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As promised, I’m going to start sharing more about my blogging equipment – and my vlogging gear in particular – alongside my regular travel blog posts. So today I want to introduce my brand new vlogging camera and tell you a little bit about how and why it made its way into my life (and my very limited hand luggage space!).
The Canon M50
If you haven’t seen my YouTube video, 10 millions tweets or IG stories about it, I bought the Canon M50 last month. I’ve been vlogging on my little Canon G7X ii ever since I started my YouTube channel last November – a total of 9 months already! – but decided to replace it with the new Canon M50 while I was back in the UK.
It was a pretty spontaneous decision, even though I’d known I would probably end up using the M50 as my main vlogging camera since the day it was released. And it’s one I’ve not regretted AT ALL!
Canon M50 vs G7X ii
The G7X ii is another Canon vlogging camera with flip screen, only the screen flips up instead of out. It’s a feature that I love on both Canon vlogging cameras and one that’s definitely useful if you’re just starting to vlog (or even if you’ve been doing it a while!). But more on that in a bit…
I’ll keep saying this time and time again: the G7X mark ii is an AMAZING vlogging camera, with flip screen, 60fps capability and solid stabilisation. It has pretty much everything you need to make amazing travel videos and vlogs, and packs a whole lot into its compact frame. Plus, it costs less than £500.
But it was time to send it into retirement. Well, semi-retirement – I’ll still be using it in riskier situations (like paragliding in Oludeniz!) and when the occasion calls for a pocket-sized camera (e.g. nightlife videos).
Why I switched vlogging cameras
As I discussed in my video, there were two main reasons why I decided to upgrade to the M50 and send my G7X ii into semi-retirement: the audio and the auto-focus.
The dual-pixel auto-focus is one of the best features of Canon cameras and is why so many YouTubers choose to use a Canon vlogging camera for most of their videos.
The G7X ii had incredible auto-focus when I first got it… until it didn’t. One day, just like the the audio (see below), the auto-focus just kinda stopped working. It became slow, it struggled to find my face – hello, it’s in the middle of the screen! – and it couldn’t seem to stay in focus for the entire shot. And so I knew it was reaching the end of its shelf life.
Related Read: All my blogging and vlogging gear
Even though the audio on the G7X ii is pretty fantastic in quiet streets and empty rooms, it really can’t handle even the slightest gust of wind or crowded places. Probably not much of an issue if you mostly film at home, but not so great when you’re making travel videos in unpredictable conditions.
Normally this could be overcome with an external mic, but that’s what the G7X ii is lacking: an external mic input. It’s my only real bugbear with the G7X ii and otherwise it made a great cheap vlogging camera, but it did cause some issues. Issues like having to scrap the entire Staten Island ferry section from my New York travel diary because of the wind, for example.
Then, out of nowhere, the audio stopped working fully in quiet locations. It would only happen in maybe 1% of shots, but it always seemed to happen when it mattered. (Because, of course.) And so I knew it was time to get a camera that could hold an external microphone.
The best vlogging microphone
At first, I was so excited to have an external mic input that I forgot getting a microphone would be yet another cost on top of the camera itself. Eek.
Luckily, you don’t have to spend another small fortune just to get good audio. The Rode VideoMicro is one of the best vlogging microphones – if not THE best vlogging microphone – and costs less than £50/$60. That’s great, but what’s really great is that it comes with the furry windshield, which would normally set you back close to that amount on it’s own.
A cheap vlogging camera?
Nobody wants to spend more than they have to on a brand new hobby, and I totally get that. I’d just quit my job with no idea how I would make money when I got my first vlogging camera – and I handed over that cash before I’d even tried vlogging or made any plans for my channel. Am I crazy? Maybe. But I don’t think it’s a bad idea to get the best camera you can from the start.
I keep talking about “upgrading” to the Canon M50, but the reality is it doesn’t cost that much more than the G7X. For the body alone, it’s pretty much the same price as a brand new G7X ii, and the kit lens that I’m currently filming with will only set you back an extra £100.
But here’s the thing. Even though the Canon M50 only costs a fraction more than the G7X ii, it feels like a substantial upgrade. If you’re looking for a good vlogging camera for cheap, look no further. It’s still very much in the budget vlogging camera category but could give some of the bigger boys a run for their money.
Even if £500 doesn’t sound all that cheap, the Canon M50 is a very affordable vlogging camera if you want your money to go as far as possible. I’ll stand by the G7X ii as the best vlogging camera under £500, but the Canon M50 is definitely a great choice if you have an extra £100 and want a budget vlogging camera that you won’t outgrow after a few months.
Why I wanted a vlogging camera with flip screen
Whether to get a vlogging camera with flip screen is one of those topics that seems to divide vloggers. While many vloggers depend on their flip screen – especially in the beginning – there are some strong arguments against it, mostly because of the temptation to look at the screen instead of the lens.
It’s something that definitely takes some getting used to if you decide to get a vlogging camera with flip screen, but I still think it’s a great feature to have. Essential, even.
Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to check you’re filming the frame you (and aren’t completely zoomed in!) and that’s especially true when you’re filming a sit down video on a tripod. I also find it really useful when I want to include other people in my vlogs – nothing would be worse than cutting their heads off!
In all honesty, I would have still considered the M50 if it didn’t have a flip screen but I might not have rushed out and bought it. I only use the flip screen a small amount of the time – usually when I’m holding the camera by hand, rather than on the gimbal – and I’m pretty good and getting everything in shot. But I can’t deny that it’s still a super useful feature to have and I absolutely love being able to use it. And when I first vlogging, I would have been lost without it!
Is the Canon M50 the best vlogging camera with flip screen?
And so we come to the ultimate question: Is the Canon M50 the best vlogging camera?
Of course, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for the best cheap vlogging camera, I think it’s absolutely the best. If you’re looking for the best vlogging camera with flip screen? Maybe. It depends entirely on what your budget it is, but if you want a vlogging camera that’s amazing value for money, the Canon M50 has got to be the best out there.