Live Streaming Equipment, Top Post

The Best Live Video Streaming Equipment for Every Level

This post is a guide to the cameras, tripods, and video switchers that we find to be easy, reliable, and professional at every level. It's the main post in our series on live streaming equipment.

So, you’ve decided to start live video streaming.

Or you’ve at least started to do your research. As you’ve probably already discovered, choosing equipment can be challenging and time consuming. 

Let us help. Though BoxCast works well with all sorts of different cameras and production equipment, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites to help you get started. Whether you’re just getting started or a professional videographer, this post is for you.

Table of Contents

If you're looking for advice on just video cameras, here's our post on the best video cameras for live streaming. If you want multiple camera angles for your live stream and don't know how to make that happen, you should check out our intro to video switchers. If you are looking for a good approach to buying new A/V equipment, here's how to buy live streaming equipment. Otherwise, read on.

Beginner Production:

If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of video production for the first time, these gizmos could be for you. They’re great for single-camera set-ups for when you want to point it at an object (field, room, etc.) to capture your events. Even if you don’t entirely know what you’re doing, the technology in these devices will ensure that you put your best foot forward:



Camera: Canon Vixia HF R800 ($195.00)

Why we like it: The Canon Vixia HF R800 is a great starter camera if you're brand new to live video streaming, and using a video camera. It allows you to shoot 1920 x 1080/60p video in a light, compact body that can fit in your pocket. 


Camera: Canon VIXIA HF G21 ($799.00)canon_2404c002_vixia_hf_g21_full_1512503512000_1372248-1

Why we like it: There’s a common concern that to look good on a live video stream, you have to update your entire lighting system. This HD camera looks great in natural low light conditions, and comes with really powerful 20x optical zoom. The HF G21 makes for a great starter camera for those looking to shoot more professional video, as it comes with manual settings similar those on a professional camera, but easily adjusted on a user-friendly 3.5 inch touchscreen. 


Tripod:  Magnus VT-4000 ($159.95)

Why we like it: This durable tripod is great for any level and will last a long time. Its fluid drag head lets you tilt and pan so that there’s no jerkiness to your image. It also has both rubber and spiked feet, making it great for indoor and outdoor use.  

Magnus VT-4000: A Customer Review



The Best Equipment for Live Video Streaming: Spring 2017


Intermediate Production:

Though you’re no stranger to video equipment, you don’t yet want to dive into the more complex tools. We understand that completely, so we’ve  done some research and think that these toys are for you. Not only are these cameras and tripods more sophisticated than the ones we loved in our Starter Kit, but we’ve added a Production Tool to the line-up. For a little bit more information on how BoxCast works with Wirecast, watch this video.

Camera: Canon XA15 ($1,799.00)canon xa 15-1

Why we like it: This camera is great for those looking for a professional look, settings, and features (such as 3G-SDI output, simultaneous record,  and XLR inputs) but at a compact size. 



Tripod: Magnus VT-4000 ($149.95)

Why we like it: (See above)

Production (software): Wirecast (starts at $495.00)Wirecast

Why we like it: Wirecast is one of the most user-friendly software switchers in the game. You can easily switch back and forth between various camera angles and incorporate overlays onto your stream. Though you do have to pay for it, you can test it out with a free trial. (NOTE: Software switchers do require the purchase of a video capture card in order to allow your computer to receive individual video signals).

Production (hardware): Roland V-1 HD ($995.00)1447659921000_1198625.jpg

Why we like it: Roland's highly popular prosumer switcher is an excellent choice for multi-cam live streaming for small churches, smaller corporate meetings, and youth sports. With 4 HDMI inputs, a built in audio mixer, and picture-in-picture capability, this devices offers professional features for producing a live event at a fraction of the cost.  

Roland V-1HD Video Switcher: A Customer Review

How to Add Lower Thirds on a Roland V1-HD



Advanced Production:

You’re a broadcasting all-star. You know your way around a video camera and are looking for the best of the best. We hear you. Check these out:

Camera: Sony PXW Z-150 4K Camcorder ($2,998.00)

sony professional camera


Why we like it: If you have experience in video production and are looking to make the jump to 4k video, this camera is a great option for you. You'll be able to capture video in UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) up to 30 frames per second, and still output 108060 over 3G-SDI. It also comes with other professional features, including: 2 XLR inputs, audio level control, built-in ND filters, and dual recording.


Tripod  : Benro S7 Dual Stage Video Tripod ($449.99)

Why we like it: The Benro S7 is a complete tripod system studio for outdoor scenarios and is capable of handling camera rigs that weigh up to 15.4 pounds. The pan and tilt this tripod offers are smoother and more adjustable than what you'll find in the Magnus VT-4000. 

Production: Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio HD ($995)


Why we like it: Similar to the Roland V-1 HD, this portable switcher comes packed with 4 professional SDI inputs and outputs, along with 4 HDMI inputs, and a built-in audio mixer. This is a great switcher for the professional video producer looking for a more compact solution.

Production: Blackmagic ATEM television Studio Pro ($2,295.00)

Why we like it: The ATEM Television Studio Pro an upgrade to the switcher above. It offers up to 8 video inputs (4 SDI and 4 HDMI). Everything you need to produce a polished, live production is available on the built-in front panel controls. This includes special effects, transitions, and audio mixing. It’s an affordable solution but sacrifices no quality and is comparable to production equipment that you may find in studios.


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

Become a Live Video Streaming Expert

BoxCast Guides

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