Swirl Live Stream Gears

A Complete Guide on How to Buy Your Live Stream Equipment

Date: April 29, 2022

Live streaming for any retailers or e-commerce brands has become more than essential for building a rapport with their audiences. Amongst all the choices, video content captures shoppers’ attention and entices them to take immediate actions like ‘Buy Now’ to feel instant gratification. 

This has resulted in increased revenue for brands conducting live shopping events. In 2020, live shopping events generated $5.6 billion in US sales, and it is expected to reach nearly $25 billion by 2023.

But, creating the right level of production value also requires the use of compatible hardware along with the software. 

In this guide, we discuss the essential equipment for professional live streaming to make the most out of your broadcast.

What Equipment Do You Need for Live Streaming?

Regardless of your budget and expertise, there are a few essential things you need to own to broadcast video. Setting up live streaming is pretty easy once you have the basic equipment. Those include –

Camera or Other Video Capturing Device

Of course, there are many other devices that you can use to record videos such as smartphones. But if you need professional-grade quality, you need access to a good camera.

Swirl Live Stream Gears - Video Capturing Device

Camera Stand

The camera stand is essential to place your camera at the right angle so that your audience can have a good view of the products and the entire thing that is being played.

Swirl Live Stream Gears - Camera Stand

Audio Device

For your audience to hear you, you will need microphones and adjustable arms for the same.

Swirl Live Stream Gears - Audio Device

Lights 

You need proper lighting in your room so that the background and everything in the video is clearly visible. It’s essential to capture the right looks for the live stream.

Swirl Live Stream Gears - Studio Lights

Now that you know the basics, let’s dive into the details. 

Different Types of Live Stream Equipment

Video Cameras

If you want to stream videos using a camera, you should know there are thousands of different live streaming cameras available.

Swirl Live Stream Gears - Video Cameras

Entry-level Cameras

Go for entry-level cameras if you want something cheaper, to begin with. If you are just launching your live commerce and there’s a resistance to spending too much, you can always begin by buying an entry-level camera. 

However, you would need good lighting conditions if you want your video quality to be good enough for your viewers. 

Such entry-level cameras might lack manual controls and have basic connectivity. 

Entry-level Camera Example: Panasonic HC-V770K Full HD Camcorder (for $597.99)

Mid-level Cameras

At this level, the prices are in the mid-range as compared to professional-grade cameras. Here, the image quality improves, providing a good viewing experience to your audiences. 

The price level is from $800 to $2500, and you will also find a few manual controls. Generally, HDMI is its standard connectivity option. 

Mid-level Camera Example: Sony a7 III Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera

Professional-grade Cameras 

Such types of cameras have high-resolution sensors that provide great image quality. In fact, you don’t have to worry about good lighting conditions. You will have access to manual control with many interchangeable lenses. The price range is from $1,500 to $20,000+. Bonus: these cameras are durable too. 

Professional-grade Cameras Example: Panasonic AG-CX350 4K

Audio Equipment (Mic)

For a smooth user experience, it’s crucial to keep high-quality audio for live streaming. Not surprisingly, audio quality is more important than video streaming quality. That being said, you shouldn’t compromise on any of them either.

Swirl Live Stream Gears - Audio Equipment

Just like cameras, you will have three basic tiers of audio live streaming equipment based on the price range and basic functionalities. The highest-quality audio equipment will be XLR microphones. Having a high-end 3.5mm microphone can also provide you with good audio quality. 

Many camera models have a built-in microphone at entry-level but it will have a lot of noise and chances are that your audience might not be able to hear you properly. 

Top Picks for Quality Mics:

Cheaper but a good option: 

This microphone system is compatible with DSLR Cameras, iPhone and Android Smartphones,  Camcorders, and Tablets with a 200′ ft Audio Range. 

Lights

When you live stream, your audience should be able to see you clearly. Having a ring light next to your camera can definitely enhance your video quality and allow your viewers to see you better.

Swirl Live Stream Gears - LED Ring Light

In fact, you can also experiment with colorful lights based on what the purpose of your live stream is, and will your viewers like it? You can start with minimalism and outline your background with some colorful light strips. 

Most professionals rely on natural light situations, and that’s where the whole live stream can go wrong. It can yield inconsistent results. 

Go for top-tier LED lights for the right look – you can choose to display either warm or cool lighting. Alternatively, you can also go for tungsten or halogen lights. 

Our Top Picks: 

It comes with a tripod stand for both mobile phones and cameras. 

Camera Stand

Whether you use a camera or mobile phone, you can’t simply keep it on your desk or any flat surface nearby. You need to have a camera stand to support it so that you can put your device at the right angle.

Swirl Live Stream Gears - Camera Tripod

Besides, it ensures that you have image stability. Otherwise, you also run the risk of knocking over and damaging the camera accidentally. 

Camera Stand Examples: 

And if you want a camera mount with a light attached to it, you can go for :

How to Buy the Best Live Video Equipment

There’s a possibility that you might be overwhelmed with all the options available for your live streaming equipment. Finding what is right for you can be confusing. 

But fret not, these four best practices will help you shortlist the top 2-3 options based on your requirements and make your final call easy. 

#1: Create a Budget

The first and foremost thing to do is to find the amount of money that you can allocate for each piece of gear. This will help you avoid unnecessary expenses, plus it will ensure that you don’t get tempted to buy costly gear in the process. 

Start by deciding a final amount, and then sub allocate that budgeted amount to different gears based on your requirements. Once you set these restrictions, it will help you focus and find the right equipment. 

#2: Do Your Research

Once you finalize those live streaming equipment, the next step is to read customer reviews available online. Read detailed explanations written by different customers and understand under which circumstances, this equipment worked well for them. 

If you have a similar circumstance, you can then see if it will help achieve your goals. With some extra effort, you can find many detailed reviews on YouTube. These YouTube bloggers/reviewers also upload a footage sample to further help you evaluate your choice. 

#3: Have a Long Term Perspective

It’s right to say that buying video equipment is an investment. Thus, you need to be sure of your requirements before making any final purchase decisions. 

You don’t have to spend a lot of money without knowing your long-term goals. If you plan to live stream, buying a cheap quality camera might not bring you the desired results. In fact, you might end up paying more to upgrade your model/lenses constantly. 

A few things that you should consider while buying – do you want to stream in 4K, will your streaming environment stay constant, will you be shooting indoor or outdoor, and many more such questions. 

#4: Get Started

Though the right equipment search is important, don’t let it be a hindrance to getting you started. Once you have bought your basic equipment, start streaming without any second thoughts. 

And if you are not sure about investing now, you can always start with what you already own – a smartphone. 

The Bottom Line

Once you have got your basic setup ready, it’s time to take the plunge and go live. 

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