Any camera with video recording capabilities can be used to record your new vlog entries. However, only the best cameras for vlogging will make your recording process seamless. Every serious vlogger, therefore, needs to invest in one.
A great camera for vlogging not only delivers clean and sharp picture quality, better than your phone. It also boasts a reliable autofocusing system and powerful image stabilization to keep your on-the-go videos smooth.
An articulating display enables quick checks of framing while you're recording, and ideally provides a visual cue so you know when the camera is recording, such as a tally lamp.
Cameras designed for vlogging are a growing market, pushed by Sony as you can see by its dominant presence in this guide. However, Nikon recently got in on the action, too, with the Z30, as has Panasonic with the G100. Strictly speaking, the label is a marketing tool – any camera that can shoot video can vlog. But what the cameras in this list do is make the vlogging process as easy as possible, and we can expect new tools for the job in future cameras.
Vlogging aside, I’ve found that these dedicated cameras can be excellent value, often offering more features than other similar cameras from leading brands, and for less money, so you might just find an excellent camera that also stretches beyond your vlogging endeavors.
Timothy Coleman, Cameras editor
We’ve tested models to suit every budget, including some of the best beginner cameras and the best mirrorless cameras, and to help you choose, we’ve reviewed and ranked the best vlogging cameras in the list below – as well as included some tips to consider when making a buying decision.
Right now, the ideal choice for most people is the Sony ZV-1, which features an impressive 1-inch sensor and excellent autofocus. If you need a budget option, the DJI Pocket 2 is a slender shooting tool with a three-axis gimbal head.
If you’d like a recording tool for more than just vlogging, it’s worth considering our dedicated list of the best video cameras, while we have a separate guide for the best YouTube camera, too. However, if you're a professional vlogger, you need a proper vlogging camera, and our guide should help you find the most ideal choice for you.
The best cameras for vlogging 2023
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Compact and powerful, we think the Sony ZV-1 nails what most people want from a small vlogging camera. Its compact packaging gives it excellent versatility, as do its hotshoe, mic port and fully articulating touchscreen. In testing, we found its real-time tracking and Eye AF to be the class of the field, while the 1-inch sensor was capable of producing crisp, detailed 4K/30p video.
Our review also confirmed that the ZV-1 offers a huge amount of depth for a compact camera, with a built-in ND filter and profiles like S-Log2 for those who want to embrace color grading. While the newer Sony ZV-1F offers a wider 20mm lens and smartphone-style interface for a lower price, its older contrast AF system and coldshoe mount mean it can’t oust the original from the top spot. Sony is continuing to sell the ZV-1, and you won’t find a finer vlogging camera right now.
- Read our in-depth Sony ZV-1 review
We were big fans of the original DJI Osmo Pocket, but this sequel fixes a lot of its limitations and makes it the best compact option around for solo filmmakers. The Sony ZV-1 (above) trumps it for outright video quality, but if you tend to shoot a lot of walk-and-talk style clips to camera, then the Pocket 2's combination of a three-axis gimbal and solid face-tracking could make it more appealing.
Compared to the Osmo Pocket (which remains on sale as a more affordable alternative), the DJI Pocket 2 brings a new larger sensor, a brighter lens, improved microphones and wider field of view, which means you don't have to hold it out at arm's length when talking to camera.
Plonk it down on a tripod base or surface, and it'll turn to keep you in shot as you walk around in front of it. Despite that larger sensor, the Pocket 2 still isn't the ideal camera for low light situations or high contrast scenes, but it's a very nice upgrade on using your phone in a gimbal and the improved four-mic audio setup means you get some very decent sound quality to match.
- Read our in-depth DJI Pocket 2 review
Panasonic’s GH5 II was one of our favorite cameras for vloggers, offering plenty of creative potential in compact packaging. The GH6 tops it on almost every metric: equipped with a sharper 25.2MP Micro Four Thirds sensor, it can shoot 5.7K footage at 60fps. It also offers a massive arsenal of formats, frame rates and resolutions – including a larger catalogue of 10-bit modes – while forced-fan cooling means limitless recording times.
While it’s marginally larger than the GH5 Mark II, it still retains a relatively portable form factor. Its robust build is complemented by familiar controls and new tally lights front and back. The 3-inch rear touchscreen flips, twists and tilts, while a second video record button on the front now makes it easier for vloggers to start rolling.
Connectivity options are comprehensive, although the GH6 does lack the live-streaming capabilities of the GH5 Mark II. There’s still no phase detection AF either, although contrast-based autofocus performance does seem improved from the GH5 Mark II. Stabilization is superior too, courtesy of an algorithmic upgrade that makes the GH6 one of the best cameras for smoothing out walking motion in a natural way.
- Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix GH6 review
Arguably the best all-round mirrorless camera at this price point, the Fujifilm X-S10 is adept at lots of different types of shooting – including vlogging. It's not the cheapest or smallest option in this guide (the Sony ZV-1 is a better compact option), but in terms of quality and bang-for-your-buck, it's our current top pick for video creators. Pair it with an XC15-45mm kit lens, and you have a superb vlogging setup.
Inside the X-S10 is the tried-and-tested combination of a 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4, which we’ve already seen in the Fujifilm X-T4. It shoots uncropped 4K/30p video, has in-body image stabilization (IBIS) to smooth out handheld jitters, and a vari-angle screen that flips round to face you. The X-S10 is also packed with other useful features, such as Full HD recording at 240p for a 10x slow motion effect, F-Log recording, and the option to output 4:2:2 10-bit video, too.
On top of all of that you’ve also got some fine retro styling and a great, comfortable grip, which makes it a great hybrid option for shooting stills, too. Considering all of the features you get, it's also available at a pretty wallet-friendly price. But be warned: its wide range of great X-series lenses may prove hard to resist.
- Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-S10 review
Looking for a compact vlogging camera, but one with more flexibility than the Sony ZV-1 or DJI Pocket 2? The ZV-E10 could well be your best option. It's based on the relatively old hardware of the Sony A6100, hence the relatively affordable price tag, but brings lots of video-focused features that make it a good alternative to the ZV-1 if you fancy changing lenses and focal lengths for different effects.
The ZV-E10 is based on the same 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor as many of its A6000-series stablemates, which is both good and bad news. It's a large sensor that produces impressive video and photo quality for the price, particularly in low light when compared to its smaller sensor rivals. But it does have rolling shutter issues (that 'jello' effect) when you pan quickly, and the camera does also lack a viewfinder, a 4K/60p mode and in-body image stabilization.
Still, there is an electronic SteadyShot to smooth handheld jitters, along with great software features like 'Product Showcase' that we saw on the ZV-1. The ZV-E10's autofocus is also best-in-class at this price, so if you don't mind those aforementioned limitations and want to flexibility of interchangeable lenses, it's a great new option for vloggers.
- Read our in-depth Sony ZV-E10 review
The Nikon Z30 is a compact APS-C camera pitched squarely at vlogging beginners. With no viewfinder, it goes all in on a vari-angle touchscreen. Strikingly similar to the Sony ZV-E10, that setup makes it Nikon’s smallest and cheapest APS-C mirrorless camera yet.
Despite its compact proportions, our tests found that a generous grip made the Z30 comfortable to handle, even when self-shooting. The 3.0-inch display was also intuitive to use. Flip it for vlogging and the camera switches to selfie mode, reliably tracking your face with sticky autofocus. What you can’t do in selfie mode is visually check sound levels. With no headphone jack, this leaves audio monitoring to guesswork.
Nikon’s APS-C lens range remains limited, but the 16-50mm kit glass is impressively sharp. And because the Z30 records using the whole width of the sensor, you can utilise the lens’ full field of view. Electronic vibration reduction also stabilizes handheld vlogging, although its 1.3x crop is restrictive at arm’s length. But with EV-R disabled, the Z30 can shoot uncropped 4K/30p and HD 120p video. Together with a range of color profiles and neat touches like a tally lamp, the Z30 shapes up as a competent offering for fledgling creators.
- Read our in-depth Nikon Z30 review
Designed for fledgling vloggers, the Sony ZV-1F makes it straightforward to shoot quality video content. Its compact, lightweight packaging fits easily in a pocket, while its interface is incredibly intuitive, courtesy of an articulating touchscreen and shortcut buttons on top. Deeper adjustments require you to navigate a menu system that can be confusing for first-timers, meaning it’s generally easier to rely on Sony’s intelligent auto modes. Users with larger hands will also find the optional GP-VP2BT grip enhances stability.
The combination of Sony’s impressive SteadyShot stabilization tech, class-leading autofocus, and face-tracking smarts means the ZV-1F can easily capture great results. While its 1-inch sensor performs best in well-lit scenes, it handled contrasting light levels pretty well in testing. We found audio quality fine for casual recordings, though you’ll need an external mic for professional content. Experienced videographers will want something more powerful, and the fixed 20mm focal length does limit its usefulness for shooting stills. However, its size and ease of use make the Sony ZV-1F an ideal choice for beginners upgrading from a smartphone.
- Read our in-depth Sony ZV-1F review
With the same small sensor, screens and shell as the GoPro Hero 9 Black before it, the Hero 10 Black doesn’t reinvent the action camera. But it does offer a more refined experience than its predecessor, making it the most versatile action cam available to adventurous vloggers. A snappier touchscreen interface and menu system make it much easier to use, while the new GP2 processor ensures polished performance. The chip boots 5K frame rates to 60p for slicker vlogs, while 4K at up to 120fps unlocks sharper slow-mo footage for captivating cut scenes.
Stabilization gets an upgrade too, with HyperSmooth 4.0 and horizon leveling on-board for supremely steady footage (even if you’re swaying at angles of 45 degrees). Live-streaming is still subject to some limitations (YouTubers need at least 1,000 subs) but you can now stream with HyperSmooth 4.0 enabled. Add a hydrophobic lens cover to its established endurance skills and the GoPro Hero 10 Black becomes the clear winner if you need top-notch video in tricky conditions – even if budget rivals offer better value.
- Read our in-depth GoPro Hero 10 Black review
The DJI Action 2 is unlike any other action camera – and if you don't mind recording relatively short clips (think five minutes at a time), then its tiny, modular form factor makes a lot of sense for on-the-go vloggers. If you want to see yourself in the frame while recording, you'll need to go for its Dual-Screen Combo bundle, which includes an extra magnetic module that snaps onto the base block and gives you a front-facing screen. The benefit of the Action 2's modular design is that you can always remove this and turn it back into a wearable, 64g camera.
Despite its tiny size, the Action 2's camera actually contains a larger 1/1.7in sensor than the one on the GoPro Hero 10 Black, and we were impressed by the quality of its 4K video in daylight conditions. On its own, this camera module is also waterproof down to ten meters, though it's worth bearing in mind that additional modules (like the Touchscreen module) aren't waterproof without a case. Still, despite a few practical drawbacks, like those overheating limitations on clip lengths, the Action 2 is a great option if you need a vlogging camera that's small, discreet and versatile.
- Read our in-depth DJI Action 2 review
It's a shame Canon didn't make the EOS M50 Mark II a bigger update to its EOS M50 predecessor, but it remains a good 1080p video option for anyone who's starting out on their vlogging journey. The main updates it brings are Eye AF for stills and video, which works well for an entry-level model, and the option of shooting vertical video for the likes of Instagram.
The main drawback of the EOS M50 Mark II is its heavy 1.56x crop on 4K video, which it inherits from its predecessor. This crop increases to a massive 1.75x if you turn on digital image stabilization – so if shooting 4K video is your main priority, we'd recommend going for the Canon EOS M6 Mark II instead (see further down). But if you're happy with shooting 1080p video, then the M50 Mark II remains a fine option, thanks to its combination of a large 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor, vari-angle touchscreen, microphone input and that compact form factor.
- Read our in-depth Canon EOS M50 Mark II review
Few cameras offer the vlogging portability of the Insta360 Go 2. Hitting the scales at a mere 26.5g, the camera itself is a tiny, pared-back pebble that’s capable of capturing detailed and dynamic 1440p footage at up to 50fps. Stabilization isn’t up to GoPro standards, but the FlowState software does a reasonable job of mitigating walking motion, especially if you process video with your laptop rather than the Insta360 app. There’s no display on the camera itself, which will be a dealbreaker for some, but the app can be used for a wireless video preview.
More useful, though, is the protective charging case: home to two buttons and an OLED readout, the controls and camera face the user when the Insta360 Go 2 is docked, making it an ideal handheld vlogging setup. The case also features fold-out legs for tripod duties and works as a remote for wireless camera control. At 30 minutes, battery life isn’t the best, but with a single microphone that renders vocals with decent punch and clarity, the Insta360 Go 2 is an easy, properly pocketable option for recording quick clips and vlogs on the go.
- Read our in-depth Insta360 Go 2 review
Offering full-frame performance in a Micro Four Thirds body, the Panasonic Lumix S5 is a fantastic hybrid that should appeal to a wide variety of creators.
Smaller and lighter than the GH5 yet equipped with a full-frame mirrorless sensor, the Lumix S5 sits extremely comfortably in the hand and features a comprehensive array of buttons and dials. And vloggers will welcome the arrival of a fully articulating touchscreen which can flip out to face forwards.
In fact, the S5 offers plenty to lure in video creators. It can capture 10-bit 4K internally, cropped 4K at 60p and uncropped 4K at 30p. It also supports V-Log, time-lapses, dual native ISO and anamorphic 4K. In-body image stabilization keeps things nice and smooth and, although the autofocus is still contrast-based, the AF-C setting is more than capable of following subjects while walking and talking.
The only real compromise – besides a 30-minute limit on 10-bit clips – is the inclusion of a Micro HDMI port, rather than a full-size one. And it might be worth considering a second battery if you’ll be recording all day. But with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on-board, as well as a 20-60mm kit lens that’s ideal for video, the S5 should tick almost every box for vloggers.
- Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix S5 review
Today’s smartphones are already excellent vlogging tools, but DJI’s stabilized handles are a great way to add to your mobile’s video skills. With a smaller battery than previous editions, the latest model also sacrifices power bank functionality in favor of a more refined, compact design.
In testing, we thought the OM 5 felt more elegant and premium than previous editions. We also felt that the option to extend it into a selfie stick added useful creative scope, even if it proved a little fiddly – and offered a less versatile roll range than the OM 4 before it. We found that the 3-axis gimbal still did a great job of keeping footage smooth and steady. Improved active tracking and ShotGuides in the Memo app were also a hit in testing. If you’re happy to have a grip attached to your phone, this tool will transform it into a clever videography combo.
- Read our in-depth DJI OM 5 review
Think only the most successful vloggers can afford flying film crews? DJI’s latest miniature machine puts proper aerial videography skills in the palm of your hand. A serious upgrade for the Mini series, it squeezes the skills of high-spec drones into conveniently compact packaging. More curvaceous than before, its aerodynamic design and larger propellors result in longer 34-minute maximum flight times which bore out in testing. We found that the larger 1/1.3-inch sensor delivered vast quality improvements across both stills and video, especially in low light.
Usefully, the stabilized camera on the nose can now be tilted to capture portrait video, making it perfect for TikTok and Instagram Stories. If you’re flying solo, built-in obstacle avoidance sensors mean trees shouldn’t be an issue, while automated QuickShots make it easy to shoot cinematic content single-handedly. It’s pricier than previous versions, but we still think the Mini 3 Pro’s small size, low weight and pro capabilities make it a compelling package for vloggers looking to get airborne.
- Read our in-depth DJI Mini 3 Pro review
How to choose the best vlogging camera for you
From premium webcams to mirrorless models, the best vlogging cameras come in a range of shapes and sizes. The features you need will vary depending on what and how you like to shoot.
If you’re a solo filmmaker, for example, you’ll probably want a camera with an articulating touchscreen which makes it much easier to frame shots when working by yourself. Equally, if a lot of your content involves speaking to the camera, you’ll need an external microphone input to ensure you capture top-notch audio for your audience. Reliable face-tracking autofocus will also mean that your subject stays sharp, even if they move within the frame.
A lot of vloggers like to walk and talk at the same time. If this is your style, you should consider a camera with in-body image stabilization. This will help to smooth out any shaky motion caused by your footsteps and make footage much more watchable. Some cameras go a step further with an integrated gimbal which counteracts motion on several axes to stay level, like the DJI Pocket 2.
Almost all of the best vlogging cameras can now shoot in 4K resolution as standard. But it’s important to look beyond resolution alone. High frame rates of 120fps and above will allow you to shoot stunning slow-motion footage, for example. And if post-processing is part of your workflow, 10-bit color depth will give you greater flexibility in the editing room.
What kind of camera do vloggers use?
As you can tell from the buying advice above, vloggers use a wide range of different cameras depending on their specific needs.
Many vloggers favor mirrorless models for their combination of image quality, performance and flexibility. The best mirrorless vlogging cameras feature high-resolution sensors, in-body image stabilization for smoother footage, plus the option to swap lenses to suit different shooting scenarios – all in packages that are relatively portable. Mirrorless cameras are also more likely to feature ports for connecting external accessories, such as microphones, headphones and hot-shoe lights.
That said, some vloggers prefer to prioritize portability. Truly tiny cameras like the Insta360 Go 2 sacrifice total creative control in favor of quick, simple accessibility for capturing off-the-cuff footage. Compact cameras like the Sony ZV-1 can represent a good middle ground for a lot of vloggers, offering solid image quality and manual control options, yet still in a form factor that can comfortably slip into a pocket.
Other vloggers choose cameras which are specifically suited to their shooting needs. Rugged models like the GoPro Hero 10 Black, for example, offer advanced connectivity and live-streaming options, plus plenty of creative modes, in a sturdy package that makes it easy to shoot vlogs even in extreme weather conditions.
Vloggers who stream from a seated position will often favor a premium webcam like the Razer Kiyo Pro, which deftly fills a unique niche. Equally, those who want a dedicated tool to record while they walk-and-talk might use something like DJI’s Pocket 2.
What video quality should you be looking for?
Whatever type of camera you go for, considering video quality will likely be top of your list. At the absolute minimum you’ll be looking to shoot in Full HD (1080p), while 4K is becoming increasingly common. Although the higher resolution format will take up more space on your hard drive, it should future-proof your captures a little more than Full HD.
Other specifications to pay attention to include built-in Wi-Fi for sharing your vlogs on the move, a fully articulating or tilting monitor for helping to frame your face, a built-in microphone socket for enhancing sound quality.
We’ve picked out 16 top cameras of various shapes, sizes and attributes to suit different styles of vlogging – as well as highlighting some that will fit into your all-round stills and video shooting requirements.
How we test vlogging cameras
The most important features for a vlogging camera are its video quality, autofocus, in-body image stabilization and audio options, so those are the main areas our tests focus on.
To review the video quality, we shoot at the camera's highest resolution and frame-rate in a variety of handheld scenes, including the popular walk-and-talk style, to see how it handles colors, skin tones, detail and rolling shutter. We also include high-contrast scenes to test how well the auto-exposure and white balance adapt to changes in lighting.
These tests are also a good opportunity to the test the vlogging camera's Face and Eye tracking autofocus, along with the quality of its stabilization (both electronic and mechanical, if available). Another thing we test in these scenes is an oft-overlooked part of the vlogging equation, the built-in microphones. If the camera has a microphone input, we'll also use it with an external lav mic to see how the quality compares to its internal audio.
Many of the latest vlogging cameras include additional features like flat color profiles, articulating touchscreens, built-in ND filters and, in Sony's case, a 'product showcase' feature that's ideal for those who run a YouTube channel from home. If available, we test all of these functions to see how they fare compared to their closest rivals, then wrap up our conclusions based on our various impressions of the camera's build quality, design, video quality, audio quality and features.