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The 6 Best Cameras For YouTube - Winter 2023 Reviews

Best Cameras For YouTube

For many people just getting into making YouTube videos, the best camera will be the one already in your pocket: your smartphone. It's typically the most cost-effective option, allowing you to invest in a good microphone and lighting setup and freeing you up to start creating content right away. But there are also things a smartphone can't do. Going with an interchangeable-lens camera gives you more control over the look of your videos. You can get different lenses to create a nice shallow depth of field for talking head videos or start shooting with Log profiles and learn how to color-grade your own footage. Thankfully, if you're looking to step up your video game, there are plenty of options at different price points that will be more than capable of producing great content for YouTube.

We've bought and tested over 75 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best cameras for YouTube videos. These picks were selected not only based on their overall performance but also their feature set and price. If, however, you're in the market for something more advanced, you can check out our best cameras for filmmaking instead. And if shooting sports is more your thing, you can also take a look at the best cameras for sports video. Otherwise, you can also check out our more general recommendations for the best 4k-capable cameras.

  1. Best Camera For YouTube

    The Fujifilm X-S10 is the best 4k camera for YouTube that we've tested. This mirrorless APS-C camera is Fujifilm's first dedicated vlogging camera, and it offers plenty of features at a reasonable price point. With an autofocus system that can keep up remarkably well in video and a high frame rate mode in 1080p for slow-motion recording, it's a super versatile camera for a range of video styles. It has a fully articulated screen that makes it a good fit for walk-and-talk vlogs as well as videos that require more of a studio setup. Plus, it's one of the few cameras in its price range to feature in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which can help smooth out camera shake when shooting handheld.

    If your ambitions lie beyond YouTube, you might prefer a more advanced camera like the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II, which has better internal video recording capability and offers more recording formats and codecs. However, it's probably overkill for most aspiring YouTubers, and the Fujifilm makes for an easier entryway into video for those just getting started.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Camera For YouTube

    If the Fujifilm X-S10 is out of your price range, consider a mid-range option like the Sony α6400. While it doesn't have in-body image stabilization like the Fujifilm, it's well-constructed and relatively portable, with a ton of native and third-party lens options that you can eventually upgrade your setup with.

    Best of all is Sony's excellent autofocus system, which has a very reliable face and eye tracking feature. Battery life is solid—better than the Fujifilm's—and the camera doesn't impose any time limit on recording, which is great for recording long uninterrupted takes. It doesn't have a vari-angle screen, though its tilt screen can flip up 180 degrees to face you. The screen isn't ideal since a mic mounted on the hot shoe can obstruct your view, but overall it's a small price to pay for all this camera has to offer.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Camera For YouTube

    If you're on a tighter budget and don't need a viewfinder, the Sony ZV-E10 is one of the best budget cameras you can get for vlogging. Like the Fujifilm X-S10, it's part of a recent slew of dedicated vlogging cameras. Unlike the more photography-oriented Sony α6400 above, it has a fully articulated screen that makes it much easier to monitor yourself while recording. The lack of a viewfinder does make it a little less versatile, and it doesn't feel as well-constructed as the pricier a6400, but if you know you're mostly going to be shooting videos, the ZV-E10 is worth considering for its price.

    That said, its e-stabilization feature isn't amazing, and no IBIS means relying on optically stabilized lenses. If you'd prefer a camera with better stabilization, a Micro Four Thirds option like the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV comes with five-axis IBIS and falls in the same price range, making it a great alternative if stabilization and portability are priorities. Overall, though, the ZV-E10 is still the best camera for YouTube beginners and those on a budget, thanks to its larger sensor, class-leading autofocus, and microphone input—not to mention extra features like a revamped internal microphone and a dedicated focus mode for product vloggers.

    See our review

  4. Best Cheap Camera For YouTube

    If your cell phone isn't cutting it, but you can't afford an interchangeable-lens camera, then your best bet for a cheap vlogging setup is a GoPro. The GoPro HERO9 Black is the first GoPro to feature a dual-screen design, letting you monitor yourself on its front-facing screen while vlogging. While the GoPro HERO10 Black and GoPro HERO11 Black improve upon the HERO9 in a few ways, namely, higher frame rate options in 5k and 4k and improved low-light performance, the HERO9 can still do most of what the HERO10 can do at a lower price point, making it a great cheap option for those looking to shoot.

    Older GoPro models, like the GoPro HERO8 Black, are also available to buy if you want to save even more money. They'll give you similar video stabilization and plenty of high frame rate options, though they lack front-facing live-view screens. While it isn't as versatile as some of the options mentioned above, the GoPro is the best cheap YouTube camera you can get, thanks to its size, price, and ease of use.

    See our review

  5. Best Point-And-Shoot Camera For YouTube

    If you prefer the convenience of a built-in lens, the Sony ZV-1 is the best point-and-shoot we've tested for YouTube. It's essentially a smaller Sony ZV-E10 with a fixed lens, and just like that camera, it has a fully articulated screen, dedicated vlogging focus modes, and a microphone optimized for vlogging, complete with a detachable windscreen to reduce ambient noise. While you don't get as much flexibility with a fixed lens, it's an easier jump from your smartphone since you don't have to worry about which lens to buy and how much it'll cost.

    The other advantage of the ZV-1 is that it's more compact than an interchangeable-lens camera, although not as portable as the GoPro HERO9 Black mentioned above. Just be aware that a smaller camera means a smaller battery and shorter battery life, along with a tendency to overheat during longer recording sessions. If that isn't a dealbreaker, this is one of the best YouTube cameras for those who want something simple and compact.

    See our review

  6. Best Pocket Gimbal Camera For YouTube

    There isn't another camera like the DJI Pocket 2, a pocket-sized camera with a built-in three-axis stabilized gimbal. While it doesn't compare to the larger-sensor options above in video quality and low-light capability, this unique all-in-one camera can be a powerful tool in any content creator's belt. The gimbal makes it incredibly easy to shoot super smooth handheld footage, and it has a slow-motion capture mode that lets you shoot at up to 240 fps in 1080p.

    The camera also has an 'Active Track' feature that automatically follows a person or object, which you can use to get creative when shooting products or action footage, though it can sometimes be unreliable. If you need smoother tracking, the original DJI Osmo Pocket is a little more reliable in that respect, but it doesn't have as many frame rate options and worse low-light capability due to its smaller sensor. It's still a good deal, especially if you buy one secondhand, but the upgrades on the Pocket 2 make it a great choice for those who want a pocket camera to shoot stabilized handheld video.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Canon EOS M50 Mark II: The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is a great budget vlogging camera if you're willing to stick to 1080p. It's even more affordable than the Sony ZV-E10, but it can only shoot 4k video with a heavy crop that affects AF and video quality. See our review
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III: The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is a vlogging-oriented point-and-shoot like the Sony ZV-1. Unlike the Sony camera, it has a built-in livestreaming feature, but its autofocus system isn't as reliable. It also doesn't have a mic input. See our review
  • GoPro HERO10 Black: The GoPro HERO10 Black is the successor to the GoPro HERO9 Black and offers a few improvements, including better low-light performance and more frame rate options. It's an excellent action camera, but it isn't necessarily worth the price difference for most vloggers on a budget. See our review
  • Insta360 GO 2: The Insta360 GO 2 is a tiny camera that's even more portable than the GoPro HERO9 Black or the DJI Osmo Pocket. It's very versatile if you want to capture footage from unique locations and tight spots, but video quality leaves a lot to be desired, and it's more niche than other options. See our review
  • Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III: The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera. It's an excellent choice for vlogging due to its small size and five-axis image stabilization. However, its internal recording capability and autofocus aren't as good as the Fujifilm X-S10. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 18, 2023: Checked picks for accuracy, with minor adjustments to text for readability.

  2. Dec 22, 2022: Touched up text for clarity with no change to recommendations.

  3. Nov 22, 2022: Checked article for accuracy and clarity; removed the DJI Osmo Action from Notable Mentions.

  4. Oct 26, 2022: Renamed the GoPro HERO9 Black as 'Best Cheap Camera for YouTube', the Sony ZV-E10 as 'Best Budget Camera For YouTube', and moved the Canon EOS M50 Mark II to Notable Mentions. Also added the Sony a6400 as the 'Best Mid-Range Camera For YouTube' and the DJI Osmo Pocket as the 'Best Pocket Gimbal Camera For YouTube'. Added the Insta360 GO 2 to Notable Mentions.

  5. Aug 04, 2022: Restructured article for clarity and to align more closely with user needs and expectations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best video cameras for YouTube for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews for cameras. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.