Live Streaming Equipment, Top Post

The Best Video Cameras for Live Streaming

This post talks about some of the best video cameras that we have found for live streaming at every level. It's part of our series on live streaming equipment.

As every broadcaster knows, the most important piece of equipment in your production arsenal is your camera. (The second most important piece is your encoder). Viewers won’t watch something that’s poorly captured, so as you develop your live streaming strategy, be sure to dedicate proper resources to finding the right camera.

We've done the legwork to make your search easier. Below you’ll find a list of our favorite cameras for live streaming at the consumer, prosumer, and professional levels.

If you're looking for advice on more than just cameras, here's our post on the best live video streaming equipment for every level. 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.

Consumer: Canon Vixia HF G21

Why it’s a great camera:canon_2404c002_vixia_hf_g21_full_1512503512000_1372248

  • The Canon Vixia offers full HD video capture and output to a live streaming device.
  • Its 20X optical zoom lens gives you plenty of zoom capability to focus on your subjects when they're far away.
  • The camera’s hybrid stabilization feature makes it great for smooth handheld shooting. It also lets you select the best stabilization method for when your camera's handheld, on a tripod, or in a really shaky environment.
  • A manual dial on the camera lets you adjust image settings, such as focus, ISO, exposure, white balance, aperture, brightness, and color saturation.

Price: $899.00

Prosumer: Canon XA15

canon xa35.jpgWhy it’s a great camera:

  • Its 2 XLR inputs allow you to use professional audio from a microphone. Plus, volume controls by the inputs let you adjust the incoming levels.
  • The SDI output can send a signal to video equipment like monitors and SDI video switchers.
  • The HD CMOS Pro sensor will make your images clear, even when streaming in low-light situations.
  • Canon’s 20x optical zoom lens gives you plenty of zoom capability when you’re subjects are far away.  
  • A top handle makes the camera portable and easy to carry around.
  • Dual SD card memory slots allow you to backup your recordings for long periods of time.
  • A protective lens hood prevents unwanted light or dust from getting on the lens and adds additional lens protection when the camera is not in use.

Price: $1,799.00

Professional: Panasonic AG-DVX200

Panasonic_AG-DVX200.pngWhy it’s a great camera:

  • The camera’s professional 3G-SDI output allows you to send a signal to professional video equipment like monitors and SDI video switchers, and its HDMI 2.0 output lets you output 4K video so you can stream in 4K.
  • The integrated 13x Leica zoom lens gives you manual control over focus, zoom, and iris.
  • The V-Log L gamma curve allows you to capture 12 stops of dynamic range, which will ultimately give you more image detail.

Price: $4,195.00


Final Thoughts + Further Reading

Though cameras are important, they're not the only player in the live streaming game. To learn more about switchers, tripods, and encoders, check out this free guide: The Best Equipment for Live Video Streaming.

The Best Equipment for Live Video Streaming: Spring 2017

Here's some further reading you might find interesting:

The Best Video Streaming Equipment for Every Level

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

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