included in this list have more than 20 megapixels (MP) and impressive stabilization and digital zoom capabilities. 

Whether you are creating content for YouTube or simply documenting key family memories, the quality of your video should be a top priority. Consider these cameras before making your next big investment in a content-capturing device.

Must read:

Specs

  • Megapixels: 24.2 MP
  • Body weight: .8 pounds
  • Digital zoom: Depends on lens
  • Video resolution: 4k
  • Frames per second: Up to 120 fps

When it comes to cameras, Sony has officially surpassed Canon and Nikon as the top camera brand and it couldn't be more evident with this camera. With 4k video capabilities and the ability to capture 120 fps, your videos will be incredibly clear and have impressive quality even when put in slo-motion.

Personally, I didn't know cameras of this size and type could be mirrorless and have the ability to have interchangeable lenses. But, this camera can be purchased with an assortment of lenses, but it is most commonly used with the 16-50mm lens.

At $800 when purchased with the lens included, this camera is on the more expensive side of the vlogging camera industry. Even so, this camera is a top-of-the-line device and if you want the best experience to kick off your vlogs, this camera is the one for you.

Pros

  • Interchangeable lens
  • High-megapixel camera
  • Has a 3" LCD touch screen

Cons

  • One of the most expensive of this type

Specs

  • Megapixels: 24.1 MP
  • Body weight: .58 pounds
  • Digital zoom: Depends on the lens
  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Frames per second: Up to 120 fps

There are many similarities between this Canon EOS M200 and the Sony Alpha ZV-E10 including being mirrorless, having interchangeable lenses, and their 24.1MP capabilities. But, the biggest difference is the price. At just $550, this camera can do many of the things the expensive counterparts can do at only a portion of the price.

With 4k video replacing the typical 1080p resolution, having a camera capable of producing that quality is essential when investing in a camera. This 4k-capable camera comes with an EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 lens in the kit - perfect for starting your daily vlogs or home video collection.

To make it easier to vlog, this Canon EOS M200 features a 3" LCD touch screen that is able to be adjusted to various angles so you can see what your camera sees all the time. 

Pros

  • One of the cheapest mirrorless cameras
  • Interchangeable lens
  • Light-weight

Cons

  • Only 4 fps in burst mode
  • 4k shoots at 25 fps

Specs

  • Megapixels: 23 MP
  • Body weight: .34 pounds
  • Digital zoom: 2x
  • Video resolution: 5.3K
  • Frames per second: Up to 240 fps

GoPros have become a staple in sports photography. With over 30 mounts and accessories, you can attach this camera to virtually anything. Additionally, there isn't an environment where you can't use this camera. With a tough build and waterproof capabilities up to 33 feet.

Though the camera is primarily for capturing content while in action, using this camera to vlog could be perfect if you film in extreme conditions. At just $400, this camera has the capability to film 5.3K resolution at 60 fps - something no other camera on this list has. On top of the incredible resolution, there are screens on both the front and back of the camera body for creators to make sure their shots are perfect.

Read the review: GoPro HERO10 Black review

Pros

  • 5.3K resolution at 60 fps
  • HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization
  • Incredibly durable body

Cons

  • Battery life isn't great
  • More expensive without a yearly subscription

Specs

  • Megapixels: 20.1 MP
  • Body weight: .67 pounds
  • Digital zoom: 4.2x
  • Video resolution: 4k
  • Frames per second: Up to 120 fps

The photography industry is very brand loyal. As a Canon user myself, I will continue to buy these products until something incredible makes me swap. Without an interchangeable lens, the listed weight of this camera is actually how much it weighs. Vlogging demands a steady hand, and there's no better way to ensure steadiness than with a lightweight camera. Along with being lightweight, it is also one of the smallest vlogging cameras of this quality.

This camera has the ability to shoot 4k video at 30 fps, along with the ability to live stream to Youtube directly from your camera. If you want a higher frame rate, you can get 120 fps with 1080p resolution. If you decide you want to use this camera to get photos as well as video, this device can shoot at 30 fps in RAW burst mode.

Pros

  • Fantastic fps in RAW burst mode
  • Lightweight camera
  • 8.3 fps continuous shooting

Cons

  • Lower megapixel than some of the cheaper competitors
  • Image stabilizer reduces image blur

Specs

  • Megapixels: 21 MP
  • Body weight: .65 pounds
  • Digital zoom: 44x
  • Video resolution: 4k
  • Frames per second: Up to 120 fps

When spending your dollar on a vlogging camera, you should also take into account all the other things you can use the camera for. Whether it be landscape photography, sports photography, or videography, versatility is key in the camera industry. With the capability to shoot up to 21 fps in continuous shooting, this camera is for more than just video.

This camera features shutter speeds ranging from 30- 1/32000 and a burst rate of 24 fps to create incredible opportunities to capture moving objects. Like most of the other cameras on this list, this device features a 3" LCD touchscreen with is adjustable so you can see what you're filming. 

Pros

  • 21 fps for continuous shooting
  • 44x digital zoom and 2.7x optical zoom
  • Great autofocus

Cons

  • Battery life is bad
  • Stabilization is alright at best

What is the best vlogging camera?

The best vlogging camera is the Sony Alpha ZV-E10 due to its pristine video quality and ability to swap lenses. Though the camera is small in size, the technology engrained in this product is incredible. Like the Canon PowerShot G7 X MIII, this camera is mirrorless and has the capability to use multiple lenses to capture content.

While yes, it is the best option in our opinion, there are plenty of options out there including GoPro and Canon products. Here's a table to compare the key features and prices of these best vlogging cameras.

Vlogging camera

Price

Megapixels

Body weight

Sony Alpha ZV-E10

$800

24.2 MP

.8 pounds

Canon EOS M200

$550

24.1 MP

.58 pounds

GoPro HERO10

$400

23 MP

.34 pounds

Canon PowerShot G7 X MIII

$750

20.1 MP

.67 pounds

Sony ZV-1

$648

21 MP

.65 pounds

Which is the right vlogging camera for you?

Each person has a different use for every product out there. Consider this chart before making your purchase to find out which vlogging camera is best for you.

Choose this vlogging camera

If you…

Sony Alpha ZV-E10

Are serious about capturing video and want to create quality content.

Canon EOS M200

Want to starting filming but don't want to break the bank.

GoPro HERO10 Black

Need a camera that can withstand the element of water, dirt, wind, and snow.

Canon PowerShot G7 X MIII

Are a loyal Canon customer and want to continue with their line of products.

Sony ZV-1

Want to use your camera for more than just video.

How did we choose these vlogging cameras?

Size, weight, camera quality, and price. These are just a few of the important details we looked at when selecting which vlogging camera is the best. 

I am fairly new to the "professional" photography realm, only buying my first DSLR just a few weeks ago. But, I've been shooting photography for over three years, so I know what to look for when deciding which camera to purchase. 

While these cameras aren't the DSLRs I'm used to, the technology within these cameras put them as solid alternatives for a casual photographer who wants an easily portable camera. 

What equipment do you need for vlogging?

To start vlogging, all you need is a camera and an SD card to store your footage. But, if you are serious about this form of content creation, you will likely need a tripod, editing software on your computer, an attachable microphone, as well as more minor accessories along the way.

What should I look for when buying a vlogging camera?

Like all cameras, making sure your camera's megapixel count is high is the best starting point. Additionally, you'll want a camera that can handle the lowest aperture and shoot in 4k, or at least 1080p.

Do you need a flip screen for vlogging?

In short, yes if you want good quality videos. Without a flip screen, you will be unable to see what your camera is pointing at.

Are there alternative vlogging cameras worth considering?

The phrase, "a photographer is only as good as his camera," couldn't be more false. While, yes, having an advanced, high-quality camera helps, it ultimately comes down to the person using the camera. While the five vlogging cameras included in this list are the best ones on the market, here are a couple alternatives to consider before making your purchase.

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