The best camera for vlogging
You want to know which camera is the best for vlogging. You don’t want to spend months upon months researching and typing “best camera for vlogging” into Google.
Which one do you get? Do you get the one with built-in image stabilization? Do you get the one with detachable lenses? Do you get the one that fits in your pocket? 4K? 8K? Fold-out screen? More features? Less features?
Yes. And no.
The moment I started to consider vlogging, I dove deep into the internet. I searched, researched, watched, and read everything. It was endless.
You know what I was not doing while I was doing all this research?
I wasn’t vlogging.
There was no story being told, no progression was happening, and no experience with actual vlogging was made.
I’ll get to the actual cameras that I use and what other vloggers commonly use in the next few pages, but the camera itself…
…actually doesn’t matter.
The best camera is the one you have with you that can effectively tell the story you want to tell.
There are a few cameras I have used for vlogging, and each are the best camera for me in their own way.
Should you get these particular cameras? Maybe, maybe not, but the best camera is any camera you can use to tell your story.
The Sony A7ii is the camera I use when I want to get a certain level of audio and visual quality. It allows me to tell a story in a certain way and has become my main vlogging camera.
Not everyone uses this camera for vlogging, and that’s totally fine! It’s not high-end, and it’s certainly not the latest and greatest, but it was the camera that I wanted and saved up to get, and now it’s what I use.
Sony RX100 Mark IV
The Sony RX100 Mark 4 is the camera I go for when I want high frame rate shots or when I want to be a little less conspicuous.
It has some great features that I’ve come to love, including a high framerate option that allows me to get some super smooth slow-motion shots if I want them.
iPhone 12 Pro
I’ve gone through a few phones over the years, and a good smartphone camera is not to be sneezed at. A phone in my pocket is a great camera when I either forget one of my primary cameras or run out of battery. It’s great for quick shots and hard-to-reach areas.
A smartphone is easily the best way to get started in vlogging if you don’t have a dedicated camera. It’s with you at all times and the “accessories” are much cheaper.
The best camera is the one you’re using
The list I provided above is not exhaustive of all the cameras available, nor is it everyone’s story. These are not the “best” cameras, but they are the best cameras for me.
Do you see it now? Any camera is the best camera when you’re using it to tell your story.
Do you need three cameras? No. Do you need something fancy? No.
Notice the cameras I use aren’t the newest models with all of the bells and whistles. In fact, I bought all of my cameras second-hand. But that doesn’t matter; what matters is that I’m making something with something.
Now of course context does matter. If you’re making videos about really high-quality tech gear, it’s probably worth it to spend the money to get a high-quality camera.
But if you’re like I was and you’re just wanting to start with anything, this next part is for you.
I want to share with you my very first vlog on my YouTube channel. I’ll share my thoughts on it once you’re done watching it.
My first vlog
Have you watched it? Good.
Here are a few things to note about this video:
- The video resolution is
1280 x 720. In an age of high resolution cameras and incredible HD video, this is sub-standard.
- The quality of the edit isn’t that great. The music doesn’t fit, the story is rough, and there are plenty of other issues I don’t need to go into.
- I’m extremely embarrassed by this video because it’s so low quality and my presentation is so awkward.
- It exists.
Notice that last bullet.
My very first vlog exists.
An imperfect vlog that exists is better than one that doesn’t.
I grabbed my phone, used the low-quality front-facing camera, and just made a video. My phone was always with me, so I could pull it out and use it at a moment’s notice.
So many people have remarkable cameras already with them in their pockets. They don’t even think about using a smartphone because there’s this need to have what all of the “pro vloggers” are using.
Do you have a smartphone? Use it. Do you have a small point and shoot? Use it. Do you have a DSLR that also takes videos? Then use it!
Use whatever camera you have right now and just get started. You can always upgrade what you have now to something better later.
If you don’t have any usable camera and you want to make sure you invest in the right gear at the beginning, we’ll get into some easy entry points in the next few lessons. But first, you need to commit to showing up with what you have now.
A great camera isn’t going to make you a great storyteller: showing up and putting in the work with what you have will give you the experience you’ll need.
The week before this page went live, a friend of mine wrote me on Twitter to say she just uploaded her very first weekly vlog. It’s not shot on a super-resolution camera with a boom mic and stabilization.
But it’s done. It’s out!
I’m incredibly proud of her, and you know what, you can do the same thing.
You can communicate my message and tell the story you want to tell with any tool. The gear itself doesn’t matter as much as the message you want to communicate through my video.
Can you improve later on? Absolutely! I started by using the front-facing camera on my iPhone and now I use a mirrorless camera with a good lens and microphone. It was a progression over time.
Confession: I think I used over five different types of cameras over the first two years of vlogging. Guess what? They were all effective at telling the story I wanted to tell, and that’s what made them the best cameras.
Read this page one more time, then we’ll continue into some of the actual cameras, microphones, lenses, and other gear that you can use for vlogging.