Best Digital Cameras for Vlogging in 2019

If you’ve embarked on video storytelling and intend to share this with your audience through a YouTube channel, investing in the right camera will be key to your success. What are the best digital cameras for YouTube vlogging in 2019 and what makes them solid choices?

It’s more than finding a camera with video capability; at the core, you want a system that highlights your style as a vlogger and makes it easy to edit, upload and share your work.

Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to transfer files to your computer or smartphone for fast editing, while high video resolution produces sharper images, particularly at distances. Adding a microphone through a jack produces better sound quality, and a selfie-friendly flip screen means you can verify your scene and framing on the fly.

fast-focusing camera captures street scenes or action better, and the overall weight and size of your camera helps you decide if you’ll have it with you all the time or only on those occasions when you intend to vlog.

The style of your vlogging, such as lifestyle versus single-subject or studio instead of outdoors, also influences your decision. Budget may be part of your considerations, particularly if you aren’t yet sure how much you’ll be using the camera. Here are our picks for the best cameras for YouTube vlogging broken out by videoing style and location categories.

7 Best YouTube Vlogging Cameras

  • Best Overall: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III
  • Best Underwater: GoPro HERO7 Black
  • Best for Street Candids: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G95
  • Best for Outdoors Action: Sony Alpha a6500
  • Best DSLR: Canon EOS Rebel T7i
  • Best Pocket Gimbal: DJI Osmo Pocket
  • Best Budget: Nikon COOLPIX A1000

Best Overall: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

canon powershot g7 x mark iii
  • Camera Type: Compact
  • Wi-Fi Transfer: Yes
  • Video Resolution: 4K
  • Microphone Jack: Yes
  • Selfie (Flip) Screen: Yes
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Weight: .7 lbs.

The G7 X III stands out in the vlogging crowd for its pocket size, great zoom capability (effective focal length of 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8), and swivel touchscreen. Image stabilization adjusts for handshake as you’re shooting, and the auto-leveling function keeps your horizons straight. Once you’re done, transfers via Wi-Fi are easy.

The fast lens capability and wide ISO can’t be stressed enough on this camera, because they allow you to range from low light to fast action without missing a vlogging opportunity. Flip the touchscreen into an angle that works best to monitor the action and change your focal point and other adjustments with a tap of your finger. If you want to capture still images instead, this full function camera can do it all.

Users note that battery life on this camera is short, so you’ll need to keep extras charged. Autofocusing precision can be iffy when you don’t adjust your focal point to your subject, so keep your face in view for self-portrait vlogs and tap on your subject for distance work. This camera makes it fun because you can keep it in your pocket, shoot your vlogs as the spirit moves you, and upload them to your YouTube channel through your phone in quick order.

Best Underwater: GoPro HERO7 Black

gopro hero7 black
  • Camera Type: Action
  • Wi-Fi Transfer: Yes
  • Video Resolution: 4K
  • Microphone Jack: No
  • Selfie (Flip) Screen: No
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Weight: .3 lbs.

Some might consider a GoPro more toy than camera, but if you want to live-stream your vlog to YouTube, this will be your pocket or helmet beast. This waterproof camera is designed for ruggedness and durability for your action work. A redesigned internal microphone reported has improved GoPro’s previous poor or inconsistent audio quality.

If you intend to shoot in typically wet or underwater conditions down to 33 feet, it will be your camera of choice. Its new gimbal-style HyperSmooth software covers your optical stabilization needs when you’re bouncing on a rough road or river rapids. A new TimeWarp video feature allows you to create time lapse movies as well.

This is not a full function camera and will not do your still image work. Some users complain that the voice-activated command functions still can be hit or miss. During adrenaline-rush action, though, this new GoPro will be a useful tool in your vlogging gear.

Best for Street Candids: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G95

panasonic lumix dmc g95
  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Wi-Fi Transfer: Yes
  • Video Resolution: 4K
  • Microphone Jack: Yes
  • Selfie (Flip) Screen: Yes
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Weight: .9 lbs.

Entering the world of interchangeable lenses and mirrorless sensors creates new opportunities for your YouTube vlogging. If you’re shooting scenes where your silence and ability to blend in are keys to success, this is the kind of camera you’re after. Other models in this family of Panasonics appear on many comparative review lists, but for its video capability and long list of features, the G95 has them beat.

The level of detail you’ll achieve in your videos with 120 frames per second capture will be intense. In addition to an adjustable touchscreen, you can command your videos through a smartphone app. This makes it a solid choice for field work or small studio imaging when you’re working solo as both video subject and videographer.

As you’ll frequently find with mirrorless camerasbattery life is short. Users report a little noise in resulting videos in high ISO situations such as you’d experience if you’re shooting in low light with auto settings. That’s a short list of shortcomings when compared to having a quiet option for videography under a range of possible conditions, a place where the G95 shines.Click to See Price

Best for Outdoors Action: Sony Alpha a6500

sony alpha a6500
  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Wi-Fi Transfer: Yes
  • Video Resolution: 4K
  • Microphone Jack: Yes
  • Selfie (Flip) Screen: Yes
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Weight: 1.0 lbs.

In the category of mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses, this Sony makes your outdoor and indoor videography easy. Vid resolution at 4K gives you crisp vlogs, while an ultra-fast 120 frames per second setting allows you slow down the action too. Add an external mic to give your audio even better quality and depth.

While this would also make a good studio option for vloggers, it excels in the outdoors in both high light and low light conditions. The 425 focusing points give you endless flexibility, and face detection technology allows the focus to follow a specific individual subject, including you in the scene. Live-view on the touchscreen lets you know what you’re capturing in real time.

Some consumers report Sony lenses require calibration out of the box; this can often be achieved through a USB-connected firmware adjustment. Others say color may require more post-production adjustment on your photo editing monitor with this system. However, if you want a reliable, high-quality camera with the freedom to select the kinds of lenses best for your YouTube vlogging, use this Sony to blend into your scenes and give your audience videos they’ll want to view again and again.

Best DSLR: Canon EOS Rebel T7i

canon eos rebel t7i
  • Camera Type: DSLR
  • Wi-Fi Transfer: Yes
  • Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Microphone Jack: Yes
  • Selfie (Flip) Screen: Yes
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs.

The primary reason to buy a DSLR for your vlogging is full capability options for all types of still and video imaging situations. Sometimes you might want stills as a companion for your vlogs or you might find yourself doing both stock photo and personal vlogging work with the same camera. If you aren’t yet sure vlogging is for you but you regularly point-and-shoot stills for your blog, the T7i makes a great addition to your gear flexibility.

This latest Rebel offers almost everything you need in a camera body with interchangeable T7i lens options. The one thing it lacks is 4K video resolution, so consider your followers and how they might be watching what you produce. If most of their YouTube viewing happens on smaller screens, this might not be an issue for you.

The lenses you select will determine if you have image stabilization for your system. Having interchangeable lenses gives you much more flexibility than the fixed options elsewhere on our list. If you aren’t yet sure how much time you’ll spend on vlogging alone, this budget entry into the DSLR market gives you more options for future hobbyist or professional work.

Best Pocket Gimbal: DJI Osmo Pocket

dji osmo pocket
  • Camera Type: Compact gimbal
  • Wi-Fi Transfer: Yes
  • Video Resolution: 4K
  • Microphone Jack: No
  • Selfie (Flip) Screen: Smartphone app
  • Image stabilization: Yes – gimbal
  • Weight: .3 lbs.

This is a different breed of vlogging capability; think 360-degree wildlife or street scenes where the subject is your surroundings. Other uses include shooting real estate, design and construction, and many professional vlog opportunities. The unit fits in your pocket and is relatively inconspicuous when you raise it above your head to shoot.

What’s neat about a gimbal is that it corrects your angle and keeps your video horizon straight and constant. Dual built-in mics use advanced noise-cancelling technology to balance audio input. You can connect the DJI to your smartphone if you want to watch in real time on a larger screen.

Accessories for this camera are optional separate purchases, and the camera itself is not as durable as a GoPro. Audio quality is reported to be inadequate at times despite recent system upgrades. If you want miniaturized vlogging capability, though, and amazing time lapse videos, slip this DJI into your hand for a test run.

Best Budget: Nikon COOLPIX A1000

nikon coolpix a1000
  • Camera Type: Compact
  • Wi-Fi Transfer: Yes
  • Video Resolution: 4K
  • Microphone Jack: No
  • Selfie (Flip) Screen: Yes
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Weight: .6 lbs.

This Nikon Coolpix camera comes out as our budget favorite for all it can do and in a small package too. Older models in this line are cheaper, but you’ll sacrifice some of the latest and greatest features, like upgraded optical stabilization. Its effective focal range of 24-840mm f/3.4-6.9 makes it a superzoom, ideal for vlogging about street action as well as studio tripod work.

While there is no external microphone jack, improvements to the internal mic are said to produce excellent stereo sound. Transfers to your YouTube account can happen through both Wi-Fi and USB links, and both shooting and transfers can be controlled through a smartphone app. In addition to videography, this camera excels in still imaging conditions.

Battery life is short, so invest in more of the proprietary batteries and keep them charged. Some users complain about the ergonomics of the body, saying it isn’t the easiest camera to cradle in your hand. All the more reason to use this in-studio and get your vlog out to your audience with ease.

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