As vlogging gets more popular, more people want to start their own vlog. To help every aspiring vlogger pick the best camera, we have listed 10 different things you need to look for when picking a camera to vlog with.
If you don’t want to spend hours of your time browsing through cameras, check out this vlogging camera buyers guide that highlights the best vlogging cameras for every budget.
Type of Camera
The first thing you need to consider is the type of camera that you are going to need for recording your vlogs. If you do (extreme) sports or watersports you should get an action camera so it doesn’t break while recording. If you want a camera that automatically adjusts focus and other camera settings, you should buy a point-and-shoot camera. If you want to be able to change the lens or connect an external microphone, a DSLR or mirrorless camera might best suit your needs.
Here is an overview of the different types of cameras and their pros and cons that might be helpful.
After you have decided on what type of camera is best suited for your needs, you should think about how much money you are willing to spend on the camera for your vlogs. Be realistic about what cameras you can buy when picking a budget. You won’t be able to buy that expensive DSLR camera with professional video quality for 300 dollars.
A budget of 200 to 300 USD for is enough for a good beginners camera. Once your channel grows you can always upgrade to a better camera later.
The cheapest cameras currently on the market record in 720p and can be bought for around 100 USD. We do recommend getting a slightly better quality video camera if you can afford it.
Most videos on YouTube are recorded in at least 1080p nowadays so we recommend you keep up with other YouTubers. If the video quality of your channel is behind other YouTubers it might negatively influence the growth of your channel.
A video consists of a certain amount of still frames per second. This article gives a great explanation how frame rate works and why it matters.
Most cameras record video in 30 frames per second, which is enough for most situations. If you record fast-moving objects in your vlogs (like sports) it is recommend that you look for a video camera that can record in a higher frame rate like 60 frames per second.
If you want to record slow motion video you can even look for a higher frame rate.
If you use a camera for vlogging you are going to be carrying it around a lot of the time. It’s also very common to record vlogs with an extended arm. Both of these things mean that it’s very important that you get a lightweight camera that is portable and easy to carry.
If you record while walking or other situations where you don’t set your camera on a tripod you will record footage with a lot of unwanted movement. To prevent handshake vibration and sudden camera movements from ruining your videos we highly recommend picking a camera with optical image stabilization.
This wiki article provides more information about what optical image stabilization is and why it reduces blur in your videos.
Sound is an important aspect of your vlogs that many people overlook. Most cameras have a built-in microphone but those are usually not the best quality and they also pick up a lot of unwanted noise in the background (wind noise etc.).
If you want to improve the sound quality, look for a camera with external microphone connectivity. This allows you to upgrade the microphone any time you want to something more professional.
Nothing is more annoying for your viewers than to look at blurry footage. To prevent this from happening you should look for a camera with (fast) autofocus. This means the camera will automatically focus on the subject without you having to do anything.
If you are vlogging on the go and don’t have access to a charger during the day you will need to take the battery life of a camera into account.
You can also look for a camera with batteries that can easily be replaced and order extra batteries. This allows you to quickly change the batteries of the camera and keep recording without any downtime.
If you regularly record in low-light conditions and want to be able to record high-quality video in any lighting situation you need to consider the ISO range of a camera.
The bigger the ISO range of a camera the better it performs in different lighting situations.
These are the 10 most important things you should consider when you want to buy a vlog camera. If you have any questions, ask them in the comments below!
If you have purchased a vlogging camera and want to get some vlogging tips, check out this course on the YouTube Creators Academy.