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#1 DJI Osmo Mobile 6

DJI’s latest phone gimbal, the Osmo Mobile 6, uses a clever folding system and magnetic phone clamp to pack down to a pocketable size. Add to that a solid battery life, impressive performance and a neat built-in extending selfie stick. The Osmo Mobile 6 updates the design with a new ergonomic handle, an updated clamp to hold larger phones, even when in a case, and a built-in status panel to check battery level and the gimbal mode it’s in. There’s also a side wheel for zooming in and out and switching from automatic to manual focus control. The stabilizer is a great choice for mobile creatives wanting to shoot better-looking video without carrying a big camera setup with them.

#2 GoPro Hero 11 Black

From its small waterproof design to its incredible image stabilization to its excellent video quality, the Hero 11 Black is one of the most versatile GoPro cameras you can get for creating YouTube vlog gold. For its latest model, GoPro used an 8:7, 1/1.9-inch sensor. While the size increase improves quality some, it’s more about how GoPro is using the full sensor for 27-megapixel photos and 5.3K-resolution video with an 8:7 aspect ratio. With a high-resolution 8:7 aspect ratio, one clip can be edited to 16:9, 4:3 or 1:1, or vertical video at 7:8, 3:4 or 9:16. That means whatever your social media platform of choice is — YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok — the single clip can be edited to meet your needs. What’s even better is GoPro’s Quik app makes the whole process painless. 

#3 Sony ZV-1

Sony turned its RX100 enthusiast compact into a good camera for vlogging with faster autofocus and a quick way to defocus backgrounds. It gives you a big image sensor and a bright lens for better video quality even when you’re working with low light. This Sony camera has a flip-out LCD screen so you can see yourself when you’re shooting. It has a handgrip and mics better suited for selfies. And the Sony ZV 1 has a clean HDMI output, too, so you don’t have camera settings and info in your video if you output to an external recorder, encoder or display.

#4 DJI Pocket 2

We were big fans of the original DJI Osmo Pocket, but this sequel fixes a lot of its limitations and makes it the best compact option around for solo filmmakers. The Sony ZV-1 (above) trumps it for outright video quality, but if you tend to shoot a lot of walk-and-talk style clips to camera, then the Pocket 2’s combination of a three-axis gimbal and solid face-tracking could make it more appealing.

Compared to the Osmo Pocket (which remains on sale as a more affordable alternative), the DJI Pocket 2 brings a new larger sensor, a brighter lens, improved microphones and wider field of view, which means you don’t have to hold it out at arm’s length when talking to camera.

Plonk it down on a tripod base or surface, and it’ll turn to keep you in shot as you walk around in front of it. Despite that larger sensor, the Pocket 2 still isn’t the ideal camera for low light situations or high contrast scenes, but it’s a very nice upgrade on using your phone in a gimbal and the improved four-mic audio setup means you get some very decent sound quality to match.

#5 Panasonic Lumix GH6

Panasonic’s second-gen GH5 was one of our favorite cameras for vloggers, offering plenty of creative potential in compact packaging. The GH6 tops it on almost every metric: equipped with a sharper 25.2MP Micro Four Thirds sensor, it can shoot 5.7K footage at 60fps. It also offers a massive arsenal of formats, frame rates and resolutions – including a larger catalogue of 10-bit modes – while forced-fan cooling means limitless recording times.

While it’s marginally larger than the GH5 Mark II, it still retains a relatively portable form factor. Its robust build is complemented by familiar controls and new tally lights front and back. The 3-inch rear touchscreen flips, twists and tilts, while a second video record button on the front now makes it easier for vloggers to start rolling.

Connectivity options are comprehensive, although the GH6 does lack the live-streaming capabilities of the GH5 Mark II. There’s still no phase detection AF either, although contrast-based autofocus performance does seem improved from the GH5 Mark II. Stabilization is superior too, courtesy of an algorithmic upgrade that makes the GH6 one of the best cameras for smoothing out walking motion in a natural way.