BEST YOUTUBE and BLOGGING CAMERA

Welcome back to Content Creator Tips! Now that we have talked about Starting a YouTube Channel and How to Build Your Audience (don’t worry, more on this soon), it’s time to move into the how to’s. With any platform, you’ll need a camera. What is the best YouTube Camera and blogging camera out there? Buying a camera for blogging and YouTube is very different than just buying a camera for the family or general photography.  Today’s post is all about the best YouTube camera for filming and  the best blogging camera. Finding a versatile camera for both filming and blogging when starting out is important, especially in today’s market. Who better to talk about cameras then the man who shoots and edits all my photos (well the one’s I’m in) and lights me for every video? Take it away Chris (a.k.a. Hubs)… 

best youtube camera blogging serein wuIn this series we will go over topics like what’s the best YouTube camera to buy that can also be used as a blogging camera, and how to shoot a flat lay. We will also talk about things you can do to increase your online presence and how you can potentially make content creating a full time career. We wanted the first few posts in this series to focus on the basics. This led us to ask ourselves, “what exactly are the basics?”

The advice that follows is meant for someone who is just starting out. We don’t recommend that anyone jump in with both feet and start spending tens of thousands of dollars on equipment. Because being a content creator is like many careers that seem super exciting and fun, there is A LOT of work behind the scenes. Therefore you may decide that this isn’t for you and then you’d be stuck with all this expensive equipment.

WHAT’S THE BEST YOUTUBE CAMERA?

Obviously the basic place to start is “what’s the best camera for YouTube that can also be used as a blogging camera?” our recommendation works for both video and still photography, which makes it a great camera for both YouTube videos and blogging. You never know which platform you’ll end up loving more, it’s good to find a camera that will give you options.
We get asked  “What camera should I buy to start my youtube channel?” daily. This typically lead to a 30 minute to an hour conversation about what to buy and why. What follows is essentially the cliffs notes version of what we tell people.

5 Questions to ask yourself before buying a camera

When you’re looking to buy a camera, ask yourself these 5 questions:
  1. Who’s channel and/or blog do I admire? Inspiration visuals are helpful when starting out.
  2. Do I need continues autofocus in video? (for YouTube? YES!)
  3. Do I need a flip out screen? (for YouTube? YES!)
  4. Do I need wi-fi? (for blogging on the go and Instagram? Yes, but not 100% necessary, but nice to have)
  5. What lenses do I need?

Where to shop?

Our two favorite places to shop are Samy’s Camera in person and BH Photo online. If you are on the East Coast, BH Photo will be your goto. West Coast? Samy’s. When we were first starting out, and knew absolutely NOTHING. The staff at these two places were knowledgeable, kind, and patently answered all of our questions. To this day we both prefer to go into Samy’s and touch the equipment and ask our questions before buying. Samy’s in Pasadena is our favorite location with the friendliest staff. They also have no tax sales specials a few times a year! BH Photo also has a great online chat to help answer all your questions.
TIP – Rent before buying! We learned this the expensive and hard way. If you are in California, Samy’s has a rental department that lets you rent pretty much anything you might want to buy. I recommend renting on a Friday after 3PM. They charge you for 1 day, but it’s not due back till Monday before 11am! That’s a whole weekend to play with the equipment and test it out before committing thousands of dollars. I do this especially with lighting. 

WHAT DO WE RECOMMEND?

In the world of cameras, there is never really “the best.” There is always something better. The question should really be, what’s a good quality camera to buy when starting a YouTube channel and/or blog?

 CAMERA BODY

 Whenever we are asked which camera is the best, or which camera should I buy, we usually say the Canon EOS Rebel T7i. We recommend this camera for several reasons. Mainly because for starting a youtube channel or blogging, this camera is SUPER versatile and relatively inexpensive in the world of cameras. Serein’s first official YouTube camera was the Canon EOS Rebel T5i an older version of the one we currently recommend. Before Serein discovered the Canon Rebel Series, she wasted hundreds if not thousands of dollars on horrible point and shoot cameras as well as camcorders, all of which produced horrible videos and made filming and editing a nightmare.

Why We Think The Canon Rebel T7i is The Best YouTube Camera or Blogging Camera for starting out

  • For shooting youtube videos it has continuous autofocus. Absolutely necessary when looking for a camera to shoot videos.
  • The touch screen rotates all the way around so you don’t have to buy a separate monitor to see yourself. OMG, Serein would be out of frame or out of focus before buying the Canon Rebel.
  • I believe it also comes standard with a help menu screen guide. This feature will help you understand the difference between things like ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture.
  • It’s wi-fi capable. This means you can shoot photos on the go and drop them directly to your phone to post or use the app on your phone as a remote.
  • Decent sound quality. While we recommend investing in an external mic like the Rode, this will do without.
There are many more technical reason why this camera makes sense to start with, but those examples alone make a pretty convincing argument.

LENS

When you’re starting out, trying to understand camera lenses and what they do can be like trying to put together IKEA furniture (with or without instructions) IT’S SO HARD!!!
In reality it’s not all that complicated. You obviously watch a lot of youtube and/or spend at least some measure of time on Instagram, so you should be pretty familiar with the trends and styles of videos and photos. So now it’s just simple math. Figure out what they use and copy it. That’s what we did when we started out. We showed the guys at Samy’s, a video and said how do we make our videos look like that? We also did that with blog photos and Instagram photos we liked.

I want a blurry backgrounds a.k.a. bokeh

If you notice, there is usually an overwhelming number of videos or photos with a “blurry,” background. This is what’s called bokeh. So, assuming that’s the look you’re going for, a great lens to get you started with the “blurry background” look is the canon 50mm f/1.8. It’s also pretty darn versatile and can just as easily get amazing still images as it does video. Make sure to get the auto focus version linked here. Serein used this lens for about 2 years before upgrading. You can also get a zoom lens for more versatility, but the bokeh won’t be as good as a fixed lens.
The Canon T7i (body only) retails for less than $800 and the Canon 50mm f/1.8 retails for less around $125. Total you should be just over $1,000 to get you started on your journey to becoming a full time content creator.

Keep in mind

that the advice I’m giving in this series, is just my particular slice of pie. There are any number of fantastic content creators from all over the world and each of us have our own way of producing the content that we share with you across Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and blogs we use to communicate with you. Some creators prefer different brands then canon. We happen to like canon products more, so that’s what we use. Our biggest hope with this content creator series is that, if you are seriously considering investing in yourself and your goal is to one day be a full time content creator, and have a creative outlet, that you can find some help in what we share with you here.

Final Thoughts

Thank you guys so much for all the years of support. Starting this series, has made us remember the early days and what it was like when Serein, had 1 subscriber (Me). Then she reached 2,000 youtube subscribers. I remember when she reached 5,000. We were so excited and couldn’t believe that 5,000 people cared abut what she was doing. It’s truly humbling when you think of it in that way. Each day, hundreds of thousands of people invite you in to their car or their bedroom or their office to spend a few minutes watching the material you conceptualized, filmed, edited and posted. It can be really hard to wrap your mind around, but one thing is for sure, as content creator, you’re not going to get very far if people don’t care about you and what you put out. So if you decide that this is your path, always remember that someone is watching your content when they could be watching someone else’s. So do your best to make it great.
Thank you guys again. We truly love you and are grateful that you’re on this ride with us.
-Hubs-

SHOP OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

Camera Body

50mm Lens for bokeh

Mic

Remote

Zoom Lens with decent bokeh (what Serein used up until this week)

Serein’s first good camera

26 Comments

  1. Ashley Turpen
    June 12, 2017 / 7:38 pm

    Thank you so much. I have been thinking about doing a little something myself and this is good info for a starting basis. Thank YOUUU <3

    • June 18, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      Happy to help! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Cristina
    May 8, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    This article is so so helpful! Thanks for posting. I’ve been wanting to start a youtube channel for a while but the main things holding me back are my lack of camera knowledge and editing knowledge. I obviously don’t want to spend tons of money on equipment that does not work for me, or that I do not have the skills to use. This article has given me a bit more confidence and a good starting point to jump off from.

  3. May 4, 2017 / 8:49 am

    This is the camera I have on my wishlist! I currently have the Sony A6000, which is great for blog photos but terrible for YT! The screen doesn’t flip and there’s no way to connect to a monitor. I literally shoot my videos blind! The autofocus is good though, which helps a lot.

    Jenn │ Beauty by Jellybean

    • May 6, 2017 / 12:54 pm

      Oh I feel you! I went through dozens of no flip screen cameras without the good auto focus that the Sony has! It was a nightmare! I believe there is a version of the Sony you have with a flip screen, I think I had the Sony a500? I can’t remember now. I used it for vlogging and blog photos a few years ago.

  4. LeddyFZM
    May 2, 2017 / 10:16 pm

    This is great info. And the source! Can’t beat that!:) Definitely bookmarking this. I don’t have plans to start a YouTube channel (although who knows lol), but I love taking photos, and making short family/friend videos on special occasions. I’ve spent money on cameras that turned out to be so disappointing.

    Love this series!

    • May 3, 2017 / 8:05 pm

      So happy you found the post helpful even for everyday! Thanks for reading Leddy xoxo

  5. Stephanie
    May 2, 2017 / 9:14 am

    Thanks soooooo much Serein and (Hubs)!!!! Love love this Series! It truly is so helpful. My hubs did purchase a camera for me about two months ago with the lense. It’s​ a
    Canon T6i … And the lense he got me was the sigma 18-35 mm (almost positive). I did upgrade from a Canon video recording camera… Shoot, I can’t remember the name… But it was like a mini camcorder… From the videos I’ve done I’ve noticed a huge difference in quality. Which is definitely to be expected… I just hope we didn’t just waste money. I’m so incredibly happy with the purchase he made though. So it is a tad bit older and I still get the blurry background. I’m still learning how to try and use the camera, but it’s like another language… Again I truly appreciate these blogs and you two taking the time to do them. Thank you a million times over! Have an amazing day, you two! Xoxoxoxo

    • May 3, 2017 / 8:07 pm

      I think he did a great job with what he got you! The differences between the 6i and 7i are very minimal. I worked with the 5i for a long time before upgrading. Good luck!
      xoxo
      Serein

  6. Catherine
    May 1, 2017 / 3:27 pm

    Hi Serein! Thank you for doing this series!! I find it very helpful. I’ve been wanting to create my own YouTube channel for a long time now. In fact, for a few years. I know what kind of channel I want and why I want to do it. I know the content I want to create and the message I want to send. I’m older then the average youtuber (44 on 5/24), especially in the beauty world. I can purchase the camera and all the other needed equipment. Here is my problem and I don’t know if anyone can help me with this. I’m petrified!! I’m scared to death that I can’t do it and I’d only make a huge fool of myself. Except for my daughter, I have not told a single soul. Not even my husband. I think everyone else in my life would think I’m insane but more then that I doubt myself. Did you ever feel that way? Were you ever afraid to do it? So afraid that you get clammy just thinking about it? If so, do you have any suggestions? Did you do have to find ways to conquer your fear of doing a YouTube job? I’d love to see a post about how you felt when you first started and if you would’ve done anything differently. Thank you Serein and Hubs!! Serein you are still my favorite youtuber/vlogger! I’m so grateful I found your channel when I did! I also hope that if I ever get the courage to face my fears and go for it that I can be as genuine as you are.

    • May 3, 2017 / 8:09 pm

      That’s a great idea, I need to write about starting. It’s hard, it’s scary, but to be honest, just do it and don’t tell anyone at first. I did it without telling hubs at first. I just locked myself in our office and started making videos. When I finally did tell him he was excited and happy for me. There’s more to it, but anyone who isn’t supportive has their own issues and insecurities. The hardest thing to do is start.

  7. May 1, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    Great advice! My Canon Rebel T5i was one of the best investments I’ve made! I get confused about lenses though. I have a Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens and I’m wondering how you think I would compare to the one you mentioned. I have mixed feelings about mine.
    Kisses,
    Sarah
    EverydayStarlet

    • May 3, 2017 / 8:10 pm

      I haven’t tried the 40mm, but I do know the 2.8 is going to offer less bokeh than the 50mm I recommend. The sigma lens has a zoom and also a great amount of bokeh, but it’s a lot pricer, what don’t you like about the 40mm?

  8. Stacie Carpenter
    May 1, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    This article was so helpful. Thank you!

    • May 3, 2017 / 8:10 pm

      Happy it was helpful! Thanks for reading!

  9. Joselyn T
    May 1, 2017 / 7:13 am

    Thanks Serein (& Hubs) for the great information!

  10. Madeleine
    May 1, 2017 / 1:48 am

    This is so incredibly helpful! I’ve been wanting to start my own channel again for a while (I had one about seven years ago when I was in middle school) but I wanted to be able to produce better quality videos than my MacBook camera gave me. Thank you so much for starting this series, it’s been informative but also inspiring and I’m going to start putting some serious work into getting my channel up and running again 🙂

    • May 3, 2017 / 8:11 pm

      So happy you are enjoying the series! Hope you relaunch your channel soon!

  11. Faiza Arshad
    April 30, 2017 / 10:07 pm

    Do I need to buy both the 50 mm lens for bokeh and the zoom lens with decent bokeh if the content I post is dance videos?

    • May 1, 2017 / 1:29 am

      You might not need the 50mm or the zoom I recommended for dance videos. I’m assuming you would be moving around a lot? If that’s the case you can purchase the camera with the kit lens and use that.

  12. Melissa
    April 30, 2017 / 2:15 pm

    Thanks for the info! 👍🏻

  13. April 30, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    Soooo helpful!! I honestly knew very little (still know very little… ha!) about cameras and have been slowly trying to learn more. This was such a great post, have been looking at purchasing a Canon down a line and will definitely be consulting you to hear your thoughts! Your photo and video quality is always on point.

    xx, Amy
    http://www.theluxilook.com

    • April 30, 2017 / 1:58 pm

      aw thanks Amy! Yeah we spent a lot of time and money messing around with different cameras before streamlining our equipment and learning how to buy :-p

      xoxo
      Serein

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