This site is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

Community
Top Picks Ribbon

My Top Pick Live Streaming Kit (2021)

Last updated

What happens when you build a live streaming kit with my top picks?

A blend of features, versatility, and top notch image quality for the price.

One glorious bang for the buck!

In this list you'll find:

Let's dive in...


Cameras

My List Of Best All-Around Cameras

My List Of Best Live Streaming Cameras

Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5

Top Pick All-Around Camera For 2021

It's no secret that the Canon EOS R5 is a beast.

The 45 megapixel full frame sensor, up to 8K30 RAW video recording, 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 video recording up to 120 fps, Canon's legendary dual pixel autofocus, unlimited video recording in 8-bit codecs, and five-axis sensor-shift image stabilization all earn this the top spot.

It's a force to be reckoned with!

Pros:

Cons:

Sensor: 45 Megapixel Full Frame

Outputs: HDMI (Type D - Micro)

Recording Formats: Up to 8192 x 4320 at 29.97 fps (RAW) or 4096 x 2160 at 119.88 fps (H.264 4:2:0 8-bit or H.265 4:2:2 10-bit)

Maximum Recording Time: Up to 29 minutes 59 seconds

Output Formats: Up to 4096 x 2160 at 59.94 fps (4:2:2 10-bit)

My Favorite Feature: 8K internal RAW video recording

Get Latest Price on Amazon
Panasonic BGH1

Panasonic BGH1

Top Pick Micro Four Thirds Camera For 2021

Holy smokes, this little box packs a mighty punch!

This box style camera was designed specifically with cinema and live production in mind.

So many features, it requires a bullet list:

I know many people will want to go with my previous top pick, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, mainly due to budget and ecosystem, but this camera was just too perfect for live production to not earn the top spot this year.

Pros:

Cons:

View My Recommended Micro Four Thirds Lenses

Outputs: 3G-SDI and HDMI (Type A - Full Size) - both outputs available simultaneously

Recording Formats: Up to 4096 x 2160 at 59.94 fps or 1920 x 1080 at 240 fps

Output Formats: Up to 4096 x 2160 at 59.94 fps (HDMI) and up to 1920 x 1080 at 59.94 fps (3G-SDI)

My Favorite Feature: You really want me to pick just one?! Nice try.

Get Latest Price on Amazon
Canon XA45

Canon XA40 & XA45

Top Pick Camcorder For 2021

XA models have been consistently solid performers, and the XA40 and XA45 are no exception.

Pros:

Cons:

Full Shot: 8.5'-175'

Medium Shot: 3.5'-72'

Outputs: 3G-SDI (XA45 only) and HDMI (XA40 and XA45)(Type C - Mini)

Recording Formats: Up to 3840 x 2160 at 30 fps

Output Formats: Up to 1920 x 1080 at 59.94 fps (SDI only) or up to 1920 x 1080 at 30 fps (HDMI only)

My Favorite Feature: 20x optical zoom

*HDMI and 3G-SDI outputs CANNOT be used simultaneously

View XA40 on Amazon View XA45 on Amazon
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K

Top Pick Cinema Camera For 2021

Just like its little sibling, easily one of the best all-around video cameras for the price I've ever used.

This camera can feel at home in the studio, on set, connected to a switcher, and much more.

Pros:

Cons:

View My Recommended Cinema Lenses

Outputs: HDMI (Type A - Full Size)

Recording Formats: Up to 6144 x 3456 at 50 fps or 6144 x 2560 at 60 fps

Output Formats: Up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps

My Favorite Feature: This is tough, but I would say the ability to record up to 6K while outputting 1080p for streaming is pretty awesome

Get Latest Price on Amazon
Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast

Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast

Top Pick Broadcast Camera For 2021

Full studio configuration, now possible for much less.

Capable of of full UHD or HD recording and output up to 59.94 fps.

B4 lens mount included, compatible with nearly all B4 lenses made for 2/3" sensors.

Additional accessories available like studio viewfinder, viewfinder, shoulder mount kit, fiber converter, and more.

IMPORTANT: Although this camera is a budget-friendly option, a complete URSA Broadcast setup will cost $10,000 minimum to do well. This just includes the camera body, lens, and viewfinder or studio viewfinder. Also don't forget other necessities like tripod, fluid head, zoom and focus controls, shoulder mount kit for handhelds, etc.

Pros:

Cons:

View My Recommended Broadcast Lenses

Lens Mount: B4 (additional EF, F, and PL mounts available)

Outputs: 12G-SDI & 3G-SDI (monitor/viewfinder output)

Recording Formats: Up to 3840 x 2160 at 60 fps

Output Formats: Up to 3840 x 2160 at 60 fps

My Favorite Feature: Camera control, program return, tally, and intercom all available through compatible ATEM switchers

Get Latest Price on Amazon

Tripod & Fluid Head

My List Of Best Video Tripods

My List Of Best Video Fluid Heads

Sachtler Flowtech 75 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Sachtler Flowtech 75

Top Pick Video Tripod

This system is slick, and has become very popular - and for good reasons.

When you need a reliable tripod that gets out of your way quickly, this will not let you down.

Pros:

Cons:

Material: Carbon Fiber

Head Mount Type: 75mm bowl

Maximum Height: 60"

Minimum Height: 11"

Folded Length: 27"

Weight: 6.4 lbs

Payload Capacity: 44 lbs

My Favorite Feature: Outside-the-box design and engineering

Get Latest Price on Amazon
Manfrotto Nitrotech 608

Manfrotto Nitrotech 608

Top Pick Video Fluid Head

This head will generally work well with all cameras, and most lens combinations, above.

If you need a great all-around performer on a mid-range budget - look no further.

Pros:

Cons:

Base Mount: Flat Base with 3/8"-16 Mounting Hole

Camera Plate: Sliding (504PLONGR)

Load Capacity: 17.6 lbs

My Favorite Feature: Variable counterbalance works great for all kinds of cameras and setups ranging from 0-17.6 lbs

IMPORTANT: You will need a 75mm half bowl to flat base adapter if you use this head with the tripod above.

Get Latest Price on Amazon

Video Switchers

My List Of Best Video Switchers

Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio HD

Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio HD

Top Pick HD Video Switcher For 2021

The most inputs, outputs, and professional features available in its price range - an absolute steal of a deal.

If you want an entry level switcher capable of up to 1080p60 that will give you versatility and room to go, scroll no further.

Pros:

Cons:

Inputs: 4x 3G-SDI and 4x HDMI

Audio Inputs: 2x XLR

Program Outputs: 5x 3G-SDI

Aux Outputs: 1x 3G-SDI

Multiview Outputs: 1x 3G-SDI or 1x HDMI (same multiviewer output on both)

Supported Formats: Broadcast formats up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps

My Favorite Feature: Basic control from front panel makes it a great budget-friendly option with tons of ins and outs

Get Latest Price on Amazon
Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K

Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K

Top Pick 4K Video Switcher For 2021

12G-SDI inputs and outputs, a full control surface, and standards conversion on every input - an amazing bang for the buck.

Pros:

Cons:

Inputs: 8x 12G-SDI

Audio Inputs: 2x XLR

Program Outputs: 9x 12G-SDI

Aux Outputs: 1x 12G-SDI

Multiview Outputs: 1x 12G-SDI or 1x HDMI (same multiviewer output on both)

Supported Formats: Broadcast formats up to 3840 x 2160 at 60 fps

My Favorite Feature: Standards converters on every input give this a ton of flexibility

Get Latest Price on Amazon

Video Recorder

My List Of Best Video Studio Recorders

Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio Mini

Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio Mini

Top Pick Video Studio Recorder For 2021

High quality recording codecs, lots of pro features, and a good track record of reliability - a great bang for the buck.

Records in a variety of popular codecs including ProRes, DnXHD, DnXHR, and H.264.

Pros:

Cons:

Inputs: 6G-SDI

Supported Formats: Broadcast formats up to 3840 x 2160 at 30 fps

Supported Codecs: ProRes (MOV), DnXHD (MOV and MXF), H.264

Media: 2x SD Card Slots (Supported SD Cards)

My Favorite Feature: Records to lower cost SD cards

Get Latest Price on Amazon

Live Streaming Encoder

My List Of Best Live Streaming Encoders

Resi Ray Encoder

Living As One Ray Encoder

Top Pick Live Streaming Encoder For 2021

With their patented Resilient Streaming Protocol, Resi (formerly Living As One) takes streaming quality and reliability to a whole new level.

Subscription plan options include social only (distribution to YouTube or Facebook), web streaming with an embeddable player and variable bitrates, and multisite capability to connect remote physical locations.

While the Ray Encoder is tied only to Resi's platform and is a minimum requirement, that's a good thing when you want an encoder and platform that just works.

Pros:

Cons:

Input: 3G-SDI

Input Formats: Up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps

Output Formats: H.264 or H.265/HEVC using Resilient Streaming Protocol

Supported Destinations: Resi (embeddable player), Facebook, and YouTube

Multiple Destinations: Yes, to any destination supported in subscription plan

Recording: Yes (SD card or USB drive)

My Favorite Feature: The Resilient Streaming Protocol is stellar

Learn More

Need help? Have suggestions? Let's chat.

Join The Free Community