Socialive brings your stories straight to your followers with professional live-streaming software. How you capture your story can be done in a variety of different ways; depending on your budget.
The following article breaks down low- to mid- to high-range budget options for cameras, tripods, and audio/microphones.
Using the Socialive Mobile app, you can use your mobile device as a standalone setup to go live directly for viewers or use it with your live camera to be used in a broadcast being managed from a computer.
(APPROX $80 or under)
- Camera: iOS Socialive Mobile is currently only on iOS but Android Recorder is now in beta!
Learn more about our Android Beta here
- Tripod: No matter the camera, you want a steady, stabilized shot. We like the SLIK 800. You will need an adapter to hold the mobile device on the tripod.
- For best audio quality, use a microphone with your mobile device. This iRig handheld mic works great for interviews from the field. Consider extending the iRig microphone cable with the iLine Input-Output Extension.
Viewers are more likely to forgive less-than-stellar picture quality than they are muffled, unclear audio. Consider refining your mobile-streaming set-up with a mobile-device microphone.
Additionally, rather than propping your phone up on a make-shift stand or holding it in selfie mode, consider stabilizing with lightweight tripod or a gimbal.
Gimbals are excellent additions for broadcasting on the go. They stabilize the device while allowing the person films to focus on their framing rather than holding the phone perfectly still.
- USB Webcam: We like the Logitech C920 for its clear picture and built-in USB cable. USB powered, no separare battery or power source.
- The SLIK 800, recommended above, is still a great option for a lightweight webcam.
- Microphone: These Comica 15’ lapel microphones are a good affordable option; they need to be hard-wired.
- Mixer: Multiple microphones can be routed through an audio mixer, and the Behrenger XQ802 is unbeatable for the price. Perfect for a 2-4 microphone set-up and outputs USB to the computer.
Webcams are perfect for a team-of-one, in that they are plug & play. There are no sophisticated settings to adjust; just point & shoot. Compared to mobile devices, webcams provide improved picture resolution and capture a wider color spectrum.
Lapel microphones are discrete and allow speakers to free up their hands during an on-camera conversation.
- Camera options: Digital Still Cam - The Sony DSCRX100 line shoots great video and is ultra compact & affordable: $400-$900 based on model. The lenses on these cameras are fixed (cannot be changed), and they have a rechargeable battery. |-| Mirrorless DSLR - Sony’s A7 line are a step up in quality from the DSC with a small bump in price. You can also change out lenses. $1,000-$3,000 pending model. Includes battery & charger.
- Cable & Capture Card: These digital cameras have Micro-HDMI outputs. This will require a Micro HDMI-HDMI cable to go to a Video Capture card, which allows a computer to receive the video signal. The Inogeni 4K2USB3 works great. Inogenis come with a USB 3.0 cable to connect to computer.
- Tripod: Fluid-head tripods are ideal; we really like the Magnus VT-4000 we have in studio.
- Microphone: If wireless microphones are desired, this Comica setup is the most budget-friendly option. We have not personally used this brand.
- Mixer: The Behrenger XQ802 is still the best option at its price point; perfect for a 2-4 microphone set-up and outputs USB to the computer.
By upgrading to a lightweight digital camera with wireless microphones will step your video production quality into professional territory, while still on a budget -- and with the ability to do it all yourself!
Even budget-friendly digital cameras these days can capture video up to 4K with great depth of field & the ability to customize the picture you're capturing.
Reduce your cable clutter with wireless microphones.
- DSLR: The Canon 5D is an industry standard, top-of-the-line camera that is dual purpose and portable. Lenses for these cameras are sold separate. These cameras come with separate batteries & chargers.
- Cable & Capture Card: These digital cameras have full HDMI outputs. This will require an HDMI-HDMI cable to go to a Video Capture card which allows a computer to receive the video signal. The Inogeni 4K2USB3 is still the best option for this job. Inogeni devices come with a USB 3.0 cable to connect to computer.
- Tripod: Manfrotto fluid-head tripods are unbeatable for the price.
- Microphone: Sennheiser wireless microphones are reliable and the sound quality is unmatched. Socialive uses these in the field and in-studio. AA batteries required.
- Mixer: The Behrenger XQ802 is still the best option at its price point; no need to go any bigger if sticking with a 2-4 microphone set-up. These mixers come up with a USB 2.0 cable to go to computer.
Regardless of the type of setup, we recommend storing & transporting video equipment in a Pelican case.