8 Best cameras for online courses In 2022
Choosing the right camera for your online course can be quite challenging. With multiple options on the market, selecting the right product that best fits your intended online course and target market can become confusing.
In our age of technology, quality in every aspect of our studies is a necessity especially since there are many other alternatives available to learners worldwide.
With the growth of online learning or eLearning, access to information has become easy with courses available online ranging from pet care to engineering.
This means that competition in the eLearning field is on the rise and the best quality products in content and delivery will always outcompete inferior products.
When it comes to content delivery, the key factors involved include the quality of your content, your delivery as an instructor, your video and audio quality.
Another key factor also has to do with the platform through which your content would be delivered. These include marketplaces like Udemy or creating your eLearning website.
Irrespective of the option you choose, ensuring the quality of the result is important as online lesson creation is an exhausting process that can take months to complete.
Things like the quality of your audio, lighting, and video quality should be well-addressed to produce great content for your learners or target market.
This means selecting the best products that are the best fit for the job, selecting the right microphone, camera, and lighting for your video course.
After years of experience in the eLearning field and extensive research, I believe, I have identified some of the best solutions available on the market for content creation.
To select the right microphone for your talking-head or screencasting video, check out this article on the best microphones for creating online courses.
This article provides information on the best cameras for creating your online course or for online teaching. These include options that are free and require no investment, and third-party products on the market.
Note: It is worthy of note that even with the best camera on the market, the quality of your content needs to be consistent.
Additionally, having a qualification in photography is not a requirement for creating good quality videos for your online course.
Although, this does not mean that a skill in photography will not be an added advantage, but definitely not a prerequisite.
Tips for creating professional video lessons or courses
Content creators sometimes make some common mistakes when recording video lessons.
These tips will help reduce the risk of making these video mistakes when creating your courses.
- Always shoot in landscape mode. Shooting in portrait or square mode leaves black borders at the sides of your video.
- Use 1080p or 4k recording. This is necessary especially when recording talking-head videos..
- Ensure video lens is clean before recording
- Your face should be well-lit and visible
- Keep the camera exposure setting fixed
- The camera should be secured on a tripod or solid surface
- The camera should always be placed at eye level
- Always look at the lens of the camera instead of yourself in the video
- Your face should always be in focus
- Enable face-tracking on camera if available to keep your face in focus
- The recording environment should be well-lit
Recording in 1080p or 4k is the recommended standard but each option has its advantages and disadvantages.
Recording video lessons in 1080p
Pros of recording lessons in 1080p
- Smaller files
- Faster render
- Faster upload
Cons of recording lessons in 1080p
- Gets blurrier when zoomed in
Recording video lessons in 4K
Pros of recording lessons in 4K
- Higher quality
Pros of recording lessons in 4K
- Bigger files
- Slower render
- Slower upload
When choosing a camera for your online classes, the style of content should be considered. If your content is a screencasting style of video, having the best quality cameras may be unnecessary.
This is especially true if your face won’t be shown in any aspects of the video. It would be advisable in this case to focus on producing higher quality audio.
If your face will be visible in a small portion of the screen, your computer’s webcam may be enough. Alternatively, some of the options in this article can also be used to produce better results.
When creating a talking-head video, the quality of the camera becomes very important as your face will and should be very visible to your learners.
Requirements of screencasting videos
- High-quality microphone
- Screencasting software
- Optional high-quality camera
Requirements of talking-head videos
- High-quality camera
- A tripod for your camera
- High-quality microphone (lavalier microphone recommended)
- Good lighting equipment or great natural lighting
While having the best gear for the job will enable you to create a quality end product, the above tips should be taken into consideration to avoid making some common mistakes.
Best camera to buy for online courses
1. A Good Phone Camera - Low budget camera for online courses
Yes, the right camera may have been in your hand this whole time. Some of our smartphones are equipped with good cameras that can be leveraged to produce great videos.
It may be an iPhone, a Samsung, or some other brand of phone. With the right studio lighting, some of our smartphones can produce great-looking videos.
This can be very useful especially when creating screencasting videos. In most cases, only a small portion of the screen will show the face as most of the screen will be displaying lecture content.
Although the smartphone could be a great option for creating a screencast video, combining footage from the phone and the screencast can be quite challenging especially if you don’t have the skills to combine these.
If you don’t have an iPhone or a phone with a great camera, it may be advisable to consider getting one of the webcams on this list.
Pros of recording courses with a smartphone
- May require no additional investment
- Easy to use
Cons of recording courses with a smartphone
- Not worth buying solely for your online videos
- Requires a learning curve to add to a screencast video
Tip: If you decide to use your smartphone, acquiring a good tripod or stand will help stabilize your final output.
The Logitech C920 is one of the best budget webcams on the market. It is recommended by many experts in the eLearning field.
It is also on Udemy’s recommended list for screencasting videos. It has two microphones, one on either side of the camera, capture more realistic sound from a broader range of angles.
It has a sturdy build and comes with a mount that can easily be attached to the top of your monitor or laptop. There’s also a standard tripod thread mount at the bottom.
This camera also comes with a non-detachable 5-feet long standard USB cable which makes it very compatible with Windows and Mac.
When the camera is turned on, two concave-facing lights can be seen at the front of the camera.
To set up this camera, simply connect to your computer and add the URL included in your product documentation to download your version of operating system for the camera.
Once the application is downloaded and installed, the webcam’s settings can be tweaked by opening the installed application on your computer.
- It has a good autofocus
- Windows and macOS compatible
- Records full 1080P HD videos
- Stereo microphone quality is not very good
- Non-detachable USB
- Limits calls to 720p on apps like Skype on macOS
This makes it one of the best cameras for online courses, teaching, or even for Skype or Zoom meetings or any other form of online meetings.
Although the Logitech C920 Pro does not produce the best quality-looking videos compared to other 4K cameras on the market, it is the ideal camera for filming screencasting videos of all types.
Some content producers also prefer this camera for their talking-head videos over using an actual camera because of the quality of the result.
Also from Logitech, the Logitech C922 Pro is one of the best cameras for online courses or lessons on the market.
The Logitech C922 has a similar look and feel to the Logitech C920. The blue concave lights on the front of the C920 have been replaced with dimmer yellow lights.
Like the C920, it has a sturdy build and an easy-to-use mount. It also has a standard tripod thread mount at the bottom.
The C922 also comes packaged with a mini-tripod which can be used to easily mount the webcam on a desk surface.
- Also supports 60fps at 720p
- Slightly more responsive autofocus than the C920
- Make calls at 1080p using apps like Skype on both Windows and macOS
- Background removal feature for windows
- Slightly brighter image than the C920
- Background removal feature doesn’t work well
- Stereo microphone quality is not very good
As you can see, the Logitech C922 is quite similar to the Logitech C920. They are both great cameras and produce quality-looking videos.
It is one of the most popular cameras out there for creating online courses and comes at an affordable price.
When filming screencast videos, this camera is one of the best options available and well worth the investment.
Next on our list is the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000. As you may have guessed, this camera comes from Microsoft and is optimized to work well with Windows.
It is a 720p HD camera and comes at a very affordable price.
This makes it a great option for recording screencasting videos on a budget.
It comes with a non-detachable USB cable and the universal attachment base can easily be attached to any monitor or laptop.
The camera itself is quite small and doesn’t have any glass covering the lens. It also has a blue led in front to show when the camera is on.
- Built-in noise-canceling microphone
- Certified to work with Skype
- Compatible with Windows
- Only 720p HD
- Not a good choice for talking-head videos
At 720p, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 may not have the best quality resolution but is still one of the best quality cameras in its bracket.
The noise-canceling was surprisingly good for its quality and does a good job reducing quite a bit of the noise in the background.
This camera is not the best quality camera on the market but a good option when recording screencast videos on a budget.
It therefore makes our list of best cameras for online courses
If you have a bit of a higher budget, a point-and-shoot camera may be the best option for your video lessons. This is especially true if you plan to make talking-head videos.
As the name suggests, they are easy to use and require little expertise to utilize them. Camcorders have been around for a long time and will continue to be leveraged to create quality videos.
These cameras are specialized for video taking and over the years, have been optimized to produce the best quality results on the market.
The Canon Vixia HF R800 is one such camera. It has a 57x advanced zoom and captures videos in HD 1080p at a rate of 60fps.
The Canon Vixia HF R800 camcorder features a 3.0-inch capacitive touch panel LCD screen that’s bright and clearly visible, even outdoors in the sun, with rich, natural color reproduction.
Standard tripod thread plugin.
The package comes with:
- A standard USB cable
- HDMI cable
- Power brick
- Comes with a mic port to add an external microphone
- Audio out port for monitoring sound
- Has internal shake reduction
- Long battery life
- Plug-in AC power while recording
- Audio quality isn’t great
- Doesn’t do a great job blurring background
This camera is one of the best cameras for online courses. Specifically, talking head videos which require quality video and audio.
It is worthy of note that, a tripod or mount will be needed when recording talking-head videos will this camera.
Doesn’t work with an unpowered microphone.
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is one of the best-selling cameras in the market for creating online courses. It is recommended by many bloggers, podcasters, and content creation platforms including Udemy.
The EOS Rebel T7 camera offers easy-to-use video capture with breathtaking Full HD quality and a variety of recording sizes and frame rates, including 30p for a natural look.
Simply press the dedicated Live View/Movie Recording button to get started. The EOS Rebel T7 also enables easy manual control of exposure, focus, and Live View features and even allows for in-camera editing.
A wide ISO range means you can record in a variety of lighting situations, and over 60 interchangeable lens options provide plenty of creative opportunities.
It is known as the best budget camera on the market as well as the best-selling DSLR on the market. The camera provides full HD 1080p at 24 and 30 frames per second.
It also has slow motion and can do 60 frames per second at 720p. This undeniable inclusion makes it to our list as a great camera for online courses.
This camera has a 24 megapixel Canon APS-C size sensor which is the same sensor as the Canon 80D which is a premium camera.
This makes it ideal for whichever environment you’re recording your lessons in.
- Great autofocusing for images
- Compact and sturdy build
- NFC and wifi connectivity
- No stabilization so the camera needs to be stable when taking videos
- No external microphone plugin
Like most devices, this camera comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Nevertheless, it is still one of the best cameras for online courses and teaching available on the market in its price range and recommended by many content authors.
The GoPro Hero 9 is an action camera and excels in harsh environments. It has a stable build with a good quality image.
Like most action cameras, its video looks better outdoors than indoors and should be the camera of choice if your lessons require a lot of movement and will be focused outdoors.
It is waterproof, has a strong build, great stabilization, and has the added benefit of sensing movements.
Recommended settings for GoPro Hero 9
|Resolution | Frames||5k | 24|
The GoPro Hero 9 has a front display as well as a larger rear touch screen with touch zoom
- Has horizon lock
Picture quality doesn’t look as good when filmed indoors
The GoPro Hero 9 is a strong camera made to survive rough conditions.
If your online course involves you making a lot of movements, the GoPro Hero 9 is the best option for you.
On the other, if you’ll be filming indoors, then some of the other options on this list may be a better choice for your content.
It is a great camera with great features aimed at giving you the best experience in any condition. This makes it one of the best cameras for online courses and also one of the best cameras for any outdoor event or activity.
The GoPro Hero 9 also makes our list as a good camera for online courses
Another great camcorder for recording online courses or any online video is the Panasonic HC V770 camcorder.
It comes with 20x optical zoom which produces great end result.
This camcorder comes with a mic plugin to support an external microphone. It comes fitted with an inbuilt microphone.
Ultra-sharp 4K ultra HD recording, plus in-camera editing for 1080p displays. It has a standard tripod mount screw at the bottom.
- Great optical zoom
- Strong battery
- Point and shoot
- Only accepts powered external microphones
- Some white balance issues in low lighting
The Panasonic HC V770 is still one of the best camcorders in its budget range. It takes great videos and is easy to use.
Tripods For Online Courses
When filming a video course or any other video, stability is very important as shaky videos can be very distracting for your learners or target market.
Fortunately, there are options available on the market to suit the needs of any content creator.
With many options out there, the price point for some of these quality products has dropped to make it easier for customers to afford.
This is one of the best tripods on the market for smartphones.
It is perfect for selfies, group photos, adventure travel, vlogging, YouTube videos, podcasts, Facebook Live, FaceTime, Instagram, live streaming.
It’s compatible with most smartphones including:
iPhone 6S, iPhone 6, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy S8, iPhone 7 Plus, DSLR, iPhone 6S Plus, GoPro
Galaxy S9/S9 Plus/Note 8/S8/S8 Plus/S7 Edge/J7, Google Pixel, Samsung, Huawei.
With a universal 1/4 inch screw, it fits for a digital camera, DSLR, SLR, action camera, GoPro, webcam, camcorder.
This is another tripod from UBeesize. Its adjustable OCTOPUS style legs help to capture clean shots from any angle even in the move.
The tripod is made of very strong durable foam and plastic, the ball head and no-slip feet make positioning and straightening devices easy
Works well with smartphones, digital cameras, GoPro, and webcams up to 3.7 inches wide.
This tripod from Amazon Basics is a lightweight tripod with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet.
It is compatible with most video cameras, digital cameras, still cameras, GoPro devices, and more.
When it comes to selecting the best camera for your online courses, the options available on the market range from your smartphone camera to high-end devices.
If you decide to leverage your smartphone camera for recording your video courses, ensure that the recording environment is well-lit.
Additionally, a tripod or mount will be necessary to stabilize your videos. You can select one of the tripods above to use along with your smartphone, camera, or camcorder.