I get more and more messages and questions from YouTube beginners and starters asking me, how much money should I spend on a camera?
Though it looks like a simple question, it took me a while to answer it.
Here’s the deal:
There are many models and different styles of cameras for different price levels. From point and shoots to full-frame DSLRs and it might be overwhelming on which camera to buy. Some cameras cost a few hundred dollars, while others go for thousands of dollars.
Well, I did some research and asked some experienced vloggers and YouTubers to help me answer how much a beginner or a professional should invest in a camera.
Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
How Expensive is a Good Camera?
Basically, cameras are expensive, but there are some which cost more than others and it doesn’t mean that more expensive is better.
There are those that go for $1,000 to $3,000, while the new professional cameras cost from $4,000 to $6,500.
Interestingly, other cameras go for up to $10,000 due to their powerful sensors, processors as well as high-quality lenses.
You might ask, what is the difference between cameras and do you really need an expensive one?
An expensive camera is known to offer better auto-focus, built with more durable material, and withstand any weather condition at all times.
The really top-class expensive vlogging cameras are around $1,000 to $2,000 with photography cameras ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
Nonetheless, if you are interested in both vlogging and photography, you can save up and invest in one camera. Just make sure it offers great video captures as well as impressive image stills.
All in all, you can still get a good camera for around 1,000 dollars’ worth serving your needs.
How Much Money Should I Spend on a Vlogging Camera?
First of all, you need to figure out your budget while the other is preference.
When it comes to budget and preference, both aspects help you figure out which model and camera style to choose that will suit your needs.
For example, as a beginner or starter, it is better to purchase entry-level mirrorless, point-and-shoot, or DSLR cameras before upgrading to medium or pro-level cameras.
Initially, you don’t have to spend a fortune as there are really amazing cameras for vlogging ranging from $500 to $1,000. That should be enough to make amazing quality videos for YouTube.
Here’s the best part:
For added advantage, there are some that come with a flip screen. This is pretty cool, right?
If you are on the similar budget, highly recommend to check:
Apart from that, here are some really top-class vlogging cameras for everyone:
Fujifilm X-S10 is a compact mirrorless camera ideal for both beginners and experienced vloggers.
The camera comes with an effective in-body image stabilization that makes it easier to shoot steady videos. It also has a fully articulated screen which allows waist-level photos or videos.
On the other hand, the battery life is good and there is a USB port to charge the camera. There is also a headphone and microphone socket for optimizing audio.
Overall, this classic stylish design camera is worth your money, especially if you are looking to upgrade your vlogging videos.
An entry-level mirrorless camera with a flip screen is compact, lightweight, and easy to use. Also, the camera comes with incredible features such as Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which provides fast autofocus.
Recording up to 4K UHD, the EOS M50 is able to provide stunningly detailed videos, which are every vlogger's dream.
On top of that, the Vari angle touchscreen LCD has a flexible tilt that makes shooting easier.
Unfortunately, it has a few downsides as it lacks some features. These features are a headphone input jack, USB port to charge the camera. It also has limited lens options, although this is mostly expected from an entry-level camera.
Apart from the downsides, the camera is excellent for a vlogger who is in search for a less than 1000 dollars compact camera.
One of the best vlogging cameras with a flip screen, Sony ZV-1 has a lot to offer its users.
Made specifically for vloggers, the camera is interestingly good not only at capturing videos but also shooting still images.
What’s more, the ability to easily swap between shooting videos and still images is a great asset for the Sony ZV-1.
Extremely portable, the camera is incredibly reliable due to its fast autofocus and image stabilization.
The touchscreen makes it easy to capture videos with the forward-facing microphone coming in handy when shooting the first person films.
Note that it has a mic input in case you need to connect to an external microphone, a USB charging port, but there is no headphone jack.
The Panasonic LUMIX G100 is an excellent choice for vloggers due to its features.
A super compact camera, the G100 also has an electronic viewfinder, decent manual controls, a flip touch screen, and an SD-card slot.
Not only that, the camera boasts of having three internal microphones that pick up sound no matter the environment you are in. Interestingly, for a bonus, they have added a rear microphone for recording while on the move.
What’s more, it provides 4K photo functionality which enables you to record short video clips in which you can extract still photos.
There is an Fn4 button that pairs with your smartphone, thus making it easy to send your videos and images directly to it.
For lovers of Nikon cameras, the Z50 is a great under $1,000 camera. The camera is known to provide exceptionally good image and video quality when compared to its competitors.
The good news is that it supports UHD 4K video recording and FULL HD recording too. Better yet, the camera is capable of saving finished UHD 4K video files.
Made of ergonomic design, the Z50 is made with magnesium alloy structure thus making it dust and weather resistant. Easy to use, it has a good grip to its which enables you to use it without needing a strap.
Beyond that, it has 180 degrees flip under tilting touch screen useful for both live view shooting and image playbacks. The camera comes with Bluetooth Low Energy and WI FI connectivity as well as a single SD memory card slot.
If you have not found the right vlogging camera here, we recommend reading a detailed review of the best vlogging cameras with a flip screen.
How Much Money Should I Spend on a Photography Camera?
First of all, professional photography cameras are more expensive than vlogging cameras because of lenses as well as other features.
Built with excellent sensors, advanced autofocus, and 4K video capture, the cameras can range from $3,000 to $10,000.
However, don’t worry as you can still get good photography cameras worth $1,000 to $2,000. You just need to consider which type of photography you are into and go from there.
For example, if you are into portrait photography or photojournalism you need to check out which camera features fit your work then decide how much to spend.
Notably, most photographers prefer to use DSLRs or mirrorless cameras compared to other types of cameras. That’s because the cameras are advantageous since they have the ability to use different lenses.
Here are some great photography cameras ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.
Ideal for beginners, enthusiastic and experienced photographers, Fujifilm X-T4 is one of the best APS-C mirrorless cameras in the market.
Solidly built with an all-metal design, the X-T4 comes with in-built image stabilization and a new shutter mechanism.
Created for still photography as well as video captures, the camera has a fully articulated rear touchscreen easily adjustable to prevent damage when storing.
Made to easily switch from still images to videos, Fujifilm has also changed the menu settings. If you happen to be in photo mode, you can only see the still image-related settings likewise in the video mode only video-related settings are seen.
This prevents you from accidentally switching from either still to videos and vice versa.
Though it has a few downsides like the lack of a headphone jack, the X-T4 is still a worthy photography camera.
If you are looking for a full-frame camera then Pentax K 1-Mark II is the perfect choice for you.
Made with magnesium alloy, the camera is weather resistant making it suitable to use in harsh weather such as rain, heat, or snow.
Packed with impressive features, the K- Mark II has a 35mm Full Frame sensor, Shake Reduction II, GPS system for location tracking and Full HD video recording.
Furthermore, it has WIFI connectivity making it possible to send photos straight to your smartphone.
There is also the camera’s image stabilization which stands out as it ensures you get a clear shot at any speed rate. I can’t forget the 3.2 inch LCD screen with flexible tilt.
Overall, though it has limited full-frame lenses selection in terms of compatibility, the Pentax K 1-Mark II is a good camera for several types of photography such as portrait, landscape and adventure.
Sony a7C is an interchangeable lens camera with real-time autofocus tracking and full-frame image sensors. The smallest of the Sony A7 series, the camera is built with magnesium alloy which makes it sturdy and comfortable to use.
Ideal for photographers on the go, the a7C is physically quite different from other A-7 cameras.
First of all, the viewfinder housing on top of the camera is replaced by a viewfinder eyepiece.
Additionally, the rear LCD touchscreen screen flips 180o thus giving you a wider range of movement. The camera also comes with a microphone, headphones, Micro-HDMI, and USB Type C ports as well as an SD card slot.
Unfortunately, the a7C does have its disadvantages such as its viewfinder being too small for a full-frame camera. There is also a lack of touch control too.
Regardless of all this, the Sony a7C is a good choice for both indoors and travel photography.
If you have been searching for a versatile photography camera, look no further as the Nikon Z6 got you covered. A full-frame mirrorless camera, the Z6 has superb in-body stabilization as well as a full-frame 4k video that provides awesome performance.
The handgrip is exceptionally good for a mirrorless camera thus making the user comfortably use it for long hours. As for the controls, they are evenly spread across the camera’s body which gives the buttons some breathing space.
Equipped with weather sealing, the Z6 is not only ideal for portrait or street photography but also action and sports photography.
Without forgetting the screens, the Z6 impressively has three screens. One is at the back of the camera; the other is a status screen on the top plate purposely for showing key settings.
The third one is the main touch screen which tilts up and down for easy viewing.
Though it has its downsides such as a single card port and having no trackpad option, still, Nikon Z6 is a perfect camera for versatile photographers.
A gem among beginners as well as enthusiast photographers, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is versatile and easy to use. Weighing 1.69lb, the camera is lightweight when compared to other DSLR cameras making it ideal for traveling.
In addition, the EOS 6D II is built with magnesium alloy where else some parts of the camera are water and dust protected. These parts include the lens mount, card slot cover, battery compartment, terminal covers as well as buttons.
Keep in mind, although the camera is water-resistant this doesn’t mean it is 100% waterproof. Therefore, make sure to protect it from falling into the water.
Finally, though the camera has some downsides like the absence of 4K and only a single SD card port, it does have an HDMI output and a microphone port.
Additionally, there is a built-in GPS, Bluetooth, WIFI, and NFC makes it easy to transfer images and videos to your laptop.
Should You Spend More On A Camera Or Spend More On Lenses?
A very common question from novice vloggers and photographers is should I invest in lens and how much money to spend on it?
Here’s the kicker:
Cameras have a shorter lifespan compared to lenses that can be used for decades if handled properly. Basically, if you buy the top-class lenses you can afford you won’t have to replace them like you will your camera body. All that matters is the interchangeable lenses are compatible with your current camera and maybe a future camera.
However, this fact should not be the determining factor when spending on a camera or lenses, especially for vloggers.
Though you should invest more in lenses if you are a photographer, vlogging doesn’t require you to spend more on the lenses. The reason being most vlogging cameras come with decent built-in lenses that take high-quality videos.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for an upgrade in lenses, I have an article tailored for you about the best vlogging lenses.
As you can see, there is no straightforward answer as to how much you should spend on a camera, it depends on many factors: budget, your experience level, etc.
Anyway, if you are a beginner, we should say that you could buy a really great camera for vlogging in between 500-1,000 USD and if you are a photographer, you could buy a full set (including camera and lens) in between 1,000-2,000 USD.