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Podcasting might be an audio medium, but many podcasters are now live streaming and filming their sessions. If you’re just getting started with a podcast – or looking to upgrade an existing podcast with video – we’re here to help with the best podcast cameras.
The video component of major podcasts has been around for a while, but, right now, video podcasts are bigger than ever. The Joe Rogan Experience now has more than 10 million subscribers on YouTube, while Ethan and Hila Klein’s H3 podcast has a combined 8.5 million over two YouTube channels.
Of course, most of us aren’t vying for Joe Rogan or H3 numbers, but filming your podcast can help at any level. Sharing and growing your audience through social media becomes much easier with clips to post and, even if you have a small fanbase, they’ll appreciate being able to put a face to your voice. Because the truth is, we as humans like to watch other humans. And as great as podcasts are for listening in the car or while commuting, a video aspect will always attract a bigger audience.
Podcast Camera Buying Guide
Buying a camera typically requires a dizzying amount of research. However, if you just looking to film podcasts, the research process gets much easier. Below are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for the best podcast camera.
Record Time: Many cameras have an auto power-down function or stop recording after a certain amount of time (DSLRs often stop recording around 30 minutes). We picked cameras with long recording times or auto power-down functions that can be turned off completely.
Battery: In the same vein as record time, you’ll want a camera with a long battery life. This will let you get the shot set up, take breaks and record for long periods without charging or replacing battery packs.
Live Streaming: Live streaming podcast sessions is a great way to engage with your fanbase. Some cameras can stream to your laptop or smartphone over WiFi, and others can connect via an HDMI cable. One of these two features is a huge benefit, as you’ll probably want to live stream at some point (if you haven’t already).
Resolution: Clear, high-resolution video is always preferable – even when filming podcasts. Your audience will get a clearer picture of your face (or faces) for a better viewing experience. 1080p is essential, and with the rising popularity of 4K, a camera that can record in Ultra-HD is even better.
What Are the Best Podcast Cameras?
If you’re ready to unlock the audience-growing, fanbase-improving benefits of video podcasting, read on. We’ve picked a few of the best podcast cameras that you can pick up right now.
1. Panasonic HC-V770 Camcorder
If you’re looking for a straightforward, high-quality camcorder, go for this Panasonic HC-V770. It’s an entry-level camera but offers some features and specs that comparable models can’t claim.
Battery life is great with the HC-V770, boasting over three and a half hours of filming time (with a decent memory card, of course). The camera does have an eco-mode which automatically turns the camera off after 15 minutes, but this can be disabled for filming until the battery runs out.
Probably the attractive feature with the HC-V770 for podcasters is its WiFi functionality. Instantly connect to a phone or laptop using the camera’s NFC technology – even if your phone doesn’t have NFC (although it probably does). Using the Panasonic Image App, you can control the camera and watch a live stream from your phone or laptop while shooting. And with USTREAM, you can also broadcast full-HD live streams.
2. Sony FDRAX53/B Camcorder
For an upgraded, semi-professional camera, check out the Sony FDR-AX53/B. It shoots in UHD 4K, which is a very helpful feature as more and more people watch content in 4K. Of course, the camera also shoots in 1080p for smaller file sizes and uploading to YouTube.
The AX53 has an impressive record time of 150 minutes, which should be more than enough for most podcast needs. It does have an standard auto power-down, but this can be disabled.
If you want to broadcast, the AX53 offers two options. The first is a simple HDMI out port, but the other is a bit more high-tech. The camera is WiFi and NFC-enabled, allowing for tethering to a smartphone or laptop.
3. Canon VIXIA HF G50 Camcorder
This Canon VIXIA G50 is very similar to the model used by Joe Rogan in his podcast recordings. In other words, it’s the professional choice. You’ll be able to capture super-crisp 4K video and capture what you need – even in low-light settings. With a whopping six hours of battery life, you’ll be able to record entire podcasts – or even back-to-back episodes – without a problem. Plus, with a clean HDMI output, you can turn the G50 into a live streaming webcam without any extra gear.