Should I Use a DSLR Camera For Vlogging?
When it comes to vlogging, it’s all about telling the story you want to tell. Whether that’s through a series of clips that show what you did that day, or just you sitting in front of the camera telling that story, you should always focus on the story. Vlogging should never be about the equipment. A camera does not make a person a good storyteller. If you gave some of the best directors in the world, the worst cameras in the world, they would still be able to capture an interesting story. So don’t focus solely on the camera equipment you think you need, instead focus on telling a story with the equipment you have. With that being said though, if you do want to step up the quality of your vlogging videos, then a DSLR camera is the best way to do it.
DSLR cameras provide higher quality HD video with the ability to swap out lenses to capture more, or less, of what you want to show to the world. Casey Neistat made vlogging with a DSLR the cool thing to do when he started posting regular content on YouTube, but that still doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Some of the top vloggers on YouTube still use Point and Shoot cameras to tell their stories.
The advantage of a DSLR camera is that you have the ability to upgrade lenses in order to capture more of the world around you. A DSLR camera with a wide angle lens is great for vlogging as you can hold it at arms length and still capture yourself as well as your surrounding environments. This negates the need for any sort of longer selfie stick (which would be pretty hard with DSLR anyways), and instead allows you to use something smaller like the Joby Tripods that you see in many of the popular vloggers videos these days.
DLSR’s offer superior quality compared to Point and Shoot cameras because they have a larger, more powerful, digital sensor to capture the images coming into the camera. Combine that with interchangeable lenses and there is a noticeable difference between the quality of the camera footage. The cons to this, however, is that DSLR cameras are not cheap and then you need to purchase lenses… not to mention it can be pretty heavy trying to hold it out in front of you with one arm all day long.
But if you really feel like you want to up the quality of your videos, and you think vlogging with a DSLR camera is right for you, then we’ve got a few suggestions for good DSLR cameras for vlogging below.
Which DSLR Camera is the Best for Vlogging?
There are a lot of DSLR cameras on the market these days, some of them are even very affordable. But which one is the best in terms of vlogging? Honestly, that might be a matter of personal opinion, but we’re going to give you the rundown of the DSLR cameras that we think will help you up the quality of your videos without putting too much of a dent in your wallet.
Canon T5i/T6iThe Canon T5i Camera are two of the cheapest DSLR cameras on the market right now. And despite the fact that they fairly cheap, they’re still going to provide you with better quality than a point and shoot.
The main thing we like in the T5i/T6i (and why we don’t recommend the normal Rebel T5/T6) is the articulating LCD screen. Without the ability to see the LCD screen while looking into the lens, you’re going to have a hard time framing up shots of yourself for your vlog.
If you’re really looking to save $100, then the T5i will be fine for vlogging, but if you can swing the extra money, we highly recommend going for the T6i. The Rebel T6i packs a lot more features into the camera while also providing more megapixels for still images. Things like NFC and Wifi might appeal to some people and only the T6i offers these features.
Canon 70D/80DThe Canon 70D (and it’s successor the 80D) are the cameras you will find YouTuber Casey Neistat using on a regular basis. It’s a middle of the road DSLR that provides high quality video at a fairly affordable price. The build quality of the camera bodies are a bit better than you will find in the Rebel T5i/T6i, and the sensors are larger. Not to mention the camera itself is faster overall.
The 70D/80D both also offer the articulating LCD screen so you can frame your selfie shots perfectly and know what the camera is seeing at all times. Above all else, this is the feature that we stress the most when choosing a DSLR for vlogging. We do not recommend upgrading to something like a 5D, 7D, or 1D solely for the fact that those more expensive models do not have the articulating LCD screen. It’s that important.
The 70D/80D will cost between $300-400 more than the Rebel T5i/T6i, but you absolutely get what you pay for. These cameras will be great cameras for years to come, until you decide that you want to make the jump into 4K, but for now 1080P still reigns supreme when it comes to vlogging, so you’ll still get a few good years out of this camera.
Nikon D5300/D5500When it comes to Nikon vs. Canon it’s always personal preference. The comparable models between the two brands are always very similar in build quality and picture/video quality, so it’s really all about what you’re used to and what you like. Some people like the way one brand feels in their hands over another, some people like how the menus work in one of the other. Whatever your preference is, either brand will work just fine when it comes to vlogging.
In the case of Nikon, they only offer one model of camera with the articulating LCD screen and that is the D5000 series. The D5500 is the successor to the D5300 just like the Canon T6i is the successor to the T5i. Either Nikon model will work for vlogging, but the D5500 is newer and therefore offers more modern features like a touchscreen and less shutter lag. Both models will give you features like Wifi and HDMI out, but the newer model does not provide the GPS that the older model does, but this won’t matter in terms of video.
Both cameras use the exact same size sensor and megapixels, so if you want to save yourself just under $200, you can opt for the D5300 instead as it will perform just as well for vlogging as the D5500.
Why Use a Point and Shoot Instead of a DSLR?
If you’ve gotten this far in this article and realized that maybe a DSLR camera isn’t really what you need for your vlogging needs then there are many point and shoot cameras out there that perform extremely well.
We actually prefer vlogging with point and shoot cameras because we value our arms at the end of each day. Not all of us are strong enough to lug around the big cameras by one arm all day, and this makes the point and shoot cameras more appealing.
Some of the good point and shoot cameras may not necessarily be cheaper than a DSLR, but there are a lot more options out there to choose from. As we’ve said before, the camera itself doesn’t make a vlog interesting or popular, it’s all about your personality and the way you tell your stories. The camera gear that you use should be thought of as a tool to get your point across… you just have to find the right tool for the job.