The Best Video Camera for Making a YouTube Video

Whether you're uploading videos to YouTube as a hobby or as an advertisement for a club, social group or business, you want the video to look as good as possible. Camera brands and features change all the time, so instead of looking for a particular brand, look instead at the file types it uses and the resolution it records with. Comparing that to YouTube's recommended settings can help you get the best results possible.

Silhouette of a video camera on tripod stand
Rear view of a video camcorder shooting a stage performance
credit: Xerv_II/iStock/Getty Images

File Types and Codecs

YouTube accepts some of the most-used file types, including WebM, 3GPP, FLV, MPEGPS, MPEG4, WMV, AVI, MP4 and MOV. If you're uploading your files directly and don't want to use a video converter or video editing software, make sure your camera records with one of those file types. In terms of the "ideal" file type, YouTube recommends MP4. Beyond that, you'll have a few other considerations. Upload the video using the same frame rate you used to record it; for example, videos shot at 30 frames per second should be uploaded at 30 frames per second. If you're using video editing software before uploading, your audio sample rate should be 96 or 48kHz, ideally using the AAC-LC codec in stereo or stereo + 5.1. Video should be high-profile and progressive-scan using the H.264 codec. Some cameras record only with "interlaced" video instead of progressive scan, so make sure you know what you're getting before you buy a camera.