If you want to up your production quality it’s important to make sure your facecam is better than a 140p. If you already own a compatible DSLR, you can easily record video from it to your monitor with an Elgato Cam Link. With this, you can simply plug ’n’ produce as long as your camera has ‘unlimited playtime’ you can set up your facecam for Twitch or YouTube streaming in about 10 minutes.
What You’ll Need To Stream With A DSLR Camera
- You’ll need a DSLR camera of some sorts – you can see our recommendations at the end of this post for your different options (both budget and high-end options)
- Elgato Cam Link – this is used to connect the camera to your computer where it will then capture footage. You have 2 options here – Elgato Cam Link or Elgato Cam Link 4K
Why A DSLR And Not Just A Webcam?
Standing out from the crowd on Twitch or YouTube Gaming is hard. You need to have a higher production value than your fellow competitors. Majority of streamers these days use a Logitech C920.
While that webcam is good bang for your buck, it doesn’t have the best quality. It only records at 30fps, there are constant auto-adjustment issues and you’re going to need a serious lighting rig if you want it to look half decent.
Using a DSLR gives you a better, clearer image for people to view. If you have a spec’d out PC that is playing games at 1080p on ultra settings, combining this with a low quality webcam will make your stream look mismatched.
Is Your DSLR Compatible?
Before purchasing the Cam Link you can see if your camera is compatible with a few tests:
- Check to see that your camera has either a HDMI or mini-HDMI port
- Do you have the right HDMI cable? Most cameras usually have either a HDMI or a HDMI-mini output. If you have a regular HDMI cable (which most of us do in 2018) then you can just get a HDMI Mini Adapter to convert the cable – just check first!
- Is your camera’s HDMI output clean? You can test this by plugging your camera directly into a TV or monitor and seeing if the image is clear. Also, are there overlays on the screen and can you disable them? You don’t want to record an image that has your camera’s settings covering the borders of the image.
- Is your camera’s output HDCP protected? Most cameras aren’t but if it is then it won’t be compatible with the Cam Link.
- Does your camera have battery-saver mode and can it be switched off. You’ll need to make sure that your camera is able to stay turned on and if your camera has a battery saver mode that can’t be turned off then you won’t be able to stream very long. Some cameras have an auto shutoff, just make sure yours doesn’t or that it can be disabled.
- Can you use use an external charger? If you’re going to stream hours on end you will need to use some sort of adapter to keep it plugged in and charged up.
Pretty much if your camera and output a clean image through HDMI and stay turned on for as long as you’re streaming then you DSLR is compatible with the Cam Link.
How To Set It Up (OBS Studio)
- Plug your HDMI cable (or HDMI mini) into the Cam Link. Then plug your Cam Link into a USB input into your computer – you can use the male/female extender that comes with it if you can’t fit it into a USB port directly.
- Open up your OBS and click the + under Sources and select Video Capture Device.
3. Click Ok and a window should pop up. Then make sure Cam Link is selected under Devices.
4, After you click OK you should see your camera in the OBS window – if you can’t try turning your camera on…
5. You can then go ahead and drag/resize/play with the color balance.
Optimize Your Settings
Now you’re set-up, you want to make sure that your settings are
Recommended settings for OBS Studio
Which DSLR Should You Get?
When it comes to most gear the sky’s the limit but we’re all pretty much by our budget. Maybe you already have a camera that you can set up to point and shoot. I’ll cover three potential cameras that we recommend if you don’t have one already.
Canon EOS 80D (High-End)
This is a really great camera and comes loaded with more than you could possibly need. You’ll have 24.2 megapixels and can shoot in full HD 1080p at 60fps. It has a ton of manual features that you can set in the camera for the livestream. If you wanted to really stand out you could even get a 10-18MM wide-angle lens to get your whole room if you’re a PC master race that needs to show off all those gnarly RGB LED dude. But take one step at a time, the rig with the camera alone is going to cost about $1200.
There are a couple of downsides that you need to consider too. This camera doesn’t record in 4K, but you won’t need it if you’re streaming on Twitch. The maximum bitrate you can stream on Twitch is 6000 kbps which means you can’t really go above 1080p 60fps. Another downside is that there is no lens included with the camera which means there is another cost. If you add the cost of the Cam Link, a tripod, lighting and the 80D you could be looking at $1500+. This is a big commitment for when you’re first starting out but if you’re serious and you want something that will last you for the years to come, it’s a top-of-the-line set up that you can’t beat.
Nikon D3400 (Budget Option)
This camera is considered to be for newbies that are just getting into photography and that is reflected in the price. You can pick up one of these for about $500. For half the price you still get a lot of the same features that the Canon offers such as 24 megapixels, decent battery life, a high dynamic range and low light ISO.
In fact, the Nikon has some extra features that the Canon doesn’t have like a higher colour depth and bluetooth.
There downside of choosing the Nikon is that you don’t get all of the extra little features. The Canon has a headphone and microphone port, a better LCD screen, a higher shutter speed (only really useful if you use it for still photos) and an in-built NFC connection (if you want to wirelessly connect it to other devices).