Best camera for Vlogging 2018: 5 perfect choices tested

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Best camera
Picking the best camera for vlogging is a bit more involved than looking at the video specs of a range of cameras, as there are a number of other considerations to take into account.

For a basic head shot, all you really need is the camera that’s built into your smartphone, tablet or laptop. But if you want the world to sit up and take notice of your vlog and attract a wider audience, you’ll need to put in a bit more effort and get the right tools for the job. So what makes for a good vlogging camera?

For a basic head shot, all you really need is the camera that’s built into your smartphone, tablet or laptop. But if you want the world to sit up and take notice of your vlog and attract a wider audience, you’ll need to put in a bit more effort and get the right tools for the job. So what makes for a good vlogging camera?

If you want to publish a record of your life experiences, you’ll need a camera that’s small enough to carry around with you. That rules out big, clunky DSLRs with a barrowload of lenses, but there are nevertheless a couple of relatively lightweight DSLRs on the market that are ideal for vlogging.

For greater go-anywhere convenience, a mirrorless camera can shoehorn the quality and versatility of a DSLR into a much smaller package. And if you don’t feel the need to swap lenses to suit different shooting scenarios, a regular compact camera typically takes up even less room. For all-action heroes, a specialist action camera is the best fit.

Video quality

Whatever type of camera you go for, you’ll need one that can deliver good quality video, preferably in Full HD (1080p) or even 4k Ultra High Definition, both formats now being supported by the likes of YouTube. Built-in Wi-Fi can be a big bonus, while a tilting or fully articulating LCD monitor screen can be extremely helpful for putting yourself in the picture.

We’ve picked out ten top cameras of various shapes, sizes and attributes to suit different styles of vlogging, and to fit into the bigger picture of your all-round stills and video shooting requirements. Some will suit your exact needs better than others, so we’ve listed them alphabetically, rather than recommending one overall winner.

The 10 best 4K cameras
The 10 best compact cameras
The 10 best mirrorless cameras
The 10 best DSLRs

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

1. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Type: Compact | Sensor size: 1.0-type | Resolution: 20.1MP | Effective focal length: 24-100mm | Viewfinder: None | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC | Max movie resolution: 1080 60p | Size, weight: 106 x 61 x 42mm, 319g

Smaller and lighter than many DSLR bodies even without a lens fitted, this compact camera is from Canon’s up-market PowerShot range. Despite its conveniently compact build, it has a fast f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens with a powerful 24-100mm effective range, feeding a 1.0-inch sensor that’s relatively large for a compact camera.

As well as delivering excellent stills quality, the PowerShot G7 X Mark II boasts clever features for vlogging. While not fully articulated, the PowerShot G7 X Mark II edition adds a flip-up facility to its tilting touchscreen, making it easy to frame yourself when talking to camera. The 5-axis stabilization is also particularly good for counteracting camera-shake when shooting movies, even when panning or moving around, and comes complete with an auto-level function to keep your horizons straight.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II review

2. Canon EOS 77D

A particularly capable DSLR for vlogging

Type: DSLR | Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.2MP | Effective focal length: N/A | Viewfinder: Pentamirror | Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth | Max movie resolution: 1080 60p | Size, weight: 131 x 100 x 76mm, 540g

DSLRs are notoriously poor for autofocusing in Live View and when shooting movies. Like many of Canon’s current DSLRs, the EOS 77D solves the problem with Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus. This enables much faster and more effective autofocus in movie capture, especially when tracking moving subjects. It also works a treat with the touchscreen, enabling you to simply point to any part of the scene on which you want to focus. Better still, the screen in fully articulated, so you can ensure you’re positioned correctly when talking to camera.

More unusually for a Canon DSLR, the EOS 77D features 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization. The camera still relies on in-lens, optical stabilization for stills capture, but the ‘Digital IS’ is highly effective when shooting movies.

Fujifilm X-A5

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.2MP | Effective focal length: N/A | Viewfinder: None | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Max movie resolution: 4K 15p | Size, weight: 117 x 68 x 40mm, 361g

Wonderfully compact, this mirrorless system camera body is just 40mm deep, and remains very slim when fitted with the optional 15-45mm kit lens, which has a retractable design and a power zoom facility, ideal for video capture. Great for putting yourself in the shot, the LCD screen flips up through a full 180 degrees, automatically activating eye-detection autofocus in the process. The fact that it’s a touchscreen also helps with literally pointing out moving subjects on which you want to focus.

Advanced video features include ‘high-speed movies’ with slow-motion playback, and 4K ultra-high-definition capture. There’s a catch, however, in that 4K movies have a maximum frame rate of just 15fps. The result can be very detailed but jerky video, somewhat defeating the object.

GoPro Hero5 Black

Type: Action | Sensor size: 4.5 x 6.2mm | Resolution: 12MP | Effective focal length: 14-28mm | Viewfinder: None | Monitor: 2.0-inch touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Max movie resolution: 4K 30p | Size, weight: 62 x 45 x 33mm, 118g

The GoPro camera brand has become synonymous with shooting a sporty, adventurous lifestyle. There are various models to choose from but the Hero5 Black delivers excellent performance and versatility at an attractive price. With the ability to choose between viewing angles equivalent to 14mm, 21mm and 28mm on a full-frame camera, it’s something of a wide-angle specialist, but the 12MP stills resolution is rather low. It’s much better suited to video capture and, indeed, delivers 4K videos at 30fps.

Boldly going where vlogging might not have gone before, the Hero5 Black is waterproof down to 10m / 33ft, has a longer-lasting battery than previous editions and enables hands-free voice control. There’s also a touchscreen, but it’s a bit on the small side, which is only to be expected considering that the camera itself is so tiny. A wide range of clamps and accessories enable you to attach the GoPro to pretty much anything and everything.

Nikon D5600

5. Nikon D5600

Type: DSLR | Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.2MP | Effective focal length: N/A | Viewfinder: Pentamirror | Monitor: 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth | Max movie resolution: 1080 60p | Size, weight: 124 x 97 x 70mm, 465g

Particularly small and lightweight for a DSLR, the D5600 is easy to take along for the ride, especially with its retractable 18-55mm VR kit lens. With a ‘Pulse’ autofocus motor, the kit lens also gives the advantage of silent, smooth focus transitions when shooting movies. However, unlike most recent Canon DSLRs, the lack of phase-detection autofocus via the image sensor makes for sluggish performance and relatively poor tracking of moving subjects.

The 3.2-inch, fully articulated LCD screen looks good from any angle and can be a massive help when filming yourself, or for shooting just about anything else from tricky angles. As with most DSLRs at this price point, the maximum video resolution is 1080 60p, but that’s currently good enough for most of us.

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