You are a year into the pandemic, and you are really starting to think, should I buy a DSLR camera and start flexing on my co-workers with how baller my camera setup is?
The answer is yes and even cheaper than you think!
There are tons of YouTube videos guiding you on what camera and lens combo are perfect for your stream. Often these setups are total overkill for your average WFH user. I was in the same boat but decided there has to be an inexpensive camera to get the job done! Enter the Sony A6000.
Released back in 2014, the camera isn't necessarily the new hotness, but definitely good enough to get the job done. It is readily available to buy on ebay or your local used market place.
I would also recommend checking your local marketplace. Since you might be in an area where the demand for this camera is lower, you can even get it for cheaper.
Look for ones with minor cosmetic issues since you won't be using it as a camera for even more significant savings.
If you weren't a camera enthusiast like myself, there are few things to consider before diving into your excellent setup.
Can you get a clean output from the camera?
You need to remember that you are buying a camera here and not a web camera. Many DSLRs have on-screen metadata that you might not be able to get rid of; if your camera doesn't support removing them, you are SOL.
Kit lens any good?
A kit lens is a lens that comes with the body of the camera. With a6000 depending on where you mount it, the kit lens is quite good and useful as a web camera.
The kit lens that comes with the a6000 is a 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Retractable Zoom Lens.
It is definitely, something to consider before you buy, since buying a new lens will obliterate any hope of sticking to your initial budget.
Now that you have the camera, you aren't done; there are few accessories that you will need to get the best out of your new setup.
I'll cover a few things about selecting the right camera, what tools you need, where you can save money.
Now to look your best, you are going to have to invest in some lighting. This is definitely something I would recommend, even if you aren't grabbing a new camera today.
Most of the lousy setups in my research can be brought back to life with the simple addition of more light.
You don't need to get fancy and can get away from a 30 dollar ring light in the right spot on your desk with a little bit a diffusion.
I have been known to change the mounting of my camera quite a lot. This would happen a lot when I was either rearranging or cleaning up my desk, then I could never find the spot or right height again.
Mounting your camera can help you find your angles and lock it in. I ended up grabbing this mount and clipped it to the back of the VESA mount of my camera. So when I move my monitor camera comes with me.
I am overall loving this setup and keep the wires and everything out of the way.
If you want to get fancy and have a 3d printer handy. Check it out.
Batteries and HDMI Capture Card
Since you are multiple zoom calls per day, you can't just rely on the single battery and continually worry about charging.
Luckily people have created these batteries to plug into the wall and trick your camera into thinking it has a battery plugged in. These are called AC Power Supply adapters, and they are available for various cameras. If you end up getting Sony A6000 here is one I use.
Now the next part is where things can get pricey for absolutely no reason.
We now need to get what the camera is seeing into the computer somehow. You will need to ensure that the camera you have had HDMI out (likely HDMI mini), and you send that signal from your camera to your computer.
Elgato is the Supreme of the capture card and desk setup space, and your favorite streamers are probably shilling you their stuff.
If you have a modest camera and aren't streaming 4k (you probably) video from your camera, save yourself 130 bucks and get this simple capture card for 30 dollars.
Various videos compare the difference between the offerings and ultimately up to you to decide. Still, I can't tell the difference, and your viewers likely won't either.
If you have any questions or follow-ups please hit me up! Would love to talk setups and rigs! Hope you learned something!