The Best Camera For Blogging
The best camera for blogging is a pretty complex topic. There are so many powerful, flexible and affordable options out there nowadays, choosing a camera to support your blog content can be a pretty bewildering task.
It’s something we’ve researched quite a lot here at Two Get Lost – mostly because Adam is a massive camera geek – so we thought we’d share some of our thoughts and findings with you, in the hope that it will help you to choose the best camera for blogging, vlogging, or your online portfolio. You can also ask us questions in the comment section below, and we’ll be happy to help you make your decision!
So What Makes A Camera The Best Camera For Blogging?
Let’s be clear – the best camera for travel blogging isn’t necessarily the same as the best camera for food blogging. Everyone’s requirements are subtly different – so this isn’t something we can talk about in absolutes. Instead, we’re going to talk about some of the choices and compromises you make when selecting a camera for blogging or vlogging, and which styles of content they work particularly well for. We’ll use that as a jumping-off point for figuring out which is the best camera for blogging for your blog and explore some of the things you’ll want to consider before we get into the real nitty gritty. Let’s go!
The Best Camera For Blogging: Image Quality
Image quality is usually one of the most important factors for us in choosing new photography gear – but as a blogger, it’s arguably the least.
Why is that? Surely the point of buying the best camera for blogging is to generate lush, high-quality imagery for your blog?
That’s absolutely true – but when it comes to uploading those images to your site, you’re going to need to optimise them for web if you don’t want your PageSpeed score to take a nose-dive; and that means both reducing their size and compressing them pretty heavily.
The general recommendation is that you get them under 500KB for upload, but even a super budget-friendly snapper like the Canon 2000D outputs 24 megapixels these days – meaning the JPG files are about 16MB, and full quality RAW files will be a full 24MB. In other words, to get them below 500KB you need to dump 96.5% of the information in the 16MB file, and 98% of the information in the 24MB file!
Let’s be clear – that is an oversimplification. Modern compression algorithms are amazing and the drop in quality will be far less than 90-odd percent. In fact, with Google Photo’s algorithm it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference. But what this does tell you is:
- Megapixel count really isn’t that important when finding the best camera for blogging – or for the web in general. 1080P HD video, for example, is equivalent to just 2 megapixels. A lot of people are going to read your content on a phone, and even top-end smartphones like the iPhone 11 have screens with less than 2MP resolution.
- It might make more sense to compromise on sheer image quality before taking a hit on, say, portability or price.
That’s not to say you should buy any old point-and-shoot. Far from it, actually – for most bloggers, we strongly recommend that you buy into an interchangeable lens system like DSLRs or their more portable cousins, the Mirrorless. And the reason for that is….
Versatility In The Best Camera For Blogging
With pure image quality out of the way, let’s talk about why you should still try to stump up for a pretty decent snapper for your blog content. Ideally, you want something that lets you swap lenses so that you can invest in “glass” that works beautifully with your chosen subject matter. The point of changing lenses it to adapt the camera to different styles of photography, which also means adapting it to perfectly suit your blog content. For example:
Macro lenses let you take incredibly close-up, magnified images of your subject to show off every detail. They’re amazing for blogging about food, or make-up, or anything where you want to showcase your artistic talent with stunning clarity. They also help to reveal details that aren’t as accessible to the naked eye, which makes them powerful story-telling tools for lifestyle, motivation and travel blogs.
These are by far our favourite kind of lens here at Two Get Lost. A “fast” lens has a very wide maximum “aperture”, which means it can do two things:
#1 – It can drink in massive amounts of light, letting you shoot at night or dimly-lit music concerts; you can capture candid street portraits in the city after dark, or even sweeping dioramas of the milky way.
Generally speaking, the more light your camera can gulp down, the higher your image quality– we won’t bore you with too much photography theory, but the simpler version is – more light equals faster exposures (so crisper images with less motion blur – something we’re looking for in the best camera for blogging!), and lower ISO (which means more detail less grainy “noise” in your final images). If you’re blogging about nightlife, or restaurant food, or weddings – anywhere you can’t count on perfect illumination – fast primes are your friend.
#2 – The other reason we love fast primes is that they can create very short “depth-of-field” in your images for a cinematic, professional look. Short depth-of-field means that only part of the image is in focus, while the rest blurs out into dreamy swirls and “bokeh”.
That lets you isolate your subject from the background, shoot striking portraits or draw the viewer’s attention to a particular feature for storytelling purposes. We particularly love this style for travel blogging, because travel is about change and possibilities; and dreamy, ethereal portraits can help to create a sense of exotic “otherworldliness”.
As a word of caution, the “prime” part of fast prime means the lens has one fixed focal length – I.e. it doesn’t zoom in or out. That can seem limiting at first, but you do get used to it very quickly. A lot of photography courses send their students out armed only with prime lenses, because some argue that zooms make you lazy while primes force you to move around and experiment with different compositions. We say there’s nothing wrong with owning both, and simplicity of a single focal length means you get far higher quality and much greater maximum apertures out of a lighter, cheaper lens – so don’t be put off!
Is your blog about sports? Birdwatching? Kids or pets? If your subject won’t sit still, or you can’t always count on being close to the action, you want a Zoom or Superzoom. A good zoom lens lets you keep up with flighty subjects or capture things you can’t approach on foot – like performers on a stage, or wildlife in the bushes. It lets you transport your audience somewhere else; give them a front-row seat to something you care about – which is often what blogging is all about and an important feature in the best camera for blogging.
Zooms are great if you cover events, because you can’t always push your way through the crowd to get that shot. They’re also great story-telling tools for human interest topics, allowing you to capture candid moments from a distance without intruding. The same goes for travel, or for sports – they’re just a super-versatile category of lens, and if you have a couple of different lengths in your bag then you can be confident you’ll always get the shot.
The trade-off with zooms is that (unless you part with very unreasonable sums of money) the quality and low-light performance is never going to compete with a fast prime. But as we’ve established, we don’t need to obsess too much about quality when we’re shooting for web, and low-light performance isn’t always important either.
A lot of photographers will carry around a zoom for versatility and a fast prime or two for performance – which, if you can afford it, is ideal. If you can’t, your blog topic will likely determine which is best for you. Comment below and we’ll help you choose!
Portability And Pocketability In The Best Camera For Blogging
Or as we nerds like to call it, “form factor”.
A Tale Of Woe (There’s a point here, promise)
I used to have a Canon 5D MKIII. It was an incredible camera. One of the most popular cameras of all time – a cult classic, really. Some of the most iconic and influential images of the decade were taken on the 5D series. Mine lived in the bottom of my wardrobe and rarely saw the light of day.
The body itself weighed in at nearly a kilo, and the 24-70 zoom I bought with it another 950g. Plus a couple of accessories – a spare battery or two, maybe a fast prime or even a little tripod if I was going somewhere fun – I ended up with a package the size of a shoebox and (literally) the weight of a house brick. It was an incredible photo machine, but absolutely no fun to carry around. It was work.
It was also really obtrusive. I don’t think I shot a single candid portrait on that thing (which if you follow our Instagram, you’ll know is by far my favourite style of photography!). You pulled out this hulking, black box and people just clammed up – it was intimidating.
I got questioned by security once when I tried to take it into a gig. Was I there to sell photo keychains or something? It took a fair bit of talking and a very thorough bag search to convince the refrigerator-sized man on the door that I wasn’t selling anything – that I carried this lump of technology around for fun. After a year or two I even started to think I might have just gone off photography as a hobby.
So in my typical knee-jerk style, I sold it all – all my Canon glass, the body, my flashguns, softboxes, the boxes and boxes of spare batteries and ND filters and accessories. I put most of the money to one side and bought a GoPro – a tiny action camera that fit in a shirt pocket with room to spare.
And it was BRILLIANT. I took it absolutely everywhere with me. It lived in my coat pocket and came on my morning commute – it came to bars and restaurants and out cycling and shopping and even to the gym. Not that I took photos of people in the gym – that would be weird – but because it was smaller than a smartphone, nearly bulletproof and rechargeable over standard USB, it took zero effort to just carry it around with me everywhere I went. It was more effort to actually take it out of my pocket before I left.
The Best Camera For Blogging Is The One You Have On You
Now let’s be clear – there’s a world of difference in image quality between my little GoPro and a 5D MKIII. You couldn’t shoot full manual or even directly control the aperture. It didn’t even have a screen to compose on – you shot it totally blind. But as the old cliché goes: the best camera in the world is the one you have with you. I took far better pictures on my constant camera companion than on the 5D gathering dust next to my wash basket.
Those two cameras represent the extreme ends of the scale from power to portability. Naturally, there are thousands of options in between. In fact, as I write this in early 2020, we now have a wealth of “mirrorless” options that compete with DSLRs in quality but do just about fit in a coat pocket, so you can almost have your cake and eat it too. But it is a question you need to ask yourself – where will my needs sit along that scale?
What Are You Using Your Camera For?
The answer will very much depend on what kind of blog you have.
If you’re photographing your baking skills in the comfort of your own kitchen, the size and weight of the camera are nearly irrelevant.
If you’re trekking the Andes or snowboarding in Switzerland, the ideal camera might well be “the largest thing you can justify hauling around with you”. It might well be something like a GoPro, or a lightweight mirrorless like Emily’s Micro-Four-Thirds Olympus.
If you’re travelling somewhere potentially dangerous, it might be wise to carry something discreet and not draw attention to yourself. Likewise if you’re trying to capture candid photos or gritty documentaries – something unobtrusive that puts people at their ease.
Conversely, if you’re trying to document the trials and tribulations of your local sports team, the raw speed and focus tracking of a DSLR will probably serve you far better than anything mirrorless (and certainly better than an ultra-wide action camera, unless you have an opportunity to strap it to one of the players!).
It’s a choice you have to make for yourself, but thankfully the compromises are very easy to stomach nowadays. I personally settled on Sony’s outstanding A7 series (I have the very oldest one, the original A7, but it’s still a fantastic camera).
So what are my options?
The Best Camera For Blogging: Action Cameras
Image quality: For video, usually pretty great. Stills are more in “acceptable” territory.
Versatility: On the one hand, very good – with their tiny form factor and rugged, dust-sealed and waterproof bodies, you can literally take them everywhere. You can also mount them places you wouldn’t use another camera, like onto the outside of a speeding vehicle, or on your helmet while you charge down a mountain on skis or a bike.
On the other hand, you can’t change lenses, so if the mind-expanding macros or dreamy portraits earlier in this article got you going, action cameras might not tick all the boxes. They usually offer less creative control over photos and videos themselves with an emphasis on automatic “point-and-shoot” functionality. Few action cameras have “hotshoes” for attaching accessories like flash guns, and generally don’t support external microphones or other accessories.
Ergonomics: They’re the size of a matchbox, so ergonomics are never going to be a strong suit. The introduction of touchscreens and companion apps helps a bit.
Pros: Impressive performance in a tiny, bombproof package. Very simple to shoot – many don’t even have internal focusing mechanisms. Capture the moment without worrying about your kit, and grab perspectives you couldn’t with another camera system. In-camera stabilisation is top-notch on newer models, meaning you get silky-smooth video from even the shakiest of sports. It’s a massive help for video post-production workflows, but almost irrelevant for stills.
Cons: Lack of creative control. Image quality doesn’t compare to larger camera systems, although it’s often “good enough” and offset by the fact you can take the camera anywhere. These guys sport TINY sensors, so they don’t work well in low light. Unlike interchangeable lens systems, you can’t buy a nice body and slowly grow your collection of glass – you generally can’t even add extras like microphones, fill-lights or flashes. On the other hand, when a best-in-class action camera costs less than £400, it’s not such a big deal.
Suggested for: Action cameras are awesome for travel blogging. If I could only take one camera travelling, I’d be hard pressed to choose between my Sony A7 and my GoPro Hero 8 – even though they’re so radically different. If you’re playing sports or engaged in outdoor pursuits, an action camera will let you put readers right in the heart of the action. If you’re shooting sports from the sidelines, you’re definitely going to want a DSLR or mirrorless so that you can fit an appropriate zoom.
In the same vein, craft bloggers, foodies, make-up-artists… you should all look at interchangeable lens systems first. Action cameras can still help you – you can put them in workshops or kitchens where another camera might get damaged – but you should look at them as a second option.
The Best Camera For Blogging: Small Mirrorless
Size: Small! Many options are pocketable with the right lens.
Image Quality: Pretty incredible nowadays. Some micro-four-thirds (MFT) systems are up there with the very best when it comes to stills (we particularly love Fuji’s offerings), and Sony’s A6000 series shoot amazing video that’s more than good enough for vlogging.
Versatility: Most small mirrorless cameras have interchangeable lenses, and if you buy into MFT you can uses lenses from Panasonic, Olympus, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, Samyang and Voigtlander all on the same body. Between Panasonic and Olympus alone, you get a huge catalogue of world-class glass covering every zoom and prime length you could ever want, and at incredibly reasonable prices.
Once you get to the “small mirrorless” size you generally get external microphone ports, hotshoes for flashes and other accessories, and sometimes “prosumer” features like dual memory card slots and fancy codecs. You don’t typically get weather sealing or particularly rugged designs though, which is something to consider for outdoorsy-type bloggers.
Ergonomics: These are still small cameras, but whether they’re svelte or fiddly will come down to your hand size and dexterity. I have massive sausage fingers and really struggle to shoot Emily’s Olympus OM-D E-M10 (Emily loves it btw). My fingers hang over the ends, and the buttons are small and hard for me to operate without looking.
Lots of small mirrorless cameras have “fly-by-wire” lenses, meaning the zoom and focus mechanisms aren’t directly linked to the lens mechanism – instead they’re an electronic control that steadily zooms or pulls focus as you rotate. Some people don’t mind that. Coming from DSLRs, I hate it. It feels really “mushy”; not at all tactile.
I nearly bought a Fuji X Pro, but the fly-by-wire controls were a deal-breaker for me. It’s difficult to explain, but if you’re considering one of these cameras do try to find one in a store and play with the zoom and focus mechanisms to be sure you’ll like the electronic system.
On the plus side, many cameras in this category have articulating screens so you can shoot over crowds, or down low to follow pets or kids… some have touch-screens, if you’re into that, and many sport companion apps to make navigating menus a little easier.
Pros: Excellent image quality, cheap and plentiful lens systems, and an compelling compromise between portability and power (for less ham-fisted users at least). It’s a competitive space in the market with lots of excellent options to choose between, making them a top choice in the best camera for blogging stakes.
Cons: Ergonomics can suffer, and while many options are competitively priced build quality can suffer accordingly. Some models have iffy electronic viewfinders that lag behind the action. Most cameras in this category have small sensors, and will suffer in low light as a result. Smaller sensors also make it harder to “blow out the background” with short depth-of-field effects, so they’re slightly less suited to portraits and product isolations than larger cameras.
Suggested for: Despite these drawbacks, small mirrorless cameras are still powerful beasts in compact, portable packages. The ability to pick up a body and three lenses for less than a grand, then cart them around in something the size of a small lunchbox makes them great companions for travel, street photography, fashion, lifestyle… While they can’t keep up with DSLRs or even larger mirrorless cameras in raw speed and quality, they still represent a very usable compromise that will suit a lot of bloggers – and at a keen price point to boot.
Best picks for bloggers: We love the Fujifilm XT-3 for stills, with its larger APS-C sensor and gorgeous film stock emulation that draws on Fuji’s world class heritage in the world of film. Alternatively, check out the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III if you like the sound of that huge and versatile micro-four-thirds lens ecosystem.
For video, Sony’s A6500 is king – and it’s no slouch for stills either. DSLR stalwarts Canon and Nikon have both released mirrorless offerings as well (after years of arguing that they’ll never catch on) – the Canon EOS RP, and Nikon Z 6 respectively.
We haven’t shot them ourselves, so we can’t offer a first-hand opinion – but reviews seem favourable and both systems let you dip into the parent company’s massive libraries of top-notch glass, which is a big plus. Let us know in the comments if you’ve shot them!
The Best Camera For Blogging – Large Mirrorless Cameras
Size: Still very manageable! The Sony A7 just fits in my coat pocket with a 28mm lens, as will many of its peers with pancake-y options attached. They’re small and light enough to disappear into a handbag or rucksack, or carry around your neck all day without strain, which keeps them well in the running for the best camera for blogging.
Cost: ££££ – £££££
Image Quality: There was a time when DSLR advocates claimed that mirrorless cameras would never compete with full-sized Canons or Nikons, but honestly, there’s very little to choose between them nowadays. Most high-end mirrorless cameras can output world-class stills, and if you’re looking at video, cameras like the A7II thrash anything the DSLR world has to offer.
You can’t expect the autofocus to be quite as snappy as a top-end Canon or Nikon, and generally the dynamic range isn’t quite as good – but you’re still getting outstanding professional performance in a comparatively neat and portable package. Sony’s A7 series have full-frame sensors of the type that used to be reserved purely for top-end professional DSLRs; the A7RIII shoots 42 megapixels while the A7SII has the largest photosites of any camera on the market, allowing you to shoot images of the milky way hand-held (seriously).
Fuji’s X Pro 3 can shoot stills at a blistering 30 frames per second – like a video, where every frame is a full-size photo; Panasonic’s Lumix GH5S spits out 4K at 60fps in broadcast-quality codecs. These really are outstanding cameras, and the hardest part is choosing between them.
Versatility: All cameras in this category have interchangeable lenses, and all of them have access to premium glass worthy of pairing with their top-end sensors. Sony’s range is arguably the weakest, which is a shame because in my opinion their bodies are the best.
Panasonic’s GH5S is micro-four-thirds, which makes it an incredibly versatile film-making tool. Most larger mirrorless cameras are weather-sealed and built from magnesium alloys or even titanium, so they can take a little rough and tumble (although nothing like an action camera).
Although they tend to be specifically geared towards stills or videos, they can generally turn their hand to the other with good to excellent results. All offer expansion via hotshoes, external microphone ports and the like, and usually have HDMI out to support the use of professional field monitors or external video recorders.
These are super versatile camera systems that will work for almost everything – perhaps only falling a little short when tracking very rapid action like fast-moving sports. Some would argue that the small speed penalty is more than offset by portability; you’ll have to decide for yourself.
Ergonomics: Unless you have very large banana digits, you should find all the cameras in this category fit nicely in the hand. The extra real-estate means you get larger, better-spaced buttons, and more “custom” buttons that you can program to meet your needs. Earlier generations weren’t quite as ergonomic as full-sized DSLRs, lacking things like joysticks to select the focus point – but that’s gradually changing. There’s still the odd gripe, like the ridiculous placement of Sony’s record button or the fact that the battery door is obstructed on some bodies when mounted on a tripod – but generally, these are nice, ergonomic cameras to shoot.
Pros: World-class image quality, blazing-fast capture rates, broadcast-quality 4K codecs… there’s so much to like about this class of camera. I really believe they’re the perfect balance of power and portability. It’s crazy to see full-frame, back-illuminated sensors ripping 30-fps bursts in bodies the size of your grandma’s point-and-shoot. If you can afford the lofty price-tags, there really are few drawbacks to top-end mirrorless cameras.
Cons: Cost is a major one. You might pay £2000 for a top-end mirrorless body and kit lens; another £800 for a good prime to pair it with. That said, if you don’t need the very latest and greatest features (you probably don’t), you can often get the previous generation of flagship for a similar price to a new, mid-range body.
I got my A7 with a kit lens and tonne of accessories second hand for £600, then sold the kit lens for £150 and bought the Sony 28mm second hand for about £200. So all told – about £650 for a really nice, full-frame mirrorless system with plenty of room to grow. Still not pocket change for sure, but a quarter the price of the newer model.
Another thing to be aware of is that almost all mirrorless cameras use an electronic viewfinder (EVF) – if you’re coming from the optical viewfinder (OVF) on a DSLR, it takes some adjustment. I’ve listed it as a con because the EVF has lag and they’re rarely as bright and clear as an OVF. In reality, there are some pros as well – the EVF shows you what your sensor sees, meaning you can preview the actual photo before you press the shutter. An OVF just looks out of the end of the lens, so your exposure could be wildly different from what you see.
An EVF is nice for video, because it allows you to apply useful tools like focus peaking and zebra stripes to see which areas are in focus or blown out. It depends which you value more – the big, bright, zero-latency experience of an OVF, or the “augmented reality” of an EVF.
This last point might sound kind of silly, but another thing to bear in mind is when you start shooting in codecs like AVCHD or 4K Protune the file sizes can quickly get MASSIVE – which makes storing them and even working with them a bit more difficult. Emily’s laptop struggles with the video files from my A7, for example. Be aware that there could be hidden costs in storage and computing power to work with those files.
Suggested for: These super-versatile content monsters will work for almost any type of blog, making them one of the best cameras for blogging. Those large sensors and gorgeous codecs will render stunning portraits with dreamy bokeh for fashion, lifestyle, travel, reportage, food, crafts… I’ve even shot astrophotography on my A7. The two exceptions that spring to mind are participating in sports – where a tiny action camera is probably more appropriate, particularly if you envision getting wet – or shooting very rapid subjects, where a full-fat DSLR might take the edge if you don’t care about portability.
Best picks for bloggers: The Sony A7III is an absolute beast for stills and video alike. If you really don’t care about stills and the smaller sensor doesn’t bother you, the Panasonic GH5S does edge it out on sheer video quality (and that micro-four-thirds lens system is so versatile). If you’re all about video, you should also check out the Black Magic Pocket Cinema range – not very user-friendly, but unbelievable video quality in a DSLR-size package. On the flip side, the Fuji X Pro 3 looks incredible if you only care about stills, but I’ve only shot the original X Pro so I can’t give a true opinion (I loved the X Pro).
The Best Camera For Blogging – Full-Size DSLRs
Cost: £££ – £££££
Image Quality: Typically the best you can get, when comparing like for like. The large bodies allow space for big sensors and lots of electronics to max out the internal processing power, buffers and all the other bits of wizardry that make a camera tick. If you buy into a manufacturer like Canon or Nikon, you get access to their world-class libraries of glass as well as lots of third-party options and a very healthy second-hand market. If you’re an image quality maximalist, it’s hard to fault DSLRs.
Versatility: Much like our larger mirrorless cameras, you can expect a good DSLR to come with tonnes of options for customisation. Countless options for quality glass; adaptors like the excellent Metabones range to unlock other manufacturer’s lens catalogues; some DSLRs even have options for third-party firmware, like the awesome Magic Lantern project.
It’s worth noting that DSLRs do usually focus on stills, with video more of an afterthought – but video performance is still more than good enough on most models.
They’re often weather-sealed and fairly tough, so it’s only the weight and bulk that might stop you taking them on that hike. And as previously mentioned, touting a huge camera system isn’t always the best idea – whether for personal security, or just for putting your subject at ease – so I do feel like smaller systems take the edge on this one. You might see it differently.
Ergonomics: No doubt about it, DSLRs have top-notch ergonomics. While mirrorless cameras are slowly catching up, you can’t beat the beefy grips, large, tactile controls and masses of custom buttons afforded by all that real-estate. You get dials everywhere; a joystick to select the focus point; often manual controls on the lenses themselves (which are NEVER fly-by-wire).
Most DSLRs have screens that articulate all the way around so you can see yourself while you talk to camera (which, if you’ve never tried, is a bit like maintaining eye contact with someone who doesn’t blink or smile)!
They do tend to be big and heavy creatures, though, so don’t underestimate the sheer work of carting one around all day. I’ve known people actually strain muscles in their necks and backs from wearing a top-end DSLR! It’s no secret that I found my 5D MKIII too heavy to be “fun”.
But if you generally shoot from the same location – say you’re filming cookery lessons in your own kitchen – you can benefit from the lovely, large control schemes and ergonomic grip without worrying about weight. Backpackers and climbers, not so much.
Pros: Generally speaking, DSLRs have the very best image quality – although modern mirrorless cameras really aren’t far behind. With a company like Canon or Nikon, you also buy into a LOT of knowledge and experience – the first (film) SLRs came out nearly a century ago. You get a massive third-party ecosystem of lenses and accessories and software, and arguably the largest user-base to learn from and ask questions.
While you can spend silly money on DSLR systems, the entry-level options are usually amazingly good bang for buck. There is a lot to like – but you have to weigh up (pun intended, haha…) whether those incremental improvements in things like image quality are worth the hefty portability penalty. I eventually decided they weren’t.
Cons: Weight, bulk, cost, obtrusiveness… We’ve been over this.
Best picks for bloggers: If money doesn’t matter and you just want an absolute beast of a camera, check out the Nikon D850. It’s an absurdly good photo and video machine that probably represents the most compelling case for buying a DSLR over a mirrorless!
Most people’s budgets will fall more in the enthusiast range like the Canon 90D, or even the entry-level 800D. Both of those are super-capable workhorses, although if you’re serious about video you’re going to want to stump up for 90D with its continual autofocus and uncropped 4K.
I’ve got to be honest though, I’m a little out of touch with the DSLR world nowadays, so I’d love it if you could leave a comment below with what you’re shooting and why to help our readers out. I’ll also be passing through a couple of airports this year so I’ll try to get my hands on some recent models and revise my recommendations accordingly.
Special Mention: Why Not Smartphone?
Today’s smartphone cameras are pretty amazing, and they’re the one camera you can be confident you’ll always have on your person. Does it make sense to buy a high-end camera phone for blogging and vlogging, instead of a dedicated camera?
The answer, as is so often the case, is “it depends”.
One of the major reasons we recommend trying to pull together the funds for an interchangeable lens camera (and some decent glass to go with it) is it really does open up creative possibilities that a phone can’t cover.
Take macro lenses, for example. There are ways to rig a smartphone up to a spotting scope or even a microscope and take super-magnified macro stills, but it’s unwieldy and impractical and it probably won’t save you any money.
Likewise with portraits – while there are apps that let you blur out the background and emulate that dreamy, short depth-of-field, there’s no substitute for the tack-sharpness and massive aperture of a good 90mm. It just doesn’t look the same, because physics.
Or compare it to an action camera like the Hero 8 – a lot of flagship phones are fairly waterproof nowadays, but you probably still wouldn’t take them surfing. A GoPro once fell from a plane, got eaten by pigs and survived to tell the tale.
I usually get 2 or 3 years out of a phone before the battery becomes useless or some other fault develops. Five years is a short lifespan for a camera body – I know several people still shooting the 5D MKII more than ten years down the line. And lenses are pretty much immortal – you can pick up glass from the 60’s on eBay and adapt it to your 2020 DSLR.
So if you find a family of cameras you love, you can start to slowly grow your collection of lenses and accessories without needing to worry too much about sunk cost – when I finally persuade Emily to let me buy a new Sony, I’ll be able to take all my glass with me and just sell the body. I don’t know where my smartphone from ten years ago is, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work anymore.
I might sound like I’m against camera phones in general. I’m really not. My non-Two Get Lost Instagram is entirely smartphone photography, and 90% of it was shot on off-brand Androids I bought on Alibaba. I love having a camera on me all of the time, for the same reasons I sold my 5D and bought a GoPro. Like the old cliché, the best camera is the one you have with you when a great photo presents itself – and a smartphone is tonnes better than no camera at all.
What I’m really trying to say is it probably doesn’t make sense to spend high-three-figures on a flagship smart phone instead of a dedicated camera for your blog or vlog.
So What Is The Best Camera For Blogging?
The answer you’ve all been waiting for. If we could choose one camera to make the final for the best camera for blogging, which one would we choose?
As you can see from the discussion above, there really is no simple answer, and we hope we’ve provided you with enough understandable information to make a really informed decision that will hopefully turn photography for your blog from a bit of a pain into a real passion.
We’ve narrowed it down to two best cameras for blogging, depending on budget.
Best Camera For Blogging On A Budget
In our opinion, the prize for the best camera for blogging on a budget has to go to the Go Pro Hero 8. For around £300 you can have a high quality camera that fits in your pocket with room to spare, that can be taken anywhere and is simple and easy to use. You won’t need to buy too many accessories to make it perfectly usable either, so no extra money spent on lenses or fancy light fittings. If you want a more in depth review on the Go Pro Hero 8, check our our post on it here.
Best Camera For Blogging With Money To Burn
If money isn’t too much of an issue when it comes to buying the best camera for blogging, then our top choice is anything from the Sony A7 series. You get the rapid auto focus and amazing image quality of a DSLR in a package the size of a traditional compact camera. Our Sony A7 has been well worth the money we spent, giving us great content for the blog and our social media channels. It’s also really fun to shoot with, turning our job into a hobby.
So there you have it, the best cameras for blogging, no matter what your niche. Let us know in the comments below how you get on with your camera hunt, and feel free to ask any questions about the cameras we’ve featured here! We would love to help!