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What's the Best Camera for YouTube?

There’s a reason why we sit down with creators like Jeremy Cowart and Nick de Partee on the Keep Creating Podcast. 

We wanted to learn about their processes, their inspirations, and the pivotal moments in their careers that seem serendipitous, or even miraculous, in hindsight. 

Truth be told, we took away just as much value from these conversations as our podcast listeners did. And it’s no secret why. 

Talking with other creators is an unofficial but effective cure for creative ruts. 

When your day-to-day starts to feel more monotonous than inspired, it helps to step away for a moment and engage with someone whose processes might be different than yours. 

 

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The best resources for creators are other creators, especially when it comes to investing in new gear and trying out different filming techniques. 

Whether you’ve been creating YouTube videos for several years or a few weeks, certain questions naturally come to mind whenever it’s time to buy new gear:

What cameras and additional gear are worth investing in? How does filming with a video camera compare to filming with a smartphone? 

In the spirit of creative collaboration, we reached out to the UK-based filmmakers behind the YouTube channel Ingamells Brothers to get their take on the best cameras for producing YouTube content. 

Josh and Jake — i.e., the Ingamells Brothers — were kind enough to lend us their insight on this topic. Here’s their take on the best camera for YouTube. 

Two Filmmakers Pick The Best Camera Tor YouTube

 

Before we discuss gear recommendations and smartphone videography, introductions are in order. *cue the applause*

The Ingamells brothers Josh and Jake have been part of the filmmaker/videographer YouTube community since 2012 when they started their first channel, Ingamells Brothers / Big Sky Creative Ltd

They began producing and sharing behind-the-scenes videos about their experience running a full-time video production company, Big Sky Creative, in 2019 on their Ingamells Brothers channel. 

These days, Josh and Jake have fine tuned their process for uploading new videos to their channels on a consistent basis:  

“We're currently shooting on two different setups, depending on if we're creating 16:9 content or vertical content for the new YouTube Shorts.”

When we asked them about the best camera(s) for YouTube, Josh and Jake singled out the Sony a6400 for their channel’s short form daily videos and the Sony A7iii for longer form content. 

Here’s what they had to say about both cameras: 

1. Sony a6400

Song a6400

 

“As we're posting every day we need a really quick, easy rig to get this content filmed and posted. We've mounted a Sony a6400 with the kit lens (Sony E PZ 16-50mm f/3.5) sideways on a cage. We've also mounted a Rode ViceoMic Pro so we get clear audio and an Aputure MC RGBWW light on there.”

2. Sony A7 III 35mm & 85mm

Song III 35mm & 85mm

“When we're filming longer format content in 16:9 we have two Sony A7iii bodies, and I'd say 80% of the time we have the Sony 35mm on one and the Sony 85mm on the other. They're great, sharp lenses and really versatile focal lengths for most situations. If we're doing a lot of moving around we'll mount the A7iii with the 35mm on a DJI Ronin-SC gimbal.”

These Sony cameras have served the Ingamells  well in their careers, both on and off YouTube. In fact, Sony has been their go-to brand for about five years. 

It’s also evident that Josh and Jake put a lot of stake in camera stabilizers, lighting, and audio equipment when shooting YouTube videos. 

Given the fact that they are professional filmmakers, wedding videographers, and founders of a creative business, how do they feel about smartphone videography? 

Is it overrated or underrated? High quality or subpar?

And, perhaps most of all, would they ever prefer the filming capabilities of a smartphone over either of their Sony cameras?

To Film Or Not to Film YouTube Videos on Your iPhone

Ten years or so ago, the idea of using a smartphone instead of a video camera to make high-quality YouTube videos or films was unfathomable. 

But as the tech industry has evolved — and companies like Samsung, Apple, and Google continue improving their phones’ filming capabilities — it’s become entirely plausible for creators to capture cinematic footage with smartphones. 

Not only is it possible, it’s more common now than ever before for creators to pick up a smartphone and some choice filming accessories and get to work. 

Take the full-length film “9 Rides” (2016), for example. 

 

 

Director Matthew A. Cherry — one of the executive producers for “BlacKkKlansman” (2018) — shot this entire feature with an iPhone 6s, the FiLMiC Pro app, and a few other pieces of gear

It was the first film to be shot in 4K on this model of the iPhone.

Two years later, the production team for Eminem’s “Venom” music video filmed most of the project with the Google Pixel 3.

Smartphone Videography vs. Traditional Videography

It’s impressive to see how creators are producing these types of projects exclusively (or almost exclusively) with smartphone devices. 

But the question remains, Can smartphone footage actually compete with the footage captured by traditional camera gear? 

In the video below, Josh and Jake conducted their own filmmaking experiment to find out whether or not the iPhone 11 Pro could potentially replace their go-to camera, the Sony A7iii, and the DJI Osmo Action. 

 

 

By using the FiLMiC Pro app and a handheld stabilizer, they were able to set the shutter speed at 48, control the frame rate, and get steady footage. 

The result?

The Sony A7iii ultimately delivered the best image quality, but the iPhone was a close second. As for the DJI Osmo Action, Josh and Jake believed that the camera would have performed better in a different setting. 

After viewing the footage side by side, the brothers shared that, “The iPhone will still be part of our kit list from now on because it’s just so convenient, and the image is just that good.”

Even though the Sony camera had a clear advantage over the iPhone 11 Pro, it’s more than possible to capture pro-level footage with smartphones and tech like the FiLMiC Pro app.   

Find What Works For You

It’s not always easy to find gear that’s compatible with your work style.

You might invest in a high-end product that received positive reviews only to find out that it complicates your process, rather than simplifies it. 

Maybe this new gear limits the mobility you need to run a travel or wedding videography channel. Maybe it’s too difficult to operate or physically taxing, and you need to be able to film for hours at a time. 

As a YouTube creator, you need gear that allows you to make and share your best work. 

While this is something that every creator has to learn partly through trial and error, it’s never a bad idea to seek out advice from fellow creators. Especially if doing so can save you time and money. 

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