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The 6 Best Cameras For YouTube - Winter 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Cameras For YouTube
71 Cameras Tested
  • Store-bought cameras; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
  • Supported directly by you via insider access and when you purchase through our affiliate links
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

While anyone can get started making YouTube videos with just their smartphone, a more sophisticated setup will often yield better results. A good microphone, a tripod, and lighting are all key, but the heart of any YouTube setup is your camera. Depending on what you need, you may want to look into a compact camera that comes with features aimed to make vlogging easier, a mirrorless or DSLR camera for studio setups and higher quality video, or an action camera to take with you wherever you go. Whether you're a sit-down vlogger or you want to share your extreme sports adventures, choosing the right camera for your needs will help you create the content you want to make.

We've tested over 70 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best cameras to buy for making YouTube videos. These picks were selected not only based on their overall performance but also their feature set and price. Check out our recommendations for the best compact cameras, the best mirrorless cameras, and the best cameras for filmmaking.


  1. Best Compact Camera For YouTube: Sony ZV-1

    7.5
    Travel Photography
    7.9
    Landscape Photography
    7.3
    Sport & Wildlife Photography
    8.6
    Vlogging
    7.2
    Studio Video
    5.9
    Action Video
    Body Type
    Compact
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    1-inch
    Tested Lens
    Built-In Lens

    The best compact camera for YouTube of those we've tested is the Sony ZV-1. This fixed-lens vlogging camera is incredibly portable and lightweight, and it comes packed with features intended to make vlogging easier. It has a fully articulated screen that you can flip around to face you, and its simple design is easy enough to use for anyone to pick up and start recording. It also comes with a detachable windscreen to reduce ambient background noise when recording audio outdoors with the built-in microphone.

    The camera records high-quality 4k video, and though it can only record up to 30 fps in 4k with a slight crop, it offers several frame rate options in 1080p, allowing you to shoot cinematic-looking video or slow-motion footage. On top of that, it has a fantastic autofocus system, including specialized modes like 'Product Showcase' that automatically switch focus to objects held up in frame without having to block your face. There's also a built-in 'Background Defocus' button that quickly blurs the background to give your videos a Bokeh effect.

    Unfortunately, its menu system can be somewhat tricky to navigate, with more advanced settings being harder to find and limited touchscreen navigation. It also has a disappointing battery life, although that's fairly typical of compact cameras. Still, depending on your settings, it may overheat and shut down when recording for longer periods. Despite that, this is still one of the best cameras for YouTube videos for those interested in a compact option.

    See our review

  2. Alternative With Livestream Support: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

    Body Type
    Compact
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    1-inch
    Tested Lens
    Built-In Lens

    If you do a lot of livestreaming, check out the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III. It's similar in size to the Sony ZV-1, but it doesn't have a fully articulated screen, although you can still tilt its screen up to face you for vlogs. On top of that, it comes with a built-in livestreaming function that lets you stream videos directly to YouTube over Wi-Fi. It has a more comfortable handgrip, and its menu system is much easier to navigate. It can also record 4k video without a crop. However, its autofocus system is less reliable, and it can't record at 120 fps for slow-motion footage of fast action. Also, while it has a slightly longer tested battery life for video, it doesn't support use while charging, and it has a similar risk of overheating with prolonged use.

    Get the Sony if you want a compact vlogging camera with a fully-articulated screen and more reliably autofocus. If, however, you like the convenience of a built-in livestreaming feature, the Canon is a great alternative.

    See our review

  3. Best Mirrorless Camera For YouTube: Fujifilm X-S10

    7.5
    Travel Photography
    7.9
    Landscape Photography
    7.3
    Sport & Wildlife Photography
    8.4
    Vlogging
    8.0
    Studio Video
    6.2
    Action Video
    Body Type
    DSLR
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    APS-C
    Tested Lens
    FUJINON XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R OIS

    If you're interested in an interchangeable mirrorless camera, consider the Fujifilm X-S10, which is one of the best cameras for YouTube that we've tested. It's lightweight, portable, and has a fully articulated touchscreen that makes it easy to shoot from different angles or monitor yourself while vlogging. It also has in-body image stabilization to help reduce camera shake when shooting handheld.

    On top of being relatively compact, it also feels very comfortable to use thanks to its deep, rubberized handgrip and solid build quality. It can record 4k video in 8-bit 4:2:0 internally, but it can also output 10-bit 4:2:2 video over HDMI if you have an external recorder. It has several frame rate options, including 4k up to 30 fps and 1080p up to 60 fps, along with a high-speed recording mode that can capture 1080p footage at up to 240 fps for slow-motion playback. Video quality is excellent overall, and its autofocus system does a fantastic job of keeping moving subjects in focus.

    That said, it doesn't have the best battery life. It only lasts for about an hour of continuous video recording on a full charge, which is disappointing. On the upside, though, it supports USB charging, and you can keep using it while it charges. It also has a fairly long 30-minute recording time limit. While the flagship Fujifilm X-T4 may be preferable for more advanced videography, the X-S10 is one of the best vlogging cameras that we've tested, and it comes at an affordable price point.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Camera For YouTube: Canon EOS M50 Mark II

    7.6
    Travel Photography
    7.7
    Landscape Photography
    7.2
    Sport & Wildlife Photography
    7.6
    Vlogging
    6.8
    Studio Video
    4.1
    Action Video
    Body Type
    DSLR
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    APS-C
    Tested Lens
    Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

    The best camera for YouTube that we've tested for those on a budget is the Canon EOS M50 Mark II. This entry-level mirrorless camera is a great choice for beginners, thanks to its comfortable, lightweight design and Canon's highly intuitive menu system. You can use its fully articulated touchscreen to navigate the menu or for Live View, and it flips all the way around for selfies or vlogs. The screen is also bright enough to overcome glare in sunny conditions.

    The camera uses a 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor and delivers great 1080p video quality and good 4k video quality when shooting in more controlled lighting conditions. It records 1080p video at up to 60 fps, giving you a few different frame rates to shoot from, whether you want a more cinematic look or if you want to capture smooth, fast action. It also has a good autofocus system, which does an amazing job of tracking moving subjects in 1080p, and unlike the slightly cheaper Canon EOS M50, the Mark II supports eye-tracking.

    Unfortunately, its 4k performance isn't as impressive. It can only shoot 4k video at 24 fps with a severe 1.5x crop. Its autofocus system also performs very inconsistently when shooting in 4k. It also lacks in-body image stabilization, though its digital stabilization feature does a good job of reducing camera shake while incurring an additional crop. While it doesn't perform as well in low light as a full-frame camera would, both versions of the M50 offer a ton of value for their price, thanks to their 1080p video features and portable design.

    See our review

  5. Best Action Camera For YouTube: GoPro HERO10 Black

    4.8
    Travel Photography
    7.6
    Landscape Photography
    5.8
    Sport & Wildlife Photography
    7.5
    Vlogging
    6.0
    Studio Video
    8.9
    Action Video
    Body Type
    Action Cam
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    Unspecified
    Tested Lens
    Built-In Lens

    If you're looking for a portable action camera, the best camera for YouTube videos that we've tested is the GoPro HERO10 Black. This mountable action cam is incredibly portable, and you can attach it to any number of objects and mounts for unique POV action footage. It's advertised to be waterproof to a depth of 10 m, and it has a front-facing screen that you can use for Live View to monitor yourself as you record.

    It supports a ton of frame rates and resolutions, including 1080p and 2.7k up to 240 fps, 4k up to 120 fps, and 5.3k up to 60 fps, allowing you to capture everything from high-speed action footage to slow-motion. Its video quality is reasonably good, particularly when compared to other action cameras, and its new processor gives it improved low-light performance over its predecessor, the GoPro HERO9 Black. Its digital stabilization feature also does a fantastic job smoothing out camera shake.

    That said, the camera doesn't have any inputs aside from its USB-C port, which means you have to purchase a 'Media Mod' from GoPro at an additional cost if you want an HDMI port and directional mic for better audio. Its battery life is also mediocre, though it supports USB charging, and you can keep using it while it charges. All in all, this is one of the best action cameras we've tested, and it's a great choice for YouTube content creators and sports vloggers.

    See our review

  6. Handheld Alternative: DJI Pocket 2

    Body Type
    Multi-Axis Stabilized Handheld
    Mirrorless
    Yes
    Sensor Size
    1/1.7 inch
    Tested Lens
    Built-In Lens

    If you want an action video camera that you can use handheld instead of mounting it to an object or helmet, consider the DJI Pocket 2. It doesn't have as many resolution and frame rate options as the GoPro HERO10 Black since it only records 1080p and 4k video, and it isn't waterproof. However, it has a built-in three-axis stabilized gimbal, meaning you can shoot stabilized handheld footage. The gimbal has three different lock modes that let you adjust how the camera behaves as you tilt, pan, or roll the handle. Its autofocus system also does a fantastic job keeping moving subjects in focus. It includes an active tracking feature that can lock onto a subject and track them automatically. While it has fewer frame rate options, it can still record 1080p and 4k video at up to 60 fps and even includes a 'Slow-Mo' mode in 1080p that can capture footage at higher frame rates for slow-motion playback. That said, the camera can get very hot with extended use, especially when shooting in 4k.

    Get the GoPro if you want a portable action camera with more frame rate options. If you want a camera meant for handheld use, the DJI is a solid alternative.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • DJI Osmo Action: The DJI Osmo Action is a solid alternative to the GoPro HERO10 Black. It's cheaper and comes with a front-facing screen for vlogging, but its video quality and stabilization are a bit worse. See our review
  • Fujifilm X-T4: The Fujifilm X-T4 has even better internal recording capability than the Fujifilm X-S10, making it a good choice for more advanced videographers. However, it's more expensive and isn't as portable or comfortable to use. See our review
  • GoPro HERO9 Black: The GoPro HERO9 Black is the predecessor to the GoPro HERO10 Black and offers similar overall performance, although it performs worse in low light and has slightly fewer frame rate options. See our review
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-S5: The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 is a great mirrorless camera for video with excellent video quality and lots of features. It's especially well-suited to studio setups, as it's heavier and less portable than the Fujifilm X-T4. See our review
  • Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II: The Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II is a portable video powerhouse with a Micro Four Thirds sensor with extensive recording formats and great internal recording capability. However, its autofocus isn't as effective as the Fujifilm X-T4's, and it has fewer FHD frame rate 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 good video features. However, its internal recording capability and autofocus aren't as good as the Fujifilm X-S10. See our review
  • Sony α7C: The Sony α7C is a good mirrorless option for vloggers, thanks to its compact design and fully articulated screen. Its full-frame sensor gives it even better low-light performance than the Fujifilm X-T4, but its menu system can be convoluted, and its video stabilization doesn't perform as well. See our review
  • Sony α6400: The Sony α6400 is a great cheaper option that's even smaller and lighter than the Fujifilm X-S10. It lacks in-body video stabilization, and its autofocus system doesn't perform quite as well. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 21, 2022: Reviewed article for accuracy with no change to recommendations.

  2. Dec 22, 2021: Replaced the Fujifilm X-T4 with the Fujifilm X-S10 as the 'Best Mirrorless Camera For YouTube' and added the X-T4 to Notable Mentions.

  3. Dec 03, 2021: Replaced the GoPro HERO9 Black with the GoPro HERO10 Black as the 'Best Action Camera For YouTube'.

  4. Nov 05, 2021: Added the Canon EOS M50 Mark II as 'Best Budget Camera For YouTube'.

  5. Oct 07, 2021: Added the Sony a7C and Panasonic GH5 II to Notable Mentions.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cameras 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.

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