It’s not an exaggeration to say that YouTube has turned out to be one of the most transformative media platforms in history. Almost out of the blue, anyone with a cheap camera and microphone could record everything from personal vlogs to outrageous stunts, upload them in minutes, and earn a full-fledged salary from the comfort of their own home.
This of course wasn’t remotely possible before the rise of personal streaming platforms (the beginning of which can largely be traced to the arrival of YouTube), when individuals with great content ideas had to rely on the whims of professional producers and broadcasters in order to be heard.
Indeed, it’s the unparalelled accessibility of YouTube, and the ease with which virtually anyone can upload content, that makes it such an incredible platform for both aspiring and established content creators. And it remains true that anyone can start and promote a potentially successful channel with minimal equipment on a shoelace budget.
Still, the competition between YouTube vloggers and content gurus is fierce, and if you really want to stand out from the crowd and generate the types of clicks that will cut you salary-type checks, you need to have the right gear to get the job done right.
And the good news is that you still don’t need to invest an exorbitant amount of time or money in order to land truly great, pro-level YouTube gear. There are plenty of affordable cameras that are specifically designed for vloggers and content creators, and we’ve rounded up the best ones right here.
Alright, so we know that this may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a camera that’s specialized for vloggers. There’s no external, rear-facing microphone; no fancy lighting module that’s fine-tuned for video selfies; and nothing in particular that separates this camera from your run-of-the-mill camcorders in terms of aesthetics.
But if you’re just starting out with your YouTube channel and want to land a camera that offers maximum flexibility when it comes to the type of content you want to create, this cam is probably the way to go.
It supports 1080 AVI resolution (which is all you need to shoot pro-level YouTube videos, even taking into account the inevitable compression that comes from uploading your content), features a beautiful 3.0-inch LCD screen that can be used to monitor and preview content on the fly, and a 16X digital zoom means that you’ll be able to quickly and easily capture content that isn’t directly in front of the frame.
But perhaps the most important element when it comes to YouTube functionality is a specialized Webcam Video function, which allows users to video chat with others using perfect lighting and color contrasts.
There’s also a convenient pause function that allows you to continue recording in the same file without having to restart or upload to a new destination (making life much easier when it comes time to edit your content), and you’ll be able to easily download your videos to your computer through a USB cable before you upload.
This cam comes with two 1500mAh rechargeable batteries (which will come in handy on extended trips into areas that don’t have abundant power outlets), and you’ll even be able to record videos while the camera is charging.
You also get full SD card support with the option to use capacities ranging from 4GB to 32GB, and since the camera itself is incredibly compact and lightweight you won’t have to worry about it taking up too much space in your bag when you’re on the go.
Now for a cam that may strike some readers as being a bit more conventional when it comes to a vlogger’s needs. For just a bit more cash, this camera offers a wide range of features that make it easy to shoot, edit, and upload your latest vids on the fly.
It supports full HD resolution at 1080P thanks to a 24MP lens, and you’ll be able to record at 30fps in order to ensure that your shots are clear–even if you happen to be filming fast-paced action scenes.
There’s a uniquely vibrant 3-inch LCD screen that is capable of rotating 270-degrees, and it even offers touchscreen technology that makes it exceptionally easy to navigate through settings on the go.
Supporting both photos and videos, this cam comes packed with a variety of tools that make it a fantastic choice for vloggers who tend to shoot outside the comfort of their own home, including anti-shake technology, face capture, a beauty setting (which is perfect for those must-have selfie shots), a self-timer, a powerful 16X zoom, and a remote control so you can still capture your shots from a far.
You also get an external microphone that’s handy for capturing audio outdoors, where you may have to battle against unwanted noise and wind. And since the microphone can pivot on its axis, it’s ideal for interviews and film production.
This camera’s most important feature when it comes to vlogging, however, is its specialized Webcam function, which captures the perfect frame and lighting for videos in which your face is prominantly featured.
You also get an included HDMI cable that can be used to quickly transfer your shots to either a monitor or computer for editing.
Once upon a time, before smartphones were stashed in our pockets, people actually carried aorund cameras that looked a whole lot like this one. Thankfully small camera technology has come a long was since its humble inception, and this tiny-yet-mighty vlogging cam packs a serious punch.
Perfectly well-suited for both at-home vlogging studios and vactional-type adventures, this compact cam is as stylish and retro as it is powerful and functional.
You get 2.7K Ultra HD technology that provides crystal-clear shooting at 24.0 megapixels across the board, along with a series of settings that allow you to shoot amazingly clear shots even in supremely low-light environments.
You’ll be able to easily switch between photo and video mode, and there’s a handy flip screen that can rotate up to 180-degrees and can be used to monitor and preview your shots.
You’ll need an SD card (not included) in order to store and transfer your shots, but that’s a small price to pay for such an impressive camera that offers this many perks for fast, easy, and on-the-go vlogging.
It’s a bit unfortunate that so many of these cameras look almost exactly alike, but the standard camcorder design seems to work best for vloggers who aren’t looking to take out a new mortgage in order to get the tools they need to bring in those clicks.
This cam features 2.7K Ultra HD technology and records at 2.5 times the quality of 1080P–making it easy to capture pro-level shots in virtually any environment.
It offers night vision technology thanks to an IR LED light that’s easily activited with the press of a button, and you’ll be able to capture your scenes from up to 23 feet away thanks to an intuitive remote control.
Of course you don’t have to use this camera for YouTube, but it comes with a few features that lend it to this particular medium, including time-lapse shooting, slow-motion, fast mode swtiching, a mute function, and more.
The swivel microphone on this cam is also very impressive, and you’ll be able to capture relatively distant audio clearly and professionally thanks to a covering that diminishes the effects of environmental noise.
You also get a 1500mAh replaceable litium battery that can run for up to 90 minutes on a single charge.
What tech gadget list would be complete without a piece of expansive gear that’s probably outside the budget of most potential buyers?
Here we have a truly pro-level cam that’s ideal for anyone who wants to begin their vlogging career on the right foot–with a piece of gear that will likely stand the test of time and offer a range of features that make it easy to get those perfect shots regardless of your environment.
You get a whopping 4K, 48MP camera that comes loaded with a specialized CMOS sensor–meaning you’ll be able to snap crystal-clear video at 60 frames per second even in relatively low-light environments.
There’s a 3-inch IPS flip touchscreen that can rotate 270-degrees (making it great for selfie shots and videos), and you’ll be able to pick from a wide range of presets (ranging from live show, video chat, live broadcast and beyond) that will help you capture the perfect take for a specific upload destination.
You’ll be able to connect directly to an external screen or computer using an HDMI cable for larger monitoring and previewing, and there’s even a night vision mode that can be used if you’re forced to work in unusually low-light situations.
The external swivel microphone on this camera is also impressive, and can be used for everything from conferences and videochats to more expansive symposiums and media interviews.
Don’t let its small size and retro vibes fool you. This compact cam packs a series punch and offers an impressive lens at an affordable price point. Thanks to a wide-angle lens configuration, you’ll be able to capture a wider field of view and enhance the effect of scene-shooting when dealing with large groups of people.
You’ll be able to connect an external microphone or LED video light, and there’s a WiFi function that allows you to quickly and easily transfer your captures directly to your computer for viewing and editing.
Your order also comes with two 1500mAh 3.7V rechargeable batteries which can last for up to three hours on a single charge, and you’ll be able to store your shots on an SD card (not included) with a capacity of up to 128GB.
This cam also features a handy flip screen that can rotate 180 degrees for self-portraits, and you’ll be able to select a very helpful PC CAM mode for video chats and selfie vlogs.