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How to use a camera for live streaming

Twitch, Youtube, journalists and vloggers can benefit from the exponential rise in live streaming to engage with their audience. All of the main camera manufacturers including Canon, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Olympus and Sony provide apps and utilities to enable users to easily live stream, vlog and share video content directly from their camera. This post explores some of the simple techniques and gear required to start vlogging and live streaming directly from a camera whether it’s a DSLR or mirrorless. We provide readers with downloads links to webcam apps and links to some useful accessories like microphones and mini tripods.

camera set-up as webcam

Why use a camera for live streaming or as a webcam?

By turning a DSLR or mirrorless camera into a webcam users can experience professional image quality during video conferences, meetings and stay connected even when travelling. Vloggers and content creators can maximise audience engagement through their high quality cameras rather than lower quality webcams to reach a wider audience. Sound can also reach more professional levels with a compatible external microphone.

Camera connected

Live Streaming Camera Webcam App Downloads

Setting up the camera

Once the software is installed, these apps allow the camera to be connected via a USB cable and the software provides instant access to high quality streaming and webcam mode. It’s simple to follow set-up instructions and each provides easy to follow instructions. Cameras will generally be set to ‘auto’ mode to ensure best exposure settings are maintained whilst recording video.

Live streaming product launch

Tips for next level live streaming productions

  1. If you can, power from the mains for longer streams, rather than a battery. Check the manual for your particular model
  2. If it is a stationary stream, securely mount the camera on a suitable tripod or mini tripod
  3. Using an external streaming recorder can allow for better quality and more advanced settings, such as multiple camera, multiple mics, transition effects and various video compressions. try the Blackmagic ATEM Mini switcher or the popular Rode Rodecaster Pro. These can also be used to product audio podcasts and other productions to get your message out.
  4. Use a wide-angle lens to get more of the broadcaster into the frame. Vloggers will often use 12mm or 15mm zoom lens to capture the whole picture.
  5. With Sony’s new Imaging Edge app users can plug in multiple cameras, for example a smartphone, computer webcam etc for multiple camera angles. This feature is available with other manufacture apps too.
  6. If you are moving around a gimbal could provide extra stability on top of any camera IBIS.
  7. A little bit of lighting goes a long way. Something like the Manfrotto Lumimuse 8 LED LIGHT or the Rotolight NEO II can make a big difference to how well the scene is lit for your viewers.

Stream Now and Live Events for Youtube

  • Stream Now is the easiest method with Youtube and works directly from a camera. Login to your Youtube account and navigate to ‘GO LIVE’ and ‘Encoder live streaming’. Your settings must be configured once the camera is connected to WiFi and include server URL and stream key. Latency settings allow for user interaction and the video quality of streaming.
  • Live Events provides more control and can have a re-usable key for all future live events.
  • Some of the latest and greatest video cameras for live streaming

Visit this page for more Youtube live stream and premier information.

Live Streaming With Facebook

As with Youtube,FB can either live stream then delete the event, or keep the footage on your timeline. Both are an excellent way to engage, educate and interact with your audience. Live Producer allows the use of a camera whilst software streaming from companies such as Open Broadcaster Software enables screen use as well. Using the software linked from FB allows streamers to show a computer screen when broadcasting which can be helpful depending on what the subject is about.

Visit Facebook live streaming for more info.

Current cameras with excellent video quality

We are spoilt for choice at the moment with DSLR and mirrorless cameras able to capture incredible video quality compared to just a few years ago. 4K is common now together with high speed 120p HD. Most cameras have some form of video capabilities, but here are some recent models from each brand which would provide ample quality for streaming.

Canon EOS M6 set as webcam


DSLR and mirrorless Canon users have a number of choices when it comes to video capable models. These include:

Any mirrorless including the Canon EOS R6 and R5 and previous models. The addition of a PD-E1 power adapter allows for continuous mains power too. APS-C sized models such as the EOS M50 work perfectly with the webcam software too. DSLR users might choose an 850D or just about any model currently available.


Once again users are spoilt for choice with the X-S10, XT-4 and numerous compact models all providing superb video capabilities. Fujifilm X-A7 vlogging kit is also available so users can make their mind up if they want to head out with everything needed from the outset.


The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a superb option for video, vlogging and all round compact performance. 

Panasonic Lumix

Lumix have released a number of video-centric cameras recently which include the LUMIX BOX-STYLE DC-BGH1 (micro four thirds) and Lumix S5 (full frame). Panasonic provides numerous interchangeable lens cameras as well as compacts which are more than up to the task.


2020 saw Sony fans rejoicing with the release of the long awaited a7S III as well as the ultra compact a7C. These deliver some of the best AF systems in the business together with superb video quality. Once again any recent model will be more than up to the task of providing ample video quality for live streaming. The NPA-MQZ1K Multi-battery Adaptor Kit provides continuous shooting for Sony mirrorless cameras.


With the addition of the Z6 II & Z7 II to Nikon’s stable, users have high quality 4K video as well as USB-C charging for permanent power.

Everything you need

Kits for vloggers

Recording video, editing then uploading is of course a slightly different kettle of content, however many manufacturers have released vlogging kits which will serve as live stream kits too when connected to the internet. Here are some of our top picks as these have everything needed from the outset for affordable all-in-one content kits.

SONY ZV-1 Blog REVIEW (the camera won the EISA Best Vlogging Camera 2020-2021, so it’s pretty good to say the least!)

Canon Powershot G7X III Premium Vlogging Kit - product link

The Nikon Z 50 Vlogger Kit is a compact DX sized camera kit, with everything to get started with vlogging using Nikon lenses.

Check out our recent related post about video equipment for vlogging and streaming from home and we have recently added an article with suggestions for the best equipment buys for working from home which features Vlogging cameras, lighting, printers and tripods.

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By Nick Dautlich on 27/10/2020

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