Pho­to: provlogging.com

Decid­ed to get out of the Tik Tok ghet­to and start cut­ting seri­ous qual­i­ty con­tent with­out rely­ing on built-in fil­ters and trendy voice act­ing? Well, for a cool pic­ture and good sound, you need an appro­pri­ate cam­era. Today we deal with cur­rent cam­era mod­els for vlog­gers — from full-frame mon­sters to minia­ture action cam­eras.

What are we looking for

More and more cam­eras are get­ting fea­tures that are con­ve­nient for shoot­ing vlogs — for exam­ple, a swiv­el screen. But some mod­els are espe­cial­ly good for this busi­ness.

Here are a few fea­tures we’ll be look­ing for in our best vlog­ging cam­eras:

one. Swiv­el touch dis­play. If you do not have an oper­a­tor, then the rotary dis­play is an absolute must-have — you should see that you your­self get into the frame and noth­ing extra gets into it. The screen should rotate side­ways, not flip up. In the sec­ond case, the fold­ing screen will block the hot shoe, and with it the abil­i­ty to use, for exam­ple, an exter­nal flash. Some might say that the screen can be replaced with a smart­phone app and cropped remote­ly, but trust me, as a user of Fuji­film tech­nol­o­gy, you should not rely on the app com­plete­ly.

2. Exter­nal micro­phone port. While most cam­eras come with built-in micro­phones, with a few excep­tions (which you’ll learn about below), they don’t sound good. And good sound is half the video (no mat­ter how strange it may sound). So the abil­i­ty to insert an exter­nal micro­phone is anoth­er must-have.

3. Image sta­bi­liza­tion. If you shoot at home and do not run around with the cam­era, then you can get by with the sim­plest tri­pod. But if you shoot on the go, hav­ing a built-in stub will come in handy. Of course, you can hope for an opti­cal­ly sta­bi­lized lens or elec­tron­ic sta­bi­liza­tion, but in the end you will pay with crop­ping. An alter­na­tive option is a sta­bi­liza­tion sus­pen­sion.

four. Avail­abil­i­ty of 4K video. Yes, res­o­lu­tion is not the most impor­tant thing in video (and most impor­tant­ly, you can read it here), but if your cam­corder in 2022 can­not shoot in 4K, this is a rea­son to think about upgrad­ing. Although the time is not far off when 8K will become the new stan­dard, it is not yet time for “mere mor­tals” to spend a for­tune on 8K cam­eras.

Below are some of the main types of cam­eras in dif­fer­ent for­mats that are great for shoot­ing vlogs.

The best cameras for vloggers

Best compact (1‑inch) camera for vlogging

Sony ZV‑1

You can buy a con­ve­nient self­ie stick / tri­pod with con­trol but­tons for the cam­era. Pho­to: bhphotovideo.com

Sony ZV‑1 is the first Sony cam­era designed specif­i­cal­ly for vlog­gers. It is com­pact, light­weight and with a con­ve­nient swiv­el screen. The cam­era has a built-in lens with equiv­a­lent focal lengths of 24–70mm (enough wide-angle at one end of the zoom and quite “por­trait” at the oth­er) and a more or less decent aper­ture. In addi­tion to the lens, there are built-in ND fil­ters in order not to over­ex­pose the video in bright sun­light.

The cam­era shoots in 4K at 30 fps, video pro­files are also avail­able, suit­able for sub­se­quent col­or cor­rec­tion. A very fast and accu­rate aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem with eye detec­tion is great for self­ies — you don’t have to think about whether your face is in focus or not. Also on board is a decent sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem.

For sound record­ing, the ZV‑1 has both a 3.5mm input for an exter­nal micro­phone and a sys­tem of three built-in direc­tion­al micro­phones, which are also designed for self­ie shoot­ing.

The cam­era is extreme­ly easy to use: there is a spe­cial but­ton on the body to blur the back­ground — you can get a nice pic­ture with one click. And on top of that, you get a whole host of oth­er fea­tures for vlog­gers, like the Prod­uct Show­case mode: when you show a prod­uct in front of the cam­era, it smooth­ly refo­cus­es from your face to the prod­uct and then back to your face when you move the prod­uct away from the cam­era. This is a handy fea­ture for blog­gers who shoot tech­nol­o­gy reviews.

The main dis­ad­van­tages are the lack of pro­tec­tion against dust and mois­ture, which could be use­ful for trav­el blog­gers, as well as the built-in lens — although it makes the cam­era very com­pact, it lim­its your cre­ative pos­si­bil­i­ties. First of all, you will not be able to replace the glass with a faster one.

This is where Sony thought hard and …

The best crop camera for vlogging

Sony ZV-E10

You can blur the back­ground, just like here. Pho­to: theverge.com

… and released an ana­logue of the ZV‑1 in an APS‑C pack­age with inter­change­able optics. You can read a detailed review of the ZV-E10 here, and in this arti­cle we will focus on the main pros and cons of this cam­era com­pared to the ZV‑1.

The main rea­son why you might need the ZV-E10 is to attach a fast fix to it, like the Sig­ma DN 30mm f/1.4, and blur the back­ground behind you in the most pow­er­ful way, get­ting a pic­ture that every­one loves. You still have all the ZV‑1 fea­tures, like one-click blur or Prod­uct Demos with dra­mat­ic tran­si­tions. Of course, you can gen­er­al­ly play around with lens­es, but if you are a blog­ger, then a more or less wide-angle fast lens is the best option.

The larg­er APS‑C sen­sor also gives the ZV-E10 an edge in low-light shoot­ing.

But if you sud­den­ly decide that you don’t need any­thing oth­er than a kit lens, then for­get about the ZV-E10 and take the ZV‑1. In this case, it will be a more inter­est­ing option due to its com­pact­ness, built-in ND fil­ters and less rolling shut­ter effect (image dis­tor­tion when, when shoot­ing a mov­ing object, part of the matrix lags and fix­es its pre­vi­ous posi­tion).

If Sony’s options don’t appeal to you, then Fuji­film has an inter­est­ing alter­na­tive. Her X‑S10 meets all of our cri­te­ria: built-in sta­bi­liza­tion, a con­ve­nient swiv­el screen, cool 4K video, and a com­pact body. As with Sony, the cam­era is not pro­tect­ed from dust and mois­ture. But the main dis­ad­van­tage of Fuji­film for shoot­ing a blog is not hid­den in the cam­eras them­selves, but in an appli­ca­tion that does not allow you to shoot video at 24 fps and peri­od­i­cal­ly los­es con­nec­tion with your pho­to (video) cam­era.

Full frame vlogging cameras

Full-frame cam­eras and lens­es rarely boast con­ve­nient sizes, but your view­ers will def­i­nite­ly not com­plain about the pic­ture qual­i­ty. Pho­to cred­it: redsharknews.com

Full-frame cam­eras are rarely con­sid­ered blog­ger-friend­ly, pri­mar­i­ly because of their large size. How­ev­er, if you are not going to lim­it your­self to self­ie shots, and you need high image qual­i­ty and pro­fes­sion­al tools for work­ing with video, then it makes sense for you to pay atten­tion to full-frame mod­els, sharp­ened for video. True, this is a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent bud­get — prices here start from 100 thou­sand rubles.

There are a lot of cool full-frame video cam­eras on the mar­ket, so choos­ing one “best” option for every­one is impos­si­ble. We will offer sev­er­al alter­na­tives at once.

Let’s start with the Pana­son­ic Lumix S5, with a cool sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem, a weath­er­proof hous­ing and detailed 4K video at up to 60 fps. The cam­era boasts a con­ve­nient swiv­el screen and a clear viewfind­er. The main dis­ad­van­tage, per­haps, is the con­trast aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem, which does not work as effi­cient­ly as the phase sys­tems of com­peti­tors. If you want an even more video-focused Pana­son­ic, you can’t help but men­tion the Pana­son­ic Lumix DC-GH5 II (although it’s not full frame, it’s Micro 4:3).

Next up is the Canon EOS R6. Com­plete with an RF lens, you most like­ly will not get the most com­pact “whale”, but we have already warned you. Oth­er­wise, the R6 is a cool video cam­era with detailed 4K, effec­tive sta­bi­liza­tion and all the nec­es­sary toolset.

Nikon’s Z6 II is worth check­ing out — great video aut­o­fo­cus, bad weath­er pro­tec­tion, and great pho­tos as a bonus.

Sony releas­es some cool cam­eras for video at once, but to con­trast with oth­er full-frame cam­eras from this point in our rat­ing, we sug­gest tak­ing a look at the tiny Sony A7C by full-frame stan­dards. Yes, it does­n’t have the best video per­for­mance in its class, but it’s real­ly light (509 grams) and at the same time there is sta­bi­liza­tion, a swiv­el screen, and weath­er pro­tec­tion, so trav­el blog­gers will appre­ci­ate this mod­el. If the qual­i­ty of the pic­ture is a pri­or­i­ty, look at the Sony A7 III.

The best action cameras for vlogging

So, with the tra­di­tion­al cam­eras over, it’s time to look at some­thing com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent.

At one time, action cam­eras took the vlog­ging world by storm. Or rather, GoPro has tak­en the vlog­ging world by storm. Today you will find a mil­lion options for any bud­get and for any pur­pose, includ­ing 360-degree shoot­ing.

Insta360 ONE R

Plug­gable mod­ules are an inter­est­ing fea­ture of the Insta360 ONE R, which none of the com­peti­tors could repli­cate. Pho­to: digitaltrends.com

Ultra-com­pact and inde­struc­tible are the best fea­tures of a cam­era that you always and every­where car­ry with you, and even more so if you are still shoot­ing sports / action con­tent. ONE R is water­proof, so you can shoot a report while swim­ming in an ice hole or surf­ing in the Gulf of Fin­land. In addi­tion, you get 4K up to 60 fps with an advanced elec­tron­ic sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem, thanks to which smooth videos are obtained even with strong shak­ing.

The main fea­ture of Insta360 is a mod­u­lar sys­tem. If you want, you can buy a 1‑inch mod­ule for a cool­er pic­ture or a 360-degree mod­ule for VR video.

Nat­u­ral­ly, the main com­peti­tor is HERO10 Black. The flag­ship GoPro shoots 4K at 120 fps, per­haps with the coolest sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem among all action cam­eras. The super-rugged HERO10 Black is specif­i­cal­ly designed for extreme shoot­ing, but it’s also suit­able for any oth­er type of vlog­ging.

The best smartphone for vlogging

Every­one loves blur­ry back­grounds, and Apple knows this very well. Pho­to: theverge.com

Tak­ing your smart­phone with you any­time, any­where is the new nor­mal. And if you shoot a lifestyle blog, then a smart­phone with a cool cam­era will make life much eas­i­er.

The choice of a smart­phone is an eter­nal top­ic for holi­var, and with­out a twinge of con­science I will add fuel to the fire by say­ing that the iPhone 13 Pro is the best smart­phone for a vlog­ger. Why? The answer is sim­ple — it has a “Cin­e­mat­ic Mode” (you can read about the rest of the plus­es here). Like the Sony ZV‑1, it makes life as easy as pos­si­ble by blur­ring the back­ground at the touch of a but­ton. Only if with the Sony ZV‑1 you get the effect opti­cal­ly, then here every­thing is done with the help of soft­ware. Of course, the sub­ject does not always stand out from the back­ground per­fect­ly, but this prob­lem can be over­come by clos­ing the aper­ture — choos­ing a high­er f‑number (the blur will be slight­ly less pro­nounced, but you will get rid of arti­facts).

And when oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers have a regime sim­i­lar in effi­cien­cy and sim­plic­i­ty, then we will talk about real com­pe­ti­tion in this seg­ment (per­haps, when you read these lines, in the dis­tant city of Seoul, one expe­ri­enced project man­ag­er is already clap­ping his senior devel­op­er on the shoul­der) .