We’ve shortlisted the five best vlogging cameras to buy in 2018 ranging from a modest R4 000 to premium R16 000. Whether you want to increase your YouTube following or make money vlogging, you need quality video and quality sound.
How do you know a great vlogging camera when you see it? A vlogging camera…
- is small, compact and selfie-ready
- shoots full HD 1080p or even 4K video (YouTube supports both formats)
- has fast autofocus (AF) for tracking moving subjects without the blur
- has an LCD monitor, preferably tilting, maybe even with touch
- has a built-in microphone
- has decent battery life
Depending on your style, it could also have:
- an electronic viewfinder (EVF)
- manual controls for aperture, shutter speed and ISO
1. GoPro HERO 6
Small and rugged, the HERO6 is ideal for vloggers on-the-go, weighing only 117g (less than any other shortlisted vlogging camera) and is waterproof to 10m depth. It shoots 4K UHD video at 60fps, has three strategically placed built-in microphones for recording detailed audio, and Image Stabilisation (IS) technology up to 1080p for shake-free images even in low-light conditions. It has a variety of mounting options and a responsive touchscreen for when you don’t have time to fumble with manual controls. It also offers superb 12MP image quality with a bright f/2.8 lens aperture, and with added slow-motion and hyperlapse features, this is a fail-safe investment. For a more affordable alternative to the HERO6, consider the HERO 2018 that captures stunning 1440p60/1080p60 video plus 10MP photos of all your adventures. It also features voice control and a two-inch touchscreen for easy handling.
2. Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
The G7X Mark II is one of the most revered vlogging cameras currently on the market. Part of the up-market PowerShot series, it offers real value for money with Full HD 1080p video at 60fps, a tilt-angle LCD touchscreen, built-in microphone, 5-axis stabilisation and built-in Wi-Fi with NFC. Thanks to the large CMOS sensor, it provides excellent stills quality at 20MP and a 24-100mm effective focal range that covers wide-angle to short-telephoto perspectives. Even though the AF system is somewhat dated, the 4.2 optical zoom lets you get close to the action. Weighing only 319g, it offers easy handling, which makes up for not having a hot shoe.
3. Sony Alpha A6300
The Alpha A6300 mirrorless camera offers impressive internal 4K30 and Full HD 1080p120 video recording with super fast, hybrid (combined phase and contrast detection) AF that excels at tracking moving subjects. Features include a tilting LCD screen, electronic viewfinder, built-in microphone, and Wi-Fi with NFC for wireless control. It offers great image quality at 24MP and an expandable ISO 51,200 for working in low-light conditions. The A6300 body weighs only 326g and is dust and moisture resistant.
4. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Mark III
The RX100 Mark III is a premium point-and-shoot camera that’s light enough to slip into your bag without feeling like you’re lugging gear around (290g). It offers quality 1080p60 video with a clean HDMI output function for recording video onto external devices. It also features lock-on AF, a selfie-friendly tilting LCD touchscreen, electronic viewfinder, built-in microphone, and Wi-Fi with NFC connectivity. You can even download PlayMemories Camera Apps to personalise the camera’s features to suit your style. These include time-lapse, slow-motion, sports, portraits and close-ups. Combining 20MP and a bright versatile Zeiss lens with 36x zoom, the RX100 Mark III shoots high-res stills in dimly-lit conditions.
5. Canon EOS 80D
The Canon 80D is a budget-friendly mid-range DSLR camera ideal for full-time vloggers. In fact, the South African documentary adventure team, Voetspore, trusted the 80D to record their trip around India in 2017. It features Full HD 1080p60 video and incorporates a headphone and microphone jack for advanced control over audio recording, not forgetting built-in Wi-Fi with NFC. It features a movable flip touchscreen visible even in bright sunlight and performs well in low-light conditions with reduced noise and high sensitivity up to an expanded ISO 25,600. Other features include Dual Pixel CMOS and Movie Servo AF focusing ideal for high-quality autofocus in video and also captures high-res 24MP stills.