What Is a Fisheye Lens & What Makes It Good for Vlogging?

A fisheye camera lens is an extremely wide-angle lens that has a field of view of typically 180 degrees. The scale in this lens reduces down around the edges giving your shots a wider, stretched, distorted look that would attract a lot of viewers because they will be getting a full experience from your video however, make sure that those videos don’t stretch too long because then your viewers won’t like it.

fisheye vs standard

These fisheye cameras are mostly used by vloggers who shoot outdoors for the most; take for example any sports or action vlogging, as in when you’re shooting a skateboarding video or reviewing a motorbike. Just precisely, this lens can be used to achieve wider, aesthetic shots which are completely shake-free, while moving fast.

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of these lenses;

Pros

  • Makes your videos look more creative
  • Achieving a wider angle to cover up most of your scene

Cons

  • Unnatural, distorted shots; not good for accurate results
  • Does not give an accurate representation of what the scene actually looks like

Having mentioned the few pros and cons above, it must be clear to you now that I don’t really think you should be getting a fisheye camera unless you’re into sports vlogging and can get very creative with your content. I would not recommend beginners spending big bucks on this lens in hope to get more attractive shots.

A little tip for you guys though; if you are using a fisheye lens for your videos, use it in a way that doesn’t make it uncomfortable for your viewers. If your video is going to belong in duration, then I would prefer that you add some fisheye clips in the video, and not shoot the whole thing with it.

Now that we are done with the Whats, Whys, and Whos, let’s get to the point; which fisheye camera is the best for vlogging.

1- Canon Vixia Mini X:

USER RATING: 4.6/5
4.5/5

Overview:

My recommendation would be the Canon Vixia Mini X camcorder; it’s more like a projector than a camera; it comes with a built-in fisheye lens that can switch to a relatively smaller wide-angle lens, courtesy of the adjustable focal length range.

1- Camera Resolution:

Talking about the main camera resolution is the most essential part of this article because unless the camera’s resolution is good enough, what’s the point, right?

Having said that, it would be safe to say here that this mini camcorder is a beast because it offers a relatively better quality when it comes to pictures and videos. It features a 12.8MP lens and has the capacity to shoot videos up to a resolution of 1080p at 30fps which is great, given its size and price tag. 

2- Camera Test:

I took it out for a test and it blew my mind (not literally)! The stills that I captured weren’t just clear but they were vibrant as well. It captures the colors of the scene remarkably and I absolutely loved that about this cam. As for the video, the 1080p/30 fps shot some pretty decent videos; this resolution is more than enough for vloggers. The shots were bright and not as shaky as I had expected. There was minimal grain and it captured my voice very nicely; it was quite audible even without an external microphone.

3- BSI Sensor:

One of the many good things this camcorder has to offer is the BSI sensor; the backside-illuminated sensor allows the camera to capture illuminated shots even in poorly lit areas. This is a very cool feature if you also like shooting at night, showing the beautiful night sky to your viewers. I thought it was a myth that this tiny camera is capable of housing this tech, so I tried it for myself and I must say, it impressed me big time!

And of course, the main reason why You and I are talking about this camera right now is the infamous fisheye lens which is brilliant for action vlogging, that is if you have a creative mind and can achieve good perspective angles without trying too hard.

4- Wi-Fi Connectivity:

In modern days like today, it is no surprise that it has Wi-Fi connectivity. In fact, it would be surprising if it didn’t. Canon Vixia Mini X works great for vloggers because they can use the privilege of having internet within the camera itself and upload their videos to their YouTube channels directly. Furthermore, it allows you to directly export your videos to the video editors you use and makes the whole process easy.

5- Removable Battery:

Having a removable battery means you are not stuck with the one battery that drains too quickly. It gives you the advantage of investing in a better battery and switching it when required. That gives you another benefit which is, that you can either recharge your battery or keep a spare one in your backpack when traveling if you’re a travel vlogger.

6- Remote Control:

Canon Vixia Mini X comes with a really nice remote control that you can use for navigation and for functions like clicking pictures or starting video recording or changing exposure settings etc. if you’re not comfortable with the remote control that comes with it, you can use the Wi-Fi to connect your smartphone to the camera and use that as the remote control instead. It’s a Win-Win!

7- Various Inputs:

This camcorder houses an HDMI input through which you can transfer and display pictures and videos, and also use it to connect to projectors and other secondary devices. It’s nothing out of the world though most cameras of this size don’t offer this.

Secondly, you also get the privilege to use an external lavalier microphone for enhanced audio thanks to the microphone input option Canon Vixia Mini X is offering. It really is a small package full of the big stuff.

8- Technical Specifications:

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to use
  • Wireless transfer capability
  • Creative applications

Cons

  • Not water-resistant

With all these features, you should be good to go with just the camera for basic vlogging, however, if you want to enhance the quality of your vlogs and bring them to another level, you can consider pairing them up with a few accessories;

Accessories to Go With It:

  1. Memory card
  2. HDMI cable
  3. Spare battery
  4. Battery charger
  5. Ring light
  6. External microphone
  7. Neck strap

There are also some alternatives you can use instead of the Canon Vixia Mini X to get the same wide extended angle effect;

2- Use a Camera With a Changeable Lens:

You can find interchangeable lenses in markets easily and you can switch from your regular routine lens to the wide-angled fisheye lens when needed. This would be possible if you already own a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera or are more inclined towards getting one of those instead of the camcorder.

DSLRs are capable of recording longer videos and have great camera resolutions so if you are likely to be wanting to record high-quality vlogs, this is the right choice. So what you can do is, get a normal focal length lens and use that to record most of your video, and switch to a fisheye lens when you feel like you wanna change the look of the scene. Make sure to be creative!

3- Get Yourself a Gopro:

Despite the fact that Canon Vixia Mini X is one of the best video recorders for vlogging out there, it is still no match for a GoPro. Especially if you’re a sports vlogger, recording videos of extreme sports like Cycling, Surfing, and Skateboarding, a better choice would be getting a GoPro for wide-angle shots because it covers a great deal of the scenes with a fisheye effect, absolutely perfect for such vloggers, and produce gorgeous final results with almost zero shakiness and grain and bright, vibrant colors.

Water-resistant:

GoPros are also water-resistant so you can easily take them underwater. Along with that, there’s a drawback of having a GoPro which is, that if you are not looking for shooting wide-angle videos for a longer duration, you will have to use another different camera to record the normal focal length shots because GoPro only offers fisheye angle and if you try to reduce that, it would tarnish the image’s quality.

Ending Note:

On an ending note, I would just say that all the above are great options for shooting wide-angled videos, you just gotta plan your video beforehand so you know exactly what you’re going for and then choose the right camera or lens for your purpose. In my personal experience, I always tend to go towards a device that can be a one-stop for everything; hence, my choice would be Canon Vixia Mini X but if you are looking for a bigger, showy camera then DSLR are the one for you!

Happy Vlogging!

Brett J.

I'm an enthusiastic American solo traveler. Since childhood, I had a great interest and passion for filmmaking; that's why I chose media sciences as a career and started Vlogging as a full-time profession.

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