I will start with some information about myself as I believe it will give you a good insight into what my expectations from the camera are and why I’ve chosen what I’ve chosen.
I decided to start vlogging in the middle of 2018. My channel's primary focus is reviewing desserts. Mostly in London but also during my travels.
I work 9-5 as an IT contractor for one of the major banks, and I do vlogging only as a hobby in my spare time.
My style of vlogging has a few challenges. I am mostly filming in busy and noisy environments. Busy London streets, markets, and restaurants. I don’t have that much time for shooting nor for editing as I usually do it in between my working hours. I have some money to spend on the gear, but I don’t want to unnecessarily waste money, especially when I don’t know how long I might be able to pursue this hobby.
So, here is my path to find the best vlogging camera with flip screen and how and why I’ve made my decisions.
First I started vlogging on my iPhone. I bought some extra gear, small external rode microphone which works with phone perfectly and equipment to hold it all together.
You can make some high-quality video on phones these days, but it has a few drawbacks. Filming drains battery ultra fast. I usually drained all the battery power in less than an hour. Even if I carried the external battery pack with me all the time, the charging times are very long which became restricting and stressful.
The second issue is, as you would probably already expect that the phone doesn’t have the flip screen. It’s either you can’t see yourself when talking to the camera or your video has lower quality (front-facing cameras are usually worse). Also with the external microphone, you have to either turn the mic towards you or you have to unplug it and use the phone built-in microphone.
Not good and a lot of hustle.
So, I pretty quickly understood that I need to invest in some point and shoot camera with a flip screen.
I quickly realized that there is no good camera on the market which has everything, good quality of the video, jack for an external mic, flip screen and is relatively affordable.
I did a lot of research and ended up deciding between Canon G7 Mark II and Sony Cyber-Shot RX100. They are pretty much similar cameras. I went for the Canon G7 Mark II at the end, and the only decisive factor was that more vloggers seemed to use Canon.
I agree with many vloggers that this is one of the best relatively affordable point and shoot camera out there. Everyone can vlog with this camera.
However, for me, it still wasn’t the best. The internal microphone just picks up too much noise on the streets. In some of my old videos, you can barely hear me talking to the camera because of all the noise from the environment I was filming in.
I ended up using a small external microphone attached to my shirt and connected to my iPhone. But what a hustle it was. I always forgot to turn recording on my phone, and it took forever to match video with sound when I was editing.
So, I realized that I need to be able to use external one directional microphone if I want some decent sound quality in my videos and reduce the time of editing.
I spent hours of research on the internet again and decided to go for Canon 80d. It has everything: external mic, flip screen, I can switch to a wide lens, and it’s all easily attachable to the camera which is easily attachable to the gorilla pod.
It’s not the cheapest camera, but as an all-in-one device it’s almost excellent, and it is still relatively affordable. It would be excellent but because Canon doesn’t do image stabilization in the body of the camera but only in the lens, it is not.
Don’t get me wrong, it performs very well, but it’s not even close to the smooth stabilization of Canon G7 mark II. I believe my footage is quite shaky even if I put a lot of effort into it and I learned quite a few tricks from YouTube how to keep camera steady. It’s definitely shakier than I would prefer.
I bought RODE external mic, and that thing is a blast. Sound is impressive even on the busy streets of London.
I would go for something from Panasonic Lumix. Mark Weins uses the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 Camera which has in body stabilization. That in combination with lens stabilization gives the almost perfect image. His videos have excellent quality, and the image is very stable.
However, this camera with the lens can be easily around £2000 which is just too expensive. I might treat to it when I get 100k subscribers 🙂
Although maybe if I would go straight for LUMIX and skip all other hardware, I bought while figuring this out, I would probably spend the same amount of money. 😞
As much as I agree to some extent with Casey Neistat that gear doesn’t matter if your story is exceptional, it makes your life MUCH more comfortable if you have the proper gear.
You can focus more on content and better editing when you can be confident that your camera will catch everything perfectly on its own and on the first try.
As usual in life, it much depends on what style of vlogging you do and how much you are willing to spend.
In conclusion, if you are starting or you are not filming in super challenging environments the Canon G7 Mark II is probably the best flip screen, and in general, value for money camera on the market at the moment.
And I can confirm that filming with it is an absolutely fantastic and comfortable experience.
People also tend to freak out less when they see this small compact camera compared to the big, more professional looking gear.