The 7 Best Cameras for Live Streaming in 2023

One of the first things I struggled when I started streaming on Twitch was choosing the right camera. As live streaming continues to grow in popularity, the competition is tougher and streamers are looking for ways to stand out from the rest. I was worried that my camera would hinder my channel’s growth, so did a LOT of research that I will share with you here.

Thankfully, you don’t really need a super expensive camera to start streaming. In fact, I recommend you start with something simple that can deliver good enough quality out of the box. The ideal is a webcam — but not any webcam, as most of them are awful. Here I’ve gathered the best cameras for streaming this year to help you out in your decision so you don’t waste as much time as me.

CameraFlip ScreenStabilizationResolutionPrice
Logitech C922
NoNo1080p30
$79.99
Sony a7 III
NoYes2160p120 (4k)
$1,498.00
Canon EOS M50 Mark II
YesNo2160p24 (4k)
$489.99
Sony a6400
YesNo2160p30 (4k)
$848.00

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What Cameras Can You Use for Streaming?

First I want to give you a heads up because a lot of people get this wrong. Not all cameras can be used for streaming.

Most new cameras—including all the ones on this post— are okay since their brands have released special streaming software for them. However if you’re choosing an older camera, you’ll need a capture card. And not only that, the camera needs to meet first the following requirements:

  1. A camera with CLEAN HDMI output: A camera with simple HDMI output is not enough. Since you’re going to stream what your camera shows in its LCD screen, you need the information on the screen to be clean. You need a camera that can turn off all the extra information that is normally shown on the screen —ISO, aperture, shooting speed, recording time—, and not all cameras have this option.
  2. A camera with unlimited runtime: Most cameras have a limited time that puts the camera to sleep after a while, but you can turn this off in the camera settings. However, some cameras will turn off completely after a certain amount of time, and you can’t deactivate this function. You need a camera that doesn’t do this.
  3. A camera that allows you to charge it and keep the screen on: Some cameras won’t allow you to charge it while it’s turned on. You need one that allows you to charge it, be it through USB or with an AC adapter, while the camera is running. Thankfully, most latest cameras allow this.

For the cameras featured in this post, you don’t need a capture card to live stream with them. If you get a new Canon, Sony, or Panasonic camera, or any of the ones in this list, you can stream with them by simply downloading the official streaming software for your brand.

Best Webcams for Live Streaming

Logitech C922

Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam – Full 1080p HD Camera, Black

The Good

  • Most Popular Webcam for content creation
  • 1080p for the lowest price
  • Compatible with tripods

The Bad

  • Only digital zoom

Check on Amazon

If you’re looking to start with streaming, you might want to consider first a cheap webcam that can record 1080p60 video. The previous version, the Logitech C920, was by far the most popular webcam for good reasons. Just imagine it: Full-HD recording for only around $50.

This newer version is almost the same camera, but it comes with some extra apps to help you when live streaming.

This camera is the first option you should consider due to its excellent quality/price relationship that makes it the most popular camera for streaming.

Don’t think that the Logitech C922 webcam is a pushover due to its small size. In fact, it punches way above its weight. It’s designed as a live streaming camera that you can plug into your computer and start streaming right away.

The built-in lens has a field of view of 78 ˚. That’s wide enough for you to move around inside the frame while shooting and yet not be out of frame. The camera has full HD video capabilities at 30 fps and it’s the only webcam on the market to offer true Full-HD for such a low price.

The built-in microphones aren’t really good, but you should know by now that you need a good microphone for any kind of professional live streaming. Combine it with a good USB microphone and you’re good to record with quality that is enough for most people.

Logitech BRIO

Logitech Brio 4K Webcam, Ultra 4K HD Video Calling, Noise-Canceling mic, HD Auto Light Correction, Wide Field of View, Works with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Voice, PC/Mac/Laptop/Macbook/Tablet

The Good

  • f/2.0 aperture lens
  • 4k30p and 1080p60
  • HDR

The Bad

  • Pricey for a webcam

Check on Amazon

With the Logitech BRIO, it is possible to stream with 4k while only using a webcam. This is a pretty decent camera for the price, even though it isn’t cheap.

You get a fast f/2.0 lens and the camera has HDR. This feature allows it to improve exposure in most lighting situations. Basically, you’ll be able to see your face clearly even if it’s darker compared to the background.

And since it uses a fast lens, it can capture lighting better than most webcams.

However, it is not cheap, and you can get a normal camera by spending a few hundred more dollars. But if your budget doesn’t allow for much more, then this is a great choice as long as you’re okay with not being able to move your camera around.

Razer Kiy Pro Streaming Webcam

Razer Kiyo Pro Streaming Webcam: Full HD 1080p 60FPS - Adaptive Light Sensor - HDR-Enabled - Wide-Angle Lens with Adjustable FOV - Works with Zoom/Teams/Skype for Conferencing and Video Calling

The Good

  • f/2.0 aperture lens
  • Wide-angle lens
  • 1080p at 60fps
  • Resistant lens
  • HDR

The Bad

  • Pricey for a webcam

Check on Amazon

While, unlike the Logitech BRIO, this camera can’t record in 4k, it is a more durable webcam and it has a wider field of view. This allows it to capture a wider frame, so it’s very handy when used in tight spaces where you can’t get further away from your subjects.

Also, the camera is built with Gorilla Glass, which is one of the strongest types of glasses there are. You can drop it and it will probably be fine. This is why the camera is more expensive than the BRIO even though it can’t record in 4k.

It’s worth the extra money if you don’t plan to stream in 4k anyway since you’ll get a more durable webcam.

However, remember that you can get a cheap mirrorless camera for a few more hundred dollars.

We recommend it if this is the maximum you can spend and you don’t mind using a webcam instead of a normal camera that you can use on the go.

Best Mirrorless for Live Streaming

If you’re looking for more quality, mirrorless cameras are also popular. This is because their main weakness —battery duration—isn’t a big deal when it comes to live streaming from your home/office since you need to connect your camera with an AC power adapter anyway.

You can also get more image quality for your money with a mirrorless since most of them offer 4k recording quality while DSLRs appear to be stuck in 1080p.

Sony a7 III

Sony a7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Body Only,Base Configuration,Black

SensorFull-Frame
Image Quality2160p120 (4k)
Weight650g (1.43 lb)
Flip ScreenNo
External Mic PortYes
StabilizationYes
Price$1,498.00

The Good

  • Best price if you’re looking for the best for streaming but nothing more
  • Full-frame sensor
  • Small but great in low-light

The Bad

  • A bit expensive and heavy
  • Low battery life

Check on Amazon

This one is especially good for low-light situations due to it having a full-frame sensor. So this is the best option you have you’re recording indoors and don’t have a lot of light to work with, like in a church or any dark room.

It’s not a cheap camera, but if you need the best camera to live stream, it offers the best offer for your money.

Even its autofocus during video is sometimes better than the higher-end A7R IV. It can record 4k video at up to 120fps. The full-frame sensor means that you won’t see a difference in image quality even if you’re not streaming from a professional studio.

If you’ve wondered how some cameras do that blurry background effect —Bokeh—, a big part of it is due to the full-frame sensor.

You could also go for the Mark II version if you want to save even more money, although I feel like the better autofocus in this newer version is worth the price difference. Also, the Mark II can only record 1080p60, so around $500 more for this version seems like a good deal.

The mark IV is also already available, but I find it a bit too much for streaming as it offers more features for other types of filming that you won’t take advantage off if you’re just streaming from a tripod.

Panasonic GH5 II

Panasonic LUMIX GH5M2, 20.3MP Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Camera with Live Streaming, 4K 4:2:2 10-Bit Video, Unlimited Video Recording, 5-Axis Image Stabilizer DC-GH5M2 Black

SensorMicro 4/3
Image Quality2160p60 (4k)
Weight725g (1.59 lb)
Flip ScreenYes
External Mic PortYes
StabilizationYes
Price$829.00

The Good

  • Top recording quality at 4k60p
  • Made for video (flip screen, IS, mic jack, hot shoe)
  • 5-axis and dual image stabilization
  • 180fps slow-motion

The Bad

  • Smaller sensor than other brands
  • Heavy as a DSLR (1.6lbs)

Check on Amazon

The GH5M2 is a really good more affordable second option if you’re not worried about recording in low light, but you still want great video quality.

This is due to the smaller sensor. The quality can be just as good as the Sony, but it will decrease fast in low light.

Because of its native 4K video recording without crop and a series of other features including superior weather sealing, this is an excellent camera for streaming.

No cropping when recording 4K videos definitely suggests that the GH5M2 oversamples the video and then downscales it to fit the 4K requirements. This takes care of some of the false coloring and moiré issues.

The GH5 is one of the best cameras in the market to do serious video work. It can output 4:2:2 10 bit output to an external monitor or recorder. A practical solution for recording videos without the artifacts that are a fall out of compression technologies used in ordinary cameras.

Plus, the presence of HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth means streaming is never an issue.

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Canon EOS M50 Mark II Body Black

SensorAPS-C
Image Quality2160p24 (4k)
Weight387g (0.85 lb)
Flip ScreenYes
External Mic PortYes
StabilizationNo
Price$489.99

The Good

  • 4k recording
  • Good for low light
  • Lots of vlog-friendly features

The Bad

  • Cropped 4k recording
  • Relatively short battery life
  • No in-body stabilization

Check on Amazon

This is a camera that most people will find affordable and that can record high-quality 4k video.

It has an APS-C sensor, meaning that is almost as large as a full-frame, but it’s still an affordable size. This makes it pretty good for low-light situations, especially if you use a fast lens.

The Canon M50 is one of my favorite recommendations for YouTube and even vlogging in general because of its almost unbeatable price/quality relationship.

You get a 4k camera that has a flip screen, external mic input, and that can stream without needing a capture card or anything extra —it even charges with the USB.

You can even stream in vertical video mode if you want to upload to social media like Instagram.

This is a good deal for anyone looking to get higher streaming quality than a webcam but doesn’t want to break the bank.

Take into account that the 4k mode will add a 1.5x crop to the image, which will make the image look 1.5 times more zoomed in. This is annoying for vloggers that want to show their surroundings, but it’s not a problem if you can keep your subject away from the camera.

Sony a6400

Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera: Compact APS-C Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Real-Time Eye Auto Focus, 4K Video, Flip Screen & 16-50mm Lens - E Mount Compatible - ILCE-6400L/B, Black

SensorAPS-C
Image Quality2160p30 (4k)
Weight403g (1.45 lb)
Flip ScreenYes
External Mic PortYes
StabilizationNo
Price$848.00

The Good

  • Top 4k quality
  • APS-C sensor
  • Mic jack, IS, hot shoe
  • Small and lightweight
  • Good price for the features

The Bad

  • No in-body stabilization

Check on Amazon

Even though this is the last camera on this post, doesn’t make it bad at all. In fact, this would be my first choice if I were to start streaming again due to it’s excellent price-quality relationship.

And even though it rocks an APS-C sensor instead of a micro four-thirds, this model is actually smaller. So that’s a nice additional feature to have without any sacrifice.

And it can record 4kp30 with a crop of 1.2, or without crop in 24p or 25p. Not bad for a camera in this price range. If you really care about 4k quality, you’ll prefer this over the Canon M50.

Furthermore, the autofocus this camera has is one of the best for video. It is a mirrorless that is very frequently chosen for video work due to this.

Remember that stabilization is not needed if you’ll be streaming from home or while using a static tripod, so this might be the best choice for your money if you only want it for that.

Read our full review of the Sony a6400.

Honorable mentions:

The only reason I didn’t include the following cameras was just due to space and wanting to feature other kinds of cameras. However, I find them extremely useful for streaming:

  • Sony a7S Mark II: Cheaper alternative to the a7RIII that was made for video.
  • Panasonic G7: Cheaper alternative to the Panasonic GH5M2 without Image Stabilization.

Where to Download the Streaming Software

It used to be that no matter what camera you had, you needed a capture card to stream your camera’s display to the internet.

That’s no longer true for selected models from Canon, Sony, and Panasonic. Now, these companies have released apps that will allow you to stream with their most popular cameras.

So, if you have one of these models, you don’t need to get a capture card. The cameras I reviewed in this post are compatible with these streaming apps and don’t require a capture card.

Here’s how to do it with each brand:

Canon

  1. Download the Canon EOS Webcam Utility (compatible with cameras Canon T6 and upwards, full list here). 
  2. Connect your camera to your computer through USB
  3. Open the EOS Webcam Utility and select it as the image source in your streaming software.
  4. If you’re stuck, this video guides you through every step.

Panasonic

  1. Download the LUMIX Webcam Software (Beta). Compatible with LUMIX models: DC-S1H, DC-S1R, DC-S1, DC-S5, DC-GH5S, DC-GH5, DC-G9 and DC-G100/G110.
  2. Connect your camera to your computer, turn it on and select the Tether option in the camera menu
  3. Open the LUMIX Tether program and select the options that you want. Use it as the source in your streaming software.

Sony

  1. Download the Imaging Edge Webcam software and follow the instructions for your camera model. You’ll find the list of compatible models in that same website.