What camera do YouTubers use? 4 successful channels and their 10 camera setups

Orange camera with LCD screen facing to the front, displaying Descript

When you’re just starting out making videos, imitation is normal — even healthy. You might have a few YouTubers you idolize who give you inspiration for content, format, even the way you deliver your lines. But there are some parts of successful channels you can’t see — namely, the gear. Your smartphone camera probably isn’t cutting it, so it’s time to find out: what camera do YouTubers use to make their videos look so good?

We did some digging to get the answer for four mega-successful YouTube channels. Since each channel has several models they trust, we’ve got the details on 10 video cameras that will help you create video that at least looks as good as the content from YouTube stars Emma Chamberlain, MrBeast, Liza Koshy, and Marques Brownlee from MKBHD.

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Why is a good camera setup important on YouTube?

Before you ask what camera YouTubers use, you should know what makes a good camera in the first place. According to TechRadar, the best camera for YouTube videos will have an articulating screen, great autofocus capabilities, built-in image stabilization, audio inputs and mounts, and livestreaming options.

But let’s not forget what you might need to use with that camera. A properly fitting tripod is a must to keep your camera stable and at the perfect angle for filming static videos. If you’re filming at difficult angles, though, you might need a mount stand. You can reduce shakiness from videos you shoot on the go by investing in a camera stabilizer.

You also don’t want to skimp on the audio setup you use in conjunction with your camera, even if your camera has a built-in microphone. Choose the right microphone for your circumstances and any accessories you might need, like a boom pole or an audio interface.

And while these aren’t part of the video setup exactly, backup batteries, memory cards, and storage drives are a must if you’re creating a lot of video content.

What camera do YouTubers use? Here are 10 of the most popular options

Emma Chamberlain

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Price: $700 with lens

24.1 megapixel image sensor

4K UHD video

Sony CX 405 Handycam

Price: $230

9.2 megapixel still images

1080p HD video

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Price: $630

20.1 megapixel image sensor

Built-in f/1.8-2.8 lens

1080p HD 60fps video

It’s easy to see why Emma Chamberlain likes the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, which is what she uses most for her YouTube videos. If you want more control over the scene you’re creating, this camera has a vari-angle LCD touchscreen, which allows you to shoot from many different angles. In addition, you can alternate the shot length by using the vertical video feature — perfect when you want to focus on filming a collection of YouTube Shorts.

The EOS M50 Mark II also has a direct-to-YouTube livestream feature which makes it an ideal vlogging camera if you’re doing regular live videos or livestreaming a podcast or guest interview.

Want one more reason to like this camera? It has built-in wifi and Bluetooth, making uploading your work and sharing directly to social media so much easier.

While she doesn’t use it any longer, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II was the first camera she used for her YouTube channel, and the Sony CX 405 Handycam is one she uses occasionally for quick recordings. The CX 405 is a great option for beginners because of its low price tag and the ability to capture both HD video and 9.2 megapixel photos.


Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Price: $6,500, body only

20.1 megapixel image sensor

4K UHD 60fps video

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Price: $630

20.1 megapixel image sensor

Built-in f/1.8-2.8 lens

1080p HD 60fps video

Sony AX53 Handycam

Price: $950

4K UHD 120fps video

8 megapixel image sensor

1.0 inch wide-angle lens

GoPro Hero7 Black

Price: $399

12 megapixel image sensor

4K UHD 60fps video

Like many YouTubers, MrBeast uses multiple cameras to achieve his different styles of YouTube videos. His current collection consists of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II, Sony AX53 Handycam, and the GoPro Hero7 Black.

The Canon EOS 1DX Mark II comes with a high price tag, but if you can swing it, you’ll love the video quality you get. The newer version of this camera, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, is an incredibly advanced hybrid DSLR/mirrorless camera, depending on your filming needs. One of the most exciting functions of this newer camera is its 191-point Deep Learning AF system, which prioritizes the tracking of heads and faces while recording.

The Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II comes in at a significantly lower price point and is perfect for a YouTuber who films on location and is looking for a camera with improved autofocus that can also capture low light images. The Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II has an LCD monitor that tilts up 180 degrees and down 45 degrees so you’re able to capture your shot from wherever you’re standing.

For a handheld camera that can produce high-quality UHD 4K video with zoom capabilities and image stabilization, the Sony AX53 Handycam camcorder is what you need. MrBeast would agree.

Finally, if you need a weatherproof device for when you’re surfing, mountain biking, or being followed by one of those cartoon rain clouds, the GoPro Hero7 Black is a waterproof camera with HyperSmooth video stabilization, 4K 60fps video, and the ability to shoot vertically. Even better, the camera has voice control so you can record handsfree.

Marques Brownlee of MKBHD

Sony Cybershot Rx100

Price: $400

20.2 megapixel image sensor

24–200 mm F2.8–4.5 zoom lens

4K UHD 30fps video

RED Monstro 8K

Price: $15,000 pre-owned

35.4 megapixel image sensor

8K 60fps video

Canon EOS 80D 

Price: ~$1,000 without lens

24.2 megapixel image sensor

1080p 50fps video

You know you’re going to find some top-of-the-line video cameras when you learn what Marques Brownlee of MKBHD, a tech YouTuber, uses for his own videos. And with these three cameras, you're covering all your bases.

To start, Marques and other YouTube vloggers love the Sony Cybershot RX100 when they’re out and about (or even in the studio). If you’re looking for something relatively cheap that’s both compact and captures excellent video quality, this is it. In the RX100, you’ll get a flip screen, 4K video, and great battery life.

However, the RED Monstro 8K and the Canon C100 Mark II are what MKBHD uses most often. Now, don’t get too excited about the RED Monstro unless you’re willing to pay what you would for a used car. This camera is for professional videographers looking for unparalleled cinematic options, and they’ll find in its intelligent focus, advanced cooling system, and virtual and remote production options.

Less expensive but still a pretty penny, the Canon C100 Mark II is what you might expect for wow-worthy professional YouTube videos. It has a Super 35mm CMOS image sensor and DIGIC DV III image processor, which creates a cinema-quality result for the most serious content creator.

Liza Koshy

Canon EOS 80D 

Price: ~$1,000 without lens

24.2 megapixel image sensor

1080p 50fps video

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II

Price: $630

20.1 megapixel image sensor

Built-in f/1.8-2.8 lens

1080p 60fps video

Like MrBeast, one of Liza Koshy’s cameras is the Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II. 

Her other camera, the Canon EOS 80D, is a quality contender for YouTubers looking for a serious camera at a reasonable cost. The 80D is incredibly fast and captures 4K video at up to 60 fps for exceptionally clear details. If you record on-location at random hours of the day, this camera may be for you: it has a 20.2 MP full-frame CMOS sensor to capture a full range even if the lighting isn’t ideal.

It also has a feature that allows you to capture 8.8-MP still images right from the video you’ve recorded. 

So, what’s the best camera for you?

You can stop wondering what camera YouTubers use — now it’s time to think about what camera you will use. The best camera for your videos is one that meets your particular needs. For example, if you test mountain bikes and gear, the protection a GoPro offers might be best. If you’re constantly traveling, one of the handheld or compact cameras on this list will probably have everything you need. And let’s not forget budget, either. You want to make sure you’re making a smart investment for your goals. No one wants to go into debt for a YouTube channel they abandoned after their third video. 

Whatever you choose, remember that a video camera is only one element of a successful YouTube setup. The audio, lighting, content, delivery, and other elements, like SEO and audience interest, all play key roles in a successful Youtube channel. Have faith in your video goals, keep practicing, and enjoy the process!

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