The best camera for YouTube used to be a dSLR. Hey I even bought one of those — an expensive Canon 5D Mark II.
Now there are cameras on the market that are much better and you can operate them when working alone. They do auto focus – real autofocus – and have flip around screens so you can see yourself in the video screen for better video composition.
These cameras have the option to shoot file formats that work with video editing software like Camtasia and Screenflow which many educators and online marketers use to create video content.
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This video looks at a few types of common cameras people use to record YouTube videos and gives a recommendation for what to buy if you are just starting out and want to get the best possible quality for a reasonable price.
The types of cameras I review are:
- Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (MILC)
- Automatic cameras like the GoPro (see the Update below for additional info about GoPro cameras)
I cover the pros and cons of each type of camera.
My top recommendation for marketers and educators who are creating web video is the Panasonic Lumix G6. This camera will fit your budget and it delivers excellent video and audio quality. It is fully adjustable and will work with green screen and white backgrounds too.
[August 2015 update] There is a newer model of this camera, the Panasonic Lumix G7. It has all the same features like flip around screen, audio input, etc, BUT it also shoots 4K video, which has some benefits, but 4K is not necessary for web video. So, I’m sticking to my original recommendation of the G6 for those on a budget, until the price of the G7 comes down. But if you have the funds for the newer camera, and like to have the newest model of your gear, go for it.
What else do you need for your web video studio?
I’ve got a whole post on setting up your video studio. Check it out right here!
I’ve had a ton of views on the YouTube video and several comments too. So I’d like to add that newer GoPro cameras DO have an external microphone jack, so they would also work for YouTube videos of talking heads. Just be sure you shoot in good light, so that you get the best possible image quality, as there aren’t a lot of controls on GoPros, because they are designed to be simple and easy to use.
In future blog posts, I’ll be going through some microphone options as well as other gear needed to get you started in web video.