Best cameras for home videos and vlogging

A common question I keep getting about the videos I’ve been sharing is “what equipment do you use?” I get really frustrated when I see a video or picture I like but have no idea what they used to achieve it, so I’m more than happy to share what I know.

Instead of trying to delve into everything in one post I decided to make a video demo explaining the pros and cons of the different cameras I use to make my videos. The only kind of camera I didn’t show in this example was a webcam, which I do use sometimes, but I usually prefer not to. Also, I figured most people have a general idea of what a webcam looks like.

In a nutshell, here’s how I breakdown the different cameras I use to record my video documentations and you can decide for you the best cameras for home videos and vlogging.

Like my nice new jingle? I got it from Freesibs on Fiverr.

Video Comparisons
iPhone 5:
Pros- It’s always on me, non-intrusive/ they’re used to it.
Cons- Video quality doesn’t always look as nice, bad audio, low quality frontal camera, usually running out of space/ no external drive.

Camcorder Canon Vixia HF R40:
Pros- Lightweight, nice HD quality, easy auto-focus, great for being “in the shot”, large internal drive, can flip the screen around and control from my iphone over wifi (my specific model).
Cons- Compared to a DSLR it’s not as good in low light, and it’s lens and zoom is lacking smooth depth of field.

DSLR Canon 5D Mark ii:
Pros- Great in low light, love the ease of adjusting the depth of field. Overall I love this look the best.
Cons- No auto-focus, depth of field can be tricky (constant focusing). The camera isn’t specifically made for video, and I’m not able to see myself when vlogging/no flip screen, which means I often have to do lots of takes. This camera is also the heaviest so I don’t feel like lugging it everywhere.

Later I can go into audio, editing, lenses for my DSLR and artificial lighting, but if that’s totally more than you want to know let me know. I’m hoping to do a couple video tutorials a month, and a couple other documentation videos.

Have any other questions? Ask away! And if you YouTube please subscribe to my channel, I’m excited to resurrect the thing!

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  1. I love this, Jen. You look beautiful per usual 🙂

    Last night I was at a photography class and ended up chatting about the camera qualities of DSLRs with another classmate. It’s so interesting because as technology improves I think we are all looking for a device that can do it all for us. And why not?

    But, I love your point about a DSLR being made to take photos, and it’s true– that’s what it does best!

    I’d love to know more about how you edit, and how you ended up with such a cute, personalized song!

    1. Thanks Katie! Yes I was beginning to think the 70D could be what I was looking for, but I’d be going back to a crop censor and I don’t need two DSLRs. I think the canon camcorder is a nice addition. And much easier on the wallet.

      I want to hear more about this photography class you’re in that’s great even for pros like you!

      K, I’ll add that to my list of questions to answer. Thanks! 🙂

  2. I love your video tutorials. I haven’t been active on my blog or taking good quality picture with my DSLR but hopefully I’ll be able to have more time to start documenting. I know with your help, I can make a cute video for my kids.


    1. Yes! I’m finding the hardest part is just STARTING. Once you start getting a bit of footage together you’ll be excited and ready to roll. Sometimes just hitting record the first time is the hardest step.

      We’ll definitely get you to where you can make your own video!

  3. thanks! cute kiddos! so i was thinking about vlogging here and there on my blog too… wanted to use my iPad to record – simply because it’s so easy. but found that i needed a microphone. i have yet to go find one. what are your thoughts on this?

    1. I think it depends. Is this for you or to share? Is audio quality a priority for you? (It is for me). If so I’d look into something like this:

      Of course it’s not cheap, but it could be just what you’re looking for. I got a wireless lav mic that I can attach to my dslr or camcorder (I made sure to get a camcorder that has a mic jack).

      Hope that helps some!! Be sure to let me see your first one!

  4. So the question is, which method did you use for filming this VLOG!!?? 😉 Great job and very useful info…I’m still figuring out a camera to purchase…

  5. It allows you extra freedom to zoom in for those close shots,
    to get the best picture without distortion. However, there are
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    quality, and they are small enough to fit in your jacket pocket or
    purse. If you are going to do this it is best to purchase the camera with
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    a deal between the two.

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