Best Cameras for Live Video Streaming

Live video streaming has the capability to provide targeted outcomes for your business – wider reach and more footfalls to your blog or website and then convert the leads to conversions. However, your live stream broadcast has to be of superior quality and this is dependent on the camera you select to broadcast your content.

With so many cameras in the market claiming to be the best for live streaming, it can be overwhelming to make a choice. So before you decide to start your shopping spree, take a look at the following buying factors along with their pros and cons. This will allow you make a more informed decision.

Selection Criteria

Before you start looking at the different cameras, here are some things to consider.

  1. Hardware: It is important that your video camera is compatible with your hardware. Hence, make sure your computer has ports to connect your camera. It is best to opt for a camera that fits seamlessly with your hardware rather than changing your hardware to suit your camera.
  1. Budget: Have a budget in mind when you start shopping for a video camera. This will allow you to shortlist cameras based on what you can afford rather than selecting one and then finding out it is beyond your means.
  1. Shooting Options: How do you intend shooting the live broadcast? If you shoot on the go, you will need to make sure the video content is clear, without interference and signal degradation.

These factors will narrow down your choices to a sane level. Now with the finalized options, you can add further operational and functional filters as below –

Your Camera Options

Today, there is a wide range of cameras, including USB, HDMI, analog, SDI and DSLR cameras. Within this range, you can get different makes and models.

  1. USB Camera: This particular video camera is ideal for a newbie live broadcaster. You can connect the camera to any computer system with the USB port. If this is the first time you are live streaming, this camera will be the best choice as it is hassle-free.


  • It is extremely affordable
  • Easy setup as it is a plug-and-play camera
  • Does not require capture cards or boxes and can be connected directly to a majority of computers
  • Does not need power source, as it is powered by the computer


  • It comes with limited features. You will be unable to zoom, balance the white or enjoy more precise shots
  • You will be unable to upgrade the lens
  • Does not have the ability to generate professional-grade audio
  • Unable to record locally
  1. HDMI Camera: Although this camera is primarily for home theater systems, it is extremely popular, as it is not as expensive as an SDI camera. And, you will still be able to broadcast superior quality videos. Besides live streaming in HD, you also can record content in high-def.


  • You can get entry-level camera that is affordable and at par with a feature-laden professional-grade camera
  • Easily available
  • Easy to convert to SDI


  • Depending on the encoder or switcher you are using, you may have to convert the image to SDI
  • Does not have as long a cable as an SDI camera
  • Cables are not lockable and as a result, they can get disconnected quite easily
  • Some HDMI cameras have built-in copy protection, preventing transfer of signal
  1. Analog Camera: It comes with red, green and blue cable ports that allow you to connect to your computer. However, since laptops usually don’t have analog ports, you will have to use a capture card or switcher to enable the connection.


  • Affordably priced
  • The camera is easily available
  • You can easily replace the cables should they get damaged
  • You will find it quite easy to get capture cards and switchers to facilitate connection with your laptop


  • If you opt for an older model, you may be stuck with just SD resolution. Just new analog cameras come with high-definition image quality
  • You will not be able to use the camera too far out, as long runs can lead to poor signal and interference
  • The connector cables are usually proprietary. Hence, it may be tough to find a replacement
  • You will need an additional cable to connect to your encoder or switcher
  1. SDI Camera: This perhaps is the best camera for live broadcast streaming. It provides professional-grade videos and hence, it is the most expensive of all video cameras. There is no worry of the cables getting disconnected, so you will enjoy stable connection. The cables are long enough to shoot far out.


  • Comes with long cables that have a locking option
  • The camera comes with professional connections
  • It has connections for capture cards and encoders


  • Its cost is prohibitive and can prevent you from purchasing it
  1. DSLR Camera: This camera is similar to an HDMI camera when it comes to live video streaming. The camera should have an HDMI output, and you will have to use a capture card to connect the camera to your computer. If you overcome these issues, you can use the camera for live video streaming.

However, be careful as some models come with a mirror and this will reveal the settings of your camera during live streaming. Its limited audio capabilities are also a disadvantage. The built-in mic may not be able to capture high-quality audio and hence, you will need an external mic for the audio. Also, check the camera carefully before purchase, as some models shut down automatically if they are used for extended periods. If you plan on streaming live content for a couple of hours, DSLR camera may not be the best choice.

The Bottom Line

Now you know about the best cameras for live video streaming. Based on this information, you can make an informed decision to purchase a camera that best suits your needs. Already zeroed in on your choice? Then opt for Primcast’s live streaming services to start streaming.