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What’s the Best Camera for Live Streaming? – Live Stream Equipment

Mayra Gomes
Jul 17, 2018
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Many people ask us what is the best camera for live streaming, and the truth is, it depends on what you plan to stream. Despite what some people think, the best camera for live streaming doesn’t have to be the most expensive one. In fact, live streaming can be done on a budget, and still achieve high-quality results. In this blog post, we will go through the main types of camera for live streaming you can find on the market, which will make your decision a lot easier before you buy.


Best Camera for Live Streaming


If you are live streaming from your office or home, many affordable webcams will put out a quality video. Price points vary a lot, but you can get a quality HD webcam for as little as $40. Webcams are easy to set up and won’t take much of your time. Once you set it up and place it, you are good to go. Everything will be set whenever you want to live stream. This is an excellent advantage for live videos because in most cases arranging all the equipment takes longer than the stream itself.

One of the downsides of having a webcam is its lack of mobility. You won’t be able to live stream videos on the go. But, a webcam can be the best camera for live streaming if you plan to stream from one specific location frequently, like your office. Plus, there are high-quality webcams out there, with 1080p or even 4K video resolution. But, you might want to invest in some lighting to make sure you look your best.         


Another alternative for cameras, which can be very practical, is merely using your smartphone. The image quality of mobile devices keeps getting better and better. Besides, there are accessories that you can add to your smartphone to make it the best camera for live streaming on a budget. Like clip-on lenses, stabilizers, microphones and so on.

The smartphone can be used as standalone equipment for your live streaming, meaning you can live stream on the go directly from your device to Facebook, YouTube or anywhere else. Or it can be used as your webcam. You connect it to your computer and add as a video source on your live video. It’s a great way to create a multi-camera live streaming setup while saving some money.

When using a mobile device, keep in mind its battery life and always make sure you have a backup plan. On average, every minute of live stream takes 1% of your battery. It might be good to have a power bank to keep charging it. Regardless of the equipment, you decide to go with, having a smartphone capable of live streaming is a huge advantage. It can be your backup, in case something goes wrong.

IP Cameras

IP Camera stands for Internet Protocol Camera, which means, an IP Camera is a digital video camera that sends and receives data via a computer network. An advantage of this camera is that it’s easy to install. IP Cameras also have a wide range of image resolution for you to choose from. Nowadays, you can find ones with high-quality images.

Because of their ability to communicate online, IP cameras don’t have to be connected to your computer. Although they give you more freedom during your live streams, you could get video latency time and other connection issues.

Live Streaming Cameras

On the market, you can also find streaming-ready cameras. These cameras are for the most part wireless, with Wi-Fi connection and easy to use. As far as their quality goes, you can find very good ones, but the price will be around $300 or more. If it’s something you are willing to invest in, it will be a great addition to your live streaming equipment.

Although it’s called a live streaming camera, depending on the video you’re planning this might not be the best camera for live streaming. Many of them were built to stream directly to the internet, which means you won’t have control over your live video to make it look professional.

DSLRs and Camcorders

With DSLRs and Camcorders you can get high-quality videos, but, since they were not built for live video, you could end up damaging your camera. They also require extra equipment.

Professional Cameras

Needless to say, professional cameras will give you amazing results regarding quality and stability. But, at a much higher price. The starting price of these cameras and their accessories is in the thousands.  

One more thing to keep in mind about this group of cameras is that they call for more equipment, like a capture card. Simply put, a capture card converts the video signal into a readable format for live streaming. They can be added as an internal part of your computer or bought for external use, which is easier to manage.   

Add-on: Tripods

For any video production, big or small, it never hurts to have a tripod. Like everything else in this market, there are countless types and brands of tripods to choose from. The price also varies a lot, from $15 to hundreds.  

Key Takeaway

Before you invest in equipment, make sure you have a clear plan for your live streams to keep you from wasting your budget on stuff that won’t be relevant. You can create high-quality live streams without significant investments when you invest in the right gear. Read reviews and choose wisely.

Plus, you can use a live streaming software like ManyCam to tweak your video settings and get better results out of your equipment. For instance, on ManyCam, you can change the brightness, color saturation, resolution of the video, to name a few. Download it for free and give it a try today!






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