Video Cameras for Filming YouTube Videos
So, you want to start making some videos on YouTube? The best high-definition (HD) video camera or camcorder to buy depends on a few of your needs. We know of some individuals who not only make YouTube videos for fun, but make quite a lot of money while doing so. Fortunately for many of us as technology continues to advance, some video cameras (particularly the popular DSLR cameras) and camcorders are quite affordable. Let’s take a look at what exactly you should be looking for when it comes to video cameras and camcorders for YouTube in particular and what our recommendations are.
How much do you have in your video camera budget?
As always in our shopping guides, this will be a very big deciding factor when it comes to which video camera is best for you. For this particular topic, the price range is relatively wide since there are so many options out there. As you continue reading, we list the different types of cameras that you should look at, and with those even come their own price ranges as well. For example, DSLR cameras can go anywhere from as low as $200 to as high as $2000. Professional-grade cameras and cinematic types aren’t usually found for under a thousand. On the other hand, some action cams, digital cameras and mini recorders get you into the budget-friendly range.
This is why we list the budget you have in mind as the first factor to keep in mind when shopping. If you don’t know yet, or are planning accordingly, make your choice first and start your savings!
The 10 best video cameras for filming YouTube
Below is our list of the 10 best video cameras and camcorders for filming high-definition YouTube videos. We made sure as to cover the bases when it comes to options for price point and camera type. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions, concerns, or feel that we didn’t include a vital model (we’re all ears to improve our list for our readers). Be sure to check out our best video editing software guide so you can finalize these videos for the world to see. Happy filming!
Buy in US | UK
To start off our list of the best video camera for YouTube, we’ll begin with a DSLR camera because they’re the most popular choice for YouTube videos since they span across many different video types (vlogging, outdoors, skits, and more). The D3300 is one of the highest rated in its category. It is our choice to list first because it will not necessarily break your wallet (it ranked first in our best DSLR cameras under $500), offers superb video quality and covers our musts for YouTube videos. It is equipped with a 24.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor (DX-format) for photos, 18-55mm VR image stabilization lens, and 1080p full HD video, so the overall quality of your picture will be there among the standard.
It is compatible with Wi-Fi if that’s what you need, and it terms of the photos, you have a few extra features like ‘Active D-Lighting’ (best for darker environments), an Autofocus system, and a handy shutter button at 5 fps. Lastly, the Nikon D3300 pretty light and easy to travel with, and although won’t fit in your pocket, is still great for those who will be traveling to film their videos or want to use this for other uses besides their YouTube masterpieces. Here’s a D3300 sample video if you want a taste of what you’ll be getting.
Canon EOS Rebel T5
Buy in US | UK
Here’s another one of the best YouTube DSLR video cameras, and it begins Canon’s dominance in our list (for a reason). The Rebel T5 is a part of their Rebel T series’ and although they have numerous options to choose from, we went with this particular model because it’s the most reviewed around the internet by far (and positively, of course). This one provides a bit lower quality than the previous DSLR, and albeit at a lower price, is well worth settling with if you’re under a strict budget. A few highlights of this one include being equipped with a 18.0 Megapixel CMOS image sensor (APS-C), their ‘DIGIC 4 Image Processor’ (Canon’s newest high-speed signal processing control unit), a big 3.0″ LCD screen for watching what you’re recording, as well as being able to record in up to 1920 x 1080 (30, 25 or 24 fps). We would recommend purchasing the Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR video camera if you don’t want to spend the extra money on the D3300. Here’s a video demo of the Rebel T5 to watch.
Nikon COOLPIX S7000
Here’s one of the best digital cameras for YouTube videos in the market today. This model, and ultimately the Coolpix line in general (a few made our best digital camera guide), is extremely popular among users around the camera world. With this model, you can film in 1080/60i video, have 18 ‘Scene Modes’ for different types of shooting environments, built-in Wi-Fi with NFC (you can wireless share photos to smart devices), and some extra Image Effects if you want to get creative. In terms of the photo capabilities, it gives us 20x optical zoom, 40x ‘Dynamic Fine Zoom’, and a big 3.0″ LCD screen for our ease of use.
It’s pretty budget-friendly, too. This S7000 review rated it pretty highly if you want some more information on it. If the Nikon COOLPIX S7000 however isn’t in your price range and you still want a digital camera to accommodate your uses, we list one more down below, but also recommend browsing through their other options to see what else fits. Here’s a cool video demo of the COOLPIX S7000.
Here’s a heavy hitter in the YouTube video camera realm, and is one of the highest rated professional-grade cameras in the market today. Although a bit pricey as compared to DSLRs, professional camcorders typically come in around this price point. If you wanted more of the pro-grade cam style this is one of our top recommendations. a 1/3″ CMOS Sensor, native 1920 x 1080, 24 Mbps AVCHD recording, and 60i, PF30, PF24 with Native 24p quality. It has an internal 64 GB internal flash drive so storing your clips won’t be a problem because you also get a few extra SDXC card slots. The low light sensitivity in this one is awesome and it has a 35 mm equivalent zoom range (30.4 mm to 304 mm).
Lastly and what really sets this thing apart aside from the superior video quality is the overall technology that comes with it (way too many to name) — infrared recording for night shooting, XLR inputs for top-notch audio, color peaking, zebra patterns and more. The Canon XA10 is geared towards the advanced video camera user or those who want to really go hard when it comes to being serious about their YouTube videos and production altogether. Here’s a XA10 video demo.
Canon EOS 7D
Yes, another one of the best video cameras recommended for YouTube videos as a DSLR — but for a very good reason. This one is about double the price as a few others in this article, but if your budget is able, steps your channel up to the next level as compared to the beginners and starters. It’s geared more towards semi-pros or those looking to upgrade their beginner DSLR, otherwise if you think you can hang with this one and want to spend some time learning it, by all means get it! You have a nice 18.0 Megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor, DUAL DIGIC 4 Processors, picture up to ISO 12800 and speeds of 8.0 fps. Full HD video comes in at 30 fps and 24 fps, and a high-tech layer metering system to help with any type of lighting you’ll face.
The whole build of the video camera is impressive as well, so if you want a solution that will give you security and longevity, the magnesium alloy body (yes, weather resistant and dust proof) will allow for that. We wish we could summarize the Canon EOS 7D all up in this little review but that would take an entire article within itself. If you want one of the best DSLR cameras out there at the moment and have the cash, grab this one. This EOS 7D review rated it very highly. For some previews of what you can get with it, check out this EOS 7D video demo.
Up next we have one of the most popular new video cameras for the past 4-5 years now. If you haven’t heard of it, you may have seen them on people’s helmets in the snow mountains, motorcycles and more. This is a camera we recommend for those filming sports or merely any body who can think of a use for a first-person perspective. You can also use it to film others using their WiFi app but it gets a bit more difficult. Also, we’ve heard of people using this alongside their DSLR in order to give their videos some more advanced and different shots here and there to switch it up. To highlight some of the video features, it really depends on which model you grab. Just know that all of them film in at least 1080p (and others can go all the way up to 4K!), have a nice fish-eye lens, are waterproof, and mp/fps burst for camera-mode.
What we love the most about GoPro HERO and the entire line is their numerous options for all types of price-points. This allows you to grab the camera that not only fits your needs but exact budget as well. If you need help deciding on which version to buy, the GoPros made WireCutter’s best action camera article. Here are some GoPro videos if you haven’t’ seen it in action. If you go this option, just remember that you most likely will need to buy some additional accessories as well.