Best camera for YouTube: Capture your best self with our picks

Whether you’re streaming from your desk or going on tropical adventures, here are some great vlogging camera options.

There isn’t one to rule them all when it comes to cameras for YouTube. Finding the best camera for YouTube really comes down to what kind of content you’re creating. If you’re streaming Among Us from your desk you may not need as many frills as someone who is filming themselves leaping off waterfalls, exploding canisters of carbonated beverages, or showing off their brand-new Bugatti.

Depending on your circumstance, the right camera may mean one that is ultra-portable, that allows you to frame yourself as you walk and talk. Or perhaps the most important consideration is getting the best image quality possible. We’ll guide you through the best cameras for various circumstances and give you a look at one or two compromise choices that offer adaptability and won’t damage your bank account.

Features to consider when shopping for the best camera for YouTube

Finding the best camera for YouTube can be a bit of a…process. But we’ve got you covered with what features to look for, depending on what kind of content you’re creating, and some best vlogging cameras to get you started.

Will you be live streaming with your vlogging camera?

If you’re a streaming YouTuber positioned in front of your state-of-the-art gaming PC, giving people the 411 at a desk, or doing nuanced tutorials, you’re going to want a streaming camera that produces a top-notch image, has a good frame rate, stays in focus, and isn’t drastically impacted by changes in room light.

Best streaming camera: Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam – Full 1080p HD Camera

Sits On Your Computer

This Logitech camera streams in full HD and keeps things in focus, thanks to automatic light correction. Amazon

BUY NOW

The folks at Logitech created the C922X streaming camera with YouTubers in mind. It streams in full HD at 30 frames per second and offers light correction so that shadows and natural lighting shifts don’t mar your content. Its autofocus function means you can get animated without losing followers. Its two microphones work fine if you haven’t picked up a professional mic yet. You can find YouTube cameras with 60 FPS, but they can lead to stuttering and blocky images.

For travel content creators, the YouTube camera needs to be durable, powerful, and compact

To produce top-notch video while traveling you’ll want a vlogging camera that is not only portable but also offers the kind of lens and software that can produce sharp and steady images on the go. A strong zoom lens tends to be very important for capturing breathtaking views, surprise visitors, and distant landmarks without losing focus. You’ll also want a reliable built-in microphone so that you don’t have to lug other gear along with you.

Best travel camera for YouTube: Sony RX100 VII Premium Compact Camera

Portable and Reliable

Powerful zoom ability with active image stabilization for on-the-go recording. Amazon

BUY NOW

Don’t let the Sony RX100 VII’s size deceive you—it’s an extremely powerful vlogging camera, built for capturing vivid images and 4K video on the go. Its Zeiss Vario Sonnar large-aperture, high-magnification zoom lens delivers stunning image quality up close and at a distance. AI-aided, real-time tracking keeps your subjects in focus, while Active mode provides image stability as you walk and talk. The 4K video is crisp, and a built-in microphone with audio output means you won’t need to bring an extra mic.

Searching for the best vlogging camera to keep up with the action?

If you’re splashing in the pool, filming the game, conducting crazy outdoor experiments, or doing anything involving serious action, you’re going to need a camera that can survive accidents while providing a steady image. Waterproofing is a must, as is a body that can protect its guts from drops and impacts. Image stabilizing is equally essential. No one wants to watch you’ set a new record on the ninja warrior course if they get sick watching the shaky-cam footage.

Best action camera for YouTube: GoPro HERO9 Black

Durable and Delightful

No worries about diving into the action, thanks to a waterproof body and video stabilization. Amazon

BUY NOW

The GoPro HERO9 has earned a place as a go-to for action-oriented YouTubers, thanks to its durable body and image-stabilization software, which keeps the action watchable. Allowing up to 5K video, the HERO9 captures impeccable images in any setting, relying on its HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilization software. Built with content creators in mind, the HERO9 allows for live streaming in 1080p on social media. A nifty new feature called Hindsight captures video 30 seconds before you press record so that you never miss that insane stunt your buddy just pulled. Insane slo-mo and time-lapse settings make for the perfect action camera for YouTube

Those who film long-form videos need a vlogging camera with great battery life

If you’re making long-form content there is no more important consideration than battery life. Losing power and cutting short your viewer’s experience can be deadly to the follower count. However, you want to make sure you aren’t sacrificing decent image quality for a camera that will stay charged.

Best vlogging camera for battery life: Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera

Look Your Best For Longer

This mirrorless marvel provides insane battery life, stunning images, and tracking technology that will make your 4K videos the envy of all. Amazon

BUY NOW

The Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera brings with it all the advantages of mirrorless technology–improved video, improved image speed, long battery life, and lighter bodies. It boasts a battery known for being inexhaustible for stills and capable of filling up multiple memory cards with 4K video before needing a recharge. Sony’s tracking technology makes filming a breeze. The caveat here is the entry price. Mirrorless cameras are quite pricey at the moment but are likely to come down as the technology becomes more common.

A full-frame camera that streams over USB makes everything easier

Full frame cameras offer a slew of upgrades to image quality, including bigger pixels and the ability to capture more light, which results in more vibrant colors. They also allow for greater depth-of-field control.

Best full-frame camera for YouTube: Sigma fp Mirrorless Full-Frame Digital Camera

Great For HDR Shooting

Provides all the benefits of a full-frame with the body of a travel-minded camera. Amazon

BUY NOW

The Sigma Mirrorless features a back-illuminated, 35mm, full-frame sensor that provides sharper and deeper images than most other cameras on the market. Sigma claims the camera is the smallest and lightest full-frame camera in the world, and we don’t doubt it. The tiny body and mirrorless technology mean this thing is ultra-portable. It’s also dust- and splash-proof, so while you won’t want to bring it into the pool, it can probably survive some intense family blogging. Even better, you can stash it in a pocket just as easily you can in a suitcase. It supports UHD 4K at 24, 25, and 30 frames per second. The drawback here for some will be the price; combining full-frame and mirrorless technology makes for a premium entry fee. Another concern is the lack of a mechanical shutter. The camera’s petite size is due in part to the use of an electronic shutter, which may increase “rolling shutter” effects when focused on fast-moving subjects.

On a budget? Here’s what you can get for under $300

If you’re just dipping your toe into YouTube, experimenting with your content style, or stretching funds, it may be worth picking up a cheaper catch-all model. This will allow you to grow and hone your content before committing to a more expensive camera. That will mean you probably won’t be delivering the highest quality images, and you won’t be getting any under-water footage. But if you’re producing compelling content, a budget camera will still get you seen.

Best cheap vlogging camera: Canon PowerShot SX620 Digital Camera

Affordable and Functional

Delivers 1080P video, decent optical stabilization, and the convenience of Wi-Fi. Amazon

BUY NOW

This Canon camera features full HD with a 20.2 CMOS sensor and decent image stabilization to stamp out any unwanted motion blur. Recording straight to MP4 means that the built-in wi-fi makes it extremely easy to transfer videos to your computer for editing and uploading. This won’t produce flashy images and it doesn’t come with the kind of image stabilization you’ll want for rowdy shoots, but it handles the basics at a reasonable price.

FAQ: Best cameras for YouTube

Which camera is best for YouTube beginners?

Which is the best camera for YouTube beginners really depends on the kind of content you are creating. If you plan to remain relatively stationary something like the above-mentioned Logitech should serve you well, as it provides a steady video output along with autofocus and light correction. If you’re planning to spend most of your time on the go you’ll probably want to consider a low- to mid-range GoPro that provides stabilization and protection from the elements.

How much is a good camera for YouTube?

If by “good” you mean “top of the line” we’re talking multiple thousands of dollars. But if you’re looking at something functional with a decent number of quality-of-life features you can do it for between $350 and $400.

What makes a camera good for YouTube?:

A good YouTube camera needs to provide a level of image quality that won’t lose you followers, at the least. After that, you’ll want to consider what kind of content you’ll be creating. If you’re on the move, image stabilization is essential, as is battery life. If you’ll be streaming from your desk you’ll want to make sure your camera has autofocus and can adjust for changes in lighting.

A final word on shopping for the best vlogging cameras

We loathe to say it, but content is king. When shopping for a YouTube camera you’ll need to consider what you’ll be doing with it. Providing commentary on a DOTA stream has far different demands than capturing extreme sporting events or documenting trips to the outback. It will mean the difference between buying a stationary streaming webcam and purchasing a mirrorless, a full-frame wonder of modern photography.

No matter what you’re creating, you’ll want a decent image, but just how good really depends on what kind of standards you can afford to support and what kind of standards you’re growing audience demands of you. End your search for the best vlogging camera and get yours today!