Best Cameras for Gaming

The best cameras for gaming and how to use them with streaming software like OBS Studio and Discord are important topics for gamers. A camera is a must have piece of equipment for high-end gamers and it’s a fact that better looking visuals and improved clarity will outperform the competition.

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Is a DSLR camera better than a webcam for gaming?

DSLR cameras provide several advantages and improvements over typical consumer webcams, however for gaming and live streaming to platforms like Twitch, the biggest improvement is the vast increase in megapixels.

DSLR cameras offer somewhere between 50% and 100% increase in megapixels from the best webcam technology and this advantage is compounded by an increase in low light technology.

When using the HDMI out of a DSLR or Mirrorless camera you can plug it into a capture card and livestream your gaming sessions with OBS Studio or your favorite streaming software to platforms like Twitch.

Even though DSLR cameras were not designed with streaming in mind, you can seamlessly and easily make them an addition to any dual pc streaming setup and leverage their benefits in chat programs like Discord

Should you want more guides like what streaming equipment you should use or software guides on how to use voiceemeter banana then these are also provided to help you.

Canon EOS Rebel T7 – Best Camera for Game Streaming

Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens | Built-in Wi-Fi | 24.1 MP CMOS Sensor | DIGIC 4+ Image Processor and Full HD Videos
2,621 Reviews
Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens | Built-in Wi-Fi | 24.1 MP CMOS Sensor | DIGIC 4+ Image Processor and Full HD Videos
  • 24.1 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with is 100–6400 (H: 12800)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology
  • 9-Point AF system and AI Servo AF

Megapixels: 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor | Colorspace: sRGB/Adobe RGB | Video out terminal: 1920x1080i 60fps HDMI Type C | Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n | NFC capable | Weight: 16.75 ounces

The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a great introductory DSLR camera for anyone upgrading from a smartphone or a webcam. Boasting a 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor the Rebel T7 is incredibly easy to use for the novice looking to improve their live streaming visual quality.

Stepping up from a traditional gaming webcam, this is a budget friendly DSLR camera with incredible low-light performance and uses the sRGB and Adobe RGB colorspace which would already out perform any typical webcam or smartphone sensor.

One of the most popular DSLR cameras for live streaming, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a fantastic, budget friendly option that provides a huge improvement to visual quality and performance.

Pros
  • Fantastic value
  • Easy to use
  • Low-light performance
Cons
  • Gets warm with extended use

Nikon D3500 – Best Camera for YouTube Gaming

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Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Black
3,824 Reviews
Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Black
  • A DSLR that's as easy to use as a point and shoot camera
  • Compact, comfortable design that's great for travel and special events
  • Image sensor that's 15x larger than those used in typical smartphones for sharper, clearer pictures

Megapixels: 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor | Colorspace: sRGB/Adobe RGB | Video out terminal: 1920x1080p 60fps HDMI Type C | Bluetooth version: 4.1 | Weight: 12.9 ounces

The Nikon D3500 is another introductory DSLR camera and another huge step up in performance compared to any typical webcam or smartphone camera. It’s more compact in design than the aforementioned DSLR camera and this lends itself to having considerably lower weight.

An additional improvement from traditional webcams is the 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor that also greatly improves white balance and will restore detail between light and dark areas that most smartphones and webcam struggle to accomplish. It also comes with an HDMI Type C connector for 1920x1080p 60fps video capture.

If you’re looking to greatly improve your live streaming and gaming visual quality, then the Nikon D3500 is a great choice.

Pros
  • White balance
  • Lighter body
  • Better grip
  • Great button layout
Cons
  • No Wi-Fi built-in

Olympus E-M5 Mark III – Great Video Camera for Gaming

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OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 Mark III Body Silver
241 Reviews
OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 Mark III Body Silver
  • 20MP live MOS sensor
  • Portable, weather sealed design
  • 121-point all-cross-type on-chip phase detection AF

Megapixels: 20.4 megapixel Live MOS sensor | Colorspace: sRGB/Adobe RGB | Video out terminal: 1920x1080p 60fps Mini HDMI Type D | Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n | Weight: 14.6 ounces

The Olympus E-M5 Mark III camera is another step up and will result in impressive visual quality while live streaming. This camera comes with a TruePic™ VIII Quad Core Processor and an OLED viewfinder.

You are able to live stream your visage at 1920x1080p 60fps through the mini HDMI Type D connector while gaming. This will need to be connected to your video capture device and sent to your PC for OBS Studio. You will notice a greatly improved image quality compared to your run of the mill webcam.

If you’re looking for a very high quality DSLR camera, the Olympus E-M5 Mark III is one of the best cameras for gaming and live streaming. Undoubtedly will out shine most other cameras on the market with its impeccable performance and the durability to withstand the rigors of any live streaming environment.

Pros
  • Quad Core Processor
  • OLED viewfinder
  • Mini HDMI Type D connector
Cons
  • Price

Sony Alpha 7 IV Mirrorless – Best Camera for Gamers

Sony Alpha 7 IV Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera,Body Only , Black
505 Reviews
Sony Alpha 7 IV Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera,Body Only , Black
  • 33MP full-frame Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • 8x more powerful, next generation BIONZ XR image processing engine
  • Up to 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 w/ full pixel readout in all recording formats

Megapixels: 33 megapixel CMOS sensor | Colorspace: sRGB/Adobe RGB | Video out terminal: 1920x1080p 60fps Mini HDMI Type D | Wireless: 2.4GHz/5GHz | Weight: 1.4 pounds

The best camera for gamers, the Sony Alpha 7 IV Mirrorless is by far the best camera on the list. It encompasses the best of all qualities from all aforementioned cameras and has no perceivable downsides. 

Boasting the flagship-class BIONZ XR processor, it is capable of fast, continuous 4k video and although live streaming platforms will limit you to 1920x1080p 60fps, this camera is capable of much more. The 33 megapixel CMOS sensor performs as expected, producing incredible low noise and high clarity images while leveraging the sRBG and Adobe RGB colorspace for vivid color rendering.

Ideally, this mirrorless camera is complete overkill for gamers and live streamers but if you’re looking for the best of the best, here it is!

Pros
  • 33 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Quad VGA OLED viewfinder
  • LAN port
  • USB Type C
  • Wi-Fi
Cons
  • Price

Logitech BRIO – Best Camera for Console Gaming

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Logitech Brio 4K Webcam, Ultra 4K HD Video Calling, Noise-Canceling mic, HD Auto Light Correction, Wide Field of View, Works with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Voice, PC/Mac/Laptop/Macbook/Tablet
13,711 Reviews
Logitech Brio 4K Webcam, Ultra 4K HD Video Calling, Noise-Canceling mic, HD Auto Light Correction, Wide Field of View, Works with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Voice, PC/Mac/Laptop/Macbook/Tablet
  • SUPPORT WORK FROM ANYWHERE WITH SYNC: Whether employees are in the office, at home, or somewhere else, Sync device management software helps everyone stay connected by letting you ensure their Logitech video collaboration personal devices are being used and up to date.
  • Ultra 4K HD resolution: 4 times the resolution of a typical HD webcam; look your best and enjoy professional video experience wherever you are with 5x HD zoom.
  • Auto light adjustment: Logitech RightLight 3 uses HDR technology to show you in the best light, even in low-light and backlit situations.

Megapixels: 13 megapixel sensor | HDR: HDR capable | Colorspace: sRGB | Wireless: No | Microphone: dual integrated omnidirectional | Video Out: 1920x1080p 60fps | Weight: 2.22 ounces

The Logitech BRIO is the premier webcam for gaming and although it doesn’t pack as much megapixel horsepower as the above DSLR and mirrorless cameras, it’s no slouch when it comes to live streaming.

It’s a multi-purpose workhouse, designed to meet the needs of gamers, live streamers and video meetings. Providing a 13 megapixel sensor it produces one of the cleanest and most vivid images for a webcam.

If you’re a gamer looking to improve your live streaming experience, then consider the Logitech BRIO as the best camera for console gaming currently available.

Pros
  • 13 megapixel sensor
  • Good low-light performance
  • 1920x1080p 60fps
Cons
  • Still a webcam

Can I use my DSLR camera as a webcam?

By plugging your DSLR webcam into a capture card you will be able to use the DSLR camera as a gaming webcam. In order to accomplish this task you will need to be aware of a few key steps.

Step 1:

From the settings of your DSLR camera make sure to select the correct HDMI output settings; this is either selecting a Recording or Movie mode from under the HDMI output settings of your DSLR camera.

Step 2:

Be aware of what kind of connection is required by your DSLR camera as some use a USB Type C to HDMI connector and others will use micro HDMI Type D connectors.

Most modern capture cards will either have multiple built-in HDMI ports or you can purchase a mini/micro HDMI to HDMI connector in order to connect your DSLR camera to your capture card.

Step 3:

Once your capture card and your DSLR camera are connected you can check your favorite streaming software, in this case OBS Studio and add the DSLR camera.

If you would like to know a step by step breakdown of how to connect a DSLR camera to OBS Studio then follow the guide below.

How to connect a DSLR camera to OBS Studio

After configuring your DSLR camera’s HDMI setting and connecting it to your capture card it won’t be long before you’re up and streaming with OBS Studio to Twitch or your favorite live streaming platform.

A few simple and easy to follow steps will show you how to search for and enable your DSLR camera within the streaming software OBS Studio.

Step 1:

Open OBS Studio and travel to the bottom of the screen and find the Sources window

Step 2:

Click on the +(plus) sign to add a new source

Step 3:

Select Video Capture Device from the drop down menu

Step 4:

Name your Video Capture Device, preferably the name of your DSLR camera

Step 5:

Select your DSLR camera from the drop down menu Device and select OK.

After you’ve completed all of the above steps you should see your DSLR camera preview just like you would with a webcam in OBS Studio.

If you want to learn how to use your DSLR camera as a webcam for Discord then continue reading the section below.

How to use a DSLR camera as a Discord webcam

In order to enable your DSLR camera within Discord there are a couple of added steps required, these are additional steps not required of webcams.

You have two options thus far and until Discord or DSLR camera manufacturers change their firmware or their software to make it a more plug and play experience, current your only options are thus:

EOS Utility

Canon has created additional software in order to make it easier for gamers to use their Canon DSLR cameras with Discord and OBS Studio. They have produced software called the Canon EOS Utility.

It’s designed to work with almost all modern live streaming, conferencing and chat programs like Discord. I am currently unaware if it works as seamlessly with other DSLR camera manufacturers as it does with Canon DSLR cameras, however it’s a useful resource and a relatively easy way to access Discord and enable your DSLR camera as a webcam.

OBS Studio VirtualCam

Downloading and installing this add-on for OBS Studio will allow you to use the preview window in OBS as the output for programs like Discord.

This will allow you to use any DSLR camera as a source and will work without much effort with Discord; even though there have been updates to OBS Studio and Discord since the release of this add-on that might make this easier or simpler to install, the current workflow for installation is as follows:

Step 1:

Download and install the latest release of OBS-VirtualCam

Step 2:

Open OBS Studio and find the Tools menu, click and scroll down to the option VirtualCam and from this selection you can adjust and choose your camera or OBS Studio specific options.

Step 3:

Open the Discord chat program

Step 4:

Click on the cogwheel next to your name at the very bottom of the Discord app and then find the Voice & Video section of the Discord options

Step 5:

Under the Camera section select the OBS Virtual Camera option

Following the above steps should produce your preview window from OBS Studio as your webcam within Discord.

Also, if you need a handy resource, the 5 Discord bots for streamers is a good place to start if you need some insight on which Discord bot could serve you best.

DSLR vs Mirrorless for streaming

When comparing between two camera technologies it’s important to understand what you’re looking for and how it could benefit you as a gamer. Already we’ve seen software advances to make live streaming more accessible like Voicemeeter Banana, Dual PC Streaming Setups and how to find copyright free music for Twitch.

Certainly hardware improvements also apply and even though DSLR cameras are a huge upgrade vs typical consumer webcams, it’s still a technology nearly 70 years old.

DSLR as a technology has been around for a while and therefore more of the peripherals like lenses are easier to find and far more accommodating. This doesn’t necessarily apply to gamers looking to stream on Twitch, but it’s good to understand where the market is headed.

Most camera manufacturers are slowly moving towards mirrorless as a technology and phasing out DSLR in their product stack.The question is however, why?

Mirrorless cameras for most consumers and professional photographers are lighter and therefore more portable. They offer better video quality and can shoot images at faster speeds than a DSLR camera can. However, once again this doesn’t really apply to gamers or those live streaming to Twitch, but it’s interesting to know nonetheless.

For those using the best streaming software for Twitch the differences between these camera technologies might not pose a difference yet as the bottle neck on performance still exists on the upload and server side of live streaming platforms.

How to Choose the Best Webcam for Gaming?

One of the most critical components for anyone live streaming to services like Twitch or YouTube, a webcam can often make or break the popularity of a stream. However, perusing various online marketplaces makes it difficult to know which webcam features you should care about?

Frame Rate

The majority of webcams currently in the marketplace can fall into two frame rate categories. 60fps and 30fps. A 60fps webcam is currently considered a luxury and therefore is more expensive than an older generation webcam capable of 30fps.

Resolution

There are three resolutions to remember when considering a new webcam for gaming and live streaming to Twitch; 720p, 1080p and 4k.

Currently no live streaming service offers a 4k live streaming option, so we’re only concerned with performance at the 720p and 1080p resolutions.

Low Light Quality

All of the webcams provided below are capable of good to great low light image quality. If you are streaming in a dark room or in a poor lit office or living room, any of these webcams will suffice. Generally speaking a higher quality image sensor will net you better low light image quality.

Green Screen Replacement

Logitech Capture and Razer Synapse are two software programs that come with their respective products. They offer a bevy of features to greatly enhance their applications for live streaming and gaming.

However, they might not be as fully featured as OBS Studio, they’re quite capable and can offer additional features like a software green screen replacement.

Sometimes features like those are hit or miss depending on your live streaming set up, but it is a cool feature that is definitely something to try out.

Frequently asked questions about the best cameras for gaming

What camera do most streamers use?

Currently the most popular DSLR camera for gaming is the Canon Rebel T7. It meets the perfect mark between price and performance. The EOS Utility designed to help gamers stream to platforms like Twitch makes it incredibly easy to use.

What webcams do most pro gamers use?

The Logitech BRIO is the best webcam for pro gamers

It offers the highest megapixels that a webcam currently offers and has the best overall performance. It’s relatively small and it can easily sit on top of your computer monitor or laptop monitor without causing issues.

It’s also works flawlessly with programs like OBS Studio and Discord so if you’re in the market for the best webcam that pro gamers use, then pick up the Logitech BRIO.

What camera do YouTubers use?

The Nikon D3500 is one of the best DSLR cameras for YouTube gaming and has seen a steady increase in popularity specifically for that use.

Are mirrorless cameras good for streaming?

Mirrorless cameras can be good for gaming and live streaming however it’s difficult to say if the technological benefits supersede DSLR cameras when you’re quality and upload limited by ingest servers to Twitch and YouTube.

What camera is best for OBS?

With the proper hardware setup, any DSLR camera will work with OBS Studio and you can accomplish this by plugging your DSLR camera into a capture card. Then the capture card will send the video output to OBS Studio and you can add it as a Video Source and preview it in minutes.

The Nikon D3500 or the Canon Rebel T7 offer vast feature and sensor improvements over your typical webcams and will both work seamlessly with OBS Studio.

Conclusion

The addition of a DSLR camera for your gaming setup is one that you will keep for a very long time. In order to figure out what the best cameras for gaming are is one particular to your live streaming setup, but this is a good starting point for anyone making the jump from a webcam.

OBS Studio and Discord have both come a long way with the adoption of DSLR camera technology and the camera manufacturers have been updating their firmware to make it easier for those that want to stream their hijinks on Twitch and YouTube.

Why not take advantage of a vastly superior camera technology and avoid the older, less responsive and dated sensor tech of the webcam?
If you’re looking for more content similar to this, then check out the guide for streaming equipment and consider adding a better capture card to your gaming setup.

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