YouTube is the granddaddy of online video content. Before Netflix, Twitch or any other kind of streaming/video service, there was “Charlie Bit My Finger” and “David After Dentist.” Over the years, YouTube has evolved into a multifaceted network of video services, from TikTok-style Shorts and music videos to gaming and live streams. Streaming, in particular, has really taken off on the platform since it’s relatively simple for most video creators to incorporate into their content output. But whether you’re a seasoned YouTuber or fledgling newcomer, you might be surprised to learn that the average video camera you use for recording video may not be the best streaming camera for YouTube.
For this post, we’ll discover why that is and how to find the best camera for live streaming.
STREAMING VS. RECORDING
The most apparent difference between streaming and recorded videos is that the former broadcasts straight to the web in real-time, while the latter is recorded, edited and uploaded after the cameras have stopped rolling. While videos are still the bread and butter of most YouTube channels, there are some notable benefits to incorporating live streams into your content output:
- Live streams generally require less prep time than a video shoot.
- Streams require significantly less editing compared to normal videos.
- You can schedule live streaming in between video uploads.
- Similarly, you can use footage from streams for edited clips on your channel and social media pages afterward.
- Streaming is a great way to interact with your followers in real-time.
Above all else, it’s always a good thing to expand your creative horizons and explore other forms of expression in order to avoid burnout or boredom, and live streaming should come easy if you’re already recording YouTube videos.
TYPES OF STREAMING CAMERAS
Part of the fun of live streaming is the spontaneous, uncut feel of it––as if you’re hanging out with your friends playing games or chatting. Your streaming camera for YouTube should be one that you can set up easily and let roll without much fuss so you can focus on the stream itself.
The most common types of cameras you’ll come across are DSLRs, built-in computer cameras, USB webcams and streaming cameras. DSLR cameras are pro-level options that are a must for recording video or photography, but their complicated controls and large price tag make them a little overkill for streaming. Built-in cameras are convenient, but that comes at the cost of less control and lower video quality.
Webcams are the goldilocks of streaming cameras, striking the perfect balance between image quality and convenience. Most webcams are USB compatible, making them easy to use on any computer from just about anywhere, and they offer far greater control over your video settings than your computer camera. Similarly, streaming cameras like the Mevo Start are less common, but probably the most useful camera for live streaming (hence the name) since they can stream to the internet without plugging to a computer––an ideal choice for taking your live stream on the road, outdoors, or pretty much anywhere.
BEST STREAMING CAMERAS FOR YOUTUBE
So now that we’ve established why webcams (and streaming cameras) are ideal for YouTube live streams, the next question is which webcams are the best picks. YouTube in particular is a good site for high-definition and high-bandwidth streams, which means you have the luxury of going for the best-quality webcams you can find.
Made specifically with live streamers in mind, StreamCam packs all of the essential features you need for live streaming into a plug-and-go package: 1080p image quality, auto-focus, auto-zoom, smart light exposure, dual built-in mics––the list goes on. Plus, StreamCam comes with Logitech’s Capture software for dialing in your video settings and saving your favorite looks.
Nothing takes you and your viewers out of the stream like a laggy video. Thankfully, the C9222 Pro offers a hyperfast 60fps framerate at 720p for smooth, detailed images and no choppiness or pixelation. Not only that, but the camera’s autofocus and 78-degree field of view also ensure that you’ll always look your best on-stream.
Depending on the types of live streams you’re interested in, you may benefit from investing in a 4K streaming camera for YouTube. You can read more about the differences between 4K and HD cameras for streaming on the blog, but in a nutshell, 4K webcams are best for streams that directly benefit from the best image quality possible, like makeup or fashion streams. With that said, the 4K Pro webcam is a powerful and versatile option for live streaming––the resolution is obviously the main appeal, but the webcam also sports auto-focus, intelligent light exposure, wide and profile framing options, and even compatibility with Windows Hello, an innovative software that lets you unlock your computer by just looking into the camera.
Last but not least, Mevo is the perfect camera for streaming your story anywhere, anytime, and with no computer required. With the Mevo smartphone app, you can zoom, pan, and cut in real-time for high-production streams and intuitive control. There’s even an advanced AI Director mode for natural and automatic cutting, panning and framing. For more advanced multi-cam streams, the Mevo Multicam app lets you control up to three cameras at once with ease, making the Mevo Start a great option for those looking to take their streams beyond the conventional camera-computer-desk setup.
YouTube’s original slogan was “Broadcast Yourself,” and with the rise of live streaming as one of the main genres of online entertainment, that sentiment has never been more possible. For more info on live streaming, building your YouTube channel and gaining an online following, check out the other stories on our blog.