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Sometimes you just know when you’re watching a good YouTube video or a really bad one. And believe it or not, sometimes it’s all about getting the best camera for YouTube.
From the beginning of making movies, a lot of effort has been put into developing technology that not only documents the action – but also makes the star look good! Choosing the best YouTube camera is not just a matter of your ego though…it can actually make the all difference between a user clicking to watch your videos or clicking on someone else’s better-looking channel.
YouTube viewers want to watch high quality videos and that means HD quality. However, when analyzing the best camera for YouTube, you also have to consider important factors like budget, features, quality and the type of camera.
In this article, we’re going to discuss not only the 10 best camera for YouTube options, but also the best camera for your type of production.
The Best Camera for YouTube - By Purpose
Not all cameras are a perfect fit and the last thing you want is to spend a lot of money on technical supplies and cameras that you go into debt trying to make money on YouTube! The first step is to actually consider the variety of cameras available and what they do differently from each other, regardless of quality or extra features.
Some cameras are built for specific purposes and so buying a camera based solely on price may backfire if you can’t use it for your production. The best camera for YouTube would be the one that fits your specific requirements in producing a video. This is a video that hopefully you’ve already pre-written, directed and planned. (For more advice on creating YouTube videos that get clicks and likes, check out our article on the subject)
Let’s start considering the basics of the best video camera for youtube, by type, and then, which ones might be useful to you.
According to tech magazine WireRealm, this is the best camera for YouTube for versatility. DSLR stands for Digital Single-Lens Reflex, and they are considered the industry standard for professional video blogging. The term versatility means you can easily change lens types, ISO, depth of field, focus points, lighting and image quality.
Sports and Action Cameras
If you want to take beautiful photographs of ACTION-oriented events (like sports, stunts, or anything that involves documenting an event), then the best camera for YouTube would be a sports or action camera. These are oftentimes the videos that you see on YouTube that have first-person points-of-view. They might also be called POV cameras or GoPros.
These cameras are easy to carry along with you while you go play sports or traveling =, and some will even work underwater, or withstand heavy air pressure. And don’t think that these cameras are low quality just because they’re “action” packed: A modern action video camera for YouTube may be small in size, but these models have actually gotten better in terms of quality, HD video production and even durability.
These expensive cameras are relatively new but the best feature is their versatility, not to mention how lightweight they are. You might think that the versatile nature of these cameras (i.e. how easy it is to change lenses) and the high quality might have to be packed into a larger unit. But, that’s why mirrorless cameras are gaining such a favorable reputation as the best camera for YouTube videos. They aren’t big at all.
Point-and-shoot cameras are a compromise between high quality, versatile shooting options and a lightweight easy-to-carry design. They are designed not just for fast and easy filming, but also to be carried around in a person’s pocket. The better models even have some of the best camera for YouTube features, including the ability to manually adjust various features, like the DSLR type.
Camcorders today are very lightweight, easy to carry, and ideal for taking videos…but not necessarily having the best camera for YouTube features in terms of adjusting manual options. However, features like optical zoom, compact size and low price make it a competitive buy.
Smartphones and Mini-Cameras
The last option is not so much affordable as it is convenient, because these special cameras are either part of your existing tablet or smartphone, or they are specially made to be a small or undetectable. They are a bit gimmicky in this respect and not necessarily the best camera for YouTube, but on the other hand, you can also play games and Skype with your “camera”!
Now that you know what kind of camera you’re looking for, it’s time to narrow down the list to the best reviewed choices according to vloggers and photographers. Let’s consider the top 10 Choices for the Best Camera for YouTube, as well as the pricing and features of each model:
The Top 10 Best Cameras for YouTube
10. iPhone Smartphone 6
Some people really do think that the best camera for YouTube is their trusty iPhone, since it’s always convenient for quick shooting AND it’s formidable in terms of technical aspects. The iPhone 6 can shoot 4K high quality video and it is a very lightweight camera.
It’s definitely the one you pull out if you want to videotape “live” things on YouTube and you’re in a hurry. The problem is the resolution actually drops if you flip the screen and it has some low light issues as well.
Check it out by clicking here.
9. Sony A7r2
It terms of durability and technical performance, it’s hard to beat the Sony A7r2 for the best camera for YouTube. This high-end camera for YouTube boasts high tech specs, such as 500,000 shutter cycles (or cycle durability of 500,000 shots) Wi-Fi connectivity with Smartphones, 4K resolution up to 25,600 ISO (International Standards Organization, referring to sensitivity of emulsion based film), and 399 focal plane phase detection for excellent focus.
The price is certainly high at just under $2,000, but for many photography buffs, this model surpasses even Canon’s best at 42.5 megapixels, for very clear pictures.
8. Canon 70D
The Canon 70D is actually one of the most popular choices among experienced photographers for the best camera for YouTube and it has several unique features. Some of its best include: Continuous autofocus which keeps the footage crisp and clear, a flip out LCD (liquid-crystal display) screen, and an ISO of 100 to 12800, even expandable to 25,600.
Some of its fans compare the Canon 70D to a camcorder in terms of its handy features, without sacrificing quality. It’s also far less expensive than the other models we’ve found to be listed in the top 10.
7. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is a handheld filmmaker’s favorite for the best camera for YouTube! This 4K resolution camera delivers dual native ISO up to 25,600 as well as HDR (High-dynamic-range) images, 120 frames per second ProRes, full sized HDMI output and many other features.
It also lets you monitor the recording and edit old footage with a 3.5 inch LCD screen. Its built-in SD card recorder and open file format are also excellent for post production needs. Note that the camera allows the use of special Micro Four Thirds lenses, and these are sold separately, from $100 to $300 more.
Micro Four Thirds is a design by Panasonic and Olympus for a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera) and mirrorless camera design. The difference is that the sensor size, and lens size, is much smaller than the traditional DSLR model.
Some companies, such as Kodak, Blackmagic and Xiaomi make camera bodies, but the MFT lenses are produced separately by other companies, including Sigma, Tamron, and DJI, among several other brands. The main advantage is in elimination of the mirror box, meaning a reduction in size, as well as higher image quality with better portability.
6. DJ Osmo
The DJ Osmo “fully stabilized camera” is an action camera with no shaking, even if you’re slightly moving. The camera also lets you capture time passing, long exposure shots, 4K at 25P (frames per second), and remote control. But, the best feature is the advanced stabilization thanks to a 3-axis system inside the camera, and a remarkable small one to hold. At $350, it’s not going to break the bank either!
5. Panasonic Lumix GH4
The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is a professional mirrorless camera with advanced features like moire reduction (strange patterns and stripes appearing), with a 4K 24P cinematic mode, high speed 49 area auto focus, high performance shutter and 8.8 MP (million pixels) still frames captured during video, making hybrid photography easy to manage. The continuous shooting and auto focus features also receive great reviews, and it is considered one of the best camera for YouTube contenders.
4. YI Action Camera
One of the least expensive options, the Xiaomi YI Action Camera is a good camera for YouTube and offers 4K 30fps (frames per second), which is excellent high resolution quality. It also offers an intuitive high resolution LCD touchscreen for video previewing and voice command features, making it very easy to shoot quickly. The Gorilla Glass Retina is also a nice touch for resisting scratches. Instant sharing is no problem thanks to Wi-Fi and high speed connectivity, as well as remote control. Low lighting is not a problem thanks to 12 MP and flexible ISO settings. If you’re on a budget when looking for the best camera for YouTube, but want a very flexible option to an iPhone or Android, this is a competitive buy.
3. GoPro Hero 5
The GoPro Hero 5 is an action camera that, despite being fast and easy to carry, still takes gorgeous 4K video using a 12 megapixel camera. It can shoot movies and high-quality photos. It has features like image stabilization and can connect to the cloud (online data) for easy and fast storage. You can even edit footage on your phone without having to go home to a studio. Its “hands free” commands also make it a convenient choice for the best camera for YouTube if you’re trying to capture footage in a limited time. The camera is also waterproof up to 33 feet deep.
2. Nikon D850
The Nikon D850 has been called, no joke, the “greatest camera of all time”, and won plenty of honors for 2017, according to Shutterbug. Its good reviews come from the camera’s ability to shoot complex and versatile photography of everything from landscapes, to portraits, time lapses, sports shots and even “street photography”. While it got some questionable reviews for its Wi-Fi connectivity, it made up for it with high technical specifications, such as 45.7 megapixels of high-resolution, 4K ultra HD recording, and up to 9 psf (Progressive Segmented Frames) continuous shooting. Of course at over $3000, it’s a considerable investment even if it is the best camera for YouTube in terms of quality.
(Then again, for some YouTubers with big dreams, $3000 is nothing. Read our article on the top earning YouTube stars!)
1. EOS M5
The EOS M5 mirrorless camera offers brilliant photo and video quality. EOS actually has a reputation for its high resolution features contrasted with a lightweight design. The best features include quick auto focus, 242 mp dual pixel CMOS offering sharp images even in low light, an electronic viewfinder and LCD monitor, continuous shooting, and 5-axis stabilization. The EOS M5 is considered an “advanced” camera for professional YouTubers who want cinematic quality, but it costs substantially less than the “best of all time” Nikon D850. When you’re just starting out on YouTube you might not want to blow your whole year’s budget on a $3000 camera!
As you can see, the best camera for YouTube option really depends on what you can afford and whether action capture or high resolution is more important to you. There are also special features with each camera worth considering. Before you make your final selection as to what’s the best camera for YouTube, check out some of the footage posted on YouTube featuring these cameras and decide for yourself which videos and photographs look the best for your purposes.
A good quality YouTube camera will make your well planned videos look even better, and give your YouTube channel the professional look you want!