The best camera for streaming on Twitch, Mixer and Facebook Live

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Looking for the best camera for streaming? You’re in the right place. In case this recent internet fad has passed you by, streaming your video game footage on platforms like Twitch, Mixer, Faceebook and YouTube Live has become big business. Streaming is where gamers show a live feed of the game they are playing, while speaking over the top, often with a camera showing their face as they play.

Some of the biggest YouTubers and Twitch streamers are hugely successful, having built up an army of followers and subscribers who avidly watch their gameplay. Some have even made a lucrative career from it. If you want to get involved, you’ll need to pick up a camera for streaming. 

The best cameras for streaming: What to look for

Thankfully, while you can spend thousands of pounds on camera, lighting and audio equipment to produce the highest-quality gaming videos, this doesn’t need to be the case. As with most aspects of photography and videography, the financial barrier to entry is fairly low, with your creativity being the most important key to success.

You can start your streaming career with nothing more than a basic webcam like the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000. This shoots 720p HD video, which should look plenty good enough when viewed on a smartphone (as many game streaming fans will see it).

Upping your budget will improve image quality, of course, until you get into the realms of 4K Ultra HD video. At this point you can start to look at cameras with zoom and slow-motion options, and the all-important audio input option. That way, you can connect an external (and far superior) microphone to improve your video’s audio quality.

Action cameras also make good streaming cameras, and the DJI Osmo Action is a particularly good option as it’s second display on the front makes it easy to frame your shots. This is important for camcorders and more professional cameras too – look out for options with articulating displays which flip around, making it easy to see how you look before you start filming.

Crucial for streaming is a camera that outputs its footage live over an HDMI connection. That way, you can stream your gameplay and the camera’s view live to the web, instead of recording a gaming session then uploading it later.

You will often find that cameras can’t stream at the same resolution that they can record at; for example, some cameras can record in Ultra HD to their memory card, but can only stream footage through an HDMI cable at 1080p Full HD. That said, Full HD is plenty, as live Ultra HD isn’t really necessary.

Another option to look out for is automatic background deletion.The Logitech C922 Pro has this, making it easy to cut yourself out of the video footage and replace your background with whatever you like. Lighting is also key, and the Razer Kiyo is a good option here as it comes with its own integrated LED light ring for professionally illuminating your face.

Less important is optical or digital image stabilization, as the camera will be held still on a tripod or clipped to the top of your computer monitor, and zooming capabilities should also not be a huge concern.

Ultimately, you will want to strike a balance between video quality, features and price. If you are just getting into streaming for the first time, then we would suggest you start out with a cheaper option and focus on producing a lot of content to build up an audience on your chosen platform. Only then should you consider investing in better audio, lighting and image quality.

If you are looking to improve your streaming efforts, then it might be time to upgrade from a webcam to an action cam like the DJI, a camcorder, mirrorless camera, or even a DSLR. That way, you can have full control over aperture, white balance, framing and focal length, as well as being able to add a nice bokeh effect, which gives a professional-looking blurred background to your footage.

The best cameras for streaming: Logitech C922 Pro

(Image credit: Logitech)

1. Logitech C922 Pro

This versatile option is the best camera for streaming all-round

Resolution: 1080p recording, 720p live streaming | Frame rate: 30fps at 1080p, 60fps at 720p | Field of view: 78 degrees | Size: 44 x 95 x 71mm

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