Whether you’re a well-established vlogger already, or you’re just starting out in the world of vlogging, you’re going to need a good camera. But it can be hard to know where to start, especially if you’ve never really looked at the technicalities of different cameras before. We’ve reviewed the best vlogging cameras that blur out the background.
It’s all very well searching online and high street stores, but when you’re faced with hundreds of different video cameras, all with different features and specs, it can get pretty confusing.
One thing’s for certain though, vlogging is much easier with a compact camera. Compacts are more portable, they easily slip into your pocket, and they’re great for those who don’t want to fiddle with too many settings. At the same time though, there are lots of compact cameras out there with advanced settings, so there’s always the option to get a little more involved with the set-up.
What Is Vlogging?
Millions of people all over the world are starting to take up vlogging as a hobby, and for some, it’s even a profession. But still, lots of people still aren’t sure exactly what vlogging is.
Lots of people have just got their head around blogging, so when you mention vlogs or vlogging, they simply think you can’t pronounce your Bs properly.
So what is vlogging? Vlogging is basically video blogging, usually through YouTube. People can upload vlogs about all sorts of things, from day-to-day videos, to travel videos, to monologues or discussions about a certain topic. Vlogging is about grabbing a camera and showing the world what you see, whether that’s your thoughts and opinions or your everyday activities.
What Are Vlogging Cameras?
Any camera can be a vlogging camera as long as it can shoot video, but nowadays you can find cameras that have been specifically made with vlogging in mind.
When you browse cameras in-store, be they DSLRs, compacts, or bridge cameras, you’ll notice that there seems to be a divide between cameras for photography, and cameras for videoing. This is because even the most impressive camera for photography might not have the best filming abilities.
So vlogging cameras are cameras that have great video and audio quality – good enough for you to produce a video that people will to want to watch.
The 10 Best Compact Vlogging Cameras In 2020
Here you’ll find the 10 best compact vlogging cameras on the market. If you want to learn more about what to look for in a vlogging camera, scroll down to the bottom of this post. But if you’re ready to see what’s out there, here are 10 compact cameras that are perfect for vloggers and vlogging.
This sony vlogging camera of the most advanced compact cameras that Sony has released. It has the world’s fastest contrast and phase autofocus, which makes it a great point-and-shoot camera. You can also manually focus your movies just by tapping on your subject on the LCD screen.
The fast AF system, combined with the impressive 1-inch sensor makes it perfect for filming in any shooting environment. It can film in 4K at 24fps, and even if you’re on the move, the AF is going to keep your subject in focus.
- It can film in 4K
- It has the best autofocus system you could hope for in a compact camera
- Great low light visibility
- Image stabilization
- Tiltable LCD screen as well as a pop-up viewfinder
- Impressive zoom lens (24-200mm)
- Wind-noise reduction means it’s got good audio capabilities
- It’s expensive
- For people with big hands it can be a bit fiddly
This might not be an actual compact camera, but this new iPhone is perfect for vloggers. We all carry our phones everywhere we go, and with the iPhone XS Max having such a good camera, with this phone you’ll always have the perfect vlogging setup in your pocket.
You can shoot in 4K at 60fps, or 1080p at 240fps. The improved sensor also means the image stabilization is even more impressive than with the previous iPhones. The phone has two rear cameras, so you can shoot wide-angle or telephoto.
Perhaps the most exciting improvement to this iPhone’s camera though is the bokeh slider. The bokeh slider lets you change the depth of field, so you can adjust the f-stop number from f/1.4 to f/16. This is going to give you that perfect professional blurred background look.
- 4K video at 60fps
- Bokeh slider can be used to blur the background
- It’s portable, and you know you’ll always have it with you
- When buying the iPhone XS Max you get 2 in 1: a camera and a phone
- Great image stabilization
- Slow-motion shooting options
- Possibility for up to 512GB storage
- Wind-noise reduction
- As the latest iPhone, it’s quite expensive
- You’ll need to use your phone as your vlogging camera
This mirrorless vlogging camera has great autofocus, and an impressive ISO range of 100-25600, so you really can shoot in any condition, and still get high-quality footage. It’s perfect for those who want to point-and-shoot without any hassle. This Sony Alpha also comes in different designs and colors, so you can vlog in style.
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
- Electronic OLED viewfinder means you capture exactly what you see
- The tilting LCD screen makes different angles possible
- Only 1080p, rather than 4K
This vlogging camera has all the best features of compact cameras: it has a 1-inch CMOS sensor, fast autofocus, a tilting LCD screen, and Wi-Fi, so you know you’re always going to get high-quality footage.
You can shoot in 1080p at 60fps and adjust the aperture priority from f/1.8 to f/2.8, giving you that professional blurred background.
- Advanced 1-inch CMOS sensor
- Tilting LCD screen
- Fast autofocus
- Continuous shooting of up to 8fps (great for shooting sports or wildlife)
- 2x optical zoom lens
- It doesn’t shoot in 4K, only 1080p
- No way to attach an external viewfinder or flash
This is one you’ve probably seen around quite a lot. It’s got a retro design, and it’s become known as THE vlogging camera. It’s portable, it’s lightweight, and it was built with social media and content creation in mind.
It can only film at 1080p, but it’s other features more than make up for the lack of 4K. It’s one of the easiest vlogging cameras to use.
- In-camera app makes editing easier than ever before (you can even add music)
- It looks great
- You can share vlogs on the go
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- It’s built for those who go out and about, so it has good image stabilization
- It can only film in 1080p, not 4K
- The lens is only 14-42mm, however, it can be changed
6: GoPro Hero 7
You can’t have a vlogging camera list without including a GoPro, and the latest GoPro is great for those who want to vlog their adventures.
It’s the most compact vlogging camera you’re going to find, and there’s so many different ways to mount or hold it.
The HyperSmooth stabilization is also a huge improvement on the already-good Hero 6, so whatever activities you get up to, you know you can get super smooth footage.
With a GoPro you have the peace of mind that you can use it anywhere: in the water, in the snow, or mountain biking a dirt trail. And wherever you are, you’ll be able to film in 4K at 60fps.
- 4K at 60fps
- You can mount it just about anywhere
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- It can go anywhere with you
- It’s durable, so even if you drop it, you know it’s not going to break
- GoPros are notoriously bad for their audio, and whilst the Hero 7 is slightly better, it’s still not great
It can film in 1080p, and then you can easily transfer your footage to your phone using the Wi-Fi or NFC. You can also make use of the 12x optical zoom and image stabilization.
- It’s an affordable vlogging camera
- It’s small and lightweight
- It has 12x optical zoom and image stabilization
- The quality is only average
- The audio isn’t great
This is one of the best vlogging cameras out there if you’re looking for something that does it all. It can film in 4K and has a great ISO and zoom range. You can rely on the automatic settings, or you can adjust the settings manually, but either way, you’re going to get good results.
In terms of value for money, this camera is definitely one of the best. It has all the features you could want, and with the manual control ring you can even adjust the aperture priority and blur out the background.
- Impressive 30x optical zoom (24-720mm)
- 4K Video capture
- Post-focus feature
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Manual control ring gives you control over aperture, shutter speed, zoom and focus
- Great value for money
- Tilting LCD screen (perfect for selfies)
- You can use either the LCD screen or the eye viewfinder to set up your shots
- 5-axis optical image stabilization
- The ISO ranges from 80-3200
- You can use your smartphone as a remote control for this camera
- Long battery life
- It doesn’t cope too well in the rain
- You can’t attach an external flash
- It’s quite heavy compared to other models
This compact camera is perfect for those who need a camera that can survive the extremist of adventures.
This Olympus is waterproof, shockproof, freeze-proof, and dustproof, so whatever you plan on putting your camera through, it can handle it. It’s the land rover of cameras – ready to go off-road.
You can shoot in 4K, and whether you’re shooting at night or underwater, you’re still going to get great videos.
The sports holder for it also means you can attach it to your rucksack strap, and take it with you everywhere you go.
- Waterproof up to 15 meters, or 47 meters with a housing
- You can drop it from a height and it still won’t break
- Action track sensors and data log mode allow you to track your journey whilst taking photos and videos
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- As with any waterproof camera, the audio is not amazing, but still usable thanks to the wind-noise reduction
- A little expensive compared to other rugged camera models
10: Sony DSC-WX500
This Sony vlogging camera is a great option for those on a budget, but still looking for good quality videos.
It can film in 1080p and has some impressive image stabilization, so even if you’re on the move you’re going to get smooth footage.
- It has great image stabilization
- Amazing zoom (60x)
- Good audio, even in noisy areas and intense wind
- The flip screen makes it easy to take self-facing videos and selfies
- Scene selection gives a good range of color options
- Built-in Wi-Fi and accompanying app
- Affordable and great value for money
- No 4K filming capabilities
If you have finished vlogging and wish to check out your new clips on a bigger screen, check out these reviews:
What to look for when buying a compact vlogging camera?
Each camera you come across will list different features and specs, but there are only a few specs you really need to focus on. Here’s what to look for when buying a vlogging camera.
If you want to get that professional, blurred background look, you’ll want a vlogging camera that allows you to change the aperture priority. Whilst the blurred background effect is often associated with DSLRs, you can also achieve this effect with a compact. You just need a wide f-stop range.
A good f-stop range is from f/1.8 to f/22, and as a general rule of thumb, the lower the f-stop number, the more blurred the background.
You can achieve a blurred background with an f-stop of around f/5, but the subject/you will need to be close to the camera, and quite far away from the background.
Zoom vs no-zoom
A good optical zoom is something you may or may not need, depending on what type of vlogging you plan on doing.
If you’re going to be out and about vlogging things other than yourself, a zoom could be useful. For example, if you’re hoping to record some travel vlogs, you’ll be able to zoom in on certain sights, giving your viewers a close up of things like landmarks, natural sites like waterfalls, street performance, etc.
However, if you just want a camera to film yourself talking, or to film exactly what you see, you definitely don’t need a camera with a zoom. Save yourself some money by foregoing this feature.
There are two main types of sensors: CCD (charged common device) and CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor). Put simply, and without any more technical jargon, you want to go for a CMOS sensor.
CCD sensors are more common in older models, and whilst they used to be the better sensor, CMOS manufacturers have upped their game.
Modern CMOS sensors offer very similar quality to CCD sensors, but for a much cheaper price. They also use much less power than CCD sensors, which means cameras with CMOS sensors can run off smaller, longer-lasting batteries. This makes the camera more efficient and more portable, and portability is key when choosing a vlogging camera.
The sensor is one of the most important parts of the camera. It decides how much light your camera can capture, so if you’ve got a smaller sensor, your videos may look dark even if you shot with good lighting. If you go for a camera with a small sensor, it’s not even worth trying to film a vlog in low lighting – all you’ll see is darkness.
When shooting with a smaller sensor, you’ll also find that what you record doesn’t look that much like what you see on the screen or through the viewfinder. So what you need is a larger sensor. Steer clear of sensor sizes like 1/2.3 and go for 1-inch sensors or higher. This way you’ll be able to shoot videos with more accurate lighting, and shooting in low light won’t be an issue.
Unless you plan on simply sitting and talking to your camera, stabilization is something that’s super important for most vloggers.
Even if you’re just walking slowly whilst filming, without stabilization this is going to look jolty and amateur. So go for a camera with stabilization if you want your videos to look professional.
We’re all busy people, right? And we don’t want to be waiting around for files to import – we want to import, edit and upload as quickly as possible. This is where Wi-Fi comes in.
With built-in Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to send your videos to your smartphone or laptop instantly, without any wires. You wouldn’t believe how much easier it is to transfer images and videos like this.
Regardless of what type of vlogging you plan on doing, you’re going to need a camera that can record good-quality audio. If you’re talking into the camera, or trying to capture the sounds of a scene, the last thing you want is crackly audio, or wind noise. When looking for compact vlogging cameras, look for wind-noise reduction, or if you really want to get serious about your audio, a microphone input.