Sony FDR X3000 Review - The Best Vlogging Setup Period


So you want to vlog your amazingly exciting (or boring) life? I get it. You're going to need a camera. Now for my professional YouTube channel I use a Canon SL2 with a 10-18 mm wide angle lens and a proper, expensive microphone.

But I would never recommend such a setup for vlogging. If you want to vlog with a DSLR you'll need a camera body and lens that has built in stabilization or a gimbal or both (and no a gimbal is not a glorified tripod, it's a heavy, expensive piece of technology).

Otherwise, without stabilization it will be a shaky mess which is why the SL2 is such a horrible camera for vlogging. You can't just walk and talk with that camera though the video quality that comes out of an Sl2 (200D) is quite impressive.




This is why I got the Sony X3000.


I create travel videos for fun. I'm not trying to be a travel vlogger or anything. It's really just a fun hobby and adds to any trip I take. Thinking of different shots and ways to compose a video.

Once I sold my original G7X Mark i, I was stuck with my Canon 200d. No stabilization and a bit burdensome with the camera body, lens and a tripod.

No thanks.

I need something that is on the go, light, stable, easy and has a wide angle. Personally, I always found the G7X too tight on the face for vlogs.

By the way, Harald Baldr and Bald and Bankrupt both built their travel channels to over 1 million subs using this camera so you can let go the idea that you need some big expensive camera with a fluffy microphone.

Small and light is the way to go for most people unless you want to be a film maker. With the X3000 you'll actually want to take this camera with you and get the shot to tell your story.

The Sony FDR X3000 Pros:

  • Small, light and fits in your pocket.
  • Very stable - Essential for travel vlogging.
  • Good battery life. You don't need to carry multiple batteries like the GoPro.
  • Wide angle, medium angle and narrow angle view options.
  • Good audio quality.
  • Ability to shoot in 4k is cool.
  • Comes with a protective water case.
  • Has an included, tiny monitor 
  • Can mount it on a cheap selfie stick for ease of use.
  • Vivid and neutral color profiles.
  • Has it's own tripod.

Small, light and fits in your pocket.

This camera is crazy small and looks like a tiny camcorder. It easily fits in your pants pocket or jacket. It weights next to nothing and is the perfect on the go camera for the casual vlogger.

Very Stable Video

This is essential for travel vlogging. Vlogging to me, means telling a story and being on the go. Even if you're not a part time traveler like me, a good vlog should share your story as you live your life.

I got into an online argument with Justin Reeves because he has a dedicated video about why the SL2 is an amazing vlogging camera.

I could not disagree more. The Canon SL2 is an excellent camera but not for vlogging. Look at this shaky mess of a video I made:



Stable video is essential for vlogging. Being able to walk and talk is essential. Shaky video simply looks bad and takes away from the message you're trying to convey.

X3000 has good battery life

The GoPro lasts an hour at best but the x3000 can go about 2 hours on a full charge. You may want to get a second batter for this camera but for an action camera the X3000's battery life is decent.

Wide angle and medium angle point of view 

The X3000 has a wonderful wide angle. When vlogging you don't want anything more that 18mm.  Otherwise it's just too cropped in on your face when talking into the camera. It was one of the most annoying aspects about having a G7X.

You can also switch the camera to medium and narrow. The medium view looks like any DSLR or mirroless camera. In fact, this camera and the SL2 blend well together. You can see this video where I mixed both cameras (at 50 FPS):


Good audio quality

I'm incredibly impressed with the internal audio on this action camera. It sounds as good as my Canon 200D with a Rhode Microphone attached. Granted, this thing falls apart when there is wind (which is normal for any camera - that's why wind muffs for microphones exist).

The audio quality simply adds to the value of this camera. Small, light, wide angle and good audio. It's the perfect vlogging camera.

Ability to shoot in 4k

You can shoot in 4k with this camera. I'm still amazed that this thing came out years ago. I almost never shoot in 4k because editing the clips on a laptop take an excessive amount of time. But the ability to make 4k videos exists with this camera.

Comes with it's own protective water case

If you're not already sold on how awesome this camera is, it also comes with a protective underwater case. I use it to simply protect the camera when not in use of to get shots when I'm riding a motorbike. But it's cool that you could use this underwater if you want too.

Has a tiny monitor included

It's funny how it's such a big deal that GoPro released a "media mods" update to their device when the Sony FDR X3000 has had it's awesome little monitor since it's release.

It's also included in your purchase. This monitor is helpful because it allows you to easily frame your shot because you can see what the camera sees.

Can mount on any cheap selfie stick


The Sony X3000 is compatible with any selfie stick due to it having a screw mount at the bottom of the camera.

Vivid and neutral color profiles

I personally like vivid, but if you're more into color grading you can always shoot with a neutral color profile.

Has it's own awesome tripod

One last thing is the tripod (sold separately) that is designed for this camera. It's comfortable in the had, can easily be adjusted and it has an attachment where you can add the monitor so you can hold the tripod and see what the camera sees.

Sony X3000 CONS:

  • Wind noise.
  • Terrible low light performance.
  • Takes FOREVER to charge.
  • Rendering videos takes a long time.

Wind noise

No surprise here. Anyone who has used a point and shoot or an action camera knows what I'm getting at. This camera has excellent audio but is sensitive to wind.

Terrible low light performance

The X3000 is simply unusable in low light conditions. This is not a camera for nights and evenings out. Again, not a big deal as most vloggers are not roaming the streets at night vlogging.

Takes forever to charge

This action camera, for whatever reason comes with a USB charger. If you plug it into a USB outlet, it's going to take 4 hours or so for your camera to be fully charged. It's ridiculously slow. You'll need to purchase a fast charger.

Rendering

Rending videos takes a long time. As 60 FPS is the best looking frame rate, a higher frame rate and higher bit rate will simply require more computing power and time to render than a 30 FPS video.

As it's quite easy to create long videos with this camera, expect your videos to take some time to render.

Sony X3000 is the Best Casual Vlogging Camera

I'm extremely impressed with this action camera. Small, light, great audio, good video, wide angle, comes with a monitor, a water proof case and has an excellent additional tripod.

If you're wanting to vlog consider getting the X3000 and it's tripod. It makes creating, long, interesting YouTube videos easy.