Inlay terms, streaming is the continuous real-time provision of content. However, when we talk about streaming on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube the meaning changes completely along with the implementation to stream successfully among thousands of hours of available content. So, before we dive into what are the most useful cameras you can use to live stream, let us focus on the knowledge of streaming.
How to set up a live stream
To live to stream your content on YouTube or Twitch you need to follow four essential steps
- Firstly, you will have to connect the audio and video sources that will capture the content you intend to show for live streaming, the audio and video will be connected to your streaming device which in most cases is either your PC or laptop.
- Secondly, you will need to configure your encoder. This is a device that translates the audio and video content needed to streamable files that are then ready to be shared on the internet.
- Thirdly, you will have to connect the encoder and the streaming platform using a stream key provided and a URL which is provided by YouTube or Twitch.
- Before you start streaming, double-check your internet connection before you start streaming.
After following all these steps in chronological order, you will now be able to successfully stream your content on the internet. The live streaming process includes capturing video and audio content, encoding your data, and using a live streaming platform. Includes There is a lot of gear a live streaming software involved in the process but the underlying principles that we have highlighted do not change.
What equipment do you need to live stream?
For a beginner, it is amazingly simple to set up a streaming setup. All you will need is a camera, a mic, lighting, and a stable internet connection. You will also need streaming software. We will provide you with short details on all the major components mentioned above.
If you are going for a basic setup, a webcam would be sufficient.
However, if you are willing to expand the budget you can go beyond your phone’s camera or an entry-level DJI Osmo Action.
A few intermediate-level video sources could cost around 2000 USD, this includes cameras such as the Canon XA1 or the Panasonic LUMIX GH4. Any one of these cameras will work for a live stream if the resolution is 720p and the frame rate is at a minimum of 24 fps.
The audio is easily detectable to be poor so make sure that you invest in a great microphone. The Shure MV88 digital stereo condenser mic is a great option to consider. However, if you are going for an intermediate-level audio source, any of the Lavalier mic or the clip-on mics would be a wonderful way to start.
The third piece of equipment you need is a capture card. The capture card is an intermediary device that is used to transfer video from its source to your main live streaming setup. To use a capture card the camera needs an HDMI port to attach to an HDMI cable. This will allow you to transfer the live streaming feed directly to your computer.
Considered as one of the most popular streaming cameras in the industry, the Logitech stream cam has all the features that a regular streamer requires. The built-in camera comes with a 1080p resolution. The camera maintains this resolution quality at 60fps. Providing a field view of 78 degrees, the Streamcam can give the streamer a panoramic view of their surroundings, a primary advantage for a streamer. Portability is also a major factor, weighing only 150 grams (about half the weight of a large grapefruit), the Streamcam is capable of being packed and ready to go. The camera comes with an auto framing feature along with the ability to be mounted on your desktop along with other available options due to its wide-angle capability and excellent image quality. The camera does come with a non-detachable USB C cable so you might have to buy an extender if this does not support your needs.
The Logitech C922 pro is known for its versatility in the streaming universe. It provides a superior image quality of 1080p on recording whereas on streaming it gives a slightly lower return of 720p. This also extends to its frame rate. At a higher resolution of 1080p, you will receive a frame rate of 30fps whereas decreasing your image resolution to 720p will allow you to have a 60fps frame rate. You can choose the latter option for when you are streaming games, a 720p image quality is a good compromise for a 60fps frame rate. Smart move by Logitech. Like all the great streaming cameras the C922 Pro comes with a wide field of view of 78 degrees. Its size is also a complement to its features with a significantly portable device with dimensions 44 x 95 x 71mm. The Logitech C922 Pro can fit your monitor or tripod according to your streaming needs. It also has an amazing feature to remove backgrounds on command. And to deliver the best audio and video quality to streamers the camera comes with abilities of Full HD streaming along with stereo microphones delivering clear audio.
The Elgato Facecam is where simplicity meets elegance when it comes to streaming cameras. Unlike the previously mentioned C922 Pro, the Elgato can deliver a frame rate of 60fps at 1080p, so if you are playing a very recent game with high-end graphics and you are mostly streaming games, this would be an excellent choice. Another reason for high-end gamers to buy this camera is its extended field of view, unlike its competitors, the Elgato delivers an additional 4 degrees field of view, totaling the total available view to 82 degrees, quite impressive. The size of the Facecam is slightly larger compared to the other options in the market with 58 x 80 x 48 mm (about half the length of the long edge of a credit card) but it is surprisingly light, making it a good ergonomic compromise.
The camera comes with both USB 3.0 and USB-C connectivity. It allows you to deliver uncompressed videos at the highest possible resolution of 1080p with excellent setting control.
One thing to keep in mind while buying this piece of equipment is that although it is an expensive option, there is an additional investment needed for audio as the Elgato Facecam does not come with a built-in microphone.
4. Razer Kiyo
The Razer Kiyo is known in the streaming universe for its full HD video recording abilities with integrated light. The user has an option to choose between a resolution of 1080p or 720p but when it comes to frame rates, this device presents a similar compromise to the C922 Pro. At 1080p you can get a 30fps resolution whereas decreasing image resolution to 720p allows you to have a frame rate of 60fps. The unique selling point of this camera is its field of view, 90 degrees! If you are streaming games, providing a panoramic view of 90 degrees will bring an extremely immersive experience for your viewers.
The camera also comes with integrated multi-step LED lighting. However, due to its popularity in the streaming universe, the Razer Kiyo is mostly out of stock so grab one the first chance you get.
5. MEVO Start
The MEVO Start makes the process and debate between frame rates and image resolution very simplified, one of the reasons for its popularity as the best PTZ streaming camera on the market. The MEVO start, unlike the other cameras out there in the market, offers a single available resolution, 1080p. The simplification philosophy also extends to a single frame rate of 30 fps offered. The field of view provided by this streaming camera is 84 degrees, an impressive factor if you consider the dimensions of the camera being 34 x 75 x 87mm (about the length of the long edge of a credit card). The camera is considered in the bulky category with a weight of 232 grams (about twice the weight of a deck of playing cards) surpassing the average weight of such cameras. It comes with a Wi-Fi NDI connectivity, a USB-C connector, and a 3.5 mm mic input jack. Along with a wider than average field of view the camera also comes with a pan tilt and zoom functionality and is operable easily using any simple smartphone software. However, if you wish to use 4K video resolution in your videos then it is better to go with the Mevo Plus instead of the Mevo Start.
PlayStation for streaming? Yes, you heard that right. The PlayStation 5 HD Camera is multipurpose, and Microsoft played a very smart move to invest heavily, and might we add very intelligently on an HD camera for the PlayStation, why not attach a streaming camera on the device you play the game on? The PlayStation 5 HD camera provides an ultra-HD resolution of 1080p. It is the only native PlayStation 5 streaming camera that also has a built-in background removal functionality. However, the sad news is that it is not compatible with the PlayStation VR. Furthermore, for a streaming camera, the camera proves to be quite bulky with a weight of 317.5g and quite large with dimensions 198 x 121 x 70mm.
The Microsoft LifeCam HD 3000 is like the MEVO Start, all about simplification. Microsoft has kept it simple by providing a single resolution and frame rate to run on all its activities using this streaming camera. You are only able to use the camera at 720p for a 30-fps frame rate. The camera is also surprisingly ergonomic and portable with a weight of 90.7 grams and a size of 44 x 39 x 109mm (about the length of the long edge of a credit card). Its simplicity also extends to the fact that it has a simple plug and plays functionality, with no complications. The only downside there might be to this product is its small field view of sixty degrees but considering the cheap price you can own this camera for, that may be justified.
Here comes the king of resolution when it comes to streaming cameras. This beast offers a 5.3K Ultra HD with HDR resolution. However, when it comes to streaming, the resolution is limited to 1080p. The GoPro continues its dominance in frame rates as well. You can operate videos at a resolution of 5.3K at 60fps and 4K at 120 fps. This beats everything we have seen so far. But the story does not end there, the field of view covers a whopping 132 degrees, and that too with such a compact design, a size of 71 x 55 x 33.6mm, and a weight of only 153 grams (about half the weight of a large grapefruit). It is one of the only streaming cameras in the world that comes with voice control and a front-facing screen. However, if you are using a camera just for streaming this might be expensive.
9. DJI Action 2
Like the GoPro, the DJI Action offers an extremely high resolution of 4K, but the streaming is limited to a resolution of 1080p. With a 4K resolution with a frame rate of up to 120fps, the DJI Action is also an amazing tool for streaming high-end games but there is one crucial factor that places DJI Action above all the streaming cameras we have discussed so far and that is a field view of a whopping 155 degrees. The size of the camera is super small along with its weight which is super light making it a high-resolution portable streaming camera like no other on the market. DJI Action also comes with image stabilization, a dual touchscreen interface that can be used along with a variety of cases. However, the dual touchscreen pack is more expensive than its counterpart.
The Panasonic HC V770 is highly considered the perfect camera for Twitch or YouTube. It is a full HD camcorder with an HDR resolution of 1080p. The HC 770 provides the user with a frame rate of HDR resolution at 120fps. If you are using interpolated software with this device, you also have an option to upgrade your frame rate to 240fps. Although the camera does not have an existing frame rate, it does have a 4.08 to 81. 6mm focal length. With a size of 65 x65 x, 139 x 73mm and especially weight off of 354 grams Panasonic may not be considered as portable as the previously mentioned devices. The HC V770 contains a flip-out display for self-framing. It also can connect to a smartphone as a second camera. In some cases, the Panasonic streaming camera is criticized for not having a 4K option as well as its manual focus is quite difficult for beginners.
When it comes to the Canon Power Short G7, there is no need to discuss the capabilities of the camera. The brand along with the camera itself has made its name in the vlogger community but surprisingly, the same camera also has a hidden use to be used as a streaming camera. Its high-end resolution of 4K along with a consistent frame rate of 120fps provided at a frame rate of 1080fps allows it to be a great option if you wish to stream using this camera. One of the reasons it is used by many streamers is that the PowerShot G7 provides streamers with 4K video without any cropping. The camera is also easy to set up for streaming purposes. Like the Panasonic HC V770, the PowerShot G7 does not provide the streamer with a field view option. However, it does have a focal length of 24 to 100 mm (about the length of the long edge of a credit card). However, the size of 105 x 61 x 41mm (about half the length of the long edge of a credit card) and weight of 304 grams (about the weight of a large grapefruit) makes it inconvenient to be used as a streaming camera if not mounted.
12. Sony A7 III
The Sony A7 III is a mirrorless camera, which is an example of how a mirrorless camera can be used as a great alternative for a streaming camera. The camera has a resolution of 4K Ultra HD as well as a frame rate of 120 fps. However, the field of view is null, the camera has a 35 mm sensor body. The Sony A7 III is considered as one of the heaviest mirrorless cameras for streaming with a weight of 650 grams so if you are looking at portability, this will not be the right choice for you but considering that the camera provides you with the ability to record and stream simultaneously the Sony A7 III would be an excellent choice or you. If you would like to view further vlogging cameras that can also be used as streaming cameras, you can visit our article on the best vlogging cameras.
So, there you have it. A complete guide as to how to successfully stream on YouTube or Twitch including the equipment that you need to Livestream and the top 12 cameras that you will find in the marketplace available for streaming. Hopefully, all the information provided will give you a complete setup through which you can establish a streaming channel on any major streaming service. Do remember that streaming is not only about audio and video quality, but also majorly about the way to interact with your audience in real-time.