Canon G7X vs. Sony WX500: Best Vlogging Camera w/ Flip Screen
After a month of testing, I determined that the Canon G7X Mark II is the best vlogging camera with a flip screen because of its incredible video quality. However, Sony WX500 is a solid budget option and an upgrade over a smartphone because of the flip screen.
I’ll explain how I reached my conclusion by comparing two services (Canon G7X vs. Sony WX500) while evaluating five categories: ideal conditions, non-ideal conditions, design, battery, and focal length.
Canon GX7 Mark II
- Non-Ideal: Shooting in low light is fantastic.
- Ideal: It's a substantial upgrade over a smartphone and provides great stabilization and crisp picture.
- Design: The grip is amazing and comfortable. The screen tilts downwards too.
- Battery: I got 1 hour and 20 minutes of battery.
- Focal Length: It has a 24mm wide angle lens.
Best for you if...
You want the best point and shoot vlog camera for YouTube. The G7X looks great in any lighting situation and has excellent stabilization, but it's not $300 better than Sony WX500, but with cameras, you hit diminishing returns quickly.
- Non-Ideal: It doesn’t work well with low light.
- Ideal: It’s the equivalent of a nice 1080p smartphone video, but a better option because of the flip screen.
- Design: Small and only eight ounces. There's no touchscreen.
- Battery: I got 2 hours and 15 minutes of battery.
- Focal Length: It has a 24mm wide angle lens.
Best for you if...
You want the best value vlog camera. You’ll get video quality that is equivalent to a good smartphone. It’s better than using your smartphone because it has a flip screen, better stabilization, and you won’t kill your phone’s battery.
When most people think of vlogging, they think of YouTubers like Casey Neistat, who document their daily lives. But the term has evolved. Nowadays, anyone can be a vlogger. You can hold the camera at arm’s length, use a tripod, or set it down and look into it. You’re the director, producer, and star. It’s just you and your story.
Casey Neistat is vlogging royalty and one of my idols. Since you’re on this page, he’s probably one of your idols too.
But his go-to point and shoot camera was the Canon G7X.
I bought the Canon G7X and loved it.
Now, I want to create the definitive resource for aspiring YouTubers who are trying to find the best vlogging camera with a flip screen.
First, let’s lay out some guidelines before we get into the cameras.
Content should take priority over the equipment. If you don’t have a good story to tell, it doesn’t matter if you use a $6,000 DSLR rig.
Most smartphones have amazing cameras. A smartphone is all you need to get started as a beginning vlogger.
Make sure you have traction and that people are digging the content you’ve got to offer first before investing in a new camera.
My iPhone X outperformed both of the budget vlogging cameras that I tested. (Check my video here.)
Downsides to using your phone:
- It’s going to eat up your battery.
- You won’t have access to your phone while making videos.
- Importing videos to your computer isn’t as easy as it is with an SD card.
- You can’t use the selfie camera. You have to use the rear camera, and you won’t have a flip screen so you can’t see if your face is in the frame.
- Stabilization is not ideal with phones.
Six things to look for in a vlog camera:
- A flip screen. You need this to check if your face is in the frame.
- A wide angle lens. You want to get your face in the shot while still being close to the camera. If the focal length of a lens is lower than 35mm, it’s considered a wide angle camera, but the smaller the focal length, the more you’ll be able to fit in the frame.
- Good autofocus. The camera should lock to your face and remain stable as you move.
- Works in all types of lighting. It needs to be versatile. Video should look good when you have the perfect lighting and in dim spaces.
- Lightweight. You don’t want to carry around a bulky DSLR. (Unfortunately, one trade-off for this portability is you can’t connect external mics with a compact camera.)
- Zoom and flash features are useless for vlogging.
Non-Ideal Conditions (A+):
- Shooting in low light is fantastic. There are a lot of times when the picture on the LCD screen looks better than my eyes can see in real life.
- Once it focuses on your face, it does a great job of tracking it as you move around.
- If you’re moving while you’re shooting, you’ll notice much better image stabilization with the G7X. It does an excellent job of smoothing out the video even with vibrations.
Ideal Conditions (B+):
- The video quality is excellent for 1080p and much better than the WX500.
- I would love a 4K option. Although, G7X video quality looks better than most 4K options.
- Neither of these cameras have high audio quality, but the G7X is a little bit richer and deeper than the WX500.
Design & Function (C):
- The Canon G7X is the quickest of the cameras I tested to power on and start recording. This is important if you need to get the shot.
- The grip is amazing and comfortable. This was a significant improvement over the previous version (G7X Mark I).
- The screen not only flips up, but it tilts down 45 degrees for the overhead shots. This is the only camera of the bunch that does this.
- The G7X makes a sound when autofocusing. It’s only audible if it’s dead silent.
- When you’re in video mode, I wish the shutter button would start a recording, rather than take a picture. You can’t see the record button if you’re looking at the camera’s lens.
- This is probably just me, but I’m still going to leave a note. I dropped the G7X while the lens was open and I still broke the lens even though it was only a three foot fall onto blankets. The lens was crooked, and I fixed it, but now the lens cap doesn’t shut all the way. All cameras are fragile.
- The battery doesn’t last long. I only got one hour and twenty minutes of video. Buying multiple batteries is critical.
- You charge the battery outside of the camera. Batteries on compact cameras aren’t good, so you’ll be charging them frequently. With the G7X, if you have two batteries, you’ll be able to use your camera and charge at the same time, whereas the others your camera is out of commission while charging. (You can charge by plugging the G7X into the wall too.)
Focal Length (A+):
- It has 24mm focal length. This is the widest angle lens of all the cameras in video mode. You’ll fit more into the frame.
Non-Ideal Conditions (C+):
- The WX500 doesn’t work very well with low light, but it’s a little better than the ZS70.
- It’s better at stabilizing video than any other camera except the G7X. It’s impressive for the price.
- It has a 30x optical zoom. This isn’t always a consideration for a vlogging camera, but it’s nice to have.
- It adjusts to light and tracks your face better than the WX500.
- When set to automatic, the screen shows you what it’s optimizing for. For instance, there’s a portrait symbol, moving symbol, and low light symbol.
Ideal Conditions (D):
- Under ideal conditions, the WX500 shot the worst quality videos. It’s the equivalent of a nice 1080p smartphone video, but the picture sharpness isn’t anything remarkable.
- This is the only camera with which you can’t do a timelapse. But you’re better off doing those with your phone anyway.
Design & Function (D):
- The Sony WX500 is by far the smallest and lightest of those I tested. It’s only eight ounces, which is insane! It comfortably fits in my jeans pocket.
- Because of its size and portability, it feels strange in your hands. The grip isn’t the best. However, if you’re using a small tripod, it doesn’t matter.
- There’s no toggle dial for focusing or zooming in and out.
- Like the G7X, if you’re in movie mode, you can’t hit the shutter button to start shooting, and you can’t see the record button.
- There’s no touchscreen. The only time I find a touchscreen on a camera useful is when you want to focus on something manually.
- The display isn’t great and can trick you. It’s a dark screen even with the brightness set to the max. You might think you’re not getting a great shot by looking at the screen, but once you upload it to your computer, it’ll look fine.
- I got 2 hours and 15 minutes of battery while shooting video in 1080p at 30fps. We’re talking about an extra hour of video relative to the expensive cameras. That’s an incredible battery life for this form factor.
Focal Length (A):
- It has a 24mm wide angle lens, meaning you won’t need to step back as far to get your face in the shot.