Best Vlogging Camera of 2018

Vlogging CameraVlogging is increasingly popular nowadays as a flashier alternative to the standard written blog. Anyone with anything to say can promote their products, share their thoughts, or more via video feed that can be live or more often, prerecorded. From there, you can post to sites like YouTube or Vimeo where people can rate and comment on your high-quality video posts.

Vlogging takes some specialized equipment, of course. You want a good computer, excellent location, good lighting, and a solid camera for video capture. There are so many options available in today’s markets that choosing the right camera can be a real challenge.

Many popular vlogging cameras tend to be on the smaller side compared to photography cameras. They’re far more portable as a result and can be taken out and put back for a quick post.

But really, any digital camera that can record video and has the features you need can be an excellent vlogging camera. Here we’ll be looking at two point and shoots, two mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, and an ever-popular specialty camera. But first…

What should I be looking for in a vlogging camera?

Maximum Video Resolution

This is probably the very first consideration you should make, even before you decide to camera shop. You want at least Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 p) to make vlogs that look sharp on websites like YouTube and Vimeo. But what about 4K video (3840 x 2160 p)? 4K has 4x the resolution of Full HD; surely that’s the obvious export resolution…Right?

There are many good reasons to shoot in 4K and a few why you shouldn’t. For one, even if your audience or you don’t own a 4K display, they’re increasingly common. You’re essentially future-proofing your video files. Post-processing like video stabilization is much easier as well since you have significantly more room for cropping as needed.

Downsampling from 4K to Full HD also gives better video quality than recording in Full HD natively. This is because the camera has to record extra video data that is then used in the downsampling to build the Full HD file, as opposed to simply dumping data at the beginning with a native Full HD one. Some cameras will always use downsampled video for the increased quality.

But we’ll also want to keep in mind a few possible drawbacks. File sizes are going to be much larger due to the increase in video information. And you’ll want a 4K display, even more, to make the most out of your high-quality video. And many of your viewers will still be viewing Full HD anyway. Your computer itself will also need a more powerful processor and more RAM to be able to process the larger 4K files quickly. But as a vlogger, you should be well prepared in this regard.

Because 4K is increasingly common in digital cameras of all tiers, there’s a good chance you won’t even have to make that choice. But it’s great to have the option even if you plan on recording Full HD video for now.

Microphone Type and Available Mic Ports

While any video camera will come with a built-in mic, external microphone ports really are essential. An external mic will be much higher quality than nearly any built-in mic that comes with your camera.

They can also include accessories like wind muffs (dead cats) to help reduce the hiss of moving air and more. You also have much more control over the audio gain (input sound loudness) and can better create great audio with supporting devices with an external mic.

You can also choose whether you want a mono or stereo mic with an external mic vs. being limited to whichever your camera normally comes with using the built-in one.

Mono mics have a directed recording style that selectively records in a specific area. They are great for picking up dialogue in a particular location while excluding another zone, for example.

Stereo mics give a sense of place by recording sound across a larger area. Audio recordings of an outdoor event will sound far better using a stereo microphone.

Sensor Size & Read Type

In photography we usually want larger sensors to maximize our light collection zone. In vlogging, this remains true, especially if we’re regularly recording in low light environments. But this can also be mitigated through smart ISO and aperture selection as well as maintaining proper lighting.

One advantage many 1” sensors provide is that they read the entire sample area when recording video. While Micro 4/3rds, APS-C, and full-frame sensors are larger, they skip some of the pixel lines to create low-resolution frames faster. This can sometimes result in inferior quality video over smaller sensors that record over the entire area.

The size of the sensor also affects the field of view available. With a full frame sensor, I have a much wider field of view compared to a 1” sensor. Anything under full frame is sometimes referred to as a “cropped” sensor. This is a reference to the days of film photography where 35mm was decided upon as a standard size for camera film.

Cropped sensors are sometimes preferable over full frame ones. If I use a 35mm lens on a Micro 4/3rds sensor with its 2.0x crop factor, I have an equivalent 70mm field of view. This gives me a pseudo-zoom effect. If I need cheap reach, then crop sensors have an advantage here.

But as a vlogger, I may prefer a wide angle field of view. Sitting in front of my computer, I’d rather not have to sit way back from my camera to get a decent capture. Depending on how wide angle I need, I’ll have to consider both my lenses and the sensor size carefully.


Many vlogs take place directly in front of your computer while you’re sitting in a comfortable chair. But what about vloggers who create content from a sheer cliff or perched on a surfboard? Even a high-quality vlogging camera won’t necessarily survive submersion in the ocean.

If you expect to shoot in the outdoors occasionally but not necessarily drop or submerge the camera, then weatherized models are well worth considering. They usually use magnesium alloy constructions that are corrosion and scratch resistant while remaining lightweight. Rubber seals help keep dust and moisture from penetrating into the body of the camera – but remember that any interchangeable lenses should be weatherized as well.

But if you’re into more extreme videography, then cameras like the Olympus TG-5 and GoPro Hero series are more up your alley. They can be dropped from a significant height, be submerged as far as 50 feet underwater, and provide digital and optical image stabilization to help gimbal-less vloggers keep their video looking smooth and natural.

Our Top 5 Best Cameras for Vlogging

GoPro Hero 6

GoPro Hero 6

GoPro is almost a household name for a very good reason. The cameras are designed to be the go-to camera for any sort of action-oriented vlogging. And the digital photo and video stabilization help keep footage looking relatively smooth and free of unwanted shake even though you’re obviously on the move.

While it doesn’t have a vast range of options, the Hero 6 is well worth looking at if you want a simple device that creates high-quality videos.

Durable no matter what.

When it comes to outdoor shooting few cameras offer the peace of mind you’ll get while using a GoPro Hero 6. For one, it’s waterproof down to 33 ft. (10 m). Other cameras usually need a waterproof casing to match this depth.

But it’s not shockproof like some other action-oriented cameras. At least not without the case which fortunately comes with the Hero 6.

Simple and Intuitive Controls

If you’re not technically oriented, have no fear. The GoPro Hero 6 is well designed to keep you moving and not looking through your user manuals. The camera has exactly two buttons: a side button for Power/Mode/Tag, and a top button for Select/Shutter controls. That’s it.

From there, the touch screen allows for quick mode selection as well as framing your field of view. But what if your vlog takes you up the side of a mountain or somewhere else where both hands are needed?

While your camera is safely mounted onto your helmet, voice commands allow you to remain entirely hands-free. These 12 commands include GoPro Start Recording, GoPro Turn On, GoPro Shoot Burst, and even That Was Sick, to add a HiLight tag to the recorded video.

And if that isn’t enough for you, the GoPro app can also be enabled with a smartphone or other smart device. This gives you wireless control of your GoPro to shoot and record even from a distance or in situations where ambient noise could overwhelm your voice controls.


Adventure-loving vloggers should consider the GoPro Hero 6 their vlogging camera of choice. While it offers 12-megapixel JPEG and RAW photography the camera is oriented towards providing point of view videography that includes 4K resolution.

The simple controls and microphone port make it a breeze to take it out of the box and get right into vlogging. And the price is the lowest here.

GoPro HERO6 Black - Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos
  • Hero6 black automatically sends your footage to your phone where the app turns it into a quikstory an awesome edited video
  • With 4k60 and 1080p240 video,Hero6 black delivers 2x the performance compared to Hero5 black with an all new GP1 chip optimized for GoPro capture, Hero6 black delivers vastly improved image quality
  • With our most advanced video stabilization yet, Hero6 black captures super smooth footage, whether it's handheld or mounted to your gear Hero6 black is waterproof to 33ft (10m) without a housing
  • Now featuring touch zoom and an updated ui, the 2 inch display makes it easy to frame shots, change settings and play back footage
  • Featuring 5ghz wi fi, you can copy photos and videos over to your phone 3x faster than with Hero5 black; note low or high temperature conditions may temporarily shorten the battery life or cause the camera to temporarily stop working properly

Sony A7S II

Sony A7S II

The Sony A7S II is quite a different beast from the GoPro Her 6 but is also a great option for the vlog-oriented. The full-frame sensor guarantees a large light collection area.

And 12.2 megapixels of resolution means that while the photo detail is on the low side, the individual pixels are huge. This gives the A7S II some of the best video low light performance on the market, making it amazing for vloggers looking to do natural light videos without big lighting kits or recording on the street.

Interchangeable Lenses

Being able to change lenses is an amazing advantage. It ups the price of your kit dramatically, but it also means that eventually, you’ll have just the right lens for every scene you come across.

The 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 generalist lens of the Canon Powershot GX 7 Mark II is impressive for a point and shoot. But try using a 50mm f/1.8 prime on the Sony A7S II. You’ll see a dramatic and immediate difference in exposure and depth of field.

The sensor stabilization of the A7S II is fantastic for shooting video handheld. This ensures no matter what lens is paired with the camera you’ll have far smoother footage compared to unstabilized video.

This is especially helpful if you’re shooting in a lower quality resolution since post-processing video stabilization can eat away at resolution by cutting the edges from frames. If image and video quality are your highest priority interchangeable lens cameras are just as great for vlogging as they are for photography.

True Videographer’s Tool

Like the LUMIX GH5S, the Sony A7S II is definitely a camera oriented towards vloggers who want the best videography experience possible. Every port you could possibly want, from HDMI to headphone to mic outputs are all included as well as 4K export to external drives as well as internal recording.

Log recording ensures you have excellent videography files for editing thanks to the flat color profiles used. The original A7S came with SLOG2, and the A7S II brings S-Gamut3, Cine/S-Log3, and S-Gamut3/S-Log3 to ensure you have the best suite of options for any available lighting conditions.

S-Log3 is particularly useful and works just like Hybrid Log Gamma does for the GH5S; it increases the dynamic range which is the range of tones rendered accurately by the sensor. Details are recovered better from bright highlights and dark shadows.


Overall the Sony A7SII is hard to beat. Videographers don’t care about the lower megapixel count of the sensor, and it works to their advantage because it ensures the low light performance is unbeatable. The body and lenses are far more expensive than the GoPro or point and shoot models here. But if quality vlogs that can be taken in any lighting is your thing (except for underwater), the A7S II is the best camera for you.

Sony a7S II ILCE7SM2/B 12.2 MP E-mount Camera with Full-Frame Sensor, Black
  • Full-frame camera with 5-axis image stabilization
  • Fast and effective, enhanced Fast Hybrid AF
  • 12.2 megapixels 10 35mm full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor Lens Compatibility - Sony E-mount lenses
  • BIONZ X image processing engine ; Clear Image Zoom :Still/Movie: Approx. 2x
  • In the box: Rechargeable Battery NP-FW50; Cable Protector; AC Adaptor AC-UUD11; Battery Charger BC-VW1; Shoulder strap; Body cap; Accessory shoe cap; Eyepiece cup; Micro USB cable

Panasonic LUMIX GH5S

Panasonic LUMIX GH5S

While the LUMIX GH5S is significantly higher priced than the point and shoot cameras here, you get far more camera for your vlogging needs. With a magnesium outer shell that’s rain and dust-proof and respectable battery life for a mirrorless camera (440 shots per charge – CIPA rating) the GH5S is definitely worth looking at.

Interchangeable Lenses

Unlike some of the other cameras here the Panasonic LUMIX GH5S is an interchangeable lens mirrorless camera. This means you can tailor your lens selection to suit the scene in question. If you’re looking to shoot a landscape with you walking across it using a wide angle lens will allow you to create nice expansive views. And if you decide to do nature videography a telephoto prime or zoom lens will give you amazing portraits.

The Micro 4/3rds mount is cross-compatible with Olympus lenses as well, with 92 lenses natively available to these cameras. The lenses that come fixed to point and shoot cameras like the Sony Cybershot and Canon Powershot cameras are usually generalist lenses. They offer a decent aperture and focal range but fall short of the options and image quality that more specialized lenses have to offer. The only limits are your imagination – and your wallet.

True Videographer’s Tool

Flat color profiles are a solid win for videographers who want to get the highest quality video files for their work. Normally when recording video files quite a bit of color data is left out to create smaller file sizes (compressed files). But the LUMIX GH5S (and Sony A7S II) offer flat color profiles. V-LogL and V-Log Gamma are the two profiles provided by the GH5S with Hybrid Log Gamma available for HDR (High Dynamic Range) videography. HDR shines when you’d lose detail due to dark shadow and bright highlights by expanding the dynamic range (the range of tones) that the camera can render.

The GH5S also records both DCI (4096 x 2160p) and UHD 4K at up to 60 frames per second and no time limit! Most digital cameras that shoot video also have built-in time limits to help get around European Union tariffs that force manufacturers to classify cameras that go over 30 minutes of recording as video cameras. Clearly, the GH5S is a true video camera.

While the Micro 4/3rds sensor is solidly medium sized in surface area, the low megapixel count helps it perform admirably in low light environments. This is because the pixel size matters almost as much as the surface area of the sensor.

Larger pixels are more sensitive to light than smaller ones and are less likely to be overwhelmed by ambient electrical noise and heat signals that create false positive that can manifest as noise, especially once the ISO starts going up.


The LUMIX GH5S has everything you’ll need to succeed as a videographer. It doesn’t have the sensor stabilization of the GH5, previously considered the best hybrid video digital cameras on the market. But a gimbal setup will help you overcome this – and shooting in 4K gives plenty of room for software stabilization as well.

If you’re even a little photography oriented the GH5’s stabilization and higher resolution sensor make it the more attractive option as it provides 90% of the videography features of the GH5S. Also its significantly cheaper but that comes at the cost of reduced low light performance due to the higher resolution sensor (pixels are twice as small on the GH5).

PANASONIC LUMIX GH5S Body 4K Digital Camera, 10.2 Megapixel Mirrorless Camera with High-Sensitivity MOS Sensor, C4K/4K UHD 4:2:2 10-Bit, 3.2-Inch LCD, DC-GH5S (Black)
  • PROFESSIONAL PHOTO AND VIDEO PERFORMANCE: 10.2-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor and a significantly higher photoreceptive surface per pixel deliver an ultra-wide dynamic range; Dual Native ISO provides ultra-sensitive video capture with impressively low noise
  • RUGGED SPLASH/FREEZEPROOF DESIGN: Durable magnesium alloy body withstands heavy use out in the field and is freezeproof down to -10-degrees; Splash/dustproof construction with weather sealing on every joint, dial and button
  • UNLIMITED IN-CAMERA RECORDING OF C4K: Capable of internal SD card capture of 60p50p 8-bit, 30p25p24p 4:2:2 10-bit, 4K: 60p50p 4:2:0 8-bit, 30p25p24p 4:2:2 10-bit; 1080p up to 240fps and C4K 60p VFR
  • ANAMORPHIC VIDEO MODE: 4K Anamorphic professional video production interchangeable lens camera system enables high performance, durability and mobility; Electronic shutter: 1/16,000 - 1; Operating temperature -10oC to 40oC (14oF to 104oF)
  • CONNECTIVITY AND PORTS: TC In/Out/Synchro Terminal (via included BNC cable), 3.5mm mic jack with line input, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2.5mm remote socket, HDMI Type A Socket and USB-C 3.1 Socket; Available twin SD Card slots (UHS-II U3 compatible)

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV

For a point and shoot the Cybershot DSC-RX100 IV is definitely punching well above its weight class. It brings a wide open lens that maxes out at f/1.8 at the wide angle end and f/2.8 at the telephoto end. And the sensor is tiny but designed to be incredibly quick and more sensitive to light than other CMOS sensor designs.

Blazing Fast Sensor Design

Sony has come out with several truly innovative sensor designs, and the Exmor RS stacked CMOS design is no exception. In older designs, the sensor’s processing circuits are oriented along the edges of the sensor. This newer version has two major improvements.

First, it incorporates the back-side illuminating technology that the higher end A7RII and III use. The sensor design allows for greater light capture rates by using a much thinner sensor and moving the wiring to the back side of the sensor. This gives about half a stop of light sensitivity over a traditional sensor which is significant considering how poorly 1” sensors can fare in low light settings.

Next, the processing circuits are placed directly behind the sensor instead of along the edges. According to Sony, this increases the speed by over five times that of the older Exmor R sensor models. This allows for amazing features like 960 fps slow-motion video, 16 frames per second continuous burst shooting, 1/32,000ths of a second shutter speed, and 30 fps 4K video support.

Great Fixed Lens

The 2.9x optical zoom is respectable and has a full frame equivalent 24-70mm focal length. This range is perfect for everyday photography and videography, covering everything from architecture and landscapes to portraiture.

The aperture is also a respectable f/1.8 at the wide angle end to f/2.8 at maximum zoom. f/1.8 on a point and shoot does not have the depth of field that it will when using a larger sensor. But compared to the f/3.5 or greater lenses, most point and shoots come with the images and videos you’ll be creating that will definitely stand out.

Sony often uses Zeiss glass with their lenses and the DSC-RX100 IV is no exception. Zeiss lenses are made in Germany and use rigorous standards to ensure videos and images are sharp and free of distortion, flare, and other negative lighting effects.


Sony’s point and shoot have some great features that really help it to stand out from the Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II. While slightly pricier, you get some incredible videography features that will excite any creative vlogger. It offers uncompressed 4K output via micro-HDMI as well but doesn’t come with mic or headphone ports. A separate mic and audio recorder are a good additional purchase with this camera.

Sony RX100 IV 20.1 MP Premium Compact Digital Camera w/ 1-inch Sensor, 4K Movies and 40x Super Slow Motion HD DSCRX100M4/B
  • World's first1 201 MP 1" Exmor RS stacked back illuminated CMOS, High resolution 4K movie recording with direct pixel readout and no pixel binning, Super slow-motion movie3 HFR (High frame rate) up to 960 fps (40x)
  • Operating temperature:Approx. 0-40°C (32-104°F).Super-speed Anti-Distortion Shutter at max 1/32000 sec up to 16fps, Bright F18- F28 ZEISS Vario-Sonar T* lens (24-70mm), Fast Intelligent AF thanks to the new Exmor RS CMOS sensor
  • Retractable XGA OLED Tru-Finer viewfinder and Sharp 3" multi-angle LCD, Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi and NFC w/ camera apps, Dual record of 168MP photos while shooting movie w/ auto settings. Focal length : f is equal to 8.8-25.7mm
  • Enhanced pro-video functions and NTSC switchable. Power Consumption : DC3.6 Volt (supplied battery) / DC5.0 Volt (supplied AC Adaptor)

Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II

Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II

Canon’s Powershot G7 X Mark II is one of the more popular vlogging cameras on the market. This camera has a built-in stereo microphone but suffers from a lack of a microphone or headphone port. This makes it a camera best suited for indoor work in a controlled environment or paired with a separate mic not attached to the camera.

The wireless controls via smart device make hands free shooting a breeze as well. Lastly, UHS-I support along with the DIGIC 7 processor allows for fast write speeds to memory cards with no buffering needed.

Excellent point and shoot lens

Point and shoots have a major downside compared to interchangeable lenses: whichever lens comes with the camera is the one that you’ll forever be using because they don’t swap out. But the G7 X Mark II actually has a very usable lens.

The Canon brings a 4.2x optical zoom lens that’s equivalent to 24-100mm focal range on a full-frame camera. That’s significantly more reach over the Sony model. And the aperture values are also f/1.8-2.8, giving plenty of exposure for great portraits. The sensor size does negate this somewhat. Still, this is still one of the better point and shoots out there if you really need a nice bokeh-filled background. The nine-bladed aperture also helps create nicely shaped background bokeh.

Maximum Full HD Resolution

Something to consider is that this camera maxes out at Full HD video resolution. Canon cameras with 4K are somewhat rare; only its highest end DSLR and some of the newer mirrorless cameras offer it. While it’s true that Full HD is enough for most video work it just doesn’t look good when you notice that all of the other brands such as Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus making 4K a standard feature.


In controlled environments designed for video, the G7 X Mark II will perform very nicely. Given the small sensor and contrast detection-based autofocus this camera is going to struggle in low light environments. The open aperture of the fixed lens definitely helps mitigate this but not to the degree of a true low light camera like the Sony A7S II. Still, given the features for the very low price, it’s an excellent vlogging camera!

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II (Black)
  • The advanced video capabilities of the Power Shot G7 X Mark II camera can capture moments in the quality they deserve
  • Features a large 1.0 inch, 20.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor that helps capture high quality images and videos with a wide dynamic range. Autofocus system features ttl autofocus and manual focus. Operating temperature is 0 to 40 degree celsius. Note charging time varies considerably depending on the remaining battery power
  • An aperture value of f/1.8 at the wide angle and f/2.8 when fully zoomed to a factor of 4.2x (24 100 millimeter), this lens equipped to capture a variety of situations with precision
  • High resolution, 3.0 inches LCD monitor that tilts up 180 degrees and down 45 degrees is ideal for self portraits and capturing pictures at high and low angles with ease
  • Built in Wi Fi for on the go convenience and the ability to easily post your images to select social networking and media sites


Each of the cameras here is a great vlogging device and each has its place in the vlogger’s arsenal. The GoPro Hero 6 is a fantastic all-purpose device that’s inexpensive and rugged. It takes 4K quality video and offers digital stabilization for all of your most adventurous takes. The voice commands, two-button controls, and easy menus also make it beginner oriented enough that you can start recording within minutes of opening it.

The Sony A7S II and Panasonic LUMIX GH5S are serious videography tools for vloggers looking for the greatest number of options and features. They offer Log recording, cinematic 4K, strong low-light performance, and even double as excellent photography cameras. With the right lenses and editing software, you’ll have professional level videos that will portray any scene incredibly well. The cost for the body and a selection of lenses will run at least four digits, however.

Both the Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V offer a happy medium between the GoPro and interchangeable lens cameras. They have flexibility and options while still operating from a beginner-intermediate vlogger’s perspective and also fit that same budget. Notably, the G7 X Mark II doesn’t offer 4K but if that’s not something you need it remains a solid offering from Canon. Every camera here is a worthy choice and is well worth considering!

All written content (and most images) in these articles are copyrighted by the authors. Copyrighted material from Apogee Photo Mag should not be used elsewhere without seeking the authors permission.

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