What is the best camera for Youtube, vlogging and talking head videos?
So I currently make talking head videos and and I vlog. Back almost 2 years ago when I was doing my own research EVERYONE was recommending the Cannon G7X as THE vlogging camera to get. This was before the G7X mark ii came out so I have the original G7X and I’m really happy with the performance of it.
I got it primarily because of Radu Antonio. He has a fitness channel but occasionally makes vlogs. His older vlogs were done 100% on the G7X. Good story telling + editing + the form factor and ease of use made the G7X a no-brainer purchase. You can see an example of his vlogs here.
For my own vlog style video (that demonstrates the G7X video quality and sound quality) check out this travel video on visiting the DMZ in South Korea I made.
I watched a bunch of videos recorded with the G7X to get an idea as to the quality of the sound and the picture quality and made a decision to buy the G7X as I already own an H2N microphone that I use when I record my laptop for screen capture videos.
I thought the on board audio was fine on the G7x and I’m not a professional at this and figured a small point and shoot would be ideal for me. In retrospect, it’s acceptable, but not the quality you’re going to want long term.
Now I’m looking to upgrade my setup for a few reasons:
1 – I travel and would like something with a little bit sharper picture quality. The G7x is good, but by no means great. I create travel videos and talking head videos. I need better audio and video. The G7X is just not good enough anymore.
2 – I want something that I can use an external mic on. Its annoying having to sync the audio with the video. It creates another layer of complexity where something can go wrong as well as additional time it adds to creating videos.
Update: I sold the G7X and bought a Canon 200d
The 200D combined with the 10-18 wide angle lens that comes with the creator kit is a excellent combination. You get high quality video and that wide angle look and a light easy to carry body without needing a speed booster to make it work with micro four thirds camera.
You know whats even better though? IT’S LIGHT. The camera body is small and light weight. The 10-18 mm lens is actually heavier than the body. Combined it’s still something you could comfortably use for vlogging.
What are your options for the best camera for YouTube?
So I’ve done my research by spending weeks watching camera review channels on YouTube. I’ve also been vlogging and creating videos for almost 2 years now and I’ve also asked numerous friends what they suggest as an upgrade to a point and shoot.
Here are the best camera setups for YouTube, their pros and cons as well as price points. We will start off with point and shoot cameras then get into bigger, mirrorless cameras and DSLR cameras.
Popular Cameras For YouTube
What camera setups are YouTubers who have 10K+ subscribers using? Here is what I have found:
Panasonic Lumix GH5
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix G85
Canon EOS M6
Sony a6300 /a6500
After watching countless YouTube camera review videos, and “my camera” videos, I’ve been able to narrow down the most common setups YouTubers (who have 10,000+ or more subscribers).
This is a solid, classic choice. This camera plus a couple of lenses and a microphone will set you back 1,500 USD roughly all together. Expensive, but you’ll have everything you’ll need to start making high quality videos. The drawback of the 80D is that it does not have an option to record in 4k and it lacks built in image stabilization. Regardless, this is still one of the most popular setups due to Canon having a great lens selection, good focus and good color science.
LOL, this is a big, heavy 5,000 dollar camera. You’re nuts (or perhaps rich and nuts which would make you Batman) to buy this if you’ve never owned a camera before. This is for professionals who who want a camera that is a step down from large, cinematic camera.
Still, it’s a popular camera that is used by some big name YouTubers so it needs to go on the list. The main drawback of the 1D however is that is lacks an articulated screen, a screen that flips out so you can see yourself. The other drawback is that this camera is BIG, you’re not going to be walking around vlogging on this unless it’s your job.
Oh Canon, why do you have two names for the same camera? This camera is a little munchinkin camera. It’s a tiny, light weight body that packs some pretty decent video quality (on par with the 80D to be honest) and acceptable picture quality.
This camera was not even on my radar until I found a few videos talking about using the camera and the Canon creator kit which contains the Canon 50 mm and the wide angle 10-18 mm.
What’s awesome about this camera is it that it can obviously use Canon glass. It’s not a micro four thirds where you would need a speed booster. The low price point combined with the 10-18mm makes this a very attractive choice.
The 77D is also, like the 200D a small camera making much more preferable for vlogging than the 80D.
It’s the sort of camera that could be annoying having to carry on trips when traveling (which is why point and shoots are so popular). If you’re looking for a first camera, I would skip on this and go with something more flexible for different situations. But if all your going to be doing is narrating in front of the camera, this camera is your dream come true.
The best budget camera on the market. If you’re looking for a first camera to make YouTube videos with, I would suggest this one – particularly if price is a concern. You can get a whole kit on Amazon including a tripod, external mic and some lenses for under 600 USD. Outstanding value. Honestly, if I was in the USA at the time of my camera purchase, I would have gotten this setup. But i was in Thailand and the Lumix G7 costed over 1,000 USD there so I went with the G7X.
This is THE BEST overall camera for new YouTubers. It’s reasonably small and light weight. Allowing you the flexibility to walk and vlog or to do sit down talking head videos.
It records in 4k, which you can take and render into a 1080p video for a sharper image. It has awesome image stabilization so you can pan the camera for a nice and smooth video. It has great video quality, it does a great job of eliminating shaky cam and it’s small size will allow you to travel with it and actually use it.
How does it compare to the G7? Better video and it’s smoother due to the stabalization.
This is another affordable option like the Lumix G7. Canon has great color and a great lens selection. You can pick up a bundle for this camera for under 800 USD. The drawback? Well you’ll need to purchase a small cage (as it’s called – not expensive) in order to mount that external microphone next to the camera.
Why? Well the EOS M6 has a flip UP screen, but if you put an external mic on the camera, it blocks the flip up screen. So there is a DIY work around by using this 10 USD flash bracket.
Canon overall has great color science. I just really like the colors of videos shot with a Canon.
This Sony has a great form factor and a lot of great lenses to give your videos a professional look. The only drawback for me is that when I look at videos shot with this in comparison to the Canon M6, I find the colors a bit lacking. Of course, this can always be changed in post production. Both also lack a flip screen and built in stabalization. This has a lot of amazing features such as 4k whcih make it more ideal for filming than vlogging.
If you’re buying a camera for vlogging and talking head videos, you’re going to need a microphone. Please note that the most common external microphones are:
Lapel mic –
Rhode Video Mic Pro –
The mic pro is a large microphone that provides the best audio quality for your videos. The only drawback is it’s price point and size. To be honest, it looks a little silly mounted on my 200D.
Rhode Video Mic Go –
The mic go is bad, just bad in my opinion. Similar in size to the mic pro but worse audio. I also think it sounds worse when compared to the next item on the list, the video micro. Why does this exist?
WINNER: Rhode Video Micro –
My current microphone for my camera. Small, light and cheap. The audio sounds great. Obviously not as good as a the video mic pro, but fine for vlogging. This microphone also matches the size of my camera.
Again, after owning a G7X, I wanted a small, professional setup and I have that with the 200D + the 10-18 mm lens and the video micro microphone.
For a really helpful video on microphones that helped me decided to get the video micro compact – close your eyes and listen. Really, close your eyes while and focus on the sound:
Point and Shoot Cameras
A point and shoot camera was my first type of camera so let me tell you about my experience owning one.
Point and shoot cameras main selling points are mainly their ease of use and their size. They are small enough to fit in your pocket or a backpack with ease. Light, easy to use and having decent video and audio quality. With point and shoots, what you see is what you get. No external audio jack, no switching out the lens.
Canon G7X mark ii – The updated G7X with slightly better picture quality and audio.
Sony RX 100 (The best point and shoot ever made – literally).
I like point and shoots because they’re the sort of camera you can have on you anywhere. The main drawback of a point and shoot however is the lack of an mic jack for an external microphone. This means that you’ll either be using the built in mic or you’ll have to sync the audio from another microphone.
The latter is what I do and it’s a bit annoying. It’s fine if you’re doing a few takes and your sitting in one spot. But if you want to have a more dynamic video where you’re recording and giving commentary from multiple spots or locations, syncing the audio is a real pain.
The two cameras in this space everyone suggests you check out are the Cannon G7x Mark ii and the Sony RX 100V.
What’s the main difference between the two?
The Sony costs roughly 1,000 USD new where the G7X can be purchased for around 650 USD. If you’re going to be spending 1,000 USD on a camera anyways, I would suggest something else for your main camera. One that will allow you to “grow” with it in terms of buying lenses and and the ability to add an external mic. Particularly if it’s your first camera. You can always pickup a point and shoot later if it makes sense.
The Sony has better on board audio. Both are good, but the Sony is better.
Honestly though, you’re going to want to use a lapel mic when vlogging in public and a proper microphone when at home to get that quality audio that really makes a difference, then sync the two different files (the audio file and the video file) when rendering the video. This is an additional cost as microphones can be expensive.
For lapel mics for example, professionals use the Sennheiser AVX Digital Wireless Microphone which costs over 800 USD! If I was to buy a lapel mic I would look for something in the 50-100 USD range. I would probably get the Insignia Lapel mic.
Now you don’t need a lapel mic, the on board audio is good enough for short segments- but for doing voice over work for videos you’ll need an external microphone you can plug into your laptop.
Both are similar in quality but obviously the Sony is going to be a bit better (as it should be given it’s 400 USD more!). The Sony can record in 4k but it’s a bit choppy. The G7X can not record in 4k. The Sony has the slight edge in video quality but it’s not a dramatic difference. You’re not going to watch a YouTube video and be able to tell what camera was used.
Final Thoughts on Point and Shoots
I find point and shoots wonderful for people who want something very small that can fit in your pocket. Point and shoot cameras are also essential for any travel vlogger/blogger. You’re simply not always going to want or be able to carry with you a larger camera.
Next, to be honest the Sony is a technological marvel at how feature rich it is given it’s size.
I had a vlogging friend who used a Canon 80D but gave it up in favor of the Sony. He found the size and weight of the Canon 80D to be too annoying to be useful on an everyday basis.
To each there own. After having a 200D myself and being able to switch out lenses as well as being able to use a microphone, I don’t find point and shoots useful.
CONCLUSION: BEST CAMERA FOR YOUTUBE VIDEOS & VLOGGING
If you’re in front of the camera, without a doubt the Panasonic GH5 is the best for YouTubers overall.
If you’re a filmmaker, consider the Sony a6500.
On a budget go for the Panasonic G7 or the 200D if you’re outside the USA.
For simple vlogging as a semi-pro I think the Sony RX100 V is the best but the G7X mark ii is still a great, less expensive alternative.
You also use your phone if it has a decent enough camera.
A point and shoot is a good companion camera but not for your main driver.
WINNER: Canon 77D (or 200D if you’re outside the USA)
The 77D is the best camera for aspiring YouTubers and people who are looking to create video content online. It’s small and you can get the Canon creator kit like I did so you can use that awesome 10-18 mm wide angle lens. It cost a little bit more than the SLR 2 if you’re in America so I would just get the 77D over it the SLR2.
Now, if you’re outside the states the 200D is an excellent choice if you can get it for $450 like I did. It has a low price point, is compatible with various types of Canon glass and the video quality is on par with the 80D.
Runner Up: Panasonic G85
Built in stabalization makes your walking and talking videos nice and smooth. It can record in 4k which you can downgrade to 1080p for a a better picture quality. The camera is light and small so it’s not a burden to actually take it with you – and the price! It’s not the cheapest option, but it’s still affordable and it’s the sort of camera you can grow with over the years.
The drawback? It’s micro four thirds and has a crop factor. So if you want that wide angle look, you’re going to have to spend 800+ dollars for this cameras wide angle lens. If you really want that wide angle look get the 77D or the 200D / SLR 2.
So that’s what I think is the best camera for YouTube. Be it a vlog, talking head video or for travel. Particularly if you’re just starting out or perhaps your like me looking to upgrade from a point ans and shoot.
Share? Share! What do you think?