Best Cameras for Vloggers 2017

It seems these days, everybody wants to be a vlogger. It’s pretty simple really. Just you, a camera, some rudimentary editing skills and you’re all set. Just post it up on youtube and voila! Vlogger. That’s where the hard stuff begins though. If you just want to vlog for vlogging’s sake, then there’s no problem, vlog away. However if you want to make a career of it, then it gets really hard.

First thing you have to realize is that there are literally thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people who want to do this. You have to be unique. You have to stand out from the crowd. Content matters. Delivery matters. Most of all, you must realize that it takes more than just you and a camera. There are technical aspects to it that you must learn and master.

Your camera matters above all. It has to have excellent image quality in all lighting situations, it must have great audio pickup and it must be compact enough for you to carry around all day. I remember a maxim that applies to all things and it goes like this: ‘strong, light, and cheap, pick two.’ It also applies to cameras. What compromise are you willing to live with? Are you willing to haul around a chunky DSLR with all the bells and whistles? Are you more a simple pocket camera type of person? We are here to help you choose.

So you want to start vlogging? Here are our Top Picks of 2017

Camera

Type

Screen

Mic

Record Quality

Battery Life

Rating

Price

SONY a7S II

our recommended choice for vloggers

Full Frame

Electronic

Yes

4k

210 Shots

$$$$$

Canon PowerShot SX710

canon powreshot review

1/2.3 inch

None

Yes

1080p

230 Shots

$$

Canon PowerShot SX720

1/2.3 inch

Fixed LCD

Yes

1080p

253 Shots

$$

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100

Sony Cyber Shot Review

1 inch

None

None

1080p

220 Shots

$$

Canon EOS Rebel T5i

ASP-C 1.6x

Optical

Yes

1080p

440 Shots

$$$

Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33

Camcorder

Cmos

Yes

4k

520 Shots

$$$$

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV

1 inch

Electronic

Yes

4k

280 Shots

$$$

Canon VIXIA HF G40

Camcorder

Cmos

Yes

1080p

560 Shots

$$$$

Canon EOS 70D

APS-C

Optical

Yes

1080p

330 Shots

$$$

GoPro HERO5 Black

Waterproof

Touch Screen

Yes

4k

440 Shots

$$$

OUR RECOMMENDED CHOICE: SONY a7S II

Sony's A7S II in our opinion is simply the best video capable still camera available at the market today. Don't let the 12 MP label fool you. In the age of 30 MP cameras this seems really low. They did this for a reason. Lower pixel counts enable better light gathering capability which leads to superior video quality. The A7S II creates professional level footage at a smaller and lighter form factor. It is capable of recording 4k footage internally - something other cameras struggle with. 

It's compatible with any sony Full frame E-mount lens- but there are a myriad of adaptors available if you've already got lens from an older camera. It does 4:2:0 8-bit 4k video​ in XVAC format with zero pixel binning. It also features 5-axis stabilization. Casey Neistat has used this camera in one of his blogs and he was suitably impressed by its performance.

PROS

  • Excellent ISO range (up to 409,600)
  • Lightweight
  • 4k capable
  • excellent low light performance
  • Pro level footage
  • great featureset

CONS

  • expensive
  • screen not flippable
  • no touch screen

What constitutes a great Vlogging Camera?

Image Quality:

Image quality is very important. Crisp clear images read better. Remember when I said earlier that it’s just you and the camera? Nobody wants to watch something that looks like it was shot with a potato. It must be able to shoot 1080p or really excellent quality 720p. Rule of thumb is, it is better to shoot at a higher resolution then downsample rather than shoot at a lower resolution.

Also consider what the video codec output is as it affects what program you can use to edit the video and to what extent you can tweak it. You must also consider how well it captures color. If you’re doing a make-up vlog, then it wouldn’t do to have a camera that captures muddy colors.

Weight:

Cameras are generally pretty light. But lug it around all day and it can get pretty fatiguing. I’d recommend lighter more compact cameras for all day carrying convenience. However, if you only vlog at home, then a DSLR is an excellent choice. Best option is to get both. A lighter camera for travel and a DSLR on a tripod for stationary stuff.

Optical Image Stabilization:

If you Vlog outdoor activities, then you’re bound to be moving a lot. Movement is the bane of smaller cameras. You’re going to encounter the rolling shutter effect when using smaller camers rolling shutter is where you get a wobble/distortion in your video due to how the video is captured by the sensor. OIS helps minimize this and help give you a nice stable video that won’t make your viewers dizzy.

Audio:

Audio is also pretty important. You will not retain viewers if they don’t understand a word you’re saying. Try out the microphone on the camera you’re planning to purchase. Some of them have noise/wind cancellation which will help when you’re outdoors. Better yet, find a camera with a microphone jack. This will give you the best flexibility and also better audio quality (depending on the microphone).

Autofocus:

Nothing worse than a camera that just can’t focus properly (especially at low light situations). You’re going to end up with unusable footage if your camera can’t focus properly.

Lens:

The camera lens is also very important. What’s the aperture of the camera? What’s the focal length? Both are important in determining the look of your video. It also determines how well it performs in all lighting situations (if you vlog outdoors you are likely to encounter a wide gamut of lighting) Also you must take note that the focal length also affects distortion. You need a different focal length when shooting images at close range.

Consider your usage scenarios:

You don’t need to buy the latest and greatest vlogging cameras. Getting an uber camera is often just going to be a waste of money. Unless you’re going to be shooting skits together with your vlog then an expensive camera just isn’t going to give you the best bang for the buck. Also, say you’re out on an adventure, do you really want such an expensive piece of kit around? It’s bound to get banged up and exposed to the elements. Choose a camera for the right scenario. If you’re more an adventure vlogger, something that’s waterproof and shock resistant would be paramount.

The Best Vlogging Camera Picks for Vloggers 2017

1. Canon PowerShot SX710 HS - Wi-Fi Enabled (Black)

This camera is virtually a clone of the previous year’s model (sx700). It does have better burst shooting rates, a more refined autozoom feature set, and an excellent 5 axis stabilization for video. However it does have slightly worse image quality than its predecessor. The new 20.3 megapixel sensor is a great addition. There is some noise in low light situations but it performs like a champ in great lighting situations. The details, color, and dynamic range is impressive. Overall a great camera.

Features

Auto Focus Technology

Contrast Detect (sensor)

Multi-area

CenterTracking

Single

Continuous

Face Detection

Live View

Autofocus Points

9

Battery Average Life

230 Photos

Battery Type

Lithium ION

Color

Black

Continuous Shooting Speed

6 FPS

Digital Zoom

4k

Display

LCD

Display Fixture Type

Fixed

Display Resolution Maximum

922000

Display Size

3 Inches

Effective Still Resolution

21.1 MP

Expanded ISO Maximum

3200

Expanded ISO Minimum

100

Exposure Control Type

Smart Auto

Program

Shutter priority

Aperture priority

Manual

External Memory Included

No

File Format

Jpeg (exif v2.3)

Flash Memory Type

SD/SDHC/SDXC card

Flash Modes Description

Auto

Flash off

Flash on

Red-eye reduction

Slow synchronization

canon powreshot review

PROS

  • Excellent Color Quality
  • Wifi Support
  • 20.3 Megapixel

CONS

  • Low Light Performance

2. Canon PowerShot SX720 HS (Black)

The SX range has continued to be excellent value for the money. The PowerShot SX720 is no exception. It has a market leading 40x optical zoom contained in a slim body allowing users to carry it around for everyday use. The full manual control is amazing for photography enthusiasts (though you can’t shoot RAW). The built in Wi-fi is handy for file transfers and remotely operating the camera via your phone. The jpeg quality is excellent in all lighting situations.

Features

Battery Type

Lithium ION

Color

Black

Digital Zoom

4k

Display

LCD

Display Size

3 Inches

Effective Still Resolution

20.3 MP

External Memory Included

No

File Format

Jpeg (exif v2.3)

Flash Memory Type

SDXC

Flash Modes Description

Auto

Flash Type

Pop Up

Hardware Connectivity

AV

Image Stabilization

Yes

Included Components

PowerShot

SX720

HS^Wrist Strap

WS-800^Battery Pack

NB-13L^Battery Charger

CB-2LH^Printed Matter Unit

Item Dimensions

4.32 x 1.41 x 2.51 inches

Item Weight

1 Pound

Canon Powershot x720 review

PROS

  • Great Image Quality
  • Wifi Support
  • Compact
  • Great Zoom

CONS

  • No Raw

3. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V 20.1 MP Digital Still Camera w/ 3" OLED

The RX100 is an amazing beast spec. wise. The previous model was already excellent, this newer iteration has built on that. The Mk. V can shoot faster bursts and an amazing autofocus system. That they managed to make this shoot 4k video in a small package is amazing. You can also get it with a waterproof housing. All these things come with a price though. At $998 you’re reaching DSLR territory.

Features

Battery Type

Lithium ION

Color

Black

Display

OLED

Display Size

3 Inches

Display Resolution Maximum

2359296

External Memory Included

No

File Format

Jpeg; Raw

Flash Memory Type

Memory Stick;Micro SD

Flash Modes Description

Auto

Flash Type

Pop Up

Hardware Connectivity

AV

Focus Type

Automatic Only

Image Aspect Ratio

Unknown Aspect Ratio

Image Stabilization

Yes

Included Components

Battery NP-BX1AC Adaptor

Micro USB Cable

Wrist Strap

Strap Adaptor

Instruction Manual

Sony Cyber Shot Review

PROS

  • All the bells and whistles of a larger camera

CONS

  • Expensive
  • REALLY EXPENSIVE!

4. Canon EOS Rebel T5i EF-S 18-55 IS STM Kit

The T5i is a great camera. The touch screen remains a great feature. The optical viewfinder is great for the price point. The interchangeable lens gives you great flexibility for various situations. The autofocus is adequate but there are newer models which have better. The video quality is excellent and rolling shutter is kept in check (though there is some aliasing in some situations), low light video performance is also excellent.

Features

Auto Focus Technology

Phase Detect

Multi-area

Selective single-point

Single

Continuous

Face Detection

Live View

Autofocus Points

9

Battery Average Life

440 Photos

Color

Black

Compatible Devices

Canon Lenses

EF-S Lenses

Compatible Mountings

Canon EF

Canon EF-S

Configuration

Base

Continuous Shooting Speed

5 FPS

Digital Zoom

1x

Display

LCD

Effective Still Resolution

18 MP

Expanded ISO Maximum

25600

Expanded ISO Minimum

100

Exposure Control Type

Program AE

Shutter priority AE

Aperture priority AE

Manual (Stills and Movie)

Scene Intelligent Auto (Stills and Movie)

No Flash

Creative Auto

Portrait

Landscape

Close-up

Sports

SCN

External Memory Included

No

File Format

JPEG: Fine, Normal (Exif 2.3 compliant)

Design rule for Camera File system (2.0)

RAW: 14bit RAW

Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant

Flash Memory Installed

32

Flash Memory Type

SD/SDHC/SDXC

Flash Modes Description

Auto

Manual

Red-eye reduction

Flash Sync Speed

1/200 sec

Flash Type

Hot-shoe

Wireless plus Sync connector

Flash

Built-IN Flash

Focus Description

TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor

Focus Type

Includes Manual Focus

Form Factor

Compact SLR

GPS

Optional

HDMI Type

HDMI Mini

ISO Range

100 to 12800

Image Aspect Ratio

1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9

Image Stabilization

None

Image Types

RAW

JPEG

Included Components

EOS Rebel T5i Body

EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

Eyecup Ef (Not shown)

Battery Pack LP-E8

Battery Charger LC-E8E

Wide Neck Strap EW-100DB IV

USB Interface Cable IFC-130U

EOS Digital Solution Disk & Software Instruction Manual CD

Camera Instruction Manual (Not shown)

One Year Limited One Year Limited Warranty Card

PROS

  • Great Video Quality

CONS

  • There Maybe Better Options @ this Price Point.

5. Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder

We can absolutely recommend this camcorder. The 4k capability combined with excellent video quality is a win. It has excellent specs and also decent still photo capability. The BOSS image stabilization system is one of the best we’ve ever tried. The compact size is also a plus. You can easily fit it in your jacket pocket. The zeiss lens is excellent as always. The FDRAX33 also features other shooting resolution and also different frame rates. The wi-fi capability is also pretty robust. You can stream directly to ustream (with multi-camera control)

Features

Battery

Lithium ION

Display

LCD

Color

Black

Included Components

Handycam Camcorder

Rechargeable Battery Pack (NP-FV70)

AC Adapter

Power Cord

Operating GuideHDMI (micro) Cable

USB Connection Support Cable

Item Dimensions

4.09 x 6.02 x 7.05 inches

Item Weight

2 Pounds

Lithium Energy Battery Content

2 Watt Hours

Lithium Battery Voltage

6.8 Volts

Lithium Battery Weight

3.5 grams

Media Format Digital Video

HDD

Optical Sensor Resolution

20.6 MP

Optical Sensor Technology

CMOS

Optical Zoom

10x

Shipping Weight

2.5 pounds

Supported Battery Types

Sony NP-FV50/FV70/FV100

UNSPSC Code

45121516

Video Capture Format

4K, HD

Video Capture Resolution

other

PROS

  • 4k Resolution
  • Great Video Quality
  • Wifi with Multi Camera Controls

CONS

  • Battery Life

6. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV 20.1 MP Digital Still Camera

Sony continues to knock it out of the park. They have managed to pack so much image and video quality into such a small package. It’s also very fast and responsive. I’ve never had a moment where it struggled. The stacked sensor in the RX100 IV gives it a number of advantages such as faster shooting modes with autofocus. This also enables 4k video and higher framerates. The excellent lens rounds up the complete package. This is truly an amazing camera for its size.

Features

Battery

Lithium ION

Display

LCD

Color

Black

Digital Zoom

11x

Display Size

3 Inches

External Memory Included

No

Flash Memory Type

SDXC

Flash Type

Internal

Form Factor

SLR-like-compact

Hardware Conectivity

AV

ISO Range

125-12800

Image Stabilization

Yes

Included Components

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV Digital Camera

NP-BX1/M8 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (3.6V, 1240mAh)

AC-UB10C AC Adapter

Micro USB Cable

Wrist Strap

Strap Adapter

Warranty

Item Dimensions

2.8 x 1.6 x 4 inches

Lens Type

all-in-one-zoom

PROS

  • Amazing Image Quality
  • 4k Video
  • Superb AF
  • High Frame Rate Video Mode

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Short Battery Life

7. Canon VIXIA HF G40 Camcorder

The previous iteration of the VIXIA was already pretty excellent. However Canon managed to improve it and even improve the general performance. It has enough new features to recommend over the older version. The size is perfect for vlogging size wise. It’s also pretty versatile and can perform very well in a wide variety of lighting situations. Price wise it’s in the more expensive end of the spectrum but considering the feature set, it is well worth it.

Features

Battery

Lithium ION

Color

Black

Included Components

VIXIA HF G40 Body

Lens hood with barrier

Wireless controller (WL-D89)

Lithium battery (CR2025)

Battery pack BP-820

High Speed HDMI Cable (HTC-100/S)

Compact Power adapter (CA-570)

Ferrite coreAC able

Interface cable (IFC-300PCU/S)

Stereo Video Cable (STV-250N)

Item Dimensions

7.2 x 3.3 x 4.3 inches

Item Weight

1.98 pounds

Media Type

SD Card

Model Year

2016

Optical Sensor Techonology

CMOS

Optical Zoom

20x

Supported Battery Type

Canon BP-808/BP-809/BP-819/BP-820

UNSPSC

45121516

Video Capture Resolution

1920 x 1080p

8. Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm STM Lens

The 70D is geared more toward the enthusiast photographer. It features and good blend of quality and value all in a single package. It also has excellent autofocus in video mode. It has the most advanced phase detect autofocus out there.

The image quality is on par with the Nikons, with comparable resolution and low light performance. Construction wise, it feels very solid on hand. The build quality is, as always, excellent.

  • 19 point cross-type AF System
  • 20.2 MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+
  • Up to 7 fps shooting
  • ISO 100-12800, expandable to 25600
  • ​Dual Pixel CMOS AF for fast focus in live view and video
  • ​3" articulating touch panel LCD screen with 1,040,000 dots
  • ​Built-in flash with integrated speedlite transmitter and hot shoe
  • ​Intelligent viewfinder with electronic overlay
  • ​1080 (30, 25, 24 fps) and 720 (60, 50 fps) HD video (H.264/MPEG-4/MOV)
  • ​Instant sharing and remote control with built-in Wi-Fi and EOS Remote app
  • ​GPS compatible (sold separately)
  • ​Full manual mode in video
  • ​Built-in stereo or external microphone terminal
  • ​SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card

PROS

  • Great Handling
  • Good Video Quality
  • Excellent Auto Focus

CONS

  • Small Viewfinder
  • Only One SD Card

9. GoPro HERO5 Black

The Hero5 is the GoPro refined to perfection. With the competition stiffening they really needed to step up their game. The good news is, they have done exactly that. The picture quality is excellent and they’ve finally included image stabilization and a touch screen that makes it easier to use. It is now waterproof right out of the box which makes it more appealing.

Features

Color

Black

Item Dimensions

1.26 x 2.44 x 1.75 inches

Item Weight

0.26 pounds

Shipping Weight

1.16 pounds

Video Capture Resolution

4K30

2.7K60

1080p

120 Video

PROS

  • Excellent All Around Performance
  • Good Video Quality
  • Touch Screen Built-In

CONS

  • Touch Screen Responsiveness
  • Old Batteries Not Compatible
Japhet Abellana

Writer, Graphic designer, Cyclist, Food enthusiast. Knower of completely random knowledge. I like weird stuff on the Internet. I like weird stuff in real life come to think of it. People call me weird. I call it unique.

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