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The 10 Best Cameras For YouTube Videos (From Cheap To $$$)

Drumeo Team  /  Feb 16, 2024

Have you ever skipped a video because the quality, lighting or angles were too “cringe”?

While a good video has several variables that help it look pro, the right camera can make a huge difference for YouTubers. Whether you’re playing drum covers, unboxing a new kit, teaching lessons or documenting a tour, your camera could be the game-changer your channel needs.

If you’re a drummer, you might need a cam that can capture quick movements – something that captures more frames per second.

Here are some top contenders in the market, plus features, functionalities, and how awesome they are for YouTube content.

Zoom Q2N-4K ($173)

Zoom q2n 4k action camera - great for youtube videos!

The Zoom Q2n is a compact, portable video camera – and it’s pretty straightforward. Its standout feature is the high-quality sound recording paired with full HD 1080p video recording. It’s great for recording potentially loud content without having to carry heavy gear.

Key Features:

  • High-quality audio recording capabilities
  • Full HD 1080p video recording
  • Wide-angle lens for capturing detailed performances
  • Compact and portable design for on-the-go content creation

Buy it now

Dave Weckl | Zoom Q2n-4K from Zoom on Vimeo

GoPro Hero 12 ($400)

GoPro Hero 12 action camera - great for drum videos

GoPro has long been the go-to option for action content. Waterproof, with great stabilization, it captures adventures and high-action sequences in a ton of detail. All kinds of mounts are available, and they have a small footprint, which is helpful on stage and around the kit. You could even wear it for a drummer’s perspective while playing!

Key Features:

  • 5.3K video recording at 60p
  • HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilization for steady footage
  • Water-resistant build for extreme conditions

Buy it now

Zoom Q8n-4K ($400)

Zoom Q8b 4K action camera

If you shoot a lot of acoustic drums and want decent audio without needing to mic your kit, the Zoom Q8n-4K might be for you. While sharper image captures are available, it records 4K video but has X/Y mics and two XLR inputs; plus, you can purchase additional mics and easily add them on. Bonus: the extra channel would be useful if you want a talk-back mic for lessons.

Key Features:

  • X/Y stereo microphones for superior audio recording
  • 4K video recording with 12 scene options
  • Interchangeable mic capsules for diverse recording needs

Buy it now

Sony ZV-1F ($500)

sony zv 1f camera

It’s cheaper than the ZV-1, but it uses much of the same tech. With SteadyShot stabilization for smooth 4K video, industry-leading autofocus and face-tracking smarts, it caters to beginners. A fully articulating touchscreen and Product Showcase mode with a bokeh switch are easy to use, make it a strong entry-level choice.

Key Features:

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Impressive image and video quality for its size
  • Fully articulating touchscreen with touch capabilities

Buy it now

Sony ZV-1 ($650

sony zv1 video camera for content creators

The Sony ZV-1 is a compact and powerful option made just for content creators – the side flip “selfie” screen lets you make sure that you (and your kit) are in the shot! Its 20.1-megapixel Exmor RS CMOS sensor and 24-70mm equivalent lens make it ideal for vlogging and close-up shots. With impressive autofocus capabilities and real-time Eye AF tracking, it gives you sharp, focused footage – even when you’re moving around.

Key Features:

  • 4K video recording at 30p
  • Vari-angle LCD screen for convenient framing
  • Product Showcase Setting for seamless focus transitions

Buy it now

Nikon Z30 ($700)

nikon z30 video camera

The Nikon Z30 is a user-friendly mirrorless camera that caters to budding videographers. This compact and light model features a 20.9-megapixel CMOS sensor and EXPEED 6 image processor, delivering sharp imagery and smooth video recording. This one works well in low light and has a flip-out screen. You can record for up to 125 minutes in 1080p, or 35 minutes in 4K.

Key Features:

  • Full HD video recording at 60p
  • Flip-out LCD screen for easy live monitoring
  • Enhanced Eye-Detection AF for accurate focus

Buy it now

iPhone 15 Pro Max ($1199)

iphone 15 pro max - takes great videos

Did you know your phone’s camera might be good enough to produce pro-grade video content? While it’s obviously more than just a camera, iPhones now include advanced, versatile photography capabilities and features, like Dolby Vision HDR recording and ProRAW format, make it easy to shoot high-quality videos. 

Key Features:

  • Computational photography for enhanced image and video quality
  • Dolby Vision HDR recording for dynamic and vibrant footage
  • ProRAW format for greater editing flexibility
  • Versatile and user-friendly interface

Buy it now

Fujifilm X-S20 ($1300)

fujifilm xs20 camera

The Fujifilm X-S20 is a versatile mirrorless camera for photography and videography. It’s one of the more expensive on this list, but the X-S20 is worth the price. It’s user-friendly and delivers awesome image quality with a 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4, letting you record 4K video and even select “film simulation” mode for an analog vibe.

Key Features:

  • 4K video recording with diverse shooting modes
  • In-body image stabilization for steady footage
  • Intuitive handling and user-friendly interface

Buy it now

Panasonic Lumix GH6 ($2300)

panasonic lumix gh6 video camera

If you’re looking at the higher end of the scale, the Panasonic Lumix GH6 is a powerhouse designed specifically for videography. Sporting a 25.2-megapixel sensor and the Venus Engine image processor, it delivers top video quality, especially for high-resolution 5.7K recording. It might be a little “extra” for YouTube videos, but if you’re planning on stepping up your content game in other areas, this bad boy might be worth the coin.

Key Features:

  • 5.7K video recording at 60p
  • Advanced autofocus system for precise subject tracking
  • V-Log/V-Gamut for professional-grade color grading

Buy it now

Sony Alpha FX3 ($3900)

sony fx3 cinema camera

Okay, this is overkill for the average YouTuber. You don’t need to spend this much to create amazing content. But if you’re curious what we use at Drumeo, this is it! When video content is your bread and butter, it’s worth investing in the best. (We also use the Sony FX30, which is the cheaper, non-full frame option)

The FX3 is a full-frame camera, which means instead of cropping the field of view like most cheaper cams, the sensor captures the entire thing – equivalent to what you’d be able to see with a 35mm film camera. You get more detail, more light, and better image quality.

2024 01 25 Drumeo Awards BTS 171
Our video specialist, Ross, using the FX3 to film during the 2023/2024 Drumeo Awards.

This model is compact too, so you get a smaller, lighter kit with full-frame benefits. And there are a ton of great lens choices for you to upgrade your gear.

Key Features:

  • Full-frame sensor capable of up to 120 fps
  • Uninterrupted 4K 60p recording with cooling fan
  • Great in low light, high movement situations

Buy it now

We filmed most of this video on the FX3, with some angles filmed on the FX30.

When choosing the best camera for YouTube, think about your specific needs, the type of content you aim to create, and the max quality YouTube allows. Consider the resolution, autofocus capabilities, audio input options, and gear size.

Bonus: investing in quality lenses, mics and lighting will majorly enhance the overall production value of your videos.

Sure, you’ll need to shoot yourself playing drums, but do you want a stable camera or one that moves? Do you want multiple angles? Are you going to edit in a “talking head” in post for capturing reactions or educational tidbits? What’s most important to you: crystal clear images, or good quality sound capture?

Creating great content on YouTube isn’t just about the camera; it’s about your storytelling, creativity, and connection with your viewers. But having the right tools helps bring your vision to life. Hopefully this guide has helped you choose where to get started or what to upgrade. Now hit the red button and get the take!

Drumeo Team - We're professional, award-winning drummers and drum teachers, coaches, recording artists, and content specialists who are passionate about drums and helping drummers around the world. This post was written and/or edited by Sam Landa, Brandon Toews, Jared Falk, Dave Atkinson, or another pro on our team (which has a combined 1000+ years of drumming experience). Are you looking for inspiration, education, and support to take your playing to the next level? Join the Drumeo community today!

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