Can You Vlog with a Phone? Yes But There Are Limitations. Let’s Talk!

If there is one piece of equipment that you would need above all others to vlog, what would be it? Your camera. Vlogging without a camera simply doesn’t exist, period. Being that professional cameras can range anywhere from $400 and up (easily toppling the $1,000 mark for something truly good), you might be tempted to use your already camera-enabled smartphone in place of a separate camera.

Is that really a smart idea? Can you actually vlog with your phone? The short answer is yes, but there are some pros and cons to consider, along with a few limitations that you’ll be dealing with while recording.

Phone Limitations

Let’s talk about where your phone falters in the vlogging arena. The first and most palpable problem is the lack of a flip screen. This might not seem like a big issue at first, but it will make it harder to shoot your videos. The vast majority of phones have two cameras: front and back. The front camera is low-resolution and good for video chatting, but not nearly good enough for YouTube. So, we are forced to use the back camera, which is high-resolution and makes very clear videos.

When you’re filming, you won’t see where you are in the shot. This means that you won’t know if you’re center until you’re done recording and you check the playback. Not only that, but if you put the phone on a tripod and step back to capture more of the background, you won’t be sure if you’re too close or too far away from the camera.

Aside from not having a flip screen, we have some other limitations to deal with. First of all, your phone doesn’t have the best microphone, plus it doesn’t have a lens built for professional-level vlogging. This means that your sound might be come through properly unless you buy an external microphone, and your lens likely lacks the wide-angle or focusing capabilities that a camera would normally have.

Lastly, video recording takes a lot of memory, battery life and keeps you from accessing the device while recording. Be sure to have a larger microSD card to accommodate the large video files (if you don’t have expandable memory, then cloud services might be necessary to hold the files) and consider an additional battery so that you don’t run out of juice while filming.

While a phone is acceptable as a vlogging camera, you must be ready to face the limitations. They aren’t that hard to get around, but they may keep you from the being the best.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Camera

Now that you know the major limitations surrounding your smartphone, let’s get into the pros and cons of buying a real camera. While they certainly solve most of the problems above, there are of course some cons to go along with them that present some interesting issues here and there.

The first benefit is that you finally get a flip screen. This shows you what the shot looks like so that you can easily move to the right, left, back or forward until it looks perfect. You can also see if anything is going on behind you that would interfere with the shot. This means no more retakes for being slightly to the side and out of the center.

Perhaps the biggest con is that camera cost money, and you’ll be paying a pretty penny for them. You can usually get a good mid-tier device for around $300-$400 that should get the job done, with some more expensive models having stronger features. Unless you are making most of your money from vlogging (and many people do) you probably won’t want to spend more than $600 for a camera.

The next benefit is the addition of better microphones. Whether it has a better microphone built-in or you need an adapter, these microphones tend to work better with cameras rather than smartphones. You need a good microphone because people want to hear you. They might excuse a video that isn’t up to par, but no one will like a video where they can’t hear you.

On the con side, with the extra hardware comes extra weight. Instead of carrying a smartphone around in your pocket, you have to lug around the camera. While modern cameras wouldn’t be considered heavy, they are certainly heavier than a smartphone. Not only that, but they are also more fragile than a smartphone. You’ll need a special case to ensure that your camera is properly cradled during transportation.

Cameras have a better lens, plus there are tons of additional lenses that you can buy for better effects and shots. You should have no problem getting a good wide angle shot, easily focusing yourself or other objects and in general just having clearer videos.

However, those extra lenses cost money. While some are relatively inexpensive, you might find some that are just as expensive as the camera itself. You shouldn’t have to invest in super expensive lenses, but it’s not uncommon to buy at least a few to enhance your shots.

Lastly, real cameras will almost always have better resolution. For example, most can record in 4K and some even in 5K, while only a limited number of smartphones can record 4K video (like the iPhone). That’s because cameras are dedicated hardware made specifically to record video. They aren’t phones with cameras put on for extra functionality, they are made to give you great videos that will enhance your vlogging experience.

Conclusion

Choosing your camera can be tough, especially when you’re starting out and you may not be sure how long you’re going to produce videos. In general, smartphones are adequate if you’re just starting out. Most of them have good cameras that can record HD videos suitable for YouTube. However, you will be missing out on the flip screen, plus the hardware isn’t made for video recording like how a real camera is.

While there is some give and take when it comes to getting a real camera (such as cost and extra weight), it more than makes up for this with extra quality, the flip screen and some other great benefits.

How to Vlog in Public: Getting Over the Anxiety & Other Tips

Vlogging in your room is hard enough when you’re starting out, but vlogging in public can be a terrifying experience. However, it doesn’t have to be, and there are ways to get over the anxiety and get some great videos outside. Here we’re going to talk about getting over the stigma of filming outside, some tips and tricks to make it easier and a few other things that will make this as simple as possible for you.

Getting Over the Anxiety and Stigma

There are two things to get over when vlogging outside: internal anxiety and external stigma. Anxiety tells you that everyone is watching you. Usually that isn’t true. However, the stigma of filming outside means that, more than likely, yes, people are watching you. At least briefly.

It’s easy to understand the stigma. People naturally watch anything that’s out of the ordinary or seems strange. There’s a ton of theories as to why, such as being careful of illness to the panopticon effect. Seeing someone film themselves and talking in public (especially with emotion and fervor) might seem a little strange to people, so some are naturally going to watch. For most, this will be a neutral event. They’ll look and walk on, nothing more and nothing less. Others will find your “antics” annoying and may give you dirty looks or even say something mean.

It’s important to remember that you can’t control people. As long as you aren’t doing anything inappropriate, then do your best to avoid these looks and remember why you’re there: to make a vlog video.

Now, getting over anxiety isn’t easy, especially if you aren’t naturally a social butterfly. For some, tip-toeing is the answer. Start by saying something in public that is innocuous, like ABCs or song lyrics, something that is easy to say. But, do it loud enough so that a camera could pick it up (you don’t have to film this, but you can if you’d like). Slowly work yourself up to saying personal things or topics that you would regularly discuss on your vlog.

Another method is just diving right in. Set a place, start the camera and just talk. Give yourself a few minutes where nothing matters but you, the camera and your video. Say everything you need to, and then feel your anxiety once the camera is off. Just focus on the camera and nothing else, that’s all the really matters.

Tips and Tricks

-Consider lighting. You likely don’t want to setup a massive lighting fixture for your vlog, so it’s best to make videos when the light is ideal. Not too bright, but bright enough so that you can easily be seen.

-Quiet places. Even with the best microphone, noise will be picked up from the wind, people around you and other “noise pollution.” You don’t need somewhere desolate, but somewhere that has a low amount of overall noise is best.

-Choose a background. The outside is a wide-open place, but it’s just a background in your video. Choose backgrounds that are interesting, but not chaotic. This can take away from your video and you’ll be lost in the mix.

-Use an ND filter. ND filters slip over your camera and give you a better depth of field and regulate how much light the camera takes in. This is good for making your outdoor shots look a little more professional.

-Adjust white balance. There is usually a lot of white light outside. Our eyes do a great job of naturally adjusting, but cameras don’t work quite as well. This can cause your video to look oversaturated or have weird colors. Adjust the white balance before shooting. You can do this by taking a photo or video in your area of a white card. Adjust the colors until everything looks natural.

-Do an audio test. People can forgive a lackluster video, but they’ll absolutely hate if they can’t hear you. Do an audio test beforehand to make sure that you can be heard while filming.

How to Travel With a Camera

Traveling with a camera takes some preparation to do it safely, but it isn’t hard. If you’re just using your smartphone, then you can put the device in your pocket and your tripod and microphone in a backpack, problem solved.

If you are using a more advanced camera, then you should get a hard case with sufficient padding around it, just in case you drop it. There are also some good soft cases with compartments in them that could work, but they don’t have the same shock absorption of a hard case.

Keep all of your lenses separate and pack them just like the camera. Bring cleaning supplies so that you can wipe down a lens if it gets dirty. Also be sure to bring an extra battery. You don’t want to cut your time short just because the battery dies on you.

Lastly, try not to bring everything if you truly don’t need it. This equipment gets heavy, so you don’t want to overwhelm yourself when traveling out to do a shoot. Bring a few pieces, but if you don’t reasonably think that a piece of equipment will be used, then you probably don’t need it.

When is it Appropriate to Film?

There are some situations where it’s inappropriate to vlog. If there are a lot of kids around, then parents might get concerned and may even think you’re a predator (not a good start to your vlogging journey). You’d also want to avoid big events that you’re not invited to, like a beach wedding, funeral or corporate function.

Disasters and police events probably aren’t the best time to vlog. Many people record what’s going on and put it online, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But vlogging during these times really just gets in the way, so not good for vlogging, but potentially good for a different type of video.

You may also want to watch your content. Divisive and over-the-top content can be great online, but something too over-the-top might get you screamed at or even punched. If this is your niche, then just be careful of those around you. Try to vlog when there are few people around the minimize problems.

In general, if the people around you seem calm enough and your content isn’t too out there and there’s nothing about the setting that makes you seem like a creep, then you’re probably fine for filming. Just use common sense before turning the camera on and speaking.

Conclusion

Vlogging in public can be very difficult, but also quite rewarding. Not only does it give you some interesting backgrounds, but it can also help you with social anxiety by forcing you to talk out loud around people. Just use some common sense, pack your equipment appropriately and remember to keep calm when filming.

How to Vlog with iPhone: From Shooting To Importing To Editing

If there is any phone to do vlogging with, it’s an iPhone. Everyone knows that iPhones have one of the top cameras available for smartphones, plus Apple is just made for creative work, so that makes things a little easier. However, even with this titan of a mobile device, there are certain challenges to overcome. Here we’ll talk about the accessories needed, common challenges and how to move your video files from your device to your computer.

Vlogging Accessories for iPhone

If you want to be technical, then you can vlog with your iPhone and nothing else. Since this is such as advanced device (especially if you have the most updated version), it already has an amazing camera and a good microphone for picking up your voice. You can just hold up the device, point it at your face and start talking. However, vlogging this way presents a few problems.

First of all, it limits your angles. You can only be arm’s length from the device, plus your arm is going to get tired with longer shots. Secondly, ambient noise from the wind, other people or anything going on around you will get into the video. So, how do we solve that?

A tripod, or similar measure of support, is necessary if you want to walk back a little or at least give your arm a break. This makes it easier to position your shot, plus it makes the entire process much easier. Just make sure that you get a tripod that is stable and won’t suddenly collapse after a few minutes.

The next accessory would be a microphone. Shotgun or directional microphones tend to be the best since they are very direction dependent, only picking up noise from where it’s pointed and not from the sides. Lapel microphones work well too as they stay on you to capture sound.

iPhone Challenges

The iPhone is consistently one of the most advanced smartphones on the planet, but many people avoid it for a real camera. That’s because there are a few challenges to consider. Perhaps the biggest challenge of all is that you don’t have a flip screen.

Almost every real camera has a flip screen that you can use to position your shot with ease. You can see where you are positioned even as you are filming. That’s not the case with an iPhone. Even though your smartphone has a camera on each side, you don’t want to use the front camera as it has lower resolution. This means you are stuck with the rear camera, so you can’t see your shot as you’re filming.

You’ll have to position everything from one end and then hope that you’re not too far back, forward or to the side when you’re actually filming.

Secondly, the iPhone doesn’t have expandable memory. One of the easiest ways to move video files from your device to your computer would be through an SD card, but that’s not an option with the iPhone, so you’ll have to work around that issue.

The last challenge is that even though the camera is very good, it doesn’t have the same wide-angle capabilities of real cameras. It will work in a pinch, but the iPhone simply doesn’t have the same toolset or power of a real, dedicated camera. It’s a good way to start, but you may want to upgrade in the future.

With all that said, this is still an adequate way to vlog. You just have to work around these challenges. It’s a little difficult here and there, but very far from impossible.

Moving Files to Computer

Moving the video files to your computer isn’t difficult, but it can be tedious since these files are so large. There are actually a few methods available and we will go over the most common ones. First of all, your iPhone will have access to iCloud, which you can use to save videos to the cloud and then download them to your computer. This is a viable option, but it can quickly clog up your iCloud storage, so it’s not quite the best option.

The next option is to use iTunes. Simply connect your device to your computer (doesn’t matter if it’s PC or Apple) and import the video to iTunes. This might be done automatically if you have it set to sync every time, or you may have to select to manually sync through iTunes. In either case, this is easy, but it will take several minutes or longer for the video to import.

The third method is to connect your iPhone to your computer and access it like a USB drive. There should be a dialog box that appears that allows you to access the files on the computer. Just choose to open the device and view files, then go through the folders until you find your video. This should only take a few seconds to find your video, then you just have to wait for the import.

Software

There are actually a number of apps that can help you with video editing and getting your video ready before you even upload it to your computer. Most of these apps aren’t quite as advanced as desktop versions, but you don’t always need an advanced program for video editing. Sometimes a simple program that can cut and splice is all you need.

With that in mind, here are a few apps that will help you easily edit your video:

If you plan on using special effects, then these might be a little too basic for you. But if you just need some editing here and there, then they should work perfectly.

Conclusion

Vlogging on your iPhone is a little challenging here and there, but overall the challenges are easy enough to overcome and this is a good way to get started without buying too much hardware (as long as you already have an iPhone). All you need are a few accessories, some good apps and a USB/Lightning cable to import your videos. After that, the rest is easy.

How to Vlog on YouTube: Complete Beginner’s Guide

Ready to take the plunge and become a YouTube vlogger? Thousands of people are documenting their everyday lives through vlogging. It’s fun and allows you to reach millions of people, while also being potentially lucrative. Perhaps the hardest part of getting started is getting over the anxiety and stigma, with the second challenge being getting the right equipment. This overview is going to touch on all the important areas of how to get your YouTube vlogging career started.

Accessories Needed

Numerous accessories are required for the best vlogging possible, but what you get is largely dependent on your budget and needs. First and most obvious, the camera. Vlogging cannot be done without a camera of some sort, so this is the truly essential accessory needed before you go anywhere else.

Do you have a smartphone with a camera? You can use that in a pinch, and many smartphones have wonderful cameras that can pick you up in stunning HD, but we advise you to consider buying a real camera for the job. You have to use the rear camera on your smartphone because the front one only has lower resolution, which looks cheap. This makes it hard to frame the shot. Secondly, you’ll be going through a lot of battery life, and importing the video to your computer or YouTube directly is a little tough with this method.

So, what type of camera should you look for?

It should hit all or most of these marks:

  • Have a flip screen to help position shots.
  • Wide angle lens (less than 35mm, lower the better).
  • Good autofocus (unless you want to look blurry).
  • Versatile in terms of lighting and conditions.
  • Lightweight, no reason to carry around a heavy camera.

The three cameras that we recommend that fulfill these roles are:

  • Sony WX500
  • Canon G7X Mark II
  • Panasonic LX10

The rest is optional based on your needs, but definitely consider picking some or all of these pieces up. A tripod comes in second, especially if you don’t have anyone to hold the camera for you. This allows you to stabilize and frame shots.

Lighting may or may not be important, depending on where you make videos and during what time of day. If it’s in a well-lit room or outside during the day, then you probably don’t need additional lighting. You’ll also want to consider a microphone if your camera isn’t picking up your voice very well (especially if outside since there can be a lot of ambient noise), and a green screen can help if you want to help special effects.

Software

Editing is almost always required when vlogging, unless you want to upload a video full of errors, bloopers and other issues. However, you can choose how advanced you want the software to be, as this also increases the price of the program.

If you want something that allows you to import the video and make simple cuts and edits, then use a free or low-cost program. Apple iMovie comes with your Apple computer (if you have one) and is perfect for small edits, plus it’s free. A similar program for Windows is Story Remix.

A good offering that is inexpensive but full of tools would be Adobe Premiere Elements. There are automated editing tools and a few extras that make your video editing just a bit easier.

On the expensive but very feature-rich side, we have Adobe Premiere Pro, and Final Cut Pro. You’ll probably want to hold off on these programs initially, unless you plan on creating intense videos.

Mindset

You’ve got the camera, accessories and software, but all of that is easy compared to getting into the right mindset. Vlogging is a mentally challenging barrier to overcome, especially for those who are socially anxious. Whether you’re nervous or a social butterfly, you can do it either way.

The first hurdle is figuring out what your vlog will be about. Is it about your life and what happens daily, or do you have a niche or topic that you’re targeting? After that, you have to consider where you’re going. For those who are awkward or nervous, starting indoors will be good to get your feet wet. Get a little experience finding your voice and angles before trying to take on outdoor vlogging.

Just remember throughout the whole vlogging experience that this is something you want to try, you have something interesting to share and you want to pursue this through video. Stay strong, keep calm and remember to have fun.

Friends vs. Solo

Are you a one-man vlogging army, doing everything yourself? Or, do you want a friend to help you out here and there? Having someone else help can make a world of difference. They can hold and move the camera, give creative suggestions, help with software and be there to give you encouragement.

At the same time, it can be a little embarrassing if you’re nervous and not ready to share this, and you may not be open to suggestions (be open to yourself about this, no reason to lie about it).

Friends can share the workload, but it all comes down to whether you’re really open to someone joining in.

Planning

Everything starts with the planning. Where are you going to do the shoot, and during which time? If it’s indoors, then you have to make sure that no one else is making noise and that the lighting is at least adequate. If outdoors, then consider where, when, how much light you have and how many people you’ll have to deal with.

You’ll also have to consider where and how to position your camera. If you have a friend helping, then they can hold it for you. If not, then a tripod should be fine. Don’t have a tripod? That’s fine. You can either hold the camera yourself (limits your angles, but it’s a viable option), or you can prop it on a wall or some object in your area. Just watch out for high winds that might make the camera fall over.

Another important point, what are you going to talk about? It can be OK to flounder a little during the first few videos as you try to find your voice, but try to quickly decide where you’re going with your videos. Your ideas don’t have to be crazy, but they have to be interesting if you want views.

Conclusion

Getting started on YouTube isn’t hard. In a nutshell, it’s getting the right equipment, planning your shots, potentially getting friends involved, then editing and finally uploading the YouTube. There is a learning curve and some upfront expenses, but nothing too extravagant. If you’re willing to put yourself out there and remember to have fun, then you should have no problem getting this started.

best vlogging camera with flip screen

Best Vlogging Camera With Flip Screen (Point & Shoot For YouTube)

Last year, I was looking for a vlogging camera.

The word vlog is a portmanteau combining “video” and “blog.” When most people think of vlogging, they think of YouTubers like Casey Neistat, who document their daily lives. But the term has evolved. Nowadays, anyone can be a vlogger. You can hold the camera at arm’s length, use a tripod, or set it down and look into it. You’re the director, producer, and star. It’s just you and your story.

I’ve been interested in leveraging YouTube for a long time to add video content to my sites.

When I searched Google for the best vlogging camera, there were no reliable resources.

The sites showed no real-life experience with the cameras, and there were no side-by-side comparisons between different models.

Most of the pages I looked at only gave a “spec dump” with the specifications you find on Amazon and a wordy explanation of vlogging.

After striking out with Google, I consulted my favorite YouTubers and found what they shot with (most YouTubers say what they use on their channel’s main page). If the camera is good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

Casey Neistat is vlogging royalty and one of my idols. Since you’re on this page, he’s probably one of your idols too.

Right now, Casey uses the Panasonic GH5 and Sony a6500. These two are bulky DSLRs that cost about $2,000 with the lens. That’s not what I was looking for.

But his go-to point and shoot camera was the Canon G7X.

I bought the Canon G7X and loved it.

Now, I want to create the definitive resource for aspiring YouTubers who are trying to find the best vlogging camera with a flip screen.

First, let’s lay out some guidelines before we get into the cameras.

Content should take priority over the equipment. If you don’t have a good story to tell, it doesn’t matter if you use a $6,000 DSLR rig.

Most smartphones have amazing cameras. A smartphone is all you need to get started as a beginning vlogger.

Make sure you have traction and that people are digging the content you’ve got to offer first before investing in a new camera.

My iPhone X outperformed both of the budget vlogging cameras that I tested. (Check my video here.)

But there are downsides to using your phone:

  1. It’s going to eat up your battery.
  2. You won’t have access to your phone while making videos.
  3. Importing videos to your computer isn’t as easy as it is with an SD card.
  4. You can’t use the selfie camera. You have to use the rear camera, and you won’t have a flip screen so you can’t see if your face is in the frame.
  5. Stabilization is not ideal with phones.

Now that we’ve established a foundation, here are six things to look for in a quality vlog camera:

  1. A flip screen. You need this to check if your face is in the frame.
  2. A wide angle lens. You want to get your face in the shot while still being close to the camera. If the focal length of a lens is lower than 35mm, it’s considered a wide angle camera, but the smaller the focal length, the more you’ll be able to fit in the frame.
  3. Good autofocus. The camera should lock to your face and remain stable as you move.
  4. Works in all types of lighting. It needs to be versatile. Video should look good when you have the perfect lighting and in dim spaces.
  5. Lightweight. You don’t want to carry around a bulky DSLR. (Unfortunately, one trade-off for this portability is you can’t connect external mics with a compact camera.)
  6. Zoom and flash features are useless for vlogging.

I did a ton of research on how cameras work, then bought three more cameras (to go along with my G7X) and shot a bunch of content.

During my pre-buying phase, I concluded that the following four vlogging cameras with a flip screen are best: Canon G7X Mark II, Panasonic LX10, Panasonic ZS70 and Sony WX500.

From first-hand experience, I can say all four cameras are excellent and will serve their intended purpose.

My job is to find which one is the best fit for you.

For mid-range cameras (under $400), it’s the Sony WX500 vs. Panasonic ZS70. (Video: I did a test where I switched between these two cameras.)

On the higher end (around $600), it’s the Canon G7X vs. Panasonic LX10. (Video: I did a vlog of my day where I switched between the G7X and LX10 on each shot.)

If you just want to see the results, skip to the end of this post.

[cards]

[card title=”Panasonic ZS70″ subtitle=”#4 – (Grade: C)” image=”https://thevlogster.com/wp-content/uploads/flipscreen/mini/4.jpg” link=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071R6JRZZ/?tag=vlogapm-20″]

Love

Ideal Conditions (B-):

  • You can shoot in 4K. It’s incredible that you can shoot in 4K for $400.
  • If you have perfect shooting conditions (lots of light and you’re not moving around), the ZS70 looks fantastic! It looks much better than the Sony, and it’s similar to the expensive Panasonic LX10. Colors are vibrant, and the video quality is crisp.

Battery (A+):

  • I got 2 hours and 15 minutes of battery time shooting video in 1080p at 30fps.

Design & Function (B-):

  • The grip feels great in your hands.
  • Smart button placement. It’s easy to see and hit the record button when looking at the lens because it’s on top of the camera. Also, the SD card/battery door is far away from where the tripod screws in, so you can take out the SD card without unscrewing your mini-tripod.
  • This is the only camera a viewfinder. Some people will like this because it’s helpful to see if it’s bright outside, but I don’t think it’s useful for shooting video.
  • By default, the LCD screen goes away whenever anything gets close to the viewfinder. You’ll inadvertently turn off the LCD screen all the time. Make sure you switch this setting off.
  • It’s bulky. It’s almost twice as thick as the Sony and weighs an extra three ounces. You won’t be putting this camera in your pocket.
  • Like the LX10, the ZS70 is slow to start up and shoot.

Hate

Non-Ideal Conditions (F):

  • If there’s any interference, like movement or dim lighting, this camera struggles.
  • The autofocus is reliable, but it doesn’t always stay locked on your face.
  • The lowlight is awful. You might as well do an audio recording in some instances. It does a poor job of transitioning brightness levels too.

Focal Length (C):

  • The focal length in 1080p is only 30mm compared to 24mm with the Sony.
  • Although you can shoot in 4K, the widest you can go is 35mm with the lens.

[mobile-card link=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071R6JRZZ/?tag=vlogapm-20″ text=”$400 From Amazon”]

[card title=”Sony WX500″ subtitle=”#3 – (Grade: B-)” image=”https://thevlogster.com/wp-content/uploads/flipscreen/mini/4.jpg” link=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VWJOLI0/?tag=vlogapm-20″]

Love

Non-Ideal Conditions (C+):

  • The WX500 doesn’t work very well with low light, but it’s a little better than the ZS70.
  • It’s better at stabilizing video than any other camera except the G7X. It’s impressive for the price.
  • It has a 30x optical zoom. This isn’t always a consideration for a vlogging camera, but it’s nice to have.
  • It adjusts to light and tracks your face better than the LX10.
  • When set to automatic, the screen shows you what it’s optimizing for. For instance, there’s a portrait symbol, moving symbol, and low light symbol.

Focal Length (A):

  • It has a 24mm wide angle lens, meaning you won’t need to step back as far to get your face in the shot.

Battery (A+):

  • I got 2 hours and 15 minutes of battery while shooting video in 1080p at 30fps. We’re talking about an extra hour of video relative to the expensive cameras. That’s an incredible battery life for this form factor.

Hate

Ideal Conditions (D):

  • Under ideal conditions, the WX500 shot the worst quality videos. It’s the equivalent of a nice 1080p smartphone video, but the picture sharpness isn’t anything remarkable.
  • This is the only camera with which you can’t do a timelapse. But you’re better off doing those with your phone anyway.

Design & Function (D):

  • The Sony WX500 is by far the smallest and lightest of those I tested. It’s only eight ounces, which is insane! It comfortably fits in my jeans pocket.
  • Because of its size and portability, it feels strange in your hands. The grip isn’t the best. However, if you’re using a small tripod, it doesn’t matter.
  • There’s no toggle dial for focusing or zooming in and out.
  • Like the G7X, if you’re in movie mode, you can’t hit the shutter button to start shooting, and you can’t see the record button.
  • There’s no touchscreen. The only time I find a touchscreen on a camera useful is when you want to focus on something manually.
  • The display isn’t great and can trick you. It’s a dark screen even with the brightness set to the max. You might think you’re not getting a great shot by looking at the screen, but once you upload it to your computer, it’ll look fine.

[mobile-card link=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VWJOLI0/?tag=vlogapm-20″ text=”$350 From Amazon”]

[card title=”Panasonic LX10″ subtitle=”#2 – (Grade: B+)” image=”https://thevlogster.com/wp-content/uploads/flipscreen/mini/3.jpg” link=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZHIX13/?tag=vlogapm-20″]

Love

Ideal Conditions (A):

  • Under ideal conditions, the picture quality is impressive. I’m talking about the 1080p and the 4K options.
  • You can shoot in 4K (I shot this experiment in 4K with the LX10.)
  • You can do more things with the manual focus, like set the size of the area.
  • Canon oversaturated the face, but the LX10 doesn’t give enough color. My skin looked extra pale. This is personal preference and nit-picky, but I wish there were a middle ground.

Design & Function (B+):

  • The buttons are easy to use and find. The record button placement is on top, so when you’re looking at the camera with the front facing screen, you can see the button. When you’re in video mode, the shutter button works as a record button. Also, the power is a switch rather than a button.
  • You’re probably going to use a mini-tripod, but if you don’t, the grip is not ideal.
  • The phone and computer apps are unusable. It’s easier to transfer from the SD card to your computer with most cameras anyways, but Panasonic’s interface out of the 1990s. Also, it takes 7 minutes to transfer small videos.

Hate

Non-Ideal Conditions (C-):

  • The image stabilization is better than the cheap cameras, but it’s got nothing on the Canon.
  • The low light shooting is better than the cheap cameras, but it gets much grainier than the GX 7. The lighting adjustment is worse when moving from light to dark during the shot.
  • The autofocus is faster and quieter, but it’s more prone to coming out of focus than the G7X.
  • There’s no ND filter, which means your shots during bright daylight are going to be overexposed.
  • The widest you can set the lens is 36mm when in 4K. If you’re holding the camera, it’s hard to get your whole face in the shot.

Focal Length (C):

  • You take pictures at 24mm with a 1.4f aperture, but unfortunately for video, 30mm is the widest you can go. This is enough to vlog, but it’s not ideal.

Battery (F):

  • The battery on LX10 and G7X are worse than the cheaper cameras. In my tests, the LX10 only shot one hour and fifteen minutes of video before dying.

[mobile-card link=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZHIX13/?tag=vlogapm-20″ text=”$550 From Amazon”]

[card title=”Canon G7X Mark II” subtitle=”#1 – (Grade: A)” image=”https://thevlogster.com/wp-content/uploads/flipscreen/mini/2.jpg” link=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BV14OXA/?tag=vlogapm-20″]

Love

Ideal Conditions (B+):

  • The video quality is excellent for 1080p.
  • I would love a 4K option. Although, G7X video quality looks better than most 4K options.
  • Skin colors look a little oversaturated when compared to the LX10. G7X still looks amazing, and this is mostly personal preference.
  • None of these cameras have high audio quality, but the G7X is a little bit richer and deeper than the LX10.

Non-Ideal Conditions (A+):

  • Shooting in low light is fantastic. There are a lot of times when the picture on the LCD screen looks better than my eyes can see in real life.
  • Once it focuses on your face, it does a great job of tracking it as you move around.
  • If you’re moving while you’re shooting, you’ll notice much better image stabilization with the G7X. It does an excellent job of smoothing out the video even with vibrations.

Focal Length (A+):

  • It has 24mm focal length. This is the widest angle lens of all the cameras in video mode. You’ll fit more into the frame.

Hate

Battery (C):

  • The battery doesn’t last long. I only got one hour and twenty minutes of video . Buying multiple batteries is critical.
  • You charge the battery outside of the camera. Batteries on compact cameras aren’t good, so you’ll be charging them frequently. With the G7X, if you have two batteries, you’ll be able to use your camera and charge at the same time, whereas the others your camera is out of commission while charging. (You can charge by plugging the G7X into the wall too.)

Design & Function (C):

  • The Canon G7X is the quickest of the cameras I tested to power on and start recording. This is important if you need to get the shot. The LX10 is almost a second slower.
  • The grip is amazing and comfortable. This was a significant improvement over the previous version (G7X Mark I).
  • The screen not only flips up, but it tilts down 45 degrees for the overhead shots. This is the only camera of the bunch that does this.
  • The G7X makes a sound when autofocusing. It’s only audible if it’s dead silent, but the LX10 doesn’t do this.
  • When you’re in video mode, I wish the shutter button would start a recording, rather than take a picture. You can’t see the record button if you’re looking at the camera’s lens.
  • This is probably just me, but I’m still going to leave a note. I dropped the G7X while the lens was open and I still broke the lens even though it was only a three foot fall onto blankets. The lens was crooked, and I fixed it, but now the lens cap doesn’t shut all the way. All cameras are fragile.

[mobile-card link=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BV14OXA/?tag=vlogapm-20″ text=”$650 From Amazon”]

best vlogging camera 2018

Which one is for you?

The Sony WX500 is the best value of the cameras I tested. You’ll get video quality that is equivalent to a good smartphone. It’s better than using your smartphone because it has a flip screen, better stabilization, and you won’t kill your phone’s battery.

I don’t recommend the Panasonic ZS70 unless you’re shooting in perfect conditions all the time. (This isn’t realistic.)

The Canon G7X Mark II and the Panasonic LX10 are the best cameras for YouTube that I tested by a substantial amount, but they’re both at least $600.

They’re not $300 better than the Sony WX500, but with cameras, you get diminishing returns very quickly.

The LX10 does 4K and looks a little better in ideal conditions than the G7X, but the G7X is the complete package and more versatile. The G7X looks great in any lighting situation, has excellent stabilization, and has a wider lens.

Do anything you can to get your hands on a Canon G7X, whether that’s going with the new one for $680, or a used one for $500. (FYI: The G7X Mark I is a great camera, but has a worse battery, grip, and processor than Mark II.)

As I said before, the equipment is less important than you think. It’s all about the content. Go with your gut, start making content and stop putting it off. Whatever your choice of camera is, tweet me (@camsecore) with what you create after you pick!