The Best Vlogging Cameras for 2023

The Best Camera Deals This Week*

*Deals are selected by our commerce team

It seems like everyone has a vlog these days. It’s enticing to join the social media fray, chasing YouTube or TikTok views and hoping for likes, subscribers, and the all-important revenue that comes from the ads your viewers will endure to share in your adventures virtually.

But how do you get started? Well, you need an idea, an angle, and some content. We can’t help you with all that, but we can highlight some cameras you can use to start recording. We expect many creators to start with a smartphone, and flagship models are indeed good enough for social video, so we’ve included one in our picks. We’ve also highlighted some compact models with quality built-in mics, as well as interchangeable lens models for more advanced creators.

Many vloggers use a big camera for the majority of their recordings—the “A” camera—and something else for insert shots—a “B-roll” camera. For the latter, we’ve included a traditional action cam and a 360-degree video camera on the list. You can use these for interesting POV shots, time lapses, and other special effects, but they aren’t ideal as a main camera. The same is true for a drone. The silent aerial footage from our pick won’t disappoint you, but, again, it’s best for secondary shots of travel locales and epic aerials of your excursions.

Make sure to read past our recommendations for some additional buying advice about the vlogging segment.


Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks

Sony ZV-E1

Best Overall Vlogging Camera

Why We Picked It

The Sony ZV-E1 is, hands-down, the best built-for-vlogging camera we’ve tested. It records full-frame 4K videos with the option to blur backgrounds; records clear audio internally with support for digital add-on microphones; and unlocks access to the broad Sony lens system. It also includes features made just for content creators, such as a widescreen CineVlog look, an autofocus mode for product reviews, and an AI-based camera assistant that adds production value to self-recorded footage.

Who It’s For

The ZV-E1 has loads of features to help solo creators get more engaging videos. For instance, it can automatically punch in for a tighter frame, while still tracking your movements, and it includes several beyond-basic stabilization modes. Sony does its best to make the camera’s features easy to understand too, which is helpful for newcomers, though the price and pro-level capabilities make this an equally compelling pick for creators with existing know-how.

PROS

  • Tiny full-frame camera with stabilized sensor
  • Widescreen cinematic vlog mode
  • S-Cinetone and S-Log3 picture profiles
  • Great-looking 10-bit 4K60 video
  • 4K120 and 1080p240 slow-motion
  • Excellent stabilization system
  • Quality in-camera audio

CONS

  • Fragile micro HDMI port
  • Can overheat at 4K60
  • No mechanical shutter

Learn More

Sony ZV-E1 Review

GoPro Hero11 Black

Best Action Cam for Vlogs

Why We Picked It

The GoPro Hero11 Black is an action cam first and foremost, but it also offers a lot to vloggers, including a front-facing color LCD and support for high-quality audio via the Media Mod add-on. It also makes sense as a secondary camera to grab shots you can’t get with a big ILC—think extreme slow motion, underwater, and mounted point-of-view footage. Vloggers eyeing the Hero11 as their main camera should splurge for the $599.99 Creator Edition, which includes the Volta battery handle, the Media Mod mic, and a video light.

Who It’s For

Your vlog can certainly benefit from the creative shots that the tiny, mountable Hero 11 Black can get. The waterproof build and slow-motion recording options also come in handy for outdoor and nature work.

PROS

  • Great-looking 5.3K60 video
  • 4K120 and 2.7K240 slow-motion
  • 10-bit color sampling
  • Numerous time-lapse modes
  • Waterproof to 33 feet
  • Solid touch interface and voice command support
  • Subscription service with useful features

CONS

  • Not ideal for long-form recording or macro work
  • One battery won’t get you through the day

Learn More

GoPro Hero11 Black Review

Insta360 X3

Best 360 Camera for Vlogs

Why We Picked It

The dual-lens Insta360 X3 probably shouldn’t be your only camera for vlogs, but it’s unique in its ability to grab mind-bending hyperlapse footage and give your viewers a true sense of your surroundings. It can go pretty much anywhere, too, thanks to a rugged, waterproof build.

Who It’s For

Consider the X3 if you want to add some special effects shots to your vlogs. It offers the rare combination of excellent hardware and powerful, easy-to-use software. Insta360’s full-featured mobile app makes the X3 especially appealing for vloggers who cut video on a phone or tablet.

PROS

  • 5.7K30 HDR video
  • Slim, waterproof build
  • Big touch screen with straightforward interface
  • Robust desktop and mobile editing tools
  • Loads of capture modes

CONS

  • Video must be processed before editing
  • A bit of a learning curve to grasp 360-degree editing
  • Mobile editing app limits resolution

Learn More

Insta360 X3 Review

DJI Mini 3 Pro

Best Drone for Vloggers

Why We Picked It

Aerial shots can spice up any vlog. They do well for B-roll and establishing locations, so it’s worth thinking about adding a drone to your toolkit. The best one for vloggers is the DJI Mini 3 Pro. It records 4K60 video and supports 10-bit Log color. Plus, its camera can twist to accommodate landscape and vertical perspectives. If you’re new to flying, be happy to know you won’t have to register this model, and that its obstacle sensors help keep it safe in the skies.

Who It’s For

The Mini 3 Pro is what drone-curious creators should get. It’s intuitive to fly, packs a lot of safety features, and churns out excellent footage. If you feel comfortable flying without obstacle sensors, you can spend less on the regular Mini 3. Meanwhile, vloggers who want the ultimate in video quality should look at the Mavic 3 Pro as a step-up option.

PROS

  • Portable design
  • 4K60 with digital zoom
  • Vertical video and photo support
  • Upward-tilting camera
  • Three-way obstacle sensors
  • Strong safety features
  • Two remote control options

CONS

  • Extended battery should be standard
  • GPS lock-on takes some time
  • Omits AirSense ADS-B system

Learn More

DJI Mini 3 Pro Review

Sony a6700

Best Midrange ILC for Vloggers

Why We Picked It

The Sony a6700 is an exceptionally capable camera for video thanks to its stabilized sensor, nearly full-width 4K60 recording option, and front-facing display. Support for digital mics, internal 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling, excellent battery life, and access to the E-mount lens library are also marks in its favor.

Who It’s For

The a6700 is a sensible step up from the ZV-E10 for vloggers who like to work handheld and don’t want to fuss with a gimbal. It’s a more costly prospect, as you need to add a mic and a premium lens, however, so it might appeal more to already successful vloggers who know how to take full advantage of its abilities.

PROS

  • Compact body style with EVF
  • 5-axis stabilized sensor
  • Swing-out LCD for video and selfies
  • High-capacity Z series battery
  • Nearly full-width, 10-bit recording at up to 4K60
  • 4K120 slow-motion
  • Improved menu system

CONS

  • No focus joystick
  • Outdated EVF
  • Limited to 11fps tracking
  • Only one SDXC card slot
  • Might overheat during video recording

Learn More

Sony a6700 Review

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Best Smartphone for Vlogging

Why We Picked It

You can get excellent footage out of any flagship smartphone, but the iPhone 14 Pro remains a step above the rest. Each of its three rear cameras offers different angles of view and supports 4K60 recording. The main lens features optical stabilization, too, while advanced editors can lean on ProRes support to get the most edit-friendly footage.

Who It’s For

Vloggers who love using a smartphone can’t do any better than the iPhone 14 Pro. It offers unmatched video quality (though Android fans can get close with a Pixel 7 Pro), and the vast iOS app ecosystem gives you plenty of editing and publishing tools.

PROS

  • Excellent build quality
  • Stellar cameras
  • Always-on display
  • Top-notch wireless performance
  • Useful safety features

CONS

  • Recycled design and dated Lightning connector
  • Weaker battery life than Pro Max model

Learn More

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Review

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH6

Best Vlogging Camera for Video Experts

Why We Picked It

As far as video cameras go, the GH series is top-flight. The Lumix GH6 supports 5.7K60 and 4K120 with ProRes (meaning slow-motion videos are fully within its realm), works with Micro Four Thirds lenses, and has a fan to keep video rolling in hot environments.

Who It’s For

If your vlog is more broadcast-level than up-and-coming, the Panasonic Lumix GH6 makes sense. Its better-than-4K resolution and ProRes capture format specs are overkill for many but consistent with those of other high-end cameras. Thus, the GH6 is a common choice among those who vlog about photo and video gear.

PROS

  • Records at 5.7K60 and 4K120
  • Internal ProRes 422 HQ support
  • 25MP stills with 100MP multi-shot option
  • Magnesium build with dust and splash protection
  • Subject recognition for people and animals
  • Smartly designed articulating display
  • Active cooling for long-form recording

CONS

  • Excessive noise if you lift shadow details for Raw stills
  • Requires pricey CFexpress cards for highest-quality video
  • DFD Contrast autofocus not ideal for action photography

Learn More

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH6 Review

Canon PowerShot V10

Best Vlogging Camera for Beginners

Why We Picked It

Canon thought outside the box with the PowerShot V10, and the effort mostly pays off. The camera feels comfortable to hold and use, while an integrated kickstand adds utility for stable shots from a table or desktop. The camera produces 16:9 widescreen footage in its natural, upright orientation, though you can always turn it sideways to nab vertical clips for TikToks.

Who It’s For

The PowerShot V10 is for entry-level vloggers who value ease of use. Canon makes it simple for you to get sharp, punchy 4K clips and clear stereo audio right out of the camera, without the need for advanced editing techniques or additional accessories.

PROS

  • Vertical design with kickstand
  • Crisp, wide-angle lens
  • Effective digital stabilization
  • Clear in-camera audio
  • Works with external mics
  • Plug-and-play webcam support

CONS

  • Small LCD
  • Internal battery has limited runtime
  • Occasional focus flutter
  • No support for 4K60 video or Raw photos

Learn More

Canon PowerShot V10 Review

Nikon Z 30

Best Swappable Lens Vlog Cam on a Budget

Why We Picked It

If you can’t handle the ZV-E1’s high price, consider the crop-sensor Nikon Z 30. It takes the imaging engine from the photo-centric Z 50 and puts it in a design that’s more conducive to video and vlogs; it skips an EVF and in-body flash in favor of a swing-out LCD and excellent microphone (though add-on mics remain an option). Video tops out at 4K30 and relies on digital stabilization, however, so you need a gimbal for most handheld work.

Who It’s For

The Z 30 can roll better 4K video than a phone or small camera, plus offers the creative flexibility of interchangeable lenses. It doesn’t do as much as the high-end Sony ZV-E1, but it’s a suitable, affordable match for the Nikkor Z DX 12-28mm F3.5-5.6 PZ VR ($359.99) lens. If you prefer Sony glass, the ZV-E10 is worth a look instead.

PROS

  • Slimline mirrorless form factor
  • Articulating touch LCD
  • Face and eye detection autofocus for video
  • 4K30 and 1080p60 recording
  • Clear stereo audio with built-in mic
  • Capable as a photo camera
  • Works as a webcam

CONS

  • Sensor stabilization is missed
  • No headphone jack
  • Omits EVF
  • 8-bit video profile

Learn More

Nikon Z 30 Review

Sony ZV-1M2

Best Pocket Camera for Vlogging

Why We Picked It

Sony established the vlogging compact concept with the original ZV-1 and improved on that formula with this Mark II version. The updated camera includes an extra-wide 18-50mm lens for more effective digital stabilization, 8-bit 4K30 video, and a three-capsule mic for clear audio. On the downside, neither the battery life nor the rear screen is very good.

Who It’s For

If you want a small, all-in-one solution for video, the ZV-1M2 is a suitable pick. You don’t have to worry about changing lenses with it, and the built-in mic works surprisingly well in most scenarios. Vlog-friendly features like Face Priority Metering, Background Defocus, and Product Showcase also make it a clear upgrade over a smartphone.

PROS

  • Smooth, accurate autofocus
  • Several vlog-centric exposure modes
  • Quality in-camera audio
  • Effective digital stabilization
  • Bright, wide-angle zoom lens

CONS

  • Poor battery life
  • Outdated rear LCD
  • Omits headphone monitoring jack

Learn More

Sony ZV-1M2 Review

Buying Guide: The Best Vlogging Cameras for 2023


What’s the Best Vlogging Camera for You?

There are a few different ways to go here: a smartphone, a compact model, or an interchangeable lens camera (ILC). Smartphones win on convenience—you’ve always got your phone with you, and high-end models like the iPhone 14 Pro deliver results that are more than adequate for YouTube. Modern smartphones are also more than powerful enough to handle editing and uploads, good news for up-and-coming creators who grew up with them.

If you like the idea of a pocketable camera, but want something with a higher-quality mic than your phone, look at a vlogging compact. We recommend two, the entry-level Canon PowerShot V10 and the higher-end Sony ZV-1M2. Both offer wide-angle lenses, digital stabilization, and 4K recordings. These cameras are good choices if you want to travel light and if you don’t want to fuss with interchangeable lenses or too many other accessories.

Pick an interchangeable lens camera if you want the option to change lenses for top-notch image quality. The Nikon Z 30 and Sony ZV-E10 represent the entry-level segment; both use non-stabilized APS-C sensors and integrate better-than-average mics.

If you plan on recording handheld, it’s worth stepping up to a midrange model with a stabilized image sensor. We’ve yet to test one with an excellent mic, so you need to factor in that cost on top of a camera like the Sony a6700 or Panasonic GH6. The good news is that both provide steady 10-bit video.

At the high end, the Sony ZV-E1 stands pretty much by itself. This full-frame camera blurs backgrounds more readily than other swappable lens vlog cameras, while its AI-based processor enables many types of automated camera moves. The latter adds a bit of production value you don’t get from other vlog cams.


How Much Should You Spend on a Vlogging Camera?

For a fixed-lens camera, expect to spend anywhere from around $400 to $900. If you want one that supports interchangeable lenses, put aside around $900 to get started with an APS-C kit or $2,300 if you have full-frame ambitions. Neither of those estimates accounts for additional lenses or accessories; those add-ons can push prices much higher at the outset.


What Lenses Do You Need for Vlogging?

If you get a mirrorless vlogging camera, make sure the kit lens is up to standard, or simply pick up the body by itself. Most come with a standard zoom, which is a good match for studio vloggers, but a little narrow for self-recorded, walk-and-talk style videos.

If you want a broader field of view, consider adding a wide zoom to your kit. Get the Nikkor Z DX 12-28mm for the Z 30, the E PZ 10-20mm F4 G for the ZV-E10 or a6700, the Lumix 10-25mm F1.7 for the GH6, and the FE PZ 16-35mm F4 for the ZV-E1.

After that, it’s really up to you. A standard zoom can do a lot, especially on a well-lit set. You might want to add a bright prime if you’re after a shallow depth-of-field look, though.

Recommended by Our Editors


What Other Vlogging Accessories Should You Get?

There are plenty of other things you need for a successful vlogging setup besides a camera. For studio scenes, you should add a tripod and some sort of lighting system. If you want to work handheld and get perfectly steady footage, a gimbal is a must-have.

You should pick up a microphone or a digital audio recorder, too. Even if you get a camera with an upgraded in-body mic, an external one still likely gets better results. Get a clip-on lapel lavalier mic for interviews, such as the Rode Wireless Go II system. And a good USB mic is a requirement for studio-based streams.

If you need more guidance on vlogging accessories, be sure to read our buying guide. And don’t forget about editing; we’ve highlighted our favorite video editing software and mobile apps to help you cut your vlogs together.