Vlog cameras serve many purposes for content creators. They allow you to shoot professional-quality footage that you can use for your social media platforms and YouTube channel. They can also be used for live streaming or off-the-cuff shooting.
Prolex Media is interested in getting a vlog-style camera for our behind-the-scenes content. While we use our “big guns” shooting the client work itself, the vlog camera could be used to document our creative progress and capture the action behind the action.
So what does one look for in a vlog camera? Here are a few fundamental features a camera should be equipped with for this kind of work:
1. Flip-around screen
While Prolex will have a dedicated team member shooting our behind-the-scenes content, a flip-around articulating screen is crucial for vlog work because it allows you to frame your shot while facing the camera. This allows you to shoot solo and add commentary. A strong autofocus feature and face or eye autofocus also help one shoot oneself in crispy clarity. In-body image stabilization (IBIS) is also a useful feature for walk-and-talk or movement shots, although a gimbal could also be used for maximum smoothness.
2. Video quality
4K has become the standard level of quality to shoot in. Even if you are just shooting for social media, not having 4K quality may out-date your footage in coming years as more cameras and playback devices continue to bump up their pixel count. Added options like 10-bit colour depth and 4K/60p mode allow for greater editing flexibility with your footage, allowing you for more vibrant colour treatments or slowed-down cut scenes.
3. Auxiliary audio compatibility
Whether you are interviewing a subject, shooting a “walk-and-talk” segment, or capturing on-set action, the ability to capture high-quality audio is very important for behind-the-scenes or vlog work. This is why it’s crucial to consider a camera that allows you to hook up an additional mic to record audio with a headphone jack to monitor it.
This might be obvious, but shouldn’t be overlooked. Having a compact camera for vlogging and behind-the-scenes not only makes it easy to pop out of your pocket for use at short notice, but it’s also much more practical for this kind of work. While shooting on a shot list for commercial work has a lot of stops and starts, for behind-the-scenes footage the camera rarely stops rolling. If you’re going to hold a camera out in front for the majority of an eight-hour shoot day, you’re going to want to make sure it’s compact and light.
Now that you know what makes for an effective vlog cam, which model do we think checks all the boxes?
Our recommendation is the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5.
The DCS5 is super lightweight, making it easy to hold out in front of yourself and carry around all day. It’s top-tier autofocus and in-camera stabilization are always ready to go, so you’ll never miss the shot. The mic jacks allow for better audio, and the headphone jacks let you monitor it as you go. The DCS5 shoots in 4K with 10-bit colour, which is great for colour grading without image breaking. The full-frame sensor is great for that delicious bokeh blur or low-light shooting. If you’re into a super-cinematic vlog style, it would be hard to go wrong with this Panasonic.
Honourable mentions: Sony Alpha 6600, Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S, Fuji X-T4
Do you need quality creative video content that inspires your audience to take action? Contact us today and we’ll help tell your story through our lens.