The Cheapest Camera For Church Live Streaming with Paul Alan Clifford (PCP072)

Here's our pick for the cheapest camera for live streaming that still produces a high-quality image. Don't just use a webcam!

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August 4th, 2015

Paul Alan Clifford works with church staff and volunteers who want to use technology to impact people far from God. A prolific podcaster at TrinityDigitalMedia.com he stops by to talk cameras for live streaming your church services on this session of the Pro Church Podcast.

What’s In This Session?

  • Why would a small church want to begin live streaming? (11:08)
  • False expectations churches have about live streaming (18:38)
  • The most inexpensive camera for live streaming (22:09)
  • Why your stage is improperly lit (26:09)
  • The outputs/ports your camera needs for live streaming (35:07)
  • How to connect your camera with your computer (40:27)
  • The all-important step of encoding your video footage (42:08)

Show Notes & Resources Mentioned

3 Instant Takeaways

  1. Jump-in price for a camera is around $200.00. (Factory refurbished is cheapest.) If you have a lot of light in your church, a camcorder like the Canon VIXIA HF R500 will provide good visuals. (This camera has been superseded by the R600 model). Just note that the HDSDI output recommended below is not available on this camera without conversion.
  2. Avoid HDMI if possible. HDMI works well at short cable distances but not if stretched out too far. High Definition Serial Digital Interface (HDSDI) cable produces a great signal even over long distances. You need a capture card to get the HDSDI cable to connect with your computer, though, because most computers don’t support HDSDI directly.
  3. Encode your video before uploading to the web. Your raw footage is okay the way it’s recorded, but for good uploading speed use encoder software so that more than one person can watch your livestream at the same time.