The time has come when you have decided to select your first ever video camera? So, the first question that you are going to ask yourself will be, “what to look for in a vlogging camera?”
Today, I am here to answer this question in the best possible manner. That being said, I will be starting the topic with some of the features that you must consider and the other that you can ignore while selecting the best vlogging camera in 2021.
But, before we move further, I would want you to go through this article thoroughly. In the end, when all things are clear, I have got the following articles for you to read so that you can complete your vlogging gear:
So, let’s start without any further ado:
Table Of Contents
- What You Don’t Need While Selecting a Vlogging Camera:
- What To Look For in Vlogging Camera? Features You Need to Consider:
- 1. Low-Light Performance:
- 2. What Video Quality to Look For in a Vlogging Camera?
- 3. Does FPS (Frame Per Second) Matter?
- 4. Optical Image Stabilization:
- 5. Is a Flip Screen Necessary?
- 6. Wireless Connectivity:
- 7. External Microphone Input:
- 8. Location of the Microphone:
- 9. Fast Autofocus Matters:
- 10. Electronic Viewfinder:
- How to Choose The Best Video Camera?
What You Don’t Need While Selecting a Vlogging Camera:
Before we start looking at the features you need to consider, here are some of them that you can ignore while selecting your first ever vlog camera:
You won’t use this feature hat much until and unless you are making long-range shots. In another way, an external lens can perform better than built-in zooming ability of the vlogging camera.
As far as the camera is performing better in low-light conditions, you won’t need this feature either. Flash feature isn’t used frequently by the vloggers as they use other means of lighting in their YouTube videos.
You ain’t getting a camera for random photography purposes. That is, your sole purpose is to choose a vlogging camera that has better video quality and other features that enhance the resolution of the video you are making on it.
So, it is better that you don’t consider the megapixels of a camera while you are looking to find an ideal one.
Neglecting all these features will add more value to your money and you would be completely focused on the features that matter in the vlogging world. Thus, refrain from getting too much involved in these features if you want to find the best vlogging camera with some amazing technical specifications.
What To Look For in Vlogging Camera? Features You Need to Consider:
Well, things are getting pretty serious now as it is the most important topic that you need to read and understand thoroughly.
So, let’s start without any further ado:
1. Low-Light Performance:
The very first feature that you should look for in a vlogging camera will be how it performs in low-light conditions.
That being said, it is necessary that the camera can make beautiful videos and images even when there isn’t enough light to support it.
Furthermore, an updated image sensor is an indication that this specific camera is going to perform perfectly in rough weather conditions.
However, some important features that make a vlogging camera perfect for low-light performance are as follows:
- Lens Aperture:
A wide-angle lens means better photography and videography. That is, if you have got a camera lens of 50mm, it is imminent that your vlogging camera is going to perform in the best possible manner when there isn’t sufficient light.
On the other hand, a wide aperture lens will also mean that you will be achieving your goal of capturing photos of subjects with a blurred background. It adds more aesthetic pleasure to your photos and they look more appealing to the audience as well.
- Amount of Noise at Different ISO Levels
It is also a necessary feature that determines the performance of the vlogging camera in low-light. I’m, in fact, not taking the literal meaning of noise here as cameras don’t make noise at all other than the shutter sound.
By noise, I mean the grains shown on pictures you capture when the ISO is at a higher rate due to low-light conditions.
Keep in mind that as the light goes dim, the camera’s ISO range will get high and thus, you will see more grains or noise as compared to a picture taken with low ISO range.
That’s the main reason professional vloggers and YouTubers prefer using custom lighting setup in their videos to avoid this issue.
- Sensor Size:
The third important point which is going to impact your camera’s performance in low-light is its sensor size.
Sensor size varies in different kind of vlogging cameras. That being said, the thing which you need to remember here is that, the bigger the sensor size, the better the low-light performance of the vlogging camera.
The orderly arrangement of each vlogging camera type concerning the sensors they’ve got from larger to a smaller scale is as follows:
- DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras.
- Point and Shoot Cameras.
So, if you want your camera to be good at low-light performance, then it is better to keep the sensor size in mind while you select one.
2. What Video Quality to Look For in a Vlogging Camera?
Well, if you ask me what to look for in vlogging camera with most importance, then my simple answer is that it the video quality.
Keep in mind that vlogging cameras have three different types i.e.
Ultra HD 4K.
Full HD 1080p.
- Ultra HD 4K:
Vlogging camera with this video quality allows you to make videos in a resolution of 2160p with full colors. This means that you will be able to enjoy capturing life in full details.
Plus, it is better for your YouTube rankings that the 4K video quality ranks better these days on YouTube. However, investing in a 4K vlogging camera will cost at least $500.
- Full HD 1080p:
Vlogging cameras with full HD video quality i.e. 1080p allows you to make videos with better colors and the videos in 1080p mode are completely optimized as well.
It’s in fact, a standard video quality mode that most of the cameras come with. Such cameras, however, will cost you not more than 200 bucks.
- HD 720p:
Finally, the last video quality in a vlogging camera that a person should expect is high definition. Such cheap vlogging cameras have got a price tag of less than 100 bucks and they are an ideal choice for beginners.
So, What Video Quality is Ideal?
It all comes down to your preference. That is,
4K Ultra HD is better video quality, but it will cost you more investment. Plus 4K videos have a large size.
Full HD 1080p video quality is the standard here and is better for intermediate vloggers.
HD 720p video quality is a better choice for beginners as they can start with a cheap vlogging camera to make vlogs.
3. Does FPS (Frame Per Second) Matter?
Frame Rate Per Second is a unit of measurement of how the device’s display performs. That being said, FPS simply means that for how many times an image has been refreshed on the screen per second.
So, now when you ask the question that what to look for in vlogging camera, then apart from video quality, you should also pay heeds to the frame per second rate.
Watch this Frame Rate difference video to understand the concept in an ideal manner:
Nevertheless, the better the fps are, the smoother your video clips will be. Thus, if you have a 4K camera at one side recording at 15 fps, and a 1080p video camera recording at 60 fps, then the 1080p video camera will surely win when it comes to smoothness of the video.
So, some important fps rates you can get from different vlogging cameras are:
4K Ultra HD: You will mostly get a 4K vlogging camera with 30 fps rate. However, 4K cameras with 60 fps rate are extremely expensive.
1080p: 1080p cameras can easily provide you an fps rate of 60 to 120 considering the extra features it has.
720p: A 720p camera will also provide you fps rate of 60 to 120.
To sum it down, it all depends upon how much money you spend on a vlogging camera. That is, the more money you spent, the better the frame rate you get and the smoother your video becomes.
4. Optical Image Stabilization:
The next feature you should be looking at when you ask the question that what to look for in vlogging camera will be the optical image stabilization.
So, what does the term stabilization means? Stabilization is in fact concerned with the reduced shakiness and blurriness in the video quality of the camera when you are moving while capturing the video.
That being said, it is necessary that your vlogging camera has optical image stabilization or 5-axis body stabilization. Thus, you will be able to make your video as stabilized as possible. However, I will still prefer using a vlogging tripod because the hands can get shaky anytime soon.
While you are choosing a vlog camera with OIS, keep in mind that you should never go for digital image stabilization. It’s just a false trick used by cheap camera brands to ensure that the camera comes with stabilization, when in fact, it doesn’t. So, avoid this thing as it is completely false.
5. Is a Flip Screen Necessary?
In fact, it is. You will need a flip screen camera the most when there is a need for making selfie videos. You could’ve seen different vloggers making Face Cam videos especially the gamer ones.
Right? Well, how do they adjust their vlogging cameras?
The answer is simple. Such vloggers use the flip screen cameras to make sure that they have placed themselves in the best possible manner in front of the camera.
So, it is better that you try to invest in a vlogging camera that comes with a flip screen for a better selfie video experience.
6. Wireless Connectivity:
Wireless connectivity also matters. The days of connecting a vlog camera with wired cables are now gone as we are seeing video cameras with wireless connections since 2014.
So, how do the availability of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC makes a difference while choosing the best vlogging camera?
It does make a pretty good difference.
With the inclusion of these options, it will become easier for you to handle image and video transferring process from the camera to other portable devices.
So, it is always better that you choose a vlogging camera with at least a Wi-Fi option. However, Bluetooth and NFC are some advanced connectivity options and add more value to the camera as well.
7. External Microphone Input:
If you ask any professional vlogger that what to look for in vlogging camera the most, he or she will tell you that try to consider a camera with an external mic port no matter how much budget you have.
The fact here is, vlogging cameras suck at recording HD audio quality. Why? Because manufacturers focus on providing a better video quality along with other features that help to capture HD videos and images only.
On the other hand, there is no attention towards a built-in mic that comes with a camera. So, it’s just a joke to expect that you can record crisp audio quality for your video with your camera.
Therefore, it is always necessary to consider the best vlogging camera that comes with an external mic port. Thus, it will be easier for you to connect an external microphone to it easily.
However, keep in mind that many compact cameras lack this feature and thus you have to use an extra accessory for that purpose known as external mic adapter.
Anyway, your topmost priority must be getting a camera that comes with an external mic jack and nothing less than that.
8. Location of the Microphone:
Well, if you have to rely on the built-in microphone which is not recommended at all, then it is better that you consider the location of a mic in a camera.
That is, the camera with a front-facing microphone is the best deal as it can capture everything audible in an ideal way.
Furthermore, avoid getting a camera that has got a microphone on the sides because you have to handle it carefully as there is a good chance of covering the microphone with your hand.
9. Fast Autofocus Matters:
To make sure that you are tracking your subject perfectly, it is necessary that your camera has a fast autofocus system.
In terms of autofocus battle, Sony vlogging cameras have the lead as they provide ultrafast hybrid autofocus system which is better to track objects even if you are moving while video shooting.
Therefore, make sure that you look for a vlogging camera with better autofocus or else you won’t be able to keep the camera pointed at a small object for a long time.
10. Electronic Viewfinder:
Last but not least, if you ask that what to look for in vlogging camera that helps to see the scenario perfectly then the answer is a camera with an electronic viewfinder.
The vlogging camera with an electronic viewfinder means that you can look through it to capture vivid scenes even when the light conditions are extremely high.
That means, with an electronic viewfinder you can easily find your subject on a sunny day without any issues.
So, it is better to take a look at this feature before you select your vlogging camera.
How to Choose The Best Video Camera?
Now that I am done with the most important question, let’s decide what’s best for a vlogging camera that is suitable for a YouTuber:
1. The Type of Content You Want to Create:
Before you do anything, ask this question from yourself what type of content you are interested in. That is, which vlogging type is the one which is more appealing for you and is a source of great interest for you.
So, according to the purpose, there are different vlogging camera types designed for different purposes i.e.:
For Travel Vlogging: Point and shoot cameras are preferred as they have a compact size and most of them have better video recording modes at a steady fps rate.
Indoor Vlogging: Mirrorless cameras are the best choice as they can easily be handled and most of them have got a flip screen as well.
For Indoor Plus Outdoor Vlogging: A high-end DSLR is meant for professional YouTubers who tend to make outdoor plus indoor vlogs. A DSLR camera is the one with many options available.
For Recording Action Sports: For recording action sports, it is necessary that you select a GoPro for vlogging. These cameras have got an extremely compact design and they can get attached on different mounts as well.
So, the type of content you want to create has more influence on how you decide your vlogging camera to be. Therefore, be sure of what do you want to do before you select a vlogging camera.
2. Video Quality:
I’ll prefer a 1080p video camera with 60 fps rate over anything as it is the best choice to make in an affordable budget plus it allows you to capture beautiful videos for your vlogs too.
However, you can opt for 4K vlogging cameras in case you have a high budget and a 720p camera in case you have a low budget.
3. Will You Need Extra Accessories?
The answer is YES. Even if you have a low budget, it is necessary to have an external microphone and a vlogging tripod. If we look at the cheaper choices, then both the mic and a tripod will not cost you more than 50 bucks.
Therefore, it is better to include a microphone and a vlogging tripod as you select a best vlogging camera.
4. Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Camera Types:
Before you select a camera, you need to make sure of one thing and that is the scenario where you will want to record videos.
That being said, there are different camera types with advantages and disadvantages. So, take a look here to make sure that you are going for the right camera.
- High-End DSLR cameras have features like full HD quality, all extra features, built-in external mic jack.
- In addition to that, the reason why Vloggers select DSLR cameras is that they have got a long battery lifespan thus allowing you to capture videos for a long time.
- DSLR cameras can also be mounted on a tripod easily as they have dedicated space for this purpose.
- You can attach any camera lens to a DSLR.
- They have a solid and durable construction.
- High-End DSLRs are expensive.
- On the other hand, DSLRs with the availability of so many features are thus bulky and they don’t have a lightweight body. So, you will get tired and can face handling issues while making video footages.
- DSLRs are in fact, not a good choice to carry around from one place to another.
- Mirrorless cameras also have some premium features like ultra HD video recording mode, external mic jacks, and optical image stabilization.
- They are just like DSLRs but with one exception that they have got a compact size.
- Thus, mirrorless cameras are easy to carry around from one place to another.
- Such cameras also have a flip screen [in most of the cases.]
- The size is compact and small. Therefore, you should not expect a long battery timing from such cameras.
- Mirrorless cameras are unable to accommodate some camera lenses.
Point and Shoot Cameras/Compact Cameras:
- Point and Shoot cameras have a smaller size as compared to mirrorless cameras. That’s why they are also called as pocket cameras more often.
- The expensive point and shoot cameras have features just like a mirrorless camera as they can provide 4K video quality along with better optical image stabilization as well.
- Many point and shoot cameras have a flip screen as well.
- Due to the smaller size, they can run out of power in a short time. That’s why vloggers who use these cameras have got replacement batteries in case the power of the camera runs out.
- Heating issues are common with point and shoot cameras.
- You can’t attach a camera lens to point and shoot cameras. That’s because such cameras have fixed lenses most of the time.
- Action Cameras/GoPros
- Action cameras are used for recording action sports. That’s because they have a comparatively smaller size than that of all the above-mentioned three camera types.
- Different mounts are available for action cameras which offer wide-view angles to capture the scene.
- GoPros have got ultra HD 4K quality with an ability to capture vivid photos at the same time.
- On the other hand, action cameras such as GoPro hero 7 have a touchscreen LCD which works just like a smartphone.
- In addition to that, many action cameras have a waterproof housing that allows you to record videos even when you are under the water.
- Battery timing is extremely short because these cameras have a compact size.
- Heating issues are also common.
- There is a clear difference in a GoPro 4K video mode and a typical camera 4K video mode.
- Besides, no external mic jack is available. So, you will need a mic adapter.
It is better to know the better side and the bad side of each camera type. So that you might be able to decidewhich camera is an ideal choice for you.
Some Last Words:
So, I hope the most asked question i.e. What to look for in vlogging camera is now answered with every possible detail. Keep the above-mentioned features to consider in mind. Hence, you will be able to select your dream vlogging camera without any issues.
Shoot down any relevant question related to what to look for in vlogging camera. I will get back to you as soon as possible.