(Updated April 1st, 2017)

  • Zoella, MoreZoella – beauty vlogger (16 million combined subscribers / 771 combined videos) :: Canon 70D
  • MyLifeAsEva* – lifestyle, beauty, comedy vlogger (7.8 million subscribers / 216 Videos) :: Canon Rebel T4i
  • Casey Neistat** – lifestyle vlogger (6.9 million subscribers / 755 Videos) :: Canon EOS 70D, Canon Powershot G7X, Canon EOS 80D
  • Pointless blogvlogs – lifestyle vlogger (3.8 million subscribers / 991 Videos) :: Canon Powershot G7X
  • iJustine – tech vlogger (3.5 million subscribers / 1385 Videos) :: Canon Powershot G7X
  • Aspyn Ovard*** – fashion and beauty vlogger (3.0 million subscribers / 195 Videos) :: Canon EOS 80D
  • Jennxpenn –  lifestyle vlogger (2.9 million subscribers / 284 Videos) :: Canon 5D Mark III
  • sawyerhartman – film-maker, vlogger (1.7 million subscribers / 448 Videos) :: Canon 70D & Canon Powershot G7X
  • Marzbar / MarzBarVlogs – tech vlogger (900k combined subscribers / 954 Videos) :: Sony a7S


|| * MyLifeAsEva – has the least powerful ‘DSLR’ camera setup & the least amount of videos uploaded, yet is #2 on this list!

|| ** Casey Neistat – has 2 other channels with approx. 400k subscribers – Casey also owns over 18 Canon EOS 80D’s!!!

|| *** Aspyn Ovard – has another channel = Aspyn + Mark couples vlog (1.5 million subscribers / 413 Videos)



WARNING!!! – Most DSLR’s should be purchased directly from a Manufacturer’s Website to avoid the “Grey Market”

“Grey Market” items look EXACTLY like normal gear, but they’re un-authorized, non-warrantied or refurbished/used equipment!

The ONLY way to insure you’re getting a “NEVER DROPPED, RETURNED, INTERNATIONAL, or REFURBISHED” item is DIRECT from Manufacturers Website!

RETAILERS :: They take back items from consumers & resell them if packaging can be resealed.  Every major retailer I have worked for had a heat-shrink station for re-sealing items.  This is a major problem for some buyers looking for “NEW” un-used products!

(It will cost more, but all other options = non-manufacturer repairs & possible voided warranties!)



Digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR): have long been & still remain ‘the’ gold standard when it comes to photography and they are excellent vlogging cameras as well. With the option to change lenses, the ability to control things like ISO, focus points, and depth of field, excellent low light performance, and professional-level image quality, these cameras give you tons of options. But they have their downsides, including price, weight, and a steep learning curve to get the most out of all of those features.

The current cell phone market is making some units very affordable though, you have to look into the Canon T5i & T6i when considering entry-level DSLR’s. (T7i pricepoint is too close to the superior EOS 80D to be a real option.)  They are much cheaper than the semi-pro Canon 5D Mark III, while retaining an acceptable quality level.

The 2 top Canon models for most vloggers are the Canon 80D & 5D Mark III.  These 2 DSLR cameras are not cheap, but are much less expensive than TRUE cinema quality gear.  (Cinema quality video cameras start at about $20,000 & that’s without a $$$ lens or warranty.)


Mirror-less cameras: are becoming wildly popular with photographers & videographers due to their relatively lightweight, interchangeable lenses, versatility, and crystal-clear images. If you want a camera that comes with most of the bells and whistles of a heavy DSLR, but in a much smaller and lighter package, a mirrorless camera is perfect.  Just remember they still cannot match the light capture capability of a DSLR with a good lens, yet.


Point and shoots: are tiny & generally (with a few exceptions) lack a lot of the features of a DSLR. For vloggers who like to take their camera everywhere; however, they have a definite advantage, such as tradeshows, conventions, travelling & other on-site activities.  A good point & shoot can provide excellent high-resolution images, may offer the manual control of a DSLR, and tend to fit right in a pocket, purse or cargo pant.  (Consider one for a backup to your DSLR in case of a repair, possible theft or space concern situation.)


Action cams: are designed & marketed as cameras that can be strapped to your chest when you go skydiving, taken underwater, or suction-cupped to the front of your surfboard. But that’s not all they’re good for. Action cameras are small in size but pack a huge punch when it comes to features, video quality, and durability.

If you are the type of vlogger who wants to take video of yourself swimming in a waterfall—and then talk about it on your vlog afterward—an action cam may be perfect for you.  They are not effective for audio or indoor video vlogs however; forcing you to purchase additional equipment such as lighting & microphones.  This additional audio burden will dramatically impact your technical & editing workload.


Camcorders: Time has not been kind to less expensive models of camcorders. Largely neglected by their own manufacturers, models under $500.00 hardly ever hold up to even an iPhone 7 in color & clarity.  Sony’s 400-series camcorders are marginal at best, in some cases even inferior to Logitech’s c920 webcam.

Despite being lightweight, extremely portable they are less than perfect for people who want to focus strictly on indoor videography.  They are useless for generating clear thumbnail pictures on YouTube videos.  Only the highest end Videocameras utilizing 4K can handle what a lower cost Canon T5i can achieve.  Stay clear of them for most indoor vlogging purposes, unless absolutely sure of the quality of the model you’re buying.


Smartphones: While smartphones can’t touch the quality and versatility of an actual camera, they’re still pretty capable and assuming you own your phone already, they will cost you nothing.


Best Microphones for YouTube

Here’s a top 5 list of popular microphones used by prominent Vloggers …

  1. Audio-Technica ATR-3350: Lapel-mounted microphones that are good for interviews, instructions, etc.
  2. RØDE VideoMic: Professional level hot shoe-mounted shotgun microphone.
  3. Shure VP83F LensHopper Shotgun Microphone: Great for DSLR vlogging.
  4. Blue Microphones Yeti Snowball: Easy to setup and best for voiceovers!
  5. Blue Snowball USB Condenser Microphone: Lets you select between unidirectional & omnidirectional pickup patterns.


Some general information about microphone technology …

Lapel mics: also called lavalier mics, clipping to a shirt, this style allows you to be filmed while talking into the mic hands-free. Ideal for vloggers who do interviews and conduct demonstrations.

Shotgun mics: mount to the hot shoe of the camera and can pick up unidirectional audio. If you are taking videos in a noisy location and want the sound of the person you are filming to stand out above all else, consider a shotgun mic. Shotgun mics work best for vloggers who take their equipment with them out into the world and need to be able to block out a lot of background noise.

Condenser mics: are useful for voice overs and recording audio in controlled environments. If what you want is a microphone that you can sit on your desk and record yourself talking with, a condenser is a great choice. Beauty and gaming vloggers love these types of mics.


Q:  What is the BEST camera for YouTube under $5,000?

A:  That’s not easy to answer, overall it is the Canon 5D Mark III – probably the BEST DSLR ever made in it’s price range.  It can do about anything you need both indoor and out, with a HUGE selection of lens, options & list of semi-pro & pro users shouting its praises.  However; for YouTube, the easiest to utilize by yourself would be the Canon EOS 80D (The 5D Mark III does not have a flip-out touch screen which makes self-recording ergonomically challenging & requires a separate monitor to view footage from in-front of the lens.  It is also over double the price of the EOS 80D.)


Q:  What’s the best value for YouTube or indoor vlogging on a Canon?

A:  For the money it’s the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens – under $200 and an extremely good value lens for indoor video!


Q: Why did we NOT mention 4K recording either as a standard or a goal?

A: 4K is indeed a new ‘standard’ with many advantages for HDTV’s larger than 55″; however, it is viewer dependent more so than 1080p.  In other words 4K takes some tech skills & good bandwidth to stream without frame-loss (skipping) or dropped packets (freezing).  If you’re trying to reach the masses it’s best to target 1080p as a ‘safe’ standard for consistency, editing workload & equipment demands.


Q:  What about 720p which Facebook Live uses as a maximum resolution?  How can I stream my Facebook Live to YouTube in 1080p?

A:  720p is not considered FULL HD, by definition it is HD-ready resolution.  In fact many cameras have since dropped 720p as an option when they include a 4K setting, especially action cameras.  You will never reach the same subscriber base or viewership in 720p as effectively as you will in a 1080p production.


Q:  Are frame-rates important?  How do I determine what FPS to use?

A:  The short answer is 30fps or 30 frames-per-second.  The long answer is very long, but I lets just say 30 for non-action & 60 is for action or smoothness.  Just keep in mind when you double a frame-rate you can in effect double your render times, file size & in some cases cause issues with splicing footage from mixed FPS content.


Q:  What is 29.97 fps and what issues occur when I mix it with 30 fps?

A:  This is a complex issue overall, a simple answer is you end up with either dropped frames (minor video skipping) or in some ‘cheap’ editing programs audio sync problems.  Audio sync issues are the bane of most video editing,  splicing, & conversion workloads.  It is best to keep source material at the frames per second it originated at, if you have a GOOD editing program it will drop some video frames in order to sync the audio.  If your editing program is inferior you end up with bad lip syncing issues and/or ‘jitter’ in some your video.  There is much more to be said about frames per second (fps), key-frames & industry standards, but that’s a lot of info for a Q&A session.