Whether you are an established or aspiring YouTuber or vlogger, camera manufacturers are lining up to provide you with the best tools possible.
We have done the research on what we believe to be the Best Vlogging Cameras under 1000 USD – you only need to define your unique application and wants.
Here are our top 10 picks for vlogging cameras – covering every application and every budget, including honorable mentions towards the end.
Our Top Picks of the Best Vlogging Cameras Under 1000 USD
- Sony ZV-1
- Olympus E-M5 Mark III
- Canon G7 X Mark III
- Sony A6400
- Canon EOS M6 Mark II
- Panasonic Lumix G95
- GoPro Hero 8 Black
- Canon EOS M50
- DJI Osmo Pocket
1. Sony ZV-1
Overall the strongest vlogging camera money can buy today
Designed specifically for YouTubers and vloggers, the ZV-1 is a firstborn descendant of the vastly popular rx100 series from Sony.
Rocking an impressive microphone setup with both windsock and external mic port, it leaves no excuses for poor audio quality. With the articulating screen, image stabilization, and the best-in-class autofocus system, you get stable and sharp footage.
S-Log-2 provides you with the flexibility to grade for that cinematic look. We like the return of the ND filter for those sunny days. Under 14 ounces of weight and near credit-card-sized footprint means the ZV-1 is a practical travel mate.
USB charging is possible, too. All in all, we rank this micro-monster the current king of current vlogging cameras. Note: we have an in-depth article that explains why the Sony XV-1 is the best vlogging camera with flip screen.
⊕ Excellent on-board microphones
⊕ High performance in tiny package
⊖ Battery life. (Max 45 min of video or 260 shots)
⊖ Minimum focal length of 24mm (35mm equivalent) is a bit tight
⊖ No built-in viewfinder (purchased separately)
Extremely capable and flexible package
If image quality is your highest priority, the E-M5 III will not disappoint. Cinema 4K 24fps and a 237Mbps bit-rate is nothing short of astounding. But you also have the options of 4K at 30fps, and Full HD at 120fps.
With an interchangeable lens system and weather sealing, you’re getting ultimate flexibility – in all conditions. It’s no slouch at stills, either.
Having double the ISO and a sensor size twice that of ZV-1’s, combined with class-leading image stabilization, means smooth as butter footage – even in low light. Continuous tracking is ensured by the on-chip phase-detect autofocus.
Lastly, The E-M5 has been on a diet, shedding 1.76oz with its new polycarbonate body. In short, the Mark III is lighter, sharper, and better than its older brother Mark II.
But even with a price tag of USD $1,199.99, it has its shortfalls.
⊕ Extremely high quality, stable video
⊕ Weather sealing
⊖ No headphone jack
⊖ High price tag can be prohibitive to some
Impressive vlogging and streaming tool
Many YouTubers favor the G7 X Mark III due to its live-streaming capability. Uncropped 4K, IBIS and USB charging allows you to shoot smooth quality footage in even the most remote locations.
This latest iteration of the G7 finally lets you use an external mic, with the addition of an input jack. Although the articulating screen offers less flexibility than that of the ZV-1, the Canon G7 X Mark III is a powerhouse nonetheless – and at a lower price point.
It features a built-in ND filter just like the ZV-1. The video specs are on par with the Sony, as well.
⊕ UHS-I Memory Card Support for high-speed writing
⊕ Live streaming
⊖ No built-in viewfinder (purchased separately)
⊖ Contrast-based AF is less reliable
4. Sony A6400
Snappy offering – designed for vloggers
The A6400 is the prime weapon of choice for many vloggers – and not without reason. Featuring a lightning-fast and sticky autofocus with a crisp 16:9 flip screen, you are sure to get sharp footage – like clockwork.
S-Log2 and S-Log3 should meet every post-producers needs, while 4K HDR (HLG) provides instantaneous playback. It even lets you transfer files to your mobile in a pinch, with Sony’s mobile app.
You get the privilege of choice in glass, with the interchangeable lens system. However, if you are shooting interviews, the lack of a headphone jack could be a deal-breaker.
It’s no surprise that this is among the list of best vlogging cameras.
⊕ Magnesium alloy body
⊕ UHS-I Memory Card Support
⊖ No In Body Image Stabilization
⊖ Lack of headphone jack
A powerful tool for travelers and vloggers
Canon continues to impress (and address) vloggers with this latest member of the M family. Boasting uncropped 4K and a flip screen, it delivers excellent quality footage and monitoring, while the input jack allows for an external microphone.
A 32.3 MP APS-C sensor is crammed inside the compact package, weighing in at just over 14 ounces – making the M6 Mark II a popular choice for YouTubers and adventurers alike.
Many use the Canon EF-M adaptor to fit EF and EF-S lenses, which brings the weight up – but can provide optical image stabilization.
⊕ UHS-II Memory Card Support for extreme writing speeds
⊕ 1/16000s Electronic Shutter Speed
⊖ No IBIS
⊖ No built-in viewfinder
Compact shooter for YouTubers and filmmakers
For obvious reasons, videographers have been praising the G series since the beginning. The Panasonic G95/90 has both input and headphone jacks to help you nail the audio.
While the Micro Four Thirds system is compatible with countless new (and vintage) lenses, offering something for any situation. Combine that with V-Log and you have a recipe for that professional-looking cinematic footage.
But you might have to reconsider using the G95 for shooting action sports, as the 4K offers a stuttery frame rate of 15fps. If either frame rate or resolution is negotiable to you, the G95 is a strong contender.
⊕ 1/16000s Electronic Shutter Speed
⊕ 5-axis Image Stabilization
⊖ AF-tracking not best in class
⊖ 15fps in 4K might not be fast enough
⊖ 1.25x crop
Shoot anything, anywhere, anytime.
Tiny, waterproof, and the smoothest of the bunch (and on the planet) – the latest version of the GoPro Hero series is born ready for action. Forgive the pun, but it’s truly ‘smooth AF’ in any situation.
Infinitely moddable, and capable of 4K or up to 240 fps, Hero 8 Black is more than able to capture any kind of action. The flip screen comes in handy for YouTubers and vloggers, while 3 built-in microphones with wind noise reduction ensure clear audio – even at ferocious speeds.
Mainly praised by adrenaline-junkies, Hero 8 Black is a seriously impressive offering that also effectively caters to vloggers.
⊕ Unrivaled stabilization
⊕ Impressive image quality for its size
⊖ Weak Low-light performance
Great budget option if you can live with 1080p
DIGIC 8 powered 4K at 24fps, flip screen, and mic input, all make the M50 a viable option for YouTubers and vloggers. The 4K comes cropped though, which is why you need either long arms, a tripod, or a monopod to get real wide.
On the bright side, interchangeable lenses and the possibility for raw footage with Magic Lantern, offer some compensation for these shortcomings.
Overall, EOS M50 makes up for a solid choice – in particular for vloggers who are just getting in the game.
⊕ Built-in viewfinder
⊖ 1080P, cropped 4K.
⊖ Low battery life (235 shots)
Ultra-portable and user friendly
Perhaps this is a surprise inclusion here among the best vlogging cameras but since the best camera is the one you have, the 4.09oz Osmo Pocket is most likely to be joining you on any adventure.
And despite the microscopic dimensions, it shoots full 4K. With a fixed focal length and less than stellar audio, you are running into a few limitations as a vlogger. But fear not; limitations inspire creativity. Osmo Pocket is somewhat of a GoPro Hero alternative – with its own twist and a rather unique design.
Being one of the most user-friendly cameras you can find, it’s even waterproof (without a case), and a smaller entry barrier than Hero 8 Black. You get dead-smooth footage, too. In fact, it rivals that of Hero 7 Black.
⊕ Ease of use
⊖ Fixed screen, fixed focal length
Honorable mentions for Best Vlogging Cameras
No list would be entirely fair and complete, without honorable mentions.
Here are some options that didn’t quite make it to our top 10 list of vlogging cameras, but still provide more than adequate performance for most YouTubers and vloggers.
Modern DSLR with solid vlogging features
Although this camera tends to cost slightly more than 1000 USD, we feel it’s a worthy inclusion.
Continuing the epic lineage, the 90D offers excellent ergonomics, professional-grade stills, and superb flexibility for photographers, videographers, and vloggers alike.
Uncropped 4K and a fully articulated screen provide all you need for vlogging and low angle shots. Input socket and headphone jack make audio recording and monitoring a breeze.
Couple that with a tonne of compatible lenses and the option to shoot raw video (if you’re willing to install Magic Lantern), comprises a true creative powerhouse.
⊕ Headphone jack
⊕ UHS-II Support
⊕ Long battery life
⊖ No IBIS
⊖ Dual Pixel AF is dated
- Pocket-sized multi-camera TV studio dedicated to reliably stream live. For hours.
- Despite its small size, the Mevo Plus will shoot real 4K – or stream in Full HD at 1080p.
- Not all day, but almost (manufacturer rated at 6 hours). Audio and video are synchronized automatically, which takes the pain out of having to do it manually. Dual MEMS microphones and external options let you get professional audio.
Canon SX620 HS
- If you can accept 1080p, this pocket monster has 25x optical zoom and image stabilization, for just about 200 bucks new. An impressive 625mm telephoto lens lets you get real up-close and personal, enabling you to capture photos and footage not even possible with many of the top 10 picks.
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra shoots 108 MP video at an outrageous 4320p 24fps, and even its front-facing camera blows most of the competition’s main cameras out of the water.
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max gives you unmatched flexibility with seamless blending between 3 cameras with varying focal lengths. If you’ve bought into Apple’s ecosystem, this might be your best option (and always by your side).
- Huawei P40 Pro offers 50 MP footage at 2160, 60fps. Huawei continues to challenge the big boys while maintaining a highly competitive price point, depending on the model.
Questions To Consider About Vlogging Cameras
What will you be filming? Where will it happen? Where and how will it be shared? What’s most important to you in a camera?
Are you looking to upgrade your current videography or vlogging kit? Ask yourself this:
Which lens system are you invested in? What difference are you gaining for the price? What problems do you want to solve by upgrading?
How else could it be solved? How future-proof is the new camera? What’s your budget?
If you are feeling a bit lost in the jungle at any stage, it’s understandable. Never before have the options been this plentiful. And as you know, creativity does not rely on the tool – but the right tool certainly helps.
Summing it all up
When it comes to the best vlogging cameras, it’s a buyers market in 2020. As long as you know what you want, the options are abundant and the trends are clear; video consumption is still on the rise.
4K and mirrorless are becoming commonplace. ‘Nimble, capable, and connected’ are the traits that seem to be favored by YouTubers, vloggers, and other creators alike. For us though, it’s the Sony ZV-1 that pips the others to the post.
There is something for everybody – ranging from beginners or even first-timers – to professional vloggers, videographers, and production studios.
Nobody ever said you can only have one, either. As there is no one camera best for all purposes, nothing stops you from rocking a combination of multiple GoPros, or even a fully outfitted DSLR for the studio and an Osmo Pocket for the city walk.
It is not uncommon to have 2 or more cameras that complement each other. Keep in mind though, if your aim is to use the footage side by side, you’ll have to match color balance, exposure, and color grading.
Now, over to you… we’d love to hear your thoughts below on our roundup of the best vlogging cameras under 1000 USD.