Author Topic: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?  (Read 3233 times)

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Offline Dumpsterholic

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Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« on: March 10, 2018, 04:35:44 pm »
Hello:

I have been investigating low-cost camcorders online with the idea of starting a YouTube channel. Back in the Ur-Time before digital video (and even before the movie "Wayne's World"), I worked for several years as a videographer, grip, sound and lighting tech, etc. It's a tough business, and I have since found other ways to pay the bills, but lately I have been watching tech-related YT videos and have been quite impressed by the production value offered by some of my faves, including those made by the mighty Dave himself.

I am well aware of the difficulty of creating a good how-to video. The equation goes something like this:

An hour of raw footage, properly lit and shot from at least three different camera angles + a ton of editing time + re-recording the "fluffs" + laying down a separate audio track = a minute or two of production-quality video. But I'm undaunted; there may be some financial reward in store for me at the end of the line...

Anyway, I know this might not be the best forum for soliciting opinions on consumer-level video cameras, but I figured I'd start here since I know there are some very great minds at work behind the scenes. It seems to me, based on my Web searches, that Sony and Panasonic lead the market (just as they did thirty years ago), but the new kid on the block is the GoPro line. If I limit my search to the under $300 mark, there seem to be quite a few options, but I'm wondering just how good a camera I can get for $100 or so.

I welcome any suggestions, but I certainly hope the answers do not engender another dick-measuring contest, as I've had far too many of those in the past, and IMO they never lead to any useful outcome.
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2018, 08:50:30 pm »
Have you searched this forum (not always easy)? There has been talks on this before.  Pay attention to audio  ie ext mic jack.  There is a lot you can do with audio. 
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Offline shteii01

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2018, 11:47:47 pm »
1.  Light.  Light.  Light.

2.  Camera with image stabilization.  Based on some research I am looking at Canon digital point and shoot like Elph series that also take great video (I am cheap, I tried old Nikon Coolpix and video quality was bad, but I did not have good lighting either).

3.  I plan to do audio completely separate.  So I don't really care how good the camera microphone is and I don't care about setting up external microphones for filming.

4.  Do the eFing script for filming.  Do the outline of what you will say for audio.  Don't be an idiot that just starts recording on the fly, then thinks of another thing and does recording again, then thinks of another thing and does another recording... 

For free editing software you can try VirtualDub: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VirtualDub
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 11:51:57 pm by shteii01 »
 
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 01:11:24 am »
Are you planning to film mostly in a lab/studio or outdoors? Those are very different use cases. If you want to be able to do live streaming, that's yet another use case.

Your budget rules out a DSLR (except possibly if you could find a used one for crazy cheap), so you're really only looking at pocket cameras, sports cameras, and smartphones. If you already have a decent smartphone, it probably wouldn't be possible to get any meaningful improvement on that budget and you'll be better off investing in other parts of your setup.
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Offline nidlaX

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 01:35:59 am »
GoPro image quality is pretty good, but the lens FOV and distortion is not ideal for indoor / lab use IMO.

I would consider going for the Yi 4K / 4K+ and adding a low distortion lens with a gimbal. That would get you image stabilization and smooth shots with decent sharpness. You can get an external mic / audio recorder to wrap up the package.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2018, 08:32:35 am »
I am well aware of the difficulty of creating a good how-to video. The equation goes something like this:
An hour of raw footage, properly lit and shot from at least three different camera angles

You're doing it wrong.

Quote
+ a ton of editing time

You're doing it wrong.

Quote
+ re-recording the "fluffs"

You're doing it wrong if don't realise this a second before you pressed stop.

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+ laying down a separate audio track

You're definitely doing it wrong.

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= a minute or two of production-quality video.

Arguably doing it wrong.
There is a market for short several minute "how to's", like KipKay for example, but in general you can't really teach much in a few minutes.
Take Great Scott as an example of very well produced 5-7 minutes tech how-to videos. There is a big market for that to be sure, but then a common complaint is the videos are too quick and don't provide enough detail.
But whatever style you do, stick to one consistent style of video.

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But I'm undaunted; there may be some financial reward in store for me at the end of the line...

Not from Google adsense until you hit say 100,000 views a day, every day.

Quote
but I'm wondering just how good a camera I can get for $100 or so.

You can't unless you go old and 2nd hand.
But with enough light even the crap camera in your phone will work.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2018, 10:06:26 am »
3.  I plan to do audio completely separate.  So I don't really care how good the camera microphone is and I don't care about setting up external microphones for filming.

I do most of my videos with internals mics.

Quote
4.  Do the eFing script for filming.  Do the outline of what you will say for audio.  Don't be an idiot that just starts recording on the fly, then thinks of another thing and does recording again, then thinks of another thing and does another recording... 

I've done every single video without a script, and just press record without really knowing what I'm going to say.
Last I checked, it's been fairly successful...
 
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Offline shteii01

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2018, 09:32:10 pm »
3.  I plan to do audio completely separate.  So I don't really care how good the camera microphone is and I don't care about setting up external microphones for filming.

I do most of my videos with internals mics.

Quote
4.  Do the eFing script for filming.  Do the outline of what you will say for audio.  Don't be an idiot that just starts recording on the fly, then thinks of another thing and does recording again, then thinks of another thing and does another recording... 

I've done every single video without a script, and just press record without really knowing what I'm going to say.
Last I checked, it's been fairly successful...
Regarding 3.  I want to do breadboard demonstrations for specific topics.  So it will be more of a video response to a topic on a web board instead of just text describing what to do.  Therefore, I don't need room coverage for audio, I don't need three mics and I don't need shitty camera mic that might be on the back or front of the camera.  I will have one good mic, sitting in front of me so I can speak clearly into it.  Once I have an audio file I will slice and dice it to go with the video.

Regarding 4.  I am not you.  In college one of the required courses was speech class.  Pretty much everyone is required to take it.  I learned some things from it, both about public speaking and about my own abilities.  Half a hour ago I watched a youtube video, the dude made it as a second video because first one was so bad, and even in the second video as he is getting ready to demonstrate desoldering he stops and says: "I need to put my glasses on."  I was... WTF?  I don't want to see this sort of stupidity from myself or from others.  He is doing a SECOND video on the same topic and he was still not prepared.
 

Offline Dumpsterholic

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2018, 11:39:41 pm »
Whoa, thanks everybody!

For the record: I ended up buying an open-box Sony Handycam CX405 for under $200. We'll see how well it performs.

While I did actually explain above that I was more interested in what kind of camera I could buy for under $200 than in the theory and practice of instructional videography, I think many of the responses diverged somewhat into how to make a good YouTube video, which is a topic eminently worthy of discussion. Doubtless many of you have witnessed the broad range of how-to videos on YT, and have strong feelings pro and con, as do I. And let's face it: Many times, YT is the best place to go to find up-to-the-minute applications of recently introduced products, and also at the same time the best source for very basic knowledge of say, how a transistor works or how much current a given device can sink before it blows up. Pretty cool. Some people have done an excellent job with very little investment in recording and editing gear (like, shot in-camera with a stationary GoPro or iPhone with a built-in microphone).

Dave's videos are uniformly good; I've watched a number of them and never been disappointed, except by the realization that there is a LOT to learn.... He makes it look easy, but that comes from really knowing both his material and his audience.

I don't want to waste a lot of time developing a YouTube channel; I actually have a potential client in mind who may be willing to pay real money, and so I hit on the idea of launching a few freebies on YT as a way of building a video resume that anybody can view.

My production standards are pretty high; if I had budget of only $30,000 I could certainly lay my hands on all the gear I would need to get started, then buy more gear as the money rolled in. But, like many of you, I have often marveled at just how good a cheaply made video can be... And also have been extremely disappointed by how shitty most of them are. I won't list all the defects I've noticed, 'cause who cares, right? Crappy, inconsistent audio, annoying disco music, poor enunciation, a general lack of understanding of the subject matter and/or a complete inability to explain anything properly, und so weiter...

On that note, I'll end with a big shout out to Dave Jones and whoever the guy is behind Great Scott. I have other faves, but both these channels have absorbed many hours of my attention, helping me to understand a number of electronics concepts that books alone have failed to make clear.
 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2018, 01:22:01 am »
For me, I got Panasonic V770-HD and it is really nice. I wonder what Dave is using these days, last time he wrote is Canon HF G20 or something.

What is the camcorder you recommend for really better quality overall than the panasonic 770?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2018, 01:36:52 am »
For me, I got Panasonic V770-HD and it is really nice. I wonder what Dave is using these days, last time he wrote is Canon HF G20 or something.

Still using the Canon HF G30 for most stuff.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2018, 01:43:47 am »
Any camera, even iTouch cameras, will work with good lighting. For macro shots, an entry level mirrorless with a macro lens can cost less than a few hundred bucks.

There is a common trap for most new video producers, audio. Many videos have noisy audio that sounds horrible. Make sure you get a good mic and at least an entry level recorder (Sony, Zoom, etc.).

Anything mains connected and not grounded shall not get in touch with your microphone, or you WILL get the hum.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2018, 04:34:11 am »
For me, I got Panasonic V770-HD and it is really nice. I wonder what Dave is using these days, last time he wrote is Canon HF G20 or something.

Still using the Canon HF G30 for most stuff.

My Sony NEX VG30 is a much better quality camera than the Canon HF G30, but it is more inconvenient to use, has a lousy audio level display, isn't as flexible, and the inbuilt shotgun mic isn't designed for behind camera work which is 90% of my stuff. So the Canon is used for all behind camera shots and whiteboard stuff with wireless mic. The Sony is only for Mailbag talking head shots.
Classic case of usability winning out over image quality.
 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2018, 05:37:03 am »
For me, I got Panasonic V770-HD and it is really nice. I wonder what Dave is using these days, last time he wrote is Canon HF G20 or something.

Still using the Canon HF G30 for most stuff.

My Sony NEX VG30 is a much better quality camera than the Canon HF G30, but it is more inconvenient to use, has a lousy audio level display, isn't as flexible, and the inbuilt shotgun mic isn't designed for behind camera work which is 90% of my stuff. So the Canon is used for all behind camera shots and whiteboard stuff with wireless mic. The Sony is only for Mailbag talking head shots.
Classic case of usability winning out over image quality.

This Sony NEX VG30 is around 1700$ on Amazon but it says "discontinued by manufacturer". For me, I don't like built-in stuff like this. My camcorder (which I bought thanks to you if you remember) is Panasonic V770-HD which has pretty nice internal microphone of 5.1 channels, but still allows me to connect an external mic. I connect a 20$ lavier mic when shooting but I never played with audio settings.

I wanted to know how you get your audio this good, no any channel does it the same as you do... especially back in your old garage lab, how did you manage to eliminate noise and still get loud audio? I use Audacity to filter noise, check my latest video in my signature to see the results if they are good enough or not.

You still use HF G30? They released the new HF G21 which should be a replacement to HF G40 or something like this. I wanna know how to determine image quality for camcorders? I see different specs for sensor, effective pixels, and mega-pixels... can you please explain? try making an example of your cameras vs my panasonic v770 if you can.

BTW, my camcorder shoots 1080p 60fps for around 1 hour (+15 mins) only, is that how it is with you? cuz I read camcorders go for hours and hours until memory is full (mine is 64gb and never 20% full).

I really wanna know how to increase my production quality as a whole, in terms of audio and video.


Here are some mentioned cameras:

Canon HF G21: https://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-G21-Full-Camcorder/dp/B077NJR9F8/ref=dp_ob_title_ce
Canon XA11: https://www.amazon.com/Canon-XA11-Professional-Camcorder/dp/B0773Y4HTC/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

Here is a comparison: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/compare/Canon_HF_G40_vs_Panasonic_HC-V770_vs_Panasonic_HC-WX970_vs_Sony_FDR-AX53/BHitems/1210608-REG_1109405-REG_1109408-REG_1211905-REG
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2018, 07:34:23 am »
This Sony NEX VG30 is around 1700$ on Amazon but it says "discontinued by manufacturer".

I got mine maybe 3 years ago for like $900 or something used without a lens, but I had E-Mount lenses so no problem.

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For me, I don't like built-in stuff like this. My camcorder (which I bought thanks to you if you remember) is Panasonic V770-HD which has pretty nice internal microphone of 5.1 channels, but still allows me to connect an external mic. I connect a 20$ lavier mic when shooting but I never played with audio settings.

Many camcorder have front mounted mics which is not nice for behind camera commentary work. The Sony NEX with it's fixed shotgun is not designed for this purpose.
If oyu want to do behind the camera commentary get a camera with top mounts mics.

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I wanted to know how you get your audio this good, no any channel does it the same as you do...

Internal HF G30 mic, manual gain (auto-gain is BAD NEWS on any camera).

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especially back in your old garage lab, how did you manage to eliminate noise and still get loud audio?

I used a shotgun mic and was maybe 1m away.

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You still use HF G30?

Yep, almost all my videos use that. Still works fine. I'd only need to change if I went to 4K. I'd like to get the Sony HXR-NX80 but it's very pricey.

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They released the new HF G21 which should be a replacement to HF G40 or something like this. I wanna know how to determine image quality for camcorders?

For video blogging work it doesn't matter, unless you have really crap indoor lighting.
Youtube compresses the crap out of uploaded video anyway, so fussing over which camera gives a better picture is pretty moot.

Quote
I see different specs for sensor, effective pixels, and mega-pixels... can you please explain? try making an example of your cameras vs my panasonic v770 if you can.

Generally sensor size is king, but basically any camcorder over say $500 is going to do a good job.
A 1" sensor or bigger will kick arse, but the HF G30 is only 1/2.84" but it's got good optics and is quality top line consumer camera.
The 770 should be able to give more than decent results given enough light, probably on par with my HF G30 in image performance

Quote
BTW, my camcorder shoots 1080p 60fps for around 1 hour (+15 mins) only, is that how it is with you?

I shoot at 28Mbps AVCHD, you can do the math. Mine will record for as long as the battery and card last. It's also dual card so can relay from one to the other but I've never used that.

Quote
I really wanna know how to increase my production quality as a whole, in terms of audio and video.

1) Get lots of light
2) Get close to the microphone
3) Used fixed audio gain, not auto, and get the level right in-camera.
4) Get the white balance right in-camera. (All my studio lights are the same colour temp, so I have that fixed in the camera.)
5) Learn to frame and angle things well

 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2018, 09:39:07 am »
Quote
Many camcorder have front mounted mics which is not nice for behind camera commentary work. The Sony NEX with it's fixed shotgun is not designed for this purpose.
If oyu want to do behind the camera commentary get a camera with top mounts mics.

My Panasonic v770-hd has a back mic not front one and it is 5.1 channels, but I use the external lapel mic when I do overhead videos which are similar to your behind commentary. I don't know about which one is better quality.

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Internal HF G30 mic, manual gain (auto-gain is BAD NEWS on any camera).

this is quite interesting that you use the internal mic.

how do you adjust the gain? I mean, I could increase it in camera settings but how do I know it is good or not? could it be the same for all future recordings or each video must have its own.

I suspected that you use noise cancellation walls or such fancy stuff. I asked about your garage lab since I will do the same next year, does it have the same audio quality as your current lab which is in a room?

My current shared room has annoying air conditioner (old mechanical one), so I turn it off 2 mins before recording but still gets too much noise that I use Audacity to filter it. Check my latest episode (mailbag #2) to see final result. I still think your quality is better which is why I ask.


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I used a shotgun mic and was maybe 1m away.

So shotgun mic helps eliminating noise while lapel mic/internal mic doesn't?

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Yep, almost all my videos use that. Still works fine. I'd only need to change if I went to 4K. I'd like to get the Sony HXR-NX80 but it's very pricey.

Personally I find 4k useless for our stuff. 1080p 60fps is just perfect. your final video could be 20 gb of size for nearly 0 real gains, not many people watch 4k on youtube in general let alone in electronics. 4k is best for gaming and movies. Yes, 2500$ is way too much for a camcorder. You must search for another alternative |O

Quote
For video blogging work it doesn't matter, unless you have really crap indoor lighting.
Youtube compresses the crap out of uploaded video anyway, so fussing over which camera gives a better picture is pretty moot.

Well, I used to film using my Nexus 4 phone and it was bad due to huge amount of noise. Now Panasonic V770-HD is significantly better. I only have a double neon light at the ceiling and my result is generally fine, unless you think otherwise. If I happened to get to a garage lab then I would get customized lighting... and it is a garage, so anything works there. No standards, no styles, no wife opinion. :-+

Quote
Generally sensor size is king, but basically any camcorder over say $500 is going to do a good job.
A 1" sensor or bigger will kick arse, but the HF G30 is only 1/2.84" but it's got good optics and is quality top line consumer camera.
The 770 should be able to give more than decent results given enough light, probably on par with my HF G30 in image performance

this one seems kinda nice: https://www.amazon.com/Sony-FDR-AX100-Video-Camera-3-5-Inch/dp/B00HNJWVIA/

not too pricey and has 1" sensor which is a lot better than 1/2.3" and probably better than your HG30. I still don't quite get the megapixel thing vs sensor size.

Quote
I shoot at 28Mbps AVCHD, you can do the math. Mine will record for as long as the battery and card last. It's also dual card so can relay from one to the other but I've never used that.

What I meant is that my camcorder has around 75 minutes at full charge at full quality but still the memory is not full, not even close. So this is a battery thing, what about yours? Does your camera record until both SD cards are full or limited by battery itself? how many hours straight on one full charge?

Quote
1) Get lots of light
2) Get close to the microphone
3) Used fixed audio gain, not auto, and get the level right in-camera.
4) Get the white balance right in-camera. (All my studio lights are the same colour temp, so I have that fixed in the camera.)
5) Learn to frame and angle things well

1- could be done later on by having extra LED lights. Is position any important or just from top?
2- I use lavier mic mostly, my voice overs are with desktop usb mic connected to laptop.
3- I asked you above about fixed audio gain.
4- Can you explain?
5- I use a tripod with the manfrotto flexible arm for overhead stuff, I plan to get the manfrotto clamp to put it on wall shelves for better stability. 



 

Offline ez24

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2018, 05:21:56 pm »
4- Can you explain?

Since you are asking for suggestions on how to improve -

The number one turn-off for me is "music".  A lot of YTers from SE Asia (Middle East to India) like to make every video a music video.  Many good channels (a lot of Indian channels) did not make my list because of this.  Music in electronic videos drives me nuts.  There are a lot of good channels without background music. 

The background music in your Arduino video was a turn off.  I am sure there are people that like music in an electronic video but  not me.  Also the most popular channels do not have background music.  Consider dropping the music.

Just my 2 cents worth
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2018, 06:21:03 pm »
Not "best camera", but my driver is a Canon HF M301 with an external microphone jack, a quite decent tripod (bought used for $10), an Audio Technica ATR3350iS lavalier microphone (which works well but sometimes picks up 60Hz) and a good 160W overhead fluorescent lighting. The microphone is good to keep the audio level normalized due to my head movement - any hum can be removed by the excellent Audacity audio editor. The lighting is not perfect but, as Dave mentioned, manual WB is key. I don't use background music or riffs and, just like Dave, I don't script what I say and edit any goof ups or mindless ramblings that get in the way of the normal flow. I also try to keep editing to a minimum, although I have a baseline of elements I like to add to each video (fade transitions, captions of part numbers with a brief description, correct spoken mistakes, etc.). As for editing, I used Pinnacle Studio for many years (since v7) and I switched only last year to Magix Vegas Pro 14 (about $20 on a Humble Bundle promotion). A few years ago I got an additional camcorder for free (Panasonic HDC-HS300) that has better video quality but unfortunately no microphone jack - with this camera I tried the dual-camera setup but the editing time was killing me (as well as the lack of physical space to get good angles).
 
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Offline Andy_Moon

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2018, 09:06:56 pm »
If you are looking for a cheap camera that will have a really good video recording quality, then nothing comes to mind except as the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80. It costs about $ 200. Full Range 60X Long Zoom is major advantage this cam. For travelers, this is a real good stuff.

By the way, you can see a more detailed description of this camera https://findthedecision.com/best-camera-for-youtube

Himself used it for about two years, but then accidentally broke on the rocks  :-[
 

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Re: Best Camera for Shooting YouTube Videos?
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2019, 02:19:23 pm »
If you really want to buy vlogging cameras you must check the different features like auto-focus, external mic, video quality etc. The cost of the camera is not only the main factor. If you looking for quality one with some decent reviews then go here https://www.masstoclass.com/best-vlogging-camera-with-flip-screen/ where you will found awesome youtube cameras with their pros and cons.
 


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