Optimal Webcam Setup

If you have important video calls (for example, you fundraise as the CEO of a company), you should have a good webcam setup. This post contains everything you need for one, at a cost of $700-$2,000, depending on which options you choose.

I. Camera

Most webcams are not very good, and you’ll want a real DLSR camera instead, optionally with a better lens:

Camera: Sony Alpha ZV-E10 ($800 with lens, $700 without)

Lens: Sigma 16mm f/1.4 Lens ($380)

II. Microphone

Although cheaper microphones work, it may be nice to have a high-end microphone which doesn’t get in your way:

Microphone: Rode NTG4+ Shotgun Microphone ($340)

III. Camera Accessories

Buy a power adapter for the camera so you never have to charge it: F1TP AC-PW20 AC Power Adapter ($25)

Buy a capture card for the camera for the best video quality and lowest latency: Elgato Cam Link 4K ($90)

IV. Mounts

You probably want to mount your camera behind and above your primary monitor. I use a large desk mount for this, but if you are often travelling or on a laptop, a smaller one works.

Base camera mount: Elgato Desk Clamp ($40)

Camera mount extension: Elgato Flex Arm ($40)

If you have a shotgun microphone, you should buy a mount for it too, placing it right behind your monitor and aiming the microphone towards you.

Desk-Mounted Boom Mic Arm ($72 with Amazon coupon)

Microphone Shock Mount ($13)

V. More accessories

You will need to connect your camera to the USB capture card, which then plugs into your computer:

4K Micro HDMI -> HDMI Cable ($10)

You will need to connect your microphone to your camera to include it in your HDMI stream, which also ensures it’s perfectly in sync with your video:

3.5mm Male to XLR Female Cable ($9)

If you want to use the microphone without the camera, you’ll want this cable

USB Male to XLR Female Cable ($13)

If you want to use your camera for outdoor filming, you’ll also want:

SD card ($12-$156)

SD Card Reader ($13) as well

If you don’t have a good lighting setup, you may want to purchase some lights as well:

Elgato Key Light – 2800 Lumens ($180)

VI. Configuration

You’ll have to change a few settings on the camera to have a good streaming experience.

It’s a popular camera, so if you don’t know how to do something, just search on Youtube. I found this video which helped me with a few settings such as: set the overheating threshold to high, add ‘USB streaming’ mode to the quick menu if you are not using a capture card, and turn the steady shot option off.

The most important item in this list by far is the camera – the microphone and lighting isn’t nearly as crucial for a good setup. Special thanks to Cori Li, CEO of Spellbrush, for helping me with all of this myself.