Best Compact Vlogging Camera Review in 2018

When you choose a camera for vlogging there are a lot of considerations that you need to keep in mind along with the video specs and the range of the camera. In this Just Digital Gear Review, we take a look at the best compact vlogging cameras for 2018.

If you want a video just for your headshot for your vlog then you can choose from your smartphone or your laptop. But if you want high clarity and excellent quality videos, then you should invest in a high-quality vlogging camera.

You need to have a camera that is compact and light. That way, even if you are traveling, you can continue vlogging. In fact, vlogging is fun when you are traveling.

Also, you can consider a mirrorless camera instead of a DSLR so that you can opt for a lighter and more compact camera which has the quality and the versatility of a DSLR.

DSLR cameras are the most versatile. You can capture videos and photos. You can use a lot of multimedia and also focus on excellent photography along with video blogging.

If you want to do travel vlogging or have the digital nomad lifestyle, then you can opt for an action camera. You can use it to capture your adventures and give your viewers a first person’s perspective.

You need to plan and list the things you want in your video for your blog. Once you figure out how exactly you will be using your camera, you can decide on the features that you will need and you can buy the camera accordingly.

Let’s check the best cameras for vlogging that are in the market today.

Best Small Compact Vlogging Cameras in 2018

We have listed below the Top 5 compact vlogging cameras in 2018

  1. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II – Best overall vlogging camera – https://amzn.to/2lYelyc
  2. Canon EOS M50 – Best latest vlogging camera & best mirrorless camera – https://amzn.to/2tYLA9k
  3. Panasonic LX10 – Best budget camera – https://amzn.to/2KSzMii
  4. GoPro Hero6 Black – Best action vlogging camera – https://amzn.to/2NsQzqR
  5. Fujifilm X-A5 – Best beginner vlogging camera – https://amzn.to/2lYUnDQ

Let’s get started.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Review

Introduction

The PowerShot G7 X Mark II is by far the best camera for vlogging in the industry. If you need a vlogging camera to make videos for your blog or for Youtube, then the PowerShot G7 X Mark II is an excellent camera that you should use. It is used by many famous vloggers including Case Neistat and FunForLouis.

The Mark II has a great 20.2 megapixel and 1.0-inch sensor lens. It has a DIGIC 7 image processor so you get an improved autofocus. The image stabilization is perfect and the image clarity is really good.

You can make videos of HD quality with the Mark II. It doesn’t support $k though. But it can shoot for half an hour up to 60 fps which compensates for the lack of 4k.

The PowerShot G7 X Mark II is small and compact. It is lighter than most DSLR cameras even when you compare a Mark II fitted with lens against only other DSLR bodies. Even though the body is small and compact, the zoom lens is fast and has an effective range of 24-100mm which is very powerful.

Another excellent feature of the PowerShot G7 X Mark II is that it adds a facility of flip-up to its touchscreen that can tilt. This makes it very easy to frame yourself when you are recording so it is great for vloggers. You can counteract the shaking of the camera when you use the 5-axis stabilization when you are shooting movies. You can do so even when you are moving around or panning. For keeping your horizons straight, it has a special auto-level function.

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Pros

Great low-light performance: The performance of the Mark II is excellent in low light. This helps if you want to vlog by the beach during sunset or outdoors when you are traveling.

It has a tilting touchscreen: The titling of the touchscreen helps a lot when you want to frame yourself when you are shooting movies. This helps a lot when vlogging.

Plenty of manual control options: Since most vloggers are professionals in their own field and not professional videographers, the Mark II has a lot of manual control options which make it easy to shoot the videos. Since you can shoot the video in raw format you can easily get back the details when you click high ISO shots.

Cons

It does not have a viewfinder: The PowerShot G7 X Mark II does not have a viewfinder which helps in taking long distance photographs. Since while vlogging you won’t need to take distance photos, it is not a big issue.

Articulation of the screen: The screen does not articulate fully. It would be great if the screen would articulate completely. Since the screen tilts downwards, you get some flexibility for shooting movies from awkward angles.

Recommendation

The earlier version of G7 X was excellent and the PowerShot G7 X Mark II is an even better camera with the DIGIC 7 processor which improves the performance tremendously. The camera surprisingly doesn’t have a viewfinder but other than that, there is no major issue. The camera is compact and is very lightweight which makes it easy to carry and use. Since many vloggers would travel and capture their videos on the move, it makes sense to have a compact and light DSLR. The DIGIC 7 processor is very fast due to which the time between the shots is very less. The playback is fast too. Since the battery life is great and so is the image quality, you won’t have any issue with the G7 X Mark II.

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Canon EOS M50 Review

Introduction

The Canon EOS M50 was released in March 2018 so it one of the most recent cameras in the market. Canon has kept video bloggers in mind while designing this camera. Since the camera is from Canon, this camera already has famous vloggers like Kai Man Wong and Jared Polin recommending it for vloggers on-the-go and beginner vloggers.

The best feature of the M50 is that it can click 4K videos unlike the Mark II above. The quality of videos in 4K from the M50 is very crisp but it does not have a dual pixel AF function in the 4K mode.

The weight of the camera is an advantage when it comes to the M50 since it is so light. It can be carried easily when you travel. Even with its full lens, it is still lighter than a full frame camera. The LCD touch screen rotates fully which again is an advantage over the Mark II. This helps you to take videos from various angles.

The videos of the Canon EOS M50 are excellent in the 1080p mode as it has the best dual pixel system for auto-focusing in the market.

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Pros

4k recording: The inclusion of the 4K recording ability of the M50 is a great feature which helps you to make excellent videos

More future-proof: Since the M50 is the latest version in the market, it has most of the features that a video blogger in 2018 will need.

Vlog-friendly features: The M50 specifically has features which are very vlogger friendly. This makes it an excellent camera for beginners and new vloggers.

Cons

Not very compact: The M50 is not very compact and is relatively heavy. This makes it a bit difficult to carry when you are traveling and for travel vlogging.

Cropped 4k recording: The 4k recording is cropped and though the quality of the videos in 4k is very crisp, it does not have a dual-pixel AF function.

Short battery life: Since the processor and the power of the M50 is high, the battery goes out very fast when you compare it to cameras of the same size.

Recommendation

The Canon M50 is a great camera when it comes to vlogging as it has a lot of vlogger-friendly features. It is one of the best mirrorless cameras on the market. The Canon EOS M50 uses the latest Digic 8 processor so the quality of the video is much better. It also has a feature for eye-detection AF so if you appear in your video along with other people, it will be helpful.

It is the latest model in the market today and has many excellent features like the 4K video mode ability, it has mounts for external microphones, it has an EVF and you can transfer the image and video files from your camera to your phone so that you can publish it easily online. Though there is an added crop issue at 4K and the battery life is short, it is still a great camera for vlogging.

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Panasonic LX10 Review

Panasonic is an excellent brand when it comes to video quality. There are many Panasonic cameras on the market which are compact and can easily beat strong camera brands like Sony and Canon in the market. The Panasonic LX10 is one of the best vlogging cameras in the market and is one of the cheapest considering its features.

The Panasonic LX10 can record in 4k mode; it does not overheat, unlike many other 4k cameras. The touchscreen of the Panasonic LX10 flips well which makes it a great camera for vlogs. The autofocus is not noisy performs well. The focus works fast though it is not very precise. That’s why you should use the manual focus mode.

The Panasonic LX10 is compact and easy to carry and gas great sound quality. The 4k recording is excellent and you can to continuous clips for over 15 minutes. The Panasonic LX10 gives you the highest definition along with the best colors.

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Pros

4k recording: The 4k recording of the LX10 is excellent and you get a high definition video with excellent colors.

High-quality lens: The lens of the camera is very high-quality which is a great bargain at its price.

Compact: The Panasonic LX10 is very compact which makes it very easy to use and easy to carry when you are traveling.

Price: When you consider that you are getting a high-end vlogging camera with an excellent lens which has 4k capabilities, the price of the Panasonic LX10 is very cheap.

Flip touchscreen: You can change the focus point of the camera by tapping on the screen which rotates to 180° while you are using the camera and are recording the video. This allows you a lot of flexibility while you are using the camera.

Wireless connectivity: Since the Panasonic LX10 has WiFi connectivity features, you can connect it very easily to Android or Apple devices via the app. You can then control a lot of the camera’s features via your smart phone. It also helps in transferring images and videos for easier online publishing.

Cons

Unreliable autofocus: The autofocus of the camera is fast but is not very accurate so it makes sense to set up the focus in manual mode.

It does not have an external microphone port: The Panasonic LX10 does not have a microphone port so it is difficult if you want to record people when you are vlogging especially if you do vlogging where you interview people.

Recommendation

When it comes to price for a 4k recording camera, you won’t get a better deal than the Panasonic LX10. The quality of the recordings in 4K is excellent and you get a video of a quarter of an hour. The camera doesn’t overheat in 4K mode.

Since the camera is compact, light, easy to carry around and inexpensive, it is a great camera for vlogging. You can create stunning videos with the Panasonic LX10. The stabilization and autofocus are issues with this camera but it is great when it comes to image quality, color sharpness and price.

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GoPro Hero6 Black Review

Introduction

When it comes to action and adventure, the GoPro camera brand is the first that comes to mind. GoPro cameras are used a lot in adventure vlogging. There are many models in the market of the GoPro but the Hero6 Black is the best when it comes to vlogging. The GoPro Hero6 Black gives great performance and is very versatile and comes at a reasonable price. You get a full-frame camera with viewing angles of 14mm, 21mm, and 28mm. The GoPro Hero6 Black is a wide-angle specialist. The resolution is low as it is only 12MP. It is great for video capture so is very useful to a vlogger. It can easily capture 4K videos at 30 FPS.

Since it is an action camera, the GoPro Hero6 Black is waterproof for up to 33 feet. The battery is long lasting and you have voice control which allows you to keep your hands free. It has a touchscreen but the screen is small since the camera itself is very compact. You get a range of accessories and clamps so you can attach your GoPro to anything.

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Pros

Voice-activated camera controls: The GoPro Hero6 Black has controls that are voice activated. This leaves your hands free for the adventure you are vlogging about.

Great video quality: As compared to earlier models, the video quality of the Hero6 is great. Since it records in 4k, you get excellent video quality.

Editing Apps: The GoPro Hero6 Black has a range of editing apps which makes editing of your videos fast and easy on the camera itself.

Waterproof: The waterproof feature of the GoPro Hero6 Black makes it a very unique camera and perfect as an action vlogging camera. It can go up to 33 feet in the water without a case.

Excellent design: The design of the Hero6 is very sleek and stylish. Since it is small and compact, it has a very new and trendy look.

Cons

Not very sturdy: Since the GoPro Hero6 Black is used as an action camera; we expect it to be very sturdy. The feel of the camera is very delicate and it does not feel very sturdy.

Touchscreen issues: When the camera gets wet or is underwater, it is difficult to use the touchscreen as it starts getting fiddly.

Recommendation

GoPro is the best when it comes to action and adventure cameras and the GoPro Hero6 Black has lived up to its name. It is one of the best adventure cameras for vbloggers in the market today. The action camera is powerful and yet very simple to use. It has a rear touchscreen which is great to use unless you are underwater. It has voice control which is a feature that is very important in an adventure camera. It has GPS and a host of other features. The GoPro Hero6 Black is very versatile and has a Wide Dynamic Range feature. You can easily edit the videos with the post-production apps of the camera. The battery life is reasonable and could be better and the camera doesn’t have plastic casing but overall it is an excellent camera for an adventure or action vlogger.

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Fujifilm X-A5 Review

The Fujifilm X-A5 is a mirrorless camera which has a resolution of 24.2 megapixels. It is very compact and slim. The body is only 40mm deep and even when you use its 15-45mm kit lens it still is very sleek and compact. It boasts of a smart selfie mode which is great for YouTube videos and the lens has a power zoom option and a retractable design. This makes it perfect for capturing great videos. The LCD screen flips to a full 180 degrees and it has an eye-detection autofocus which is activated as the screen is moved. This makes it very easy to focus as you only need to point the touchscreen to the subject that you want to capture.

The Fujifilm X-A5 is clear about its target audience for the X-A5. They have made the camera so that it is an easy switch from using your smartphone. This camera is great for a beginner vlogger though an experienced vlogger may not appreciate the camera. Since smartphone users are used to touchscreen and point and click videos, this camera caters to them.

The Fujifilm X-A5 has an amazing range of modes. The SR Auto mode is the mode which can capture everything automatically. You can also manually choose 14 modes and filters Fog Remove, Dynamic Tone, Cross-screen, Low-key, Soft Focus, HDR Art, Toy Camera, and POP Color. You also can choose from their Film Simulation modes like the Provia, Astia, Velvia, Pro Negative, Classic Chrome, Sepia, and Monochrome.

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Pros

Great selfie mode: The selfie mode of the camera is easy to use and has an Eye AF. The selfie mode is activated when you flip the rear screen to 180 degrees.

Excellent video quality: The best thing about this camera is that even though it is positioned as a beginner camera, the image and video quality is excellent.

Advanced features and modes: The Fujifilm X-A5 has many advanced video features such as ‘high-speed movies’ that have slow-motion playback, and ultra-high-definition 4K capture.  It also has many filters and Film Simulation modes.

Cons

4K video at 15FPS: The camera has 4K but it is only at 15 FPS so you don’t really benefit a lot because of the 4K. The video is very detailed due to the 4K but since the maximum frame rate is only 15 fps, the video becomes jerky. At the price, if you are looking for a 4K camera, the Canon EOS M50 is a better option.

Average autofocus: The autofocus of the camera is very average. If you are recording the video for Youtube and especially since the target market of the camera is female, the autofocus should have been better.

It doesn’t have a viewfinder: Like the Canon Mark II, this camera does not have a viewfinder. A viewfinder helps a lot in stabilizing the camera.

Difficult for one-handed selfies: Since the camera is compact and slim, it is difficult to hold and take selfies videos even though one of its most unique features is the selfie mode.

Recommendation

The image and video quality of the Fujifilm X-A5 is excellent. Even a beginner vlogger can easily capture sharp and clear videos with the camera. The camera is great for Youtube videos especially if you want to capture selfie videos. The Fujifilm X-A5 is a beginner-friendly camera that is mirrorless. Though it does not have an electronic viewfinder the LCD screen is more than enough for beginner vloggers who are used to a smartphone, to record videos of excellent quality.

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What to look for in the best vlogging camera?

If you have something of interest to show or say, you can start a vlogging channel. You can either upload vlogs on Youtube or you can do so on a blog or website that you have started for vlogging. You can even monetize your blog, website, and even your YouTube channel.

For you to start vlogging and have quality as good as a professional studio, all you need is a great camera and a good microphone.

Your camera should be your asset and should be your biggest ally. So you need to make sure that the camera that you finally buy is the most appropriate for you.

The main thing that you need in a vlogging camera is the ability to record high-quality videos. Since most of the vlogging cameras in the market have this ability, the main focus of this part of the article is to inform you about the additional features that you should keep in mind while buying a vlogging camera.

What should you look for when you want to buy a vlogging camera?

The top two things to consider when you are buying a vlogging camera are the performance of the camera in low light and optical stability of the camera.

 

The Low-light performance of the vlogging camera

When you buy a vlogging camera, checking its performance in low-light is very important. When you are vlogging, you may or may not have control over the time of vlogging and the natural light present. This is especially important if you plan to vlog while traveling or when you are outdoors.

If you plan to do so, you need a vlogging camera which can capture excellent videos even when the light is low. The low-light performance of your camera is important even when you are shooting indoors and very important in cloudy and foggy days.

If a camera doesn’t perform well in low light, the frames per second (FPS) starts reducing and then image noise in the videos increases.

The factors that affect low-light performance are:

  1. Lens aperture: If your camera has a good quality lens, the aperture will be wide so that the lens will be able to capture more light. It also gives you the opportunity to create a blurred background effect. You need to have an aperture of a minimum of f/1.8 for a high-quality video in low-light. Obviously, the lower the number, the better as the aperture gets wider.

 

  1. High ISO Noise: The amount of noise that the camera shows when the ISO is high is another factor that affects low-light performance. There is no specification of the noise that you can see when you check a camera. As the ISO gets higher, the noise generally increases so if a camera has a high ISO; it generally will show image noise in the video recording. ISO means the sensitivity of the sensor of the camera to noise. The camera will keep increasing the ISO until the image is clear for capturing as a video. The major difference between a high ISO and low ISO photo is in the graininess of the video. The grains look like they are in motion when the ISO is high. In general, cameras which have a lot of noise in high ISO don’t have much in low ISO so if you may not need a high ISO for your videos i.e. the clarity is good when you are shooting the video, it should be fine.

 

  1. Sensor size: If your camera has a large sensor, it will capture more light. So a larger camera generally captures more light because it has a large sensor. The problem is that for a vlogging camera, you need a light and compact camera especially if you are traveling. Sometimes in the same camera type e.g. compact cameras and camcorders, the sensors are bigger than in others. You can compare the sensor size of the cameras you have selected before you buy the camera.

Optical Image Stabilization

For vlogging, you need a camera which has OIS. OIS helps you to record on the move. If your camera doesn’t have OIS then the resulting video will be shaky and difficult to see.

In the market, there is this concept called ‘digital’ image stabilization. It does not really stabilize the image so it would be best to disregard it when you are buying a camera. You should see that the camera has 5-axis image stabilization or optical image stabilization (OIS).

Since as a vlogger, you may move around a lot when you are recording videos, it is important that the optical image stabilization of your camera is good so that the recording is not shaky.

Even though many mirrorless and DSLR cameras don’t have OIS, it is fine because the lens which you attach to the cameras have OIS.s  Lens which have OIS are slightly more expensive when you compare it to normal but it is really necessary as you don’t have to worry about shaky videos when you are vlogging. Most kit lenses have OIS in them and it should be mentioned in the specifications.

In addition to the performance of the camera in low light and the optical stability of the camera, it would also be great if your camera has the below features. Even if your vlogging camera doesn’t have the below features, it is fine. If it has it, it adds to the vlogging experience.

Flip screen

​When you want to record yourself having a flip screen is very important. Sometimes when you are vlogging, you have to turn the camera to face yourself and then the subject that you are talking about. So a flip screen helps in the recording.

Microphone input

If your camera has a microphone input, it will help a lot. Many cameras don’t have this feature unless you are buying a high-end camera. You can get an external recorder or check for a USB microphone.

Connectivity

It is very important for you to be able to connect your camera to other devices so that you can publish your vlog either on YouTube or on your website. WiFi allows you to connect your camera with your smartphone. This also helps you to upload videos to Youtube easily.

Location of the microphones

If the microphone is facing the front, it is better for vlogging. You can then turn the camera to record yourself and to catch your voice. If the location of the camera is at the side, you need to be careful while using the camera as when you are holding the camera, your hands may cover the microphone. You will then need to hold the camera carefully which makes vlogging difficult as you will be focusing on the camera rather than the content of your vlog.

Voice-activated camera controls

When your camera controls are voice activated, it leaves your hands free to focus on use in your vlog. This really helps a lot if you are into action or adventure vlogging. It helps if you are vlogging about cooking too as your hands are free to cook while you can control the camera with your voice.

Editing apps

These days, since you have cameras specially designed for vlogging, you get cameras which have editing apps in them. These editing apps make post-production very easy since they have inbuilt features to edit the videos instantly. Your camera may also have a range of filters and modes which you can use when you are recording your vlogging video.

Compact and light-weight

Finally, it makes sense to have a light-weight and compact camera when you want to vlog. Many vloggers travel while vlogging or vlog about traveling. For that, you need a camera which is compact, light and easy to carry. However, when you buy a camera which is compact since the lens is smaller and narrower, the video quality may get affected.  Many cameras which are compact have to compromise on video quality so you need to make sure that there is a right balance between the compactness of your camera and the quality of the video.

Conclusion

Today, vlogging is getting more popular as a significant amount of content that is consumed on the internet is in the form of videos. Even Facebook gives more preference to videos rather than posts and images in their newsfeed. You can gather a large audience for your visual content in a matter of months using platforms like Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to share your videos.

A flip side of it is that since it is so easy to create videos is that the competition has increased. You need to have excellent content and skills to pull in the audience, but more importantly, you need to have an appropriate camera so that you can record high-quality videos that will hold the attention of your viewers.

If you want a high-quality vlogging camera that is compact, then you will enjoy the Canon G7X Mark II. This is one of the best and the most popular camera for vlogging today. The Canon G7X Mark II has excellent performance in low-light and since the screen tilts, it helps in recording videos from difficult angles. The video quality of the camera is one of the best in the market.

If you want a long-lasting and durable camera which is the latest in the market, you can go for the mirrorless Canon EOS M50. It is launched in 2018 and has a lot of vlogger-friendly features. It is easy to carry and is very durable. The advantage of a mirrorless camera is that you can use it for decades. You can keep changing the lens as new and improved versions come out in the market.

If you are looking for a high-quality camera which is budget friendly, then you can consider the Panasonic LX10. Panasonic is a brand name in the camera market and gives stiff competition to Canon and Sony. The quality of videos of the Panasonic LX10 is very good and you get the camera at a very reasonable price.

If you are into travel vlogging or underwater vlogging or any type of action/adventure vlogging then the GoPro Hero6 Black is the camera for you. It has a lot of vlogger friendly features like voice control and has good editing apps. It is compact and light which helps when you are traveling and you can attach it to literally anything so that your hands are free while you use it. You can also use it as an underwater camera.

If you are a vlogger who is just starting out and are used to smartphones, then you can check the Fujifilm X-A5. It is targeted mainly to females and is great for YouTube recordings. It is very user-friendly and the features like its touchscreen and point and click modes make it feel like a smartphone. The Fujifilm X-A5 has a great selfie mode so you can create videos with yourself in it easily. Since it is compact, you need to be careful while holding it when you are recording selfie videos. The Fujifilm X-A5 has amazing filters and modes so you can get very creative videos.