Best Nikon Camera For YouTube

​There are many​ cameras available today that can be ​considered vlogging cameras - so how are you supposed to decide on the best vlogging camera for you? One way is ​to​ choose your favourite reputable brand up front and then find their best camera on offer that you ​can afford. One of those reputable brands is Nikon - almost everyone knows their name and that they are experts in photography and camera production, that's because Nikon is a Japanese ​multinational  founded over 100 years ago with a rich history of making top-notch cameras.

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​Given Nikon's pedigree in photography, it is not surprising that the company has a large line-up of high-quality cameras targeted at both photography and videography.  Here we have tried to focus on the most up-to-date cameras that Nikon makes for the regular consumer and have ignored some camera models that are considered  older versions or which may have been discontinued by Nikon, ​even though they may still be available for purchase from distributors.  

Nikon has 3 major product lines ​of consumer cameras that are targeted at certain demographics of the ​population. These are:

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    Coolpix ​cameras - these are considered 'point and shoot' compact cameras targeted at the regular consumer who wants a straightforward camera that automates the majority of technical aspects of photography/videography and does not want to be faffing about with different ​lenses and technical details.
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    ​​Nikon 1 ​cameras - with their interchangeable lens system yet compact camera format, the Nikon 1 series is aimed at the more tech-savvy prosumer.
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    DSLR cameras - these are targeted at the professional photographer / videographer where almost all technical aspects of the shot can be controlled and refined.

 When it comes to vlogging, almost any of these cameras can be used as they all have the ability to record video and sound, albeit with different levels of competency. In this review of Nikon cameras, we have considered all the cameras together irrespective of ​the Nikon category into which they fall. In addition, since this is a website about making great videos, we have focused almost entirely on the aspects of ​each camera that are relevant to vlogging, and have left out most of the still photography aspects of the cameras. This sometimes leads to a situation where cameras from different Nikon categories will apparently have almost identical vlogging capabilities, but will dramatically differ in price due to other characteristics that are more relevant to still photography.  ​For this reason, as you study the tables comparing different Nikon cameras below, you will come across cameras ​that appear to have ​very identical characteristics, but ​once again, this just means that they ​differ in ​​aspects less relevant to vlogging.

​As with all cameras intended for use as a vlogging camera, there are some​ key characteristics to consider before making your purchasing decision. Many of these characteristics have been discussed in more depth elsewhere (such as on our pages  'Good Vlogging Cameras Under £200​' or '​Best Vlogging Camera Under £500'), but ​as a refresher, as well as focusing on how they relate specifically to the ​today's crop of Nikon cameras, these features are summarised below:

  • Video Resolution: This is the resolution that the camera can shoot movies in. There are currently three main options available to the consumer today: 720p, 1080p and 4K. 720p (sometimes referred to as High Definition or 'HD') is the older standard ​that is rapidly becoming 'yesterday's technology'. A resolution of 1080p, also known as 'Full HD' is arguably today's defacto standard of video technology when it comes to display screens, while 4K, sometimes referred to as Ultra HD (UHD), is on the leading edge of screen tech today. If you are serious about vlogging in the years ahead, then ideally you want a camera that can shoot in 4K, or at a minimum, one that can shoot in 1080p.  
  • ​Image Stabilisation: This feature steadies the shot against camera shake due to holding the camera or some other ambient vibration. There are two main ways that camera manufacturers achieve stabilisation of the image, software-based electronic image stabilisation, and mechanically shifting the camera lens to counteract the vibration (known as optical or lens-shift image stabilisation).   Lens-shift is the superior type of image stabilisation, but it is also more difficult to implement and thus more expensive, therefore not all camera manufacturers incorporate it. However, most of Nikon's cameras include lens-shift optical image stabilisation.
  • ​'Selfie-screen': Making a selfie video is an obvious requirement when it comes to vlogging and being able to​ ensure that you are perfectly framed within the shot is ​critical to making professional-looking videos. Therefore, getting a camera with a screen that can fully rotate 180 degrees to face the front of the camera a.k.a. 'Selfie-screen' is a must for any serious vloggers. Not all Nikon cameras have a true 'selfie-screen', so this is one to watch out for.
  • ​Microphone: One of the camera characteristics that a beginner vlogger looking to purchase a camera will often overlook is the quality of the audio that the camera can record in. Without good sound quality, even the best-looking video clip will look very amateurish. In our opinion, a​ minimum requirement is a stereo microphone, and a camera with only a monaural microphone should be avoided unless your budget doesn't allow otherwise. To get even better quality sound, choose a camera with a port for a separately purchased external microphone as well - even if you don't want to buy the microphone right away, at least you will be future-proofed as your vlogging endeavours progress.  Some of the more expensive Nikon cameras, have both an internal stereo microphone and a port for an external one.  
  • ​Wi-Fi: These days everything is connected to the internet, so why should your shiny new Nikon vlogging camera be any different? Having Wi-Fi on a camera is not absolutely necessary as everything you can do with Wi-Fi can be accomplished via the wired connection ports universally found on cameras. However, if you are planning on making lots of movies, then having a Wi-Fi connection that can transfer movies over air will make your whole video production experience a whole lot more efficient.  With Nikon cameras, most recent models have integrated Wi-Fi as standard, however there are some older ​models that either require an optional wireless adapter that you plug into the camera and yet other models without Wi-Fi altogether.
  • Connection Ports: Almost all digital cameras these days come with at least a USB port to allow the transfer of photos and videos to a laptop or mobile device. Some USB ports can even be used to connect to televisions and other displays when using the correct (usually optional) cable. An HDMI port is also becoming common on cameras allowing streaming and direct playback of video to a TV or other HDMI-compatible display. Most Nikon cameras above £200 have both a USB port and an HDMI port.
  • Image Sensor Size: When it comes to videography, size does matter - image sensor size, that is! Simply put, the bigger the sensor, the better the quality of the video image. However, perhaps not surprisingly, a bigger sensor ​usually means a more expensive camera. There are several different 'standard' sensor sizes best illustrated by a picture.  Larger sensors have a greater surface area that will be capable of picking up more light, that means a less grainy image especially in low light conditions, and a greater dynamic range of colours.
  • Mains Power Option: Cameras are usually powered by batteries to make them portable, however, when it comes to vlogging, a lot of the videos that we make are ​carried out indoors close to sources of mains electricity. Batteries have significant limitations in terms of how long ​a camera can run for and can become inconvenient to the at-home vlogger in a hurry. That's why, if you are serious about​ vlogging, then having the ability to power the camera from the mains is close to being an essential characteristic. Fortunately, with Nikon cameras, almost all of them can be powered from the mains using separately-purchased optional power adapters.

Best Nikon Camera for YouTube Under £200

Nikon A300 Coolpix Compact System Camera - Black
Nikon Coolpix L340 Camera - Black (20 MP, 28x Optical Zoom) 3-Inch LCD
Camera
Nikon Coolpix A300
Nikon Coolpix L340
Resolution (video)
720p
720p
Image Sensor Size
1/2.3"
1/2.3"
Image Stabilisation (Optical)
'Selfie screen'
Microphone
Mono
Mono
Wi-Fi
Connection Ports
USB
USB
Mains Power
Optional Extra
Optional Extra
Megapixels
20.1
20.2
Optical Zoom
8x
28x
Nikon A300 Coolpix Compact System Camera - Black
Camera
Nikon Coolpix A300
Resolution (video)
720p
Image Sensor Size
1/2.3"
Image Stabilisation (Optical)
'Selfie screen'
Microphone
Mono
Wi-Fi
Connection Ports
USB
Mains Power
Optional Extra
Megapixels
20.1
Optical Zoom
8x
Amazon.co.uk
Nikon Coolpix L340 Camera - Black (20 MP, 28x Optical Zoom) 3-Inch LCD
Camera
Nikon Coolpix L340
Resolution (video)
720p
Image Sensor Size
1/2.3"
Image Stabilisation (Optical)
'Selfie screen'
Microphone
Mono
Wi-Fi
Connection Ports
USB
Mains Power
Optional Extra
Megapixels
20.2
Optical Zoom
28x
Amazon.co.uk

​In the ​sub-£200 category, ​ the Nikon Coolpix A300 and the Nikon Coolpix L340 are two cameras popular with basic vloggers, however, when ​looking at the vlogging characteristics ​of these cameras, ​a number of features are lacking due to their restriction on cost, and are really only appropriate for the vlogger on a low budget. ​Both cameras shoot video in 720p, which is considered a low resolution these days. In addition, both cameras lack a 'selfie screen', meaning framing yourself in the shot can be quite difficult, and neither camera​ has an HDMI port that could have been used to stream video to an external display. ​Critically, both cameras also only sport monaural microphones and lack the ability to attach an external one forcing vloggers to record with subpar audio. On the positive side, both cameras ​possess lens-shift image stabilisation, making for a stable shot, and both can be powered from the mains with an optional mains-power adapter. If you do decide to stick to the sub-£200 price limit for a Nikon camera, then​ ​for vlogging, the A300 is the better camera to go for, trumping the L340 with its integrated Wi-Fi, which is ​a more useful feature to vloggers than the higher zoom level of the L340 .


Best Nikon Camera for YouTube Under £400

Nikon 1 J5 Compact System Camera - White (20.8 MP, 10 - 30 mm PD-Zoom Lens Kit, 4K Movie Shooting)
Nikon B700 Coolpix Compact System Camera - Red
Nikon A900 Coolpix Digital Camera - Black
Nikon 1 S1 Compact System Camera - Khaki (10.1MP with 11-27.5mm Lens Kit) 3 inch LCD
Nikon B500 Coolpix Digital Compact Camera - Plum
Camera
Nikon 1 J5
Nikon Coolpix B700
Nikon Coolpix A900
Nikon 1 S1
Nikon Coolpix B500
Resolution (video)
4K
4K
4K
1080p
1080p
Image Sensor Size
CX
1/2.3"
1/2.3"
CX
1/2.3"
Image Stabilisation (Optical)
depends on lens fitted
depends on lens fitted
'Selfie screen'
tilt-screen only
Microphone
Stereo
Stereo
Stereo
Stereo
Stereo
Wi-Fi
optional wireless adapter
Connection Ports
USB, HDMI
USB, HDMI
USB, HDMI
USB, HDMI
USB, HDMI
Mains Power
Optional Extra
Optional Extra
Optional Extra
Optional Extra
Optional Extra
Megapixels
20.8
20.3
20.3
10.1
16.0
Optical Zoom
depends on lens fitted
60x
35x
depends on lens fitted
40x
Nikon 1 J5 Compact System Camera - White (20.8 MP, 10 - 30 mm PD-Zoom Lens Kit, 4K Movie Shooting)
Camera
Nikon 1 J5
Resolution (video)
4K
Image Sensor Size
CX
Image Stabilisation (Optical)
depends on lens fitted
'Selfie screen'
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Connection Ports
USB, HDMI
Mains Power
Optional Extra
Megapixels
20.8
Optical Zoom
depends on lens fitted
Amazon.co.uk
Nikon B700 Coolpix Compact System Camera - Red
Camera
Nikon Coolpix B700
Resolution (video)
4K
Image Sensor Size
1/2.3"
Image Stabilisation (Optical)
'Selfie screen'
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Connection Ports
USB, HDMI
Mains Power
Optional Extra
Megapixels
20.3
Optical Zoom
60x
Amazon.co.uk
Nikon A900 Coolpix Digital Camera - Black
Camera
Nikon Coolpix A900
Resolution (video)
4K
Image Sensor Size
1/2.3"
Image Stabilisation (Optical)
'Selfie screen'
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Connection Ports
USB, HDMI
Mains Power
Optional Extra
Megapixels
20.3
Optical Zoom
35x
Amazon.co.uk