We’ve been taking a close look at the best vlogging cameras around – that’s how we can recommend the top affordable and most used vlogging cameras for buyers interested in investing in their vlogging career.
However, if you have looked through our lists, you may have a pressing question: “Just what is a vlogging camera, anyway?” After all, our lists include cameras of all types, sizes and functions. There are webcams, DSLRs, camcorders, point-and-shoot models, and much more. So what defines a vlogging camera?
While the easiest answer is, “A camera that successful vloggers use,” we know that’s probably not what you had in mind. So let’s talk about a more specific answer to the question.
Qualities of a Vlogging Camera
A vlogging camera like the Canon Mark II or the Panasonic Lumix LX10 is defined by the features that make it friendly to vloggers. Since there are many different types of vlogs, this can describe a lot of difference features! However, here are the important specifications that we typically look for in a good vlogging camera, and why they matter.
A video mode: Certain models like webcams and camcorders always have a video mode, right? That’s their function. But point-and-shoot cameras, DSLR cameras, and similar models also need video modes to function as vlogging cameras. That means an option to record video as well as take photos, and often a dedicated video button or video mode with video-friendly settings.
Low light performance: Light can be an issue with camera video (they can’t exactly use the flash setting to light up a video) so its important to find a camera that has good low light performance. On the software side, this means software that can adjust the video to take advantage of all present light. On the hardware said, it means a great ISO range and aperture settings that maximize the amount of light the video records.
High resolution: HD or even 4k resolution can be very important to vlog quality, especially when focusing on the detials. A good vlog camera includes a high resolution for videographers. Note that there’s a little wiggle room here, since streaming webcams and similar setups may not need such a high resolution here.
A flip screen: This is simply a preview screen that flips up above the camera so that you
can see a preview of the video as it is recording. You can imagine how important a feature like this is when you are recording yourself in video every day, often alone, and need to check camera angles, composition, lighting and so on.
Wireless connections: While some vlogging cameras do depend solely on SD cards for storage, most these days have wireless connection options for quickly transferring video to other devices or even publishing it directly to social media. This is usually done with Wi-Fi, NFC, or Bluetooth.
Image stabilization: Many vlogs move the camera around to explore an area or get a close-up. If the camera is moving, then it needs image stabilization software to help soften all the little bumps and jostles. Vlogging cameras are defined by their excellent stabilization techniques.
Microphone or mic input: Vloggers don’t want to record audio separately. Vlogging cameras come with built-in mics and, hopefully, a mic input. The input allows people to attach larger, high-quality microphones that can pick up distinct sounds and reduce background noise when necessary.
FPS customization: While not quite as necessary for vlogging cameras as the features above, FPS (learn what is FPS) customization is a common feature – in other words, the ability to set the camera to 30 or 60 fps as needed, or the ability to ramp up fps for slow motion video.
Mobility: Vlogging cameras are generally easy to move around and pack. They may also have durability features that make them resistant to weather and accidents.