Best camera for vlogging 2021: become a social media superstar

Climb to the top of the YouTube charts with the best camera for your needs

Best vlogging camera

It’s becoming ever-more apparent that you can make a genuine living as a vlogger these days. With social media superstars becoming more and more mainstream, it’s understandable that you might want a slice of that pie. 

What tends to make the best vloggers stand out from the also-rans is the quality of their footage (as well as the content, of course). If you have something special, then you should capture it in the best possible way rather than relying on shaky sub-par videos which don’t allow you to shine. 

While it’s important for your shots to be crystal-clear, 4K is not the be all and end all it’s often made out to be. 4K is pretty common now, but it’s not quite yet ubiquitous. Often, 4K is included, but it’s more restricted than the Full HD offering of any given camera. Essentially, if you’re posting to YouTube, Full HD should be more than enough for you - there are plenty of other features to worry about.

All of the cameras featured here can deliver excellent video in a range of different formats, with all of them offering some form of 4K.

How to choose the best vlogging camera for you

It’s hard to know exactly what you should go for when it comes to vlogging. At the end of the day, it’s not the same as photography, so the advice is a little different. Should you be looking at DSLR, compacts, action cameras, or mirrorless models? Our best vlogging camera buying guide aims to give you a quick overview of the best of the bunch. 

That said, the DSLRs days of king of video are all but over. Time was that Canon’s 5D Mark II was the go-to camera for videographers, but it’s safe to say that mirrorless cameras have excelled in this area in recent years. They bring you several advantages, including the fact that they’re smaller and lighter, making them a good choice for vlogging on the move.

Unlike with photography, when it comes to video-capture, you will also need to consider audio and sound input. You should seriously consider adding an external microphone to your shopping basket to give you that creative edge. A shotgun-style model is ideal for vlogging and you can pick them up at a variety of price point to suit most budgets. They’re better than built-in microphones since they offer directional recording, fending off wind noise and other pesky aural intrusions.

But what to do with all this amazing footage you’re set to create? Setting up a YouTube account is quick and easy, but Instagram and Facebook are also becoming more geared towards video, too.

The selection of models found below suits a variety of needs, but pay close attention to the features of each as it really does vary from model to model. They are all great for different reasons - it just depends on what you need.

The best vlogging cameras

Best vlogging camera: Canon G7X III

(Image credit: Canon)

1. Canon G7X III

Fully targeted at video makers, the G7X III packs a powerful punch in your pocket

Reasons to buy
+Tilting screen+4K video+Direct to YouTube options +External microphone port
Reasons to avoid
-Screen doesn’t fully articulate-No viewfinder-Limited zoom range

For bloggers and vloggers, the Canon G7X Mark III has been specifically designed for you, with a number of features that are likely to appeal whole-sale to movie makers.

There’s a 20.1 megapixel one-inch sensor, which is joined by a relatively limited 4.2x optical zoom lens - still that might not be such a big deal if a lot of your videos feature, well, just you. There’s a tilt-up screen to help you frame yourself to perfection, while Live Streaming direct to YouTube is ideal for those who like to vlog as they go. 

A number of upgrades have been made when compared to the G7X Mark II. There’s now 4K video shooting (available up to 30fps) as well as a range of Full HD video (up to 120fps). You can now also plug in an external mic, which can give you a great boost to your sound. 

Rounding out the specifications list is USB charging, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and the ability to create time-lapses in camera. 

Best vlogging camera: Sony RX100 VI

(Image credit: Sony)

2. Sony RX100 VI

A pricey pocket camera which is great for stills as well as video

Reasons to buy
+Tilting screen+Great zoom range+Super fast autofocus +Pop-up viewfinder
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive-Difficult handling -Poor battery life-No external microphone port 

Sony is a leading name in video, having been in the business for a heck of a long time. For vloggers who may also dabble in standard photography, the RX100 VI is a fantastic compromise between both disciplines - so long as you’re prepared to pay the price for it. 

It has a 20.1 megapixel one-inch sensor, with a great zoom range of 24-200mm (equivalent). Unlike previous RX100 cameras, it doesn’t feature a super wide aperture lens, so if low light is your thing, maybe think about whether you need that longer zoom.

In terms of video, the RX100 VI offers 4K video at up to 25fps, including full pixel readout. There’s a whole bunch of advanced features for those that need it, like Hybrid Log-Gamma for HDR recording, and super-slow motion video. All of this makes it infuriating that there’s no way to plug in an external microphone, though. 

Overall, if you’re somebody who wants to be able to take great pictures just as often as video - and you’re not too worried about sound quality - the RX100 VI is almost the perfect offering. A very high price, though. 

Best vlogging camera: Panasonic G90

(Image credit: Panasonic)

3. Panasonic G90

A compact system camera with video firmly at its core

Reasons to buy
+Great range of different lenses and accessories+Fully articulating screen+4K Video
Reasons to avoid
-(relatively) small sensor-Quite large body-Fairly expensive

Here’s another model that has been designed with vloggers directly in mind. 

Based on the great all-rounder, the G9, the G90 features a 20.1 megapixel Four Thirds sensor which is supported by a well-established ecosystem that contains a huge array of lenses and accessories. 

4K video is available at up to 30p, while Full HD can also be shot at up to 60p, with great video features including full-time AF, a high-speed video mode for recording slow-motion video and the option to output via HDMI. 

There’s also V-Log L mode, which is included as standard (previous models have required a paid-for download), which helps create a greater dynamic range when working with video in post-production. There’s also headphone and microphone sockets, which is a good indicator at just how video-centric the camera is.

The G90’s body is DSLR-shaped, so it’s quite big - but the overall system of lenses is much smaller than you’d find from anything equivalent.

Best vlogging camera: Panasonic Lumix GH5S

(Image credit: Panasonic)

4. Panasonic Lumix GH5S

If your vlogging is serious, this is especially for you

Reasons to buy
+Professional quality video output +Fully articulating screen+4K video 
Reasons to avoid
-Not suited for stills photographers-No in-body stabilisation 

If your vlogging encompasses a little more than just telling us about your latest shopping spree, breakfast or your general day-to-day thoughts, then you might want to think about picking up something high-end which is specifically tailored towards videomaking. 

If that’s the case, then the Panasonic GH5S could be the one for you. We haven’t got room here to go in-depth into the vast plethora of video features the GH5S offers, but as an overview, there’s 4K video recording at 50/60p, Cinema 4K aspect ratio and a sensor which offers a fast readout speed. Further features include unlimited video recording time, HDMI output, V-LogL mode, up to 10x slow motion and more besides.

Where it doesn’t excel is if you want to shoot stills - it can do it, but it’s not designed for that. So basically, instead of being a stills camera that can shoot the odd video, it’s a video camera that can shoot the odd still.

Best vlogging camera: GoPro Hero 7 Black

(Image credit: GoPro)

5. GoPro Hero 7 Black

For adventurous vloggers, the GoPro still reigns supreme

Reasons to buy
+4K video +Fantastic stabilisation +Great range of accessories
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Not always responsive to voice commands

The most dominant force in the action-camera market, the latest from GoPro is the Hero 7 Black. It’s the ideal choice for vloggers who like to get a little bit rough and ready, doing all manner of things that the average camera wouldn’t cope with - such as mountain biking, surfing and so on. 

Having been there at the start of the action camera craze, the amount of accessories available for GoPro is huge, so no matter what kind of mount you need, you should be able to find it. 

There are other benefits to using a GoPro too, they’re small and neat and can be chucked in a bag ready to go. However, they’re not great for every kind of video - so you may want to supplement it with another camera if your needs are a bit more varied.

Best vlogging camera: DJI Osmo Pocket

(Image credit: DJI)

6. DJI Osmo Pocket

A teeny tiny action camera which is great for capturing your every day

Reasons to buy
+Small size+Gimbal for stabilisation +4K video
Reasons to avoid
-Can’t live stream -Sound not great 

If you want something small, light and ready to grab video at any given moment - the DJI Osmo Pocket is the perfect device.

It can record 4K at up to 60fps, or Full HD up to 120p. It includes a gimbal for nicely stabilised images, and you can use it standalone, or plug it into your phone and control it via an app.

Using the Osmo Pocket is easy and straightforward, so you can get cracking it with it straightaway. There’s also a good set of accessories available, should you want to expand what you do with it at some point.

Best vlogging camera: DJI Mavic Air

7. DJI Mavic Air

Carry out quick and easy vlogging from the air

Reasons to buy
+Superb 4K footage+Easy to use+Compact
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't fold like the Mavic Pro

Looking for another angle for your vlogging? The DJI Mavic Air is a superb foldable and hugely portable drone that has 21 minutes of flight time and can deliver 4K footage from above, via a silky smooth 3-axis gimbal. It also comes packed with tech that makes securing quality video a real cinch.