best camera for facebook live church

While purchasing new A/V equipment for your church may feel daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Taking the time to invest and assess your ministry’s tools is a necessary and exciting step toward reaching your goals and fulfilling your mission!

Now more than ever, many churches want to broadcast their services online but don’t know where to start when exploring video recording equipment. Even churches that already live stream might want to level-up the quality and experience for both those behind the camera and those tuning in. Thankfully, there are so many video cameras to choose from, regardless of your church’s budget or experience!

Here are the best video cameras of 2021 for live streaming church services and some important considerations to make before buying.

WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A CHURCH VIDEO CAMERA

Consideration #1

Budget—How much are you able to spend on your church’s video camera and any additional equipment? You don’t need to spend a fortune to capture high-quality video, but being aware of your church’s budget will make your search for the best live streaming camera that much easier!

Consideration #2

Technical experience—Assess the experience of those that will be operating your church live streaming camera. If you have full- or part-time staff on your media team, they’ll most likely be better equipped to handle a more advanced camera than a rotating group of volunteers. 

Consideration #3

Live streaming provider—Are you currently using a live streaming provider to stream your church services? If so, it never hurts to double-check your provider’s minimum camera specifications and recommendations. The best church live streaming providers, like Subsplash Live, are compatible with most current cameras on the market.

Consideration #4

Technical requirements—There are plenty of compatible cameras out there for any budget, but the best camera for live streaming your church is the one that fits your needs. Start by considering things like your minimum video quality (720p, 1080p, 4k) and your typical streaming setup (tight shot of one person or zoomed out with many people).

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TYPES OF LIVE STREAMING CAMERAS

There are many kinds of live streaming cameras for churches to choose from, each with advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Webcams, or web cameras, are digital cameras connected directly to a computer, not requiring the usage of an encoder or other audiovisual equipment. Many modern computers come with built-in webcams, but some people opt to purchase external webcams that attach directly to the computer monitor. External webcams offer more advanced features than built-in ones such as digital zoom and higher resolution. Webcams are often the cheapest church camera solution because they’re either already incorporated into your church’s laptop or desktop computer or can be purchased for as little as $50.
  • Camcorders are portable cameras capable of recording both video and audio. They are built with video recording in mind, so camcorders are known for impressive battery lives and long recording limits. This is ideal if your church wants to record non-streamed events or just have backups of live services. Camcorders vary in price, from a few hundred dollars to over $4,000. 
  • DSLR (“digital single-lens reflex”) and mirrorless cameras are very similar, performance-wise, despite having different mechanisms for taking pictures. Both of these stand out from other camera types by offering more customization through the ability to switch out your lens. While these cameras are considered the best “bang for your buck” for live streaming your church services, make sure that your camera allows for a clean HDMI output and has sufficient battery life (or alternative power sources). DSLR and mirrorless cameras typically cost between $500 and $4,000.
  • PTZ cameras are used to pan, tilt, and zoom and are operated remotely. The flat base makes them easy to securely mount to a ceiling, tripod, or any other flat surface. Most PTZ cameras do not capture audio, so additional gear is often required to record and sync audio to your church’s live streams or other video content. Depending on the video resolution and zoom capability your church desires, PTZ cameras cost $600 to $3,000.
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BEST CHURCH VIDEO CAMERAS FOR EACH BUDGET & SKILL LEVEL

Budget-friendly cameras for beginners:

Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Weight: 5.7 ounces
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Cost: $125

This webcam is a great way to elevate your video quality without breaking the bank. Plus, it’s easy to use and set up—just attach to your computer screen with a built-in clip and plug into the USB port! A webcam like this is ideal for simple setups, like your pastor sitting down or standing at the pulpit framed in a tight shot with little movement.

Canon Vixia HF R800

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Microphone: Built-in & External
  • Weight: 11 ounces
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Cost: $250

Camcorders like this are perfect for beginners who want something more robust than a webcam and to develop their videography skills. With the Canon Vixia HF R800, your church can choose to operate it on a tripod or the standard handheld method. The portability and zoom functionality make this a great choice for small indoor or outdoor events.

Affordable church video cameras for intermediate users:

Panasonic Lumix G7 Mirrorless

  • Resolution: 4k
  • Microphone: Built-in & External
  • Weight: 14 ounces
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Cost: $599

This mirrorless camera is a good choice for those with some experience, but are eager for something with high-quality streaming capabilities. The Panasonic Lumix G7 offers customization through a wide range of interchangeable lenses and high-resolution recording at the fraction of the cost of more advanced cameras. 

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Microphone: Built-in & External
  • Weight: 13 ounces
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Cost: $650

Much like the Panasonic Lumix G7, this camera is one of the best cameras for leveling up your church’s live streams. The Sony Alpha a6000 offers full exposure control—meaning this camera is great for low-light or bright church events. No more dark, hard-to-see streams during worship!

Church live streaming cameras for intermediate users & budgets:

Panasonic HC-WXF991K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder with Twin Camera

  • Resolution: 4k
  • Microphone: Built-in & External
  • Weight: 14 ounces
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Cost: $998

In addition to being able to capture your church’s services in 4k resolution, this Panasonic offers in-camera editing and creative effects (like “dolly zoom” and slow motion). Plus, a secondary camera is built in to simultaneously record two different angles. 

Canon EOS 90D DSLR

  • Resolution: 4k
  • Microphone: Built-in & External
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Cost: $1,350

This Canon DSLR offers a suite of powerful features all in one lightweight device. With an intuitive touchscreen monitor, adjusting settings before or during your church’s live stream is even easier! Plus, DSLR cameras like this one offer the ability to maintain focus on busy or changing scenery, which is great for more visually-active church services.

Top-tier cameras for professional quality live streaming:

Sony SRG-300H PTZ

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Microphone: No
  • Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Cost: $1,995

This PTZ camera offers 30x optical zoom and remote control capabilities, which is suitable for most medium-to-large worship spaces. Remotely, your team can control focus, iris, shutter speed, and gain in addition to the standard pan, tilt, and zoom. Additionally, this nifty PTZ camera comes with a variety of preset positions for even easier church live streaming!

Panasonic AG-UX180 Camcorder

  • Resolution: 4k
  • Microphone: Built-in & External
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Cost: $2,695

From customizable autofocus to an impressive color correction functionality, the Panasonic AG-UX180 will not disappoint in providing cinema-quality video for your church live streaming.

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START LIVE STREAMING YOUR CHURCH TODAY

Now that you’ve found the best live streaming camera for your church, it’s time to start broadcasting your church services and events. Don’t know where to start? You’re in luck— Subsplash Live makes it simple to stay connected with your church community by live streaming to your website, mobile and TV apps, media libraries, and more! Plus, Subsplash Live is compatible with almost all recording devices, so you can get started today with your mobile device or laptop before even receiving or setting up your new camera. 

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