One of the ways to make your content stand out from everybody else’s is to upgrade your gear. Although it’s true that you can use your smartphone to great effect, picking up some professional tools will give your content sheen and sparkle, giving you the pro edge.
But with dozens of different options, it can be difficult to know where to start – luckily we’re here to help you out. In this guide, we’ll be looking at different categories of cameras that you might want to think about to take your content creation to the next level.
It helps to first think about the type of content creation you want to do. If you’re looking to make videos on the go and without fuss, then highly portable compact and action camera options are probably the ideal choice. If you’re going to be filming pieces to camera, with complicated set-ups and cutaways, then a mirrorless camera might be the better option.
If you’re worried about how much all of this is going to set you back – and we get it – you’ll be pleased to know that all of the devices featured below can be picked up on the used market, making everything so much more affordable, and helping you to do your bit for the environment too.
So, what can you buy?
Compact cameras for content creation
Compact cameras are ideal for this purpose because they’re small enough to carry around with you all the time, as well as generally being uncomplicated to use. That means you can grab your content off the cuff without having to think too much about your setup.
The best compact cameras for content creation give you scope to add your own microphone for the best sound quality, so look out for that ability when shopping. Cameras such as the Canon G7X III are perfect for this, while models like the Sony ZV-1 have been specifically designed with vlogging and content creation in mind. Both are available to buy either new or used from various outlets. If money is tight, take a look at the older Canon G7X II.
Other specifications you should look out for include a screen which faces forwards, 4K video recording options with various frame rates and possibly even specific vlogging recording modes and direct-streaming options for those that want to live broadcast.
Mirrorless cameras for content creation
Using a mirrorless camera will give you the best flexibility – giving you the chance to use a wider variety of accessories and lenses for your content creation. However, it’ll also cost you more and it’s a steeper learning curve to get to grips with all the technology. If you’re dedicated to professional content creation however it can pay to get more complicated gear.
Sony again has a mirrorless camera which is specifically designed for content creation and is a good option for vloggers – the Sony ZV-E10. It shares a lot of similar features to the Sony ZV-1 compact camera, but with the added flexibility of interchangeable lenses – plus it has a larger sensor which makes it better for both low light shooting and creating shallow depth of field effects.
Another excellent option is the Panasonic GH6, which is a professional-level video-stills hybrid that is used by the likes of Netflix for top-end content. Again here you get the flexibility of interchangeable lenses and a whole host of video-friendly options, the ability to plug in an external microphone and use other video accessories. Specific cine options such as the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K are also great choices, too.
If your budget is a little stretched, look for older models, particularly those which can be picked up for great prices used. That includes options such as the Panasonic GH5which is still a fantastic option for vloggers even though it has now been superseded.
Again here you’ll want to look out for certain specifications, including the ability to add external accessories, a flip-out screen and specific vlogging or video modes, including live-streaming if that’s what you want to do.
Action cameras for content creation
Action cameras are a dream for content creation, giving you maximum portability and durability for capturing all of your adventures.
They’re great for creating POV (point of view) shots and you might want to use them in conjunction with other types of content creation tool for interesting cutaways and different perspectives. You can mount action cameras to helmets, handlebars, masks, your chest and plenty of other places which make for unusual shots.
The market leader in this area is GoPro, with its Hero range of products being ideal for content creation. The latest model is the GoPro Hero 10 Blackbut if you want to save cash, look towards older models including the GoPro Hero 9 Black and even the GoPro Hero 8 Black.
Another excellent option is the DJI Pocket 2which is a tiny handheld solution which promises super-smooth video and other useful features such as the ability to track faces.
For action cameras, specifications you might want to look out for include slow-motion capability, high-quality image stabilization and a decent battery life. 4K and higher resolutions are now available too.
- This content is supported by MPB, the online platform for used photography and videography equipment. Every piece of kit is carefully inspected by product specialists and comes with a six-month warranty to give our customers peace of mind.