Best Camera for Podcasting
These days, it’s increasingly common for popular podcasts to have both audio and video.
If you’re looking to enhance the experience of your audience, then adding high quality video footage of your conversations with guests is a great way to do so.
It isn’t as simple as picking any old camera that can record video though, so it’s worth taking a moment to consider what exactly you’re looking for in a podcasting camera.
The right investment can set you off on the right track and help you build and grow your audience seamlessly.
Here’s what to expect in this article:
- Reviews of the best camera for podcasting
- A brief buyer’s guide
- Your burning questions answered in a FAQ
Without further ado, here are our top picks…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Picks for Camera for Podcasting
- Best of the Best: Canon EOS Rebel T7i
- Runner Up: Nikon D3500
- Best on a Budget: SOSUN HD
- Best Premium: Sony FDR-AX100/B
Best Podcasting Camera Reviews
Canon EOS Rebel T7i (⭐ Best of the Best)
The best camera for podcasting in our view is the Canon EOS Rebel T7i.
This compact handheld video camera is a great investment for any podcast, and can enhance the viewer experience tenfold. If you’re looking to add video to your podcast or simply upgrade the quality, then this camera by top brand Canon is a great place to start.
The first thing you’ll notice about this camera on Amazon isn’t the features or specifications, but its outstanding reputation among past customers. This is a great sign that you’re onto a winner, with previous customers praising the crisp video quality and ease of use. This DSLR camera is both an excellent purchase for the videography amateur and the professional alike, as it’s intuitive to use and produces excellent results every time.
Now onto the technical specifications, which is where this camera shines. The Canon EOS Rebel T7i has a 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS C) sensor, which if you aren’t familiar with photography terminology, means that it can take some stunning shots.
Though chances are if you’re looking for a podcasting camera, this isn’t the feature you’re paying most attention to. This is where the High Speed continuous shooting at 60FPS comes in. What this means in layman’s terms is that you can capture incredibly smooth video. This should be high up on your priorities for a podcasting camera, as having smooth video is always a big plus.
The only downside is that you can only record up to 1080p, but then this won’t really be an issue if you upload your videos to a platform like YouTube since 1080p is still the most popular resolution for most people to watch videos in. Not being able to shoot in 4K isn’t the end of the world, and honestly having 1080p video will keep your files smaller making them easier to upload.
The Dual Pixel CMOS 45 point AF is something that you should appreciate with regards to podcasting too. The sophisticated autofocus of the Canon EOS Rebel T7i is the world’s fastest at 0.03 seconds. This means that even while recording video the camera will ensure that the focus is where it needs to be at all times, without requiring manual adjustments. The fact that there are 45 points sets it apart from many other DSLRs in the same price range too, and helps create the best video. There’s also touch autofocus too, in case you have a producer and want to take full control of the video recording process.
The optical viewfinder is worth having too, since it will allow you to keep track of everything in frame as the podcast is going down. There’s also a flip out screen which you can use to make sure everything is how it should be.
Audio shouldn’t be an issue either, as there’s an external microphone 1/8″ RCA jack, which allows you to plug in your favorite microphone. This will give your video and audio a coherence that will make the whole podcast easier to work with in post-production.
Features like built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth are like the icing on top of this podcasting cake. While not absolutely necessary, these features allow you to use the video footage instantly after you’ve recorded it. This could be good for releasing sneak preview clips to get your audience excited for the full podcast.
- Compact DSLR
- 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor
- DIGIC 7 Image Processor
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF
- Built-in Wi-FI, NFC, and Bluetooth
- Optical Viewfinder and flip out screen
- High Speed continuous shooting in 60FPS
Nikon D3500 (🥈 Runner Up)
The runner up on this list of best podcasting cameras is this excellent D3500 DSLR from Nikon.
The D3500 offers all of the power and capabilities of a top DSLR camera with all the convenience of a standard point-and-shoot. This makes it a great affordable camera to take your podcasts to the next level. It also makes it ideal for the travelling podcast, if you find yourself constantly in hotel rooms or needing to record your podcast in different spaces all the time.
This is another camera that is designed with the inexperienced photographer in mind, so rest assured this will be easy to use whatever your level of experience. The Nikon D3500 is arguably best for the amateur podcast which is shorter in length and doesn’t need to have premium quality.
The reason I say this is because you will need to manually reset the Live View every 30 minutes to record video with this camera. While that could be a dealbreaker for the more experienced podcaster looking for a non-stop shooting camera, it is a compromise that many are willing to make for the low price of the camera. This is easily solved also by having someone operate the camera for you. It could also just become a moment in your podcast at which you take a quick break or insert an ad.
Features that make it great for the beginner are the Auto Mode and Guide Mode which lend a helping hand for photos and video. This minimises the learning curve of using the camera, and let’s you crack on with recording the podcast. You can record in Full HD at 1080p, 5FPS continuous shooting, which should be sufficient for just about any podcast.
Bear in mind that this camera doesn’t have an external mic input, which means you’ll have to figure out another way to record the audio for your podcast. This shouldn’t be an issue though, since there are many microphones and audio recording devices which will do the job perfectly well.
- Compact DSLR
- Auto Mode and Guide Mode
- Full HD 1080p, 5FPS continuous shooting
- 11 AF points
- 24.7 Megapixels
SOSUN HD (💰 Best on a Budget)
The SOSUN HD is the first camcorder to make this list, and it’s also our best budget pick.
As a camcorder, the SOSUN HD is ideal for recording video for long podcasting sessions. If your podcasts are longer than an hour or so, then you should definitely consider giving this device a whirl. While it won’t guarantee you the best quality video ever seen, it still offers outstanding 1080p HD footage at 15fps which is incredible for the very affordable price.
This is the option for the podcaster looking to focus on the audio and presenting side of things, and less so on the video. If you want to include video to your podcasts but without monitoring it constantly and manually adjusting it every now and then, this SOSUN HD camcorder is a great choice. It’s an easy and budget-friendly way to give your audience the video they crave, while not making your life too much more difficult.
The LCD flip screen is handy as it lets you know exactly what’s in the frame, just in case you want to check everything is as it should be. There’s also 16x digital zoom, so you have the option of close ups to capture facial expressions, if that’s something you want to include in your podcasts. While there’s no external microphone input, there’s an internal microphone which can pick up the audio of your conversation. This makes it a great option for an all-in-one beginner podcast setup, if that’s what you’re interested in.
- 1080p 15fps video recording
- 16 digital zoom
- LCD flip out screen
- Internal microphone
- Pause function
Sony FDR-AX100/B (💎 Best Premium)
In contrast with the budget-friendly SOSUN HD camera, is this premium camcorder from Sony, the FDR-AX100/B.
We’ve already established that a camcorder can be a better option than DSLRs for podcasting since it offers continuous video recording.
But what is it that makes this Sony camcorder worth the premium price tag?
Well, the most important technical ability of this camera is the 4k/30p video which goes beyond HD resolution and the high 120fps shooting. This gives you a top of the range quality for your podcasts, which needless to say will help them stand out in a sea of podcasts with average video quality. It doesn’t get any better than 4k video, and the incredible 120fps makes for the smoothest video you can imagine. This is key for building a podcast audience since a lot of people are discerning about the quality of content, and the ability to watch in 4k will be appreciated by many.
The other benefit is that, as a camcorder, you can leave the Sony FDR-AX100/B recording your conversation without having to go over and tamper with it at all. While DSLR cameras require manual adjustment, this camcorder can handle long sessions of video recording without needing to stop and start again. This could improve the quality of your conversations too as you won’t have any nagging thoughts about checking the video feed or having to stop and start the camera.
The 1″ Exmor R CMOS sensor with Direct Pixel Read Out
14MP resolution video with 20MP still image capture are nice extra features which allow you to take excellent photos too. Combined with the advanced BIONZ X image processing engine it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be disappointed with the end results of this camcorder.
Then there’s the Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization which takes care of ensuring the video is seamless and without any shaking or roughness. This makes it ideal for recording video on the move, but also makes it a great option if your setup means the camcorder can shake or be knocked around.
You’ll also get crisp audio quality with this camcorder, which means you might not even need to invest in an expensive audio recording device or microphone. Although there is an external mic slot in case you do want to record both audio and video through this Sony camcorder. Either way, you’re sure to get the sound quality you want for your podcast.
- Captures 4k/30p
- 120fps at 720p
- 1″ Exmor R CMOS sensor
- External mic support
- Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization.
Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Podcasting Cameras
In order to get the best camera for podcasting, you’ll need to factor in a variety of things including the audio quality, video quality, and the type of camera which is best suited for your needs.
Your experience level with photography and goals for the podcast should also factor into your overall decision, given that some cameras offer more convenience while others are designed for the optimal experience in terms of quality and features.
Type of Camera
The first decision you should make before you invest in a podcasting camera is the type of camera you’re looking for.
While you might think there’s one standard type of camera for podcasting, the truth is that both DSLRs and camcorders are commonly used for this purpose.
To give you a clear idea of what both have to offer and where each falls short, here’s a brief overview of the two types of cameras.
The DSLR camera is best for the podcast setup in which there’s someone free to operate it, or at least periodically check in on it.
While it may seem inconvenient, most DSLR cameras will stop recording after around 30 minutes due to laws surrounding video cameras.
What that means is that unless your podcast is less than 30 minutes (which is unlikely) you’re going to have to keep an eye on the camera.
This could potentially distract you as you might have ongoing nagging thoughts surrounding whether or not the camera is recording and when you should stop. Especially if a guest is talking and you’re approaching the 30 minute mark, this can be very awkward.
However, this is easily solved by having someone operate the camera, or deciding to take a brief pause in your podcast episodes after every 30 minutes. This shouldn’t be an issue given that podcasts aren’t typically recorded live, so you can just insert an ad break in the gap between one clip and the next.
This handicap makes the DSLR camera a slightly less popular choice for podcasts, especially if you’re new to podcasting and you want a camera that will do all the hard work for you.
The benefit of using a DSLR camera is that you can get crisp video footage and will likely have an external microphone input to compliment the video with great audio.
Another reason you might consider a DSLR for podcasting is that they have many Image Stabilization and autofocus features, particularly cameras like the Canon EOS Rebel T7i with its 45 point AF. This makes sure the video footage stays steady and in focus at all times.
Plus you’ll have a fantastic handheld camera that you can take stunning photos with too, which is always a nice bonus. The low light performance tends to be better than with camcorders too.
The camcorder is hands-down the easiest way to integrate video into your podcasts.
It literally doesn’t get any easier than this, simply flip out the screen and press the ‘record’ button. Once you do, you’ll have hours of continuous video feed which is ideal for any length of podcast. This makes it the best option for the podcasts that run for more than an hour.
The other advantage is that it’s an incredibly beginner-friendly option that you can get on a real shoestring budget, like in the case of the SOSUN HD camcorder.
If you have little money to spend on upgrading your podcast setup but you really feel like having some kind of video will help build your audience then a budget camcorder like the SOSUN HD is the easiest way to achieve that.
If the camcorder has a solid internal microphone like the Sony FDR-AX100/B, then you can even look at it as an all-in-one podcast setup. No investment in sophisticated audio recording devices necessary.
Having a camcorder sit in a tripod and record will really help take your mind off the video recording side of things, which is great for staying focussed and building rapport with your podcast guest/s.
The downside to having a camcorder is that they won’t necessarily have great low light performance, and the smaller sensors mean that you won’t have as much creative control as you would with a DSLR.
Once you’ve figured out whether it’s the DSLR or the camcorder that’ll best suit your podcast setup, it’s time to think about video quality.
The first thing to know is what the different levels of video quality are, as well as the various shooting frame rates.
The way you can tell if the video quality of a camera is good is through the resolution it records in.
There are 3 main video recording resolutions.
While 720p used to be the best HD option for watching videos on Youtube, it isn’t considered to be the best quality option any more.
Though having said that, it is still perfectly fine for most forms of video, and honestly for an amateur podcast it can be a great option that is usually available in more affordable cameras.
This resolution also offers convenience as the uploads won’t take too long.
The 1080p video resolution offers high quality video, and is perfect for podcasts on video sharing platforms such as YouTube.
While it isn’t the very best quality available, most viewers see it as such on places like YouTube since it will load quickly and have minimal buffering.
It will also keep your files at a manageable size for uploading purposes.
This is a great option for the majority of podcasts.
4k is the gold standard as far as video resolution goes.
There’s two reasons you’d want to be able to record video in 4k for your podcasts.
The first is that it will satisfy the discerning viewer who loves nothing more than high quality visuals.
The second is that you will be making a future-proof investment, given that in a few years time 4k will likely be the standard resolution.
Then, there’s the frame rate the camera can shoot in, which will affect the smoothness of the video footage.
This isn’t as important for podcast recording, but as a general rule being able to record in 30fps should be the goal.
When it comes to podcasting, audio is king.
The best way to ensure you have a top quality podcast is to get the audio right. While you may think that the audio and video are separate, there are ways that you can combine the two with your camera investment.
One way you can do that is by investing in a camera that either has a great internal microphone, or that has external microphone support.
This is an important consideration, since if you spend a lot of money on a camera that doesn’t have external mic support, then you may leave yourself with less of a budget for an audio recording device.
The Sony FDR-AX100/B comes at a premium price, but what you get for your money is both top quality video and audio in the same device. That makes it perfect for those new to podcasting hoping to keep the equipment to a minimum.
In the majority of cases though, your best bet is to opt for the camera that has external microphone support.
Unless of course you already have your own audio recording device or setup that works by itself, and just need a camera for recording the video.
Related: Best Camera for Live Streaming
Frequently Asked Questions About Cameras For Podcasting
What is the best camera for podcasting?
In our view the best camera for podcasting is the Canon EOS Rebel T7i DSLR camera.
This is widely considered to be one of the best entry-level DSLRs you can buy, and while it may be inconvenient that video recording stops every 30 minutes, this is an easy enough obstacle to overcome.
The quality is outstanding too with 1080p 60FPS video, which means you can put out top quality podcasts on video sharing platforms.
What do you need for a video podcast?
A video podcast requires a little more thought than an audio-only one, since you have to configure the space to accommodate the cameras.
Of course, for a video podcast you are going to need one or more mounted cameras or camcorders set up around the room.
But you’re also going to need a way of switching between the cameras for a dynamic podcast, which can come in the form of a live production switcher.
What equipment do you need to record a podcast?
To record a podcast, you’re going to need more than just a room and a microphone.
The specific equipment you need will largely depend on the format of your podcast, and whether or not you want to capture video of it, but here are some of the most important things for any podcast studio.
A laptop or computer, a quality microphone and/or audio recording device, headphones, a mixer, and some form of soundproofing.
What camera does Joe Rogan use for his podcast?
The Joe Rogan Experience podcast is the gold standard for video and audio quality, and this is partly due to the Canon VIXIA HF G40 Full HD camcorders used to record each conversation.
These heavy duty camcorders from Canon are mounted around Rogan’s podcast studio, and are excellent for low light performance.
With a flip out OLED viewscreen it’s easy to keep an eye on how everything is looking in frame, and the 20x optical zoom is there in case a different level of focus is necessary.
Related: Best Webcam for Streaming
A Final Word From Run Gun Shoot
Selecting the best camera for your podcast isn’t easy, and it will come down to what you value most.
While some cameras will give you crisp, smooth video, others will offer useful features that can streamline the podcast experience.