Deciding on what equipment to use for live streaming can seem like a daunting task. There are thousands of reviews and top 10 lists, but most of these articles target people who live stream while gaming or professional studios—not faith services.
In this article, we will cover the best value cameras for you to live stream your digital worship services without breaking the bank. If you haven’t already seen it, check out our introduction to cameras for live streaming. It covers the primary categories of cameras that we will cover here.
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Webcam & Smartphones
- Price: 0
- Ease of setup: 8/10
- Ease of use: 7.5/10
- Video Quality: 2/10
- Audio Quality: 2/10
If you are reading this article, then you might already have everything you need to get started. All laptops and smartphones now have front-facing cameras that are suitable for live streaming. Using the built-in webcam on a computer or camera on a smartphone is a convenient way to stream from anywhere.
Download an app, configure where you want to stream to, and go live. Most streaming destinations, such as YouTube and Facebook, have their dedicated smartphone apps that simplify the process. If you are on a laptop, the process is a bit more involved and requires some manual configuration of the system.
Faith Online offers a simple solution that lets you live stream from any modern device with 0 configurations and setup. Just login to your account, head over to streaming, and go live!
As we covered in our introduction to cameras article, webcams and smartphone front-facing cameras do not have the best quality. They suffer significantly from quality issues in situations with low light – such as in a church. The built-in microphones also capture a lot of echoes and fail to capture a voice clearly unless they are incredibly close to the speaker. For your viewers, this could make it hard to hear what you are saying, and can cause them to switch off.
The Low-Budget, High-Value Purchase
- Price: 350
- Ease of setup: 8/10
- Ease of use: 8/10
- Video Quality: 7/10
- Audio Quality: 6/10
If you want to get the best value for money camera, there is no better option than the Mevo Start. This camera is an all in one device that will capture your video feed and upload it without the need for an external computer.
The Mevo Start has an internal battery so you can put it anywhere with a WiFi connection and start streaming. The camera has a microphone input on the back, allowing you to add an external or wireless microphone to your kit to get great audio and video.
Controlling the Mevo Start is simple using a dedicated application on your phone. From there, you can choose your streaming destination, make some minor adjustments to the camera settings such as brightness and framing, and go live. The Mevo Start can also record videos so you can record messages and upload them to YouTube or Facebook.
For this price, nothing comes close to the value for money that the Mevo offers, that’s why we chose the Mevo Start as the primary camera in our live streaming kits.
The Mid-Level Budget Camera
DSLR / Video Camera
- Price: 1000+
- Ease of setup: 4/10
- Ease of use: 5/10
- Video Quality: 8/10
- Audio Quality: 6/10
If you have a larger budget and more time to spend setting things up, using a DSLR or Video Camera offers excellent quality live streaming but involves a much more complicated setup.
All DSLRs and Video Cameras need a separate device to capture the video. These devices will take the camera feed from HDMI and convert it to USB so a computer can interpret the signal and upload it. You will need a computer to upload the video feed to your streaming provider.
Due to the limitations of HDMI, cables longer than 15 meters start to lose signal, so your PC will need to be reasonably close to the camera. These devices will also need power cables as their batteries are not designed for this kind of intensive work for prolonged periods. In general, you will use the same software used with webcam live streaming for DSLR and Video Cameras.
The setup of a live streaming system involves a lot more cables and devices, and many things could end up going wrong in the process.
Their quality is excellent, but requires a significantly more substantial investment than the Mevo Start system. If you already have a DSLR or Video camera you can buy a HDMI Capture device and check out some of our other guides on getting it set up with your PC.
The Professional Level Live Streaming Solution
Dedicated streaming setup
- Price: 2500+
- Ease of setup: 2/10
- Ease of use: 3/10
- Video Quality: 9/10
- Audio Quality: 8/10
If you have a large budget, and a team that can spare a few hours for each stream, then you might want to consider a professional streaming system. The systems have everything you need to live stream in the highest quality from almost any location. With dedicated cameras, special low light lenses, video mixers that allow switching between cameras, audio mixing desks, and specialised encoder boxes, these systems can range in cost from 2500 to over 100,000 pounds.
Having so many devices does mean they all need to be connected by cable, and the setup process can end up being too complicated, forcing you to hire a specialist.
If you are considering this level of kit, then we would recommend finding a local event live streaming company and asking them for a quotation before you buy your equipment.
This level is very involved and will require a dedicated person on your team with the right expertise. That’s why we do not recommend this unless you need it.
The Best Value Video Solution for Live Streaming
The best value kit is the Mevo Start camera. It allows easy configuration with a high-quality result. For the cost, nothing comes close to the value it offers. We have put together a live streaming starter kit that includes the Mevo Start camera, Wireless Microphones, Lights, Tripods and all the extras you will need to get started with your digital worship services. Check it out here and if you have any questions, get in touch, and we would be glad to help get you online and streaming.