I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but this camera setup cost me almost as much as my first car. And that’s SCARY. You’ve heard me say 1,000 times that you can film with whatever you have and that you shouldn’t worry about it. So, why did I spend the money on the Sony A7S III and what is the best YouTube camera? I’m here to tell you!
Sony A7S III | What is the BEST YouTube Camera?
Want to watch a video version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
I’ve been on YouTube for a few years now, and I’ve used just about every camera setup there is. And I’ve loved a lot of them and also not loved a lot of them.
I’ve been a Canon girl since I started upgrading my filming setup. I had a Canon 70D and then a Canon M50 until I got the new Sony A7S III.
Being a Canon girl and switching to Sony was a DECISION. It means I have to learn a whole new menu, system, and all the things. And it means that none of the lenses I already own would fit the Sony A7S III. It’s a big deal because the camera operation is different, but the lenses are NOT interchangeable. Which can get VERY expensive.
I had four different lenses for my Canon camera, and I haven’t added a lens in about three years.
My decision to buy the Sony A7S III
This camera was NOT cheap. And the lens I have on it was NOT cheap, either. I’m using the Sony 1635 2.8 G-Master Lens.
The body itself for the A7S III costs about $3,500. Adding a lens, extra batteries, and other things to it is a lot of money. To be honest, I’ve never spent more than $1,000 on a camera, and I’ve been into photography and videography for awhile. (I wanted to be a National Geographic Wildlife photographer until middle school, and I almost majored in photography in college. Plus, one of my first businesses was a photography business).
When I graduated high school, I was working at the Walmart Photo Lab. My grandma gave me the money to buy a laptop for college, but instead of a laptop, I bought a camera.
I say this often, but if you invest in a major camera setup at the very beginning, you don’t know that you’re going to stick with it. As someone who’s been on the platform for four years and knowing I am stepping up my game even more, I was confident in my decision.
At my current rate on YouTube, my YouTube revenue will pay for this camera in about two months. I knew I would make that money back, so it wasn’t that stressful.
Did I really need to upgrade?
I mean – probably not. But, I’m starting to get more involved in the color correction on my footage and wanting to do more creative things with my videos. I wanted to step up my game in a way that my Canon M50 would not do for me.
I’m EXCITED to be able to film in 4K on this Sony A7S III. I watched a LOT of videos on this camera before I watched it, and the ability to film on this camera is POWERFUL. There’s an amazing frame rate, it’s quick to focus, and it can perform well in low-light settings. It also has the ability to do slow-motion content that I’m excited to try.
The ability to get high-quality footage in low light was one of the biggest reasons I wanted the Sony A7S III. I’ve struggled when I needed to up the ISO on my Canon M50. After filming in my dark office with a few external lights on my Sony A7S III, I can say that it outperforms any other camera I’ve owned in low lighting.
Reminder that you do NOT need a fancy camera to make YouTube videos!
If buying an expensive camera like the Sony A7S III is going to be hard on you financially, DO NOT DO IT. You don’t need intense equipment to succeed on YouTube!
I always tell people that they should upgrade their camera equipment as they’re moving through what they’re doing.
If you’re just starting on YouTube and you have no idea if you enjoy it, will stick with it and be consistent, then YOU DON’T NEED A FANCY CAMERA.
I’ve gone into debt for equipment before, and it’s never worth it.
Start with the cheapest path – AKA your phone – when you’re just getting started. I started out filming on my iPhone with less than ideal lighting and sound, and I was still able to grow.
The camera on the back of your phone will ALWAYS be better quality than the selfie camera. Quick hack for you: if you have an iPhone and an Apple Watch, you can attach the Apple Watch to the front of your phone on the camera app while the back iPhone camera points at you. That way, you can see what you’re doing on your watch while you film!
Maybe you’ve used your phone for awhile and you’re ready to upgrade – you have two paths to choose!
Fixed Lens Camera
The first “path” of camera upgrades would be using a fixed lens camera. A Canon G7X is a fixed lens camera that you’ve probably seen a lot of vloggers use. There’s a similar version in the Sony VB1.
If you use a fixed lens camera, you’ll be in the $500-$800 range. But, the camera is an all-in-one. It doesn’t have interchangeable lenses and most of them do not have an external mic jack. That means you might need to use external sound or just be okay with using the sound from the camera.
Mirrorless Camera with Lenses
A compact mirrorless camera with lenses is another option when you want to find the best YouTube camera. The Canon M50 is a great example, and it’s the camera I used.
It has the ability to use an external mic, shoot in 4K, and change lenses. The Canon M50 specifically is a very robust camera in a small package. If I am okay with spending $800-$900 on a camera upgrade, then I would go with a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses.
I’m going to keep my Canon M50 because it’s very portable, it’s great quality, and it’s easy for me to set up and use as a webcam. That way, I can uplevel my livestream quality.
So, if I wanted a phone upgrade, I would highly recommend the Canon M50. The kit lens, which is a 15-45 5.6 lens, is good. A 5.6 aperture won’t give you a really intense depth of field like the 2.8 lens on my Sony A7S III, but it will get the job done. You can also upgrade the lenses for the Canon M50 pretty cheaply.
My Camera Recommendations
If you want a MAJOR upgrade, then I think there isn’t anything better than the Sony A7S III. I was ready to spend the money on a full-frame camera, but the Sony won in every single category.
I needed a video first camera, and the Sony A7S III was that.