Best camera for streaming, Zoom meetings, YouTube and more

Upgrade to the best camera for streaming to look your best before you go live.

Although most computers have built-in webcams, having a dedicated camera for live streaming, video chatting, and YouTube can really enhance the quality of your online content and its professionalism. Getting yourself a camera with a large sensor and a nice lens will help you look your best before you go live, log onto that Zoom meeting, or launch your YouTube channel. We all spend ample time in front of our computer screens, and having a quality camera before you go live will help cut down on screen fatigue too. Here’s what you should consider when looking for the best camera for streaming.

Find the best camera for streaming online

Our time in front of our video cameras has increased exponentially in the past few years. We’re going live on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, hosting events through streams on Twitch, starting YouTube channels, exploring vlogging, and catching up with friends, family, and coworkers on video chat. Although most computers have built-in webcams, getting yourself a dedicated camera for live streaming is an excellent way to increase the professionalism of your video content and look your best when you go live. Having a camera with a large sensor and a clear lens will increase the quality of your video content.

The majority of camera companies have released firmware updates that allow any camera to be used as a webcam for live streaming and vlogging. With a few cables and a tabletop tripod you can use a DSLR, point, and shoot or mirrorless camera as a webcam. Using an actual camera while going live will give you video with increased quality from whatever camera is built into your laptop screen. Having a better quality camera filming your live stream will make your content more enjoyable to watch, keeping your viewers engaged in your stream. Choosing which camera is best for you depends on your budget, the content that you plan to capture and if you’re planning to go live from the comfort of your home, or plan to take your streaming adventures on the road. These are our suggestions for the best cameras for streaming.

What to consider when looking for the best camera for live streaming, video chatting, or vlogging

Selecting the best camera for streaming and creating online video content has a lot to do with considering what you will be capturing. For the best quality video content, you will want to consider a camera with a large sensor and a quality lens. A budget DSLR camera or a compact camera will provide better quality video footage, but will also require downloading additional firmware, cables, a tripod for stabilization, take up more desk space, and of course, cost more. A traditional camera is more versatile though since a DSLR, mirrorless or compact camera can be used for more than just live streaming.

If your desk space is limited and you are only looking for a camera that will be used for making YouTube videos at home or streaming on Twitch, a smaller webcam might be all you need to get started. These smaller cameras are great for video chatting with friends and family or on a work call. Some of these webcams also come with built-in lights or microphones so that you can look and sound your best before you go live.

The price range of the best cameras for streaming is large, but don’t feel like you have to break the bank to upgrade your camera situation. A cheaper webcam will likely still offer better resolution than the built-in camera on your computer. These are some of the best cameras for streaming.

Best DSLR camera for live streaming: Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera

Good Glass

A DSLR is a versatile tool for live streaming and regular shooting. Amazon

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The Canon EOS Rebel T7 has a 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, built-in Wi-Fi, and a 9-point AF system, and is the best DSLR camera for streaming. That large sensor and its detachable lens means better image quality. Use the EOS Utility Webcam software to turn this DSLR into a high-quality webcam for live streaming, video chatting, or YouTube.

Best vlogging camera: Sony ZV-1

Compact and Mighty

This compact camera is great for capturing the action outside of your home. Amazon

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The Sony ZV-1 was made with vloggers in mind and is our pick for the best vlogging camera. It features Fast Hybrid AF, Real Time Eye AF, and Face Priority AE for keeping your face bright even if you are shooting in dim lighting conditions. This is the best camera for content creators capturing footage outside of the comfort of their homes. Comes with a windscreen for capturing quality audio as well; definitely one of the best cameras for streaming.

Best webcam for live streaming: Vitade 960A USB Pro Computer Web Camera

Built-in Beauty Light

This 1080P webcam has a built-in light to help you look your best when you go live. Amazon

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This compact 1080P webcam’s ring-ling has three brightness settings to make your streams look professional. It has a wide 80-degree field of view which works nicely for live streams on social media or while gaming. It clips onto the top of your screen, so there’s no need for a tripod. No firmware or software is required to get started, making it an easy choice for the best webcam for live streaming.

Best 4K webcam with microphone: DEPSTECH 4K HD Webcam

Quality Audio

Record 4K footage and benefit from this webcams built-in dual microphone. Amazon

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This 4K webcam features an 8 megapixel ⅓” CMOS sensor, a 3840 by 2160 resolution at 30fps, and a built-in dual microphone that picks up your voice and cuts out background noise when live streaming or video chatting. This webcam with microphone can be clipped to the top of your computer or attached to a mini tripod. It’s plug-and-play and doesn’t require you to install any additional software before launching your livestream.

Best camera for streaming on a budget: Webcam HD 1080p Web Camera

Under $30

A budget-friendly option for the streamer low on cash. Amazon

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This affordable webcam shoots in 1080p, comes with a clip and a tripod, and has a 110-degree view. Although it lacks some of the features that you’ll find in a more expensive webcam, if you are looking for a way to cheaply upgrade the quality of your live streams, this is the best camera for streaming on a budget. This one also features a built-in stereo mic with noise reduction so you can also sound your best when going live.

Best camera for streaming FAQ: people also ask

Can any camera be used for streaming?

Most digital camera brands can now be used for live streaming. Using a DSLR, mirrorless camera or digital compact for live streaming usually requires you to download firmware for the camera, change a few settings and have a plug to attach it to your computer. We recommend investing in a small tripod as well, for stabilized footage while streaming.

Which DSLR is best for live streaming?

If you have a DSLR that was released in the last few years, chances are you will be able to use it as a camera for live streaming. Getting started will require downloading some software and firmware from the camera company’s website and getting a cable. A budget-friendly APS-C DSLR from Canon or Nikon is our pick for live streaming because it won’t take up much space on your desk and will require a smaller tripod for stabilization.

How do you live stream with a camera?

How you live stream with a camera depends a lot on what camera you are using for your livestream. Some webcams are plug and play and you simply have to plug them into your computer to get started. If you are live streaming with a professional camera, you will likely have to download some software and change a few settings to get started. Check the FAQ of the camera manufacturer’s website for everything you need to know about live streaming with their cameras.

The bottom line on the best camera for streaming

Investing in a dedicated camera before going live is a great way to increase the professional quality of your live streams, YouTube videos, and video calls. These cameras and webcams offer higher resolution than the camera inside your laptop, and with features like built-in lights and microphones, cut down on the amount of gear you need to purchase to get started live streaming. Having quality video and audio while you are live streaming is an important way to keep your viewers engaged in your content. Get the best camera for streaming today!