Best Camera for YouTube 2017 - Buyer's Guide
YouTube is arguably the best and largest video-sharing website for creating brands and building businesses. And this includes anyone who want to share their music videos or vlogs.
Since its inception back in 2005 billions of video hours have been uploaded. Statistics show that 400 hours of video are uploaded every minute while 4,146,600 videos are watched every minute. In a day, 1 billion hrs. are watched. This is crazy.
Another shocker. While many people think that YouTube is filled with music content that's not the case, 41% are people and blogs, music takes only 5%.
These mind blowing statistics are thanks to how easy it is to record and edit a video. With a good video camera there is nothing you can't do.
Best Camera for YouTube 2017
While these figures are quite appealing, there’s so much consideration that goes into making a great video. To beat the competition and to make your video stand out, you'll need a good laptop to edit the videos and a camera to shoot HD videos.
Whatever videos you want to shoot, whether its a vlog, cooking, gaming or informational channel, join us as we unmask the best video cameras for filming YouTube videos in 2017/18. Our selected video camera are a mix of price, brand and design. This is to ensure that we've something for everyone. We will also take you through the different types of cameras you'll find on the market and the different factors to consider when buying a camera.
Starting us off on our list of the best cameras for filming YouTube videos is Canon SX610 HS. This is a pocket-friendly camera meant for YouTube starters. Experienced YouTubers can also have one as a backup for a bad day too.
Canon SX610 is a basic point and shoot camera. One thing that makes it one of the best YouTube video cameras for starters is its ease of use and its ‘not-so-bad’ performance to introduce you to the world of cameras. It measures 2.2 x 5.5 x 6.3 inches and weighs approx 1.1 pounds with the battery.
These dimensions make it a good camera for most outdoor activities. Unlike most of the huge cameras on this list, you don’t require a backpack for this one- not unless you have other uses for the bag, of course. You can simply hang it using its wrist strap or slide into our pocket.
The SX610 offers you an impressive 20.4-megapixel sensor (quite a good improvement for a point and shoot cam, by the way) for photos. It does not promise the best of the best image quality given its rather small 1 2/3’’ image sensor. However, you can expect to capture images with a good amount of clarity to share through social media.
Can it shoot videos? Yeah, it’s a cheap camera for YouTube videos too. Canon SX6110 features a dedicated movie button for that purpose. It’s fitted with a high-quality LCD screen and uses 1080p HD resolution. Despite its small size, this camera offers 18x optical zoom capability. It also shoots at 30 fps. Though the videos won’t be so stunning, you can be sure they aren’t that bad to help you learn the ropes.
Here is yet another inexpensive good camera for YouTube that can shoot incredible videos. GoPro cameras have a knack of showing up in almost any list of best cheap YouTube cameras for some good reasons.
Hero3+ is the cheapest camera on this list and also among GoPro’s series. It’s also the lowest price that we can guarantee your safety on these gadgets unless you have something specific in mind.
So what makes Hero3+ one of the best cameras for making YouTube videos?
First, if you are looking for a camera that you’ll use for years to come, this one is a must-have. Hero3+ features a tank-like design to withstand being totted and bumped around in hikes, camps, rock climbing, and any other extreme outdoor adventures.
In fact, if you want the best waterproof YouTube camera, this could be it. Hero3+ allows you to shoot videos and photos at a depth of up to 131 ft in water. So you can take it for scuba diving, kayaking, boat riding, fishing, and surfing.
About performance, Hero3+ offers more than you can expect from a camera in its price range. This is the best YouTube camera below $200 that offers 4K HD video support. Another great feature with this YouTube camera is that it has an ultra wide glass lens. To make your videos more appealing, Hero3+ has a higher fps (60-120) and incredible white balance settings to ensure clarity. Even better, unlike its elder sibling the GoPro Hero, Hero3+ has a new low-light setting for superb underwater videos and images.
One thing that you’ll realize in your search for the best YouTube cameras is that there exists a strong relationship between your budget and what the market can offer.
Needless to mention, the more you have, the better the camera you can get. That said, if you have just a few extra bucks to spend on a cheap YouTube camera, I would highly recommend the SX600 rather than the SX610 above. Let’s find out why.
Just like the SX610 before it, Canon Powershot SX600 is a slim, compact, and lightweight camera that you can take almost anywhere. In fact, this is one is much smaller than the SX610 at 4.1 x 1 x 2.4-inches and 6.6 ounces.
You can easily ferry it in your shirt or trouser pockets without giving you that awkwardly bulky appearance.
But what makes it the best budget camera for beginners is its incredible performance to price ratio. Like most Point and shoot cameras, this one uses Canon’s Smart Auto technology to automatically determine the best shooting settings for various environments. It also offers basic manual controls so you can fine tune your videos or images to how you want them.
Talking of videos, the SX600 uses the most recent Digic 4+ processor and captures the videos at 30 fps. It also has an 18x optical zoom for detailed videos. As if that’s not enough for an affordable YouTube camera, the SX600 offers 31 selectable languages, low-light setting, built-in Wi-Fi, and a battery-saving mode.
Introducing us to the world of the best DSLR cameras for making YouTube videos is the Canon EOS Rebel T5. If you wish to enjoy Canon technology without taking a second mortgage, Canon T5 fits the bill.
The good news is that it comes with the lens kit (though not the best) to kick start your YouTube hobby or career. Its great performance at such an unbelievable cost (below $400) is, of course, the reason it is currently the best-selling and most highly-rated DSLR camera on Amazon.
There are a couple of reasons that make T5 one of the best YouTube video camera for vloggers. To begin with, its 18 megapixels CMOS image sensor coupled by Digic 4 image processor offer you detailed YouTube films and images with natural color production.
The Digic 4 processor speeds up the camera process, so no scene escapes. In addition, Canon T5 offers you the versatility of recording in various sizes and frame rates. This makes final editing easy, fast, and stress-free.
Canon Rebel T5 is also the best DSLR camera for beginners. In fact, if you’ve used any of Canon’s point and shoot units before, transitioning to this model will be just another walk in the park. You could shoot and upload your first video on YouTube even without referring to the manual. Besides its straightforward manuals at the back, this camera offers Automatic Lighting Optimizer, Autofocus, and Scene Intelligent Auto mode to make things easier for you.
When any topic on the best YouTube vlogging cameras arises, you can be damn sure that the Nikon D3300 won’t miss (at least not any time soon). It’s now close to 3 years since it was first announced. Amazingly, it’s still kicking the ass of several other advanced models that cost even double its price.
The D3300 is a replica of its predecessor, the D3200.The major difference between the 2 is that the new model lacks the anti-aliasing filter. This feature prevents optical aberrations caused by repetitive detail patterns.
The tradeoff, however, is a reduction in sharpness. With the removal of the anti-aliasing filter and the presence of 24.2MP, the YouTube community can now enjoy photographs and YouTube video clips with high clarity and better definition.
One reason why YouTubers consider the D3300 as one of the best video cameras for YouTube filming is its Expeed 4 chip processor. This is Nikon’s latest and super fast processor, by the way. It boosts continuous shooting to an incredible 5 fps.
The D3300 flaunts ISO 100-1200 rating. The ability to boost this rating all the way to ISO 25600 gives you the freedom to be as creative as you can regarding low-light filming. Yes, Nikon D3300 also boasts 11-point Autofocus System. This one locks your subjects into the frame allowing you to capture every detail into your shots.
If you had around 500 dollars to spend on the best YouTube camera and lens kit, Rebel T6 would be our first recommendation.
Reason: this package comes with about everything you need to zero in your YouTube channel in a professional style while letting you save for other gadgets.
The camera alone costs around $450 on Amazon when writing this. However, for around 10 more bucks, you could get yourself the camera plus a ton of other accessories including 2 (32 and 16) Transcend memory cards, a tripod stand, a card reader, 3-piece UV filter kit, and LCD screen protectors to name but a few.
Besides offering you such a good bang for your bucks, there are a few features that make the T6 the best video cameras for YouTube. To begin with, compared to the T5, the T6 boasts a 3-inch 920K-dotted LCD Display which adds a bit of fun and convenience. Again, this camera is fitted with Canon’s EF-S lens mount. As such, as your YouTube channel attracts more fans, you can advance to any of Canon’s gold-quality lens.
Another headline feature that makes T6 one of the vlogging and photography cameras is its ISO 100-6400 ISO rating. While this is similar to T5’s, it flaunts a slight improvement on the processor. The T6 features the Digic 4+ whereas the T5 uses the older version Digic 4. This change coupled with the 3fps and 1080p HD capability should make filming quite a pleasing experience.
If you thought that only the DSLRs make good cameras for YouTube vlogging, I bet you have not met Panasonic Lumix ZS100 yet. This camera was birthed out of the urge to outdo Sony’s Cyber-shot RX100 V.
While the RX100 V still stands firmly in the forefront, YouTubers and photographers have a chance to enjoy high-quality filming and photographing without wrecking their accounts.
For the record, Lumix ZS100 offers almost the same qualities with the RX100 V including a 1-inch sensor, 10x optical zoom, and 4K Ultra HD recording but at a few hundred dollars. So unless you are so much into Sony, Panasonic Lumix ZS100 should make a very good buy.
Another feature worth the discussion in this YouTube camera is its 4K Ultra HD recording. In case you are new to these terms, 4K is almost 4 times the usual 1080p resolution with most cameras that we’ve reviewed here. This feature coupled by its eye-level electronic viewfinder, and touch screen LCD offers you one of the cameras you can carry around in your pocket.
By the same vein, the ZS100 comes fitted with Panasonic’s DFD (Depth From Defocus) Autofocus technology which makes capturing moving objects easy and with superb results. The only issue that we had with this camera is its left-sided viewfinder. Left-eyed users will have some problem dealing with the touch-sensitive screen.
As your search intensifies and your savings allow you to roam in the realm of the best of the vlogging and video recording cameras, you’ll certainly come across the Panasonic DMC-ZF1000.
With around 2-3 hundred dollars left for it to hit the 1000-dollar mark, this camera sets itself in a league that only the intrepid can play.
The DMC-ZF1000 is a bridge camera or simply put, a hybrid between DSLRs and point and shoot cameras. A stalwart regarding the best YouTube camera for sports, wildlife, and birding, this camera features a 16x-zoom lens and 7fps capability with the Autofocus ON and 12fps without the Autofocus.
It’s very unlikely that you’ll miss any shot thanks to this camera’s 0.09sec auto-focusing speed.
Moreover, you’ll find its 20.1MP 1-inch sensor and Venus Engine Processor (for instant start up time) quite a huge leap for your YouTube channel. Thinking of making videos, DMC-ZF1000 brings a tiltable 3’’ 920k-dot LCD screen and a few control buttons to help you customize your clips.
Aiming at making it the best YouTube camera for the money, Panasonic has gone ahead to include Wi-Fi connectivity (NFC and QR), so you can transfer the photos and videos with much ease. You can also use a downloadable app to create some really good creations with the photo collage function.
As you move further up and demand more for your money, Canon XA10, Canon VIXIA HF G40, Canon XF100, and Canon XA20 are some of the best professional YouTube cameras that you’ll be comparing. We chose to go with the XA10 since it crams most of the features that other high-end professional cameras boast at a lower price (at least for now).
The XA10 professional YouTube camera uses 1080p full HD resolution. It’s also fitted with Advanced Video Coding High Definition technology (the same codec used for writing on Blu-Ray disks).
So if you intend to code the videos on Blu-ray, you’ll be several steps ahead of the process. The same applies if you’re to convert the raw videos to H-264 web format.
This camera is fitted with a 10x zoom lens and a 1/3 inch CMOS sensor. An outstanding feature of this unit is that it has a 64-GB internal memory card and 2 extra slots that can be fitted with similar capacity memory cards. The 64GB internal memory card is enough to record up to 24 hours of high definition video.
Other features worth checking out in this YouTube video camera include 2X-magnification Focus Assistance, Touch and Face Focus.
Filling our #1 slot of the best camera for recording YouTube videos in 2017 and 2018 is the Sony a7R II (a for alpha). Its price (over 2k) keeps it in a league of its own because that’s exactly where it belongs.
The a7R II is the world’s first and currently the only mirrorless camera with a 35-mm BSI CMOS sensor. Enthusiasts claim that this sensor is the future of low-light operations.
Worth the discussion, this sensor has a gapless on-chip lens design that boosts light collection while enhancing detail. The sensor also ensures that your videos have highly reduced noise. The a7R has extremely speedy high-resolution stills thanks to its internal copper wiring system.
This system makes it possible to operate at up to ISO 102,400. Double these sensitivities with its 4K recording function, and you’ll understand what a boost this camera could be to our YouTube channel.
Designed to grow old with you, Sony a7RII features full magnesium alloy construction. The body has been sealed to protect the interiors from dust and moisture. The lens mount is rugged and strong to hold robust lenses too. Its slightly larger grips again offer you more assurance that your goddamn expensive lenses are safe.
That’s not everything! It’s also the best video cameras with 10 customizable buttons. This means that you can easily assign the functions that you tend to use too much to any of these buttons. Moreover, the control buttons have been repositioned to offer natural holding positions and minimized handshakes.
YouTubing is a thriving business. All it takes is a good camera and useful contents that will make your fans come back for moresss. We believe that our today’s list of the best camera for YouTube buying guide offered you a deeper insight of what to check out for when purchasing a camera that will help you make video that will trend.
Cameras for Youtube Videos Buying Guide
If you popped in a video camera store, you’d be amazed by the different types of models there are and phones cameras are becoming better. If you don’t have the slightest clue where to start, the chances are that you’ll either fall for the wrong camera (and beat yourself later) or leave the store empty-handed. Ordering them online is even more daunting.
So what matters when purchasing a YouTube video camera?
1. Your budget
Understanding your budget helps in narrowing the numerous options to just a handful units. YouTube cameras come at all prices depending on what you intend to use them for. See the ranges below.
- DSLR (Digital Single Lens ) Camera- $200-$7000
- Point and Shoot Cameras- $80-$900
- Mirrorless cameras- $300-$2300
2. Types of Videos Cameras
There are the different types of cameras that include
a) Point and shoot cameras
If you are thinking of an affordable, easy-to-use, and compact camera for YouTube videos, a point-and-shoot is probably what you have in mind. Point-and-shoot cameras are lightweight models that you can tote around in your pocket or backpack.
As the name suggests, these cameras use automatic systems with autofocus and automatic exposure settings. So all you do is take a good aim and click the shutter. Needless to mention, point-and-shoot cameras are the best cameras for amateurs. Their major downside is that you have very little control over the quality of the images or videos. So if quality matters to you (and I think it should), consider some high-level options.
DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Reflex) are the gold-quality in the industry. If you are in need of the best cameras regardless of the price, your search should begin here. Unlike compact point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs offer you total control of the quality of your photos and videos.
But the interesting bit here is that they have interchangeable lenses. As such;
- You can easily purchase a high-level lens to improve the quality of your photos and videos
- You can get different lenses for narrower and wider angles of view
The only drawback with the DSLR cameras is that they are a tad bulky to carry around. However, a shockproof compact camera bag should make things easier for you here.
c) Mirrorless cameras a.k.a Mirrorless DSLRs
The YouTube community is referring to these new additions as the future of YouTubing. Mirrorless cameras are advanced DSLRs only that they are compact and, therefore, easy to carry around.
What’s the difference between a mirrorless video camera and a DSLR camera?
As their name suggests, mirrorless cameras do not use flip-up mirrors to transfer the light to the viewfinder. The lack, thereof, of the mirror housing, mirror, and viewing prism make these cameras lighter and smaller than a typical DSLR camera. They also offer the versatility of interchanging the lenses like the DSLRs. That said, mirrorless cameras make best cameras for YouTube filming for people who want to take high-quality photos and videos while on the go.
But they have their downsides too!
Compared to typical DSLRs, mirrorless video cameras have small-size batteries. Unlike the DSLRs that allow 1000+ photos per battery charge, the best mirrorless cameras for YouTube allow only a few hundred photos per battery charge. Another reason for the high rate of battery drainage is because mirrorless cameras require power all-through. On the other hand, DSLR cams only consume power when recording the photograph on the storage device.
d) Action cameras
True to their name, action cameras are rugged, weatherproof cameras that are used to record live actions. Action cameras are compact. So you can easily attach one on a helmet while bike riding or scaling a mountain. They also make the best cameras for moto-vlogging.
Besides the different types of YouTube cameras, there are a few other considerations to make before hitting the market. Ask yourself the following questions.
- Do you intend to take videos in low light? If you said YES, then you need to consider the camera’s sensitivity to light which is measured in ISO. Higher ISO rating means high sensitivity to low light. That said, you can take videos or photographs in low light without employing the flash. To be safe, go for a camera with high ISO of anywhere above ISO 1600. Unfortunately, high ISO cameras also tend to attract higher prices, so be ready to pay for that versatility.
- Is speed so important to your YouTube videos? If so, you might want to go for a camera that focuses quickly. By the same vein, if you are into photography, consider a camera with not only excellent auto-focus but that which can shoot continuously without affecting the image quality.
- Mind the battery charge too! If you plan to shoot wildlife videos, consider whether the batteries will power the camera for the entire time, you’ll be away from a charging source. As an alternative, you may consider purchasing several batteries and arm yourself with a power bank if possible.
- Consider how easy it is to transfer your videos and images from the camera to other devices (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Near Field connectivity)
- 1080p HD video recording is OK. But cameras with 4K capabilities are superb
- Consider the frames per second (fps) for fast action scenes
- Optical Image stabilization- this is another handy feature that minimizes shakiness. It’s a great feature if you want to minimize blurriness.
- Weight and feel on your hands- another big thing to put in mind is how the camera feels in your hands. If you want an easy time with your YouTube thing, consider a camera that fits well in your hands, and that which all the controls are easy to reach. By the same vein, it should be easy to use. You don’t want a camera that you’ll have to reach out for the manual every other time, isn’t that true?