Sony Mocopi wearable sensors let you control avatars with your whole body

Not everyone might be buying that whole metaverse spiel, but many might have been enamored by the idea of having a virtual version of themselves in certain spaces. Imaging ourselves in a different form inhabiting different worlds goes back farther than VR and AR, but the technologies to enable such an experience haven’t exactly been available until now. Sure, you can already have a Mii or a Bitmoji to represent you today, but having them actually move like you is a completely different thing. For that, your avatar will need to be able to read and copy your body’s movements, and Sony’s latest wearable tech is going to make that as easy as wearing six sensors on your body.

Designer: Sony

Motion capture, or mocap, has been around for decades and is primarily used in the entertainment industry to make 3D models move more realistically. At first, only large studios were able to utilize this technology due to the sheer size and costs of the equipment needed to make it happen. Today, there are more affordable forms of mocap systems, but they’re still way out of reach of ordinary people who just want a virtual avatar to mirror their moves.

Sony’s new mocopi, short for “motion copy,” was designed to cater to this crowd. The entire system is composed of nothing more than six sensors that look like Apple AirTags, as well as five straps and a clip to attach them to different parts of your body. Four sensors go around your wrists and ankles, one clips behind your lower back, and another wraps around your head. As far as hardware goes, that’s really all there is to it.

The magic unsurprisingly happens on the software side, particularly with a companion mobile app that displays your live avatar of choosing. Using Bluetooth technology, the app is able to read the sensor’s motion data and translate that into the avatar’s movement in real-time. This video can later be used in different applications, like live streaming, VRChat, and more. At the time of launch, the only way you can use mocopi is with that smartphone app, but Sony plans on making a software development kit (SDK) available so that it can be integrated into other applications as well.

mocopi isn’t going to be as detailed and as fluid as professional mocap systems, but at around $360, it is significantly more affordable. It’s designed for more casual use, targeting an audience of content creators that are more interested in creating fun ways to express themselves than professional animated avatars. If it takes off, it could at least make such affordable mocap systems more common. Sony mocopi is launching in Japan in late January 2023, and it will be coming in zero-plastic packaging to boot.

The post Sony Mocopi wearable sensors let you control avatars with your whole body first appeared on Yanko Design.

The best wireless earbuds for 2022

Companies continue to find new ways to impress with true wireless earbuds. There’s no doubt the popularity of Apple’s AirPods helped make them a mainstay, but plenty of others offer reliable connectivity, great sound and active noise cancellation (ANC) in increasingly smaller form factors. You can also get features that used to be reserved for premium models on mid-range devices. Of course, the popularity means that new earbuds are popping up all the time and the list of options is longer than ever. To help, we’ve compiled the best wireless earbuds you can buy right now, including noteworthy features for each selection.

Engadget's picks

Best overall: Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony keeps its top spot on our list for its combination of great sound, powerful active noise cancellation and a long list of features no other company can compete with. Just like its headphones, Sony manages to pack a ton of handy tools into its flagship true wireless model. The basics like wireless charging and battery life improvements are covered, but company-specific features like Speak-to-Chat automatic pausing, Adaptive Sound Control adjustments based on movement or location, 360 Reality Audio and a customizable EQ are icing on the cake. Plus, DSEE Extreme upscaling helps improve compressed tunes over Bluetooth.

Runner up: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3

If sound quality is your primary concern, the Momentum True Wireless 3 is your best bet. You won’t get the truckload of features that Sony offers, but Sennheiser does the basics well at a lower price than the previous Momentum earbuds. A new Adaptive Noise Cancellation setup continuously monitors ambient sounds to suppress them in real time. Inside, the company’s True Response transducer is paired with 7mm dynamic drivers for top-notch audio.

Best noise cancellation: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

When it comes to blocking out the world, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are the best at the task. Bose introduced a redesigned set earlier this year and the smaller buds deliver a more comfy fit. The company also managed to improve ambient sound and maintain its track record of solid audio quality. However, the real star here is the ANC performance which is hands-down the best you can get right now. The QC Earbuds II don’t have some basic features like multipoint connectivity and wireless charging, so that might factor into your decision.

Best budget pick: Jabra Elite 3

Jabra packs a lot into a set of earbuds for under $100. The Elite 3 don’t have ANC, automatic pausing or wireless charging, and the EQ changes are limited to presets. However, these affordable buds have impressive sound quality, good battery life, reliable on-board controls and a very comfy fit. If you’re looking for something that just gets the job done, the Elite 3 is more than capable.

Best for iOS: Apple Airpods Pro (2nd-gen)

Apple’s latest AirPods Pro are a huge improvement over the 2019 model. The company managed to improve the sound quality and ANC performance while keeping all of the conveniences that make AirPods the best option for iOS and Mac. To me, the most impressive feature is the transparency mode, which is more natural sounding than any other earbuds by a mile. You can leave these in during a conversation and it’s like you’re not even wearing them. Of course, fast pairing, hands-free Siri and wireless charging (MagSafe or Apple Watch chargers) will also come in handy.

Best for Android: Google Pixel Buds Pro

Google has hit its stride when it comes to true wireless earbuds. Every new model the company introduces is an improvement after its first attempt failed to impress. With the Pixel Buds Pro, Google offers deep, punchy bass, solid ANC performance, reliable touch controls and wireless charging. Plus, there are added convenience features for Android and Pixel devices including Google Translate Conversation Mode.

Best for workouts: Beats Fit Pro

Most of the best AirPods features in a set of workout earbuds? That’s the Beats Fit Pro. Thanks to Apple’s H1 chip, these buds offer one-touch quick pairing, hands-free Siri and Find My tools. They’ll also allow you to use Audio Sharing with an Apple device and another set of AirPods or Beats headphones for tandem listening or viewing. Balanced and punchy bass will keep the energy up during workouts while good noise cancellation and a comfy fit make these a solid option outside of the gym too. And there’s plenty of support for Android, so these aren’t just a good buy for iOS users either.

Honorable mention: Sony LinkBuds S

One of the biggest surprises this year wasn’t Sony’s unique open-wear LinkBuds, it was the more mainstream follow-up. With the LinkBuds S, the company debuted a more “traditional” design akin to its premium WF-1000XM4, only this model is much smaller and lighter which leads to a much more comfy fit. These tiny buds muster some punch when it comes to sound quality too and support for high-res listening (LDAC and DSEE Extreme) are both onboard. Capable ANC lends a hand with environmental noise and transparency mode can keep you tuned in when needed. What’s more, handy Speak-to-Chat is here and Adaptive Sound Control can automatically change settings based on activity or location. That’s a lot of premium for features at a mid-range price.

How to buy a vlogging camera in 2022

With the explosion of TikTok and the growth of video on YouTube, Twitch, Instagram and other platforms, interest in vlogging has increased exponentially since we last updated our guide. If you’re one of those vlog creators and a smartphone is no longer good enough, it may be time to upgrade to a purpose-built vlogging camera.

Some models are specifically designed for vlogging, like Sony’s ZV-E10 mirrorless camera that launched last year, or Panasonic’s compact G100. Others, like the new Panasonic GH6, Sony A7S III and Canon EOS R6 are hybrid cameras that offer vlogging as part of a larger toolset.

All of them have certain things in common, like flip-around screens, face- and/or eye-detect autofocus and image stabilization. Prices, features and quality can vary widely among models, though. To that end, we’ve updated our guide with all the latest models designed for every vlogger from novice to professional, in all price ranges. Engadget has tested all of these to give you recommendations for the best vlogging cameras, and we’ll even discuss a few rumored upcoming models.

One caveat to this year’s best camera guide is that a parts shortage has limited production of many cameras, causing shortages and higher prices. Sony, for one, halted production of the aforementioned ZV-E10 for a time, and models from Fujifilm and others are also hard to find. The good news is that the shortage appears to be easing, so hopefully we’ll see normal supply levels in the near future. 

What do you need in a vlogging camera?

Vlogging cameras are designed for filmmakers who often work alone and either use a tripod, gimbal, vehicle mount or just their hands to hold a camera. It has to be good not just for filming yourself, but other “B-roll” footage that helps tell your story.

The number one requirement is a flip-around screen so you can see yourself while filming. Those can rotate up, down or to the side, but flipping out to the side is preferable so a tripod or microphone won’t block it.

How to buy a vlogging camera in 2020
Steve Dent/Engadget

Continuous autofocus (AF) for video with face and eye detection is also a must. It becomes your camera “assistant,” keeping things in focus while you concentrate on your content. Most cameras can do that nowadays, but some still do it better than others.

If you move around or walk a lot, you should look for an action camera with built-in optical stabilization. Electronic stabilization is another option as long as you’re aware of the limitations. You’ll also need a camera with a fast sensor that limits rolling shutter, which can create a distracting jello “wobble” with quick camera movements.

4K recording is another key feature for video quality. All cameras nowadays can shoot 4K up to at least 24 fps, but if possible, it’s better to have 4K video recording at 60 or even 120 fps. If you shoot sports or other things involving fast movement, look for a model with at least 1080p at 120 fps for slow-motion recording.

Video quality is another important consideration, especially for skin tones. Good light sensitivity helps for night shooting, concerts, etcetera, and a log profile helps improve dynamic range in very bright or dark shooting conditions. If you want the best possible image quality and can afford it, get a camera that can record 4K with 10-bits (billions) of colors. That will give you more options when you go to edit your vlog.

Don’t neglect audio either — if the quality is bad, your audience will disengage. Look for a camera with an external microphone port so you can plug in a shotgun or lapel mic for interviews, or at least one with a good-quality built-in microphone. It’s also nice to have a headphone port to monitor sound so you can avoid nasty surprises after you’ve finished shooting.

You’ll also want good battery life and, if possible, dual memory card slots for a backup. Finally, don’t forget about your camera’s size and weight. If you’re constantly carrying one while shooting, especially at the end of a gimbal or gorillapod, it might actually be the most important factor. That’s why tiny GoPro cameras are so popular for sports, despite offering lower image quality and fewer pro features.

The best action and portable cameras

If you’re just starting out in vlogging or need a small, rugged camera, an action cam might be your best bet. In general, they’re easy to use as you don’t have to worry about things like exposure or focus. Recent models also offer good electronic stabilization and sharp, colorful video at up to 4K and 60 fps. The downsides are a lack of control; image quality that’s not on par with larger cameras; and no zooming or option to change lenses.

DJI Pocket II

DJI Pocket 2
DJI

Last time around we recommended the original Osmo Pocket, but the Pocket II (no more “Osmo”) has some big improvements. As before, it’s mounted on a three-axis gimbal and has impressive face tracking that keeps your subject locked in focus while video recording. However, the new model has a larger, much higher resolution 64-megapixel sensor, a faster lens with a wider field of view and improved microphones. As before, you can get accessories like an extension rod, a waterproof case and more.

What really makes the Pocket II great for vlogging are the follow modes combined with face tracking. If you’re working solo, you can simply set it up and it’ll rotate and tilt to follow you around. That also applies for walk-and-talk vlogging, so you don’t have to worry about focus or even pointing the camera at yourself. For $346, it’s not only good for beginners, but is a handy tool for any vlogger.

Buy DJI Pocket II at Amazon - $349

GoPro Hero10 Black

The GoPro Hero 10 Black is $100 off at Amazon
Engadget

The Hero10 Black is what we called a “big, invisible upgrade” over the Hero9, itself a much improved camera over the Hero8 Black we recommended last time. That’s largely due to the new processor that unlocks features like higher-resolution 5.3K 60p and 4K 120fps video, much improved Hypersmooth 4.0 stabilization, an improved front-screen and more. All of that makes the GoPro Hero10 Black ideal to mount on a drone, vehicle, helmet, bicycle and more, at a very manageable $350 price with a 1-year GoPro subscription.

Buy Hero 10 Black bundle at GoPro - $350

DJI Action 2

Someone holds up the new DJI Action 2 camera against a dingy monotone background.
DJI

DJI took a much different approach compared to GoPro with its latest Action 2 camera – no with more Osmo branding. Rather than being a standalone camera, it’s a modular system with a magnetic mount that lets you add a touchscreen module with a secondary OLED display and three additional microphones, or a battery module for longer life and an extra microSD slot. As with the Pocket 2, it offers tons of accessories like a 3-in-1 extension rod and more. It’s a versatile option if you do more than just action shooting, and is priced well starting at $399.

Buy DJI Action 2 at Amazon - $399

The best compact vlogging cameras

Compact cameras are a step-up option from smartphones or action cameras, with larger sensors and much better image quality. At the same time, they’re not quite as versatile as mirrorless or DSLR cameras (and not necessarily cheaper) and they lack advanced options like 10-bit video. For folks who want the best possible quality without needing to think too much about their camera, however, it’s the best option. 

Sony ZV-1

How to buy a vlogging camera in 2020
Steve Dent/Engadget

Sony’s ZV-1 came out in 2020 and it’s still the best compact vlogging camera available. Based on the RX 100 V, it has a decently large 1-inch 20.1-megapixel sensor and fixed 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8mm equivalent lens. Based on the RX100 V, it has a 1-inch 20.1-megapixel sensor and fixed 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8mm (equivalent) lens. It also offers a lightweight body, built-in high-quality microphone (plus a microphone port), flip-out display, best-in-class autofocus and excellent image quality. It also has vlogging specific features like “product showcase” and background blur.

While the $799 ZV-1 can’t shoot 10-bit video, it comes with Sony’s S-Log picture profiles that give you increased dynamic range for shooting in challenging lighting conditions. The flaws include a lens that’s not quite wide enough when you’re using electronic stabilization, mediocre battery life and the lack of a true touch display and headphone port. That aside, if you’re looking to step up from a smartphone, it does the job nearly perfectly.

Buy Sony ZV-1 at Amazon - $799

Canon G7 X Mark III

Canon G7X Mark III vlogging
Engadget

Canon’s G7 X Mark III should also be front of mind for vloggers looking for a compact option. It also packs a 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor, but has a 24-100 mm f/1.8-2.8 35mm equivalent zoom — quite a bit longer than the ZV-1 at the telephoto range. It can shoot 4K at up to 30 fps, while offering optical image stabilization, a microphone input (though no headphone jack) and even the ability to livestream directly to YouTube. The downsides are contrast-detect only autofocus and a screen that tilts up but not to the side. For $749, it’s still a great option, though.

Buy Canon G7 X Mark III at Amazon - $749

The best mirrorless/DSLR vlogging cameras

This is the class that has changed the most over the past couple of years, particularly in the more affordable price categories. Interchangeable lens cameras give you the most options for vlogging, offering larger sensors than compact cameras with better low-light sensitivity and shallower depth of field to isolate you or your subject. They also offer better control of your image with manual controls, log recording, 10-bit video and more. The drawbacks are extra weight compared to action or compact cameras, extra complexity and higher prices.

Fujifilm X-S10

Fujifilm X-S10 APS-C mirrorless camera
Jonas Dyhr Rask/Fujifilm

Fujifilm’s X-S10 has displaced the X-T4 as the best vlogging camera out there, thanks particularly to the more affordable price. It ticks all the boxes for vloggers, offering in-body image stabilization, 10-bit 4K external video with F-Log recording (at up to 30fps) along with 1080p at a stellar 240 fps, a screen that flips out to the side and easy-to-use controls. It also comes with a headphone jack and USB-C port that doubles as a headphone jack. The main downside is the limited touchscreen controls, but you get a lot of camera for just $1,000.

Buy Fujifilm X-S10 at Adorama - $999

Sony ZV-E10

Sony suspends orders for the new ZV-E10 because of chip shortages
Sony

The best Sony APS-C camera for vlogging is now the ZV-E10. While using many of the same aging parts as the A6100, including the 24.2-megapixel sensor, it has a number of useful features for self-shooters. High on the list is Sony’s excellent autofocus, which includes the same background defocus and Product Showcase features found on the ZV-1 compact. It also offers electronic SteadyShot, a fully articulating display and more. The biggest drawback is rolling shutter that can get bad if you whip the camera around too much. If you can find one, it’s priced at $700 for the body or $800 in a bundle with Sony’s 16-50mm F/3.5-5.6 power zoom lens.

Buy Sony ZV-E10 at B&H - $698

Panasonic GH6 and GH5

Panasonic GH6 review: A vlogging workhorse and improved camera
Steve Dent/Engadget

Panasonic’s GH5 was an incredibly popular vlogging camera for a very long time and was actually replaced by two cameras, the $2,200 GH6 and more budget-oriented $1,700 GH5-II. The GH6 is a large upgrade in nearly every way, offering 5.7K at 60 fps and 4K at up to 120 fps, along with ProRes formats that are easy to edit. It also comes with the best in-body stabilization on any camera and great handling. The downside is sub-par contrast-detect autofocus and battery life that’s not amazing.

It’s also worth a look at the GH5 Mark II, which is not only $500 cheaper but particularly well suited for live-streamers. It’s not a huge upgrade over the GH5, but does more than most rival cameras for the price, offering 4K 10-bit 60p video, a fully articulating display and excellent in-body stabilization. As with the GH6, the main drawback is the contrast-detect autofocus system.

Buy Panasonic GH6 at Amazon - $2,200Buy Panasonic GH5 at Amazon - $1,700

Panasonic G100

Panasonic G100 vlogging camera
Panasonic

Panasonic’s G100 is purpose built for vlogging like the ZV-1, but also allows you to change lenses. It has a fully-articulating flip-out screen, 5-axis hybrid (optical/electronic) stabilization, 4K V-Log-L video at up to 30 fps (though sadly cropped at 1.47X for 4K video), 1080p at up to 60 fps, and contrast detect AF with face/eye detection. The coolest feature is the Nokia OZO system that can isolate audio to a specific person via face-detection tracking — something that can theoretically improve audio quality. Best of all, you can grab it right now with a 12-32mm lens for $750.

Buy Panasonic GH100 at Amazon - $750

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Canon EOS M50 Mark II APS-C mirrorless camera
Canon

Another good buy if you’re on a budget is Canon’s EOS M50 Mark II, particularly if you’re okay with 1080p video only. While not a huge upgrade over the original M50, Canon has made it more compelling for vloggers with a fully-articulating display, continuous eye-tracking in video and live streaming to YouTube. It does support 4K, but with a heavy 1.5 times crop and contrast-detect autofocus only. Still, it’s a good option for folks on a budget, selling for $699 with a 15-45mm lens.

Buy Canon EOS M50 Mark II at B&H - $699

Canon EOS R6

Canon EOS R6 camera
Steve Dent / Engadget

If you’ve got the budget for it, Canon’s EOS R6 offers nearly every feature you need in a vlogging camera. You can shoot 10-bit 4K video at up to 60 fps, and the Dual Pixel autofocus with eye and face tracking is incredibly reliable. It also offers 5-axis optical stabilization, a flip-out display and a relatively compact size. As you may have heard, overheating can be an issue, but firmware updates have improved that issue and it only applies to the more demanding video settings.

Buy Canon EOS R6 at Amazon - $2,500

Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4 mirrorless camera review
Steve Dent/Engadget

The Fuijfilm X-T4 is a great all-around mirrorless camera for vlogging. It has everything you need, including a fully-articulating display, continuous eye- and face autofocus, 10-bit 4K log recording at up to 60 fps, 5-axis in-body stabilization, microphone and headphone jacks (the latter via USB-C) and lower noise in low light.

Image quality, especially in the skin tones, is lifelike and the sensor has minimal rolling shutter. It also offers good battery life and comes with dual UHS-II card slots. Finally, it’s fairly light considering all the features, and Fujifilm has a good selection of small lenses ideal for vlogging. What I don’t like is an autofocus system not quite as fast or accurate as Sony’s and the fairly steep $1,700 asking price for the body only.

Buy Fujifilm X-T4 at Amazon - $1,700

Nikon Z fc

The Nikon Z FC camera seen from head on.
Nikon

If you want to look great while vlogging, check out Nikon’s stylish Z fc. It’s largely identical to the Z50, with features like a 20.9-megapixel APS-C sensor, 4K at 30 fps and a reliable phase-detect autofocus system with face detection. However, the Z fc brings a vari-angle touchscreen to the party and has a beautiful vintage body covered with convenient manual controls. It doesn’t have built-in optical stabilization, but you can get that via a lens. The best feature, though, is the price – you can get one for $1,100 with a 16-50mm lens.

Buy Nikon Z fc at B&H - $1,100

Upcoming cameras

If you’re not quite ready to buy, there are some interesting options on the horizon. Canon just announced the EOS R7, a mirrorless EOS R version of its popular EOS 7D DSLR. It has an APS-C sensor and all-new RF-S lenses, meaning that it might replace Canon’s current M-series cameras. Specs include a 32.5-megapixel APS-C sensor, 4K 60 fps video, an articulating display and more. All of that will make it a top vlogging option, if our upcoming review confirms the hype.

On top of that, Canon also announced a cheaper EOS R10 model with a 24.2-megapixel sensor that could also be an ideal vlogging camera. Both cameras are coming out towards the end of 2022.

In addition, Fujifilm just launched the X-H2S, its new $2,500 flagship mirrorless camera. With a 26.2-megapixel stacked and backside-illuminated sensor, it offers a raft of impressive features. Some of the highlights include 40 fps blackout-free burst shooting, faster autofocus, 6.2K 30fps video, a flip-out display and 7-stop in-body stabilization. If you’ve got the budget, this could be a solid vlogging choice when it arrives on July 7th.

The best earbuds, headphones and speakers to give as holiday gifts in 2022

The holidays are a good time to upgrade an audio setup, whether it's for yourself or for someone on your shopping list. We’ve compiled a group of the best audio gear that ranges from noise-canceling headphones to true wireless earbuds and speakers. There are also a range of prices for each product type, so you don’t necessarily have to break the bank unless you’re really looking to splurge this year.

Sony WH-1000XM5

Sony WH-1000XM5
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

If you’re shopping for the complete package in a new set of headphones, there’s one clear best choice. No other company packs in as many features as Sony does on the WH-1000XM5, and they’re combined with a stellar sound and effective ANC. With this model, Sony redesigned its flagship headphones, making them way more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The company also made noticeable improvements to the active noise cancellation, adding a separate V1 chip in addition to the QN1 that was inside the M4. The 1000XM5 still has all of the features that typically make Sony’s premium headphones so good. 30-hour battery life, a combo of touch controls and physical buttons, Speak-to-Chat automatic pausing when you talk, and the ability to change noise modes based on your activity or location. — Billy Steele, Senior News Editor

Buy WH-1000XM5 at Amazon - $398

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

If sound quality is the primary factor in your next set of headphones, Bowers & Wilkins pair impressive audio quality with solid ANC performance. The Px7 S2 are my favorite headphones I’ve reviewed this year in terms of sound. There’s also a more refined design that doesn’t look overly plasticky and the headphones fit comfortably even after hours of use. Call quality, ambient sound and automatic pausing need some refining, but they get the job done. At the end of the day, the design, sound quality and noise cancellation make the Px7 S2 a strong pick in the current field. Plus, they’ll last way beyond the stated 30 hours of battery life. — B.S.

Buy Px7 S2 at Amazon - $399

Sennheiser Momentum 4

Sennheiser Momentum 4
Engadget

When picking the best-sounding headphones from 2022, it’s difficult to choose between the Px7 S2 and the Momentum 4. However, Bowers & Wilkins gets the edge in terms of design, but they’re evenly matched on sound quality and the rest of the competition isn’t close. Sennheiser does have an impressive 60-hour battery life in its favor and improved ANC performance. Those two items alone might be enough for you to overlook the very generic design for the music lover on your list this year. — B.S.

Buy Momentum 4 at Amazon - $350

Audio-Technica M20xBT

Audio-Technica M20xBT
Engadget

Audio-Technica’s affordable wireless headphones have consistently offered solid performance that would make a great gift, even with the lack of noise cancellation. The company’s latest are the M20xBT, a Bluetooth version of the A-T’s popular M20x wired cans. A comfy fit and up to 60 hours of battery life will cost you just $79. Connect to multiple devices at once with Bluetooth multipoint connectivity and reliably control tunes with physical buttons. The design isn’t as refined as the company’s pricer models like the M50xBT2, but you get the bulk of what makes Audio-Technica’s cheaper options so good. — B.S.

Buy M20xBT at Amazon - $79

Sony LinkBuds S

Sony LinkBuds S
Engadget

Sony’s first set of LinkBuds were a unique open-wear concept, but they weren't for everyone. To expand the lineup with more universal appeal, the company debuted the LinkBuds S back in the spring. These earbuds may be tiny but they still offer active noise cancellation and the smaller size means they’re more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. That’s the entire point of the LinkBuds S as Sony built them to be worn all the time, although you can expect up to six hours of use with ANC enabled. Transparency mode makes this possible and features like Speak-to-Chat and Adaptive Sound Control highlight the list of additional features. — B.S.

Buy LinkBuds S at Amazon - $198

Beats Fit Pro

Beats Fit Pro
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

If you're shopping for a set of workout earbuds this year, the best option is the Beats Fit Pro. These offer a lot of handy features from AirPods thanks to Apple's H1 chip. The overall size is smaller than a lot of earbuds, which leads to a comfy fit. Plus, the added wing helps keep them in place during physical activity. Punchy bass brings energy to cardio sessions but the low-end tone remains balanced, rather than overpowering, and six-hour battery life should be enough to get you through the bulk of the day. — B.S.

Buy Beats Fit Pro at Amazon - $200

JLab Go Air Pop

JLab Go Air Pop
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Thanks to JLab, you can give a decent set of true wireless earbuds as a stocking stuffer. For $20, the Go Air Pop covers most of the basics. Eight-hour battery life, on-board controls, EQ presets, IPX4 moisture protection and the ability to use just one earbud at a time are all on the features list. The Go Air Pop is smaller than its predecessor, the Go Air, and this model comes with a case that completely closes. What’s more, the company kept the integrated USB on the charging case, so you don’t have to worry about looking for a cable when you’re out of power. — B.S.

Buy JLab Go Air Pop at Amazon - $25

UE Wonderboom 3

UE Wonderboom 3
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

If you’re shopping for a Bluetooth speaker this year, the UE Wonderboom 3 is an affordable, tiny option that still packs a punch. It’s adventure-proof thanks to an IP67 rating, audio quality is bright and an outdoor mode boosts treble and bass so sound can be heard over a greater distance. You can also easily pair two Wonderboom 3 units for stereo sound, which won’t cost you a fortune thanks to the low price. And with up to 14 hours of battery life, you should be able to keep the tunes going for a while. — B.S.

Buy Wonderboom 3 at Amazon - $100

Marshall Tufton

Marshall Tufton
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

If someone on your list asked for a Bluetooth speaker but has a more refined audio taste, perhaps the Marshall Tufton will fit the bill. It’s pricey, but the investment gets you up to 20 hours of battery life and the option of a wired connection via 3.5mm aux jack. As is the case with all of the Marshall wares, the Tufton carries the look of the iconic guitar amps and this model has an audio quality that’s equal parts dynamic, warm and almost analog in its performance. On-board treble and bass knobs are also there to assist with any adjustments. — B.S.

Buy Tufton at Marshall - $450

Marshall Acton III

Marshall Acton III
Engadget

While portable Bluetooth speakers are great on-the-go, there are benefits to the set-it and forget-it options like Marshall’s Acton III wired model. It’s ideal for someone’s bedroom, living room or kitchen and offers 60-watts of power for just $280. Marshall’s classic amp-styled exterior looks great too, with its fabric grille and soft-touch exterior made up of 70-percent recycled materials. On top, you’ll find backlit physical controls so you can adjust settings in the dark and won’t always need a phone to control playback.

The Acton III delivers a rich and dynamic sound across a wider soundstage than previous models, with a bass response that’s also hefty for its size. On top of the sound quality, you get app support with EQ controls, OTA updates and a placement compensation feature to adjust for the acoustics in your space.

The overall build quality and sound makes it a gift anyone can appreciate, even as a stationary companion to a small portable speaker. There are two larger options as well, if you know someone who likes it loud. Either way, you’ll be a shoe-in for the party that will inevitably follow. – Jon Turi, Homepage Editor

Buy Acton III at Marshall - $280

High-res streaming subscriptions

Wireless white headphones on yellow pastel background.
DBenitostock via Getty Images

If you’re unsure of what to give the music lover in your life this holiday season, why not allow them to give high-resolution streaming a shot. Several services offer the option of higher quality audio, but unfortunately not many of them allow you to gift a subscription. Instead, you’ll simply need to purchase a gift card that your recipient can apply to a high-res plan. Gift cards are available for Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Tidal and others, although you may just need to buy a generic gift card for the company in cases like Amazon and Apple. I’d also suggest giving an App Store or Google Play gift card for someone to apply to a Nugs.net plan to unlock a vault of high-resolution live performances from Bruce Springsteen, Jack White, Pearl Jam, Dead & Company and more. — B.S.

Shop Apple Music gift cardsShop Amazon gift cardsShop Tidal gift cards

Gaming aside: PlayStation 5 Controller Alarm Clock lets you set time, day, date from the D-pad

I’m not sure how many people still use alarm clocks but if you know a gaming fanatic, he would love to trade his smartphone for the PlayStation 5 Controller Alarm Clock by the bedside. If PlayStation rings a bell and you have a gamer in mind, level up to them with the PS controller-shaped alarm clock; a great gift to consider for Christmas!

The clock, designed to look like the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller, is officially licensed and sold by Firebox. The entire contraption comprises a PS5 controller, which sits atop a charging dock and offers a gamer or an occasional Sony fan an option to station memorabilia by the bed; getting up every morning to the sight of a D-pad.

Designer: Firebox

Click Here to Buy Now!

While the PlayStation 5 Controller Alarm Clock is a sight to behold, it is not a functional game controller. Perhaps, it is a functional alarm clock embedded with a 6.2-inch backlit LED display and D-pad controller buttons to set the alarm, date, and time.

With a fantastic semblance to the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller, the digital alarm clock is powered using a USB port. Arguably, the alarm sound is the biggest feature of a table clock, however, there is no information (at the time of writing) about how the PS controller alarm clock sounds. You can have your own assumptions!

While you’re at it, go ahead and give a gamer in your like the option to wake up on time for ‘Call of Duty’ with the PlayStation 5 Controller Alarm Clock always by the bedside. Or else, if you’re growing bored of the same old table clock, here’s your chance to make a fun upgrade your little one is going to praise you for. And then don’t forget to tell us the experience each one of you has had with the wake-up alarm – don’t like the sound, hit the snooze on the D-pad!

 

 

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Sony-inspired ANC earbuds have Cyberpunkish vibe owing to play of color and tech

Speaking of wireless earbuds, we are literally spoilt for choices with so many options to choose from out there in the market. While Sony rules the roost in premium Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) wireless earbuds with the WF-1000XM4; there is scope for exploiting the buds’ design and improving the experience.

That’s where this cheesy concept steps in. The brainchild of product designer Marc Senar, this conceptual audio accessory is targeted at the tech-savvy crowd wanting to show off their TWS earbuds in style.

Designer: Marc Senar

The USP is a cool display on the charging case and on the stem of one of the earbuds, while the other bud stem features a volume control knob. The displays provide the listener an idea of the charge levels during the juicing up session in the case or when they are being used. Alongside this, the charging case also displays the track being played, the play seek bar, start/stop button, and track toggle buttons.

Earbuds from most audio-enthusiastic manufacturers generally feature a simple design language and a rudimentary color scheme. Senar, a designer with roots at Decathlon, sees the accessory as a canvas to play with colors and celestial accents. However, to me, the overall color theme of this Sony Earbuds Concept carries a Cyberpunkish vibe: neon blue for the information displays, orange for the tips, and matte black for the body to instill the fact.

The charging case carrying that black hue and neon blue typeface ticking across the screen on it would appear absolutely dope especially when the lights go out and you’re deep in a trance. However, that’s the most I can divulge for the moment. Presumably, the designer intends to fit the buds with the same dynamic drivers, superior ANC technology, and ergonomic comfy fit synonymous with the Sony brand, and if it does; Senar can have my money!

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Sony LinkBuds S in Earth Blue is designed to help keep the Earth green

TWS or Truly Wireless Stereo earbuds have now become almost a necessity for anyone that has a smartphone these days, thanks to the retirement of the headphone jack. While it does reduce the number of cables produced for typical wired earphones, especially for phones that don’t ship with a pair, it also means that there are more electronics being made each year. These products normally make use of plenty of plastic, even in small devices like earbuds and their charging cases. The somewhat good news is that manufacturers are becoming more aware of their effects and responsibilities when it comes to the environment, which is why Sony is launching a new option for its latest TWS earbuds that tries to help reduce the damage, even in small doses.

Designer: Sony

Compared to earphones whose cables regularly get tangled up, wireless earbuds are more convenient to use and carry around. Their diminutive sizes, however, also make them too easy to lose as well. And when one piece goes missing, it’s pretty inconvenient to use the buds, even if it’s possible to only use a single one for one ear. Unless you’ve heavily invested in a rather pricey pair, chances are you’ll just end up buying a new one and simply discarding the incomplete set. That’s great for users and companies but not so much for the planet.

Sony seems to have the right idea by introducing the new Earth Blue color option for its LinkBuds S TWS earbuds. Rather than just a different splash of paint, the buds are Sony’s eco-friendly option for more conscientious music lovers. While the headphones themselves do still have your typical electronic components, parts of it are made with recycled materials from automobile parts. To some extent, that helps reduce the number of new parts that have to be made and the raw materials that have to be consumed for each and every pair.

The more interesting aspect of these more sustainable earbuds is their charging case. The case and some parts of the buds themselves are made from recycled water bottle materials, which also happens to give them a unique marble pattern. It’s a design that could remind one of seas and oceans, which is probably the effect that Sony is aiming for. Along those lines, the company is also committing to support ocean conservation activities through donations to NGOs.

While Sony does deserve some praise for its attempt to make a sustainable product more accessible and more attractive, it sadly comes a bit short of making a bigger commitment in that regard. The Earth Blue option, after all, is just one out of four colorways, and limiting the recycled materials to just one color means that it won’t appeal to those who don’t like Blue. It would definitely be better if these materials were made available on all LinkBuds S models, but, as it stands, that’s as far as Sony is willing to go for now.

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Sony game controller lets you switch from real to unreal gaming on the fly, promises fully immersive experience

I have just kept the PlayStation controller aside after a fierce game of FIFA with my bud. My thumb’s aching and I’m wondering, what if I could disjoin the controller to use the joystick on either side so the pressure could be distributed between both the thumbs? Well, if there was a controller to suffice this demand, it ought to do a little more than just disjoining for user comfort.

A designer believes the average DualShock should be able to rip apart and double up as a Virtual Reality game controller, and we’re intrigued! The Wireless VR controller that gamers would be using with Sony’s fully immersive PS VR headset, potentially in the future, has been modeled after the PS gaming controller’s design language. The artistically pleasing controller is called the “Unreal Control” and it by virtue is an innovative iteration of the Sony gamepad lineup.

Designer: Evgenia Burmistrova

VR game controller, Unreal Control, is not just about the looks and its uncompromising inclination to Sony’s design aesthetics. The controller in fact is built in with VR sensors. The ground intention thus is to combine a regular gamepad with a VR controller. Simply so the gamers don’t have to let go of their session and shift flawlessly from a regular game to a playful real-life adventure in VR. In addition to allowing the gamer to immerse in the world of VR gaming without distraction, the controller also allows one to play games with elements of augmented reality. It is therefore fathomed for an unforgettable emotion across the platform or technology you’d like to interact in.

The wonderful bit about the Unreal is its two-fold design – figuratively! Two controllers are created to play in augmented reality which can be connected together in a frame as a single unit to give you a modern gamepad. The independent controllers with built-in VR sensors can be used individually or connected to function in tune as one controller so you can switch on the fly from unreal game mode to real or vice versa.

No matter the functionality the controller can pull off, its design: look and feel are of equal consideration to a gamer. Combining elements of Sony’s design philosophy, the controller exhibits soft shades and has smooth curves. This makes it really ergonomic to hold and comfortable to play with. This is essentially made possible with the construction material. The controller is made from matte eco-friendly plastic, which makes the accessory slip resistant in the hands and completely recyclable at the end of life. Designed in colors to appeal to both women and men gamers, the VR game controller is progressive and stylish, bound to attract gamers with its brevity, minimalism and simplicity.

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Backbone’s official PlayStation controller lets you play all your favorite PS titles on your phone

Looks like the PSP just got a second life…

Can’t get your hands on a PS5 quite yet? Well, Backbone has a workaround of sorts. Partnering with Sony to release Backbone One PlayStation® Edition controller, this little gizmo lets you play all your PS games on your smartphone without needing a console nearby. Earlier in 2020, Backbone Labs debuted the original Backbone One, a universal gaming controller designed to bring a controller-based gaming experience to the smartphone. The PlayStation Edition of the controller, however, comes with the PS-style action buttons and a new version of the Backbone app tailormade for playing PS titles. I’ll be honest, I’m loving the black and white colorway too.

Designers: Backbone Labs in collaboration with Sony

While it seems like Sony really missed the train on giving the PSP a refresh (and there’s speculation that Google’s about to kill Stadia), Backbone gives us a pretty remarkable taste of being able to play triple-A titles on a handheld console (or a smartphone, specifically).

The Backbone One controller really channels the DualSense’s theme and visual language with matching palettes and even the same action buttons. However, the Backbone One is more than just a snap-on controller for the iPhone… it turns your smartphone into a streaming rig too. A dedicated ‘Capture’ button lets you capture your gameplay and send it directly to social media platforms like Instagram, iMessage, or even YouTube. The Backbone app lets you edit your clips too, creating showreels of your best moments in-game, while even being able to chat with friends and fellow gamers.

The Backbone One comes in iPhone and Android varieties (although strangely enough, the PlayStation Edition version of the controller is iPhone only), with lightning and USB-C ports respectively built right into the controller. This effectively lets you game for long hours without the battery woes since the Backbone One uses passthrough charging to keep both your controller and phone juiced at all times. Oh, and my favorite part? The Backbone One controller also sports its own 3.5mm audio jack so you can plug your gaming headphones in for an immersive session!

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How to buy a vlogging camera in 2022

With the explosion of TikTok and the growth of video on YouTube, Twitch, Instagram and other platforms, interest in vlogging has increased exponentially since we last updated our guide. If you’re one of those vlog creators and a smartphone is no longer good enough, it may be time to upgrade to a purpose-built vlogging camera.

Some models are specifically designed for vlogging, like Sony’s ZV-E10 mirrorless camera that launched last year, or Panasonic’s compact G100. Others, like the new Panasonic GH6, Sony A7S III and Canon EOS R6 are hybrid cameras that offer vlogging as part of a larger toolset.

All of them have certain things in common, like flip-around screens, face- and/or eye-detect autofocus and image stabilization. Prices, features and quality can vary widely among models, though. To that end, we’ve updated our guide with all the latest models designed for every vlogger from novice to professional, in all price ranges. Engadget has tested all of these to give you recommendations for the best vlogging cameras, and we’ll even discuss a few rumored upcoming models.

One caveat to this year’s best camera guide is that a parts shortage has limited production of many cameras, causing shortages and higher prices. Sony, for one, halted production of the aforementioned ZV-E10 for a time, and models from Fujifilm and others are also hard to find. The good news is that the shortage appears to be easing, so hopefully we’ll see normal supply levels in the near future. 

What do you need in a vlogging camera?

Vlogging cameras are designed for filmmakers who often work alone and either use a tripod, gimbal, vehicle mount or just their hands to hold a camera. It has to be good not just for filming yourself, but other “B-roll” footage that helps tell your story.

The number one requirement is a flip-around screen so you can see yourself while filming. Those can rotate up, down or to the side, but flipping out to the side is preferable so a tripod or microphone won’t block it.

How to buy a vlogging camera in 2020
Steve Dent/Engadget

Continuous autofocus (AF) for video with face and eye detection is also a must. It becomes your camera “assistant,” keeping things in focus while you concentrate on your content. Most cameras can do that nowadays, but some still do it better than others.

If you move around or walk a lot, you should look for an action camera with built-in optical stabilization. Electronic stabilization is another option as long as you’re aware of the limitations. You’ll also need a camera with a fast sensor that limits rolling shutter, which can create a distracting jello “wobble” with quick camera movements.

4K recording is another key feature for video quality. All cameras nowadays can shoot 4K up to at least 24 fps, but if possible, it’s better to have 4K video recording at 60 or even 120 fps. If you shoot sports or other things involving fast movement, look for a model with at least 1080p at 120 fps for slow-motion recording.

Video quality is another important consideration, especially for skin tones. Good light sensitivity helps for night shooting, concerts, etcetera, and a log profile helps improve dynamic range in very bright or dark shooting conditions. If you want the best possible image quality and can afford it, get a camera that can record 4K with 10-bits (billions) of colors. That will give you more options when you go to edit your vlog.

Don’t neglect audio either — if the quality is bad, your audience will disengage. Look for a camera with an external microphone port so you can plug in a shotgun or lapel mic for interviews, or at least one with a good-quality built-in microphone. It’s also nice to have a headphone port to monitor sound so you can avoid nasty surprises after you’ve finished shooting.

You’ll also want good battery life and, if possible, dual memory card slots for a backup. Finally, don’t forget about your camera’s size and weight. If you’re constantly carrying one while shooting, especially at the end of a gimbal or gorillapod, it might actually be the most important factor. That’s why tiny GoPro cameras are so popular for sports, despite offering lower image quality and fewer pro features.

The best action and portable cameras

If you’re just starting out in vlogging or need a small, rugged camera, an action cam might be your best bet. In general, they’re easy to use as you don’t have to worry about things like exposure or focus. Recent models also offer good electronic stabilization and sharp, colorful video at up to 4K and 60 fps. The downsides are a lack of control; image quality that’s not on par with larger cameras; and no zooming or option to change lenses.

DJI Pocket II

DJI Pocket 2
DJI

Last time around we recommended the original Osmo Pocket, but the Pocket II (no more “Osmo”) has some big improvements. As before, it’s mounted on a three-axis gimbal and has impressive face tracking that keeps your subject locked in focus while video recording. However, the new model has a larger, much higher resolution 64-megapixel sensor, a faster lens with a wider field of view and improved microphones. As before, you can get accessories like an extension rod, a waterproof case and more.

What really makes the Pocket II great for vlogging are the follow modes combined with face tracking. If you’re working solo, you can simply set it up and it’ll rotate and tilt to follow you around. That also applies for walk-and-talk vlogging, so you don’t have to worry about focus or even pointing the camera at yourself. For $346, it’s not only good for beginners, but is a handy tool for any vlogger.

Buy DJI Pocket II at Amazon - $349

GoPro Hero10 Black

The GoPro Hero 10 Black is $100 off at Amazon
Engadget

The Hero10 Black is what we called a “big, invisible upgrade” over the Hero9, itself a much improved camera over the Hero8 Black we recommended last time. That’s largely due to the new processor that unlocks features like higher-resolution 5.3K 60p and 4K 120fps video, much improved Hypersmooth 4.0 stabilization, an improved front-screen and more. All of that makes the GoPro Hero10 Black ideal to mount on a drone, vehicle, helmet, bicycle and more, at a very manageable $350 price with a 1-year GoPro subscription.

Buy Hero 10 Black bundle at GoPro - $350

DJI Action 2

Someone holds up the new DJI Action 2 camera against a dingy monotone background.
DJI

DJI took a much different approach compared to GoPro with its latest Action 2 camera – no with more Osmo branding. Rather than being a standalone camera, it’s a modular system with a magnetic mount that lets you add a touchscreen module with a secondary OLED display and three additional microphones, or a battery module for longer life and an extra microSD slot. As with the Pocket 2, it offers tons of accessories like a 3-in-1 extension rod and more. It’s a versatile option if you do more than just action shooting, and is priced well starting at $399.

Buy DJI Action 2 at Amazon - $399

The best compact vlogging cameras

Compact cameras are a step-up option from smartphones or action cameras, with larger sensors and much better image quality. At the same time, they’re not quite as versatile as mirrorless or DSLR cameras (and not necessarily cheaper) and they lack advanced options like 10-bit video. For folks who want the best possible quality without needing to think too much about their camera, however, it’s the best option. 

Sony ZV-1

How to buy a vlogging camera in 2020
Steve Dent/Engadget

Sony’s ZV-1 came out in 2020 and it’s still the best compact vlogging camera available. Based on the RX 100 V, it has a decently large 1-inch 20.1-megapixel sensor and fixed 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8mm equivalent lens. Based on the RX100 V, it has a 1-inch 20.1-megapixel sensor and fixed 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8mm (equivalent) lens. It also offers a lightweight body, built-in high-quality microphone (plus a microphone port), flip-out display, best-in-class autofocus and excellent image quality. It also has vlogging specific features like “product showcase” and background blur.

While the $799 ZV-1 can’t shoot 10-bit video, it comes with Sony’s S-Log picture profiles that give you increased dynamic range for shooting in challenging lighting conditions. The flaws include a lens that’s not quite wide enough when you’re using electronic stabilization, mediocre battery life and the lack of a true touch display and headphone port. That aside, if you’re looking to step up from a smartphone, it does the job nearly perfectly.

Buy Sony ZV-1 at Amazon - $799

Canon G7 X Mark III

Canon G7X Mark III vlogging
Engadget

Canon’s G7 X Mark III should also be front of mind for vloggers looking for a compact option. It also packs a 20-megapixel 1-inch sensor, but has a 24-100 mm f/1.8-2.8 35mm equivalent zoom — quite a bit longer than the ZV-1 at the telephoto range. It can shoot 4K at up to 30 fps, while offering optical image stabilization, a microphone input (though no headphone jack) and even the ability to livestream directly to YouTube. The downsides are contrast-detect only autofocus and a screen that tilts up but not to the side. For $749, it’s still a great option, though.

Buy Canon G7 X Mark III at Amazon - $749

The best mirrorless/DSLR vlogging cameras

This is the class that has changed the most over the past couple of years, particularly in the more affordable price categories. Interchangeable lens cameras give you the most options for vlogging, offering larger sensors than compact cameras with better low-light sensitivity and shallower depth of field to isolate you or your subject. They also offer better control of your image with manual controls, log recording, 10-bit video and more. The drawbacks are extra weight compared to action or compact cameras, extra complexity and higher prices.

Fujifilm X-S10

Fujifilm X-S10 APS-C mirrorless camera
Jonas Dyhr Rask/Fujifilm

Fujifilm’s X-S10 has displaced the X-T4 as the best vlogging camera out there, thanks particularly to the more affordable price. It ticks all the boxes for vloggers, offering in-body image stabilization, 10-bit 4K external video with F-Log recording (at up to 30fps) along with 1080p at a stellar 240 fps, a screen that flips out to the side and easy-to-use controls. It also comes with a headphone jack and USB-C port that doubles as a headphone jack. The main downside is the limited touchscreen controls, but you get a lot of camera for just $1,000.

Buy Fujifilm X-S10 at Adorama - $999

Sony ZV-E10

Sony suspends orders for the new ZV-E10 because of chip shortages
Sony

The best Sony APS-C camera for vlogging is now the ZV-E10. While using many of the same aging parts as the A6100, including the 24.2-megapixel sensor, it has a number of useful features for self-shooters. High on the list is Sony’s excellent autofocus, which includes the same background defocus and Product Showcase features found on the ZV-1 compact. It also offers electronic SteadyShot, a fully articulating display and more. The biggest drawback is rolling shutter that can get bad if you whip the camera around too much. If you can find one, it’s priced at $700 for the body or $800 in a bundle with Sony’s 16-50mm F/3.5-5.6 power zoom lens.

Buy Sony ZV-E10 at B&H - $698

Panasonic GH6 and GH5

Panasonic GH6 review: A vlogging workhorse and improved camera
Steve Dent/Engadget

Panasonic’s GH5 was an incredibly popular vlogging camera for a very long time and was actually replaced by two cameras, the $2,200 GH6 and more budget-oriented $1,700 GH5-II. The GH6 is a large upgrade in nearly every way, offering 5.7K at 60 fps and 4K at up to 120 fps, along with ProRes formats that are easy to edit. It also comes with the best in-body stabilization on any camera and great handling. The downside is sub-par contrast-detect autofocus and battery life that’s not amazing.

It’s also worth a look at the GH5 Mark II, which is not only $500 cheaper but particularly well suited for live-streamers. It’s not a huge upgrade over the GH5, but does more than most rival cameras for the price, offering 4K 10-bit 60p video, a fully articulating display and excellent in-body stabilization. As with the GH6, the main drawback is the contrast-detect autofocus system.

Buy Panasonic GH6 at Amazon - $2,200Buy Panasonic GH5 at Amazon - $1,700

Panasonic G100

Panasonic G100 vlogging camera
Panasonic

Panasonic’s G100 is purpose built for vlogging like the ZV-1, but also allows you to change lenses. It has a fully-articulating flip-out screen, 5-axis hybrid (optical/electronic) stabilization, 4K V-Log-L video at up to 30 fps (though sadly cropped at 1.47X for 4K video), 1080p at up to 60 fps, and contrast detect AF with face/eye detection. The coolest feature is the Nokia OZO system that can isolate audio to a specific person via face-detection tracking — something that can theoretically improve audio quality. Best of all, you can grab it right now with a 12-32mm lens for $750.

Buy Panasonic GH100 at Amazon - $750

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Canon EOS M50 Mark II APS-C mirrorless camera
Canon

Another good buy if you’re on a budget is Canon’s EOS M50 Mark II, particularly if you’re okay with 1080p video only. While not a huge upgrade over the original M50, Canon has made it more compelling for vloggers with a fully-articulating display, continuous eye-tracking in video and live streaming to YouTube. It does support 4K, but with a heavy 1.5 times crop and contrast-detect autofocus only. Still, it’s a good option for folks on a budget, selling for $699 with a 15-45mm lens.

Buy Canon EOS M50 Mark II at B&H - $699

Canon EOS R6

Canon EOS R6 camera
Steve Dent / Engadget

If you’ve got the budget for it, Canon’s EOS R6 offers nearly every feature you need in a vlogging camera. You can shoot 10-bit 4K video at up to 60 fps, and the Dual Pixel autofocus with eye and face tracking is incredibly reliable. It also offers 5-axis optical stabilization, a flip-out display and a relatively compact size. As you may have heard, overheating can be an issue, but firmware updates have improved that issue and it only applies to the more demanding video settings.

Buy Canon EOS R6 at Amazon - $2,500

Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4 mirrorless camera review
Steve Dent/Engadget

The Fuijfilm X-T4 is a great all-around mirrorless camera for vlogging. It has everything you need, including a fully-articulating display, continuous eye- and face autofocus, 10-bit 4K log recording at up to 60 fps, 5-axis in-body stabilization, microphone and headphone jacks (the latter via USB-C) and lower noise in low light.

Image quality, especially in the skin tones, is lifelike and the sensor has minimal rolling shutter. It also offers good battery life and comes with dual UHS-II card slots. Finally, it’s fairly light considering all the features, and Fujifilm has a good selection of small lenses ideal for vlogging. What I don’t like is an autofocus system not quite as fast or accurate as Sony’s and the fairly steep $1,700 asking price for the body only.

Buy Fujifilm X-T4 at Amazon - $1,700

Nikon Z fc

The Nikon Z FC camera seen from head on.
Nikon

If you want to look great while vlogging, check out Nikon’s stylish Z fc. It’s largely identical to the Z50, with features like a 20.9-megapixel APS-C sensor, 4K at 30 fps and a reliable phase-detect autofocus system with face detection. However, the Z fc brings a vari-angle touchscreen to the party and has a beautiful vintage body covered with convenient manual controls. It doesn’t have built-in optical stabilization, but you can get that via a lens. The best feature, though, is the price – you can get one for $1,100 with a 16-50mm lens.

Buy Nikon Z fc at B&H - $1,100

Upcoming cameras

If you’re not quite ready to buy, there are some interesting options on the horizon. Canon just announced the EOS R7, a mirrorless EOS R version of its popular EOS 7D DSLR. It has an APS-C sensor and all-new RF-S lenses, meaning that it might replace Canon’s current M-series cameras. Specs include a 32.5-megapixel APS-C sensor, 4K 60 fps video, an articulating display and more. All of that will make it a top vlogging option, if our upcoming review confirms the hype.

On top of that, Canon also announced a cheaper EOS R10 model with a 24.2-megapixel sensor that could also be an ideal vlogging camera. Both cameras are coming out towards the end of 2022.

In addition, Fujifilm just launched the X-H2S, its new $2,500 flagship mirrorless camera. With a 26.2-megapixel stacked and backside-illuminated sensor, it offers a raft of impressive features. Some of the highlights include 40 fps blackout-free burst shooting, faster autofocus, 6.2K 30fps video, a flip-out display and 7-stop in-body stabilization. If you’ve got the budget, this could be a solid vlogging choice when it arrives on July 7th.