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The best cameras for vlogging in 2021

Best cameras for vlogging: Sony ZV-1
(Image credit: Sony)

If you’re looking for the best cameras for vlogging, we’re here to help. Vlogging has never been more accessible, and there are loads of great cameras available to everyone, from affordable beginners’ models that help out with the basic, to larger systems designed for those who want to produce professional-grade video. 

What you end up buying will depend upon what you need. We’ve broken down our list into categories, and included every camera’s vital statistics. Some of these cameras shoot in huge resolutions with high frame rates, while others have more modest sensor specs, but make up for it in other ways, such as having a lightweight build or long battery life. Also important is focusing capability – depending on the type of vlogging you’re doing, you may be shooting unpredictable subjects, in which case it’s useful to have a robust, capable autofocus system at your disposal.

We’ve divided these cameras up into who we think they’re suitable for, and factored in price when making our picks, so whatever your budget, there should be a great vlogging camera here for you. And if you want to see a more broad range of devices, don't miss our pick of the best cameras too. However, if you're in the market for a webcam to get you through myriad Zoom meetings, head over to our list of the best webcams you can buy in 2021.

Best cameras for vlogging available now

Best camera for vlogging: Sony ZV-1

(Image credit: Sony)

01. Sony ZV-1

The best camera for vlogging overall

Best for: Beginner to intermediate | Max video resolution/frame rate: 4K video at 30p | AF points: 315 | Weight: 294g | Battery life (CIPA): 260 shots

Tailored for vlogging 
Useful all-purpose lens 
Limited touchscreen 
Unexceptional stabilisation 

If you’re going to start vlogging, why not get a dedicated camera for the purpose? While the Sony ZV-1 can shoot stills, it’s first and foremost a camera for vloggers, boasting 4K 30p video and a built-in three-capsule directional microphone for capturing pristine audio in all conditions. You even get a windshield bundled in with it, further improving your audio in outdoor conditions. It’s optimised brilliantly, with vlogging at the forefront of the design rather than an optional extra, and it’s easy for new users to get to grips with while still offering sufficient depth for those who know what they’re doing. Sony is ahead of the curve here, and we wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing imitators from other manufacturers.

Best camera for vlogging: Sony A7S III

(Image credit: Sony)

02. Sony A7S III

The best high-end camera for vlogging

Best for: Advanced/professional users | Max video resolution/frame rate: UHD 4K at 120p | AF points: 759 phase-detection; 425 contrast-detection | Weight: 614g | Battery life (CIPA): 600 shots

Unmatched in low light 
Class-leading autofocus 
Expensive, of course
No 6K or 8K 

The original Sony A7S was arguably one of the few real game-changers in video over the past decade – a camera that, thanks to its maximum ISO ceiling of 409,600, could literally see in the dark. The Sony A7S III builds on its legacy and is one of the finest mirrorless cameras for video around, with not only class-leading low-light performance, but also one of the best autofocus systems on the market. This is a serious tool for professionals, and of course its price reflects that, but for your money you get some of the finest UHD 4K video around, and that is tough to argue with.

Best camera for vlogging: Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

(Image credit: Canon)

03. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

The best camera for vlogging if you're on a budget

Best for: Beginner to intermediate | Max video resolution/frame rate: Full HD at 60p | AF points: 31 | Weight: 206g | Battery life (CIPA): 235 shots

Useful 1-inch sensor 
Small and portable 
No 4K 
Fixed screen 

It’s important to be careful when buying cheap cameras, as often they come with a small sensor. This tends to mean low dynamic range, poor image quality, and a fairly minimal upgrade over your smartphone. The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II, however, is a pleasing exception to the rule, packing in a 1-inch sensor that provides a significant, noticeable upgrade over a phone. When you add to that a 3x optical zoom lens and Full HD 60p video (no 4K, but hey), then you begin to see that you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck here. Great for budget shooters who want to see real results, though the lack of a flip-around screen can make self-filming a challenge.

Best camera for vlogging: Panasonic Lumix G100

(Image credit: Panasonic)

04. Panasonic Lumix G100

Best for beginners - Panasonic’s run at a vlogger-oriented camera is a solid starter model

Best for: Beginners | Max video resolution/frame rate: 4K at 30p | AF points: 49 | Weight: 303g | Battery life (CIPA): 270

Sophisticated internal mic
USB charging 
No in-body stabilisation
No headphone jack

Lumix G cameras are hugely popular among vloggers, and the relatively new G100 leans right into that. While it still shoots stills, it’s pitched at the vlogging community, with exciting new features like the microphone array that uses OZO audio by Nokia, removing the need to spring for an external microphone. User-friendly and easy to get to grips with, the G100 can also be charged via USB, which is handy when out on location if that battery indicator starts blinking. Also, its Micro Four Thirds lens mount means there’s a huge range of compatible lenses, allowing for experimentation once you've got a handle on the basics.

Best camera for vlogging: Nikon Z50

(Image credit: Nikon)

05. Nikon Z50

Nikon’s APS-C mirrorless wonder is a slim and speedy machine, available as a vlogging kit

Best for: Intermediate to advanced | Max video resolution/frame rate: UHD 4K at 30p | AF points: 209 | Weight: 395g | Battery life (CIPA): 320 shots

Well-designed controls 
Useful vlogger’s kit 
Battery life average 
One card slot 

The Z series made a big splash when it first arrived, thanks to the revolutionary Z-mount that provided faster-than-ever communication between camera and lens. The Z50 is the first APS-C model in the series, providing a more affordable entry point, and we’re recommending it as part of the “vlogger’s kit” that comes with a mini-tripod and mounting plate, as well as a RØDE microphone and a 16-50mm lens; if you already have these things, you can pick up the camera body-only for about half the price. Either way, it’s a great choice, producing gorgeous 4K video.

Best camera for vlogging: Canon EOS M6 Mark II

(Image credit: Canon)

06. Canon EOS M6 Mark II

For doing a bit of everything, Canon’s mirrorless model is a definite hit

Best for: Enthusiasts | Max video resolution/frame rate: UHD 4K video at 30p | AF points: 143 | Weight: 408g | Battery life (CIPA): 305 shots

Excellent 32.5MP APS-C sensor
Effective video AF 
Limited native lenses 
Poor battery life

Canon’s M series used to be a bit of a joke among photographers, but then the EOS M6 Mark II showed that the line was well and truly alive. Equipped with a hugely impressive 32.5MP APS-C sensor and the ability to capture UHD 4K video, the EOS M6 II is a stonking all-rounder camera – it may not the best at any one thing, but it’s pretty good at everything, and thus ideal for all-purpose vlogging. Its autofocus system is hugely effective, and being able to charge via USB is hugely useful for longer shoots. The user interface is good and user-friendly as well, making the camera simple to get to grips with.

Best camera for vlogging: Nikon D780

(Image credit: Nikon)

07. Nikon D780

The best DSLR camera for vlogging

Best for: Advanced and professional users | Max video resolution/frame rate: 4K UHD video at 30p | AF points: 273 (in Live View) | Weight: 840g | Battery life (CIPA): 2260 shots

Dual UHS-II card slots
Uncropped 4K video
Hefty to hold
Expensive

Anyone who thought DSLRs were on the way out – guess again! The Nikon D780 is a triumph, blending the handling of DSLRs with the sophisticated tech of mirrorless cameras to produce a sublime machine for stills and video alike. Its uncropped video looks incredible, and it’s chunky weatherproof body is hugely satisfying to handle – if you’re heading out in rough conditions, this is a hell of a camera to have by your side. If its price is a little steep, consider the Nikon D750, which is a few years old but still a great camera in its own right.

Best camera for vlogging: Dji Osmo Action

(Image credit: DJI)

08. DJI Osmo Action

The best waterproof option for vlogging

Best for: Beginner to intermediate | Max video resolution/frame rate: 4K video at 60p | AF points: N/A, fixed focus | Weight: 124g | Battery life (CIPA): Not specified; real world tests indicated about 2 hours per charge

Dual-screen design
Excellent stabilisation
Less advanced than Hero9
Some lag issues

DJI made a splash when it unveiled its GoPro-challenging Osmo Action, and although it’s a couple of years old now, we reckon it’s the best-value action camera around right now. Its RockSteady image stabilisation shook up the world of action cameras with its silky smooth footage, making it perfect for specialised POV work like mounting to a bike’s handlebars. The front-facing screen, which GoPro subsequently borrowed, is also great for vlogging, meaning you can film yourself and be sure you’re in frame.

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