None of the popular streamers began their careers with a full, top-of-the-line kit, and you don’t have to either. Whether you’re hosting a webinar or streaming video games on Twitch, it’s cheaper than ever to get into streaming. You don’t need much to set up a basic stream, but you do need a camera. There are many possible streaming-ready cameras, but we’ll focus on webcams and other affordable cameras for this article.
Our series of camera designs includes the the budget friendly live streaming package as one of the largest manufacturers. As a website focused on giving you the best cameras, solaroid aims to provide the most stylish and extravagant cameras for you. Our experts analyze the globe to find the most beautiful and unique cameras and feature them on solaroid. There are many unique cameras in our collection, including live streaming equipment setup for gaming, live streaming equipment for church, and budget streaming setup 2020.
We have the live streaming equipment packages anywhere in the world, with great designs, values, and styles. The designs of cameras vary widely. The solaroid official website is the best place to shop for the outdoor live streaming equipment. Our cameras are among the most popular on the market. You can find the live streaming kit on our site. Choose from a variety of camera designs available now for mobile live streaming equipment. Choose now!
While the term “affordable” is subjective and relative to each person’s budget, I chose to showcase cameras in the $50 to $200 range. Buying a less expensive camera gives you the flexibility in your budget to purchase a microphone or a video capture card. Below are five affordable streaming-ready cameras for a streaming setup in 2021.
1. Aukey FHD Webcam — $40
Aukey may not be a household name, but it should be. The consumer tech brand sells dozens of products on Amazon, ranging from headphones to robot vacuums to gaming keyboards to power banks, and so much more. I’ve bought many items from Aukey over the years because they make quality products at a reasonable price. Their webcams are no different, with this model capable of streaming 1080p video for only $40.
The Aukey FHD Webcam is equipped with a 1/2.9-inch CMOS image sensor, which can output 1080p video at 30fps. This webcam also has built-in microphones using noise-reduction technology, and it has an adjustable mount that clips on to most monitors. The Aukey FHD Webcam is compatible with most major video conferencing and streaming platforms and streaming software such as XSplit and OBS Studio.
Although the Aukey FHD webcam isn’t feature-packed, it’s one of the best deals around for a budget, entry-level 1080p streaming-ready camera. It won’t look as good as the cameras below, but it’ll get you started.
2. The GoPro Hero 5 Black — $120+ (Video Capture Device)
You can use almost any GoPro to stream, but the Hero 5 Black is the most affordable one with a screen, making it the clear front-runner. You can find used GoPro 5s on eBay for around $120, but I’ve seen some sell for cheaper. On top of purchasing a GoPro, you’ll also need to get a video capture device and an HDMI to Micro HDMI cable.
If you want to stay on budget, this unassuming capture device does the trick for $20. All you need after that is to download OBS Studio. You can check out our guide on how to set up a GoPro as a webcam, which has all the information you need to set up the GoPro for streaming.
The GoPro 5 makes for a solid webcam, which can output 1080p video at 60fps. I’ve used it, and the video quality is much better than any webcam you could get at the price point. Better yet, you also have a GoPro that you can use for vlogging or on a trip.
3. Logitech StreamCam — $169
Although every one of Logitech’s webcams is stream-ready via OBS, the StreamCam captures high-quality 1080p video at 60fps, and has a 78-degree FOV, which is wide enough for most streamers.
To access the features available on the StreamCam, you’ll need to download and install Logitech Capture. From there, you can control features such as smart autofocus and auto exposure. The latter adapts the video’s exposure based on lighting conditions, quickly adjusting if the lighting changes without user input.
The StreamCam is Logitech’s best camera for streaming, with excellent autofocus and auto exposure features that streamline the setup process. While you need to run Logitech Capture to stream, the software allows for adjustments on-the-fly, which you can’t do with cheaper webcams. Those looking for a high-quality camera with a simple setup process should consider the StreamCam.
4. Razer Kiyo Pro — $199
Debuting in February of 2021, Razer’s Kiyo Pro is the newest entry on this list, replacing the original Kiyo that came out three years ago. Though it lacks the original Kiyo’s signature adjustable ring light, the Kiyo Pro has improved hardware and software that makes up for the missing ring light. ]
With big shoes to fill, Razer went all in on this stream-ready camera, equipping the Kiyo Pro with a 1/2.8” CMOS sensor with STARVIS technology capable of capturing detailed video in low light. In this demo, the Kiyo Pro puts out a great image in extremely low light, which other webcams will struggle with. For those who can’t invest in a proper lighting setup, this feature alone makes the Kiyo Pro worth it.
The Kiyo Pro can output video at 1080p resolution with a max frame rate of 60fps. When enabling HDR, the frame rate drops to 30fps. Streamers have the option to adjust the FOV between three settings, allowing more customization when framing the camera for streaming.
Positioning itself as a high-end webcam made for streamers, the Kiyo Pro has an asking price of $200, doubling the original Kiyo price. Though the original is still a good entry-level stream-ready camera, the Kiyo Pro’s higher frame rate, adjustable FOV options, and adaptive light sensor make it the clear winner.
5. Your Smartphone — Free
That’s right, with a free app, you can turn almost any Android or iPhone into a legit camera for streaming. With about 80% of the US population owning a smartphone, chances are you have one, and you can start using it as a stream-ready camera right now.
Several apps can turn your phone into a webcam, but I used DroidCam OBS and tested it on my Pixel 3. DroidCam OBS works with both Android and iOS devices. The free version works fine, but the $5.50 upgrade to the “Pro” version removes the watermark and unlocks every feature.
I won’t go into a full tutorial on setting it up, but it’s fairly straightforward. Download the app and install the OBS Plugin on your computer—the plugin works on Windows, macOS, and Linux devices. From there, add DroidCam OBS as a source, and transfer over some info from the app to OBS. On the app, you can switch between using the front and back camera, choose manual or continuous autofocus, and you can even turn on the backlight on your phone to use as an impromptu lighting source.
Streaming can be expensive to get into, but DroidCam OBS makes it more accessible to just about anyone.
5+ Best Affordable Streaming Ready Cameras
October 21, 2021 by Trent Peek
Live streaming video has become increasingly popular over the past few years since the pandemic forced us to stay at home and isolate.
Live streaming lets you watch, create and share videos in real-time. All you need to be able to live stream is an internet-enabled device, a live streaming camera, and a streaming platform/app to broadcast a live stream from.
With current popular live-streaming apps like Facebook Live, Instagram Live stories, Twitch TV, and Tik Tok, anyone can start streaming today.
The inspiration to live stream comes from reality TV and YouTube, where you can broadcast anything you are doing, right there in the moment, all across the world. Viewers can comment and interact live by posting messages that appear beside the live stream. They can also share emojis like hearts, and gifts such as coins that appear on the screen.
But to get started in live streaming, the first thing you need to get started is a Streaming Ready Camera. While the best camera for streaming can vary depending on what your goals are. It may be as simple as a webcam or as complex as a full professional video rig.
If you’re trying to get into live streaming or looking to upgrade your camera, here are the best practical and affordable camera options for your next live streaming video shoot.Contentsshow
5 Great Affordable Live Streaming Cameras
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Types of Cameras for Live Streaming
There are several reasons to live stream and each has a varying level of complexity.
Maybe the reason why you want to live stream is to connect with distant friends via zoom. Perhaps you are a yoga instructor who wants to perform live classes outside of your gym’s physical space. Or, your business wants to live stream on social media to build a following or build a better brand presence.
Any of these situations above will need a different setup. There are some different types of cameras you can use to accomplish your requirements.
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The biggest advantage of webcams is that they offer a universal plug-and-play answer that is usually as easy as inserting a USB cord and choosing the camera as the video source on your computer.
Keep in mind that you have limited control over the webcam’s automatic exposure and focus settings. Webcams are ideal for long periods of monitoring and streaming.
DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras
As of late, camera manufacturers are adding software updates to allow their DSLR and mirrorless cameras to be used as webcams, just by plugging them directly into a computer and offering clean video. Currently, Canon, Sony, Nikon, Panasonic, and Fujifilm all have such programs.
The great thing about using DSLR and mirrorless cameras for live streaming is the ability to change lenses depending on the environment you are in, control exposure and white balance settings, use wide apertures and shallow depths of field, and have access to the huge range of accessories.
While having Streaming DSLR cameras or Streaming mirrorless cameras is the right camera option for an eye-catching live streaming setup, it’s probably not going to work for those looking for an affordable live streaming camera to start with.
Related Articles – MirrorKless VS DSLR Cameras – 10 Key Differences & Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners
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Hardware and Software for Live Streaming
There can be a lot of pieces to put together when you’re setting up your live streaming system. Let’s look at a few of these components.
Having fast internet speeds plays a huge part in your capacity to live stream properly. What you need to know is that your internet connection has two-speed ratings, one for downloads and one for uploads. The problem with upload speed is it far lower than the download speed, which can be a problem when you are live streaming.
If your upload speed can’t catch up with the footage you’re streaming, your connection will restrict the bandwidth or even lower the resolution of your video, as a result, your video quality will decrease significantly even if you use expensive equipment. If your streams are suffering in quality chances are your internet connection is to blame.
Check with your internet provider on your current internet speeds and adjust accordingly.
Just like filmmaking, if you have horrible audio in your live streaming, you will lose your audience quickly. Improving your audio quality influences whether your work comes off professionally or amateur.
Built-in microphones on smartphones, computers, and digital cameras are constantly developing, but they will never match the quality of a dedicated microphone.
Just by adding a lavalier mic, a headset mic, or even a standalone mic situated just out of frame, particularly if you’re shooting wide shots and are farther from the camera. These types of microphones will isolate the voices you want to hear and help reduce background noise and echoes that might disturb your recordings.Shop Related Products
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The next thing to add to your list of additional live streaming equipment is lighting. Next to improving the audio for your live streams, adding well-designed lighting is another component for elevating your video quality.
Lights can help you add dimension and shape to your main subjects and create division between the subject and the background. Additional lights can also help with cameras that have small sensors that may have a tough time in low light conditions.
If you have a good lighting setup, you can make even the most average equipment look pretty good.
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Best Affordable Cameras for Live Streaming
Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam Power
The Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam Power your online video content with the Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam. This HD Camera is more than capable of streaming and recording high-quality videos with crystal clear audio, all in your home. Works with OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) XSplit Broadcaster
This web camera is specially designed to meet the needs of streamers who like to broadcast on popular websites such as Twitch and YouTube. You need a camera that works fast and well for this, and the C922x is exactly that.
It has a full HD lens that records 1080p videos at 30 frames per second and is also capable of a 720p resolution at 60 frames per second. You and your viewers can enjoy the superior quality that doesn’t lag behind your games.
The premium autofocus adjusts to various lighting conditions, whether the glare of a multiple monitor setup or a dimly lit bedroom. The professional quality of this webcam gives you that edge to rise above the rest!
Two integrated omnidirectional microphones with noise reduction technology pick up sounds from every direction for a complete video that doesn’t lag.
Don’t bore your viewers with the backdrop of a blank wall when they watch your stream – put yourself right in the action with Personify’s background replacement technology. It is incredibly easy to use and doesn’t need a green screen.
in terms of streaming live cameras, this streaming camera integrates your live image hassle-free and turn up the heat as you play your favorite games in front of a live internet audience.
Breaking through as an online streamer can be challenging if you don’t have the right tools. Logitech helps you get started by giving you a free, six-month Xsplit license, whether for fun or professional use. One of the most popular streaming apps today, Xsplit allows you to fine-tune all of the different aspects of your live stream, including sound levels, lighting, text overlays, music, graphics, and so much more.
This license includes access to both the Broadcaster and Gamecaster apps. Record, edit, and broadcast all of your adventures in the gaming world with Logitech!
Compatible with Windows 7 10, Mac OS X 10.9 or later, Chrome OS, and Android v5.0 and above, all you need to start broadcasting is a USB port!
Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam – Full 1080p HD Camera$89.00
$99.99Rated 4.7 out of 5 by 10434 reviewers on Amazon.comBuy Now
Logitech BRIO Ultra HD Webcam
Logitech is bringing Ultra HD video quality to their famous webcam line with the brand new BRIO. Equipped with high-tech optics and lenses to help deliver razor-sharp images, the BRIO offers professional-level visuals in one small, easy-to-understand package!
The BRIO is capable of recording, streaming, and calling at full 4k Ultra HD. Clearly see all of the details and colors that pop out on any screen. 1080p and 720p video resolutions are also available. In addition, Logitech’s own RightLight 3 aids in correcting the lighting of your surroundings. It will automatically adjust the image quality to compensate for too much or too little light with High Dynamic Range (HDR) capabilities. Look great no matter where you are!
Additionally, the BRIO’s powerful 5x digital zoom allows you to focus on important things with precision. The BRIO has three different fields of view settings to choose from 65°, 78°, and 90°. This webcam only shows what you want, whether you’re having a private conversation or showing a wider view of your surroundings.
If you are looking for Streaming cameras with audio, The BRIO‘s two omnidirectional microphones amplify your voice in your video call or recordings, allowing you to be heard clearly, while noise-canceling technology helps filter out any unnecessary sounds.
Get only the best video experience without a complicated setup with this Budget streaming camera!
This webcam also has great infrared facial recognition capabilities, with the ability to easily distinguish your features thanks to its Ultra HD image quality. This makes it great for fast computer logins with Windows Hello and other facial recognition apps.
The Logitech BRIO is compatible with Windows 7 or later, Mac OS 10.10 and up, Chrome OS, and Cisco. It can be used with most video calling apps such as Skype, Facetime, Facebook Messenger, Line, ooVoo, and more.
The BRIO is certified for Skype for Business and can be used with Microsoft Cortana voice control. Additionally, mounting the webcam in multiple positions is easy thanks to its removable clip.
Install it on your monitor or your desk without difficulty. An embedded tripod thread allows you to combine the BRIO with a tripod for flat surfaces.
Powered by a USB 2.0 and 3.0 connection, simply plug the webcam into your computer, and you’ll be good to go. USB 3.0 is required for 4k video output. This makes the BRIO one of the best streaming cameras for Mac’s.
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Razer Kiyo Pro Streaming Webcam
The Razer Kiyo Pro streaming webcam is driven by a larger Type 1,2.8 ultra-sensitive CMOS sensor with STARVIS technology that adapts to any lighting condition, ensuring picture-perfect clarity for any setup.
With the highest fidelity that comes with uncompressed Full HD 1080p 60FPS video, your stream will be more engaging and natural to watch with smooth, lifelike quality.
Make your stream pop with a full spectrum of vibrant colors by activating HDR at 30FPS, which ramps up your video’s dynamic range while correcting over and underexposed areas.
Another great feature is the Wide-angle lens with adjustable FOV. Find the right amount of visual space you need to display your showmanship, with a large aperture, wide-angle lens that allows for three field-of-view options selectable via Razer Synapse.
So if you want to achieve the highest standards of streaming with the Razer Kiyo Pro—a USB webcam with a high-performance adaptive light sensor for max fidelity at 1080p 60FPS, and the ability to enable HDR at 30FPS. Give your viewers the pro-grade clarity and quality they deserve in any setup and lighting condition.
Placing itself as a high-end webcam made for streamers, the Kiyo Pro with its higher frame rate, adjustable FOV options, and adaptive light sensor makes it the clear winner in this list of Streaming HD cameras.
Razer Kiyo Pro Streaming Webcam: Uncompressed 1080p 60FPS – High-Performance Adaptive Light Sensor – HDR-Enabled – Wide-Angle Lens with Adjustable FOV – Lightning-Fast USB 3.0$99.99
$199.99Rated 4.4 out of 5 by 1162 reviewers on Amazon.comBuy Now
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GoPro HERO10 Black Action Camera
While you may think that action cameras shouldn’t be on this list, but action cameras offer streamers other creative options as a small, affordable camera for non-action uses, including everyday streaming.
The GoPro HERO10 Black is the newest iteration from GoPro and includes the capability to use it natively as a webcam either plugged directly into your computer or wirelessly through the GoPro app (note that you might have to install a firmware update before being able to use the webcam mode).
GoPros are known for having ultrawide fields of view, making them a great choice for wide shots in small spaces, though they do now allow you to choose from multiple focal length modes.
The HERO10 offers a revolutionary new GP2 chip that shoots 5.3K video with double the frame rate, 23MP photos, enhanced low-light performance, and bar-shattering HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization in all modes. To simplify things, HERO10 is cloud-connected—so the moment you charge it, your footage is automatically uploaded to the cloud.
Another thing to note is that webcam mode is limited to 1080p Live Streaming, though you will get up to 5K resolution for recorded footage. But for Streaming action cameras, the GoPro HERO10 Black standout from the pack.
GoPro HERO10 Black – Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 23MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization$449.99
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Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder
The Canon Vixia HF R800 is a popular option among those getting started with event streaming. This camera is easy for anyone to operate, handheld or on a tripod. Though not ideal for professional productions, the Canon Vixia HF offers a quick-and-dirty way to set up live streaming for small events, both indoors and outdoors.
If you’re looking at a dedicated camcorder on a tight budget, the Canon HF R800 is about as affordable as you can get while retaining decent video quality. With the Canon HF R800 you get Full HD resolution, optical image stabilization, an HDMI mini connector for video out, a 3.5mm audio-in port, and a 38.5-1232mm equivalent optical zoom range.
In terms of good streaming cameras to start with, this camcorder streams flicker-free and you can stream with it directly with HDMI if your device allows signal input (laptops do not have HDMI-In internally). Otherwise, a capture card will be required.
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How to connect a camera for live streaming
Can you connect your camera to a computer using an HDMI or USB cable and start streaming? Unfortuanlity, no.
If connecting USB webcams like the Logitech C922x Pro StreKam Webcam, Logitech BRIO, and Razer Kiyo Pro streaming webcam, connecting to a computer is pretty straightforward since they are plug-and-play cameras. But, connecting “real” cameras like the GoPro HERO10 Black and the Canon Vixia HF R800 works a bit differently.
More often than not, the HDMI port on your computer is an OUT port, not an IN port. Plus, the small USB port on your camera was designed for slow data transfer and not for the continuous, rapid, high-resolution image transfer required for streaming.
In most cases, video capture for live streaming is possible only through HDMI. With HDMI video capture, it requires special drivers that computers lack. To capture HDMI video from a camcorder, DSLR, mirrorless, or any other non-USB camera, you will need a USB capture card for streaming.
A capture card is a small piece of hardware that helps decode the camera’s analog video signal into a digital video format that your computer will understand. Capture cards can come in various flavors depending on resolution (HD, 4K) and connector type (HDMI, SDI, VGA, DVI).
There is, however, a way to live stream from a camera without a capture card. Hardware encoders like Pearl-2, Pearl Mini, and Pearl Nano, are purpose-built devices that can capture, stream, and record any HDMI or SDI camera signal. This way you can connect the camera directly and stream without a capture card or a computer.Shop Related Products
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Here are our affordable picks for the best cameras for live streaming for those on a budget. Of course, there are many other streaming cameras on the market, but this list is based on reviews and the experiences of amazon customer reviews.