Lets face it. YouTube is a wonderfull thing.
We now have access to endless amounts of amazing content at the touch of our fingertips.
In recent years more and more people have picked up cameras and started their YouTube journey. Fast forward to 2017 and many of these aspiring YouTubers have gone onto to feed their passion and even make a full time living.
Because of this we have complied a list of the 11 best YouTube cameras in 2017 for all budgets.
Below you will find our favourite cameras for YouTubers ranging from sub $100 to $1000. Our picks have been plucked from the sea of cameras on the market so you don’t have to spend hours hunting down the right one.
Cameras Famous YouTubers Use
If you want to learn about the best. Look to the best.
Very wise words which applies to finding a great camera for your needs. Below he have included a wide range of famous YouTubers plus the cameras they use on a daily basis.
As you can most probably expect, these YouTubers are using more high end cameras that come with a hefty price tag.
While these cameras arent the most budget friendly, we can still see the core features that make them such hits and find more affordable alternatives.
PewDiePie, YouTube Gamer (54 Million Subscribers) : Canon XA1o Camcorder
RomanAtwood, Lifestyle Vlogger (12 Million Subscribers): Canon G7X
Casey Neistat, Lifestyle Vlogger (7 Million Subscribers): Sony A6500
Zoella, Beauty Guru (12 Million Subscribers): Canon 70D
IISuperWomanII, Comedy YouTuber (12 Million Subscribers): Canon G7X
FunForLouis, Travel YouTuber (2 Million Subscribers): Sony Cyber Shot RX100 IV
Mr Ben Brown, Travel Vlogger (800,000 Subscribers): Canon 70D
MKBHD, Technology YouTuber (4.5 Million Subscribers): Sony A7R II
Faze Rain, YouTube Gamer (5 Million Subscribers): Canon G7X
MyLifeAsEva, Beauty YouTuber (8 Million Subscribers): Canon 70D
#1 Best YouTube Camera User $100
Sony DSCW800 Digital Camera – A Engineering Marvel
Before i get stuck into this review, lets just admire the fact that its possible to buy a great camera under $100.
Considering the amount of moving parts that go into a camera, it really is a engineering feat thats a win for all. One great example of this is the Sony DSCW800.
While coming in at under $100, this DSCW800 surprisingly ticks a lot of boxes than you can expect from cameras in the $200-$300 range.
Some of these features include a 20.1 MP Super HAD Sensor that produces beautifully detailed photos and videos. Supporting the HAD Sensor is the Sony f3.2 wide angles lens that shoots in 720 HD.
Overall this is a great camera that is ideal for a beginner YouTuber on a very tight budget. While this camera does have some shortcomings it does make up for it in other areas. Also for a camera user $100, its hard to go wrong.
Top 5 Best YouTube Cameras Under $200
1. Canon PowerShot SX610 (Editors Pick) – 1080p On A Budget
Finding a compact camera in the $200 mark that delivers 1080p video is hard to come across.
Fortunately there is the Canon PowerShot SX610. If you are familiar with the Canon brand then you will know they design great cameras regardless of the price. The Canon SX610 is no exception.
Canon stuck to the fundamentals when designing this camera which you can see in the features they added. It also has a super slim body which can fit in the tightest jean pockets. This makes it ideal for a YouTuber who plans to record on the go while looking for that extra quality.
Some standouts of the camera are the 24-24omm 18x Optical Zoom, 1080p Hd Video, 3.0″ LCD Screen and a 20.2 Megapixel Sensor. Combine these features together and you get a great performing camera that covers a lot of the bases.
One thing to note; this SX610 has Image Stabilisation that stabilises the video within the software of the camera. Compared to Optical Image Stabilisation which manually stabilises the video from within the lens. While the latter is preferred, it still doesn’t hurt to have this as a inbuilt feature.
Overall this is a fantastic camera that ticks a lot of the boxes while being surprisingly affordable. I highly recommend this camera for beginner YouTubers who are looking for top notch video while being budget savvy.
2. Canon PowerShot SX410 – A DSLR’s Baby Brother
Next in our list is the Canon PowerShot Sx410. As there are no DSLR cameras under the $200 price point, this model comes pretty close as far as build quality and specs are concerned.
In many ways this model is similar to a DSLR as it offers up a plethora of settings to please any tech head. This gives more flexibility if you are looking to control the frame rate for cinematic or slow motion videos.
If setting aren’t you thing, this Canon SX410 has a great automatic video mode that takes cares of all the mumbo jumbo and provides a well balanced video.
Another thing i picked up about this camera is that it is extremely quick to turn on and lacks that sluggish fell you can get from similar cameras. This can sometimes make or break the chance to get that shot or missing out.
Making up for the lack of 1080p, Canon designed a larger body that packs a impressive Canon DIGIC 4+ Image Processor and a 24mm wide lens which produces incredibly vibrant video in 720P HD. In conclusion this camera would suit those looking for vibrant colors and having a camera that will last.
3. GoPro Hero Session – Action Cam On The Cheap
Looking to add a new dimension to your YouTube videos while having a lot of fun? One word. GoPro.
Compact has a all new meaning when you take a look at this GoPro Hero Session.
For a long time GoPro products were on the expensive side of the spectrum. However that has since changed with the recent release of the GoPro Hero Session.
After using a traditional GoPro for sometime, i thought there is now way they could make a smaller camera. Boy was i wrong.
Upon first using this smaller model (now 2.6 Ounces), its clear straight away thats its almost halved in size from its predecessor. To sacrifice this size GoPro has only included one control button and no display.
GoPro Hero Session Video
As far as specifications go, this GoPro Hero Session has a Ultra Wide Lens, a waterproof durable build at up to 33 feet depth, stunning 1080p HD Video at 60fps and easy mounting. While this camera is lacking a few components, its still a great alternative to a traditional GoPro at half the price.
4. Sony DSCW830 – A True Powerhouse
Coming in next on our best YouTube cameras list is the Sony DSCW830.
This is Sony’s answers to the entry level point and shoot camera market. Coming in at $150, its extremely affordable for any YouTuber wanting to test the waters.
However because of its highly competitive price point, there are some shortcoming which is be be expected from a camera of this price.
One of the biggest complaints about this DSCW830 is the lack of Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity and no 1080p recording. Depending on your needs, this may or may not be a deal breaker.
This camera also spots Optical Steady Shot Image Stabilization which does a great job of producing a steady video. While its not Optical Image Stabilisation which is preferred, it still performs quite well. This camera does fall short in some areas but comes in as the cheapest YouTube camera on our list under $200.
5. Nikon Coolpix L340 20.2 Digital Camera – Best Of Both Worlds
Finally a Nikon in our list for all those fans!
Even though this camera is made for photographers, its still has some impressive video features while not breaking the bank. If you are in to both formats of media then this is a great pick.
One of the most attractive components of this Coolpix L340 is the price which is currently hovering around the $160 mak. In many ways this camera is similar to models in the $300 range minus a couple of specs.
It still has a 20.0 Megapixel Sensor, 28x Zoom, Auto ISO and Auto White Balance. Another strong point of this camera is the super quick Auto Focus System.
In the meantime, using rechargeable AA size batteries can keep the operating costs down of this camera which makes it a great buy that i highly recommend. This camera is ideal for YouTubers who are also looking to dive into photography while shooting great video.
Top 5 Great YouTube Cameras Under $300
1. Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS50S (Editors Pick) – Video Making Machine
For YouTubers who want a powerful, compact and stylish camera this Lumix DMC-ZS50S is a great starting point.
Unfortunately Panisonic doesn’t get much coverage in the camera world which is a shame. However i have a feeling that will change with the new release of the Lumix DMC-ZS50S.
They say first impression are important which couldn’t be more true for this camera.
Even if you are unfamiliar with cameras, you can tell the design of this camera stands out. I love the design queues of this DMC ZS50S which pays respect to traditional cameras of the past.
While this camera does have a minimised 12.1Mp sensor which seems bad at face value. It actually allows for larger pixels which lets more light into the sensor.
This adds more flexibility to the lighting environments this camera can record in. Because of this it deserves the number one spot and is highly recommended as the best YouTube cameras under $300.
2. GoPro HERO5 Session – Rugged And Sophisticated
If you read our above review of the GoPro Hero Session then this Hero5 session will feel right at home.
In a nut shell the GoPro Session range is almost half the size of existing GoPro models while keeping the great video quality we all love.
However to make the body smaller, some sacrifices have been made with the lack of a display and a one button control. GoPro has instead added user interface features such as Voice Control and remote control from a smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to choose settings.
While this GoPro Hero5 Session is great in many ways it does suffer when shooting in low light environments. If you don’t plan on recording in dusk or a night setting then this is not a big problem. But it is something to think about if you are needing a camera for that purpose.
While cameras are still catching up to 4K resolution, its good to see a camera that will age well as its already ahead of the curve.
Overall this is a great action camera that is both rugged and well crafted to shoot high quality amazing video. This camera is perfect for those who want to add a extra dimension to their YouTube videos.
3. Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70 – A Joy To Use
If you are in the market for a affordable camera with DSLR features then this LUMIX DMC-FZ70 is a great pick.
After using dozens of cameras from a Canon 5D Mark II to a Canon T5i, i have to say that i am very impressed with this model. It simply works and really well.
As far as video recording is concerned, its a breeze to use in the automatic setting while having the ability to control the shutter speed and aperture in manual mode. As a YouTuber this is incredibly powerful as it allows you to take full creative control on the style of your videos.
One other thing i enjoyed about this camera was the dedicated video button which lets you instantly start recording instead of fumbling around and end up missing the shot.
This LUMIX DMC-FZ70 offers up a 60x optical zoom (20mm-1200mm) lens with a F2.8-5.9 aperture which is large enough to let lots of light into the sensor. Having the 20mm wide angle lens definitely is a big advantage when recording YouTube videos as a wide angle is essential.
4. Canon VIXIA HF R800 – For The Lovers Of Video
Next up on our best YouTube cameras list is the Canon VIXA HF R800.
Compared to point and shoot or DSLR cameras, camcorders are designed for one purpose. Video recording. Because of this camcorders support many extra features that traditional cameras don’t offer.
One of the main differentiating factors of a camcorder is the touch flip screen which allows for easier video recording. With this touch screen you can set the focus point with a simple tap so you don’t accidentally focus on the background.
Also thanks to its unique ergonomic design its a lot more comfortable to hold when capturing video. This makes it a whole lot easier to record for hours on end and not strain your wrist.
If audio is also your thing you will be then happy to know that you can attach a third party external microphone which is unheard of from a camera of this price point. Shooting in a controlled environment is sure to provide good results, but once outside in uncontrolled conditions the audio can get inconsistent and slightly fuzzy.
Overall this camera is a hands down video performer which will suit a beginner or pro YouTuber and deserved a spot on our best YouTube cameras list.
5. Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS – A Light Weight Champion
If you are in the market for a camera that performs well in low light conditions while capturing videos and photographs. Then this might be the camera for you.
Generally for cameras of this price range, recording in low light can severely diminish the quality of the video by adding a lot of unwanted “video noise”. However this is avoided as Canon has combined a 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4+ Image Processor. Using these two technologies together produce some amazing results.
One other surprising bonus of this camera that i found while using in the field was the great battery life. On average i was getting about 300 shots or 50-60 minutes of HD recording from one charge.
This gave me plenty of time to compose and shoot a full length YouTube video. You could also buy some extra batteries for ultimate long shooting time.
Simply put this camera performs extremely well and outputs some fantastic video quality. This camera is great for YouTubers or Vloggers who plan on recording in a wide range of environments and need a camera that can handle it.
Buying Guide For Picking The Best YouTube Cameras
Important Features Of A Great YouTube Camera
As we mentioned above, knowing what features are beneficial when recording video for your YouTube channel can save a lot of frustration, time and money.
I have definitely fallen for the trap thinking that a camera with lots of megapixels is what really matters.
For photography, partly true. For video, not so much emphasis is put on pixels rather than light sensitivity.
- HD Video Quality: Without a doubt, having a camera that can record HD Video quality is a must. As YouTube is a dedicated video platform, having a camera that can record crispy video is expected by many viewers in 2017. Gone of the days of potato video quality.
- Durability: This features doesn’t get spoken about much but it a very important thing to look out for. Recording videos day in and day out can put a lot of strain on a camera. So having a durable and well built product is important for its life expectancy and performance.
- Flip Screen (If Possible): Having a flip screen can be a huge help when recording YouTube videos, especially when doing Vlog style. While this feature isn’t critical, its definitely worth keeping an eye out for as it can save a lot of time while recording
- Good Low Light Sensitivity: With the nature of recording videos, you are bound to run into multiple lighting conditions. This could be recording outside, in a room, at night, overcast weather and so on. So having a sensor that can perform well in these settings is very important.
- Portability: If you plan on recording outdoors, on the go or travelling. Taking into account the size, weight and battery of a life camera is important if you want to keep your weight to a minimum.
- Optical Image Stabilisation: Have you ever watched a shaky video on YouTube and immediately hit that back button? It really can put a viewer off regardless if its great content. While this feature is normally reserved for more expensive cameras, it still can be found in affordable models.
Different Types Of Cameras For Recording YouTube Videos
Depending on the type of YouTube videos you want to record will dictate the type of camera you will need. For example if you wanted to record makeup tutorials, having a camera that shoots amazing videos such as a DSLR would be ideal.
On the other end of the spectrum. If you wanted to record YouTube travel videos, finding a lightweight camera with good battery life would be a good fit. In this case a compact Point and Shoot camera would be a perfect.
When it comes to superior video quality there is no denying that DSLR Cameras rain supreme. Thanks to their larger body footprint, their is enough room for interchangeable lens and a large sensor.
The result is amazing video quality. Also thanks to the larger sensor size, a DSLR is able to capture more light which allows it to excel in low light settings.
With a lot of DSLR cameras produced in 2017, you now have a articulating LCD flip screen which is a great feature for YouTubers. This allows a YouTuber to view in real time what they are recording which minimises mistakes.
Traditionally DSLR Cameras have been on the expensive side of the scale. However in recent years, competition has become fierce among manufacturers which drives down prices for consumers. You can learn more about the history of DSLR cameras here.
Compact Point And Shoot Cameras
While DSLR Cameras are ahead of the heard as far as video quality is concerned. Compact Point and Shoot Cameras excel in other ways. One of the biggest differences between DSLR Cameras and Point & Shoots is the size and weight.
Having a heavy camera can become a big burden even when travelling on a day out let alone overseas!
However there are some sacrifices to be had such as the lack of interchange lenses and a smaller sensor size. But again it all comes down to the content you want to record. So in many cases a Point and Shoot camera would be better than a DSLR. Here are some of our favourite point and shoot cameras for YouTube Vlogging.
What if there was a hybrid between a DSLR and a Point & Shoot Camera?
Fortunately there is. It goes by the name of a “Mirrorless Camera”. You guessed it, this camera has no mirror which allows it to retain all the features of a DSLR camera while also being compact.
As Mirrorless Cameras are a combination of two types of cameras, there needs to be a standout feature that really makes it stand out.
As Mirrorless Cameras are relatively new technology, they are on the expensive side of the scale. But if you want to purchase a great camera that ticks all the boxes and will retain its value, a Mirrorless Camera is a great option. For these reasons Mirrorless Cameras are highly sought after for being the best YouTube cameras available.
Remember those things?
Camcorders have evolved a lot since there humble beginning as home video cameras. Thanks to their unique ergonomic design, camcorder are a pleasure to record with and are jam packed full of extra features.
Some of these extra features include a flip out screen, built in memory, great internal microphone and some even have projectors built in!
Another cool thing about camcorders is that their is a model for almost any budget. Ranging from $100-$10000. You can view our full writeup on the best camcorders for YouTubers here.
While action cameras are a relatively new camera technology in the grand scheme of things, they still have a huge role to play in any YouTubers arsenal.
Some of the footage that has come out in recent years of people achieving unreliable feats is truly spectacular.
While action cameras boast a lot of amazing features such as compactness, durability, good battery life and even 4K video.
They are usually best used in partnership with another camera such as a Point & Shoot or DSLR.
Incase you want to learn more about action cameras, check out our full rundown here.
Deciding What’s Best For You
If you have come this far then well done. Hopefully by now you will have a sound understanding if the different types of YouTube cameras and the features/functions to look out for.
At the end of the day a camera is used to tell a story and is a device that opens a window to your world. We believe that all of these cameras in this list will help you reach your YouTube goals no matter how big or small they are.
Thanks for reading and all the best for your future YouTube adventures.
Learn more about Vlogging cameras and gear
- Guide To Picking The Best Vlogging Camera
- What Gear Does Casey Neistat Use?
- Best Vlogging Cameras with Flip Screens
- What Kind Of Cameras Do YouTubers Use?
- What Camera Does Zoella Use?
- What Kind Of Camera Does YouTuber Jake Paul Use?
If you are a fan of David Dorbik you can check out his camera setup here.