During my time working in a camera store, I got the same question all the time: “I want to get into photography, what is the best camera to get started?”. There is, of course, no such thing as “best”, only “best fit”.
When searching for the best camera for blogging, it is important to consider a variety of factors. I know first-hand how difficult it is to understand all the tech and terms and arrive at an informed decision. Accordingly, I wanted to prepare a guide to the best blog camera choices that was simple and easy to understand.
This guide breaks down what I consider to be the best options for most people entering the world of photography and videography with blogging in mind. Please note that camera buying is by no means a one-size-fits-all market. Finding the “best fit” requires a lot more information about you and your lifestyle than any simple camera guide can account for. Instead, this is intended to help entry-level bloggers, vloggers, and photographers facing the difficult choice of investing in their first camera without becoming overwhelmed (hopefully)!
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Best Camera for Blogging: Budget
When it comes to entry-level cameras, Canon has the market dialed in! The EOS SL series replaced the EOS Rebel series, which has long been considered the best starter line on the market. With the SL2, they’ve done it again.
Pros of the Canon EOS SL2
- Great image quality
- Bluetooth transfer
- Great starter bundles
- Impressively low price point
Canon has invested heavily in the entry-level market. They make user-friendly DSLRs that come with multiple lens starter bundles, a user-friendly interface, and a ton of useful beginner features.
The Canon EOS SL2 is my general pick as the best camera for blogging and vlogging due to its high-quality imagery and low price point. It does, however, have some drawbacks which will be covered below.
Beyond the brilliant and affordable specs, the other important reason I often guide beginner photographers towards the Canon EOS SL line is that they are generally sold in starter bundles that include both a telephoto and wide-angle lens. Having these two lenses already in your toolkit will allow you to capture a wide variety of scenes. They will also provide essential learning tools for practising and understanding the benefits of different focal lengths.
All of this combines to provide an aspiring travel blogger with a camera that they will not outgrow for at least a few years, at which point they will have a better understanding of their level of interest and need.
And as a cherry on top, it’s worth mentioning that Canon has the best reputation for providing customer service and support among the major brands.
Cons of the Canon EOS SL2
- Poor build quality for both camera body and “kit lenses”
- No 4K video
- No stabilization
Though the Canon EOS series are good cameras for bloggers and beginners in general, my one major point of contention is the impressively poor build quality.
Canon is able to pack a ton of technology into a very low price point by saving money on build quality. All of this impressive tech is encased by a thin piece of plastic with absolutely no weather sealing.
As a full-time travel photographer or travel blogger, this can be problematic. You are likely to shoot in adverse conditions and your camera will be in constant commute. I have owned three Canon EOS Rebels in my lifetime and each of them has broken within two years.
This is not quite as tragic as it sounds if you consider how quickly camera technology develops. If you use your camera as much as I do each year, there is a good chance you will be ready to upgrade by the end of its average lifespan anyway. If this happens to you, you’ll be glad you saved the money that you did, and can then decide whether you want to invest in something better and/or more durable.
READ MORE: Essential photography gear for travellers
Best Camera for Blogging: Mid-Range
I love this camera for anyone, but consider the Olympus EM-5 Mark III the best camera for bloggers who travel full-time, or who find themselves frequently shooting in adverse conditions.
Pros of the Olympus EM-5 Mark III
- Build quality
- Electronic viewfinder (EVF)
- Image stabilization
For those of you who expect to put your camera through a bit more than the SL3 is built for, or who want something smaller and less intrusive than a bulky DSLR camera, the Olympus EM-5 Mark III may be the right choice for you. This is a mirrorless camera, meaning it has a very compact body that is much smaller than a DSLR. Additionally, Olympus has created a line of impressively small lenses across all focal ranges, making it an ideal choice for travel bloggers.
Mirrorless cameras also come with an electronic viewfinder (EVF), and the EM-5 has a high-resolution version. I personally love the EVF as it allows you to see how your exposure changes based on your settings in real-time. This avoids having to “chimp” (take a photo, check it in playback, adjust settings, then try again).
Additionally, the build quality and weather sealing are a calling card of the Olympus 5. In their presentation, the Olympus crew would literally dump a bucket of water directly onto the camera while it was shooting! The other point of pride for the Olympus camera is their 5-axis image stabilization. This allows you to get sharp images while shooting handheld without fear of camera shake.
Cons of the Olympus EM-5 Mark III
- Smaller sensor size
- No 4K video
The biggest drawback of Olympus cameras is that they use a Micro Four Thirds (M43) sensor. This is smaller than the APS-C sensors that most Mirrorless and DSLR cameras have. Without getting too techy here, sensor size is an important consideration in image resolution. However, Olympus has done a fine job of improving their sensor processing technology to compensate for the smaller size.
Best Camera for Blogging: Professional
There will always be a debate amongst Canon, Nikon, and Sony users. I must say that I have used all three brands and, personally, have never been happier with the features, functions, and image quality than I have been with my Sony Alphas.
Pros of the Sony Alpha A7iii
- Small body
- Full Frame sensor
- Image Stabilization
- Eye Autofocus (AF)
- Weather Sealing
- Image Quality
While Canon has focused on the new-user market, Sony has been pushing advancements in the photography industry at an incredible pace, attracting higher-end users. The Sony Alpha line of cameras are constantly breaking new ground and is the line I personally recommend getting aligned with when you decide to purchase your first full-frame camera.
The Sony A7iii is a BEAST of a camera. It is weather-sealed against the elements, provides 5-axis image stabilization for handheld shots, provides a full-frame sensor with the newest processing technology available, and has an impressive list of features.
One of the most useful features is Eye-Autofocus (Eye AF). The Eye AF can detect a human eye in your scene and focus on it for tack-sharp results with just the press of a button!
The buttons and menus are all impressively customizable, and Sony’s sensor technology is the top of the line. The result of this is spectacular image quality that is arguably the best of any camera in this price range.
Where you will really notice the improved quality is in high dynamic range or low light situations. Basically, cameras are just devices used to capture light. When that light is limited, imperfections occur. Larger sensors and better sensor technology provide higher quality images in situations where light is not as plentiful. This means reduced grain and imperfections on your images.
We can get into the FPS, continuous shooting rates, pixel shift, AF methods, and a variety of other topics, but that would get too complicated for this guide. Suffice to say that I have shot with all of the high-end cameras and genuinely feel that at that point, the power is in the hands of the photographer more than the camera. However, with that in mind, I felt the Sony A7 line provided me with my favorite results.
Cons of the Sony Alpha A7iii
- Limited lens variety
The downsides to going with any Sony cameras tend to be these three issues. While lens options are becoming more available all the time, you are still far more limited than you would be using Canon or Nikon. Sony lenses also tend to be a bit more expensive, though they are consistently impressive pieces of glass.
While I have never had to deal with Sony customer service, I am aware of their less-than-stellar reputation. Fortunately, their build quality is exceptional and I rarely had anyone come in with an issue to address during my time working at camera stores.
Best Camera for Blogging: Compact Camera
The term “compact camera” does not refer to the size, but to the idea that it does not have interchangeable lenses. They are often also referred to as “point and shoot cameras”. While they have some inherent drawbacks, the best camera for travel blogging is the one you have on you, and these rival cell phones in size and convenience.
Pros of the Sony Cybershot Rx100 VI
- Extremely small
- Sensor size
- High-speed shooting
- Incredible integrated lens
- Expansive feature pack
- Image quality
- In-body image stabilization (IBIS)
- Autofocus (AF)…
The Sony Rx100 line changed the world of compact cameras, and the Sony Rx100 VI may legitimately be the best camera for travel bloggers. In a tiny body that fits easily into your coat pocket, you hold a 24-200mm (f2.8 – 4.5) lens, 1″ inch CMOS sensor, optical SteadyShot image stabilization, Animal Eye-AF, and more features than I could possibly discuss in this blog.
If you are looking for a blogging camera that is as convenient and accessible as your phone, I cannot sing the praises of the Rx100 series enough. Cell phones are fine for amateur work. However, if you are looking to create professional content then this is one worth considering. The best travel camera is one that is capable of providing high-quality RAW photos, is capable in low light settings, and is always ready to go. Having a compact camera that requires no lens changes while providing all the power of high-end DSLRs and the focal range of 2-3 lenses combined… well, let’s just say that you’ve got a lot of power in a very small camera.
Cons of the Sony Cybershot Rx100 VI
- Sensor size
- Integrated lens
You may be confused seeing sensor size as both a Pro and a Con, so let me explain in the least technical way I can. Sensor size IS important, and all other things equal, larger sensors will produce better resolution and higher quality images. Due to the compact nature of compact cameras, the sensor size is limited. However, the Sony Rx100 series has the largest and highest quality sensor technology of any camera in the compact range.
In other words, you will not find a better sensor unless you are willing to deal with an interchangeable lens system (DSLRs or Mirrorless cameras).
Which brings us nicely to the next feature that is both a Pro and Con; the integrated lens! The great thing about this is that you get a massive focal range from 24mm to 200mm. This will be enough to shoot expansive landscapes, distant wildlife, and everything in between. The downside, however, is that there may be times when you need a lens more specialized for a function.
Perhaps you need a wider angle lens because you are photographing in a tight space, or a bit more zoom because you are on safari, or perhaps you want a lens that can provide more bokeh (aka background blur). With a compact camera, you are limited to the built-in lens. The good news, however, is that the lens you are limited to with the Sony RX100 vi is good for MOST things.
Of course, all this tech comes at a price tag that is a bit higher than most entry-level users may want to spend. Still, if you are looking for professional quality blogging cameras at cell phone sizing, this truly is the best camera for travel blogging camera on the market.
Best Camera for Vlogging: Compact Camera
The newest Sony CyberShot Rx100 VII is the perfect camera for video bloggers. While it has many of the same features as the previous Rx100 VI model listed above, there are some new key features that make it the perfect vlog camera.
I won’t get into too much detail here, but I did want to cover some of the improvements Sony made in the newest Rx100 VII as they are almost all designed around improved video capability. For the full rundown of pros and cons, see the section on the Rx100 VI above. Now add the following video-focused features and you have my choice for the hands-down best travel camera for video blogging.
Features of the Sony CyberShot Rx100 VII for vlogging
- Microphone Jack: Extremely important if you plan on doing much commentating.
- Movie Eye AF: Sony introduced the Eye-AF feature, which detects an eye in your scene and uses that as the autofocus point. This is an incredibly powerful feature. The new Rx100 VII is able to use this feature in video mode to ensure your subject is in tack-sharp focus at all times.
- Improved Stabilization (IBIS): Having a stabilized camera is essential for creating smooth footage. Image stabilization is often achieved with a gimbal, which may still be necessary. However, the improved IBIS on the Sony RX100 VII is said to rival that of the new GoPro Hero 7, which has eliminated the need for a gimbal altogether! I’d be shocked to see if this truly performs at that level but, if it does, you will have a video monster in your hands!
Best Camera for Video Blogging: Budget
The latest and greatest in the Canon EOS SL series is the SL3. Previously, I discussed the SL2 as being the best camera for bloggers, and my general recommendation. This is because the Canon EOS SL3 comes at a higher price point than the SL2, and the additional features would really only interest users whose priority is video.
Pros of the Canon SL3
- Lightest DSLR on the market
- 4K Video
- Fully-Articulated Screen
- Starter Bundles, Bluetooth
- Impressively low price point
- Live View AF
If you are buying your first DSLR with video in mind, it is worth paying the extra money to move up to the Canon EOS SL3 from the SL2. The cameras are virtually identical, but the SL3 provides the following important upgrades:
1) 4K Video – Where the SL2 was limited to Full HD, the newer model provides 4K shooting.
2) Extended Battery Life – Battery life is important for vloggers as videography is more battery intensive than still photography.
3) Digic 8 – Basically just the newest line of sensor processing technology from Canon. You likely won’t notice the difference between Digic 7 and Digic 8. However, the sensor is the most important component of the camera so new tech is always a good thing.
4) Live View AF – Whereas most photographers will use the viewfinder (aka the eyepiece) to shoot through, most videographers and vloggers will use the Live View (aka the screen). The SL3 has made a large improvement on the ability to autofocus in Live View mode, which is a huge factor to consider when comparing the best cameras for vlogging.
5) Guided User-Interface – While Canon cameras have always been considered the most user-friendly, they have gone one step further with the newest interface, which explains what each setting and feature is used for.
Video-minded vloggers will also love the fully-articulated screen, meaning it can swivel in any direction (including selfie-mode).
All in all, this is a good vlogging camera for most beginners who have video in mind. For bloggers and photography-minded users, go with the SL2 and invest those savings on other equipment.
Canon EOS SL3
- Poor build quality
- No stabilization
As mentioned in the Canon EOS SL2 section above, these great cameras are made affordable by sacrificing build quality. If this camera is often exposed to the elements, expect it to stuff up. Dust, dirt, sand, ocean spray, rain, all of this will find its way into your electronics as the camera has virtually no weather sealing. If you are shooting primarily indoors, you have nothing to worry about… so long as you never, ever drop it, of course.
The other point worth mentioning is that with no stabilization, you will absolutely need a gimbal or at least a tripod if you are planning on shooting video.
Best Camera for Vlogging: Mid-Range/Professional
Generally considered the best camera for video blogging/amateur filmmaking on the market, the Lumix GH-5 is worth the investment for those who aspire to create commercial-quality video content.
Pros of the Panasonic Lumix GH5
- 4K60p video
- Comprehensive Video Recording Options
- Fully Articulated Screen
- 10-Bit color
- 5-Axis Stabilization (IBIS)
While often neglected in conversation against the other major brands, the Lumix line of cameras has carved out its niche in the video world. For some years now, the GH5 has been considered the best vlogging camera on the market; after all, it was designed for that purpose.
It is incredibly well stabilized allowing smooth handheld footage. The Lumix GH5 also has the deepest color range of any camera available, which at the time of writing is the only camera to offer 10-bit color in a consumer camera. The Lumix GH5 also employs a technique called oversampling, wherein 5.1k video is rendered to 4k in order to use the entire full width of the sensor. This provides better video resolution than any other APS-C sensor-based camera.
Admittedly, video is not my thing, so I am likely still selling this camera short. What I know for certain is that it was the most coveted and sold camera for videographers at the store I worked at and continues to be the choice of most.
Cons of the Panasonic Lumix GH5
Some users have found the autofocus to be slow, while others have said it was fine. This probably has a lot to do with what you are capturing and the environment you are in.
Best Camera for Blogging/Vlogging: Action Camera
Can an action camera really be a viable option for blogging/vlogging? For some, this tiny camera may be the BEST option. While it is really just an accessory for me, I do find myself turning to the GoPro Hero 9 Black in many specific instances.
Pros of the GoPro Hero 9 Black
- Tiny size
- Touch screen interface
- 5K video recording
- Unbeatable stabilization
- Waterproof to 10m
You may be surprised how many professionals I’ve met who consider the best camera for blogging to be the small, compact GoPro Hero 9 Black. It makes sense, especially for travel and adventure bloggers who value size and durability above all else.
Having a camera that fits easily into your pocket, records in 5K, is waterproof, and is very durable is a pretty powerful tool! Combine that with the GoPro Hero 9s ability to deliver buttery-smooth video without a gimbal and you’ve got a strong argument for this little action camera to take the prize for the best available option.
Cons of the GoPro Hero 9 Black
- Small sensor
- Poor microphone
- Fixed lens
There are, of course, some real arguments against the GoPro as your primary blogging or vlogging camera. Perhaps most notable is the small sensor. Despite being almost double the sensor size of the GoPro Hero 7 and 8, it is still a small 20MP sensor that delivers limited resolution for both photos and videos. The photos are likely to require a lot of post-processing work, though the videos are perfectly suitable for most amateur productions, ie. YouTubers.
You are also limited to the one fixed lens that comes standard with the GoPro. It is a super wide-angle lens, which is great for action footage but not as ideal for most other things… especially photography.
Last, you will likely need to buy an external microphone if you are planning on doing much commentary as the sound quality is mediocre at best.
My bottom line with the GoPro Hero 9 Black is that it is not the best camera for bloggers with a photography focus, nor most serious vloggers with commercial intentions. It is, however, a powerful tool. Of course, plenty of people have made their entire careers with just this one small cube and a laptop!
Final thoughts on the best camera for blogging
If you’re looking to buy a new camera for blogging, the choices can be overwhelming. I hope this guide will help you find the best camera for your blogging needs. Whether you’re looking for an entry-level camera to start off your blogging career or aiming to step up your photography, I hope you’ve found some camera inspiration!
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Are there any cameras that you think should be added to the list?
While the camera itself is important, there are many other photography tools that are worth investing in to take your photography to the next level. Check our guide to travel photography gear to see a complete list of all my camera equipment and accessories.