Are you an aspiring YouTuber looking to take your videos to the next level but unsure what camera to buy? As intimidating as it can be, finding the right camera for YouTube doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
With the ever-growing selection of cameras on the market today, you need a camera that provides excellent quality without paying for features you do not need. Depending on the type of YouTube videos you create (or are planning to create), an ideal camera is available to meet your needs.
The best camera for YouTube creators include:
1. Sony A7C: The Best Camera For YouTube
If you plan on shooting videos, the Sony A7C is one of the best investments to produce incredible results. This camera, especially for beginners, is so easy to use because of its intuitive design.
It caters to creators and avoids layering the camera with unnecessary things that hinder the content-creating process.
For convenience, you’ll find a record button on top and a flip-out articulating super helpful screen.
Sony gave a lot of consideration to what content creators need, so you’ll enjoy shooting with this camera.
Before you go out and buy the most expensive video camera with all the gimmicks you think you need, let’s look at the best current camera and some great alternatives, weighing the pros and cons to match your budget and YouTubing needs.
Know that the best camera is the one that will give you everything you need to start creating YouTube videos while being easy to use.
Second, you’ll want to go with something that has the potential to help you grow, like interchangeable lenses, 4K video, etc.
It’s not practical to buy a camera knowing you need to replace it in a few months.
What Features Can You Expect From The Sony A7C?
The Sony A7C has exceptional stabilization thanks to its IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization). It prevents the camera from displaying hand jitters and unexpected shakes while filming.
This camera has a flip-out screen to view yourself while filming to ensure you get the perfect shot or angle.
The Sony a7C doesn’t have a record limit, so if you plan on starting a podcast on YouTube, where you may need to record clips longer than 30 minutes, the A7C will do the trick.
Furthermore, when you shoot YouTube videos, you don’t want to stop and start in the middle of shooting because it will break the flow of your video.
Therefore, having no record limit is a significant feature that enables you to record as long as the memory on your SD cards lasts (or until your battery has no more juice).
Suppose you plan to have your camera stationary. In that case, it’s well worth purchasing a battery adapter that plugs right into the wall, meaning you can record indefinitely as your battery remains charged.
Next, consider the size of your SD card. If you plan on getting into color grading or like cinematography and filmmaking, it’s important to note that the A7C records in 8 bit.
This, unfortunately, doesn’t provide you with too much to work with, but with that being said, the default color profile on new Sony cameras is near perfect anyway.
For YouTube productions, this isn’t something that will hold you back.
2. Canon M50 II: The Affordable Alternative
The Canon M50 II (and M50 I) is the most popular YouTube camera for content creators due to its exquisite features and affordable price, which makes it easy to create good-quality videos.
The compact camera from Canon is a best-seller and comes in as a very affordable mirrorless camera – like the ZV-E10. Some of its features include swapping camera lenses, so if you want to upgrade the lens and start vlogging, you don’t need to purchase a whole new camera. You only need to swap the lens to a wider focal length.
If you were to zoom out, you would get a super wide shot, which makes creating content a lot easier when you have this much room to work with, especially regarding vlogging. It also has a flip-out screen and numerous other features that make this Canon camera suitable for beginners and easy to use.
The Canon M50 II even comes with beginner modes that teach you how to use the camera and get the most out of it.
Cons Of The Canon M50 Mark II
The most apparent con of the Canon M50 Mark II is how it delivers 4K video.
When filming in this mode, the image is cropped 1.5x (in addition to the standard 1.6x crop on an APS-C sensor), giving you a crop of 2.4x… This means you will need an extremely wide focal length to capture vlogging situations or where space is limited.
Surprisingly, that is not the worst con, though.
In 4K video mode, the camera turns off its excellent dual-pixel autofocus and switches to a contrast detection autofocus, which is terrible unless your subject isn’t moving much.
For talking head style videos, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but if you’re the run-and-gun vlogger-type, you will need to film in 1080p to capture usable footage.
3. Sony ZV-1: An Excellent Vlogging Camera
As we covered in our guide to the best cheap vlogging cameras, the Sony ZV-1 is one of the best.
One of its best features, as a point-and-shoot, is that you get all the necessary features neatly in one package.
Following that, you won’t change lenses on this camera; instead, the lens integrates into the camera.
The lens boasts excellent versatility since it’s a 24 to 70 equivalent lens. This means that the lens has a respectably wide focal length that is the equivalent of 24mm (enough to fit yourself and some background into the frame when vlogging handheld on the go) and a fairly good zoom distance of 70mm to take some more shallow depth of field videos and to get closer to subjects that are in the distance.
If you like the general features of the ZV-1 but would prefer the flexibility to change lenses, you should consider the Sony ZV-E10.
Is The Sony ZV-1 The Camera For Your YouTubing Needs?
The Sony ZV-1 can shoot 4K video, has no record limit, and boasts a great image straight out of the camera.
Moreover, for these reasons and its clean HDMI interface, it’s one of the best options for live streaming. If you plan on leveling up your live streams or video conference calls, the ZV-1 is a great camera to make the process seamless.
Additional features of this camera are its internal ND filter inside the camera, which makes filming outside more accessible by giving you more control over features like your shutter speed and aperture.
This can help you get that satisfactory blurry background and motion blur, when filming. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much “bokeh” you get with such a small camera.
Some Of The Sony ZV-1’s Unique Features
This camera has a flip-out articulating screen to see yourself while filming. It also has great auto-focus, specifically eye auto-focus, which does a great job tracking your eyes no matter where you create your YouTube videos.
Although people don’t usually talk about Sony cameras’ intelligent auto modes, it’s an invaluable tool for any content creator.
It does an incredible job of identifying a scene and adjusting its settings accordingly. Whether you keep the camera in intelligent auto video or photo mode, you’ll likely be ecstatic with the results.
Cons Of The Sony ZV-1
The biggest con regarding this camera is the focal length. The fact that you cannot change the lens might be something that you may struggle with if the standard 24-70mm range doesn’t suit your needs.
That said, most content creators prefer a wider shot to show off more of what’s happening around them. The only way to shoot wider with the ZV-1 is to buy the wide-angle converter.
It may be a little bit impractical, but it does get the job done.
4. Sony ZV-E10: An Interchangeable Alternative
The Sony ZV-E10 is slightly more expensive than the ZV-1, but its biggest advantage is that you can mount different lenses to the body.
If you need a different focal length or look, you can easily change the lens and get a wider shot or a shallower depth shot.
Another great feature of the ZV-E10 is its compact size, so carrying it around is not a burden. It comes with a flip-out screen so you can see yourself while filming, plus it has a mic jack if you want to try an external mic.
It also shoots in 4K and has superb autofocus, like the ZV-1. It has most of what the ZV-1 has, but it can do things a little better.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable additions of this camera is that when using it for live streaming – there is no special software or hardware required – just a USB cable plugged into your computer or laptop. So you can even use this camera for Zoom calls.
Furthermore, bringing guests on is easy if you want a discussion, interview, or multi-person podcast.
The Sony ZV-E10 is undoubtedly one of the best cameras for content creators.
5. iPhone 14 Pro: Best Smartphone Camera
If you have an iPhone 14 Pro, it’s a great place to start creating YouTube videos. Shooting videos on a smartphone is great because it’s one of the most straightforward ways – you only need to switch on the camera, and you’re ready to go.
In reality, most smartphones produced in the last 2-3 years will produce great 4K videos that you can use for your YouTube channel.
The iPhone 14 Pro, however, is the best of the best, and if you need a new smartphone and want to create YouTube videos, using the excellent camera on your phone can save you hassle and also money.
You Can Equip Different Lenses To An iPhone
The iPhone 14 Pro has a focal length equivalent of 24-75mm, which is a good versatile range to film in. If you need some more zoom or a wider shot, you can get lenses that can be mounted to your iPhone to increase its versatility.
Moment has a neat system that effectively turns your smartphone into an interchangeable lens camera with wide, anamorphic, and telephoto lens options.
The iPhone Filming Experience
Shooting on a smartphone is one of the easiest ways to start making YouTube videos. In the past, their biggest flaw was their inability to apply a blurry background, which has since disappeared.
iPhones nowadays implement cinematic mode, which can simulate an artificial background, which is highly desirable for most people, perhaps even more so than a standard blurry background.
And so when we’re talking about cameras that can offer you a ton of value for money, an iPhone is one of the best options.
Therefore, if you’re considering making Youtube videos, an iPhone is a solid investment rather than spending money by the bucket loads on a complicated camera because you’re going to use it as a workhorse camera.
If you opt for an iPhone, consider getting more space because video data is pretty big and can quickly fill your iPhone’s hard drive. Of course, using an iPhone also means you can use it for phone calls and text messaging.
While accessories are essential, quality videos depend more on good lighting and a good mic, making the video sound and look phenomenal, especially if you’re out and about and use the sun as natural lighting.
Another feature that makes a smartphone an ideal choice for creating YouTube Videos is that it’s probably the only 4K camera in which you can film videos, edit them, and then post them in one system.
In essence, you can accomplish the entire process of creating YouTube videos on a single device. You could even then create complimentary short-form content to share across other networks.
6. The GoPro Hero 11 Black Is A Viable Alternative
You might be surprised to see the GoPro on this list, but GoPros are fantastic for beginners and experts alike, primarily because it’s automatic.
It only requires that you pull it out and hit record without worrying about shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.
Can You Create YouTube Videos With a GoPro?
The GoPro Hero 11 Black is a good pick for adventurous YouTubers interested in live streaming, vlogging, or recording videos outside.
If you like to hike, surf, or do other adventurous activities, you’ll get a lot of value from this camera because it’s waterproof and dust resistant. You can throw it around and do a lot with this it, which you can’t do with most cameras.
When it comes down to it, this isn’t the best vlogging camera because the audio lags behind some of the other cameras. However, if you’re looking to explore the outdoors on hikes, record exciting memories or get breathtaking underwater shots, the GoPro Hero 11 is unmatched.
GoPro Drawbacks For YouTubers
GoPro cameras don’t provide the much sought-after “Bokeh” (blurry background) you can get with other cameras.
However, it can film in 4K. This could be a con if you don’t have the space to edit a big 4K file, though. If you don’t have a solid computer, these file sizes might be too big for you to work with, and the editing experience will be more of a pain.
Nevertheless, it’s an excellent choice for beginners and outdoor adventurers. It’s compact and easily transportable if you ever want to do a travel vlog in a foreign country.