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Updated May 1, 2023 1:25 PM

There isn’t one to rule them all when it comes to cameras for YouTube. Finding the best camera for vlogging 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 circumstances, the right camera may mean one that is ultra-portable and 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 every kind of content creator and give you a look at some options that offer adaptability.

The best cameras for YouTube: Reviews & Recommendations

Whether you are just starting up your YouTube channel or looking to upgrade your content to continue to grow your audience, these cameras are sure to help bring out the best in your work.

Best streaming camera: Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam




  • Resolution: 2 megapixels, 1080p video resolution
  • Sensor size: Size unspecified
  • Lens mount: N/A
  • Image stabilization: None
  • Memory card slots: None
  • Weight: 5.7 ounces
  • Dimensions: 3.7 x 1.7 x 2.8 inches with clip


  • 60 fps possible at 720p
  • 78-degree field of view
  • Two built-in omnidirectional mics
  • Auto light correction


  • No privacy shutter

The folks at Logitech created the C922x streaming camera with YouTubers in mind. It streams in full HD at 30 frames per second. Or, should you need something faster, you can drop the resolution down to 720p for 60fps. Your streamed content won’t suffer from any sort of lag or distortion. And the glass lens on this webcam will result in sharper content compared to plastic lenses.

The C922x 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. And the two built-in omnidirectional microphones can sub in for a full mic if you haven’t picked up a professional option yet. You will sound natural and clear throughout your stream, even if you move around a lot.

Plus, The C922x Pro includes a free six-month subscription to XSplit, which can simplify your live-streaming process. This is one of our favorite webcams in general, but it makes for an especially fantastic choice for those sharing their content on YouTube.

Best for travel: Sony RX100 VII Premium Compact Camera




  • Resolution: 20.1 megapixels
  • Sensor size: 1-inch
  • Lens mount: N/A
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Memory card slots: Single slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Weight: 10.65 ounces
  • Dimensions: 4 x 2.29 x 1.69 inches


  • Compact and portable
  • Versatile 24-200mm equivalent built-in zoom lens
  • Fast autofocus
  • 4K video


  • Expensive for a compact camera

Don’t let the Sony RX100 VII’s size deceive you—it’s an extremely powerful vlogging camera for YouTube 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. It covers a 35mm equivalent range of 24-200mm, making it ideal for everything from group selfies to wildlife photos and videos. The tiny size and built-in lens make it a perfect travel companion, especially if you like to travel light.

The AI-aided, real-time tracking keeps your subjects in focus, while Active SteadyShot mode provides image stability as you walk and talk. The 4K 30/24 fps video is crisp, while full HD offers 120 fps for epic slow-motion footage. A Photo Capture function is built right into the camera, so you can grab 8.29-megapixel stills from your 4K footage to use as thumbnails in your videos or social media promos. A built-in microphone with audio output means you won’t need to bring an extra mic and travel lighter, but should you want it, there is a 3.5mm external microphone port to add a mic as well.

Best action: GoPro HERO11 Black




  • Resolution: 27 megapixels
  • Sensor size: 1/1.9-inch
  • Lens mount: N/A
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Memory card slots: Single slot: microSD/microSDHC (UHS-III)
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces
  • Dimensions: 2.8 x 2 x 1.3 inches


  • Highly compact and portable
  • Extremely rugged design
  • Award-winning stabilization
  • 5.3K video at 60 fps


  • Battery won’t last all day

The GoPro HERO11 is the go-to for action-oriented camera for YouTubers, thanks to its durable body and impressive image-stabilization software. Even videos of serious action will be smooth and stable thanks to the HyperSmooth 5.0 digital stabilization. And, as has been the case for the last handful of GoPro cameras, the body is extremely rugged and adventure-ready even without a case. It’s waterproof to 33 feet on its own, and the water-repelling lens will make photos and videos in wet conditions sharper.

The HERO11 allows up to 5.3K60p video for professional-looking footage. Built with content creators in mind, its larger sensor provides more flexibility when it comes to aspect ratios. It can record at a nearly square 8:7, which provides the largest vertical field of view of any GoPro yet. That’s ideal for vertical videos that you want to share to YouTube Shorts or on TicTok or Instagram. Or you can create immersive 16:9 POV video thanks to the HyperView digital lens. The Hero11 truly has an extensive list of features to love, especially for active and adventurous YouTube creators, making it a top choice when it comes to cameras for YouTube.

Best battery life: Sony Alpha a6600 Mirrorless Camera




  • Resolution: 24.2 megapixels
  • Sensor size: APS-C
  • Lens mount: Sony E
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Memory card slots: Single slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Weight: 4.72 x 2.63 x 2.73 inches
  • Dimensions: 1.11 pounds


  • Class-leading autofocus tracking
  • Excellent battery life
  • 4K recording
  • Built-in stabilization


  • Single UHS-I card slot

The Sony a6600 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. And when you do need to charge the camera, you can do so via micro-USB, so you don’t need to worry about remembering to bring your battery charger along.

The a6600 is capable of oversampled 4K30p video, providing highly detailed results. If you stop down to full HD, you can shoot at up to 120 fps for excellent slow-motion footage. There’s no recording limit, meaning you can shoot longer takes or live events without interruption. While we would suggest a gimbal for most situations, the a6600 provides five stops of stabilization via the 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization system. And you’ll have access to Sony’s impressive autofocus tracking to keep your subject in focus no matter what.

Best full-frame: Sony ZV-E1




  • Resolution: 12.9 megapixels
  • Sensor size: Full-frame
  • Lens mount: Sony E
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Memory card slots: Single slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 2.8 x 2.1 inches


  • Very compact for a full-frame camera
  • Impressive stabilization
  • AI-based features
  • Dust and moisture resistant


  • Single SD card slot

The Sony ZV-E1 is a seriously impressive camera for YouTube content. It’s capable of 4K video at up to 120p, or full HD up to 240p. The body features a better heat-dissipating structure, so you should be able to get up to 60 minutes of recording time even at 4K60p. Beyond heat limitations, there are no recording time limits, making long clips possible.

Sony packed this camera with an extensive list of content creator-friendly features. That includes an AI processing unit that enables impressive AI recognition and autofocus tracking. It can automatically crop the frame to focus on a specific subject. And multiple Face Recognition allows you to track multiple subjects in the frame. The Product Showcase SEtting can switch AF tracking between you and your product to make product spotlights easier. Plus, there is a bokeh switch to adjust the level of bokeh that you want.

The ZV-E1 offers impressive five-axis optical image stabilization or smooth footage even without a gimbal. You’ll also have access to Optical active mode for better stabilization when walking. And dynamic active mode adds electronic stabilization for even more stable footage with fast movements or longer focal lengths. And despite all these features, the camera body is one of the most compact full-frames available, making it easier to hold when recording and more travel-friendly. If you need impressive specs in a small package, this is one of the absolutely best available full-frame cameras for YouTube.

Best budget: Canon EOS R50

Abby Ferguson



  • Resolution: 24.2 megapixels
  • Sensor size: APS-C
  • Lens mount: Canon RF
  • Image stabilization: None
  • Memory card slots: Single slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Weight: 13.2 ounces
  • Dimensions: 4.6 x 3.4 x 2.7 inches


  • Budget-friendly
  • Light and compact
  • Advanced autofocus
  • Beginner-focused features


  • No stabilization

You don’t have to settle for a less-than-impressive camera if you need a budget camera for YouTube. Canon’s EOS R50 packs plenty of advanced features into this beginner-friendly body that is quite affordable, especially for what you get. It’s also extremely lightweight and compact. Hand-holding the camera is easier for longer periods, and you’ll be more likely to actually bring it with you. The lightweight design also helps with recording smooth videos since there is no built-in stabilization.

The R50 is capable of 6K oversampled 4K30p video or full HD at up to 120p for slow-motion playback. For such a budget camera, those are some seriously impressive video specs for such an affordable camera. It also provides access to advanced autofocus features such as whole-area tracking, subject detection, and Movie for Close-up Demo Mode. You can continuously record for up to one hour, so you can record an entire vlog in one go if you want.

Things to consider when shopping for the best cameras for YouTube

Finding the best cameras for YouTube can be painstaking, especially with so many options now available at a click of a button. No need to spend hours scouring online research for the best vlogging camera, because we’ve rounded up only the best for you to choose from. We’ve got you covered with the highlighted features to look for that will help you take your content to the next level.

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. This will ensure that you capture all your video in detail without inconsistencies in lighting or focus as the subject moves in-frame.

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

We want to vlog everything, from family vacations to solo adventures in new destinations. 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 while 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. When selecting your travel content camera, check out how much your pick weighs so you can be sure it won’t weigh you down while exploring.

Searching for the best cameras for YouTube to keep up with the action?

If you’re splashing in the pool, filming a 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 tech from drops and impacts. Image stabilizing is equally essential to avoid shaky footage while performing stunts or action. This pick should be durable while still offering high-quality footage so your viewers don’t miss out on any of the action.

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. Before buying, check to see how many batteries your camera comes equipped with, as well as the charge time. This can ensure you never lose out on valuable moments due to a lack of battery power.

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. USB streaming allows you to easily transfer footage for editing, making the process faster and more seamless. With this added feature, you can crank out content in no time by uploading with the click of a button.

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 better to pick up a cheap catch-all model. This will allow you to grow and hone in on 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 underwater footage. But if you’re producing compelling content, a budget camera will still get you seen.


Q: Which camera is best for YouTube beginners?

Which is the best cameras 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.

Q: 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.

Q: 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 buying for the best cameras for YouTube

We loathe to say it, but content is king. When shopping for the best cameras for YouTube, 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 backcountry. It will mean the difference between buying a stationary streaming webcam and purchasing a mirrorless, 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.

Why trust us

PopPhoto has a long history of delivering the opinions of some of the sharpest and most prolific camera dorks the world has to offer. Since 1937, we’ve been reviewing cameras, providing wisdom from well-known photographers, and generally just nerding out about all that goes into making great pictures. Our current crop of writers and editors have decades of professional photography and camera writing experience among them. Collectively, we’ve probably shot with just about every camera and lens combo you can imagine—as well as some obscure stuff you may not even know about. Remember the Casio Tryx folding camera? PopPhoto does.

We also get that buying a camera is a big decision, which is why we’re dedicated to helping folks choose the right one (or, in our case “ones”) for their needs. Case in point: Handing over top dollar for an expensive rig may leave you unsatisfied if it doesn’t fit your preferred shooting style. Sure, a $6,000 sports-oriented DSLR can capture landscapes, but do you really need to do it at 30 frames-per-second? No, you don’t.