The best YouTube camera 2024: top choices for your new channel

New channel or established streamer, the best YouTube cameras will help you on your way to winning legions of subscribers. We've comprehensively reviewed all of the best YouTube cameras on the market and rounded up our favorites in the expert guide below. Whatever your content niche, we've put together this round-up to help you find your ideal YouTube camera.

Based on hours of testing, we think the best YouTube camera overall is the Panasonic Lumix GH6. It lacks the livestreaming skills of the GH5 Mark II, but offers a vast array of shooting modes and formats. In fact, we rate it as the best 4K camera you can buy in 2024.

If you're in the market for something more compact, we recommend the Sony ZV-E1. Among the best vlogging cameras, its AI framing smarts make it easy to shoot high-quality handheld 4K vlogs for YouTube. Thanks to its dimensions, it's also very travel-friendly for shooting YouTube content on the move.

Our list covers the top YouTube cameras in every category. Each entry has been put through its paces to see how it performs in the real world. Our reviewers assess factors such as video quality, audio connectivity and battery life, as well as handling, autofocus and more. You'll find the results summarized below, along with advice to keep in mind when choosing a YouTube camera.

Written by
Tim Coleman
Written by
Timothy Coleman

Tim is TechRadar's Cameras editor, with over 15 years in the photo video industry and most of those in the world of tech journalism, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with all things camera related.

The quick list

Use the summary round-up below to get an overview of the best YouTube cameras. When you find one that fits your need and budget, you can use the links beneath each entry to jump down to our full insights.

The best YouTube cameras in 2024

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Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best YouTube cameras in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best YouTube camera for most people

The Panasonic GH6 camera sitting on a tripod

(Image credit: Future)
The best YouTube camera for most people

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds
Resolution: 25.2MP
Effective focal length: N/A
Viewfinder: EVF, 5.68 million dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch articulating touchscreen, 1.84 million dots
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Max movie resolution: 5.7K 60p
Size, weight: 138.4x100.3x99.6mm, 823g

Reasons to buy

+
Huge range of video options
+
Versatile screen and great handling

Reasons to avoid

-
Larger and heavier than the GH5 II
-
Autofocus still lags behind the best
Buy it if:

✅ You want a lightweight powerhouse: Despite its tidy proportions, the GH6 is a video monster, with 10-bit ProRes support and unlimited recording times.

✅ You value a rugged build: Designed around a magnesium frame, the Panasonic GH6 is a tough camera that’s both dust- and splash-proof.

Don't buy it if:

You need the very best autofocus: Contrast-based autofocus works well here, but it still lags behind the hybrid phase detection used by rivals.

❌ You want a full-frame sensor: The Micro Four Thirds sensor inside the GH6 delivers excellent results, but full-frame is better for low light.

Panasonic’s GH5 Mark II is an excellent camera for creating 4K content, with the added bonus of letting you live-stream straight to YouTube. The GH6 loses the streaming option but improves pretty much every other spec: equipped with a 25.2MP Micro Four Thirds sensor, it can shoot 5.7K footage at 30fps.

Overkill for casual YouTubers, its arsenal of 10-bit video modes provides huge flexibility for those who like to color grade in post. Usefully, ProRes and H.265 formats are supported by both the GH6 and YouTube. The V2.3 firmware update also enhanced its external recording capabilities to include 12-bit Blackmagic RAW, and added support for 4K/120p via HDMI.

Slightly larger than the GH5 Mark II, the GH6 remains a relatively compact tool for recording YouTube videos outside a studio. Forced-fan cooling also means unlimited recording times – handy if you’re targeting YouTube’s 12-hour cap for verified accounts.

During our tests, we liked the robust and familiar build. We also appreciated a few useful additions versus other Lumix models: the free-angle touchscreen also tilts, there are tally lights front and back, plus a record button on the front. An algorithmic upgrade has also boosted stabilization performance. Provided you can do without phase-detection autofocus and live-streaming, the GH6 is a portable creative powerhouse for YouTubers.

Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix GH6 review

The best YouTube camera with AI tools

The Sony ZV-E1 camera sitting on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)
The best YouTube camera with AI shooting tools

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 12.1MP
Lens: Sony E mount
Viewfinder: None
Monitor: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,036K dots
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps
Movies: 4K/120p (limited to 4K/60p until firmware update)
User level: Intermediate

Reasons to buy

+
Same sensor as the Sony A7S III
+
Makes high-quality vlogging easy

Reasons to avoid

-
Single SD card slot
-
Overkill for beginners
Buy it if:

✅ You’re a solo YouTuber: Compact and equipped with clever AI modes that automate framing, the ZV-E1 is ideal for working alone.

✅ You like streamlined edits: Tools like Auto Framing limit the need for editing, while the Cine Vlog setting looks good out of the camera.

Don't buy it if:

You don’t shoot slow motion: If higher frame rates aren’t in your content calendar, the Sony ZV-E10 may offer better value.

❌ You’re a serious videographer: For cooling vents, dual card slots and unlimited record times, you’ll want to look at the Sony FX3.

If you want a compact YouTube camera that’s easy to use, the Sony ZV-E1 should sit high on your list. The ZV-E10 trumps it for outright portability, but as the smallest, lightest full-frame camera with image stabilization, the ZV-E1 is arguably the ultimate combination of convenience and quality for shooting YouTube content on the move.

During our review, the ZV-E1 captured crisp 4K 30p video in a range of shooting scenarios. Its in-body image stabilization also proved impressive, delivering fantastically smooth footage that’s ideal for run and gun YouTubers who want to shoot handheld without a gimbal. The ZV-E1 also uses AI smarts to make life easier for solo content creators: Auto Framing can reliably track subjects across a scene, which leaves less to edit later.

With no cooling vents and only a single card slot, the ZV-E1 isn’t the perfect YouTube camera for power users. It was also a little tricky in testing to see the touchscreen when shooting outside. But for individual creators who want a full-frame tool that’s clever and easy to use, the ZV-E1 is a top choice for 4K filming.

Read our in-depth Sony ZV-E1 review

The best premium compact for YouTube

Sony ZV-1 with the optional microphone muff

(Image credit: Future)
The best premium compact for YouTubers

Specifications

Type: Compact
Sensor size: 1-inch
Resolution: 20.1MP
Effective focal length: 24-70mm
Viewfinder: None
Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 0.921 million dots
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Max movie resolution: 4K 30p
Size, weight: 105.5 x 60.0 x 43.5mm, 294g

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent autofocus
+
Hotshoe and mic input
+
Pocket-sized

Reasons to avoid

-
Average video stabilization
-
Limited touchscreen controls
-
microUSB rather than USB-C
Buy it if:

✅ You want a powerful pocket tool: Small yet capable of 4K that beats your smartphone, this is the best compact for YouTubers.

✅ You want class-leading autofocus: A bright lens and top-tier autofocus make a great combination for recording at close quarters.

Don't buy it if:

You want the smoothest handheld video: Active SteadyShot stabilization is good but the gimbal on the DJI Pocket 2 does better.

❌ You need an all-weather camera: While the Sony ZV-1 is well-made, it lacks weather-proofing, so it can’t be used in all conditions.

The Sony ZV-1 delivers pretty much everything the roaming YouTuber needs, all in a compact package. Sony’s class-leading Real-time tracking and Real-time Eye AF systems keep you in focus as you move around the frame, while the bright lens and large 1-inch sensor size mean clear, crisp images in most conditions, as well as attractive background bokeh – a rarity on pocket-sized cameras.

You’ll find thoughtful touches everywhere. The hotshoe can accommodate an external mic or LED light without blocking the side-flipping touchscreen; the video record button is larger than on regular compacts; and a built-in ND filter helps you shoot smooth movement on brighter days. It even offers a feature aimed specifically at reviews-based YouTubers, ‘Product Showcase’, which quickly alters settings for optimal shooting of objects.

It’s not completely flawless: we found the touchscreen controls a little limited and Sony’s stuck with the ageing microUSB rather than a more versatile USB-C port. The video stabilization also falls just short of the best. The ZV-1F is a simpler grab-and-go option, while the ZV-E10 is a clear step up for vloggers. But if you want the best balance of price, performance and portability, the Sony ZV-E1 is the top premium compact for YouTubers.

Read our in-depth Sony ZV-1 review

The best YouTube camera for filmmakers

Panasonic Lumix S5 II camera on a table with view of the front

(Image credit: Future)
The best camera for YouTube filmmakers

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor size: Full Frame
Resolution: 24.2MP
Effective focal length: N/A
Viewfinder: EVF, 3.69 million dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.84 million dots
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5GHz, USB-C
Max movie resolution: 6K 30p
Size, weight: 134.3x102.3x90.1mm, 740g

Reasons to buy

+
Uncropped video useful for social
+
Effective stabilization for handheld video

Reasons to avoid

-
1.5x crop on 4K slow-mo
-
No tally light
Buy it if:

✅ You crop your clips: Uncropped 6K recording means you can easily crop video to different aspect ratios for different platforms.

✅ You’re a run-and-gun shooter: Image stabilization, phase detection AF and a lightweight body make the S5 II ideal for shooting on the move.

Don't buy it if:

You shoot a lot of slow-mo: There’s a limiting 1.5x crop on 4K/60p video, which can be limiting when you want a wide view.

❌ You want stylish camera: Design is subjective, but the angular DSLR styling of the S5 II won’t be to every taste.

Many YouTubers don’t need a full-frame camera. But if you do want to record YouTube videos with a larger sensor, we highly rate the Panasonic S5 II. For starters, it weighs less than the Panasonic GH6, yet still feels solid in the hand. We also found it intuitive to control in testing, aided by a crisp vari-angle touchscreen. All that’s really missing is a tally light.

From our review, the Panasonic S5 II excels when shooting video. It produces excellent 6K/30p footage for YouTube, capturing rich colors and wide dynamic range. Usefully, 6K is recorded using the full area of the sensor, which means you can crop content for different uses within your videos.

At long last, Panasonic has introduced phase detection autofocus for video on the Lumix S5 II. We particularly like the ability to change speed and sensitivity, which allows for smooth focus shifts. Effective image stabilization also means it’s useful for shooting YouTube content handheld. 

4K/60p comes with a restrictive 1.5x crop, while features such as wireless IP streaming are kept back for the more expensive Lumix S5 IIX. All the same, we rank the Lumix S5 II as a convincing hybrid package for YouTubers.

Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix S5 II review

The best YouTube camera for enthusiasts

Fujifilm X-S20 camera in hand

(Image credit: Future)
The best YouTube camera for enthusiasts

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 26.1MP
Effective focal length: N/A
Viewfinder: 0.39-inch, 2.36m-dot EVF
Monitor: 3.0-inch, 1.84m-dot vari-angle touchscreen
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Max movie resolution: 6.2K 30p
Size, weight: 127.7 x 85.1 x 65.4mm, 491g

Reasons to buy

+
Dedicated vlogging mode
+
Improved subject tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively expensive
-
Still no weather proofing
Buy it if:

✅ You plan to record all day: With a battery life double that of the X-S10, the X-S20 will last for a full day of moderate use.

✅ You’re a beginner with ambition: It’s pricey, but the X-S20 is beginner friendly while offering lots of room to grow.

Don't buy it if:

You need a tough camera: The X-S20 has excellent build quality, but it isn’t sealed against the elements.

❌ You’re on a tight budget: The X-S20 is a highly capable 6K hybrid, but you’ll pay for the privilege of its skills.

With automated features designed to make vlogging easier, the Fujifilm X-S20 is a user-friendly upgrade from the X-S10 – already one of the top YouTube cameras. It keeps the balanced design of its predecessor, including the fully articulating touchscreen, and in testing we found it comfortable to handle, with straightforward top plate dials that make it easier to control more advanced settings.

The 26.1MP sensor inside has already proven its abilities in the X-S10 and X-T4. But the X-S20 steps things up with 6K/30p 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording. This will be more than most YouTubers need, but it makes the X-S20 a great choice for hobbyists who are serious about shooting and sharing video. Better in-body image stabilization also proved effective in testing for recording handheld.

We think its price tag will discourage some beginners, and we wish Fujifilm had added weather sealing, which was also missing from the X-S10. Still, with creative settings – such as ‘Background Defocus’ and ‘Product Priority’ – just a tap away in the dedicated Vlog mode, the X-S20 is a tempting proposition for creating YouTube content.

Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-S20 review

The best portable YouTube camera

DJI Pocket 2 in someone's hand

(Image credit: Future)
The best pocket camera for solo YouTubers

Specifications

Type: Gimbal
Sensor size: 1/1.7-inch
Resolution: 64MP
Effective focal length: 20mm
Viewfinder: N/A
Monitor: 1-inch touchscreen
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with Do-It-All Handle
Max movie resolution: 4K 60p
Size, weight: * 124.7 × 38.1 × 30mm, 117g

Reasons to buy

+
Pocketable stabilized video
+
Useful subject-tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
Not great in low light
-
Struggles in high contrast
Buy it if:

✅ You want steady shots in your pocket: The level of stabilization from the three-axis gimbal is unparalleled at the price or size.

✅ You shoot your videos alone: With a gimbal and ActiveTrack smarts, the Pocket 2 is a virtual cameraman for solo YouTubers.

Don't buy it if:

You plan to shoot in low light: A small sensor means the Pocket 2 struggles with noise handling and high-contrast scenes.

❌ You’re happy with your smartphone: Its gimbal is brilliant, but the Pocket 2 is another device to carry for YouTubing on the move.

The DJI Pocket 2 is designed for one thing: vlogging. Like its predecessor, the Pocket 2 combines a stabilizing gimbal with a compact body to capture steady handheld footage on the fly. Its smartphone-style sensor won’t impress seasoned videographers, but at 64MP it’s more than sharp enough to shoot watchable vlogs, with performance improved by a larger 1.7-inch dimension. The Pocket 2 also covers a wider 93-degree field of view than the original, so you can record more of the action at once. 

There’s also HDR support, a wider ISO range, better audio capture and slow-mo in Full HD. Pick up the Creator Combo and you’ll get an external wireless mic, ultra-wide-angle lens, tripod legs, plus DJI’s Do-It-All Handle for third-party audio as well. The Pocket 2 still struggles in low light, while we felt that its small touchscreen remains fiddly for anything but framing previews. So it’s not perfect, but supported by impressive subject-tracking smarts, it’s a very capable video tool to slip into your back pocket.

Read our in-depth DJI Pocket 2 review

The best value hybrid YouTube camera

The Canon EOS R10 camers sitting on a wooden bannister

(Image credit: Future)
The best value hybrid YouTube camera

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor size: APS-C CMOS
Resolution: 24.2MP
Effective focal length: N/A
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360K dots
Monitor: 2.95-inch articulating touchscreen, 1,040K dots
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Max movie resolution: 4K at 60fps
Size, weight: 122.5 x 87.8 x 83.4mm, 429g

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and lightweight
+
Modern autofocus abilities

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-body image stabilization
-
Crop on 4K/60p footage
Buy it if:

✅ You’re a beginner YouTuber: Small, easy to use and equipped with powerful video features, the R10 is great for beginners.

✅ You want a hybrid camera: The R10 does stills and video very well, making it a great all-rounder for its size and price.

Don't buy it if:

You want a pro setup: With no headphone port or image stabilization, the R10 has entry-level skills for YouTube shooting.

❌ You like a wide choice of lenses: The R10 lacks a wide range of native lenses, which could limit creative flexibility.

Pairing accessibility with performance, we think the Canon EOS R10 is a great APS-C hybrid for fledgling YouTubers to get to grips with. In testing, we found it comfortable to hold, with a combination of dials, a joystick and an articulating touchscreen making it easy to cont