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The Best Camera for YouTube Videos (13 Reviewed)

The Best Camera for YouTube Videos (13 Reviewed)

Creating videos for YouTube is an exciting way to showcase your creativity, connect with an audience, and even monetise your passion. YouTube provides a massive video-sharing platform with almost a billion monthly logged-in users. However, creating compelling YouTube content requires more than a smartphone and clever ideas. The right camera equipment can significantly improve your video quality and production value.

What to Consider When Choosing a Camera for YouTube Videos?

Youtube Content Creators Best

When selecting a camera specifically for YouTube, there are a few key factors to take into account:

Video Resolution

YouTube supports video uploads in standard definition (SD), 720p HD, and 1080p Full HD. While SD resolution is acceptable, most popular YouTube channels utilise 720p or 1080p. Higher video resolution allows your footage to take advantage of larger screens and improved playback quality.

Frame Rate

The frame rate determines how smooth the motion in your video footage will look. Typical frame rates are 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps. While 24fps is the standard for cinematic filmmaking, 30fps or 60fps are recommended for YouTube since they'll prevent choppy panning shots or action sequences.

Low-Light Performance

You don't always have optimal lighting conditions when filming YouTube videos. Choosing a camera with good low-light capabilities and manual exposure controls will help you adapt to subpar lighting situations.

Autofocus Capabilities

YouTube production often involves a single videographer. Having great autofocus allows you to nail focus without a dedicated camera operator or assistant. Look for quick, accurate autofocus and valuable tools like face/eye tracking.

Connectivity

The ability to output clean video footage to an external recorder, monitor, or streaming platform is essential—Prioritise cameras with HDMI-out, clean HDMI feed, and live streaming abilities.

Audio Quality

Don't rely solely on your camera's built-in microphone. You'll achieve much better YouTube sound quality by recording audio separately with an external mic. Just make sure your camera has an audio input jack.

Weight and Portability

If you carry your YouTube camera around to shoot videos in different locations, keep weight and mobility in mind. Bulkier DSLRs can become uncomfortable over long filming sessions.

Best Cameras for YouTube by Category

Best Camera For Youtubers In 2021

Several categories of cameras are well-suited for creating YouTube content at different budget levels.

Best Mirrorless Camera for YouTube

Mirrorless cameras provide an excellent balance of video quality, features, and portability. Unlike bulkier DSLRs, they maintain a slim form factor and lighter body. Many popular YouTube creators rely on compact yet powerful mirrorless cameras.

Sony a6600

  • 24MP APS-C image sensor
  • Up to 4K 30p video
  • Five-axis in-body image stabilisation
  • Fast, accurate autofocus with Real-Time Tracking
  • Flip-out rear LCD touchscreen
  • Long battery life (810 shots)
  • Mic input, HDMI output
  • Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity
Sale
Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera
  • World’s fastest AF at 0 02 sec with real-time AF and Object tracking
  • 24 2MP APS-C Exmor sensor with front end LSI and ISO up to 102 400
  • Wide 425-phase/425-contrast detection AF points over 84% of sensor
  • Up to 11fps continuous shooting at 24 2MP RAW with AF/AE tracking
  • Real-time AF Tracking Real-time Eye AF for human animal movie

Priced around $1,000 (body only), the Sony a6600 delivers stellar image quality thanks to its large APS-C sensor and fast BIONZ X processing engine. It supports Full HD and 4K video at high frame rates with five-axis stabilisation for smooth handheld shooting. Fast autofocus, mic input, headphone jack, and clean HDMI output make it a superb mirrorless camera for YouTube.

Canon EOS M50

  • 24MP APS-C sensor
  • 4K 24/25p video
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Eye AF Servo
  • Vari-angle touchscreen LCD
  • Built-in electronic viewfinder
  • External mic port
  • Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity
Sale
Canon EOS R50 Mirrorless Vlogging Camera (Black) w/RF-S18-45mm F4.5-6.3 is STM Lens, 24.2 MP, 4K Video, Subject Detection & Tracking, Compact, Smartphone Connection, Content Creator
  • Compact, lightweight RF mount camera with a 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and DIGIC X processor.
  • 4K uncropped movie with Dual Pixel CMOS AF II at up to 30 fps oversampled from 6K and Full HD High-frame rate movie at up to 120 fps. Movie for Close-up Demo Mode quickly switches focus when a product is brought close to the camera.
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II covering up to 100% x 100% area with 651 AF zones with auto subject detection and tracking of people, animals, and vehicles using deep learning technology
  • Continuous shooting with 12 fps with Electronic First Curtain and 15 fps with Electronic Shutter.
  • Take great shots even in difficult settings with Advanced A+ Assist which offers an expanded array of auto-compatible scenes enabling greater expressive capability in auto mode, and built-in flash for shooting in dark environments or with backlit scenes.

The Canon EOS M50 punches above its $700 price point, offering 4K video recording, speedy Dual Pixel autofocus, and an external mic input. The various-angle touch screen lets you monitor yourself when filming solo. It even features live streaming integration.

Best DSLR for YouTube

DSLR cameras remain popular with YouTube creators thanks to their stellar image quality, extensive lens selections, reliability, and familiar ergonomics. Their larger camera body facilitates better heat dissipation for extended video recording.

Canon EOS 90D

  • 32MP APS-C sensor
  • Uncropped 4K 30p video
  • 45-point cross-type autofocus
  • Vari-angle touchscreen LCD
  • Mic input and headphone jack
  • Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity
Canon DSLR Camera [EOS 90D] with Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DIGIC 8 Image Processor, 4K Video, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and 3.0 Inch Vari-Angle Touch LCD Screen, [Body Only], Black
  • High image quality with 32.5 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor
  • High-speed continuous shooting of up to 10 fps with no time Lag during ovf shooting
  • 4K UHD 30P/ Full HD 120P video
  • 45-Point All Cross-type AF System supports up to 27 points with an F/8 metering
  • Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your Canon camera into a high-quality webcam, or do the same using a clean HDMI output.

Canon's EOS 90D DSLR offers exceptional quality for both stills and video. It achieves 4K recording without crop factor. The 32MP sensor affords the flexibility to crop/reframe shots in post-production. Fast autofocus, long battery life, ergonomic handling, and

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Vlogging-Specific Cameras

A dedicated point-and-shoot vlogging camera can simplify filming and editing for travel vlogs, unscripted talking head videos or daily video blogging. These typically include flip-out screens, image stabilisation, built-in mics, and wireless connectivity.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

  • 1″ stacked CMOS sensor
  • 4K video up to 30fps
  • Built-in ND filter
  • Fast 31-point autofocus
  • Vertical video support
  • Built-in live streaming
  • The touchscreen LCD flips 180° forward
  • Mic input, HDMI output
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III Digital Camera (Black) Bundle with SanDisk 64GB Memory Card, 12″ Flex Tripod, High Speed Card Reader + Photo Kit (20 Items)
  • This 20 Piece Bundle Kit includes: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III Digital Camera (Black), Battery and Charger, SanDisk 64GB SDHC Memory Card , Deluxe Padded Camera Bag , High Speed USB Card Reader , 12″ Flex Gripster Tripod, Table Top Tripod, Pack of LCD Screen Protectors, Camera and Lens Cleaning Kit
  • 20.2MP 1″ Stacked CMOS Sensor | DIGIC 8 Image Processor | Live Streaming & Vertical Video Support
  • 4.2x Optical Zoom f/1.8-2.8 Lens | 24-100mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 3.0″ 1.04m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD | UHD 4K30p and Full HD 120p Video
  • 20-fps Shooting, 30-fps Raw Burst Mode | Built-In Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Explicitly designed for vlogging and live streaming, the compact Canon G7 X III packs impressive video capabilities like 4K/30p recording and vertical video support into a shirt pocketable frame.

DJI Pocket 2

  • 1/1.7″ CMOS sensor
  • 4K video up to 60fps
  • 3-axis mechanical gimbal stabilisation
  • Slow motion up to 8x at 1080p
  • HDR video support
  • Built-in wide-angle and macro lenses
  • Pocket-size form factor
DJI Pocket 2 – Handheld 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer with 4K Camera, 1/1.7” CMOS, 64MP Photo, Pocket-Sized, ActiveTrack 3.0, Glamour Effects, YouTube TikTok Video Vlog, for Android and iPhone, Black
  • POCKET-SIZED: DJI Pocket 2 weighs only 116 g and offers up to 140 minutes of battery life. It fits perfectly in the palm of your hand so that you can take it anywhere. DJI Pocket 2 turns on in a second so you can capture photos and videos in an instant..Battery Capacity : 875 mAh, Voltage : 7.7 V. Energy : 6.738 Wh.
  • MOTORIZED STABILIZATION: A 3-axis gimbal stabilizes the camera for smooth video on the move. This technology is also great for a crisp photo at any time. The gimbal keeps the camera steady, even for long-exposure shots and in low-light environments.
  • HIGH IMAGE QUALITY: An upgraded 1/1.7-inch sensor captures images with 64MP photo and 4K video. A sweeping 20mm f/1.8 lens provides a wide, vivid cinematic look.
  • ENHANCED AUDIO: Consisting of four microphones, DJI Matrix Stereo offers sound recording in different directions, as well as Audio Zoom and SoundTrack, which enhance audio based on the camera's direction and focus.
  • GLAMOUR EFFECTS: Always share your best selfie with Glamour Effects. Boasting a 93° angle view, Pocket 2 allows for more flexible capture and perfectly-composed shots for social media.

The tiny yet mighty DJI Pocket 2 challenges much larger cameras with its professional calibre stabilisation, image quality, and modular design. It delivers beautifully smooth video footage that is perfect for vlogs and travel videos.

GoPro HERO10 Black

  • New higher-resolution 23MP sensor
  • 5.3K60, 4K120 video
  • HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilisation
  • Waterproof without housing
  • Rugged, durable construction
  • Built-in mount points
  • Extensive modifier ecosystem
GoPro Hero10 Waterproof 23MP Action Camera with Waith 50 in 1 Action Camera Accessory Kit, 128GB Memory Card and Waith Rechargeable Battery Bundle Set (Black)
  • High-Quality HDR Images: Enabled HDR for both video (5.3K and 4K) and photo modes to render more detail in your shadows and highlights. Capture up to 5.3K60 video or up to 23MP RAW photos with crisp details and cinematic image quality.
  • Compatibility: This 50 in 1 accessory kit allows you to make full use of your action camera. It is compatible with GoPro Hero11 Hero10 Hero9 Hero8 Hero7 Max Fusion Insta360 Osmo Action AKASO APEMAN and other action camera brands. This kit provides pretty much everything you need to use your action cam across various applications indoors and outdoors. And all the accessories fit in the included carry case.
  • High Quality Strage: 128GB UHS-I microSDXC Memory Card Perfect for high resolution photos, for recording and storing Full HD/4K videos.
  • Waith Rechargable 1720mAh Lithium Ion Battery: This high-capacity camera battery charges quickly and offers a smart, easy way to power up your other devices without needing to find an outlet or power bank.
  • What's Included: GoPro HERO10 Camera (Black), Waith 50 in 1 Action Camera Accessory Kit, Memory Card 128GB and Waith Rechargeable Battery (Black)

GoPro remains the industry leader when it comes to action cameras. The newest HERO10 Black captures professional-grade 5.3K and 4K video with advanced HyperSmooth stabilisation for incredibly immersive point-of-view footage. It's also nearly indestructible.

Best Camera for Streaming YouTube Live

Going live on YouTube requires reliable camera equipment with solid connectivity. These cameras excel specifically for live broadcast recording and streaming:

Sony FX3

  • 10.2MP full-frame sensor
  • 4K video up to 60fps
  • 16-bit RAW video output
  • Active cooling system
  • Retractable monitor
  • XLR handle unit
  • Multi-camera live streaming
Sale
Sony Alpha FX3 ILME-FX3 | Full-frame Cinema Line Camera
  • 4K full-frame sensor w/ 15+ stop dynamic range and high sensitivity
  • S-Cinetone for expressive cinematic look inspired by VENICE colorimetry
  • Up to 4K 120p 10-bit 4:2:2 and full pixel readout in all recording modes
  • Compact cage free design w/ ¼”-20 mounting points and XLR top handle
  • Uninterrupted 4K 60p recording with inbody cooling fan

Aimed at documentary shooters and one-person production crews, Sony's cinema line FX3 camera delivers broadcast-quality 4K, XLR audio input, and advanced streaming functionality like automatic camera switching during multi-view live events.

Canon XA55

  • 1” CMOS sensor
  • 4K 30fps, Full HD 60fps
  • Dual SD card slots
  • 20x optical zoom lens
  • Full manual control with ND filters
  • SDI and HDMI outputs
  • Live streaming integration
Canon XA55 Professional Camcorder Black
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 13.4
  • Max Focal Length: 382.5
  • Viewfinder Type: Lcd
  • Lens Type: Fixed

Canon's professional XA55 camcorder records pristine 4K or 1080p footage internally with pro-level controls and connectivity for streaming live events directly to YouTube.

Mevo Start

  • 150° wide-angle lens
  • 1080p streaming up to 30fps
  • Built-in gimbal stabilisation
  • SmartEdit editing software
  • Direct live streaming
  • Portable wireless design
Logitech for Creators Mevo Start, Wireless Live Streaming Camera, 1080p HD Video Quality, Intelligent App Control, Stream via LTE or Wi-Fi – Black
  • STUNNING HD VIDEO QUALITY — Live stream and record in stunning 1080p HD resolution with crisp, detailed imaging, right out of the box.
  • STREAM ANYWHERE — Go where the story takes you. Stream live from anywhere in the world using Wi-Fi, Ethernet or even your smartphone’s LTE network.
  • INTELLIGENT APP CONTROL — Wirelessly control your Mevo and create compelling content with features like Auto-Director, all from your smartphone.
  • MULTICAM MADE EASY — Connect up the three Mevo Start cameras to easily create broadcast-quality streams with multiple angles.
  • ADVANCED ONBOARD AUDIO — Capture clean, clear audio using the built-in microphone or connect external audio sources for advanced setups.

The ultra-portable Mevo Start allows solo creators to set up and live stream professional-looking videos in seconds thanks to its integrated gimbal, editing app, and wireless design. It currently supports streaming up to 1080p Full HD resolution.

Best Camera for Filmmaking on YouTube

Aspiring filmmakers often leverage YouTube to showcase cinematic short films, series pilots, or test shooting concepts. These cameras offer capabilities tailored specifically to narrative film production:

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K

  • Super 35 6K sensor
  • 6144 x 3456 30fps recording
  • 13 stops dynamic range
  • Canon EF lens mount
  • Large touchscreen display
  • Integrated metadata tagging
  • Lossless 12-bit RAW
Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro (Canon EF)
  • Country Of Origin :China
  • Package Dimensions :18.5Cm L X20.1Cm W X27.2Cm H
  • Package Weight :4.6Lbs
  • Product Type : Camrecorder
  • English (Publication Language)

Purpose-built for independent filmmakers, the Blackmagic 6K camera shoots 6K RAW video with 13 stops of dynamic range to take full advantage of professional colour grading and post-production workflows.

Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II

  • 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • C4K 60p unlimited recording
  • 5-axis IBIS, 4:2:0 10-bit
  • Weather-sealed magnesium body
  • High bitrate 400Mbps ALL-I
  • Waveform and vectorscope
  • 5.7K ProRes RAW output
Panasonic LUMIX GH5 4K Digital Camera, 20.3 Megapixel Mirrorless Camera with Digital Live MOS Sensor, 5-Axis Dual I.S. 2.0, 4K 4:2:2 10-Bit Video, Full-Size HDMI Out, 3.2-Inch LCD, DC-GH5 (Black)
  • Professional photo and video: 20.3 Megapixel micro four thirds sensor with no low pass filter to capture sharp images with a high dynamic range and artifact free performance
  • Splash or Freeze Proof Design: Freeze proof to 10 degrees the durable magnesium alloy body withstands heavy use in the field; Splash or dust proof construction with weather sealing on every Joint, dial and button
  • Dual image stabilization: 5 axis dual image stabilization corrects all lenses, including classic lenses not equipped with O. I. S, to eliminate Blur and nearly eliminate body and lens shake in both photo and 4K video recording
  • 4K video capture: Records silky smooth 4K 60P by 50P (QFHD 4K: 3840 x 2160 ; MOV or MP4) video with internal 4: 2: 2 10 bit 4K video recording, Plus exclusive 6K photo and 4K post focus records photos up to 60Fps
  • Connectivity and Ports: 3.5 millimeter audio port, connect to devices with USB 3.0, an external monitor or external Recorder with a full size HDMI port; Available Twin SD card slots (UHS II U3 compatible)

Panasonic's video-centric GH5 II mirrorless camera offers advanced production capabilities like 4K/60p recording, impressive image stabilisation, vectorscope monitoring, ALL-I 400Mbps internal codecs, and 5.7K external RAW output ideal for YouTube films requiring heavy post-production and colour grading.

Z CAM E2-F6

  • Full frame 6K 2.4:1 sensor
  • 6K 30fps up to 140Mbps
  • 14+ stops dynamic range
  • Interchangeable lens mount
  • SSD media bay
  • WiFi monitoring and control
  • 3D LUT support

A compact modular full-frame 6K camera for under $4,000, the Z CAM E2-F6 produces gorgeous cinematic footage perfect for YouTube films, documentaries, and streaming projects with its expansive comprehensive 6K resolution and RAW recording capabilities.

Canon Cinema EOS C70

  • Super 35mm Dual Gain Output sensor
  • 4K 120fps, 2K up to 180fps
  • Canon Log 2 and 3 gamma
  • 16+ stops dynamic range
  • RF lens mount supports EF lenses
  • Built-in ND filters
  • 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0
Canon EOS C70 Cinema Camera (RF Mount Camera) (Renewed)
  • Dual SD Card Slots / Multiple Recording Options
  • High Frame Rate; 4K 120p and 2K Crop 180p
  • RC-V100 Support and LANC Compatible
  • EIS with Coordinated Control
  • Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus with Touch AF and Face Detection

Canon's EOS C70 offers gorgeous 4K and 2K footage with high frame rates on a compact RF cinema camera body. It delivers incredible dynamic range in a small form, perfect for run-and-gun filmmaking. ND filters, XLR inputs, waveform monitor, and RAW output provide professional production capabilities.

Camera Recommendations By Budget

Choosing the right camera involves balancing video quality, features, and price. These are great options for standard YouTube camera budgets:

BudgetCamera Recommendation
Under $500Sony ZV-1, GoPro Hero10 Black
$500 – $1,000Canon M50, Sony ZV-E10, Panasonic G100
$1,000 – $2,000Sony a6600, Fujifilm X-T4, Canon EOS 90D, Z CAM E2-M4
$2,000 – $3,000Sony a7S III, Panasonic S5, Sigma FP, Blackmagic Pocket 4K
Over $3,000Sony FX3, Canon C70 RF, Red Komodo, Z CAM E2-F6

Most Important Camera Specs for YouTube

Youtube Suggested Video

While camera selection involves many variables, these core specs have the most significant influence over YouTube video quality:

Video Resolution

Shoot 1080p Full HD or 4K whenever possible. Higher resolution allows viewers to enjoy your videos even on large screens.

Frame Rates

Higher frame rates (60, 120, 240fps) enable smooth, slow motion during action shots. 30fps or 24fps work well for interviews and cinematic footage.

Low Light Performance

For YouTube cameras, aim for at least ISO 25,600, expandable to 51,200 and beyond, so you can keep filming in low-light restaurants, venues, etc.

Autofocus System

Ensure your camera has quick, accurate autofocus across the sensor area and subject tracking. Eye and face detection are also beneficial.

Image Stabilisation

Optical or electronic stabilisation will help smooth out shaky handheld shots and improve overall video quality.

External Connectivity

Look for mic inputs, headphone jacks, HDMI output, and live streaming compatibility to enhance production capabilities.

Ergonomics

If shooting handheld, choose a camera with quality onboard mics, good grip, helpful status displays/HDMI outputs, and intuitive physical controls.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, there are many great cameras at different price points that are capable of capturing quality YouTube footage. Carefully consider what and where you will be filming and post-production plans. Finding the right intersection of video resolution, frame rate, stabilisation, autofocus, dynamic range, and connectivity specifs becomes easier once you narrow variables based on budget and intended video type (vlogs, tutorials, films, etc).

Don't feel limited to filming only on high-end cameras. Even smartphones and action cameras can produce unique YouTube content in the right creative hands!

FAQs

What is the best cheap camera for YouTube?

Some top affordable options under $500 include the Sony ZV-1, GoPro HERO10 Black, DJI Pocket 2, and Canon M50, which provide excellent portability and solid 4K video quality.

What camera do famous YouTubers use?

Popular YouTuber camera options include the Sony a7S III, Canon EOS R5, Sony ZV-1, Canon EOS 80D, Sony a6600, Canon G7X Mark III, and GoPro Hero10 Black. Most use several cameras.

Is 4K necessary for YouTube?

While 4K provides higher video resolution for future-proofing, 1080p HD filming enables faster export times and smaller file sizes. Quality lighting, stabilisation, audio, and content often have more impact.

What camera has the best autofocus for video?

Thanks to their fast, accurate subject tracking and Eye AF capabilities, top autofocus performers favoured by YouTube filmmakers include the Canon EOS R5, Sony a7 IV, Sony FX3, Canon C70, and Sony ZV-1.

Do DSLR cameras overheat when filming videos?

DSLRs can overheat during long recording sessions. Mirrorless cameras perform better for extended filming thanks to better heat dissipation from lack of mirror/pentaprism and features like unlimited run times or artificial intelligence to prevent shutdowns.

Last update on 2024-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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