What’s the best camera for YouTube? Let’s look at both fact and opinion, and narrow this down!

 

What you're gonna learn about!
Hi – In this post, I’m going to introduce you to things that will guide you to the right YouTube camera !

You’re going to read about:

  • Budget
  • Requirements
  • Accessories
  • A range of highly rated cameras well-suited for YouTube
  • Bonus: A YouTube gamer interview, discussing the way he sets up for YouTube work!

Today, bloggers are smart to augment their written content with video content. A smart move is to create a YouTube channel. To make the most of that, you’ll want to determine what the best camera for YouTube is. Let’s talk about that.

When choosing the best camera for YouTube, here are three key things you need to keep in mind:

  • Your budget
  • Your requirements
  • Accessories

Budget

Best YouTube Camera

No one wants to spend more than they have to. This is especially true when you’re looking for the best camera for YouTube beginners. Sometimes, though, higher price works to your advantage. You get more quality, features, and performance. Cameras for YouTube need to handle indoor studio, live streaming, and outdoor vlogging.

 
Be realistic with your budget. Determine what your largest number is and stick to it. Some of the highest rated cameras range in price from $70 to well over $250. Thankfully, many are around the $150 price point)
 
Budget Bonus – Later in this post I interview a successful YouTuber. His recommended go-to camera is at the low-end of the spectrum, but you’ll see it produces great video! Stick with me here, though. We’ll get to that shortly.

Requirements

Best YouTube Camera

Requirements come down to asking “What am I doing?” 

Answering that will help you figure out the best video camera for making YouTube videos for you!

It’s really that simple! Don’t buy what you don’t need. Once you determine you need a feature or item, see what your budget is and figure out the smart way to get what you need (not want).

Identify the requirements that answer “what am I doing?”

 

  • Are you outdoors in rugged terrain?
  • Are you near water, maybe vlogging in (or under) water?
  • Do you need shots from a helmet mount?
  • Are you live streaming?
  • Are you doing webinars from indoors?
  • If indoors, how are you going to mount your camera?
  • Do you need green screen capabilities?
  • Do you need supplemental lighting?
  • Will the microphone on the camera provide adequate sound or will it sound “echoey”

Once you have an answer for “what am I doing”, you can easily write down your requirements and use that to shape your shopping list

Accessories

Best YouTube Camera

A camera alone is what actually gets you the shot. The accessories improve upon that. Determine, within budget and your true requirements, what accessories you need. Accessories can include:

Tripods (full, monopod, table top)

Lighting (studio, ring lights, streaming)

Greenscreen

Microphones (wireless and lapel)

Mic wind muffs

Motion stabilizers

Memory Cards

Camera bags

… and More

>>> You can get these kinds of things on Amazon (see Accessory Showcase below) AND great camera stores like B&H Photo

With those key things in mind, let’s take a look at products that embody “Best YouTube Camera”



Canon PowerShot SX530 HS

One of Canon’s “long zoom” cameras, the SX530 HS sports an awesome 50x (24-1200mm) zoom. Image stabilization is solid, too. The camera’s ergonomic grip makes for steady handheld shooting, and the camera can analyze the scene setup and provide its stabilization technology to deliver clear and virtually shake-free images. This is thanks to the “Intelligent IS” feature, which applies shake correction matched to the situation. For YouTubers, you’ll appreciate video IS that is selected from Dynamic IS, Powered IS, Macro (Hybrid) IS and Active Tripod IS modes.

Specs include:

  • 16.0 Megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CMOS
  • Approx. 16.8 Megapixels
  • Focal Length: 4.3 (W) – 215.0 (T) mm (35mm film equivalent: 24-1200mm)
  • Optical Zoom: 50x
  • Digital Zoom: 4.0x
  • Focusing Range:

Normal: 2.0 in. (5cm) – infinity (W), 4.3 ft. (1.3m) – infinity (T)
Auto/Manual: 0.0 in. (0cm) – infinity (W), 4.3 ft. (1.3m) – infinity (T)
Macro AF: 0.0 in. – 1.6 ft. (0-50cm) (W)

Autofocus System: TTL Autofocus, Manual Focus


Canon PowerShot SX740

Another Canon “long zoom” camera, the SX740 gives you 4K video recording at nearly four times the resolution of Full HD, and Intelligent Image Stabilization. The Zoom Framing Assist feature helps you track a moving subject when zoomed fully extended. Just hold the Zoom Framing Assist button and watch it automatically zoom out to help you locate your subject. Releasing the button returns you to your zoom setting. With Zoom Plus,  the camera lets you to add another 40x – for about an 80x zoom without losing resolution.

Specs Include:

  • 20.3 Megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CMOS
  • Focal Length: 4.3 (W) – 172.0 (T) mm (35mm film equivalent: 24-960mm)
  • Optical Zoom: 40x
  • Digital Zoom: Approx. 4x
  • Focusing Range:
  • Auto: 0.4 in. (1cm) – infinity (W), 6.6 ft. (2.0m) – infinity (T)
  • Normal: 2.0 in. (5cm) – infinity (W), 6.6 ft. (2.0m) – infinity (T)
  • Macro: 0.4 in. – 1.6 ft. (1-50cm) (W)
  • Autofocus System: TTL Autofocus


Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera 16MP Vision 3 Underwater Waterproof Camera 170° Wide Angle WiFi 

This highly reviewed camera includes a wireless remote control for your wrist for those of you who like to helmet-mount your camera. Wireless range is about 30 feet, but note that the remote is not waterproof.

It has a waterproof case that allows dives to 100 feet. It comes with 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries, charger and accessories

Features include exposure and white balance, a driving mode, time lapse, image rotation, slow motion, and loop recording.

Specs include:

  • 4K with 4X ZOOM
  • Professional 4K/30FPS, 2.7K/30fps, 1080P/60FPS video and 16MP photo resolution
  • Zoom range from 1.0X to 4.0X
  • Wireless wrist remote
  • WIFI with 2″ screen
  • 100 foot waterproof with case


Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam – Full 1080p HD Camera – Background Replacement Technology for YouTube or Twitch Streaming

This very popular Logitech YouTube and streaming camera is designed for social gaming sites like Twitch and entertainment sites like YouTube.

  • HD 1080P video at 30Fps as well as 720P at 60FPS
  • It’s compatible with Windows 7 up, as well as macOS X 10.9 or higher, XBox One, Chrome OS, Android v5.0 or above
  • Includes a USB port
  • Technology includes integrating a live image and any background scene, right into your stream (Windows 7 and above)
  • HD glass lens plus autofocus gives very sharp video in HD and has two Built-in microphones for stereo audio
  • Automatic light correction helps in dimly lit locations


Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video Calling and Recording, 1080p Camera, Desktop or Laptop Webcam

  • 1080p HD video calling (up to 1920 x 1080 pixels) for Skype for Windows; 5-foot cable
  • Supported clients also allow 720p HD video calling (up to 1280 x 720 pixels) 
  • Recording in full HD video (up to 1920 x 1080 ) – the maximum resolution at for 1080 and 720 is 30fps
  • Camera includes video compression, audio noise reduction, correction for low-light
  • Camera has a tripod-ready universal clip to fit laptops and monitors
  • Works with Windows 7 up plus Mac OS 10.10 or later, Chrome OS, Android v 5.0 or above (for supported video-calling clients)

 


Logitech BRIO – Ultra HD for streaming, YouTube, Video Conferencing

  • One of the most technologically advanced webcam’s you can find. BRIO offers 5x digital zoom, high frame rates, outstanding low-light performance, HDR, and more
    ADJUSTABLE FIELD OF VIEW – Three field of view settings – 65, 78, or 90 degrees diagonal
    4K RECORDING – BRIO works with Camera for Windows 10, XSplit Broadcaster, OBS, and SwiftCapture to record up to 4K
    STREAMING – BRIO has a high frame rate with no lag. Stream in 1080p HD up to 60 fps
    MOUNTING & PRIVACY – Brio mounts on LCD screen, notebook, tabletop or tripod. There’s a removable and flip-down privacy shade
    ZOOM – This camera’s 4K image sensor delivers excellent high def quality, even zoomed
    CUSTOMIZATION – You can customize pan, zoom, and image controls with “Logitech Camera Settings” software for Windows and Mac


Now that you’ve seen an offering of best YouTube cameras, you may have the sense that “best” is in the eye of the beholder. That’s true of any “best of” list on the web. Certain things do stand out, however. Let’s talk to a YouTuber who has his own view of “best” to share with you!

Interview – a Best YouTube Camera User Case Study

A great YouTuber use case is the gamer. Gamers need solid video of themselves during game play. They also need awesome video quality for recording and live streaming gaming conventions. Plus they can’t mess up that after-convention fan footage. Finally, they get maybe one shot with game developers and coders.
 

For that reason, I reached out to Bazgrim, a popular gamer who’s huge on “Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen”. Bazgrim does exclusive interviews with developers from Visionary Realms, vlogs from Pantheon conventions, records gameplay streams on Twitch, and more. He live-streams, he attends conventions, he interviews. Everything he does requires a solid piece of equipment.


best youtube camera


I caught up with him recently and captured some epic advice:

Q: Bazgrim, could you tell me what camera setup you use to make YouTube videos for your gaming channel? What’s good, what’s bad, what works best for you?

A: Requirements help make for the perfect vlogging camera for YouTube. I use a Logitech C920 for almost all of my recording. It works great, especially for it being very affordable. It is still one of the most popular cameras in the YouTube/Twitch world. Of course 4K is technically best, but for most practical purposes, it’s not really necessary. 1080p is perfectly fine for most applications and the C920 does it well. It may not give the perfect picture right out of the box, but with a little tweaking of the settings, you should be able to get it just right.

Q: How does it work for you? Is it versatile?

A: It mounts directly to the back of your computer monitor, which can save some space on your desk. If we need to film remotely (like at a convention), we use a camera/tripod setup, which is a bit more pricey. The C920 has an onboard mic, but it is not very good, so you should always have a separate audio input.

For most applications, wired microphones will almost always be best, not to mention usually a little more affordable. I’m personally considering getting a wireless headset for audio recording only because I may sometimes need to stand up and walk away even while live streaming, and I already have a lot of cables on my desk.

But other than those reasons, wired is often best, mostly because the battery life on wireless mics is usually not great, and you obviously don’t want it to die in the middle of a recording session.

Q: Recommendations?

A: Latency on most wireless mics isn’t too bad, although that can sometimes be an issue too. The more hardcore broadcasters will probably recommend getting a dedicated microphone such as a Blue Snowball, but these sometimes require a little higher budget and more knowledge about condensers and audio balancing. It’s not rocket science, but I just personally prefer the headsets since they’re plug-and-play and have combined audio input/output. However, I may adapt if/when my needs change in the future. My favorite brand of headsets is Turtle Beach. They have a wide variety of budget options and one of my headsets from them is still going strong after almost 8 years of heavy use, so their quality is really good too.

Q: What guidance can you give my readers about video versus audio?

A: A good rule of thumb is that most people can tolerate bad video, but almost no one can tolerate bad audio. In that vein, I’m not super picky on lighting. Even just a little external lighting (if you know how to use it) can go a long way. I have a couple of budget soft boxes I got on Amazon that work fine.

Q: How about requirements and budget? What should people focus on?

A: I guess the moral of the story is that top notch equipment really isn’t necessary for those starting out in production. It helps for those looking to go professional, but getting a few things that give you a lot of bang for your buck and knowing how to use them is really all you need.

So, there you have it.

Thanks, Bazgrim. You can see what he’s vlogging  about now on the Bazgrim TV YouTube Channel


Accessory Showcase

Here are some accessories to consider (IF it’s in your budget and in line with your requirements)

Tripods (full, monopod, table top)

60 inch lightweight tripod with bag

Lighting (studio, ring lights, streaming)

8″ Selfie Ring Light with Tripod Stand & Cell Phone Holder for Live Stream/Makeup

Neewer Ring Light Kit

Greenscreen

Neewer green screen with auto locking frame

Microphones (wireless and lapel)

Rode RodeLink FM Digital Wireless Filmmaker System

Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone

Motion stabilizers

Roxant Pro Video Camera Stabilizer Limited Edition

 


So, what do you think? Ready to start a blog and add a YouTube channel? Already have one?

Leave a comment below and tell us what you think is the best camera for YouTube, maybe even the best starter camera for YouTube, and why you use it.

(Full Disclosure: this page contains affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means if you buy from those links there is no extra cost to you, but I do get a small commission. Also, information is for reference only as manufacturers could potentially change these details) 

Thanks for being here for this one! While you’re at it, jump onboard for more actionable content:

 

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