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Despite all the technological advances that can be found in shiny new cameras the Canon 6D is still a great camera best camera for tabletop streaming, webcam setup for board games. And just because other cameras have advanced significantly since 2012 this does not automatically make the Canon 6D over the hill, past its sell by date, irrelevant or obsolete.
Over the past few years, we’ve dabbled in streaming here and there. We’re not experts by any means, but we’ve managed to gather some tips and tricks along the way. So, without further ado, here’s how to stream tabletop games on a budget!
What you’ll need
Tripod with an arm or a mic stand
USB hub (powered ones work best!)
A laptop or computer to stream from
OBS Studio (or something similar)
Clamps or tape
Our friends over at Gizmofusion have written a handy guide on how much RAM is needed for streaming to make sure your laptop or computer is up for the task.
You’re going to want two camera angles (hence the two webcams): one wide shot of the players and a close up of what’s going on in the game.
Next, familiarise yourself with OBS Studio. There’s a whole bunch of great tutorials on how to use this on YouTube. Other software is available, but we’ve always used OBS because it’s free and relatively simple to use.
Having two angles means you’ll need an overlay that will show them both, one large and one small. Here’s ours! You can download a plain version of it here.
The wide angle
First step is to set up your wide angle, plonk a webcam on a tripod, plug it into the USB hub then add it to a scene in OBS. Next, pop it in the larger gap and create another scene with it in the smaller gap. This is so you can:
Swap between the scenes when you’re live
Swap to focus on the wide angle when there’s lots of action from the players
Swap to the gameplay angle when the audience need to see what’s going on in the game
That’s your wide angle set up, now it’s time to set up…
The gameplay angle
Attach your webcam to the end of your tripod arm. Our setup is a webcam taped to the end of a microphone stand. It doesn’t need to be glamorous, just functional!
If your webcam wire is a bit short, you can get USB extenders to help with this. Plug your webcam into the USB hub and add it to the remaining gaps in both scenes on OBS. Now fiddle around and find a good position for it to be in. It doesn’t matter too much if it’s in shot, people will care more that they can see what’s going on. You can also shift it about as and when you need to.
Pop your microphone in the middle of the table, making sure that it can catch everyone talking. Plug it in and add it to both scenes on OBS. Now, you’re good to go!
If you feel like showing off, you can have a gadget like a stream deck to help you switch scenes easily. Otherwise you can hot key to swap scenes (again, check youtube for tutorials) failing that, good old clicking between the two still works!
Tips For Streaming Our Games
We’ve learnt lots of useful things when streaming our games, so here are our top tips for getting the audience involved and having fun while streaming.
We’ve got handy how to play videos for each of our games, so you can get a good gist of them here.
A game all about guessing the colours of things.
This is a fab game that is super easy for viewers to play along with! We’ve played it before where the chat had their own team… and they beat us.
Pop the question cards under your overhead cam and make that the larger shot. You can flip your colour cards in the same shot when answering so that everyone can see. Chat can decide amongst themselves what answer they’re going to give, or you can just go with what the majority are saying.
Basically shit head, but with dinosaurs!
This is a great one to see everyone’s reactions, so it can work quite well with the players being the larger shot and the gameplay being smaller. You only need to see the pile in play.
If you’ve got forfeits as donation incentives, a round of this will help you choose the (un)lucky victim.
What Came First
Does what it says on the tin. Can you guess what came first?
Another fab one to get chat playing along with! Pop the game board and question card in shot and make that the focus. Chat can be their own team again (be warned, they’ll probably beat you).
Get 5 in a row in this trickier-than-it-seems tile game!
You’ll need your top down angle to be a bit zoomed out for this one, as the play area can get quite large.
This is quite a chill game, but you can spice it up by getting chat to play as well. To do this, you’ll just need a rather large sheet of paper, a pen and a ruler. Create a grid, where the squares are just as big as the tiles and write A, B, C, D, etc along the top and 1, 2, 3, 4, etc along the side.
This way, chat can pick a colour and suggest grid references to play their tiles down! We’ve played this with 1 player in the room and three players in chat, it works really well and although it’s quite slow paced, it’s jam-packed full of tactics.
20 Second Showdown
A very frantic challenge game.
This one is pure chaos. Pick someone to be the question master then split everyone else into two teams. You’ll need the shot of all the players on the wide cam with the focus on that, as this one is all about the silly things everyone has to do. Pop the timer in front of the second camera so chat can see how much time each team have left.
This is another great game to decide who gets to do forfeits.
No drawing skills necessary.
You’ll need to shift about your top camera for this one. During the drawing stage it’s best to single out a player. Choose someone who’s either really bad at drawing, or someone who’s really good — both are equally entertaining!
You’ll need to hide your playback screen so the rest of the players can’t see what’s going on. When it comes to the reveal stage, zoom your top down camera out a little bit so the whole journey of drawings and guesses can be seen. Enjoy your horrifying works of art!
Weird Things Humans Search For
Humans are strange.
Everyone can join in with this one! No Googling the answers though, that’s cheating. You can use the back of a card to hide the answers and let chat see the first half of the search. Then when everyone’s had their say, slide down the card revealing the answers one by one for added suspense!
Just how sneaky can you be?
We’ve played lots of versions of this on stream, each of them equally fun! You can show chat the topic card so they know what the choice of words is. For the next part, you can do any of the following:
Have the audience know the secret word, but not know who the chameleon is.
Have the audience know the secret word, and who the chameleon is.
Have the audience not know the secret word or who the chameleon is.
Have the audience not know the secret word, but know who the chameleon is.
For some of these options you might need a games master sitting out who can tell chat the hot goss. To make sure the chat can see who the chameleon is (but keep it hidden from the players), get everyone to close their eyes then have the chameleon put their thumb up. Make sure you remind everyone to then open their eyes again!
You can also have the players vote who they think the chameleon is, or completely hand over the reigns to chat.
All options work really well. It’s fun to mix it up and have a different system each round.
And now you’re ready!
In part due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the entire world has rapidly incorporated video calling into their daily lives. While gamers may have been well-versed in online socializing pre-pandemic, the meteoric rise of livestreaming on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook has caused everyone to take a closer look at their webcams. For gamers, especially streamers, a high-quality, feature-rich webcam can make for a more enjoyable experience for friends or viewers. We’ve gathered the best of the best webcams for you to share crystal clear video in no time.
What to Look For
When it comes to choosing the right webcam, a webcam’s resolution and frame rate are the two most immediate deciding factors.
The two most common frame rates for webcams are 30 frames per second and 60 frames per second. Most gamers will be perfectly satisfied with a quality 30fps webcam. However, for content creators focused on real life (or “IRL”)-type videos, a 60fps webcam will provide a smoother, more life-like experience.
In terms of resolution, most gamers across the board will be satisfied with a webcam displaying—and recording in—1080p. Users wanting to elevate their video quality past 1080p should first prioritize elements like lighting and color balance before considering higher resolutions.
How We Selected
Many of these recommendations come from hundreds of hours of in-house use. For the products we couldn’t test ourselves, we perform intensive research, reviewing content from expert sources like Wirecutter, The Verge, CNET, Tom’s Guide, DigitalTrends, and others, as well as thousands of consumer reviews from online storefronts like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. As for the products themselves, we evaluated them on functionality, design, and price.
Display Resolution: 1080p
Recording Resolution: 1080p at 30fps
Field of View: 78 degrees
For most users, the Logitech C920s gives you everything you could want out of a quality webcam. Sharp 1080p video, reliable autofocus, a generous 78-degree field of view, low noise, adjustable mounting, a physical privacy shutter, and easy-to-use software make the C920 one of the best, most intuitive webcams on the market today. Combine all of those pros with an affordable price tag, and you have a webcam that, for most users, checks all the boxes.
Excellent image quality
Physical privacy shutter
Microphone is only okay
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BEST FOR LOW LIGHT
Display Resolution: 1080p
Recording Resolution: 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 60fps
Field of View: 81.6 degrees
Lighting has always been Razer’s hallmark, producing a massive array of RGB-illuminated gadgets. Their flagship webcam, the Razer Kiyo, while not covered in RGB lighting, features a godsend for many video-streaming gamers: a ring light.
Lighting is one of the most important elements for capturing a detailed image on any lens. This is especially true for webcams, which tend to capture grainy, messy images in low-light conditions. The Kiyo’s built-in twist-on, twist-off ring light produces just the right amount of light to help its lens capture clear video regardless of your room’s environment.
Aside from the great ring light, the Kiyo features 30 and 60 fps options, an ample 81.6-degree field of view, and smart autofocus, making it an excellent webcam for any night owls seeking an all-in-one camera solution.
Twist-on, twist-off ring light
Great image quality
60fps at 720p
Color balance could be better
Microphone could be better
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Display Resolution: 1080p
Recording Resolution: 1080 at 30fps, 720p at 30fps
Field of View: 78 degrees
For gamers looking for an affordable, adjustable option to speak with friends and family, the Logitech C615 has you covered. Aside from its budget-friendly price point, the major strength the C615 has over the competition is flexibility. This webcam is incredibly easy to mount, adjust, reposition, carry, and travel with thanks to its versatile design.
Thanks to a clever mounting clip, the C615 offers wide camera tilt and full 360-degree camera rotation. If you’re traveling or storing it in a bag, the mounting clip folds onto the lens, covering it and creating an excellent portable form factor. If you can live without the fancy features found on higher-end webcams, the C615 is a great webcam for gamers who need their gear to be flexible.
Foldable, portable design
Shorter-than-average USB cable
BEST FOR STREAMERS
Display Resolution: 1080p
Recording Resolution: Uncompressed 1080p at 60fps, 720p at 60fps
Field of View: 82 degrees (software adjustable)
Focus: Fixed (software adjustable)
Elgato, best known for their capture cards and stream decks, has been (very successfully) branching out the past few years, creating everything from high quality microphones to free-standing lights. Their debut webcam, the Elgato Facecam, is another home run, especially for streamers.
With incredible picture quality, color balance, and a unique fixed-focus studio-grade lens, the Elgato Facecam outshines the competition in terms of pure picture quality. Add onto that the fact that the Facecam offers uncompressed 1080p 60fps recording, and its steeper price tag quickly starts to make sense.
Like with Elgato’s other products, the Facecam comes with advanced software that’s perfect for gamers and streamers, letting users easily adjust color balance, exposure, field of view, focus, and more. The only omission of note here is sound: the Facecam lacks any built-in microphone, so you’ll have to rely on other gadgets for voice communication.
Excellent, uncompressed image quality
Streamer-friendly fixed focus
No built-in microphone
BEST FOR 4K VIDEO
Display Resolution: 4K
Recording Resolution: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, 720P at 90fps
Field of View: 90 degrees (software adjustable)
Focus: Auto, with digital zoom
If you’re looking for the highest quality images possible shy of purchasing an actual camera, the Logitech Brio is the webcam for you. The Brio can display and record in 4K, a rarity among webcams. Combine 4K video with high-dynamic range support and suddenly, your webcam’s image quality starts to approach that of an actual camera.
The main downside of the Brio has little to do with the Brio at all: Most major streaming platforms don’t yet support 4K video. Still, Brio’s stellar image quality, wide field of view, and high fps impress, and make it a great option for gamers looking for a future proof product.
Outstanding image quality
High fps at lower resolutions
4K streaming is rarely supported