DSLR vs Webcam – Which is better for streaming?
The use of DSLRs and webcams for live streaming has become important for corporate events as it keeps participants connected to their customers and clients. Webcams offer excellent video quality and are extremely easy to use, but they’re limited in ways that DSLRs aren’t, such as audio recording quality, versatility, and overall expense. We’ve outlined the strengths and weaknesses of each option here so you can make an informed decision on which one to buy.
Should You Get a DSLR or a Webcam for Streaming?
For the best quality streaming, go with a DSLR. If you’re on a budget, you can go with a GoPro. Go with a webcam if you’re tight on budget and need something basic. Otherwise, consider DSLRs; they’re pricier but offer much more control and excellent image quality. Webcams offer lousy quality videos, but they’re easy to install, use, and inexpensive.
The objective of this article is to help you make an informed decision about whether you should use a DSLR or webcam for video streaming.
Are DSLRs Better for Streaming?
DSLR cameras are ideal for streaming if you want high-quality-looking videos, greater control over the final image, and the ability to shoot in poor lighting. Additionally, DSLRs double as a photography camera. Nevertheless, DSLRs take up more space, cost more, and are more difficult for beginners to use.
If you’re a video or image enthusiast, you should probably buy a DSLR camera.
If you’re wondering if using a DSLR for streaming is worth the extra cost and effort, consider the pros and cons.
Pros of DSLR Cameras
DSLR cameras are meant to be an all-in-one solution. The best DSLRs out there can record high-definition video and images, easily connect to various other devices, and tend to be reasonably affordable compared to other options. While they may not be as portable as webcams or cheaper than action cameras, they’re still worth it if you plan on live streaming frequently and want a higher-quality image. Here are some notable benefits of DSLR cameras;
1. Better image quality
DSLRs contain a more sophisticated system. They use a mirror and an image sensor to reflect light from a lens. That is converted into the proper format by the image processor. This quality makes it possible for better overall image quality.
2. Fantastic for low lighting
DSLRs can collect more light because their massive sensors are so large. This characteristic means that you can use them in dimly lit areas. You need a DSLR or something similar if you’re envisioning a dramatic scenario with low lighting.
3. More control over your image
DSLR cameras allow you to adjust shutter speed, ISO, and aperture manually. These particulars are essential to set up your camera as efficiently as possible.
4. Interchangeable lenses
DSLRs allow you to switch lenses at any time. Specific lenses can get you more depth of field, wide-angles, different shutter speeds, and other tweaks.
5. A lot of available extra gear.
DSLR enables you to upgrade and enhance your setup in various ways. Along with interchangeable lenses, a variety of mounts, flashes, and triggers are available.
Cons of DSLRs
DSLR cameras are excellent tools for capturing high-quality live video and producing polished recordings. However, DSLRs come with a few key drawbacks worth considering before you make your final decision. The potential disadvantages of using a DSLR for your video streaming include:
1. Prone to heating.
DSLR mirrors might become worn out from overheating because they aren’t usually made for continuous usage.
2. More expensive.
DSLR cameras are more costly due to their complexity. A reliable DSLR won’t cost less than $300.
3. Difficult to use
DSLRs are digital cameras that offer a wide range of adjustments for your image. You might initially feel a little overwhelmed if you’ve never used one. The learning curve will be steeper in any case.
4. Not always compatible
Make sure the DSLR is compatible with the software you plan to use to connect it to your computer before making a purchase.
5. Might need extra gear
Purchasing a DSLR alone is frequently insufficient. Most likely, you’ll need to buy a suitable stand and a lens that meet your demands. You’ll need a capture card if your computer isn’t powerful enough. The total cost includes all of those costs.
DSLRs product recommendation
Here are some quality cameras I recommend if you decide on a DSLR for your streaming needs:
- Canon EOS REBEL SL3
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
- Canon EOS 4000D
For those looking to stream using their camera, if you have a DSLR, I’d recommend checking out our streaming software. It’s easy to use and provides all you need to get started. The InEvent platform works on Mac and PC, supports almost any webcam, and allows you to share your stream with friends, family, and fans.
Are Webcams Better for Streaming?
Webcams are suitable for streaming if you want an affordable and small camera with straightforward use. A webcam will never capture high-quality imagery as a DSLR, but some new models will still provide quality videos. However, you’ll have less control over how the video will look.
A webcam is a small, inexpensive device that attaches to your computer without any additional setup, so naturally, it will not provide the high-quality professional footage that a DSLR is capable of capturing.
But that’s not the primary function of a webcam. The direct benefit of webcams is that they can provide a more cost-effective, high-quality alternative to camcorders. If you’re on a tight budget, you might not be able to spend $600 or more on a camera. You may also need to buy lighting gear and a microphone.
That’s why webcams are an excellent choice for many people, especially if you’re starting.
Pros of Webcam
Cameras are usually smaller and cheaper than DSLRs, so webcams offer more mobility. If you need to stream from a remote location, webcams will work. And some people may find webcams easier to use than DSLRs because they don’t have all those extra buttons. Some of the significant benefits of the webcam include;
1. Low budget
It does not have stringent standards because it is a one-use item. They will always be significantly less expensive than DSLRs because they don’t have fancy parts or settings.
2. Easy to use
The majority of webcams include plug-and-play capabilities. Once they are connected, they are immediately ready for use. You will merely need to install the device’s driver, which is typically included.
3. Don’t take up space
A webcam’s footprint is minimal. Webcams often don’t take up any additional space and are located at the top of your monitor. These are usually small if a tripod is included with them.
4. Great compatibility
Good webcams work with all popular software and operating systems. If they aren’t, it’s typically written on the package.
Cons of webcam
While there are many benefits to using a webcam, there are also some drawbacks, including:
1. Worse image quality
Webcams cannot produce images of the same quality as DSLRs because of their small size and low price. Some of them are capable of 4K resolution. However, compared to DSLRs, factors like dynamic range and color depth will be lacking.
2. Limited adjustments
Webcams won’t often have many image modifications. There isn’t much you can do on the hardware side if you’re having problems with your lighting or want to change the appearance of your broadcast.
3. Bad for low lighting
Webcam sensors can’t be extensive due to their small size. As a result, it won’t be able to capture as much light and will therefore struggle in areas with low lighting.
4. They are single-use
Webcams are great for video calls and streaming, but not much else. You won’t be able to use it as a camera to take pictures.
Webcam product recommendation
If you’re in the market for a quality webcam, then consider a few of the following recommendations:
- Logitech StreamCam
- Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
- Logitech C922 Pro Stream
What is the best camera to stream with?
The camera and the software you use to stream will play a massive role in your results. The camera you choose, whether DSLR or webcam, should be based on what content you will create. As far as software goes, OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is by far the best free option out there. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used on most computers.
If you want something more pro-level, then Adobe Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas Pro are both robust editing suites with live streaming options. Suppose you’re starting out and want to experiment with video production before investing money. In that case, we recommend using Camtasia Studio 8, an all-in-one video editing suite that’s pretty easy to learn.
How do I pick my camera type?
Before you can decide which camera type you’re going to choose, it’s essential to understand what your options are. With HD video becoming increasingly prevalent in everyday life, many different cameras are available. Your DSLR or webcam decision should be based on how long you plan to stream and your long-term goals.
Please take a look at our quick guide to help make sense of all these camera options. A webcam is usually cheaper than a DSLR but may not have the same quality as one. The downside to webcams is that they typically only have either an internal microphone or no microphone. Plus, if you want one with sound capability, it’s an added expense on top of the cost of the camera itself.
Cameras come in many shapes and sizes, from action cams to dash cams – we’ll explore them below!
Although there’s no right or wrong answer, we recommend that streamers on a budget go with a webcam. The tools are cheaper and will provide you with a high-quality stream. If you have some extra money to spare, though, we suggest looking into DSLR cameras—they produce gorgeous images and come with several features that webcams can’t replicate. With their price tag comes higher quality, too!