Although you can vlog with pretty much any camera, a screen that flips to the side or straight up makes things a lot easier. It lets you have better control of video making by allowing you to monitor what exactly is being recorded live.
First of all, a flip screen enables you to see if the camera is recording at all. I can’t mention how many times I tried to film something with my camera without a flip screen only to realize later that somehow the phone wasn’t filming at all. It’s one of the most frustrating things in the world.
Another advantage of the vlogging camera with a flip screen is that you can actually see who’s in the frame. Not only can you see if you’re in the frame, but you can also frame other objects like people or things. After all, the last thing you’d want is to keep recording only to later find out that the camera’s lens was pointing somewhere else all the time.
In today’s article, I want to review several cameras with flip screens that are ideal for blogging and tell you what my favorite camera is in this category.
The G7 is Panasonic’s entry-level mirrorless camera. At around $500-600 (depending on where you look) it’s a relatively affordable camera. Being a mirrorless camera, it’s pretty light, weighing under 500 grams. Not only is the body small, but the lenses that you put on it will be much smaller as well. That means that your entire vlog setup will weigh less. That’s especially helpful for vlogging because you need to carry the setup with you at all times.
The camera also has some great features such as histogram, peaking, and zebras. These allow you to quickly see whether the frame you’re filming is properly exposed and not overexposed.
While the camera packs a punch, there are two issues with this camera for vlogging. First of all, as a vlogger, you need nice wide angle lens. The kit lens included with the camera are 14-42mm (28-84mm in 35mm terms). Unfortunately, 28mm is not wide enough for vlogging because that doesn’t allow you to get everything in the frame. (Imagine having your face in the frame and that’s it).
One option is to buy the Panasonic 7-14mm (14-28mm) lens. That will give you a nice range from 14mm to 28mm, which are very wide and will allow you get an awesome shot. The problem with this lens is that they’re relatively expensive, at around $700-$800). Of course, if money is no object, then that’s not a problem as they’re really good lens. But if budget is a concern to you, then you’ll be happy to know there are other options.
The second problem with this camera is the autofocus. Since it’s only using contrast-detect instead of the newer and more reliable phase-detect, it won’t be as reliable. When I had this camera, I noticed that the autofocus would sometimes hunt for a while before finally focusing on the object. While the autofocus isn’t terrible by any means, it’s just not reliable enough for continuous video operation such as vlogging.
Verdict: Great camera for the budget.BUY NOW ON AMAZON.COM
The G85 is basically the G7 with some bells and whistles. Like the G7, it’s a mirrorless micro 4/3 camera with the almost exact body except for a few additions.
When it comes to lenses, the camera comes with the 12-60mm (24-120mm 35 equivalent) kit lens which will allow you to get slider wider angle shots for vlogging. There’s a noticeable difference between the 12mm and 14mm lens of the G7.
Since 12mm (at the widest) focal length is better than 14mm, that may save you from purchasing the more wide angle, 7-14mm lens and spending more money.
Another advantage of the camera is the 5-axis in body stabilization. That allows you get much smoother footage than with a camera that doesn’t have it like the G7.
The G85 is also pricier than the G7 by about $200-300.
Unfortunately, the G85 suffers from the same autofocus problems as its cheaper sibling. It tends to hunt excessively and just isn’t reliable enough.
Verdict: Nice upgrade from the G85 with a ton of great features. Get it if you don’t mind the imperfect autofocus.BUY NOW ON AMAZON.COM
The GH4 and the newer GH5 are both great cameras that are part of the company’s professional series. They’re mostly used by amateur and professional filmmakers to make movies and videos. Nevertheless, they can also make great vlogging cameras.
The biggest advantage GH5 has over the GH4 is its excellent in-body stabilization. Many have told me that the footage I looked like it was done with a tripod when in fact I was hand-holding the camera the entire time. The GH models also feature an input port for headphones so that you can monitor the audio coming in real time.
While I have known several people using the GH5 for vlogging, it does also suffer from the same autofocus problems as the G7/G85, although the focus on GH5 is much improved.
Overall, it’s an awesome camera for both filming and vlogging.
Verdict: If you have extra money to spent, get it. Purchase the cameraBUY NOW ON AMAZON.COM
The Sony A5100 is part of the company’s mirrorless line of cameras that also includes the A5000, A6000, A6300 and the A65000. What makes the A5100 interesting is that it’s the only camera out of all of those to have a flip screen which flips straight up. Sony’s newer mirrorless cameras don’t have flip screens.
One of the nice things about the Sony is that it has a relatively big crop sensor (the APS-C) in a relatively small package. The sensor is as big as the Canon’s (and bigger than Panasonic’s), but the camera itself is much smaller than those two. The bigger sensor is important when dealing with things like the depth of field (background blur) and low light (nighttime shooting).
Another huge advantage of the Sony over the competition is its amazing autofocus. It’s super reliable and just works! It’s much more reliable than the Panasonic’s. The only other autofocusing system that even comes close is the Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus.
The problem with Sony, however, is the reports of overheating. While I haven’t personally tried this camera, many people have reported overheating problems when shooting videos that are longer than 7-10 minutes. Fortunately, turning off the camera and letting it cool down for few minutes is all that’s necessary to restart shooting. Still, it’s an issue if you need to turn off the camera every now and then instead of continuously record longer videos.
Verdict: this is a good vlogging camera if you want interchangeable lenses and great autofocus.BUY NOW ON AMAZON.COM
Sony RX 100 V
The Sony RX 100 series (Mark 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) cameras are excellent point and shoot cameras that are much smaller than their mirrorless and DSLR counterparts. They’re much easier for vlogging and for “run and gun” type shooting where you need to grab something quickly out of your pocket to record a scene.
The Mark 4 and 5 feature Sony’s amazingly reliable autofocus so you never really have to worry about having your most important details blurred because they’re not in focus. It just works like magic.
One disadvantage of the RX100 series cameras is that none of them has a microphone input jack. That means you’ll either have to rely on the camera’s internal microphone (which doesn’t work that well) or record the audio separately on a different recorder and sync it up in post. Both options are suboptimal. The built-in microphone isn’t great and recording separately means extra work for producing vlog episodes.
What the RX 100 IV/V do that no other cameras in this category do is amazing slow motion. It can shoot up to 1,000 fps (frames per second) at 720p/1080p which you can then downscale to 24/60 fps for amazing, buttery-smooth slow motion.
The Sony RX 100 cameras are also more expensive than other comparable cameras (such as the G7X M II below) as well as the mirrorless cameras reviewed here such as the A5100 and Panasonic G7.
Verdict: Buy if you want a small camera with amazing autofocus, slow motion and flip screen.BUY NOW ON AMAZON.COM
Canon G7X Mark II
Last but not least, we have the Canon G7X Mark II. It’s one of the most popular cameras for vloggers and is used by everyone from Casey Neistat to Luis to everyone in between.
Many people say the camera has been specifically designed with vloggers in mind. I agree. It features a 1″ inch sensor (just like the Sony RX 100) and a flip screen that flips to the top. The lens is the 8.8-36mm (24-100mm 35mm equivalent) giving you a nice 24mm on the wide angle.
It produces great image quality thanks to Canon’s amazing color science so your colors will always look vibrant and fresh unlike Sony’s which do appear to be a little washed out.
The autofocus is great and it tends to focus on the subject with little effort. Although it’s not as good as the Sony’s excellent autofocus. It’s also not dual pixel, so it’s not as good as the one on Canon’s DSLR cameras that have it.
Verdict: Get the camera if you want a reliable vlogger camera and don’t care about changing lenses.BUY NOW ON AMAZON.COM