Best Camera for YouTube in 2019 (Buyer’s Guide)

Best Video Camera Specifications Recommendations

Frame Rate: The standard frame rate for the 4K (2160P) and 2K (1440P) types is between 24FPS-30FPS. For the high frame type, it is between 48FPS-60FPS.

Aspect Ratio: The aspect ratio for HD video (1920X1080 or 1280X720) is 16:9. For the SD video (640X480 or 854X480) the aspect ratio is 4:3.

Chroma Sub-Sampling: The Chroma sub-sampling value is 4:2:0.

Resolution: The recommended resolution range is between 360P and 2160P (and above, if available).

File Format: Some of the file formats recommended for YouTube -MP4, AVI, WMV, and MOV. The media also accepts other latest formats.

Footage Type: The commonly recommended footage type is interlaced and progressive.

Codec Bit Rate: The recommended Codec bit rate for the HDR upload standard frame rate is 28MBPS-56MBPS. For the high frame rate it is between 66MBPS -85MBPS. Any higher values are also accepted.

 Here, I have listed four of the best low light cameras that I recommend for you. Their design and functionality features are compatible to the minimum YouTube requirements and go beyond them. I recommend you to read through the details of technical specifications and functional features, compare and choose the one which is just right for you.

1. Canon Powershot G7X – The Best Vlogging Camera

The Canon Powershot G7X is a compact video camera for YouTube, with comprehensive user control features. The first feature you need to check is its compatibility with the YouTube minimum recommendations. It supports all the file formats recommended by YouTube. The camera has (103mm x 60mm x 40 mm) dimension and 10.7 oz weight.

The Frame rate is 1920 x 1080 at 60FPS, with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and Codec bit rate of 50MBPS. It has a Chroma sub-sampling value of 4:2:0. The camera supports interlaced and progressive footage types. So, the camera meets the basic recommendations of YouTube Video quality. This is a best vlogging camera to record awesome videos for your youtube channel.

Canon Powershot G7X – Specifications and Functions

Recording Format: The Canon Powershot G7X supports I-Frame and Star-Time-Lapse ((1920X1080), Digest (1280X720), Miniature (640X480) and other types of video shooting. The camera has the best optimized performance, as it allows you to keep the recoding in native recorded format. Hence it is simpler and faster to edit the recording with high-end software.

Focus Mode: For the HDR video shooting, the camera supports TV mode for the multiple lighting conditions. You can set the shutter speed at the most optimum value and lock the setting. The AV mode shooting, you can set the camera into auto-mode and the system takes care of the settings automatically. The Hybrid auto mode is recommended for making of short movies and digest-type of recording. The inbuilt motorized drive and twin focus lens adjustments (manual and automatic) gives you a minimum focus distance of 2”

Depth of Field: The sharpness of the shooting objects at the nearest and farthest distances determines the depth of field. The f/1.8-2.8 lens aperture of the Canon camera allows you to shoot videos with optimum depth of field under multiple lighting conditions. The 4.2X Zoom Canon lens allows you to capture best quality shots between the focal lengths of 8.8mm and 36.8mm. The depth of coverage shows perfectly when you shoot the objects in the shadowed and dark areas. You can get complete object coverage with no distortions and blurriness.

Touch Panel: The sensitive LCD touch panel allows you to select sharp focus points accurately, while dynamically changing the Focus Mode. The best option is you can change the mode at any time during the shooting. The inbuilt software like the camera-window, browser, and the utilities give you vast options to connect the camera with I-7 compatible computers for the video editing. The tilting nature of the panel allows you to shoot from multiple angles and heights.

Battery Quality: The NB-13L battery pack specifications are 3.7V-1600mAh-5.92Wh with rechargeable feature.

Recommended Application

The Canon Powershot G7X is stated to be ideal for beginners and intermediate level VLOGGERS for YouTube video shooting (short clips and digest movies)

Pros

  • upport for 12-bit CR2-raw video
  • Wide angle 4.2X zoom
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi network compatible with android and NFC
  • Compact dimension

Cons

  • No Inbuilt panorama mode
  • No waterproof capacity

2. PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GH4 Camera - Best 4k Camcorder

The PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GH4 is a 4K digital camera is based on the single lens technology. The mirror-less system switches seamlessly between the image-sensor and viewfinder. It gives you the better shot preview for making the required manual adjustments. The camera has a 132.9mm x 93.4mm x 83.9mm dimension and 19.75 oz weight.The PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GH4 has a 4K based frame rate which varies between 15FPS and 96FPS (3840×2160).  The aspect ratio varies between 1:1, 3:2, 4:3 and 16:9. The codec bit rate of 100MBPS.  The Chroma sub-sampling value is 4:2:0. The predominant footage type is progressive. So, the camera meets the basic recommendations of YouTube Video quality.

PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GH4 4K – Specifications and Functions

Recording Format: The standard recoding formats for the video shooting are MP4, MOV, and AVCHD with support for Dolby-Digital AAC-2CH and LPCM audio format and Full HD videos). The continuous recording time is 220+ minutes. It supports raw and raw + fine/standard quality recording which can be edited with the help of custom-made software. The noise level is highly reduced when the pixels are combined to produce full HD video. You can record relatively sharper footage at variable focus distance and focal lengths.

Functional Mode: The camera supports advanced shooting and Focus Modes that allow you to expand the single clip of video into multiple files. Hence, you can extend the shooting time considerably and keep the recording quality at the highest level. You need to make certain specific changes to the configuration for getting the best quality videos. The most favored shooting Modes are HD, Cinema, and UHD. The camera has many physical and digital controls for accessing the functions. You can use them for controlling the frame rate, picture mode, zooming, shutter, video priority and other options. The multiple focus modes of MF, AFC, AFS and AFF has the capacity for face and eye detection at variable depths of field. The aspherical  lenses use the advanced optical design features for eliminating the optical aberrations during the shooting under difficult climatic and geographical settings.

Depth of Field: The camera works with a 4/3” sensor. The depth of field is shallow. The main feature of the camera is you can add multiple lenses (including 3-D lenses) on mountable adapters. The cinema lenses of type PL-Mount have higher depth for focus scales. That means you can shoot under variable lighting conditions (bright daylight to shady evenings and dark nights) on different types of geographic conditions. You can hold the focus constantly at a specific location, while increasing and decreasing the zoom. The manual IRIS system is step-less in nature.

View Finder: View Finder is the additional feature of the PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GH4. This tool is controlled within the camera by an eye sensor. It has an in-camera time-lapse shooting option. You can sequence the scenes by composing and framing in real time. It works with high zoom multiple lenses to provide the best depth of field while shooting in low-light conditions. The brightness aspects of the deeply located objects in hidden and dark locations increase significantly with this feature. You can review the video shots even when the LCD camera is facing the reflections from the sunlight. The sensor detects your eye movement and switches between the viewfinder and the LCD screen control.

Battery Features: The 2V-1860mAh Li-Ion rechargeable battery pack run for long duration to shoot 220+ minutes of video.

Recommended Application

The PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GH4 is a high-end video shooting camera for YouTube VLOGERS and professionals. With a high battery life and 200 cycles of shutter rating and high bit rate of 100MBPS at 4K you can shoot professional RAW and raw + fine formats videos. For the Full HD, the system offers 200BPS bit rate. I would personally recommend the PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GH4 for the professionals, who would like to shoot and post corporate videos, outdoor shooting and night shooting clips.

Pros

  • Advanced Viewfinder integration
  • Dolby-Digital audio
  • High resolution with 4K video shooting
  • Shadow control
  • Support for class-3 SD cards
  • Accurate color matching with the scene conditions
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Low resolution sensor
  • Only one slot for memory card
  • Relatively higher noise level (from rolling shutter) during shooting.

3. Nikon D5600 Digital SLR Camera - Best Vlogging Camera 2018

The Nikon D5600 Digital SLR Camera works in twin modes of super vivid and miniature video shooting.  In the first mode, the camera enhances the color, depth, resolution and brightness of the video output. Even the saturation levels are enhanced considerably. The miniature movie mode of Nikon D5600 gives you the tilt-shift videos effects. The illusion of creating a miniature model from a large geographical space makes you feel as though you are observing the events from a certain height. It also creates shallow depth effect. The camera has a 124mm x 97mm x 70mm dimension and 16.40 OZ weight. To me it seems an ideal and best camera for music videos.

Nikon D5600 Digital SLR Camera – YouTube Compatibility

The Nikon D5600 Digital SLR Camera has a Full HD based frame rate of 60FPS (1920X1080).  The aspect ratio is 3:2. The codec bit rate is 24MBPS.  The Chroma sub-sampling value is 4:2:0. The predominant footage type is progressive. So, the camera meets the basic recommendations of YouTube Video quality.

Nikon D5600 Digital SLR Camera – Specifications and Functions

Recording Format: The Video recording format is MOV and the audio format is linear PCM and stereo. Maximum length of recording duration is 30 minutes. Editing of movies is very simple and fast in this format. The video and audio tracks are distinctly different and it allows you to edit them independently. You can also add sub-titles to the video without disturbing the original video format. The recorded videos are primarily stored on a single digital card in the slot.

Functional Mode: The Nikon D5600 works on 24.2MP-APSC sensor. The focus mode for stationary objects is AF-S and moving objects is AF-F. In the AF-S mode you can set the priority to face. In the AF-F mode the priority is for sub-tracking. There is yet another mode called standard/Normal, which is used most commonly in the video shooting of moving objects. You can also set the focus to manual mode, wherein you can choose the focus mode according to your specific needs. When the camera is working in auto mode, the sensor will automatically adjust the settings based on the external conditions. The 35mm main lens and the 17mm eye-piece lens are compatible with most of the NIKKOR models used in this camera. The time-lapse movie mode can capture stills based on a program built into the system. Then it can combine them into HD/FHD film.

Viewfinder Specs: The Nikon D5600 Viewfinder has a coverage rate of 95% for vertical and horizontal directions. Using the inbuilt eye sensor, it can shift the focus between the LDC screen and the finder. The magnification factor of 0.82X can track the fast-moving objects accurately. The AF-focus factor is close to 39 points. The point system of 9, 21 39 covers dynamically moving objects whose movements can be predicted (humans, vehicles, machines etc) and unpredicted (wild animals, birds etc).

Battery Features: The Nikon D5600 uses the EN-EL14a battery pack, which supports 30 minutes of continuous video shooting session. You need to take the battery out of the camera and insert into the manufacturer supplied compatible adaptor for charging.

Recommended Application

I would personally recommend the Nikon D5600 Digital SLR Camera for the beginners, who wish to get trained in YouTube video shooting. The professional reach of the camera could be limited to the corporate and industrial plant shooting (informational and commercial). It could also be used to certain extent in the wildlife video shooting projects.

Pros

  • Advanced Viewfinder integration
  • Dolby-Digital audio
  • High resolution with 4K video shooting
  • Shadow control
  • Support for class-3 SD cards
  • Accurate color matching with the scene conditions
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Low resolution sensor
  • Only one slot for memory card
  • Relatively higher noise level (from rolling shutter) during shooting.

4. SONY FDR-X3000/White – The 4K Video – Best Cheap Camera for YouTube

The SONY FDR-X3000/White is a professional grade 4K video shooting camera with an inbuilt RCMOS sensor. The Codec Bit rate of 100MBPS is compatible with the PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GH4 4K Camera featured above. The camera also has the Time-Lapse mode similar to the Canon Powershot G7X, and the PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GH4 Camera, also featured above. The camera has an approximate value of 29.4mm x 47.0mm x 83.0 mm and 4.1OZ weight.

SONY FDR-X3000/White Camera – YouTube Compatibility

The SONY FDR-X3000/White Camera has a 4k frame rate of 240FPS (3840X2160).  This is an ideal camera with flip screen. The aspect ratio is 16:9. The codec bit rate is 30MBPS-40MBPS.  The Chroma sub-sampling value is 4:2:0. The predominant footage type is progressive. So, the camera meets the basic recommendations of YouTube Video quality.

SONY FDR-X3000/White Camera – Specifications and Functions

Recording Format: The SONY FDR-X3000/White Camera supports recoding format for MP4, MPEG4, ACVC, XAVC, and H.264. The video actual resolution value is 8.2MP. It is the most commonly recommended for professional YouTube videos, which cover corporate, industrial, wildlife, and other shooting applications. The supported audio formats are MP4, MPEG4, XAVC, and AAC-LC. They are also recommended for professional applications. The recordings are stored in SDHC and SDXC compatible card.

Functional Mode: The functional mode of the camera is enhanced due to the video signal range of HDTV, NTSC-Color, UHDTV and other compatible professional standards. The camera has an inbuilt microphone and speaker for professional documentary and movie shooting applications. The Intelligent system has a ZEISS lens, BIONZ-X processor and RCMOS sensor. Together they enable high-resolution (3840X2160) video shooting in variable lighting and geographical conditions. You can use the remote control (available separately for FDR-X3000R) or the smart phone compatible app to preview the videos from a remote location through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. Further this is the best vlogging camera with flip screen

Recommended Application[

In spite of not having the color LCD display, the professional level SONY FDR-X3000/White video camera is good enough for the corporate, industrial, wildlife and underwater shooting and record applications. The added advantage point for the camera is its remote and smart phone connectivity and the intelligent processor driven technology. The system is almost equivalent to a mini computer based smart video camera.

 

Pros

  • 4K and Full HD support
  • HDTV, NTSC-Color, UHDTV Signal range
  • Remote with processor controlled video shooting
  • High range of recoding formats
  • Underwater shooting and recording

Cons

  • Monochrome LCD
  • No option for Viewfinder

Best Camera for YouTube - Buyer's Guide

Choosing a good camera for your YouTube videos is not as simple as it looks. One should have some knowledge about basic videography and video quality as well as the gadgets used for it.

Since you are reading this article, you might be wondering about what are the features to match in your ideal video camera. Let me break the features into parts so you could learn well before choosing a right camera for your vlogging needs.

 

1. Auto Mode in your Video Camera

You may or may not handle the video cameras specially DSLR cameras since you do not know much about camera settings. That’s the problem with several other vloggers too, so you are not alone.

Today many of the digital camcorders and DSLR cameras include Auto Mode which lets you shoot awesome videos without getting into technical jargons.

Auto mode in digital cameras include the optimal settings. The camera can measure the available light on your subject and can switch the settings accordingly. This can produce good quality videos with measured light settings.

It also switches to the best combination of the following camera settings.

  1. Aperture 
  2. ISO sensitivity
  3. Shutter speed
  4. Metering
  5. White balance
I strongly recommend you to pick a camera which has Auto Mode available so you will not end up fighting with the camera features. It will give you a jump start to start recording stunning videos which look professional.

2. Video Recording Quality

Video recording quality depends on several feature specially the following two features are measured mostly.

  1. Frame Rate (FPS)
  2. Video Resolution

Today since internet speed has increased. People tend to watch videos which are high definition. High resolution videos are super rich detailed videos. There are 3 major resolutions been used on YouTube.

  1. HD (High Definition)
  2. Full HD (Full High Definition)
  3. 4K Videos

Video frame rate also matters when you record video on the road or indoor when you record simple informational videos while sitting on your desk and pointing the camera to you.

If you are shooting an information video then 24 FPS to 30 FPS frame rate is the best option for you. The optimal frame rate is 25 FPS. Therefore if you shoot videos for outdoor games or on-the-road 50 FPS to 60 FPS should be better for speed motions.

 

3. Additional Batteries Support

Video recording suck your camera battery rapidly. Think of a video recording when you want to shoot long videos and your camera battery is emptied in 20 minutes or so. You may want to shoot several small clips at times when you are outdoor and can not recharge your camera battery.

Additional batteries can support you to shoot long videos or shoot several short clips without charging your camera battery.

So it’s your time to select whether its an additional battery which fits inside battery section of your camera or buy a large battery grip which add multiple hours to your video shooting experience.

4. External Microphone Support for Better Sound

Sometime you may want to record videos from a distance and want to record sound without any additional background noise. Additional microphones help you record sound from a close distance from the speaker while your camera records the video from a distance.

There are lot of external microphones available to choose from. Some come with cables and some are wireless. It all depends on your needs. If you want to shoot video from a close distance but want to improve your sound recording quality, then Rode SmartLav+ might be a better choice for you.

However, if you want to record a speaker from a large distance, you may want to use a lavalier microphone clipped to the collar of the speaker and connected to your video camera.

There are several wireless lavalier microphones available in the market. 

5. Camera Accessories & Attachment Support

Many of the DSLR cameras come with a kit lens which are normally of focal length of 18-55mm. These kit lenses are better starter lenses for newbies. But think of a video which has rich colors, better sharpness and recorded in low light. You may want to use a better lens.

Camera Lens

Camera lenses are built for variety of video shooting needs. Here are some of the needs you may have.

  • Color quality
  • Better sharpness
  • works in low light so you may shoot an awesome candle light dinner shot.
  • Low aperture to isolate the background and and bring bouquet of lights behind the subject.

This is what you will need in the near future. So find and buy a camera which support additional lens available in the market easily.

Tripod

Tripods are used to attach your camera and adjust the height. Tripods are stands for cameras which can adjust the angle, height and distance from the subject.

One may need to shoot without support of any other person. So he could adjust the tripod with his camera and stand in front of it and start shooting his own videos.

Stabilizers

Camera stabilizers are gadgets to use when you want to reduce shaky effect in your video while recording a video with camera in your hands. Camera stabilizers will not only balance the angel when you move while recording, it also reduces the shakes when you move or run while recording a video.

Remote Trigger

Some cameras today come with remote triggers, so you could start/stop video recording from a certain distance from your camera. Today there are such a cameras available which connect your smartphone with an application and lets you control your camera recording.

Conclusion

According to my personal recommendation, the SONY FDR-X3000/White comes first in for the professional YouTube video shooting application, closely followed by the Nikon D5600 Digital SLR Camera and the PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GH4 4K. I can recommend the Canon Powershot G7X for the beginners.

3 comments Add yours
  1. I am a vlogger and frequently post my vlogs to Facebook and YouTube. I have tried few best camcorder for filming. What I conclude is as under.

    1. You may want to use a video camera which has super sensitive sensor which works best in low light.
    2. Different lenses are available in the market for your chosen camera
    3. 4K videos are become more popular in the market. Try to buy the camera which records 4K video.
    4. If you shoot action videos try not to buy cheap action cameras instead select a camera which is medium or pro level.
    5. Lights play a bigger role when you shoot indoor videos. Try choosing good lights with a good camera when you record videos for YouTube or Facebook.

    Mostly people try to buy the cheapest available video cameras when they start vLogging. Few years back I did that too and bought the most cheap video camcorder available in the market. But later I corrected my mistake when I tried Nikon 810 borrowed from one of my friends and really changed my mind.

    I am currently using Canon EOS 5D Mark II for both indoor and outdoor videos. For indoor tripod is best. For outdoors I have Steadicam Zephyr Camera Stabilizer.

    I would love to read about your camera experience as well.

    1. Yes Janet, Canon EOS 5D Mark II is the pro-level DSLR camera. This is surely been used for several top video graphers in the world. I enjoy shooting high resolution video for my YouTube channel as well.

  2. Thanks Martine,

    This is really a nice guide and I do appreciate your style of writing and your research on finding good cameras for vlogging purposes.

    I run a small vlog on YouTube and FaceBook. Currently I am using my smartphone to record videos for my YouTube channel and other social media accounts.

    I want to improve my video recording quality, hence I read your article. But it seems that the video cameras you recommended are beyond my budget. Do you suggest any other camera which is under $300 and offers best value for money?

    Thanks for your reply in advance.

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