Webcam, phone camera, point & shoot, DSLR-Which camera is best for Youtube videos?

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Which camera is best for shooting Youtube videos? This is a generic question which leads to different types of answers. By Youtube videos, I mean normal indoor or outdoor videos which appear in Youtube in forms of coaching, candid, casual, professionally shot videos. Some believe in buying exotic equipment for shooting world-class videos. Some still hook on to the cheaper yet effective methods. Here we are evaluating how different types of cameras perform for different scenarios. This is not a review of devices but a common comparison of different camera types. I am sure that you will find at least a few points that you might have not noticed about cameras and their capabilities.

 

Phone cam Webcam Point & shoot  DSLR
Indoor/low light shooting Yes Yes No Yes with extra lighting
Outdoor shoot Yes No Yes Yes
Short film/documentaries Yes No Yes Yes
Focus speed Above average Fixed auto Fast Depends on lens
Zoom distance Only digital zoom No / Digital zoom Optical zoom Optical, manual zoom
File size Above average Less Medium Large
Customisability Using apps Using pc software Least In-camera features
Modes & features Can be extended with dedicated apps Depends on clubbed software
Ideal for custom file sizes and formats
Least. Only built in features available Professional features available
Accessories Limited Almost nothing External lights External lights & flash
Tripods, stands
Best video types Unexpected videos
Street videos
Secret videos
Low-cost movies
Under-water (some)
Coaching/tutorials
Long un-attended
Interviews
 Outdoor
Adventurous
Fast & Slow motion
Photo-cum-video
Hidden, unattended
Aerial videos
Short films, movies
High quality stock
Video clips for sale
Documentaries
Professional works
Time-lapse
Aerial videos
Cost Average but with Least Best balance Expensive

 

Smartphones

Smartphones have become too smart that even professional videographers use them now-a-days. With high resolution sensors, good optics and enormous processing power, many phones now feature exotic features like 4k, high-speed, slow motion, HDR, time-lapse etc. apart from regular manual adjustments in color, white balance, ISO etc. Professional movie recording apps are also available like Cinema FV-5 to extend the capabilities. I use my smartphone camera with bluetooth microphone to create coaching videos. During the time of publishing this post, a few of the top performing phones are HTC U Ultra, Samsung S8, Iphone 8, Sony XA1.

Here it how to turn your smartphone as a professional camera.

Top professional camera apps for android (video and stills)

Why: Small form factor, Apps available for professional shooting modes. Underwater cameras also available. Best for instant shooting.

Why dont: Usually no optical zoom. Quality depends on the hardware of phone and better quality translates to higher price.

Webcam

Webcams, though well limited by hardware, model-selection, optical quality and freedom, are very nice tools for creating certain types of videos. Coaching videos, interviews, indoor videos and surveillance videos can be recorded professionally using a webcam and a computer/android device. With their small size and adaptability to any situation, it is good for capturing secret videos too. Some webcams have decent sensors and optics too but with a higher price tag. You can set custom file sizes, resolutions, color adjustments based on the device hardware and software capabilities. I prefer business webcams like logitech B525 (in photo below) and so, due to their robust build quality, comparatively lesser price tag and extended warranties.

Top webcams for professional video capturing

How to setup a professional Youtube studio using webcam

Why: Ideal for indoor shooting. For interviews and multi-track audio shoots. Storage is limited to the size of computer storage space available.

Why not: Limited movement possible. Video quality depends on hardware quality

Point and shoot cameras

Point and shoot cameras are dedicated cameras unlike mobile phones. They have better optics and hardware than mobile phones. They have better sensors, larger lenses and most importantly optical zoom. Optical zoom means the lenses can be so adjusted that farther objects can be captured as it appears closer and vice versa. Being a mechanical arrangement, it is of higher quality when compared to digital zoom present in cheap cameras and phone cameras. Being a dedicated image capturing device with small device size, they are well suited for unplanned video shoots and travel shoots.

Here is how to use your point and shoot camera for professional youtube video shooting.

Why: Dedicated capturing device at a fraction of cost of DSLR. Optical zoom for long range capture. Optional Wi-fi, editing facilities for direct uploading and sharing of videos.

Why not: Battery life is not impressive for longer periods of shooting. Lesser number of accessories like under-water casings.

Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR)

DSLR cameras are sophisticated cameras for shooting photos and videos alike. These cameras have large sensors and high quality optics. However, they lack fancy modes and filters usually found in point & shoot cameras and mobile phone cameras. Ideal for shooting short films, documentaries etc. with real professional quality. Lenses can be changed as required (though they are expensive) to get required effects, zoom levels and focus.

Why: Highest quality, Ideal for best quality footages. Recommended for stock video sale. Life-like output. A lot of accessories available for enhancing output.

Why not? : Large file sizes, Less in-camera editing, less number of fancy features, bulky and heavy, expensive.

Professional video/movie cameras

In my opinion, professional movie cameras are mere extravagance if you are shooting videos other than movies and album songs. Cameras like RED, Canon EOS systems, Black-magic etc. are examples.

Why: Highest possible quality. Long battery life for continuous shooting. In-camera lossless adjustments.

Why not? : Exorbitant prices, Need of expensive accessories, Bulky and heavy to carry. Not for instant shooting.

Do you feel like Youtube video shooting is a costly affair? Not necessarily. We can make a decent performing Youtube video studio in a budget. I believe in the slogan -Maximum utilisation of available resources. Based on that I have setup a studio by myself. See what is included in it and know how I create professional videos for myself, Here.

Your comments, suggestions and doubts make the discussion lively. Sharing this post is most welcomed.

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