As vlogging has evolved from a hobbyist pursuit to a leading (and lucrative) form of media, so too have the production values. The best vlogging cameras are versatile, compact, and able to shoot in a variety of conditions - from studio cameras for product reviews, to image-stabilising outdoor cameras for walking and talking.
Smartphones have improved to the point that many entry-level video makers can produce brilliant content with the camera they’ve got in their pocket. But vloggers who want to set themselves apart with better picture quality or by using different lenses in interesting ways have traditionally turned to high-end SLRs (single-lens reflex cameras).
Lately, camera manufacturers have caught up to this new customer base, adapting existing full-frame and compact mirrorless cameras to include features and capabilities that content creators require.
So which camera is best? That depends on what features you need. No one device is going to turn you into an overnight YouTube sensation, so beginners should focus on content rather than picture quality. A smartphone is good enough for anyone just starting out, but a budget vlogging camera makes a great entry point for those who are ready to level up their videos.
When we talk about full-frame cameras, we’re referring to the size of the sensor inside the body of the camera. While all sorts of clever image-processing algorithms can spruce up a photo after it’s been taken, the sensor is a physically limiting factor when it comes to true image quality. The larger a sensor is, the more photons it can capture in one go. A full-frame sensor is bigger than a postage stamp, which is why your smartphone doesn’t have one.
With the exception of the Logitech StreamCam, all of these cameras shoot in 4K resolution. To achieve this, some cameras crop in on the image, creating a tighter framing that can cut off the top of your head when filming at arm’s length. How much of a problem this is depends on the lens you’re using, and it can usually be fixed by placing the camera on a selfie stick to get some distance.
How we tested
We’ve rounded up eight of the best vlogging cameras around, taking into consideration the above aspects, as well as price, size, weight, video-recording quality and extra features. The cameras were tested indoors and (with the obvious exception of the webcam) taken for a lovely walk along a nature trail.
The best vlogging cameras for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Sony ZV-1: £599, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for outdoor filming – Fujifilm X-S10: £999, Jessops.com
- Best for YouTubers – Canon EOS M50 mark II: £699, Jessops.com
- Best full-frame camera – Panasonic DC-S5: £1,659, Amazon.co.uk
- Best all-rounder – Panasonic lumix G100: £679, Johnlewis.com
- Best compact camera – Canon powershot G7 X mark III: £699, Johnlewis.com
- Best action camera – GoPro hero 9 Black: £329.98, Gopro.com
- Best desktop camera – Logitech StreamCam: £99.99, Currys.co.uk