Thinking about going live on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube? Well, you are going to need the best camera for live streaming.
With all the competition that is out there in the world of influencers, the best camera will help you in creating high-quality videos that will entice your audience.
With so many products out in the market, it can get challenging to choose one that suits your needs and requirements perfectly.
Before you buy the best camera for live streaming, there are some factors you need to consider and a few features that you need to look for.
We have put together a compact yet comprehensive buying guide that will make your buying process easier and smoother.
Before that, if you’re looking for a vlogging camera instead, we’ve got a guide on the cameras that YouTubers use to vlog which you should check out.
Also Read: – What Cameras Do YouTubers Use to Vlog?
Let’s get started!
Guidelines for Choosing the Best Camera for Live Streaming
• Types of Cameras
When it comes to the best cameras for live streaming, there are four popular types.
- Action Cameras
Webcams are easy to use and are affordable. Moreover, they are ideal for video game streaming, live video chats, or any other type of live streaming in which you have to stay in your chair.
You should get an external webcam with a resolution of at least 720p along with a built-in microphone. You can directly connect the webcams with your computer, thus eliminating the need to get a separate video encoder.
However, if you want to enhance the audio quality, you are probably better off with buying a separate headset or microphone.
Moreover, you would need to connect your camera with a video encoder as well so that the HDMI output can be sent to the online streaming platform.
Camcorders have an ergonomic design and are pretty easy to set up. They are ideal for filming long streams or handheld shooting. Additionally, they have a clean HDMI output and don’t skimp on frame rates and video resolution.
DSLRs give you high-quality video and excellent photo resolution. Combine that with their ability to perform impressively in low-light, and you have got yourself a winner.
However, ensure that the DSLR that you are using comes with a clean HDMI output so that the icons and viewfinder status stay hidden.
4. Action Cameras
If you are going to live stream sports and other action-packed events, then action cameras are perfect in helping you capture immersive videos. Despite their small size, they are powerful and produce high-quality, superior footage.
They usually provide First Person POV (point of view) and are equipped with a wide-angle lens. However, they give you a very informal sort of live stream, which is something you need to keep in mind.
These cameras usually have a higher frame rate, which helps you capture a fast-paced event perfectly.
Features to Look Out For in the Best Camera for Live Streaming
1. Image Quality and Video Resolution
The first thing that you need to keep an eye out for is the image quality that your camera has. Due to compression, live streaming videos already take a visual hit. Therefore, you need to get a camera with high image quality to compensate for that.
Make sure that the camera you are going to buy is capable of recording in 4k resolution to ensure the highest quality output for your stream.
2. Low-Light Performance
In case you are going to be live streaming from a dark place, you need to look for a camera that works perfectly in darker situations while keeping the noise levels low.
3. External Power Adapter
You wouldn’t want your camera to die on you in the middle of a long stream, now would you? Therefore, you need to look for a camera that comes with an external power adapter so that you can plug your camera in once the battery runs out!
4. HDMI Output
For all cameras other than a webcam, you will have to connect it to a capture device. Having a clean HDMI output will ensure that there is no camera interface/menu on it.
5. Heat Dissipation System
The little chips working inside the camera are going to build up the heat while you are using it. Therefore, you need to ensure that the camera you are going to buy has a sound heat dissipation system in it so that your camera doesn’t shut down in the middle of a live stream!
6. Image Stabilization
If you are filming a handheld video or are streaming on the go, it would help if your camera comes with Image stabilization to cut down on the bumps and grinds, while keeping the footage smooth and still.
7. Ease of Operation
If you spend hours working out how the camera works and then even more time trying to set the camera up, you are going to waste your important time. Get a camera with an easy set up so that you can get started quickly!
Best Camera for Live Streaming in 2020
Logitech C922 Pro Webcam is a high-definition, 1080p webcam that is perfect for live streaming. It helps you record true-to-life and vibrant videos.
The glass lens helps you capture bright, natural colors, and all the exciting details with a frame rate of 30fps at 1080p. The webcam has a 78-degree FOV (field of view) that can easily accommodate two people. You can use the webcam’s app to zoom and pan it as well!
You can also choose the superfast frame rate of 60fps at an HD quality of 720p. With this webcam, you will be able to live stream with no distortion or lag.
The light correction and HD autofocus features of Logitech C922 ensure that you get high-definition, razor-sharp images even in low-light, dim settings.
You can easily attach the webcam to the top of your PC monitor or television. Moreover, you can attach it to a tripod as well. The dual microphones in the webcam eliminate the need for a separate microphone as they create stereo audio themselves.
- 78-degree Field of View
- Dual Microphones
- Light Correction
- HD Autofocus
- Expensive as compared to its counterparts
2. GoPro HERO7
GoPro HERO7 provides you a Hyper smooth operation and gives you a gimbal-like stabilization even though it doesn’t have one. You can capture super smooth time-lapse videos with these high-quality cameras.
You can increase the speed of your time-lapses up to 30x so that you can easily turn the longer activities into short, fun, shareable moments! You can take 12 MP photos and shoot 4K60 videos with GoPro HERO7.
You can broadcast using the GoPro app at the quality of HD 720p. Moreover, you can save the footage to your SD card as well. With a waterproof build, this camera is your best friend for all sorts of adventures!
You can use the SuperPhoto feature of this camera to allow HERO7 to apply HDR, noise reduction automatically, and local tone mapping to give you optimized shots. You can create slo-mo videos with this camera as well and can slow things down up to 8x.
With GoPro’s voice control, you can go hands-free as you work your magic. It responds to 16 voice commands and understands English, Chinese, German, Italian, French, Korean, Spanish, and a few other languages as well!
- Image Stabilization
- SuperPhoto Image optimization feature
- Voice Control
- Short battery timing
With a 20X optical zoom and HDR movie feature, this Panasonic camcorder is a good option. It is very easy to use and is compact as well. You can shoot full HD videos.
There is a 3.5 mm audio jack, so if you want to improve the audio quality, you can attach an external microphone. The flip-out display of the camera gives you the ability to see yourself while filming.
It has a clean HDMI output, and you can attach it to any standard sized tripod. You can wirelessly connect a smartphone with the camera. This allows you to use the camcorder as your primary camera and use the smartphone as a sub-camera to create an in picture video effect.
The camcorder comes with Image Stabilization. You can use the Panasonic Image App to connect the camera with a tablet or smartphone and use it as a remote.
With the help of the Backside Illumination Sensor, the camera suppresses noise so that you shoot even in dimly lit situations.
- 20x Optical Zoom
- HDR Movie Feature
- Backside Illumination Sensor
- Flexible LCD
- Image Stabilization
- Low battery life
- Manual settings are a bit tricky
The Panasonic Lumix G7 is a good value for money among other options in this list, as it comes with a 14-42 mm lens. The articulating display of this camera helps you see what you are filming. The camera has a 1080p HD resolution and a good-quality HDMI port.
You can connect an external microphone with the camera as well to increase the audio quality. The 16 MP sensor helps you capture sharp HDR images.
The easy to control aperture as well as the shutter speed settings help you use the camera with minimal fuss. You can quickly make ISO and White balance adjustments. You also get an OLED live viewfinder and a touch-enabled LCD with the G7.
- Intuitive Controls
- High-Resolution Viewfinder
- Touch Enabled LCD
- 1080p HD resolution
- Good HDMI output
- Works best for professionals who have videography knowledge
Sony Alpha a7 IIK is a full-frame camera with five axes in-body image stabilization. You get a 24.3 MP CMOS sensor along with the ability to record videos in Ultra HD.
The HDMI port helps you get clean HDMI output. The automatic shutoff feature ensures that if you are not using the camera, it turns off automatically, thus saving battery.
The camera takes care of distortion, chromatic aberration, and peripheral shading. Moreover, it is compatible with the E mount lenses of Sony, as well as various other adaptors.
The hybrid autofocus system has 117 phase-detection points along with 25 contrast-detection points. You get a tilt-able, 3” LCD that can swing 90° up and almost 45° down.
- Hybrid Autofocus
- Clean HDMI output
- Image Stabilization
- Ultra HD
- Short battery life
Canon R800 is a compact handheld camcorder that you can easily place in a tripod stand as well. It has excellent picture quality, decent sound, and is easy to control and use.
The 3” LCD screen allows you to record clear and bright videos that have excellent natural color reproduction. It has an optical image stabilizer that helps you correct camera shakes to give you sharp and steady videos.
The HD CMOS sensor is extra sensitive and delivers life-like HD videos with low noise levels even in dimly lit surroundings.
- Clean HDMI Output
- Touch panel LCD
- 57x Advanced Zoom
- Image Stabilization
- High-resolution CMOS image sensor
- Audio can get a bit scratchy if it is too loud
The Canon EOS 80D comes with an Intelligent Viewfinder that displays Autofocus mode and autofocus points. You get a grid display feature as well.
The 242 Megapixel, APS CMOS sensor, helps you capture high-resolution images. The refined individual pixels provide you high ISO speeds – 12,800 for movies and 16,000 for still photographs.
With the help of the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software that is compatible with both Mac and Windows, you can turn the camera into a webcam as well!
- Grid display
- Horizontal Electronic level
- 242 Megapixel CMOS sensor
- High low luminance performance
- Good lens
- Fast and accurate focusing
- It is hard to set up the Wi-Fi connection
There is plenty of competition in the world of social media influencers. One of the things that help you stand out and make your mark is high-quality equipment, especially the camera you are going to be live streaming with.
A higher price tag doesn’t always guarantee high quality, and thus, you need to look for the high-quality features that make or break your camera. Feel free to choose from the products that we have reviewed above for your convenience.
By the way, having a great camera for your stream is only part of the ideal streaming setup. You’ll also need to pay attention to your audio quality, and we have that covered in our best USB microphones guide. Check it out to get the best tips on picking out the right microphone for your budget.
Happy live streaming, folks!
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.