8 Best under-budget cameras to start Vlogging.

8 Best under-budget cameras to start Vlogging.

8 Best under budget cameras to start Vlogging. The best vlogging cameras for content producers on the market

If you want to know which camera is better for vlogging? We’ve checked them all to bring you this in-depth guide, if you’re tempted by a rugged action cam for filming your off-piste experiences or a mirrorless model with a flip-up screen for recording content at home. (Are you looking for the right YouTube camera? (For more information, see our separate guide.)

You could be looking for a lightweight, strong camera with good audio options if you’ve just started a YouTube channel or if you’re an experienced Instagram creator. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a rundown of the best choices below.

Vlogging has never been easier to do than it is right now. There are now a plethora of viable cameras in a variety of shapes and sizes, with various versions to meet various budgets. However, there are a few features that all, or almost all, of the best vlogging cameras have. If you’re new to YouTube or a seasoned pro, you’ll want a camera that’s small enough to carry around but still capable of producing sharp, smooth video when you need it – in a variety of lighting conditions.

Apart from your budget, the most important thing to remember is your own shooting style. You’ll need a camera with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth access – as well as an easy-to-use app – if you’re filming video to share on the go. If you’re a walker and talker, cameras with excellent image stabilization, a front-facing/flip-up panel to aid framing, and a mic feedback would be high on your wish list.

It’s still worth thinking about – with certain caveats. Pocket-sized cameras, as well as smartphones, are the obvious option for fast, spontaneous images, but they provide less artistic control than interchangeable-lens cameras. Action cameras, on the other hand, are a decent option if the journeys are more rugged.

The Fujifilm X-S10 is currently our top choice for the best vlogging camera. It’s an excellent all-around camera that can be used for both stills and video, which is perfect if the content is mixed. It comes with a versatile collection of 4K camera specs that can help you make amazing video content.

But that doesn’t rule out the possibility that there’s a better choice for you and your budget – if it’s an all-around action camera like the GoPro Hero 9 Black or a balanced gimbal camera like the DJI Osmo Pocket, our list below will help you find the right vlogging camera for your specific needs.

In 2021, the best vlogging cameras are

Fujifilm X-S10 (first)

It's a brilliant mirrorless all-rounder that's ideal for vloggers. DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFICATIONS Mirrorless form APS-CR sensor scale effective focal length: N/Aesolution: 26.1MPesolution: 26.1MPesolution: 26.1MPesolution: 26.1MPesolution: 26.1MPesolution 2.36 million dot EVF viewfinder 3.0-inch touchscreen with 1.04 million dots on a vari-angle display Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are available. 4K 30p is the highest possible resolution for a recording. Dimensions and weight: 465g, 126 x 85 x 65 mm

All prices are shown below. 
Excellent sensor

+IBIS in a compact package

+Excellent control.


-There is no weatherproofing

-On-screen controls are restricted.

The Fujifilm X-S10 is arguably the best all-around mirrorless camera at this price point, capable of a wide range of shooting styles and subjects. It’s a great vlogging camera, but it’s also a great pick if you want to take stills to supplement your video material. The Fujifilm X-S10 features the tried-and-true combination of a 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and an X-Processor 4, as used in the Fujifilm X-T4, but it also has the capacity to capture uncropped 4K/30p video.

There are plenty of other video-friendly features to tempt vloggers as well. If you want to do a lot of handheld video capturing, for example, the in-body image stabilization system (IBIS) is a huge help. Other features include Full HD recording at up to 240p for a 10x slow motion effect, F-Log recording, and the ability to output 4:2:2 10-bit video. All of this in a small(isn) and light configuration making it an excellent option for on-the-go vloggers.

You also get retro style, a fine, relaxed grip, and a vari-angle screen that can be flipped around to face you – ideal for framing yourself. It’s also moderately priced, particularly when you consider all of the features you get for your money.

Fujifilm X-S10 review

One of the best lightweight, mid-range mirrorless cameras available is the Fujifilm X-S10. It crams a lot of the shooting power of the Fujifilm X-T4 into a smaller body with IBIS and excellent handling. It’s a shame there’s no official weather-proofing, and Sony’s monitoring autofocus outperforms it, but those are the only flaws in an otherwise faultless performer. The X-S10 should be at the top of your list whether you’re hunting for the first mirrorless camera or dreaming about upgrading from a DSLR.


APS-C sensor with a lot of experience.

In a little package, IBIS.

Large grip and excellent control.
Video specifications are excellent.


There is no weatherproofing.
Minor annoyances with the control system.
Just a few touches

2. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

This is also a perfect vlogging Camera because it's light and filled with features.

Mirrorless form
Four-thirds sensor size:
20.4 megapixel resolution
N/A for effective focal length
2.36 million dot EVF viewfinder
3.0-inch touchscreen with 1.04 million dots on a vari-angle display
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are available.
4K 30p is the highest possible resolution for a recording.
414g, 125.3 x 85.2 x 49.7mm, 125.3 x 85.2 x 49.7mm


+Extremely impressive video specs +Amazing image stabilization


-Hand grip may be a little larger.

-There is no headset jack.

Don’t be misled by the retro design: the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a high-end vlogging camera with a robust feature set and strong image quality. While the handgrip may be larger, the polycarbonate structure reduces the weight of the camera by 50 grams compared to its metal-bodied predecessor, making it a camera that you can easily wear all day. With on-chip phase detection autofocus and class-leading image stabilization, the 20.4MP Four Thirds sensor – shared with the pro-grade E-M1 Mark II – provides accurate continuous monitoring, while handheld video is normally super smooth.

Standard 4K footage at 30fps is consistently great, with lovely color rendition and decent detail, while Movie 4K footage at 24fps and a 237Mbps bit rate is seriously amazing. Full HD at up to 120 frames per second rounds out the video package. The vari-angle touchscreen makes framing a breeze, and the large Olympus lens library provides plenty of artistic options. While there is no headphone socket, which can annoy some videographers, the much-desired external microphone port is present. Sure, it’s a little pricey, but it’s hard to beat as a total vlogging kit.


The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a sensible update, being stylish, lighter than ever, and crammed with shooting modes for users at all ability levels, strength under the hood, and upgrades around the board. The E-M5 Mk III reaches the sweet spot for height, weight, handling, and features, though it doesn’t quite meet the overall image quality ability of its larger-sensor rivals.


Camera processor with plenty of power

Video quality has greatly improved.

Image stabilization is insanely strong.

Body size is thin, but it handles well.

There are several shooting styles to choose from.

Stylish appearances


Sensor is smaller than competitors’

There is no longer a concrete shield.

A larger handgrip would be advantageous.

A bit pricey.

Sony ZV-1

The best little vlogging camera on the market DESCRIPTION OF THE PRODUCT Compact architecture 1.25-inch sensor 20.1 megapixels 24-70mm focal length is the effective focal length. There's no viewfinder. 3.0-inch touchscreen with 0.921-million dots on a variable-angle display Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity 4K 30p is the highest possible video resolution. 105.5 x 60.0 x 43.5 mm, 294 g


+Autofocus that is unrivaled in the industry +Bright 24-70mm lens

+Compact in size


-Just a few touch controls

-MicroUSB instead of USB-C

The Canon G7 X Mark III was our favorite portable vlogging camera for a long time, but the outstanding Sony ZV-1 has just kicked it off its perch. The ZV-1 nails what most people expect from a compact vlogging camera by incorporating all of the best features of Sony’s RX100 series (for example, the RX100 VII’s microphone port and autofocus, as well as the RX100 V’s bright 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens). Sony’s new Real-time tracking and Eye AF are the best on the market, and the ZV-1 has a surprising amount of depth for a compact camera, including a built-in ND filter and profiles like S-Log2 for color grading enthusiasts. The stability and image quality of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III continue to impress us.

A analysis of the Sony ZV-1
YouTubers would love this compact vlogging camera.

The Sony ZV-1 is the best small vlogging camera on the market. Its combination of a bright lens, excellent autofocus, and interface features such as the side-flipping screen make it a versatile pocket video alternative with few competitors. The image stabilization is a little letdown for those looking for super-smooth walking videos, and it has a few familiar usability quirks, but the ZV-1 remains the best camera all-rounder in its weight range.


Autofocus that is the best in its class

For stunning video bokeh, use a light lens.

3.5mm mic port and hotshoe

Ideal for recording, with a side-flipping phone.

It slips into your pocket.


Video stability is average.

Touchscreen is still in its infancy.

Instead of USB-C, Micro USB is used.

The Sony ZV-1 is currently the most powerful pocket vlogging camera available. It incorporates the best video features of the Sony RX100 series, such as the industry-leading autofocus system, with interface tweaks that make it suitable for filming YouTube videos at home or on the go.

The combination of a vivid 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens and Sony’s Real-time detection and Real-time Eye AF systems is its biggest asset. These features, along with the ZV-1’s 1-inch sensor, which is larger than those used in today’s smartphones, render shooting high-quality vlogs with pleasing background blur and clear focus a breeze.

A 3.5mm microphone port makes it simple to add good-quality audio to go with your recordings, and a hotshoe lets you install gadgets like a shotgun mic or LED light without the need for a bracket.

This is particularly useful because, while the ZV-1’s three-capsule internal microphone is an upgrade over the built-in mics used in the RX100 series and other compact cameras, it also stops short of matching the video output. At the very least, the camera comes with a windshield, which is important for shooting in windy weather.

Fujifilm X-T200

One of the most affordable vlogging cameras available. DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFICATIONS Mirrorless form APS-C CMOS sensor resolution: 24.2MP N/A for effective focal length 2.36 million dot EVF viewfinder 2.76 million dots on a 3.5-inch vari-angle touchscreen monitor Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity Size, weight, and maximum movie resolution: 4KSize, 121 x 84 x 55mm, 370g

For any case, incredible picture quality allows you to create pictures that are exactly as you recall them.
01.Big APS-C CMOS sensor of images

02.About 24.2 millimeters

03.Wiring of copper the framework for improved results

04.Contrast and hybrid process autofocus detection.

Face and Eye Detection Algorithm with High Accuracy
Face/ Eye Detection AF has been modified to make focusing on persons or groups of people much easier. And when the camera’s LCD display is turned out and used to take a selfie, this is possible. Additionally, the camera may be set to identify and monitor the subject within the frame using automatic functions.

Outstanding Low-Light Output
Because of the improved image processing offered by the camera’s copper wire processor, you can achieve focus in dimly lit environments up to -2.0EV and get excellent image quality with low noise.

Make Your Way to the Ideal Image by Touching It
The X-T200 has a 3.5-inch widescreen LCD touch-screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio that can be rotated from -90 to +180 degrees and can be opened and closed between 0 and 180 degrees. It can also be used to change a number of settings, such as contrast, background blur, Film Simulation effects, and image aspect ratios, and offers intuitive and sensitive control over the camera’s features and functions.

A Color Science Legacy
Fujifilm’s color science reputation has earned it iconic status among photographers all over the world. It has been responsible for some of the most iconic photographic films in history over the course of its 85-year history, and this outstanding experience has been put into the 11 optical Video Simulation modes featured in the X-T200. Images created from these film simulations have the look and sound of the films that influenced them, and they’re a perfect way to get creative with photography.

Modes for filming high-quality 4K and Full HD footage
By shooting 6K video with no crop (60323392) and downsampling it, the X-T200 creates 4K (38402150) video with incredible image quality and low noise. Film Simulations can also be used to apply stylistic effects to video recording.

NEW HDR (High Dynamic Range) movie mode
To increase dynamic range and render movies with more clarity in the shadows and highlights, combine several videos with different exposure levels.
This is ideal for scenarios where there is a lot of backlight or for outdoor scenes with a lot of shadows and highlights.

*The feature can not be as successful in low-light conditions.

Latest Gimbal (Digital)
A gyroscopic sensor built into the camera body aids in determining how to account for camera shaking and applying the camera’s optical image stabilization algorithm, which results in better video capture.
The field of view is clipped while this tool is used.

*The lenses and angles of view available are limited.

3.5mm micro stereo port and USB Type-C connector
Connect external microphones and headphones to the camera to capture high-quality audio for a variety of purposes, including vlogging and making easy images.

Best under budget cameras to start Vlogging

Canon EOS M50

Although it is soon to be upgraded, it is still a fantastic 1080p choice. Definition OF Requirements Mirrorless form APS-C CMOS sensorResolution: 24.1MP N/A for effective focal length 2.36 million dot EVF viewfinder 3.0-inch touchscreen with 1.04 million dots on a vari-angle display Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity Size, weight, and maximum movie resolution: 4KSize, 116 x 88 x 59mm, 390g +Variable-angle touchscreen +Excellent Dual Pixel Autofocus REASONS TO BUY REASONS TO Keep AWAY The crop on a -4K shot is very high.

Vloggers can appreciate the Canon EOS M50 Mark II’s latest capabilities, which include the ability to livestream directly to YouTube. However, it isn’t available anywhere and isn’t a significant improvement from the EOS M50, making this older model a decent buy for those who want to shoot in 1080p. This is due to the M50’s (and M50 Mark II’s) large 1.6x crop when shooting 4K video, resulting in a small field of view even when shooting at a massive focal length. As we wait for the Mark II, the Mark I is still a great vlogging tool for those who don’t mind recording in 1080p, and it’s now more affordable than ever. If you ignore the crop factor, you’ll find a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor.

Examination of the Canon EOS M50
It’s easy to use, but it comes with certain disadvantages.

The EOS M50 is an excellent alternative if you want a mirrorless camera with excellent image quality, ease of use, and a good autofocus system. However, if you’re looking for a camera with a wider range of features and device support, there are better choices available.


Dual Pixel CMOS AF has been upgraded.

Touchscreen that has been polished

EVF is excellent.

Simple to use

Image quality is outstanding.


Battery life is poor.

A 1.6x crop is added to 4K film.

Finished in a plasticky manner

The selection of lenses is still limited.

The Canon EOS M50, despite being over eighteen months old, remains a common mid-range mirrorless camera for those looking for something fun, approachable, and flexible enough for video shooting.

It’s arguably no longer the sweet spot in Canon’s EOS M line, however, with the arrival of the amazing new EOS M6 Mark II. When the EOS M50 was introduced in February 2018, it stood below the EOS M5 and EOS M6, which were replaced by the EOS M50. Is it really worth thinking about?

Depending on the budget and shooting habits, the conclusion is yes. The EOS M50 is significantly less expensive than the EOS M6 Mark II and offers excellent value for money, particularly for still photographers. It has a built-in viewfinder, which is useful for taking images in all environments, unlike the current flagship.

The EOS M6 Mark II’s uncropped 4K recording, updated 32.5MP camera, and superior burst shooting justify its higher price. However, whether you’re upgrading from a smartphone or a standard compact camera, the EOS M50 remains a decent option, but with the same limitations as before.

Fujifilm X-T4

A high-quality vlogging camera with a wide range of functions.EXAMPLES OF SPECIFICATIONS APS-CR is the sensor scale. Viewfinder: 3,690K dots resolution: 26.1MP resolution: 26.1MP resolution: 26.1MP resolution: 26.1MP 3.0-inch touchscreen with 1,620K dots on a tilt-angle stand 425-point autofocus 15 frames per second (mechanical shutter), 30 frames per second (internal shutter) (electronic) 4K 60p movies Intermediate consumer REASONS TO PURCHASE +Excellent picture quality +IBIS is a valuable video incentive AVOIDANCE REASONS -There isn't a jack for headphones Limitation on video capture

If video quality is important to you, the Fujifilm X-T4 is an excellent vlogging all-arounder. Sure, some full-frame cameras have a slight advantage in terms of dynamic range and high ISO efficiency, but the difference isn’t significant, and the X-T4 has a more compact overall configuration that’s suitable for travel. The X-T4 is one of the best hybrid cameras on the market, with major improvements over the X-T3 such as in-body image stabilization (IBIS), a larger battery, and better autofocus. The latter is fast and dependable for both stills and video, but you’ll get the best results if you pair it with any of Fujifilm’s more recent glass, such as the XF16-80mm f4 R OIS. Front-facing speakers with a microphone feed. The X-T4 is a perfect all-around vlogging option for those who want a camera that can take care of both their stills and video needs, with a microphone input, front-facing screen, weather-sealing, and the ability to film Cinema 4K videos up to 60fps.

Examination of the Fujifilm X-T4
Fujifilm’s retro flagship transforms into a true hybrid.

Right now, the Fujifilm X-T4 is the best APS-C mirrorless camera available. The substantially improved battery life, in-body image stabilization, quieter shutter, and interface tweaks that make a noticeable difference in the handling are enough to allow both photographers and filmmakers to choose the X-T3 over the X-T3. The architecture of the X-T4 is both cute and intuitive, and its class-leading picture and video specs are backed up by strong results. This is a composite all-rounder that is actually two cameras in one.


As rock-solid as it is

APS-C sensor that leads the field

For video and stills, IBIS is a huge help.

A long-lasting battery

Menu structure that is easy to use


AF capability


The Fujifilm X-T4 is a mirrorless camera with two personalities: on the outside, it’s all vintage dials and analogue chic, but on the inside, it’s jam-packed with more technical features than any other Fujifilm X-T camera.

It’s an enticing mix. The Fujifilm X-T4 is targeted at keen amateur photographers and professionals who want the new mirrorless power in a friendly, desirable box, close to the Fujifilm X-T3 (which is still available). The X-T4 is different this time because it has turned up the ‘all-rounder’ knob to 11.

The introduction of in-body image stabilization (IBIS) is the big news, as it’s just the second Fujifilm camera to get it (the other being the Fujifilm X-H1). IBIS is useful for both video and stills shooters, and its presence here puts the X-T4 on par with competitors including the Sony A6600.

The X-other T4’s new features read like a check list of Fujifilm shutterbugs’ requests: a larger battery (check), better autofocus (check), and, of course, a new Film Simulation effect (called Bleach Bypass).

These thrilling additions, though, are paired with the same sensor and processor as the predecessor. Which begs the question: should you just use the Fujifilm X-T3? What about the X-H1, which is mostly focused on video?

Our analysis focuses a bit more on the X-updates T4’s and the effect of those modifications to further explain that. For the most part, our Fujifilm X-T3 analysis still holds true.


What we’ll say now is that the Fujifilm X-T4 is a great camera with a lot of beauty and a lot of strength under the hood. Fujifilm now has a genuine photography-video mix that is better than ever.

Sony A6400

This snapper is built with vloggers in mind.EXAMPLES OF SPECIFICATIONS Mirrorless APS-C CMOS sensor, 24.2MP resolution N/A Effective focal length EVF, 2.36 million dots 3.0-inch touchscreen with 921,000 dots on a tilted angle Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity are all available. Size: 120 x 67 x 60mm, 403g, max video resolution: 4KSize, weight: 120 x 67 x 60mm, max movie resolution: 4KSize, weight: 120 x 67 x60mm. +Excellent autofocus +Bright viewfinder REASONS TO BUY +Amazing camera capabilities REASONS TO Keep AWAY -There is no image stabilization in the body.

Vloggers have long flocked to Sony’s Alpha cameras, and the A6400 is no different. Support for S-log3 and S-log2 should please post-producers, and 4K is a guaranteed. For instant replay, there’s 4K HDR (HLG), and Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile software lets you pass content to your smartphone. A flip-up 16:9 touchscreen makes for easy front-on framing, and the A6400’s sophisticated autofocus system provides excellent topic tracking. Any vloggers would be put off by the A6400’s port options: like the 6300 before it, the A6400 has a microphone input but no headphone jack. Often people don’t listen to their recordings when they’re being recorded, so it’s worth remembering if you’re into interviews.

You might be forgiven for assuming that the Alpha A6400 is just a modest improvement over the A6300, and you’d be right. But it’s the improved and advanced autofocus that really shines here, particularly because it’s on a camera that costs less than $1,000 / £1,000. Whatever topic you’re taking, if this camera will help you maximize your hit rate, it can only be a positive thing.


Autofocus that is very mature

Burst firing pace is adequate.

The viewfinder is bright.

Features of a good video

For the price, it’s a good one.


There is no image stabilization built-in.

There is no headphone port.

The screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio.



Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C CMOS

Lens mount: Sony E-mount

Screen: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 921,000 dots

Burst shooting: 11fps

Autofocus: 425-point AF

Video: 4K

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth

Battery life: 360 shots

Weight: 403g

The Alpha A6400 is Sony’s latest APS-C mirrorless camera, which succeeds the Alpha A6300 and lies below the Alpha A6500 in the lineup.

The Alpha A6400, on the other hand, may prove to be a more appealing proposition than the top-of-the-line A6500, which is now more than two years old, thanks to Sony’s inclusion of some of its most cutting-edge technology, most notably the advanced AF system.



APS-C CMOS sensor with 24.2MP

4K video capture

Touchscreen with a tilting perspective and an electric viewfinder.

The Alpha A6400, like the A6300 and A6500, has a 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor, but Sony claims that processing speeds are 1.8x higher than the A6300 due to a front-end LSI and the new BIONZ X image processor.

These improvements have also enabled Sony to increase the ISO ceiling on the new camera to 102,400, up from 51,200 on the A6500 (the A6400’s native range is 100-32,000), and Sony claims that color reproduction has been greatly improved.


The A6400 lacks any kind of in-body image stabilization, which the A6500 offers thanks to its 5-axis system. Users of the A6400 would have to rely on lens-based stabilization, and although there are a number of options,

With a 2.36 million-dot unit and 0.7x magnification, the Alpha A6400 has the same sensible electronic viewfinder (EVF) as the A6300 and A6500. A 3.0-inch touchscreen with a modest 921K-dot resolution is also available on the camera’s back. Unlike the A6300, this panel is touch-enabled, but it also has the same 16:9 aspect ratio, which is perfect for video but causes the monitor to shrink for stills, with black bars on either side. Meanwhile, vloggers can appreciate the ability to turn the display upwards 180 degrees, allowing them to conveniently frame themselves.

GoPro Hero 9 Black

A rugged 5K camera with a front-facing display Definition OF THE Commodity Action Type: Sensor dimensions are 4.5 x 6.2mm, with a 12MP resolution. 16-27mm focal length is the most effective focal length. There's no viewfinder. Touchscreen display (2.0 inch) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity 4K 60p is the highest possible video resolution. 66.3 x 48.6 x 28.4mm, 126g Dimensions and weight Action Type: 1/2.3-inch sensor scale 23.6 megapixels 16-27mm focal length is the most effective focal length. N/AM (Navigation) 2.27-inch touchscreen in the back; 1.7-inch LCD in the front (front) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS connectivity are available. 5K/30p is the highest possible video resolution. 71 x 55 x 33.6mm, 158g Dimensions and weight

Vloggers have long been fans of GoPro action cameras. Even if older versions are more affordable, the Hero 9 Black is GoPro’s most strong and flexible attempt to date, despite some flaws.

A modern 23.6MP sensor will fire 5K/30p video and, under the right conditions, captures more detail than any previous GoPro. However, the most efficient HyperSmooth Boost stabilization mode will now shoot silky smooth and steady video at all resolutions and frame rates.

The GoPro Hero 9 Black is the most powerful and reliable action camera available, but its predecessor is a great choice for most people. Although the latest sensor and front monitor are welcome improvements, they don’t reflect a significant improvement over the Hero 8 Black. Its slightly unresponsive touchscreen is also aggravating, even as a hardware update is on the way. While no other activity can equal the Hero 9 Black’s skill set, some currently outperform it in terms of value.


More info can be seen in 5K footage.

For vlogging, the front monitor comes in handy.

Longer battery life

Tricks for new apps


Touchscreen that is unresponsive

There isn’t much of a difference between shooting in 4K and shooting in HD

There is still no 4K/120p mod available.

Two minutes of analysis
On the 16th of September, 20: GoPro has released new firmware for the Hero 9 Black, which could address some of the minor issues we discovered with the touchscreen interface and auto exposure – we’ll update this review once we’ve given it a detailed look.

The GoPro Hero 9 Black is the most powerful and versatile action camera on the market, but its most recent features don’t provide enough real-world advantages over its predecessor to justify the price.

The updated sensor and front panel are the two most important changes. In the right settings, the latest 23.6MP sensor shoots 5K video with marginally more clarity than the Hero 8 Black.

But perhaps the most important feature is the Hero 9 Black’s electronic stabilization, which can offer HyperSmooth Boost – GoPro’s best stabilization – in all shooting modes. For those that require high-quality 4K (and 5K) recording, this makes it a top performer.

Although far from flawless, the latest front color monitor is a very handy new addition for vlogging or general shooting. It’s a bit sluggish, and it can’t compete with a dedicated articulating panel like the Sony ZV-1’s. However, if you always frame yourself in videos, this is most likely the GoPro for you.

Other new features on the GoPro Hero 9 Black, on the other hand, aren’t quite as shiny. The new battery improves the Hero 9 Black’s endurance somewhat, but it’s a marginal upgrade, and we find it to be more resistant to overheating than its predecessors.

Although GoPro’s new flagship offers marginally better stabilization, the consistency of its 4K video isn’t significantly better than the Hero 8 Black’s. Other functions, such as Scheduled recording, are helpful on occasion but aren’t entirely accurate yet. The Hero 9 Black’s rear touchscreen, on the other hand, was frustratingly unresponsive at times.

Even, the latter is expected to be patched in a November firmware update, and if GoPro can smooth out any of the Hero 9 Black’s other minor flaws, it might become our top action camera pick. The Hero 8 Black currently outperforms it in terms of pricing, but this feature-rich sibling is a near second.