Whether you’re just sharing clips with friends or you’re launching an online on-camera career, vlogging matters. And there’s a point at which your smartphone may not give you the look or control you’re after. With 180-degree selfie screens, wide-angle lenses, microphone inputs and great video quality, more and more dedicated cameras offer just what you need to look and sound your best.
Here are our top picks, giving particular attention to 4K video quality and dependable autofocus.
Our pick: Sony ZV-1
The Sony ZV-1 is an off-shoot of the company’s excellent RX100 VA enthusiast compact line. It has the same 20MP 1″-type sensor, fast 24-70mm equivalent lens and excellent autofocus system as recent RX100-series compacts, and like the RX100 VA, the ZV-1 captures oversampled 4K (which is slightly cropped at 30p, but not 24p) and features a mic input.
The things that make the ZV-1 different are its flip-out LCD, directional microphone, and quick access to special effects like background defocus and ‘Product Showcase’ mode, which quickly adjusts focus when an object is held in front of the camera. A sizable grip makes the camera easier to hold with one hand, and the larger video record button and tally lamp are added bonuses. The main downsides of the ZV-1 (aside from the 4K/30p crop) are the lack of a headphone socket and limited battery life.
We considered the cameras below when picking our winner, and even though we think the Sony ZV-1 is the best choice overall, the cameras on our shortlist are also worth considering.
* This camera has not been fully reviewed and is not eligible for an award.
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