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The best cameras for vlogging in 2021

Included in this guide:

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
Reasons to buy
+Tailored for vlogging +Useful all-purpose lens 
Reasons to avoid
-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
Reasons to buy
+Unmatched in low light +Class-leading autofocus 
Reasons to avoid
-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
Reasons to buy
+Useful 1-inch sensor +Small and portable 
Reasons to avoid
-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
Reasons to buy
+Sophisticated internal mic+USB charging 
Reasons to avoid
-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
Reasons to buy
+Well-designed controls +Useful vlogger’s kit 
Reasons to avoid
-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
Reasons to buy
+Excellent 32.5MP APS-C sensor+Effective video AF 
Reasons to avoid
-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
Reasons to buy
+Dual UHS-II card slots+Uncropped 4K video
Reasons to avoid
-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
Reasons to buy
+Dual-screen design+Excellent stabilisation
Reasons to avoid
-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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Jon Stapley

Jon is a freelance writer and journalist who covers photography, art, technology, and the intersection of all three. Interests include old film cameras, new digital gadgets, and pounding the pavements of London looking for fresh photo opportunities. If he finds any, he will let you know.