Choosing the Right Camera for Streaming 

Streaming is a way of viewing a video or listening to audio without downloading the media files or relying on a device like a DVD or Blu-Ray player. A few years ago, viewing content via CDs was considered high-tech, but live streaming has become the most popular way to consume content. Anyone can create streaming content for personal or business reasons.  

Technically, it is possible to create streaming media using something as simple as a webcam, but for more professional results, having a good camera is essential. Dozens of cameras can do the job, and selecting the best one depends on price, intended use, and how professional you want results to be. 

Types of Live Streaming Cameras 

The first consideration when choosing the right stream camera is deciding on a type. Manufacturers offer a range of choices that generally fall into four categories.

  • Webcams. Most people use a webcam to live stream content because it is an affordable, simple-to-use option. These are not a computer’s built-in webcam but are external webcams offering a minimum of 720p resolution. They’re versatile and can be used for game streaming, live chat, or basic streaming.
  • Camcorders. Because they are designed to record video, camcorders are often ideal for live videos. They are built to be hand held, making it easy to shoot lengthy videos. Camcorders offer clean HDMI output and excellent 4K resolution output. 
  • DSLR Cameras. If you want exceptional resolution and video quality, DSLRs produce great results, even in low-light situations. Per SocialMedia Examiner, these cameras are best for short videos since they can overheat after 30 minutes. Mirrorless cameras offer the same quality but are more compact.
  • Action Cameras. These small cameras do a great job of capturing immersive moments. They are perfect for capturing sports and action-packed events. Most have a wide-angle lens that provides a first-person perspective.  

Essential Camera Features 

Per Boxcast experts, exceptional resolution and clean output are must-have features for a live stream camera.

  • HD video resolution. It is possible to live stream in 720p standard resolution or 1080p full HD, with HD being the expectation. High definition is now considered the norm and is essential if you want to keep up with the competition. Any extra expense involved in upgrading to HD is more than worth it in audience satisfaction.
  • Clean SDI or HDMI Output. You’ll need a camera capable of outputting live video, and it should be designed for live streaming. Check each camera’s specs to ensure it was designed to provide a clean output signal. Just because a camera can output video does not mean it provides a clean signal.

Good-to-Have Features 

Camera features such as zoom type, frame rate, and stabilization also play a part in live stream quality. For example, live streaming cameras may be equipped with a digital or optical zoom lens. An optical lens can zoom in and still produce high-quality images. Digital zooming creates a lower-quality result. 

Choose a camera with image stabilization to reduce the chance of blurry images. Models with automatic adjustment will compensate for the user’s unintended movements.  

A camera’s frame rate determines the number of images that make up each second of a video clip, which affects the viewer’s perception of motion in a video. If a camera captures displays just a few frames per second, you miss movement details, resulting in a choppy video. Frame rates of 24 to 30 frames per second work for stationery shots, but you’ll need 60 frames per second when filming active scenes like sports events. 

Anyone can create high-quality, live-streamed content with the right camera. A simple webcam works for some uses, and camcorders also do a good job. DSLR, mirrorless, and action cameras may be required to obtain more professional results. 

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