Planning to stream video of landscapes, animals, sports events, or lectures in a university setting? There’s a different type of camera for every situation. We’ll give you advice on what to consider before choosing a camera and what models are the most suitable based on our experience.
The CamStreamer application works exclusively with AXIS cameras. AXIS offers over 200 high-quality models and it’s not always easy to navigate through their offer. We have rich experience in using the company’s cameras for streaming and we’ll be happy to help you make your selection. As the first step, you’ll need to make sense of several points that will help you decide what camera characteristics you’re looking for.
Cameras can be divided into two basic categories – interior and exterior. If your camera will be placed outdoors, it will need to be resistant to unfavorable weather, dust build-up, etc. These cameras are naturally more expensive than those designed for indoor use. If you’re worried that someone might damage or even steal your camera, you can select an additional vandal-resistant casing. However, cameras with this kind of protection aren’t usually necessary and are mostly used for sports events where the camera may be hit by a ball or other object. You can find outdoor cameras under the letter E.
A fixed camera consistently depicts the same scene, while PTZ (pan, tilt and zoom) cameras can cover up to 360 degrees, giving you a much more dynamic and attractive stream. PTZ cameras are mainly used for streaming landscapes, cultural events, exhibitions, and other similar situations. With PTZ cameras, you can set up the path of the shot, how long the camera should stop on selected points, how it will zoom, and so on.
Compared to fixed cameras, PTZ cameras cost almost twice as much, but statistics on our clients who stream 24/7 landscape shots show that PTZ cameras are the most popular.
Stream from PTZ camera – you can set how long the camera’s path will be and choose everything you want it to show.
Stream from fixed camera
Whether it’s the waves splashing in the sea, the call of an eagle, or chanting sports fans – audio from the camera’s surroundings gives your stream authenticity. Audio – in other terms a microphone input directly on the camera – is not standard and not every camera comes equipped with it.
If you don’t feel like this function is important, you can add audio to your stream directly in the CamStreamer application. There are two options: upload an MP3 file with a prepared track that is played in a loop, or connect to a remote signal, i.e. a microphone, mixing console, or internet radio broadcast.
When choosing a camera, resolution is an important parameter. Cameras with FullHD resolution (1080p) are common today, but cameras with lower HD resolution (720p) are also widespread. Current trends are leading toward higher and higher resolutions, and cameras are now available with 4K resolution, allowing you to crop various footage from one camera shot (with the help of the Digital Autotracking function in the CamStreamer application).
Think about the future – if you choose a camera with a higher resolution but don’t choose to make use of it right away, you’re not losing anything. You can use it to stream at a lower resolution and, if conditions change (e.g. your internet line speeds up), you can set the camera to a higher resolution.
When deciding on what resolution to stream in, various factors come into play – the dimensions of your internet line, the image quality you want to achieve, and whether you’re broadcasting more or less fixed or quickly changing action. You can find out more in this article: Bitrate.
In selecting a camera, you’ll also be interested in frames per second (FPS) – read more here.
You can improve your stream by adding dynamic graphics with a widget showing current weather conditions, descriptions of places or people that are in the shot, an advertisement, or the results of a sports event. By doing so, you can use live video to create your own information channel or advertising medium. For this you’ll need the CamOverlay application, which is only supported by these AXIS camera models: models supporting CamOverlay
In the majority of cases, it’s enough to use a normal lens with a fixed focal length and thus a fixed angle of view. But, if you want to stream a shot that is, for example, in the distance or is in some way non-standard, a camera with an interchangeable lens may come in handy and will allow you to connect a telephoto or other lens. One example of this type of camera is the P 1365 Mk II.
Most cameras can “see” well even in dim light, but if you want your camera to produce a good image in complete darkness, you’ll need a camera with a night mode that uses infrared light. This, of course, costs extra. In order to improve image quality in dark settings, other functions such as WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) can be used to modify the contrast of dark camera shots.