What’s the Best Sony Camera for Video? [2022]

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If you don’t have time to read this article, then the overall best Sony camera for video is the Sony Alpha 7 IV, while the cheaper Sony ZV-1 is the best Sony camera for vlogging exclusively.

Sony cameras have been conquering the photo and video market for a while now. Yet, there are so many good options available that it can be hard to choose the best Sony camera for video.

Not all cameras suit all videographers the same. So, depending on your experience, purpose, and budget, you might want to compare different alternatives.

If you have no idea where to start, here you will find a comprehensive buying guide to help you make the right choice— plus the current top picks for Sony video cameras!

Let’s get started!


best sony camera for video and vlogging
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Best Sony Camera for Video: Sony Alpha 7 IV

My Top Pick

An Ideal Sony Camera for Vlogging

best sony camera for video
  • Supports 4K video at 24, 25, 30, and 60fps
  • Excellent ergonomics with a safe and comfortable grip
  • Image stabilization for handheld recording
  • Fast and responsive autofocus with subject tracking
  • Outstanding low-light performance
  • Expensive
Equipped with a fast and reliable autofocus system and a powerful 33MP full-frame sensor, the Sony Alpha 7 IV is the ideal mirrorless camera for intermediate videographers looking to enter the professional market.
This camera supports 4K video at up to 60fps and delivers beautiful, natural-looking colors with excellent dynamic range to ensure the highest quality possible to please videographers and advanced vloggers.

Best Sony Camera For Vlogging: Sony ZV-1

The Best Sony Vlogging Camera

best sony vlogging camera
  • Supports 4K video at 30fps
  • Superb autofocus
  • Good, bright, and versatile lens suitable for almost any occasion
  • Great value for money
  • Image stabilization to record steady vlogs
  • Short battery life can limit your workflow
The Sony ZV-1 is a compact yet compelling camera for vloggers, YouTubers, and beginner videographers.
This camera has everything you need to get started in the content creation world, including a versatile fully-articulated screen to record yourself effortlessly, a mic input, and creative video modes.
Besides, it also has image stabilization and a precise autofocus system with subject tracking to ensure smooth and sharp videos even if you are moving, and is the best Sony compact camera.

Comparison of the Top Sony Vlogging Cameras

Camera

Sensor

Video Resolution

Extras

Check Price

 

[Overall Best Camera for Video]

Full-frame, 33MP

Up to 4K 60p 10-bit; bit rates up to 500Mbps

Image stabilization; 110 min recording battery life; Fully articulated touchscreen

 

[Best Sony Camera for Vlogging]

1-inch, 20.1MP

Up to 4K 30fps / HD 120fps; bit rates up to 100Mbps

Image stabilization; USB charging; Lens included

Full-frame, 24.2MP

Up to 4K 30fps; bit rates up to 100Mbps

Image stabilization; 125 min recording battery life; Tilting touchscreen

APS-C, 20.1MP

Up to 4K 30fps; bit rates up to 100Mbps

75 min recording batter life; USB charging; Tiltable touchscreen


What to Look for When Choosing the Best Sony Video Camera

Before diving into the best Sony cameras for video, let’s discuss some key aspects you should take into account:

  • Sensor Size – Full-frame sensors will yield higher image quality and better low-light performance than APS-C sensors. Yet, they make bigger and more expensive cameras.
  • Video Resolution and Bit Rate – Higher resolutions and bit rates will produce higher image quality but significantly larger files.
  • Portability and Ergonomics – Small cameras with an ergonomic body design are easier to handle for video recording.
  • Frame Rate – The more frame rate options, the more versatility you’ll have.
  • Autofocus – Consider how fast and accurate is the autofocus system.
  • Image Stabilization – Whether in the camera or the lens, having a reliable image stabilization system is essential if you are shooting handheld.
  • Long Battery Life – Videos consume a lot of power, so you should choose an option with a long-lasting battery.
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi, USB-C port, HDMI port, mic input, etc.
  • Log Picture Profiles – Log picture profiles will give you extended flexibility in post-production.
  • Special Features – Anything that can improve your workflow— like a fully-articulated screen or a time-lapse mode.

Let’s have a closer look at each point:


Sensor Size

Sensor size comparison

Sensor size primarily affects three things: image quality (resolution, noise, depth of field, and other aspects), camera size, and price.

In basic terms, larger sensors have bigger pixels and capture more information. That leads to more detail and dynamic range, better low-light performance, and less noise. However, they increase the camera size and price considerably.

Conversely, smaller sensors may lag in image quality, but they have other benefits. The first is that they make cameras more portable and affordable, plus they allow for better zoom due to the crop factor.

Full-frame sensors are the largest among consumer models. They are based on the classic 35mm film format and set the benchmark for calculating the crop factors for smaller sensors. You can find them on professional-grade DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

In contrast, entry-level and intermediate cameras usually have an APS-C sensor, with a 1.5x crop factor from full-frame cameras (1.6x in Canon). And, in most compact cameras, you will find a 1-inch sensor with a 2.7x crop factor.


Video Resolution and Bit Rate

best sony video camera

Today, almost all cameras can shoot 4K video— and some of them can even go up to 8K. Of course, a higher resolution will lead to larger files, and therefore you will need more storage.

But, unless you want to enter the professional video world, you probably won’t have to shoot at the highest resolution possible. So, don’t get too hung up on this.

Besides, the resolution is not always the best indicator of image quality. That’s why you should also check the bit rate.

Bit rate refers to the amount of data encoded per second of video. It is measured in Mbps, and, just like resolution, the higher the bit rate, the better the image quality, but the larger the file size.

To give you a quick reference, a camera that can shoot 4K video at a bit rate between 60-100 Mbps will be more than enough to suit most vloggers and video enthusiasts.


Portability and Ergonomics

sony camera for vlogging

Compact cameras are great for vloggers looking for an affordable, versatile, easy-to-use camera.

But, if you want to invest in an interchangeable-lens camera, look for a mirrorless instead of a DSLR. Mirrorless cameras are smaller and lighter, perfect for traveling and shooting handheld without straining your arms.

Whether you choose a compact or an interchangeable-lens camera, make sure it has a comfortable grip and accessible buttons on the body for easy handling.


Frame Rate

The standard video frame rate for cinema is 24 frames per second (fps), which is the primary option for all video cameras at all resolutions.

Most camera models can shoot at 24, 25, and 30fps. Yet, if you want to experiment with slow-motion videos, you will need a camera that can record at a minimum of 60fps and above.

Keep in mind that some budget cameras will reduce the video resolution as you increase the frame rate, which can be a bit of a bummer.


Autofocus

streaming sony camera

In an AF system, you should always look for speed and accuracy, especially when tracking subjects. Otherwise, you will end up with an annoying video of your camera struggling to get the focus right.

Luckily for you, Sony takes the cake in terms of autofocus performance compared to other brands, thanks to their top-tier hybrid AF system.

Bear in mind that autofocus works better in bright environments. Thus, some cameras might scuffle to keep sharpness in low-light conditions, particularly entry-level models.


Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is non-negotiable for videographers, as it will give you more freedom to move when recording handheld outdoors.

Opt for cameras with in-body stabilization (IBIS). This system moves the sensor inside the camera to compensate for any unwanted shake to keep your footage steady.

However, you could also find lenses equipped with optical stabilization (OSS in Sony lenses), which incorporates an additional element inside the lens to minimize shakiness.


Battery Life

sony camera for video

Battery life is critical for shooting travel videos, vlogs, documentaries, or anything that you know you won’t have access to a charger for a while. And, if you have the budget, it’s best to buy at least one additional battery when you purchase your camera.

Besides that, consider if the camera supports USB charging. This feature is super practical for vloggers and travelers because they can power the battery in-camera using a power bank no matter where they go.


Connectivity

best sony camera for streaming

Cameras with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth allow you to instantly share your files— handy for media journalists who need to send the recorded material quickly.

In addition, check for HDMI and USB-C ports and a multi-interface shoe to attach flashes and microphones.

Note that internal microphones on budget cameras might be decent for indoor shooting, but they don’t work too well outdoors, particularly in noisy or windy environments. So, if you want to shoot professional-quality videos, get a camera with a microphone input so you can use external mics.

A headphone socket to check for the volume levels while shooting is also recommended.


Log Picture Profiles

The best video cameras allow you to record in Log profiles to increase the dynamic range of your videos for extended flexibility in post-production.

Log profiles will make your videos look flat and gray, which won’t be very appealing in-camera, but it’s perfect for color-grading. It’s like having a blank canvas to do whatever you want in editing.


Special Features

best sony vlogging camera

Last but not least, check for any extra features that might not be 100% necessary but you think they can improve your workflow. Here are some ideas:

  • Fully-articulated screen — Perfect for vloggers and self-recording in general. It is also helpful for videographers who want more viewing flexibility to shoot from different angles.
  • Time-lapse mode — For creating time-lapses quickly and easily.
  • Simultaneous recording in two memory cards — Some cameras have two memory card slots and allow simultaneous recording so you can have a backup if one memory card fails.

Reviews of the Best Sony Video Cameras in 2022

Now that you have a good sense of the features that matter when looking for a Sony camera for vlogging and video, lets take a look at the top four models currently on the market.

1. Sony Alpha 7 IV – Best Sony Mirrorless Camera for Video

best sony video camera

Key features

  • Sensor: Full-frame, 33MP
  • Video recording: Up to 4K 60p 10-bit; bit rates up to 500Mbps
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Battery life: Approx. 110 min actual recording (LCD monitor)
  • USB charging: Yes
  • Screen: Fully-articulated touchscreen
  • Connectivity: Mic input (3.5mm), micro-USB, headphone input (3.5mm), Bluetooth, HDMI, USB-C, Wi-Fi
  • Lens mount: Sony E
  • Flat profile: Yes
  • Size and weight: 3.8 by 5.2 by 3.1 inches; 1.4 pounds

This might be the best Sony Alpha camera for video enthusiasts looking for a step up onto the professional field. It has everything you need to create first-class quality videos in an ergonomic body design with a deep grip and accessible controls.

The hybrid autofocus system of the Sony Alpha 7 IV is pretty fast and accurate for both stills and video. It also offers AI-powered subject tracking and Eye-AF for humans and animals.

On top of that, the camera has excellent low-light performance, beautiful color reproduction, and flat profiles to suit all kinds of videographers. It also has a fully-articulated touchscreen for more comfort when recording yourself or shooting from low angles.

The Sony Alpha 7 IV can shoot 4K videos at 24, 25, 30, and 60fps. Yet, when setting the highest resolution and frame rate, the camera applies an unpleasant 1.5x crop, so that’s something to consider.

The camera offers excellent connectivity options for fast file transfer and is the best Sony camera for streaming. It also includes a multi-interface shoe, a mic input, and a headphone socket. What’s more, it has two memory card slots for simultaneous recording.

  • Pros:
  • Excellent ergonomics and straightforward menu
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Fast and responsive autofocus
  • Reliable subject tracking and eye detection system
  • Outstanding low-light performance
  • Dual memory card slots for simultaneous recording
  • Cons:
  • Expensive
  • 1.5x crop for 4K 60fps shooting
Sony A7IV

2. Sony ZV-1 – Best Compact Camera for Vlogging

best compact camera for vlogging

Key features

  • Sensor: 1-inch, 20.1MP
  • Video recording: Up to 4K 30fps / HD 120fps; bit rates up to 100Mbps
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Battery life: Approx. 45 minutes.
  • USB charging: Yes
  • Screen: fully-articulated touchscreen
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, micro HDMI, Microphone (3.5mm), micro USB, multi-interface shoe.
  • Lens: 24-70mm f1.8-2.8 with 2.7x optical zoom
  • Flat profile: Yes
  • Size and weight: 2.4 by 4.2 by 1.7 inches; 10.4 oz

The Sony ZV-1 is one of the best vlogging cameras on the market. It is very compelling while remaining small and easy to use for beginners.

The most relevant quality of this Sony vlogging camera with flip screen is its fast autofocus system with face- and eye-tracking to ensure you are always sharp when vlogging.

The Sony ZV-1 has a tremendous internal mic and a windscreen for outdoor shooting. Still, it includes a mic input and multi-interface shoe to connect to an external microphone for better audio recording.

Additionally, the camera has a few unique features for content creators. The Product Showcase Setting allows you to rapidly switch the focus from your face to an object with just a single button press. That’s perfect for shooting product review videos without the need to place your hand behind the product to focus.

Other exciting features include one-touch bokeh background, Super Slow Motion video mode, interval shooting for creating time-lapses, and a Soft Skin Effect mode to smooth your skin automatically.

On the downside, it has a short battery life, and the screen has limited touch capabilities— it only works for focusing.

  • Pros:
  • Extremely portable for vlogging
  • Excellent autofocus with smooth transitions
  • Good quality 24-70mm equivalent lens included
  • Good internal mic with windscreen included
  • Mic input and multi-interface shoe
  • Image stabilization
  • Flat profiles and creative video recording modes
  • Cons:
  • Short battery life
  • Limited touch capabilities
  • You can’t change lenses
Sony ZV-1

3. Sony a7 III

sony mirrorless camera for video

Key features

  • Sensor: Full-frame, 24.2MP
  • Video recording: Up to 4K 30fps; bit rates up to 100Mbps
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Battery life: Approx.125 min (LCD monitor)
  • USB charging: Yes
  • Screen: tilting touchscreen
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB-C, Wi-Fi, micro HDMI, micro USB, microphone, and headphones (3.5mm).
  • Lens mount: Sony E
  • Flat profile: Yes
  • Size and weight: 3.9 by 5.0 by 2.5 inches; 1.4 pounds

The Sony a7 III is the predecessor of the Sony Alpha 7 IV, and it can be an excellent alternative to it if you want to save some money— but you will have to sacrifice some features.

Like the Sony a7 IV, the a7 III excels in its autofocus performance and subject tracking capabilities. It also has an impressive noise-reduction technology to ensure sharp and smooth recording in low-light situations.

The camera has a few limitations compared to its newer sibling. For example, it has a tilting screen instead of a fully-articulated one, and the menu design is a bit more complicated.

As for the video resolution, you can record 4K video at 24 and 30fps, but it applies a crop at 30fps. Down to 1080p resolution, you can get uncropped video at 24, 30, 60, 100, and 120fps.

Overall, it is a versatile camera for intermediate users. It has a good battery life, internal stabilization, good connectivity options, and dual memory card slots. Yet, it lacks some advanced functions for professional videographers.

  • Pros:
  • Fast and precise autofocus system
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Subject tracking and eye detection to keep your subjects sharp throughout the entire frame
  • Noise-reduction technology for enhanced low-light performance
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Cons:
  • Cropped 4K video at 30fps
  • The screen is not fully-articulated
  • Complex menu
Sony A7III

4. Sony Alpha a6400

sony vlogging camera

Key features

  • Sensor: APS-C, 20.1MP
  • Video recording: Up to 4K 30fps; bit rates up to 100Mbps
  • Image Stabilization: No (image stabilization supported on the lens)
  • Battery life: Approx. 75 min (LCD monitor)
  • USB charging: Yes
  • Screen: tiltable touchscreen (180° up and 90° down)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, micro HDMI, microphone (3.5mm), micro USB
  • Lens mount: Sony E
  • Flat profile: Yes
  • Size and weight: 2.8 by 4.8 by 2.0 inches; 14.3 oz

The Sony Alpha a6400 is an ideal camera for beginners who want to try professional-grade features and for experts looking for a lightweight and portable second body. It is also a suitable choice for vloggers.

This camera might be small and basic, but it still supports 4K video and log profile capture, providing more flexibility for your editing process. It also has a Slow & Quick Motion recording mode to shoot high-quality slow-motion videos at 120fps. All on top of a sophisticated, fast and precise hybrid AF system that only Sony can offer.

The internal mic is pretty decent, but it’s best to connect an external microphone for better audio recording when shooting outdoors.

Moreover, the tiltable screen is practical for self-recording, but it cancels out the possibility of mounting an external microphone on the hot shoe, which is quite limiting.

Sadly, the Sony a6400 doesn’t have in-body stabilization, so you have to invest in lenses with optical stabilization to ensure steady and smooth videos.

  • Pros:
  • Fast and precise autofocus system with subject tracking capabilities
  • Slow-motion 1080p video capture
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great connectivity options
  • Versatile camera suitable for both beginners and pros
  • Cons:
  • Cropped 4K video at 30fps
  • No in-body stabilization
  • It would be better to swing the screen to the side instead of to the top so you could use the hot shoe
Sony A6400

Final Words on the Best Sony Camera for Vlogging

Choosing a video camera might seem daunting, especially among the countless options available.

Although Sony has many alternatives to consider, these four cameras sum up the core requirements of vloggers and videographers of all levels.

But remember that every photographer has different needs, and there is no perfect camera that can suit everyone the same. So, evaluate all the features mentioned at the beginning of the article before buying your new camera.

As a general guide, the Sony Alpha 7 IV is the to-go choice for experienced video lovers looking forward to entering the professional field. Still, it implies a significant investment to take that step.

For vloggers and beginners looking for a portable and easy-to-use camera, the compact Sony ZV-1 has a price-performance ratio that is hard to beat.

My Top Pick

An Ideal Sony Camera for Vlogging

best sony camera for video
  • Supports 4K video at 24, 25, 30, and 60fps
  • Excellent ergonomics with a safe and comfortable grip
  • Image stabilization for handheld recording
  • Fast and responsive autofocus with subject tracking
  • Outstanding low-light performance
  • Expensive

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Follow Andrea Rodriguez:

Hi! I'm Andrea Rodriguez, photographer and freelance writer. I started my photography journey as a teenager, and since then, I have explored visual arts from different angles. My personal work focuses on self-portraiture and experimental photography, and I'm always eager to learn new techniques to express myself through images.

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