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Best Video Camera for YouTube in 2024

by | Dec 20, 2023

YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for creating and sharing video content online. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you need a good video camera to capture your vision and deliver high-quality videos to your audience. But with so many options available, how do you choose the best video camera for YouTube?

In this article, we will review some of the best video cameras for YouTube in 2023, based on different criteria such as performance, features, price, and user feedback. We will also provide some tips on how to choose the right video camera for your needs and budget.

What to Look for in a Video Camera for YouTube

Before we dive into the specific models, let’s first discuss what factors you should consider when looking for a video camera for YouTube. Here are some of the most important ones:

1. Resolution 

Resolution refers to the number of pixels that make up an image or video. The higher the resolution, the more detail and clarity you can get in your videos. For YouTube, the minimum resolution you should aim for is 1080p (Full HD), which is suitable for most types of videos. However, if you want to create more cinematic or professional-looking videos, you may want to go for 4K (Ultra HD) resolution, which offers four times more detail than 1080p. 4K also gives you more flexibility in editing, as you can crop, zoom, or stabilize your footage without losing quality.

2. Frame rate

Frame rate refers to the number of frames or images that are displayed per second in a video. The higher the frame rate, the smoother and more realistic your videos will look. For YouTube, the standard frame rate is 30 fps (frames per second), which is fine for most types of videos. However, if you want to capture fast-moving action or create slow-motion effects, you may want to go for 60 fps or higher, which will give you more frames to work with in editing.

3. Autofocus

Autofocus is especially important for YouTube videos, as you may not have time or expertise to manually focus on your subject while recording. A good autofocus system should be fast, accurate, and reliable, and should be able to track your subject even if they move around or change their distance from the camera.

4. Audio 

A good video camera should have a built-in microphone that can capture clear and crisp sound without picking up too much background noise. However, if you want to improve your audio quality further, you may want to invest in an external microphone that can plug into your camera or connect wirelessly via Bluetooth.

5. Battery life 

Battery life is especially important for YouTube videos, as you may not have access to a power outlet or a spare battery while recording. A good video camera should have a battery life that can last at least an hour or more on a single charge. You may also want to look for a camera that supports fast charging or USB power delivery, which can help you recharge your battery quickly when needed.

6. Size and weight

Size and weight are especially important for YouTube videos, as you may need to carry your camera around with you or hold it in your hand while recording. A good video camera should be compact and lightweight enough to fit in your bag or pocket and not cause too much strain on your arm or wrist. You may also want to look for a camera that has a flip-out screen or a selfie mode, which can help you frame yourself better when recording.

7. Body Type

Different types of camera body types have their own characteristics and features. Here’s a simple explanation of each type:

  • DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex): These cameras are big and have a handle for a good grip. They can change lenses. They have a special viewfinder that uses mirrors and prisms to let you see through the lens.
  • SLR-Style: These cameras are similar to DSLRs, but they are smaller and don’t have a mirror system. They can change lenses and have a digital viewfinder.
  • Bridge: These cameras also look like SLR-style cameras, but they have a fixed lens instead of interchangeable lenses. They have a digital viewfinder and a smaller sensor.
  • Large Sensor Compact: These cameras have a big sensor like DSLRs, but their bodies are flatter and more compact. They can have a built-in lens or allow you to change lenses.
  • Point and Shoot: These cameras are small and have a fixed lens. They are simple to use and usually have a smaller sensor.
  • Action Cam: These cameras are small and shaped like a cube. They are designed for recording action videos, like sports or adventures.

Ultimately, the best camera body type for you depends on your specific photography needs, budget, desired features, and level of control you want over your images. It’s recommended to consider these factors and try out different camera types before making a decision.

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8. Sensor Type

The sensor in a camera is a crucial component that captures the light from the scene and turns it into a photograph. It’s like the “eye” of the camera. There are different types of sensors, but the two main ones are CMOS and CCD.

  • CMOS sensors are the most commonly used type in modern cameras. They are known for their efficiency and versatility. They can capture images quickly and consume less power compared to CCD sensors.
  • BSI CMOS (backside illuminated CMOS) is a specific type of CMOS sensor that can gather more light than a regular CMOS sensor. It’s designed to improve low-light performance and increase image quality in challenging lighting conditions.

The sensor type is important because it affects the image quality, low-light performance, and overall capabilities of the camera. Different sensor types have their own strengths and weaknesses, so understanding the sensor type can help you choose a camera that suits your photography needs.

Best Video Camera for YouTube in 2023

Now that we have covered what to look for in a video camera for YouTube, let’s take a look at some of the best models available in 2023.

1. Sony ZV-E1

Sony ZV-E1
Camera ModelSony ZV-E1
Best OverallYes
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Sensor SizeFull frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)
Sensor TypeBSI-CMOS
Resolution24.2 MP
Max Video Res4K at 60fps, Full HD at 120fps
AutofocusImpressive tracking
ScreenFully articulated, 180° rotation
MicrophoneBuilt-in directional
ConnectivityWireless live streaming, USB-C, HDMI
Weight422g
Screen size3″
Battery LifeUp to 80 minutes (4K)
Price$1,999 (with kit lens)

The Sony ZV-E1 is Sony’s first dedicated full-frame vlogging camera, which means it has a large sensor that can capture more light and detail than smaller sensors. The ZV-E1 has a resolution of 24.2 megapixels and can record 4K video at up to 60 fps or Full HD video at up to 120 fps. It also has an impressive autofocus system that can track your eye and face even when you move around or change your distance from the camera.

The ZV-E1 has several features that make it ideal for YouTube videos, such as a fully articulated screen that can flip out and rotate 180 degrees, a built-in directional microphone that can isolate your voice from the background noise, and a dedicated record button and tally light that can indicate when you are recording. It also has a wireless live streaming function that can let you stream your videos directly to YouTube or other platforms without using a computer or a smartphone.

The ZV-E1 is one of the most compact and lightweight full-frame cameras on the market, weighing only 422 grams with the battery and memory card. It has a battery life of up to 80 minutes when recording 4K video, and supports fast charging via USB-C. It also has a headphone jack and a microphone jack for external audio devices, as well as an HDMI port for external monitors or recorders.

The ZV-E1 is compatible with Sony’s E-mount lenses, which offer a wide range of options for different types of videos. You can also use an adapter to mount other lenses from different brands. The ZV-E1 comes with a kit lens that has a focal length of 16-50mm and an aperture of f/3.5-5.6, which is decent for general-purpose shooting, but you may want to upgrade to a faster or wider lens for better low-light performance or more creative effects.

The ZV-E1 is not perfect, however. Some of the drawbacks of this camera are that it does not have a viewfinder, which can make it hard to see the screen in bright sunlight, and that it does not have in-body image stabilization, which can cause shaky footage when shooting handheld or in motion. You may need to use a tripod, a gimbal, or an optically stabilized lens to reduce camera shake. The ZV-E1 also has a limited dynamic range, which means it may struggle to capture details in very bright or very dark areas of the scene.

The Sony ZV-E1 is available for $1,999 with the kit lens, which is quite expensive for a beginner or hobbyist. However, if you are serious about YouTube and want a camera that can deliver high-quality videos with minimal effort, the ZV-E1 is worth considering.

2. Panasonic Lumix GH5/GH5S

Panasonic Lumix GH5/GH5S
Camera ModelPanasonic Lumix GH5/GH5S
Best Pro CameraYes
Body TypeSLR-Style mirrorless
Sensor Size4/3 (MFT)
Sensor TypeMOS
ResolutionGH5: 20.3 MPGH5S: 10.2 MP
Max Video Res4K at 60fps, Full HD at 180fps
AutofocusImpressive tracking
ScreenFully articulated, 180° rotation
MicrophoneExternal audio jacks
ConnectivityUSB-C, HDMI
WeightPanasonic Lumix GH5S: 1.46 lbs (0.66 kg)Panasonic Lumix GH5:1.63 lbs (0.74 kg)
Screen SizePanasonic Lumix GH5S: 3.0″ (7.5 cm)Panasonic Lumix GH5: 3.0″ (7.6 cm)
Battery LifeNot specified
PriceGH5: $1,699 (body), $2,099 (with kit lens) GH5S: $1,999 (body), $2,399 (with kit lens)

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5S are two of the most advanced and versatile mirrorless cameras on the market, designed for professional filmmakers and videographers. The GH5 and GH5S have a resolution of 20.3 megapixels and 10.2 megapixels respectively, and can record 4K video at up to 60 fps or Full HD video at up to 180 fps. They also have an impressive autofocus system that can track your subject even in low-light conditions.

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The GH5 and GH5S have several features that make them ideal for YouTube videos, such as a fully articulated screen that can flip out and rotate 180 degrees, dual SD card slots that can let you record longer videos or backup your files, and a headphone jack and a microphone jack for external audio devices. They also have an HDMI port for external monitors or recorders, as well as a USB-C port that can charge the battery or transfer data.

The GH5 and GH5S are compatible with Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds lenses, which offer a wide range of options for different types of videos. You can also use an adapter to mount other lenses from different brands. The GH5 and GH5S come with different kit lenses depending on the region, but you may want to upgrade to a faster or wider lens for better low-light performance or more creative effects.

The main difference between the GH5 and GH5S is that the GH5 has in-body image stabilization, which can reduce camera shake when shooting handheld or in motion, while the GH5S does not have this feature but has better low-light performance and higher sensitivity. The GH5S also has a slightly larger sensor than the GH5, which gives it more detail and less noise in dark scenes.

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5S are not cheap, however. The GH5 costs $1,699 without the lens or $2,099 with the kit lens, while the GH5S costs $1,999 without the lens or $2,399 with the kit lens. These are quite expensive for most YouTube creators, but if you are looking for a camera that can handle any type of video production with professional results, the GH5 and GH5S are worth considering.

3. GoPro Hero9 Black 

GoPro Hero9 Black
Camera ModelGoPro Hero9 Black
Best CompactYes
Body TypeVR/Action camera
Sensor Size1/2.3 sensor with dimensions of 6.17 x 4.55 mm and sensor area of 28.07mm2
Sensor TypeCMOS
Resolution20 MP
Max Video Res4K at 60fps, 5K at 30fps
StabilizationImpressive
ScreenFront-facing
MicrophoneBuilt-in
ConnectivityUSB-C
Weight158g
Screen Size2.27-inch LCD screen
Battery LifeUp to 90 minutes (4K)
WaterproofYes, up to 10m
Price$449 (without accessories)

The GoPro Hero9 Black is one of the most popular action cameras on the market, designed for capturing extreme sports and adventures. The Hero9 Black has a resolution of 20 megapixels and can record

4K video at up to 60 fps or 5K video at up to 30 fps. It also has an impressive stabilization system that can smooth out your footage even when you are moving fast or in rough conditions.

The Hero9 Black has several features that make it ideal for YouTube videos, such as a front-facing screen that can let you see yourself when recording, a built-in microphone that can capture clear and loud sound, and a voice control function that can let you start and stop recording with simple commands. It also has a live streaming function that can let you stream your videos directly to YouTube or other platforms without using a computer or a smartphone.

The Hero9 Black is one of the most compact and lightweight cameras on the market, weighing only 158 grams with the battery and memory card. It has a battery life of up to 90 minutes when recording 4K video, and supports fast charging via USB-C. It also has a waterproof design that can let you record underwater up to 10 meters deep.

The Hero9 Black is compatible with GoPro’s accessories, which offer a wide range of options for mounting, attaching, or enhancing your camera. You can also use an adapter to connect external audio devices, such as a microphone or a headset.

The Hero9 Black is not perfect, however. Some of the drawbacks of this camera are that it does not have a zoom function, which can limit your framing options, and that it does not have an autofocus system, which can cause blurry or out-of-focus footage if you are not careful. You may need to use the touch screen or the app to adjust the focus manually. The Hero9 Black also has a limited dynamic range, which means it may struggle to capture details in very bright or very dark areas of the scene.

The GoPro Hero9 Black is available for $449 without any accessories, which is quite affordable for most YouTube creators. However, if you want to get the most out of this camera, you may want to buy some additional accessories, such as a tripod, a gimbal, or a light.

4. Canon EOS M50

Canon EOS M50
Camera ModelCanon EOS M50
Best BudgetYes
Body TypeSLR-style mirrorless
Sensor SizeAPS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Sensor TypeCMOS
Resolution24.1 MP
Max Video Res4K at 24fps, Full HD at 60fps
AutofocusImpressive tracking
ScreenFully articulated, 180° rotation
MicrophoneBuilt-in
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth
Lens CompatibilityCanon EF-M lenses, adapter for other brands
Weight390 g (0.86 lb / 13.76 oz)
Screen Size3″
Battery LifeUp to 30 minutes (4K), 85 minutes (Full HD)
Price$599 (with kit lens)

The Canon EOS M50 is one of the most popular entry-level mirrorless cameras on the market, designed for beginners and hobbyists. The EOS M50 has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels and can record 4K video at up to 24 fps or Full HD video at up to 60 fps. It also has an impressive autofocus system that can track your eye and face even when you move around or change your distance from the camera.

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The EOS M50 has several features that make it ideal for YouTube videos, such as a fully articulated screen that can flip out and rotate 180 degrees, a built-in microphone that can capture clear and crisp sound, and a wireless connectivity function that can let you transfer your videos to your smartphone or computer via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It also has a remote control function that can let you control your camera with your smartphone or a wireless remote.

The EOS M50 is compatible with Canon’s EF-M lenses, which offer a wide range of options for different types of videos. You can also use an adapter to mount other lenses from different brands. The EOS M50 comes with a kit lens that has a focal length of 15-45mm and an aperture of f/3.5-6.3, which is decent for general-purpose shooting, but you may want to upgrade to a faster or wider lens for better low-light performance or more creative effects.

The EOS M50 is not perfect, however. Some of the drawbacks of this camera are that it has a cropped sensor, which means it has less detail and more noise than larger sensors, and that it has a cropped 4K video mode, which means it reduces the field of view and the autofocus performance when recording in 4K resolution. You may need to use a wider lens or move further away from your subject to get the same framing as in Full HD mode. The EOS M50 also has a limited battery life, which means it can only record up to 30 minutes of 4K video or 85 minutes of Full HD video on a single charge.

The Canon EOS M50 is available for $599 with the kit lens, which is quite cheap for a mirrorless camera. However, if you want to improve your video quality further, you may want to buy some additional accessories, such as an external microphone, a tripod, or a light.

Conclusion

Choosing the best video camera for YouTube depends on your needs, budget, and preferences. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as different cameras have different strengths and weaknesses. However, we hope this article has given you some guidance and inspiration on how to find the best video camera for YouTube in 2023. Also check out Phone with Best Camera for Bloggers & Vloggers [Top 5 Camera Phones of 2023].

FAQ

What is the difference between 1080p and 4K resolution?

1080p and 4K are two common resolutions for video recording and playback. 1080p means that the video has 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically, while 4K means that the video has 3840 pixels horizontally and 2160 pixels vertically. 4K has four times more pixels than 1080p, which means it can capture more detail and clarity in the video.

What is the difference between 30 fps and 60 fps frame rate?

30 fps and 60 fps are two common frame rates for video recording and playback. Frame rate refers to the number of frames or images that are displayed per second in a video. The higher the frame rate, the smoother and more realistic the video will look. 30 fps means that the video shows 30 frames per second, while 60 fps means that the video shows 60 frames per second. 60 fps has twice as many frames as 30 fps, which means it can capture more motion and action in the video.

What is the difference between autofocus and manual focus?

Autofocus and manual focus are two ways of adjusting the focus on your subject or scene when recording a video. Autofocus is a feature that allows the camera to automatically adjust the focus on your subject or scene, while manual focus is a feature that allows you to manually adjust the focus on your subject or scene. Autofocus is easier and faster to use, but it may not always be accurate or reliable, especially in low-light or complex situations. Manual focus is more precise and flexible, but it may require more time and skill to use.

What is the difference between built-in microphone and external microphone?

Built-in microphone and external microphone are two types of audio devices that can capture sound when recording a video. Built-in microphone is a microphone that is integrated into the camera, while external microphone is a microphone that can be plugged into the camera or connected wirelessly via Bluetooth. Built-in microphone is convenient and simple to use, but it may not have good sound quality or noise cancellation, especially in noisy or windy environments. External microphone is more professional and versatile, but it may require more money and equipment to use.

What is the difference between battery life and battery capacity?

Battery life and battery capacity are two measures of how long your camera can record video before running out of power. Battery life refers to how long your camera can record video on a single charge, while battery capacity refers to how much power your battery can store in milliampere hours (mAh). Battery life depends on several factors, such as resolution, frame rate, screen brightness, wireless connectivity, etc., while battery capacity depends on the size and quality of the battery. Generally, the higher the resolution and frame rate, the lower the battery life, and the higher the battery capacity, the longer the battery life.

What is the difference between size and weight?

Size and weight are two physical characteristics of your camera that affect its portability and usability. Size refers to how big your camera is in terms of length, width, and height, while weight refers to how heavy your camera is in terms of grams or ounces. Size and weight depend on several factors, such as sensor size, lens size, body material, etc. Generally, the larger the sensor and lens, the bigger and heavier the camera, and the smaller and lighter the camera, the easier it is to carry around or hold in your hand.

What is the difference between flip-out screen and selfie mode?

Flip-out screen and selfie mode are two features that can help you frame yourself better when recording a video. Flip-out screen is a screen that can flip out and rotate 180 degrees from the back of the camera to the front of the camera, while selfie mode is a mode that can automatically flip or mirror your image on the screen when you face the camera. Flip-out screen is more flexible and adjustable, but it may make your camera bigger and heavier, while selfie mode is more convenient and simple, but it may not work well with some lenses or accessories.

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