10+ Best Cameras For Live Streaming (For Any Use Case)
The live streaming industry is booming and any business or organization can benefit from broadcasting online. Whether you want to build a sports streaming business or you’re looking to promote a yoga retreat, live streaming is a great tool to grab the attention of your audience (and keep it).
But what gear do you need to stream live?
There are various camera options depending on your streaming needs and budget. Keep in mind that, sometimes, even smartphone cameras can do the job if you know how to choose the right camera angles. That being said, here's our list of the best cameras for live streaming based on reviews from experienced broadcasters and our own experience.
Best Cameras for Facebook Live and YouTube Live
When streaming live events on a free platform like Facebook and YouTube, you have a bit of freedom when it comes to your choice of camera. Let’s be honest here—hardly anyone expects you to record movie-quality footage on Facebook Live. If you’re just starting out, you can go with the less expensive options to get things done.
In the past, webcams were only good for video calls and you could barely distinguish the person on the other end of the line. Things have changed a lot. Using a webcam for your live stream is as simple as it gets. Easy, cheap, and well within the standards of live video streaming.
Modern webcams come with built-in mics, autofocus, noise reduction, field of view control and even background removal in high-end models. Another big benefit is that webcams require little or no setup—they are essentially plug and play. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, require you to install a capture card.
So, it might be worth looking into webcams first. Here are a few of the best webcams for streaming.
DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras
DSLR cameras work with a set of mirrors that allow you to look through the viewfinder and see a reflected image of the shot you are about to take. Mirrorless cameras give you an electronic preview via a mini screen and are generally lighter because, you guessed it, they work without mirrors.
The big benefit of using these two types of cameras is that the camera body can be detached from the lens. This and the fact that you can modify settings like aperture, focus, zoom, etc, makes DSLRs and mirrorless cameras extremely versatile, allowing you to achieve better video quality under various lighting conditions.
Best Cameras for Live Events
There are a few different types of cameras we need to look at when talking about recording broadcasting live events. It all depends on how much action you expect to film. When recording sports, adventure or travel moments, you’ll want to consider cameras that can stream in 360 degrees. Concerts and conferences are best shot with camcorders.
An action camera or action-cam is manufactured to record and broadcast fast-moving objects. These cameras are typically compact, durable and waterproof. Most of them can shoot in burst mode and time-lapse mode which allows you to emphasize specific moments of your video stream. Also, most modern action cameras can record 4K video at 60fps.
It’s no secret that GoPros are very popular when it comes to recording action footage. Specifically, the Hero7 Black gives you a smooth stream even in extreme conditions and the 16-command voice control makes it easy to use.
GoPro might be the leading action camera on the market but Yi Lite gives it a run for its money. This compact action camera comes packed with features like Bluetooth compatibility, dual-band WiFi and the Hi3556 Chipset to prevent overheating.
If you want to catch ALL of the action, a 360 live streaming camera is the way to go. Also called omnidirectional cameras (omni = “all”), these devices have an extremely large field of view which can capture the surrounding area as a sphere or, at least, film in full circle on the horizontal plane.
If you’re after that high-quality, “10 o'clock news” footage from your live stream camera, you’ll definitely want to consider using camcorders for your live event.
Choose the Best Camera Checklist
Now that you have a buffet of awesome cameras in front of you, you need to decide which one you’re going to choose for your live video production! Use this checklist of things to consider in order to help you choose which camera is best for you.
While your camera may be recording internally in 4k, its output may be only 1080p live via HDMI. We recommend researching the HDMI output before purchasing your camera.
- HDMI Output
If you find yourself not using a webcam, you’ll need to connect to a capture card that’ll clean up the HDMI output. This will ensure that your image won’t have the camera menu/interface on it.
- Low Light Performance
When live streaming church services, you need a camera that has top-notch low light capabilities.
- External Power Adapter
If you don’t want to run out of juice in the middle of a 4-hour live stream, then look for a camera with enhanced battery life and an external power adapter.
- Doesn’t Overheat
Live streaming cameras are prone to overheating. Read the reviews carefully to find a camera that has counteracted this issue.
You Can Start Streaming With Any Camera In Just 2 MinutesGo Live Now
References and Further Reading
- Difference Between Dslr And Mirrorless
- Understanding HDMI Outputs
- Filming In Low Light
- How To Monetize Your Live Streams (Without YouTube)
- The Best Live Video Monetization Platforms
- The Ultimate Guide To Church Live Streaming
- The Best Live Streaming Equipment