How to Livestream From Your Camera

30 July 2021

From FaceTime to Zoom calls, Twitch streams, and YouTube Live, it’s safe to say that live streaming has a mainstay in the 21st century. Whether for staying in touch with friends and family, working from home, or developing a captivating online presence, live streaming is an incredible way to connect, create and cultivate relationships online and in real life. Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve certainly benefited from its existence. Read along as we give an overview of live streaming, how to live stream from a camera, and some of the best cameras for live streaming.


Why live stream?

Live streaming has only recently come into the (pardon the pun) mainstream. However, I’m sure many of us can remember the days of laggy, jittery video calls over dial-up internet. Now with internet access being ubiquitous around the world, live streaming is not only more accessible but it’s also more functional than ever before.

From a personal perspective, live streaming can enable communication with friends and family near and far. But also entertainment, with a seemingly endless supply of online creators thanks to digital platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.

How to Livestream From Your CameraHow to Livestream From Your Camera

However, live streaming offers several advantages from a business perspective that a simple telephone call can’t.

  • Wider audience
  • Add a human face to your brand/ company
  • Providing a tailored brand message
  • Providing personalised service from a distance, i.e. tutorials, reviews etc.

So how do you start live streaming yourself? Well, it starts with choosing the right kind of streaming equipment, which means choosing the best streaming camera for your situation.

Choosing the best camera for live streaming

There are a few options when it comes to choosing an internet streaming video camera. Depending on what your situation is, you’ll find the best 

streaming camera for your setup. 

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Webcams

Popular due to their availability, most modern computers have built-in cameras that make live streaming with a webcam the most accessible and affordable option. That being said, their affordability comes at the cost of image quality, especially when compared to a dedicated camera or camcorder.  

Livestreaming with a dedicated camera

Using a dedicated camera as a webcam can improve almost every part of your live streaming setup. Able to capture high-quality video beyond anything a webcam could achieve, having a Mirrorless or DSLR camera instead of a webcam offers various benefits and options for live streaming equipment. Using a video camera for live streaming allows you to mix live streams with pre-recorded videos and maintain a consistent level of quality throughout your stream.

If you don’t want to deal with the stress of broadcasting live, check out our guide on how to start a successful vlog.

Do I need a microphone for live streaming?

While every digital camera we know of has its own microphone, they’re usually of poor quality. If you’re planning to talk during your live stream, you’ll want to invest in a quality microphone. Check out our microphone buying guide for all the available options at Ted’s. There’s also a how-to for recording a voice-over in 7 easy steps. To make sure your audio is crystal clear, you’ll want to practice.

How to Livestream From Your CameraHow to Livestream From Your Camera

How does live streaming work?

How to Livestream From Your CameraHow to Livestream From Your Camera

Much like how making a phone call connects you to another device on the planet via satellites and different frequencies, live streaming relies on a free and open-source platform called Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) to stream video and audio over the internet. RTMP is used by popular streaming sites like YouTube, Twitch and Vimeo, thanks to its reliability and speed. For encrypted streaming, which adds a level of security to your live streaming, RTMPS is used instead.

What online platforms offer live streaming?

Several online platforms offer live streaming in some capacity, but in our opinion, these are the ten most popular live-streaming platforms available today:

  • Twitch
  • YouTube Live
  • Facebook Live
  • Periscope
  • Younow
  • IRIS
  • USTREAM
  • Dacast
  • Livestream
  • Brightcove

Can you stream to multiple platforms simultaneously?

Streaming to multiple platforms simultaneously, also known as simulcasting or multicasting, is one of the more exciting live streaming features. Services like Castr.io make this process easier by connecting your feed to multiple streaming platforms at once while also consolidating viewers and comments into a centralised location.

Other live streaming options

How to Livestream From Your CameraHow to Livestream From Your Camera

If you’re after a private platform for your live stream, you can implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN), which controls who has access to your content, making it suitable for paid live streaming services. CDN live streaming services can be integrated into Castr.io, allowing users to include the following features: 

  • Set up a paywall to charge for access to your stream
  • Utilise your business logo/branding
  • 24hr streaming/restreaming options
  • Limit access based on a viewer’s location (Geofencing)

Different live streaming methods

Depending on your streaming platform, you may have a choice over which broadcast method you use to live stream. However, this will also impact which camera you can use for live streaming.

Direct streaming (over IP) 

As the most straightforward option, direct streaming only requires a device connected to the internet. Connect your camera to the internet, log in to your chosen streaming platform, and start streaming your live video over the internet immediately. Check out our complete guide on how to live stream with a smartphone for more information on Direct Streaming. 

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Live to stream (computer + capture device)

Adding a capture device and computer to the live streaming mix will deliver a professional result at the cost of buying more equipment. This is a standard method for live streaming video games on both YouTube and Twitch.

CDN Business services (computer + capture device)

As we mentioned before, a CDN allows you to set up various features, including paywalls, customised user experience and geofencing. CDN is the chosen method for big businesses and organisations, including universities.

Streaming with a capture device

How to Livestream From Your CameraHow to Livestream From Your Camera

Capture cards are used to convert an HDMI signal into a video source that your computer can understand. Livestreaming capture devices allow users to stream high-quality video to your selected platform using specialised software called Open Broadcaster Software (OBS).

For a camera to be compatible with the option, they must have the following:

  • Clean HDMI out
  • Constant power supply (AC adaptor)
  • The ability to disable sleep mode
  • 1080p/ Full-HD output minimum
  • Vari-angle screen

A dedicated camera or camcorder is a great starting point for live streaming. Most serious streamers opt for Mirrorless cameras due to their smaller form factor, enhanced image quality, and improved auto-focus detection. Some of the best mirrorless cameras for live streaming, like the Sony A7C, are fantastic alternatives to your built-in webcam, offering far more dynamic range and versatility.

HDMI Capture device options

Capture cards range from the very basic to the very expensive. Some are costly and require software installed on your computer, while others, such as the Elgato Camlink, offer plug-and-play functionality. Although there are plenty of other options available, we can’t recommend the Camlink enough.


Start live streaming today

Now that you know everything about live streaming from your camera, it’s time to get shopping. Head to your Ted’s Cameras store to pick up the livestreaming equipment you need, or purchase everything you need to get live streaming online at Ted’s Cameras!


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