Want to start your own vlog? No idea what camera to buy to get you started? Well, why don’t you take a look at the ones used by vloggers who have been around for a long time? They should be foolproof and more importantly tested, right? To help you figure out quickly the cameras used by a number of vloggers, I’ve made this very post. I won’t focus on each and every vlogger and tell you all sorts of equipment they use. Instead, I’m just going to go with 10 different cameras most popular among vloggers, tell you who use them, and lay out what’s good and not so good about them.
I grouped the cameras into three based on the type of cameras they are: DSLR, mirrorless, and point-and-shoot. The latter is used by vloggers who mainly film on the go and rely on spontaneity, such as Casey Neistat and Roman Atwood. Compact digital camera is always good for starters as it’s the easiest to use and relatively doesn’t cost as much. Meanwhile, DSLR and mirrorless cameras are better suited for vloggers who often stay in one place when they’re making their video. They allow you to get a more professional and cinematic looking video through the help of additional accessories like lenses, stabilizers, lighting kit, etc. That’s what makes many beauty vloggers like Zoella, Bethany Mota, and CutiePieMarzia use them.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 best cameras used by famous YouTubers.
Due to the light reflecting mirrors inside them, DSLR cameras are generally bulkier and heavier compared to the mirrorless models. This already big form-factor can get even bigger if the camera features a large full-frame image sensor, just like Canon EOS 5D series. The good thing about them, however, is that they relatively perform better in challenging situations where light is scarce. The optical viewfinder also helps you get a preview of what you’re shooting more accurately in terms of color, sharpness, and contrast. Thanks to the large body, DSLR cameras commonly offer some helpful extras too, such as microphone and headphone jack, and flip screen as well. Most importantly, DSLR cameras have the advantage of being compatible with vast selections of high-end lenses, which is exactly the reason why many professionals prefer it. Below are the top 3 most popular DSL cameras among YouTubers:
Canon EOS 70D
Who use it: Zoella, Casey Holmes, Kwebbelkop, Alisha Marie, Tanner Fox, Mo Vlogs, LaurDIY, Joe Sugg, Tyler Oakley, Brittney Lee Saunders, McJuggerNuggets, Andrea Russett, Bella Fiori, Casey Neistat, ChrisMD, Chrisspy, clothesencounters, doddleoddle, ilikeweylie, Joe Weller, Kandee Johnson, Krazyrayray, Mel Joy, Oli White, NikkiPhillippi, Niomi Smart, Patricia Bright, Samantha Maria,
What’s good: You shouldn’t look past Canon EOS 70D when you’re out looking for a new vlogging camera. This baby is simply an amazing DSLR with great movie making capability. It’s the first DSLR from Canon to feature Dual Pixel CMOS Sensor technology. Unlike Canon’s old cameras, the 70D no longer relies on the inferior contrast-detection AF module. Instead, it starts right away with phase-detection AF system coming with 19 all cross-type focus points. What all this improvement does is boosting its autofocusing capability when used in Live View and Movie mode. Max video resolution it can capture is Full HD with three frame rate options: 30, 25, and 24fps. High speed recording is available up to 60fps, but you will need to lower the resolution to 720p (Standard HD). Another helpful feature of 70D that vloggers appreciate is the vari-angle screen. You can adjust its angle freely until it faces toward you, which will can help show that you’re still within the frame.
What’s not so good: The only flaw of Canon EOS 70D that I could find is its Creative Filters. Not like they don’t work at all, but rather their use is limited to JPEG only. They’re not an option if you choose to shoot in RAW. Also, you can’t use them with the viewfinder. For some reason, Canon make them compatible only with the camera’s Live View screen. Still, that means nothing if your main use of the camera is to create video blog.
Canon EOS 80D
Who use it: Casey Neistat, Tanner Braungardt, Liza Koshy, Caspar Lee, Lilly Singh, maxmoefoe, iDubbbz, Adam Saleh, Claudia Sulewski, jc caylen, KathleenLights, ThatsHeart, Shaaanxo, Shonduras, Faze Rug
What’s good: As its predecessor, Canon EOS 80D features the revolutionary Dual Pixel CMOS AF system that significantly enhances the camera’s autofocus performance. With the 80D, however, you get up to 45 focus points spread across the entire frame. That’s more than twice of the focus points in the 70D, which tells that you can safely expect twice as fast focusing speed. In Live View mode, the camera also offers an option to activate its Continuous AF. It tracks moving objects better even when you don’t use its viewfinder. You can better adapt your recording to the shooting situation, choosing whether to create slow and natural transitions or fast ones with much ease. Movie resolution is still limited to to 1080p, but you can record at much faster frame rate with the 80D (60fps). Its unbelievably bright 3-inch screen can be flipped out too to face the front and it also has a headphone jack to help monitor audio capture.
What’s not so good: At more than $1000, you need to have a deep pocket to affford Canon EOS 80D. Even then, it still lacks the ability to record footage in true Ultra HD 4K resolution, which is becoming more common in competitor’s camera like Panasonic. Also, it’s even bulkier than the 70D.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Who use it: Carli Bybel, Alfie Deyes, Bethany Mota, Shane Dawson, Jay Alvarrez, Sam Kolder, clothesencounters, Dulce Candy, Emma Blackery, Guava Juice, ilikeweylie, JoshuaDTV, kianlawley, Krazyrayray, Miranda Sings, Meredith Foster, Rclbeauty101, Tess Christine, Shameless Maya
What’s good: Compared to its predecessor, Canon EOS 5D Mark III comes with improved ergonomics. The buttons and dials have been carefully laid out as to prevent accidental flip. The outer magnesium alloy shell feels very sturdy while the textured finish gives a nice grip for your hand. There’s a huge difference in low light performance compared to the previous EOS 5D. This camera incorporates a gapless micro lens that allows more light to reach the 22MP full-frame sensor as the shutter shuts. Moreover, ISO limit has also been upgraded to 26,500 with an option to expand it further to 102,400. You won’t likely shoot at such extreme ISO, but setting it up to 3200 won’t give you considerable noise. Autofocus is where this camera triumphs over many of its competitors. With 61-point AF system and highly capable Digic 5+ processor, this bulky shooter can focus itself even before you can blink. You can use its fast autofocus to quickly select a subject and track it when it moves during recording.
What’s not so good: In video mode, Canon EOS 5D Mark III maxes out at 1080p/30fps. Although it’s a rather unrealistic wish to ask a 4K capture from this DSLR camera, being able to shoot at 60fps in HD would be fair enough for its price. Sadly, such high speed option is only available for 1280×720 resolution. Video output via HDMI is also still compressed to 720p and even that comes with various information overlays that make it virtually useless for anything other than monitoring.
Mirrorless cameras have the advantage of being smaller and lighter in weight in comparison to the DSLR counterparts. However, in higher end models like Sony A7S II and Panasonic GH5, such difference is too minor to actually matter (those two are just as bulky as any DSLRs). The real plus point of using a mirrorless camera, in my opinion, is its autofocus system, which is comparatively faster and more accurate in video mode. Instead of relying on the slow contrast-detection focus, mirrorless cameras have the privilege to use the phase-detection focus throughout the recording, eliminating the occasional blurs on the video that are common in DSLR cameras. Below are the top 4 most popular mirrorless cameras among YouTubers:
Sony Alpha A7S II
Who use it: Casey Neistat, Jake Paul, Christian Guzman, Mark Dohner, fouseyTUBE, FunForLouis, Morgz, Nikki Blackketter, Julien Solomita, KickThePj, Jake Angeles, Nadeshot, Logan Paul, AndrewSchrock, DavidSoComedy, Exploring With Josh, Marlin, Jesse Wellens, RiceGum, Mikey Murphy, FaZe Teeqo, FaZe Rain
What’s good: Although it’s mainly intended to capture still photos, Sony A7S II proves to be extremely capable in video department. The quality of the footage it records can be easily compared to that filmed using much bulkier professional-grade video camera. Unlike the original A7S, this full-frame camera can produce 4K videos without the need of pricey external recorder. While the sensor and image processor remains the same, it comes with improved circuitry as well as new algorithms to control noise better at high ISO, promising excellent image quality in dark environments. It has also been optimized for movie making too, now offering more comprehensive settings in Picture Profiles. Experienced videographers can benefit from the adjustment options over video elements like the Black Level, Gamma, and Highlight Compression. During recording, assistance features like focus peaking, zebras, and a histogram can be made visible as well. It can help get the right focus and spot-on exposure.
What’s not so good: Compared to Panasonic GH5 above, Sony A7S II is less vlogger-friendly in a way that it does not come with an articulating screen. You may need someone behind the camera to monitor what it records and make sure it’s right. Also, it’s freaking expensive, making it a very unappealing solution for beginner vloggers.
Sony Alpha A5100
Who use it: Carli Bybel, Jaclyn Hill, bubzbeauty, Chrisspy, KathleenLights, Manny Mua, Nicole Guerriero, Tati, Shameless Maya
What’s good: For those with less experience in vlogging, Sony Alpha A5100 can be a more compelling option. Sure, it has some shortcomings, but you’ll benefit a lot from the camera’s flip-out screen. You can easily tell the camera is recording what it should be without having to pause and preview it from its rear LCD. Furthermore, despite its compact design, Sony A5100 is an APS-C camera. It performs much better in low light situations than your regular pocket-sized shooters. That, combined with its excellent capability in handling noise at high ISO, makes it so adept in capturing scene with limited light. In video mode, Sony A5100 maxes out at Full HD, but it’s still nice that you get to record it at high frame rate of 60fps, instead of the usual 30fps. Shutter roll effect is very minimal, too. Its outstanding AF system makes filming a painless process overall, even when there are many subjects within the frame.
What’s not so good: Because of its compact form factor, Sony A5100 doesn’t have enough space to house a port for external microphone. Its built-in microphone can get you audio quality that’s perfectly acceptable for YouTube standard, but if you want more, you may need to use a separate recorder and a lapel-mounted mic.
Panasonic Lumix GH5
Who use it: Ryan Higa, Casey Neistat, DavidSoComedy, Jon Olsson, Mark Wiens
What’s good: The Lumix GH5 currently tops the series of mirrorless camera offered by Panasonic as its most advanced model yet. Continuing the trend brought up by the company’s high-end shooter, the GH5 comes with a lot of compelling features that would attract videographers, though it excels the same as well in still imaging. It’s among the best 4K camera money can buy and easily on par with the likes of pro-grade Blackmagic camera. Not only does it sport an improved image sensor and brighter viewfinder, but it also features a new in-body image stabilization system. Combined with Panasonic’s stabilized lenses, you can gain up to five stops of correction. This can be important when you shoot in low light situations or when a tripod is not an option. The 4K video it captures can be recorded at 60fps with maximum bit rate of 150Mbps. It’ll chew the space in your SD card like crazy, but you’ll get the best of footage.
What’s not so good: As with all Panasonic’s mirrorless cameras, the GH5 uses Macro Four Thirds sensor which is smaller than even its APS-C counterparts. It’s not necessarily bad, but cameras with bigger sensor often offers better performance in low light and wider dynamic range which is helpful if you shoot landscape. Also, at its price range, the GH5 has to compete with several full-frame cameras which are much superior in terms of image quality.
Sony Alpha A6500
Who use It: Casey Neistat, Erika Costell, Tessa Brooks, Guava Juice, Zane Hijazi
What’s good: Being the flagship model of all Sony APS-C camera means Sony Alpha A6500 has a lot of great offerings that set it apart from its predecessor. First off, the rear LCD screen is now touch-sensitive. This makes it much easier and more fun to compose your shot. Moreover, it also comes with in-body 5-axis image stabilization, a feature that Sony used to make exclusive only for its higher end A7 series camera. Thanks to that, you no longer need to buy a pricey lens with Vibration Reduction module. As with many Sony’s camera, the A6500 possesses a superior autofocus system featuring 425 phase-detection focus points. Its video capability has also been improved beyond any expectation. Not only can it capture footage in 4K, but it also offers a swath of editing options like Picture Profile presets, focus peaking and zebra warnings. It also has a port for external microphone.
What’s not good: As good as its touchscreen LCD can be, it’s still far from perfect. For once, it’s rather dim and can obviously use more pixels. Secondly, its function is somehow more limited. For instance, you can’t pinch to zoom. Swiping through images is also not possible. Last but not least, while it can be tilted, it can’t be entirely flipped out. I wouldn’t recommend it for first time vloggers because it’s not easy to stay within the frame during filming without a front facing screen to help you.
Point-and Shoot Cameras
Even lighter than the most compact mirrorless model, point-and-shoot camera is an attractive choice for vloggers who like to capture footage on the go. Even though it has inferior image and video quality, its simplicity and ease of use have drawn numerous YouTubers to using it. Also, just because it falls short against DSLR and mirrorless cameras, don’t think that you’ll get down right poor footage. Latest digital cameras come with image sensor large enough and processor powerful enough to get you an eye-popping video. They’re much cheaper too, which is likely a deciding factor for beginner vloggers. Below are the top 3 most popular point-andshoot cameras among YouTubers:
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
Who use it: Zoella, Logan Paul, MyLifeAsEva, Alex Wassabi, Tanner Fox, Mark Dohner, Lance Stewart, fouseyTUBE, Alfie Deyes, LaurDIY, Aspyn Ovard, Charles Trippy, WolfieRaps, Lilly Singh, FaZe Rug, Bella Fiori, Brawadis, Claire Marshall, Claudia Sulewski, CloeCouture, ilikeweylie, Krazyrayray, Marlin, Meredith Foster, Oli White, Olivia Jade, Niomi Smart, Patricia Bright, Sawyerhartman, Saffron Barker, ThatsHeart, miniminter, Vikkstar123, Erika Costell, Jake Paul, Caspar Lee, Ricegum, KSI
What’s good: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II isn’t a big step-up from its predecessor, but the inclusion of the better image processor, DIGIC 7 chip proves effective enough to enhance its performance. The new body has also incorporated some rubber too, providing better grip for the users. The most interesting thing about it, however, one that has attracted so many vloggers to use it is its simplicity. Despite being only capable of recording full HD video at 60fps, many video bloggers choose to go with it because there’s nothing fussy about it. It focuses fast and accurately and the video quality easily meets YouTube standard, and that’s good enough to kickstart any vlog. The rear LCD display is a touchscreen and can be flipped upward to face the front. Its fixed lens can be set at wide aperture of f/1.8, too, which is helpful in low light situation.
What’s not so good: While its competitors have already introduced the goodness of 4K video, Canon G7 X Mark II is still stuck with Full HD video. The camera also lacks an electric viewfinder, which should be a common norm for a premium point-and-shoot camera like this one. Last but not least, although its lens is generous enough to provide stabilization system and wide aperture, it misses the zoom. Still, I don’t see how big optical zoom be significant in vlogging, so it can be overlooked easily, I suppose.
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V
Who use it: FunForLouis, Joey Graceffa, Cameron Dallas, ChrisMD, Jim Chapman, Matthew Santoro, FaZe Rug, Nicole Guerriero, ThatsHeart, FaZe Rain
What’s good: Sony RX100 Mark V may be used by fewer vloggers than Canon G7X Mark II, but it’s a far more advanced shooter. For one thing, it records video in 4K, instead of the common 1080p. And just so you know, it’s not just any 4K. The Ultra HD footage it captures is oversampled from 5.5K, making it even sharper. While the image sensor it comes with is the same with RX100 Mark IV – 20MP one-inch CMOS sensor – Sony has equipped it with an enhanced chipset. Not only does it improve its still imaging capability (faster autofocus and faster continuous shooting up to 24fps), but it also helps reduce the rolling shutter effect in video mode. Its fixed lens is pretty much the same with Canon G7X II, with wide aperture setting up to f/1.8. However, it also sports a built-in viewfinder, something that can’t be found in the latter.
What’s not so good: Even though its LCD display can be flipped up too like any good vlogging camera should, it is not a touchscreen. So, expect that composing your shot won’t be as intuitive as in Canon G7X Mark II because you have to fiddle with the physical button and dials. Additionally, Sony RX100 V is nearly $300 more expensive. You may find that its 4K video isn’t worth the extra price.
Canon PowerShot S120
Who use it: Mr Ben Brown, FunForLouis, DanTDM
What’s Good: Another alternative to Canon G7X Mark II is Canon PowerShot S120. The price margin between the two digital cameras is not very big, though (less than $100) with the G7X II has an obvious advantage as a vlogging camera, which is the flip screen. So, if you ask me which one I’d choose, I’d definitely go for the latter. Still, it doesn’t mean the S120 is without any edge. In terms of build quality, the S120 feels more solid and robust. Perhaps it’s because the touchscreen display is fixed, instead of tiltable. Its lens also packs more zoom and offers wider aperture range. Most of the other features are the same as the G7X Mark II, which means it has the same optical image stabilization, Wi-Fi connectivity and video recording up to 1080p and 60fps.
What’s not so good: One obvious shortcoming from Canon S120 as a vlogging camera is the lack of tiltable screen. Selfie screen like the one found in G7X Mark II and Sony RX100 V is extremely helpful because you can tell exactly what the camera is shooting when it’s shooting. The S120 also has fewer megapixels (only 12MP). While it doesn’t affect video quality directly – and even can be advantageous in low light situations – this means the camera will capture less details from the subject.