Finding one of the best TikTok cameras isn’t like finding one for anything else. You want to hone in on the right set of features in order to make sure you’re getting the right tool for the job.
The vast majority of people shoot TikTok content on their phones – and we’re not knocking that. Phones are an immediate and useful solution for TikTok, with everything you need all in one place. They’re slim, portable and well-connected, and what’s more, phone video cameras have improved dramatically in recent years. It’s possible to shoot professional-grade footage on a smartphone these days – as long as you get the right one (see our guide to the best camera phones for more).
However, if you are planning on creating TikToks more adventurous than simply videos of your own face, there is a lot to be said for a dedicated camera (a bit like those in the best camera guide). Having a larger sensor and more sophisticated lens will dramatically improve the quality of your footage, and having a body with a form factor that’s comfortable to use and hold will make it easier to get the shots you have in mind.
There are also some specialist cameras that are worth looking at if you’re planning to film something very particular. Want to shoot extreme watersports for TikTok? A GoPro is your friend. Want to get run-and-gun footage on the move? A stabilised camera like the DJI Pocket 2 will fit the bill.
So, with all that in mind, we’ve put together a list of all different kinds of cameras, which we've tested first-hand (look out for the linked reviews), or evaluated for their suitability (see our how we test guide for more on our process). First we’ve picked out the best smartphones in the business, and then we’ve selected a range of cameras that are well-optimised for vlogging and short-form video. Use the jump links to skip ahead if you like.
Best TikTok cameras in 2022
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While we doubt we’ve surprised anyone with this pick, there’s a reason that Apple’s flagship iPhones keep rising to the top of the pile – they’re great for smartphone videography, and this new one is the best yet. It’s not just an iterative update – the iPhone 14 Pro Max (the biggest and best iPhone 14 you can buy) adds a number of upgrades to the camera array that make it an enticing choice over the previous iPhone 13 generation.
For a start, as we found in our full iPhone 14 Pro Max review, the video captured by the triple-camera array is absolutely superb-looking, particularly when you’re using the 48MP main camera. The selfie camera – which you’ll likely be mostly using for TikTok – also gets autofocus, which immediately sets the iPhone 14 Pro Max apart from pretty much any other smartphone out there.
This is the top dog of the Samsung Galaxy S22 range, so if your budget doesn’t quite stretch this far, it’s worth considering the Galaxy S22 or the Galaxy S22 Plus, which come in a little cheaper. However, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra really is the best Android phone for TikTok right now, so we couldn’t help but include it on this list.
As we found when we subjected the phone to a full review, the combination of sophisticated camera hardware and clever post-processing algorithms make the S22 Ultra an absolute powerhouse for video. In one of the most welcome developments, the ‘Pro’ photography mode has been ported over to video, letting you manually tweak settings like focus and white balance. Handily, it also lets you manually select the lens you’re using, as well as the range of the phone’s microphone. It’s this versatility that makes the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra an ideal camera for TikTok.
See more in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review.
Don’t much like the look of those flagship Apple and Samsung prices? You’re not alone – and a lot of smartphone makers are ready to try and tempt you with cheaper models that offer an awful lot of the same features. Case in point, the OnePlus 10 Pro, a camera that boasts a meaty triple-camera array with a particularly impressive super-wide array that boasts 50MP of resolution.
As we found in our review, video footage looks great all the way up to the maximum resolution of 8K, helped in this regard by the image stabilisation system. The LOG mode is also great if you want to add a little editing polish, providing the maximum amount of dynamic range for colour grading later. For TikTokers who want high-quality videos without paying over the odds, this is a smart buy.
Our full OnePlus 10 Pro review goes into more detail.
Sony phones don’t get as much press as many other brands, but it has been quietly putting out some of the most sophisticated camera phones around for a while now. The Sony Xperia 1 IV is pitched firmly at creative professionals, so is ideal for those who are looking to get into TikTok in a serious way – maybe using it to promote a business. Its continuous optical zoom gives you real shooting flexibility. The footage may not look as immediately poppy and vibrant as that of other camera phones, but this is because it’s optimised for advanced creatives – Sony expects you to be editing, grading and tweaking it. This isn’t a phone for casual use – as reflected in the price – but if you’re prepared to get to know it, you can get a lot out of it.
Learn more in our Sony Xperia 1 IV review.
Sony’s vlogger-friendly compact is also a great TikTok option, providing everything you need to give your videos a bump up in quality. Built around an APS-C sensor and using a sharp 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens, the ZV-1 can tackle most types of shooting with ease. Its screen flips around to make it easy to film yourself, and it not only has a 3.5mm input for an external microphone, but also a pretty credible three-capsule built-in mic setup – a rarity among compact cameras. It even comes bundled with a ‘dead cat’ wind muffler for outside shooting.
So what don’t we like? Well, the menus are tricky to navigate and fiddly, as is regrettably the standard on Sony cameras, so you’ll need to invest some time to get used to them. Also, a more sophisticated stabilisation system would have been nice to help get smooth footage on walk-around shots. Still, these are minor complaints, and the Sony ZV-1 remains a stellar all-in-one package for TikTokers.
With the ability to live-stream, and to attach an external microphone via the 3.5mm jack input, the PowerShot G7 X Mark III has proved very popular with YouTubers, and all the same features make it great for TikTok. What’s more, some of the negatives YouTubers have found, such as its 10-minute recording limit in 4K, are less of a problem when recording TikToks. With a maximum aperture of f/1.8 at the wide end of the lens, the G7 X Mark III acquits itself well in low light, and its video quality is also very good at a range of resolutions. While it’s a little on the expensive side for a compact camera, the PowerShot G7 X Mark III is a very tidy all-in-one video-recording package.
If you want to shoot TikToks in extreme conditions, or while engaged in extreme sports, then a GoPro camera is your best bet. The HERO11 Black – announced in September 2022 – is the best one yet, with a larger sensor and the ability to output 10-bit video. This means you can really improve the quality of your footage, especially if you take the time to colour grade. For TikTok, you have all of GoPro’s standard connectivity features, with easy clip sharing and even the ability to auto-edit highlight reels if you have a GoPro subscription.
The only real downside is that alternative options – including both rival cameras and GoPro’s own previous models – are cheaper than this one. So, while the HERO11 Black is the best option out there for extreme sports TikTok, it’s also worth scouting around for alternatives.
The biggest challenge for run-and-gun video shooting is keeping it smooth and steady, as too much movement can make your video simply unwatchable. While it is possible to simulate stabilisation by cropping in digitally, having an optical gimbal camera like the DJI Pocket 2 will be much better for retaining video quality.
Essentially, it’s a little camera sat on top of a motorised stabiliser, meaning footage will be smooth even if you’re running around as you use it. While it has a smartphone-style sensor, and therefore isn’t going to challenge dedicated video cameras in terms of quality, the Pocket 2 acquits itself well. Its portability makes it useful for taking everywhere with you, and having a 93-degree field of view means you’ll always be able to cram a lot into the frame.