Best vlogging cameras for 2020: Sony, GoPro, Panasonic and more compared for YouTube

In case you’re taking pictures a video and posting it to YouTube, just about any digital camera will do. However if you wish to attract and retain viewers and construct a subscriber following, video high quality is vital.

A great place to begin is to determine what sort of taking pictures you need to do. There is not any must spend a whole lot and even 1000’s on a high-end digital camera if you happen to can accomplish the video high quality you need with your phone or a webcam with a microphone enter. And many of the extra reasonably priced fashions even have options like an optical picture stabilization, autofocus, gradual movement, zoom lens, picture sensor, low gentle sensitivity, a touchscreen and extra.

On this roundup of one of the best vlogging cameras, I’ve saved price in thoughts. So whether or not you need to do easy livestreams out of your laptop computer or extra polished productions, you are certain to discover a vlogging digital camera on your wants and finances. Frankly, you do not really want to go all-out with DSLR digital camera high quality or an interchangeable lens for many tasks.

Greatest YouTube equipment

Be aware that if livestreaming is a precedence (which can or will not be for somebody fascinated about YouTube vlogging), you would possibly want extra {hardware} past a digital camera. I am going to embrace solutions for that, in addition to different equipment to contemplate, following the cameras’ particulars. 

With a small handful of exceptions, each vlog digital camera listed right here has been totally reviewed or anecdotally examined by me or different PJDM editors. These exceptions within the equipment sections are based mostly on optimistic Amazon consumer evaluations and extra word-of-mouth accolades. 


Fortunately, individuals in search of an amazing vlogging digital camera do not normally should look far. Whether or not iPhone or Android, utilizing a smartphone to shoot footage on your vlog might be the simplest vlogging digital camera possibility for most individuals for recording and livestreaming. However what could make even good video unhealthy is digital camera shake. A 3-axis stabilizer, also referred to as a gimbal, will make certain all the pieces you shoot appears to be like good and clean. 

DJI’s OM 4 (previously referred to as the Osmo Cell) delivers on the stabilization utilizing the identical tech you may discover on its digital camera drones. It has the identical compact, light-weight folding design for simple journey because the prior mannequin. It has the identical controls, making one-handed use a breeze. And it nonetheless has a built-in battery for as much as 15 hours of use. What’s new is the way you mount your cellphone. 

For the OM 4, DJI developed a brand new magnetic mount you possibly can connect to your cellphone case in addition to one which clamps round your cellphone like previous fashions. This lets you rapidly connect and detach your cellphone, and it is all the time completely balanced.

DJI’s Mimo app is full of choices, too, together with its ActiveTrack function that allows you to draw a field round your topic and it’ll immediately begin monitoring them. Mainly, it is greater than only a cellphone stabilizer. 


Whether or not you are trying to do a fast how-to out of your pc, need to stream your self whilst you sport or something in between, the best possibility on your vlog is a compact digital camera that does not want to maneuver out of your pc. Sure, we’re talking concerning the noble webcam. True, you will not be capable of transfer round an excessive amount of, but it surely’s just about a plug-and-play experience since you do not want an encoder. 

After all, with much more individuals working from residence and counting on video conferencing, good webcams turned tough to search out. Heck, even mediocre ones are robust to come back by proper now. Our prime decide for vlogging is the $170 Logitech StreamCam as a result of it’s purpose-built for streaming at as much as 1080p at 60fps. And it is designed to be mounted horizontally or vertically. 

If you’d like 4K streaming at 30fps along with full HD at 60fps, go together with the Logitech Brio 4K. Sadly, it is unattainable to search out in the mean time for its $199 worth: It’s back-ordered all over the place. You may also go the opposite path with Logitech’s C922x Pro that streams at 1080p at 30fps or 720p at 60 fps, has strong picture high quality, and its built-in mics provide you with first rate audio for $100.

It is price noting that due to the elevated demand for webcams, many digital camera makers together with Canon, Nikon, GoPro, Sony, Panasonic and others have made it doable to make use of a few of their digital camera fashions as a webcam with out extra gear. Nevertheless, it is extra of an “in a pinch” answer for among the cameras so I would not depend on it for the highest quality and options. 

See at Logitech.

Josh Goldman/PJDM

From its small waterproof design to its unimaginable picture stabilization to its glorious video high quality, the Hero 9 Black is likely one of the most versatile cameras you may get for creating YouTube vlog gold. You should use the GoPro Hero Black as a studio digital camera, but it surely’s actually made for use on the transfer. 

Including to the argument in its favor are the Mods designed to make the Hero 9 Black much more vlogging-friendly. The primary Media Mod is a housing that provides a directional mic in addition to a 3.5mm exterior mic jack for added mic enter, an HDMI output and two chilly sneakers. Show and Gentle Mods can then be slotted into the sneakers to brighten your pictures and allow you to see your self whenever you’re in entrance of the digital camera. And if you wish to livestream, you are able to do it by way of GoPro’s cell app. I do advocate shopping for it from GoPro in the mean time and taking benefit of the present deal that knocks the value all the way down to $350 ($100 off) if you happen to join a yr of its cloud storage service that is included in that worth. 

Sarah Tew/PJDM

Mevo Begin enables you to create the look of a multicamera shoot with a single small digital camera. It enables you to stream 1080p video stay to each main platform immediately with the Mevo app for as much as 6 hours with out an exterior energy supply. It might probably additionally concurrently document high-quality 1080p video to a microSD card within the digital camera. 

Livestreaming could be accomplished by connecting each a cell machine and the digital camera to the identical Wi-Fi community, or you possibly can straight join by Wi-Fi to the digital camera and use your cellphone’s LTE cell broadband sign to stream. Or, you should utilize a power-over-Ethernet adapter to energy the digital camera and stream with a wired connection. The Mevo Begin additionally has NDI HX built into the camera that’ll work in your community with both a wired or wi-fi connection. 

The mobile app is the true star of the show right here, although, because it enables you to use its high-resolution sensor to create a number of tight and vast pictures, and swap between them with a faucet on the display screen. Or, you possibly can have the software program routinely monitor individuals and swap between pictures.

Sarah Tew

Sony turned its RX100 fanatic compact into a greater digital camera for vlogging with sooner autofocus and a fast technique to defocus backgrounds. It provides you an enormous picture sensor and a shiny lens for higher video high quality even when your lighting is not one of the best. It has a flip-out LCD display screen so you possibly can see your self whenever you’re taking pictures. It has a handgrip and mics higher fitted to selfies. And it has a clear HDMI output, too, so you do not have digital camera settings and data in your video if you happen to output to an exterior recorder, encoder or show.

See the ZV-1 at Sony.

Lori Grunin/PJDM

This mirrorless digital digital camera may be formed like a conventional SLR digital camera, however the GH5 was constructed for video. You will discover all of the options you want in a digital camera for vlogging, after which some, no matter your expertise degree, and it is all wrapped up in a splash-, dust- and freezeproof physique. 

If its $1,398 worth is greater than you need to spend for a digital camera physique (you may want to purchase lenses, too), its predecessor, the GH4, remains to be a wonderful possibility regardless of its age — it was launched in 2014 — for around $600.

Read the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5 hands-on.

Sarah Tew/PJDM

The 80D pops up in plenty of prime lists for good purpose: The corporate’s Twin Pixel CMOS sensor provides it a quick on-sensor autofocus system; the Dwell View efficiency — which helps you to see the footage you are taking pictures on its display screen with out trying by way of the viewfinder — is clean; it has headphone and mic jacks, and it helps 1080p and 60 fps. The one draw back is that it does not have a clear HDMI output, so if you are going to livestream, you may must shut off all of the show data and swap to handbook focus. 

Read the Canon EOS 80D review.

Should-have equipment

Getting nice video for YouTube requires somewhat greater than one of the best vlogging digital camera and Wi-Fi connection. You will need good lighting and audio, too. And if you happen to’re planning to stream, you would possibly want a seize card or encoder to get video out of your digital camera and up on YouTube or different video-sharing websites. 

Lori Grunin/PJDM

The compact Lume Dice Panel Mini provides you a shiny increase when you do not have sufficient gentle however nonetheless suits in a pocket. It places out plenty of gentle that is adjustable in 5% increments and the colour is adjustable too, from 3200Okay to 5600Okay in 100Okay increments — all accomplished with a small toggle wheel on the aspect. It costs by way of its USB-C port and may run for as much as 14 hours (simply not at 100%) and it may be plugged in and run that means as properly. 

It comes with a diffuser to assist soften its gentle and the compact, light-weight design and a chilly shoe mount so you possibly can simply slide it in your digital camera and begin taking pictures. It additionally has normal tripod mounts on the underside and aspect. 

The VC kit, which stands for video conferencing, comes with a small suction cup mount that you would be able to simply persist with your cellphone, pill or show for brightening your face or topic with out having to reposition the sunshine each time you progress your digital camera. 

See on Lume Cube.


An exterior microphone is a should for high-quality vlogging. With regards to cell or on-camera mics, I lean towards Rode’s microphones, such because the SmartLav Plus and the VideoMicro (proven right here, mounted on a DSLR). 

James Martin/PJDM

Whether or not it is the long-standing favourite Yeti or its new $99 Ember XLR mic, Blue continues to make among the greatest studio and live-streaming mics for the cash. 

Read the Blue Yeti USB review.

Joshua Goldman/PJDM

You do not want interchangeable lenses to get high-quality footage — simply seize some easy add-on lenses. The Black Eye Professional lenses are good as a result of they rapidly clip on and match any cellphone lens (or pill or laptop computer webcam, for that matter). Although you should purchase lenses individually, you may also get them as a package with a customized case that features fisheye, 2.5x telephoto, and cinematic wide-angle lenses.


If you wish to livestream from most cameras, you may want a {hardware} encoder just like the Magewell. It permits you to join HDMI and USB audio and video sources and stream from them to YouTube, Twitch or Fb over Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It has an HDMI output, too, so you possibly can monitor your stream. 

See at Magewell.


A software encoder will allow you to stream your PC video games and webcam video to YouTube and Twitch. Nevertheless, console gamers will want a seize card just like the HD60 S. Join this to your Nintendo Change, PlayStation Four or Xbox after which to a PC or Mac and a show and it’ll seize your gameplay and set you up for streaming. The included software program will show you how to combine in webcam video as properly. 

See at Elgato.

Extra cameras

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Joshua Goldman