The 10 Best Live Streaming Cameras
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in October of 2017. Live streaming is becoming more and more popular as people vie for hits on social media platforms. If you're serious about your influencing, though, you're going to want to upgrade from whatever video resolution you're getting out of your smartphone. Our selection of cameras offers something for every need and budget, ranked here by functionality, image quality, and versatility. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 17, 2020:
While the market seemed to consider live streaming cameras to include IP cams the last time we visited this list, the general understanding of the category has solidified around high-end webcams and camcorders, as well as DSLRs and mirrorless cameras capable of clean HDMI output in a high resolution. In step with this development, we scrubbed our list of what were purely webcams and added a few new models from big companies that have finally gotten the hint about live streaming.
Sony was a little ahead of the curve compared to Nikon or Canon here, but we decided to replace their aIII model with the Sony a6600, as the aIII was capable of a high-quality live stream, but it would lose its face and eye detection features when you started the stream, and its screen would go dark. The a6600, by comparison, maintains its high level of autofocus accuracy and allows the user to see themselves on the articulating monitor while they're recording. This is a must for influencers running a one-person filming operation.
The Nikon Z50 Compact boasts similar specs and features, but comes in behind the a6600 because its articulating screen sits beneath the camera body when facing the subject, which is frankly insane. Almost any tripod in existence is going to block your view of the screen in this position, making it good for little more than selfies.
You'll also notice that the old aIII was a full-frame model and both of these offerings are APS-C, as is the Canon EOS 90D. Ultimately, any gains you see from using a full-frame sensor are going to be eliminated in the compression that takes place on any hosting site, so you can save that money for a nice lens or some lights.
March 07, 2019:
Our previous list may have taken too narrow a view of what could constitute a live streaming production, and so for this update there was a focus on phasing out models that had become a bit long in the tooth and replacing them with options that could significantly improve the video quality of customers looking to evolve their channels to a more professional production value. At the same time, we didn't find it prudent to include the same degree of professional gear you might see on our 4K live streaming cameras list. Instead, we wanted to confine this selection to a consumer market. The Sony a7R III and Panasonic GH5S are great examples of this, as they offer top-tier potential in their imaging capabilities without requiring the kind of investment that would prove prohibitive for a lot of upstart channels.