Whether you’re looking to host a live shopping event, a live Q&A, or to offer any other type of live video content, you need to use the right kind of live stream camera. As the choice in video streaming cameras is rather wide, it’s easy to get confused as to which type of device will provide the best experience for you and for your viewers. Here are a few tips to help you select the most appropriate hardware.
Camera, Webcam, Smartphone… All Possible Live Stream Cameras!
With so many solutions available, there really is no such thing as the perfect camera. Some types of equipment are, however, better suited to certain tasks and are likely to perform ideally for streaming. Before we delve into the specifics, you should also remember that “how you stream” is just as important. For example, are you going to be in an indoor or an outdoor environment? Is there going to be a lot of ambient noise? What are your light conditions? Will you be holding your camera and moving around or using a stationary setup?
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at three types of potential live stream cameras and their particular pros and cons.
Without a doubt, using an actual camera as your live stream camera will ensure the best results in terms of image quality. While these cameras aren’t designed for live streaming specifically, they’re ideal if you’re looking to offer your viewers the most flawless experience possible as far as lighting, blurring the background, and crispness are concerned.
What you gain in image quality, however, you will most likely lose in convenience and versatility. This type of video streaming camera requires a tripod and is generally suitable for stationary setups. And to take full advantage of the settings at your disposal, you should also work with an operator who can manually adjust the focus or tweak the exposure throughout your live stream.
Note that some models don’t support charging while streaming. If you plan on hosting a very long event, be sure to keep this in mind. Overheating may also be a concern.
Finally, you’ll need to have your live stream camera hooked up to a computer (likely a laptop) connected to WiFi. And don’t forget about the microphone! Some cameras offer decent audio quality, but it isn’t a guarantee. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, this won’t be your best bet.
Easy to install and integrated within any laptop and even some monitors, a webcam can serve as a free camera for live streaming. It requires little to no setup and allows you to look at your monitor while you stream, which can be useful if you’re sharing information from your screen or need to integrate clickable links, etc. While it also implies a stationary setup and a WiFi connection for the laptop, it’s a plug-and-play solution.
The downside remains image quality, which is rarely amazing when using an integrated webcam. Even though they were technically designed for live streaming content, they often don’t perform well. Some high-quality webcams do exist, thankfully, and even come with a built-in mic and ring light that you can adjust on-the fly. Just be sure to do your research – by looking into the webcams used by professional gamers, for example – to select the right model for your needs.
Ultra-portable and easy to set up as it practically lives in your pocket, your smartphone can also be used as a live stream camera. Smartphones tend to offer excellent image quality and to perform very well even under difficult light conditions, all without having to play around with the settings at all if you choose to rely on automatic features. To use a smartphone as a video streaming camera, you shouldn’t need many expensive accessories, if any. Since the device itself is very lightweight, any tripod will do, and you can even just hold it if you’re streaming while out and about.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Smartphones can live stream over WiFi or LTE, so you can basically put out content from just about anywhere. They’re also easy to operate, which means that anyone can film you if that’s what your content requires. Internal microphones tend to be quite good and, unless you’re in a noisy environment or position yourself far away, you should be able to use yours for live streaming. And, finally, knowing that you can charge your device while in use and even connect it to an external battery brings a certain piece of mind. As does the ability to save your recordings automatically!
As for the cons of using a smartphone camera for live streaming, you should remember to disable all notifications if you don’t want to be interrupted while you stream. Also note that while video quality is generally very good – with some phones supporting video recording in up to 4K – it greatly varies from one model to another.
A Few Considerations
You should always aim to choose the most appropriate device for your intended use, rather than the “best” equipment period. For instance, lighting can truly make or break a video. So, if you’re broadcasting on the go, you’ll need a live stream camera that can compensate for this, at least to some extent. Background noise is a similarly important concern that should determine which type of microphone to favor.
Also keep in mind that bandwidth greatly affects video quality. In other words, even if your camera is capable of it, shooting in 4K might just ruin the experience for the viewers if your internet connection is poor or unreliable. Always check beforehand what you can get away with before buffering issues start to become a problem.And last, but definitely not least, even exceptional equipment won’t make up for a bad streaming platform! With Onlive.site, you can go live from any recording device and stream engaging interactive content to connect with your viewers. Create live streaming content that’s truly worth watching and that will keep your audience coming back for more again and again!