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What Camera do You Use to Stream?

By Lucas Bischofberger

When setting up a live stream there are innumerable variables that need to be considered. Am I exceeding my bandwidth? Is my lighting setup dialed in? Does my audience even know who I am?! All valid questions, of course, but when it comes to a successful stream there is one aspect more important than all others. (Well, audio is important too, but we will save that for another time…)

The camera. It is the Holy Grail of live streaming.

Exceeding your bandwidth suddenly seems less important if your face is grainy, and who cares if your lighting setup is of professional quality if the camera’s light meter can’t tell the difference between the surface of the sun and a night under the stars? Once you have chosen the ultimate camera for your setup, everything else should be much easier. To help you through this process, we have put together a guide to simplifying the selection headache. Whether you are just starting out with a small budget, or your funds are limitless and your computing power monstrous, the search for perfect camera starts here.

**These are only potential options, and not necessarily the best.**

HD USB Webcams

USB Webcams are most likely the easiest way to go. They are cheap, light, powerful, simple and easy to use. With HD capabilities and the direct to computer USB plug, setting up a broadcast won’t get any easier. It even harnesses the computer’s power so you never have to charge any batteries!

HDMI Cameras

HDMI Cameras offer a significantly more controllable and higher quality video stream. With hundreds of price points and options to choose from finding the perfect HDMI camera for you can be daunting, but more than likely the perfect match is out there.

HD-SDI Cameras

HD-SDI cameras are the top of the line. Prices begin around $3,000 and go above $20,000! With price margins of such magnitude it is hard to compare different models. Suffice it to say that even the cheap ones will be well worth the money.


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