Live Streaming Equipment

The Best 4K Cameras for Live Streaming

This post covers what we think are the best 4K camera options for live video streaming. There are plenty of 4K camera options out there, but we spec'd out options that are between $1,000-$6,000, to give you the best mix of quality and affordability. It's part of our series on live streaming equipment.

If you’re just getting started with 4K streaming, there are a few things to keep in mind when seeking a 4K camera. One is that in order for a camera to live stream in 4K, it has to be able to output a 4K signal (typically over SDI or HDMI). The recommended cameras below can output a 4K signal over HDMI, SDI, or both. 

In this post we talk about other output specs from these cameras beyond 4K resolution. If you need a refresher on frames per second (fps) check this out, and if you're wondering about the differences in HDMI and various types of SDI signals read up on that here (HDMI vs. SDI) and here (differences in SDI signals).

AIDA Imaging UHD6G-200 ($831.25)

For a fixed-mount application, where you might be looking for limited control over a camera , AIDA's UHD6G-200 is a great addition to any 4K workflow. This camera comes with an interchangeable C or CS lens mount, and would serve as a great wide angle, or POV type view in a broadcast environment. 

Video Output: 6G-SDI, 4K at 30 fps

AIDA

 

Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K ($1,695.00)

Blackmagic's Studio Camera is the most affordable way to output 4K/60 video over a 12G-SDI video connection. The studio camera also comes with a built-in 10-inch LCD for monitoring your content, and talk-back ports that allows your team to communicate on headsets. The talk-back signals run over either the SDI or fiber video outputs. XLR connections make it easy to integrate professional audio directly into the camera as well. The studio camera has a Micro Four Thirds lens mount, so you'll need to ensure you get MFT lenses to connect to this camera, but it's well worth it if you're looking to integrate a complete 4K live workflow at a low cost. 

Video Output: 12G-SDI, 4K at 60 fps

 

BMDstudio

Canon XF400 ($2,799.00)

Canon recently released the XF400, the perfect solution for the prosumer videographer looking to combine creative, documentary-style shooting with event live streaming. The XF400 comes complete with 15x optical zoom, XLR inputs, 120 fps shooting when recording in HD, and 4K60 output over HDMI. 

Video Outputs: 

HDMI 2.0, 4K at 60fps

3G-SDI, 1080p at 60 fps

 

xf400

Panasonic AG-UX180 ($2,995.00)

This camera is probably the best happy-medium for prosumer broadcasters getting started with 4K video. The UX-180's 20x optical zoom range gives you the flexibility to position your camera in the back of large rooms, and still get a good picture on your subject. 

Video Outputs: 

HDMI 2.0, 4K at 60fps

3G-SDI, 1080p at 60 fps

 

ux180

Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro ($5,995.00)

The URSA Mini Pro is a nice hybrid for both Broadcasters and Filmmakers. It can send 4K60 video to any 4K switcher, recorder, or encoder. It comes equipped with camera control buttons on the side, which is great for broadcasters who don't have time to access the camera's touchscreen menu to make adjustments. The URSA Mini Pro has an EF lens mount, so you can attach any Canon EF lenses to it, but Blackmagic also sells a version with a B4 lens mount for professional broadcasters. 

Video Output: 12G-SDI, 4K at 60 fps

 

ursa mini pro

Final Thoughts + Further Reading

If you've decided to stream but aren't sure which streaming provider is right for your organization, you're not alone. The free Buyer's Guide to Live Video Streaming highlights key features to consider when evaluating your different options. 

Download the Buyer's Guide to Live Video Streaming

Here's some further reading you might find interesting:

The Best Video Cameras for Live Streaming

What is a Video Switcher?

How to Add Lower Thirds on a Roland V1-HD

Decimator MD-HX: A Customer Review

Roland V-1HD Video Switcher: A Customer Review

How to Buy Video Streaming Equipment

The 5 Things to Look For When You Buy a Camera

Magnus VT-4000: A Customer Review

 

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