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So, you want to be a beauty vlogger. You love the makeup, you’ve got the quirky personality and now all you need is the perfect camera. A point and shoot camera or a simple handheld camcorder might do the trick, but you are looking for more. You are searching for a camera so high in quality that it will produce a final product on par with that of a professional videographer.

You need the kind of tool that your viewers will thank you for, because it will allow you to do what you do best: create awesome, viral-worthy makeup tutorials and beauty tips. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. Below is a run down of the three best, high value vlogging cameras to help you find the one that will be the missing piece in your toolkit of Youtuber essentials.

For an inexpensive camera with a great battery life: Samsung NX Mini

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First up is the NX Mini by Samsung. This camera is great for anyone fairly new to the Youtube game that wants a piece of equipment that can get the job done without breaking the bank.

The Samsung NX Mini is designed for beginners and intermediates alike, and is a camera you can use to learn and play with before jumping into the more nuanced features available in more advanced models.

The camera is pleasantly received by many budding photographers and film enthusiasts, and for good reason.

Portability: 4 out of 5
The NX Mini is incredibly portable and is ideal if you are looking for a daily style vlogging camera you can take with you everywhere. Its dimensions are 2.3 x 4.3 x 0.9 inches, and it weighs only 6.9 ounces, which is an impressive feat for such a versatile camera.

While the included 9 mm lens has enough functionality for most, there are also options for external lenses. While these lenses do add extra weight to the camera, they are still small themselves and allow the camera to retain the feature of being incredibly portable.

Video Quality: 3 out of 5
The NX Mini holds up in photo and video quality. The camera records 1080p Full HD video at 30 frames per second, and has acceptable quality for its size and caliber. While the video doesn’t have many customizable options in terms of specific picture and sound settings, the final recorded product is still far better than a standard smart phone camera, and will definitely serve your purpose in beauty vlogs. The abilities of the included external lenses to macro zoom (zoom in on small objects) will be great for product reviews and similar videos.

Sound Quality: 3 out of 5
The sound quality of the NX Mini is impressive considering the price point and overall camera class of the hardware. Since it is a smaller mirrorless camera it doesn’t quite pack the punch of a full DSLR, but still retains a sound quality that can provide professional Youtube videos at every turn. Most advanced cameras have the option for external microphones to improve sound quality, but it’s a feature you won’t typically find on compact cameras. The NX Mini is an exception to that rule, which makes customizing your complete filming experience a breeze.

Battery Life: 5 out of 5
Samsung says you can shoot up to 190 minutes (over 3 hours) of video on a single charge. In reality, battery life is a little shorter, but this easily has the best battery I’ve ever seen in a compact camera. (By comparison, the most expensive camera on this list, the Canon EOS 70D, can film for up to an hour.)

Usability: 4 out of 5
The leather-textured outer-casing of the Samsung NX Mini adds a pleasant experience to using the camera, and though the body of the main camera consists of plastic parts, it is incredibly durable.

The camera features a three inch LCD display used to select most options for shooting and editing photos/video. Wi-Fi integration is also included in the NX Mini, allowing easy sharing and uploading of anything shot with the camera.

The automatic settings available for photo and video might be frustrating to seasoned camera users, but will be perfect for beginner to intermediate vloggers. A major benefit to this camera is its total portability and the flip screen. Combined, these features make vlogging on the go and seeing yourself during filming/photo capture easy as pie.

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Verdict: 4 out of 5

Overall, the Samsung NX Mini is an excellent camera that will help give your beauty vlogs that extra professional edge.

For showcasing products and moving around while filming, the automatic settings will generally do their job, but be wary of low lighting conditions with this camera, as your footage will have some grain.

Otherwise, its features, in both software and hardware, will be great for your next makeup tutorial.

For amazing picture quality in a small body: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV

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Portability: 3 out of 5

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV is a little heavier than the Samsung NX Mini, at 10.4 ounces, if comparable in physical size, measuring 1.6 x 4 x 2.8 inches. But it’s still small enough to fit in a large pocket, or comfortably carry around in one hand.

Be careful, though: the RX100 IV is incredibly smooth, which makes for a beautiful camera, but a not so practical piece of equipment when you’re constantly holding it. To prevent drops, I recommend attaching a lanyard or gripped case to the camera.

Video Quality: 4 out of 5
The RX100 IV shoots at up to 4k resolution — that’s movie-level film quality. However, that setting is a bit of a gimmick, as you can only record at 4k for up to five minutes at a time, at which point the camera often overheats.

On the upside, the RX100 IV still shoots beautiful video at 1080p, thanks in part to its large f/1.8-2.8 lens. Having such a large lens means the camera can create a shallow depth of field, meaning it will keep you — and your latest beauty purchases — in focus while pleasantly blurring your background.

Sound Quality: 3 out of 5
This Cyber-shot model includes a built in stereo microphone, but doesn’t have an option for an external microphone, which could be a negative feature if you are looking for a camera that can provide more than one sound option.

Battery Life: 2 out of 5
The battery life on the RX100 IV is pretty abysmal. Expect to get around 20 minutes of juice on a single charge. If you are considering this camera, it might make you feel a little better to know that most compact cameras suffer from poor battery life, and most vloggers overcome this by buying a second battery, which are not prohibitively expensive.

And if you plan on shooting most of your videos at home, battery life should matter less to you, as the RX 100 IV can be powered by a mains electricity supply via a USB cable.

Usability: 3 out of 5
With complete portability and a ton of functionality, the RX100 IV was built with an intermediate, to advanced user in mind.

The camera comes with Sony’s infamously difficult to operate user interface, which you may struggle with for a while before getting to grips with it. On the plus side, Sony has included a programmable function button, which will allow you to select the settings you use the most, and have them all accessible in one place.

One con of this camera is that it does not include a touch screen, although the included control ring does give access to all features you’d need to use, including the manual autofocus. Like the other cameras on this list, however, it does have a flip screen, which any content creator worth their salt will tell you is an absolute necessity for beauty vlogging.

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Verdict: 3 out of 5

If you’ve been vlogging for a while, and you’re looking for a camera that has incredible video quality, but is still portable, the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV may be for you.

Sony released an upgrade to this camera in October 2016, meaning the RX 100 IV is a little more affordable, and perhaps, a little more appealing for your needs.

This camera is a particularly solid investment if you see yourself, not just as an at-home beauty vlogger, but as someone who likes to film shopping trips and other events where you’ll need to carry your device around.

For the serious videographer and editor: Canon EOS 70D

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Most famous Youtubers and beauty vlogs start with small cameras, some an entry-level DSLR like the EOS Rebel T6i, and others a compact like the Nikon CoolPix series. Eventually, many of them upgrade to a better camera that can shoot truly professional content. For most, including beauty guru Zoella, the Canon EOS 70D is that camera.

This DSLR is certainly an investment, and is probably not the camera you want if this is your first time in the Youtube rodeo. But, if you are looking for a camera that will be an incomparable addition to your film kit — and will last several years — this may be the one for you.

Portability: 1 out of 5
The Canon 70D is a full scale DSLR camera, which means that it may not be a perfect fit for vlogging outside of a fixed filming setting. It weighs around 44 ounces and measures at 5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1 inches.

While travelling with this camera can be made easier with a camera bag or neck strap, it is probably best to leave it at home and pick a smaller option (like the Samsung NX Mini) for vlogging on the go.

Video Quality: 5 out of 5
Overall image quality of the 70D is definitely a step up from the Rebel series. You won’t see much noise (grain) while filming in low light, and low-light images and video perform much better with autofocus. For still images, the 70D lacks a pixel-free or nearly pixel-free experience, but if you just need to snap shareable photos for your blog or for the still images on your Youtube videos, this will do the trick.

The 70D will be your ally for quick shooting. To power on, focus, and shoot, it only needs about 0.4 seconds. To focus and shoot in decent lighting, 0.2 seconds will be all you need, with only a slightly longer 0.8 seconds in dim light.

Included in the 70D features is an upgraded Dual Pixel CMOS AF (DPA) autofocus system. The system allows for a split photodiode phase-detection algorithm that captures about 80 percent of the frame. This means that when shooting video, the autofocus adjusts quickly and efficiently in both bright and dim light, creating a perfect setup for filming product reviews.

Sound Quality: 5 out of 5
The sound quality of the 70D is unrivaled by most cameras in its class. With countless external microphone kits to choose from, it is incredibly easy to achieve the perfect sound quality you are looking for with this camera. Whether you need a top-mounted interview microphone or an external wireless battery pack to move around while you film, you are not without options. Just as Samsung’s NX Mini creates a customizable sound experience, the Canon 70D will allow you to truly build the perfect filming experience for your videos.

Battery Life: 3 out of 5
The battery life of Canon 70D lasts for about 45-60 minutes of filming, and is estimated for to last for up to 1300 images. That’s a little better than the shooting time on the RX100 IV, but still lags behind the Samsung NX Mini. To overcome this issue, you can either purchase a second battery, or buy an AC adapter, so that you can simply plug this camera into a wall, and shoot forever until you fill up your memory card.

Usability: 3 out of 5 
The overall hardware design of the 70D is not much different from the usual look and feel of a Canon DSLR, but it is a bit weightier than the Rebel series. For shooting in a fixed setting, this camera will be perfect for creating professional content that looks second to none.

If you are looking for a daily vlog/traveling camera, the 70D will most likely not be the best option out there. The camera includes a flip screen (like the NX Mini), which many Youtubers prefer because it allows them to see themselves while filming, a feature that not too many lower level cameras include.

There are also countless SD card options to ensure that you aren’t constantly pausing filming to get more storage.

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Verdict: 5 out of 5

The Canon EOS 70D is a beast. It’s not surprising that so many established YouTubers use this incredibly powerful piece of kit. With incredible video quality, an external microphone jack that allows you to capture unmatchable sound quality, and interchangeable lenses, the 70D is a truly powerful, if expensive, vlogging camera.

The only downside here is the lack of portability, which makes the 70D a smart investment only if you have the funds to also invest in a smaller device for filming on the go. But for a bulky DSLR, the 70D is at the top of its class and worth all of the hype.

So, which camera should you choose?

For Youtubers, the best camera is the one that will suit your specific needs.

If you just need to film a few basic vlogs or specific style videos, then either the Samsung NX Mini will do just fine. This camera will help you get the quality you need without having a big learning curve to complicate things.

For a step up from beginner to intermediate, go for the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV. This camera merges incredible video quality in a portable body, so you’ll be able to film vlogs on the go, too.

If you want to take your Youtube videos to the next level and improve quality while also having a heavy-duty camera that can handle a variety of different filming styles, the 70D will be invaluable.

At the end of the day, the camera you end up choosing should be able to suit exactly the needs you have, and hopefully this list will make your decision a much more straightforward process.

Header image: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)

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