Best YouTube cameras and accessories

You can use any camera you want to shoot video for YouTube. But, if your camera spits out clips that make you like a yellowish ill-defined, mushy mass of pixels, you’re going to have trouble getting and keeping viewers. Why not start with a good camera then, right? Right. 

Best YouTube cameras

Since any “good” camera will work, though, you’ll probably want to start by deciding what type of shooting you want to do. There’s little reason to spend hundreds or thousands on camera gear if you can accomplish what you want with a webcam or your phone. To that end, we picked out some of the best cameras that can be used for everything from simple live streams from your laptop to more polished productions. The picks are all based on the type of camera you might want with an eye toward budget. 

Best YouTube accessories

Note that if livestreaming is a priority, you might need additional hardware. You’ll find suggestions for that as well as other accessories to consider following the cameras. 

With a small handful of exceptions, all of these have been included after being fully reviewed or anecdotally tested by me or other CNET editors. Those exceptions in the accessories sections are based on positive Amazon user reviews and additional word of mouth accolades. Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Logitech C922 Pro or Brio 4K

Best PC webcam for deskside YouTubers

Joshua Goldman/CNET

Whether you’re looking to do a quick how-to from your computer, want to stream yourself while you game or anything in between, the simplest option is a webcam. True, you can’t move around too much, but it is pretty much a plug-and-play experience because you don’t need an encoder. 

Both the C922 Pro and higher-end Brio 4K are great options, but for the money, the C922 is my personal preference. It streams at 720p at 60fps and the image quality was solid and its built-in mics give you decent audio. It also comes with a 3-month subscription to XSplit Broadcaster and Gamecaster to do more than simple broadcasts. Or you can use Logitech’s included software to control up to two webcams for picture-in-picture or switching between the two, and you can record video in landscape or portrait. 

The Brio 4K has more features than the C922 like the option to use it to sign into your Windows 10 PC using facial recognition. The main attraction is the increased performance for streaming at full HD 1080p resolution at up to 60fps and recording in 4K resolution at 30fps. It can also compensate for bad lighting with HDR. It’ll cost you about $100 more, though.  

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Must-have accessories

Getting great video for YouTube requires a little more than a camera. You’ll want good lighting and audio, too, and if you’re planning to live stream, you might need a capture card or encoder to get video from your camera and up on YouTube or other video-sharing site. 

Elgato HD60 S

Best game-capture card


A software encoder will let you stream your PC games and webcam video to YouTube and Twitch. However, console players will need a capture card like the HD60 S. Connect this to your Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 or Xbox and to a PC or Mac and a display and it will capture your gameplay and set you up for streaming. The included software will help you mix in webcam video as well. 

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