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Simple but better webcam for Facebook Lives?

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Neil Orman
Simple but better webcam for Facebook Lives?
on Jul 18, 2018 at 2:03:53 pm

(Just let me know if this is the wrong forum for this question, thanks.) My employer has been doing Facebook Lives, but just relying on standard laptops and their internal mic and camera. They'd like the option, though, to do events with small groups, like panel discussions, and thus wider shots and subjects a bit more removed from the camera. And just a bit more flexibility with these events in general. So we're looking for a webcam that allows the subject (s) to be a bit more removed from the camera, like as much as 10 feet. Can any one recommend any webcams that allow that? I just chatted with a B&H rep who recommended a device called the PanaCast 2 Camera (link below). Does anyone agree or disagree with that recommendation, or have any quick guidance on this? We're trying to increase our options in this area, but also not complicate these shoots so much that laymen (non-video people do our social media events) can't run them themselves anymore. And of course decent audio is very important.

Any guidance would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Neil

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1376462-REG/panacast_pc_b6_4k_ct_wm_...


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Vince Becquiot
Re: Simple but better webcam for Facebook Lives?
on Jul 18, 2018 at 10:18:00 pm
Last Edited By Vince Becquiot on Jul 18, 2018 at 10:21:17 pm

Hi Neil,

I'll start with the camera. The one you listed looks fine, although 4k is probably overkill at the moment for streaming and may be for quite a while.
If you want good audio, consider purchasing a mic. The better mics will come with an XLR input and you can connect them via a USB interface. A good cheaper option is the Blue Icicle. For the mic, you can either go with a wired Lav or a podcast type mic.

Finally, get some lights. That will improve your image considerably and reduce noise.

Vince Becquiot

Indigo Live | Kaptis Media

San Francisco Bay Area


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Mark Suszko
Re: Simple but better webcam for Facebook Lives?
on Jul 24, 2018 at 9:04:28 pm

Check out the Mevo.


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Neil Orman
Re: Simple but better webcam for Facebook Lives?
on Aug 13, 2018 at 2:09:17 am

Thank you very much for those tips, Vince and Mark. Vince, I am making some lights available to our social media people. So we do have that important end covered, thanks. And Mark, that Mevo camera didn't seem a good fit for us, but I appreciated that info. I'm still struggling with this decision a bit, so just wanted to revisit this once more. Any other quick tips would be appreciated, from you guys or anyone. The main issue is I'm trying to upgrade the set-up for our Facebook Live events a bit, but also get equipment our young, non-technical social media associates can handle without help. (They operate largely independent of me (the video person at our nonprofit), and I'm just trying to help them out.) My plan now is to recommend a USB webcam, any stand or tripod necessary (rather than the boxes or stacks of books they've been using to raise the laptop to the right height), and some kind of simple external USB mic:
-Webcam: Since they're nontechnical, and they run these events themselves, I'd rather avoid the need for camcorders they might struggle with or break. But I do want to give them some flexibility to do slightly wider or more distant shots (as opposed to just one person right next to their laptop). Like Vince said, that $1000 Panacast 2 camera B&H recommends seemed like overkill, and the mic choice seems more important. Would any typical $50 Logitech webcam be sufficient, or is there anything in-between that would help the video side (and hopefully be a lot closer to $50 than $1000.) And it's fine if any standard webcam is sufficient, and it's just a matter of mounting or positioning it somehow.
-Webcam stand/tripod: Any quick suggestions here? As I haven't dealt much with social media events, I've never encountered the need to position webcams like this. Like I said, when they've needed to adjust the height of the shot previously, they've used boxes or books to raise their laptops.
-Mic: A B&H rep said the BlueYeti USB mic ($130) would be a good choice, and emphasized things like its varied polar patterns. I believe the Blue Icicle Vince mentioned is to allow typical, XLR mics to connect to a PC, so perhaps that's better or just as good. But I wanted to see if people thought pairing a webcam, on a stand/tripod, with the Blue Yeti mic would support slightly more varied or small group events?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Simple but better webcam for Facebook Lives?
on Aug 16, 2018 at 2:40:54 pm

You're probably going to have to invest in a wireless mic at some point, unless you like taping down long runs of mic cable from the people speaking to where the camera will be.

I have the icicle adapter, it's great because you can choose the mic appropriate to each individual situation, from a lav to a stick to a shotgun... or even tap into an existing PA system audio board with that adapter.

A go-pro or gopro knock-off with bluetooth would relay it's shots to the laptop, where you then use Wirecast or whatever to stream it. a 4k gopro type camera gives you enough resolution that you can do zooms and pans with the video in post later, mimicking the use of multiple cameras.

Battery life on such cams isn't great for long events once you enable bluetooth, so I'd add an external USB battery pack to the gopro. Instead of a tripod, if the camera will just be in a fixed shot, you could add an adapter to the top of a heavy mic stand and use that instead. The mic stand ends up less intrusive than a tripod and can be placed in close to the action.


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