So, you’ve decided you want to make YouTube videos. You’ve got a great idea, an audience just desperate for someone like you to make great video content for, and the first few videos planned out with a release strategy. The only thing you don’t have is a camera, and the market is absolutely flooded with them. Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony, with prices ranging from a couple of hundred to a few thousand dollars. Where do you even begin? Let’s take a look at what makes a good camera for filming YouTube videos, break down some of the features to look out for, and give you a great starting point.
If you want to create high quality, professional YouTube videos, a high quality camera will set you on the right path. Audiences today are used to watching high definition video and will often expect that as a minimum. Poor quality video can have a negative impact on your brand, often coming across as amateurish and cheap. If you want your YouTube channel to be taken seriously, you’ll want a high quality camera.
However, a high quality camera doesn’t mean you will make good YouTube videos. If your content is good and you have something genuinely useful and insightful to say, many audiences will overlook technical quality. There are plenty of creators on TikTok and YouTube running successful channels with videos just shot on mobile phones. So before you invest in a high quality, make sure you have prioritized your story and your channel content. Try making a few videos first with a more affordable setup to hone your craft.
If you’re happy with your plan and the videos you are going to create, it’s understandable you’ll want to get the best camera for YouTube videos. But what features should you look out for?
Firstly, consider what kind of videos you will be creating. Are you making a vlog, which involves moving around a lot, shooting on the move? If so you’ll want to get something small and nimble with an articulated screen so you can easily see what you are shooting.
Are you shooting videos at night? You’ll want something with a high ISO and dynamic range that will bring the dark shots to life.
Or maybe you want to shoot lots of exciting slow-motion videos in a studio? Try finding something with a high frame rate that can be slowed down smoothly to make awesome, cinematic footage.
For the most part, your budget will dictate what makes the best camera for your YouTube videos. Remember that you don’t need to get a top-of-the-range cinema camera to create good content, especially as many YouTube videos are watched on mobile. But you’ll want something that shoots HD (1920x1080) as a bare minimum, and anything higher like 2K, 4K or even 8K will help be a valuable investment if you plan on making YouTube videos long term.
Once you have picked a camera that works for your needs, editing the footage is when it all starts coming together. Using a high quality video editing software like Pinnacle Studio will let you compete with the best of the best. As well as trimming and editing the footage, it will give you access to animated text and titles, color grading, and motion graphics to bring your videos to life and step the quality up to the next level.
It can be overwhelming to choose the best camera for your YouTube videos, but the main thing to consider is what kind of videos you will be making. If you’re filming extreme sports then you’ll need a very different camera than if you are filming climate change documentaries. Consider whether you want something to be slow motion and cinematic or if you need it to be nimble and sturdy, but above all make sure you are prioritizing the story and messaging because the camera alone isn’t what makes a good YouTube video.