Live streaming is becoming more popular than ever. This new way of sharing content enables you to interact live with your audience and provide a more “real” experience for the viewer.
The best camera for live streaming will depend on your needs and budget. In this buyer’s guide, we cover the best options for all price ranges and situations.
If you are just starting with live streaming, you should also check out our Ultimate guide on how to become a live streamer.
|Camera (Amazon Link)||Camera Type||Maximum Resolution|
|Logitech C922 Pro Stream||Webcamera||1080p at 30FPS|
|Razer Kiyo||Webcamera||1080p at 30FPS|
|Microsoft Lifecam HD – 3000||Webcamera||720p at 60FPS|
|Canon EOS 80D||DSLR||1080 at 60FPS|
|Panasonic Lumix GH5||DSLR||2160p at 60FPS|
|Panasonic HC-V800||Camcorder||1080p at 30FPS|
|Canon VIXIA HF G50||Camcorder||4K UHD at 30FPS|
|GoPro Hero 9||Action Camera||5K at 60FPS|
|ALLie 360 Camera||360 Camera||4K at 30FPS|
|Samsung Gear 360||360 Camera||4K at 30FPS|
Before you jump in and invest in a professional camera for streaming, you need to make sure you have the basics in place.
When streaming, any equipment is useless without proper internet. You want to deliver live video to your viewers in good resolution and without buffering.
The key factor for uninterrupted streaming is the upload speed. Make sure you have at least 3-6 Mbps. You can use a tool like www.speedtest.net to measure your upload speed. Keep in mind, though, that the value can fluctuate depending on your internet connection, so it is a good idea to have a buffer.
Proper audio is just as important as video quality. Even on the best live streaming cameras, built-in microphones are not ideal for sound quality. Invest in an external microphone, either a good headphone with a mic or a USB microphone like Blue Yeti.
To be able to live stream through a DSLR or camcorder, you need an encoder to connect it like you would a webcam. Make sure the camera has an HDMI output to connect it to your encoder.
To really get professional-looking video on your live streams, you need to get the right lighting setup. This might mean investing in some proper lighting equipment, but you could easily find inexpensive DIY solutions as well.
We have a guide on lighting for youtube videos, everything there applies to live streaming as well, so make sure to check it out.
What cameras are used for live streaming?
Any camera with a USB or HDMI output can be used for live streaming. The question will be what kind of camera delivers the best video and audio quality when recording live.
The most commonly used live streaming cameras are either Webcams or DSLR. But people also use Camcorders, Action Cameras, and even 360 cameras for live streams.
There are pros and cons with each type, and what kind of camera you choose will depend on your overall streaming setup, environment, and budget.
You really don’t need expensive equipment to start streaming. A simple webcam can get you started. Some are even built for live streamers.
In addition to being relatively inexpensive, you don’t need a video encoder, big tripods, and HDMI cables to connect a webcam. This keeps your setup cheaper and easy to set up.
DSLR are great cameras for stationary streaming. They are not as portable as a webcam, but they don’t have to be. A good DSLR shoots very high-quality videos and performs well even in low light conditions. They are ideal for most indoor setups. DSLR’s are famous for great manual controls to control every aspect of your image. Unlike a webcam, you can manually control things like aperture, white balance, and focus.
DSLRs have some limitations as they are not built for streaming. If you are streaming for long hours, this could cause problems with overheating and limited recording times. You might also have to invest in an external power source as battery time is limited.
Camcorders offer longer maximum recording times and comfortable video ergonomics. Like DSLRs, they also provide manual controls to get the image exactly how you want it.
Where camcorders lack is in sensor size. Generally, they have smaller sensors compared to DSLRs. This affects video quality, especially in low light conditions.
You can use action cameras as well for live streaming. Just make sure they have an HDMI output so you can connect it to your PC. Action cameras enable you to live stream with high resolutions and excellent video quality.
360 live streaming Cameras
If you have more ambitious streams in mind, it is possible to stream live in 360 videos. 360 live streaming is growing in popularity in the last few years. Mainly through youtube and Facebook, but more platforms as well. It can be used to capture sports events, travel videos, and much more.
Best Webcams for Livestreaming
This webcam is a go-to for streaming. It offers high-quality 1080p resolution at 30fps.
Even if you don’t have the best lighting setup, the C922’s low light correction features can solve exposure issues in a dimly lit environment. It has a great background removal feature, note though that it works best when used with a greenscreen. It also comes with a built-in stereo microphone. Audio quality is limited, so it is better to pair it with an external mic.
Overall, this is a best seller and widely use in streaming. You can’t go wrong with the C922 Pro Stream if you are an entry-level streamer. If you, however, are looking to stream at 4k, you might want to look into other options.
As we mentioned above, lighting is key to good video quality. Therefore, when streaming, make sure your face is lit up correctly. Razer Kiyo makes this a lot easier with a built-in ring light. The camera has controls to adjust the brightness of the LED light ring.
The camera itself offers a standard 1080p at 30 frames per second. The Razer Kiyo is Streamlabs certified and is compatible with OBS Studio and all the other recording software.
Microsoft Lifecam HD – 3000 is the cheapest alternative on this list, but it still offers decent video quality at 720p at 30fp. You can rotate the camera 360 degrees and easily mount it on a tripod or gimbal.
While it was mainly designed for skype calls and personal use, the HD-3000 works for streaming as well. This web camera is a good choice if you are more budget-conscious but still want good quality. You might get the most bang for your buck at its price.
Best DSLRs for Livestreaming
The Canon 80D is one of the most widely used cameras for YouTubers and streamers alike. It offers 1080p resolution at 60fps. It has a very sophisticated and useful autofocus system that is simple and easy to use.
Canon is great at making user-friendly cameras all around, and its no different with the Canon 80D. It offers easy to use manual controls with a touchscreen LCD. In conclusion, this is a top-rated camera for streaming.
This camera gives streamers the ability to stream with 4k at 30fps (to devices that allow it). It is also a popular option among many YouTubers witch a full-sized HDMI port that allows for live streaming.
The sensor is a bit smaller than other competing mirrorless cameras. This does affect video quality, especially in low light conditions. But it makes up for by offering 4K recording, excellent manual controls, and great performance.
Best Camcorders for Livestreaming
The HC-V800 can shoot 1080p video at up to 60fps. It has a clean HDMI port, so connecting it to your PC is straightforward. It also has built-in Wifi capabilities that can be great for streaming.
HC-V800 has a relatively large sensor (MOS 1/2.5-inch sensor) for a camcorder and offers some impressive high-quality video recording, even in low light conditions. This raises the HC-V800 above most other camcorders of its kind.
The main thing missing from this camera is the ability to record in 4K. But it makes up for it with excellent image quality. In conclusion, HC-V800 is one of the best camcorders for streaming.
As with the HC-V800, the VIXIA HF G50 also offers a 1080p resolution at 60p. This camera is targeted toward creators who need a bit more from their camera device.
It has outstanding low light capabilities for a camcorder. A significant feature to look for. The VIXIA HF G50 is also a very robust and portable camera with long battery life; this works exceptionally well for streaming setups.
Overall, the VIXIA HF G50 is excellent for streams and videos in general.
Best Action Cameras for LivestreamingSearch GoPro on Amazon
GoPro’s are mainly known as an action camera, but people use them for live streaming as well. GoPro’s biggest advantage is how portable and compact it is, making it easy to set up on a desk. It also delivers stunning video quality and performs well in low-light conditions. It is true that most people don’t think of using a GoPro for streaming, but if you already have one lying around, it can be a great option for you.
It is not as easy to connect as other cameras, though. You will have to use a mini recorder to connect it to a computer, and it only has a micro HDMI port. But this minor issue is worth it when using this camera for streaming because of its quality.
Best 360 – Live Streaming Cameras
This is a 360 Camera created with live streaming in mind. It even offers a built-in live stream capability for Youtube and Facebook. It can be easily integrated with smartphones and supports IOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.
It has a small and portable built, allowing you to do some more adventurous live streams.
This is a budget-friendly 360 camera with great capabilities. It works with both Samsung Galaxy phones and iPhones alike. It can shoot 4K video, and yet it is small and can easily fit in your pocket. It comes with a great companion app to get the most out of the camera features.
These were the top 10 best cameras for streaming. We hope you found the right camera for your content. Even if you are on a lower budget, never let the gear stand in the way of creating content, simply start with what you have.