I have done a lot of live streaming over the years to share video of my 187 gallon fish tank and in doing so I have used several different video capture cards. When I switched to a Sony a7 III Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera I ran into some compatibility issues with the card I was using at the time so it was time to find an alternative solution. I did some research and landed on the Elgato Cam Link 4K video capture card since reviews were very favorable.
With this device you can live stream to Facebook, YouTube or another platform using a DSLR, mirrorless camera, GoPro or a professional camcorder.
For live streaming software I use a free solution called Open Broadcaster Software or OBS. Another way to go is Wirecast, which costs $700 and has many cool features not available in OBS, including the ability to live stream simultaneously to both Facebook and YouTube. If you want a professional streaming solution then use Wirecast.
Ok, so let me begin this tutorial by starting with the necessary equipment.
Equipment List For Live Streaming
Camera – You can check out this page to see which cameras are compatible with the Elgato Cam Link 4K.
Computer or laptop – You will not be able to effectively stream video if you don’t have a computer or laptop with enough giddyup. Check with the manufacturer to make sure you have a powerful enough processor, sufficient RAM and a good graphics card. I can stream really well using my iMac but I when I tried using my wife’s MacBook the stream was terrible.
Elgato Cam Link 4K – duh ?
Apple USB-C to USB Adapter – If you have a Mac without a USB port you will need one of these to connect the Elgato Cam Link 4K to your laptop or computer. Windows PC users with a USB port will not need one.
Professional camcorders – Use a standard male/male cable. I would recommend a long one such as this 50 footer.
Mini-HDMI to HDMI Cable
Professional camcorders – not needed
DSLRs/mirrorless cameras – The Mini-HDMI to HDMI cable should come with the camera, although they are pretty short. I picked up this
longer one to further extend the reach of my camera.
GoPro – GoPro Micro HDMI Cable MORE