Upgrading Your Camera for Online Streaming

What is the best streaming camera?

Do you want to have the best camera for your stream? Are you tired of appearing as a blurry spectacle to your audience? Although you can tier up in quality through various webcams and digital cameras, the absolute best camera that you can use for streaming is a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera. There are different versions of the camera: 4K, 6K, and 6K Pro.

What camera should I use to stream?

Over the years, I have leveled-up through different cameras. I began streaming the built-in camera that came with my laptop. As you can imagine, I was a blurry, janky blob chopping about, but it was my starting point. After battling in the trenches for a while and receiving support to upgrade my setup, I purchased a Logitech c920 , and I remember chat being so excited that they could see me in HD. The picture was definitely clear, but nowhere near the top of the line.

What is a cheap webcam for streaming?

I used this Logitech c920 webcam to stream with for years because it was easy to maneuver around if I had to adjust it. It clipped onto my monitors, and it was simple to have multiple cameras to change around to different angles for my stream. This webcam was also budget-friendly.

Other content creators began to stream with DSLR cameras, and I wanted to learn how to as well. Striving to have top quality equipment is important for streaming as it provides a pleasant viewing experience for the people who watch your stream. When DSLR camera streaming first emerged, the process to stream with one was complicated, so I didn’t want to bother. Having more potential problems to troubleshoot with my setup gave me a headache just thinking about it. It wasn’t until Elgato came out with the Cam Link 4K that I decided to take the plunge into DSLR streaming.

Elgato made streaming with a fancy camera easy. No funky mirroring programs were required to use it—all you needed was the Cam Link and the software and your DSLR became your webcam providing top of the line viewing quality to your audience! To this date, I’m unaware of any other technology or program that is better than the Elgato for using a DSLR for a streaming camera.

My first DSLR camera that I used for a webcam was a Nikon of sorts that had an automatic shutoff every 30 minutes, lol. No, I could not turn this off as this feature was built into the camera operating system. So there I would be in the most important Fortnite match of my life and, boom, my webcam would shut off and chat was left to stare at a black screen where my face once was. I would have to go and restart the camera, and I quickly realized this was not okay for a viewing experience. I wouldn’t want to go to the movies and have the movie screen shut off every 30 minutes only to be restarted—what the gubger! You definitely want to make sure your DSLR does not have an automatic shut-off built into it.

After suffering through the Nikon for a few weeks, I upgraded to a Sony Alpha a6000. This was a huge difference—there was no automatic shut off and the picture was clear! Or so I thought…until I recently purchased my Blackmagic camera. The Sony was clearer than the Logitech, but my features still blended together.

The features on my face were blended and you couldn’t distinguish my nose and cheeks from each other easily. Also, you would have no idea that freckles line my face.

I decided it was time to upgrade my camera after seeing crystal clear picture quality some of my fellow streamers used. I reached out to my friend, Sanchowest, and he pointed me in the direction of the Blackmagic camera. This camera can be used to make movies, so why not use it for streaming?

My viewers can now see every detail of my face. Daunting at first, but it allows for a more immersive streaming experience. Viewers can distinguish my features, count the freckles on my face, or even see the food stuck in my teeth (I hope the latter never happens.) The setup was easy enough—plug in the continuous power that came with it and connect it to the Elgato Cam Link. Next, I had to sort through all of the settings to best suit my lighting in my stream room. LifewithPanda was gracious enough to help me figure out the best settings to use for my Blackmagic pocket camera.

I would recommend downloaded “Bluetooth+ for Blackmagic” in the app store. This app pairs with your phone, so you can adjust the settings of your camera directly from your phone—no need to get up and fiddle around with the camera for the small stuff. From here, I can control things like the ISO, aperture, and focus. When I notice the camera is out of focus, I can click a little button that looks like a “+” sign and it focuses the camera on me. Here are the settings I use for my Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera:

Frame rate: 60fps
Iris: f1.7
Shutter: 64.32
ISO: 1250

I had this camera up and running, with help, within 2 days, and I LOVE it! I believe this camera is currently the top of the line in the market of streaming equipment.