With the ban on gatherings of more than 100 people during the lockdown, many religious leaders have chosen to act responsibly by streaming their church services online. With this in mind, we have compiled an affordable live streaming equipment checklist for streaming from your smartphone camera. 

Lighting

Unlike most DSLR and mirrorless cameras, smartphones can take videos of up to 30 minutes in length; however, their sensors aren’t big enough to let in the required light. Thus, whether you’re streaming using an Android or iOS smartphone, adding good lighting is key. Make sure you set up in a well-lit room.

We recommend using the Godox LEDP120 as it has power and temperature settings. In most cases, using one of each side of the presenter is best as this eliminates any shadows. The Godox LR-180 LED Mini Ring Light is a portable and lightweight option that runs on AC power via its included adaptor. It also lets you adjust colour temperature and you can make light intensity adjustments via a simple knob on the fixture. It is mountable to an optional grip head or stand and includes a smartphone holder. If you wish, you can even use LED bicycle lights to add lighting to your setup.

Vlogging setup by cowomen

Sound

Another crucial element for quality video streaming is sound. Therefore, we advise investing in a microphone. The RODE VideoMic Me (or VideoMic Me-L for iOS) plugs straight into your smartphone and serves as a directional (shotgun) microphone that will pick up the presenter’s sound as well as ambient sound in the background. The RODE Smartlav mounts to the presenter’s collar and will thus only pick up the presenter’s voice. If, for example, you would like to play music in the background, this lavalier microphone won’t pick it up. For the Smartlav to work, you need either a 3.5mm SC3 or 6m SC1 cable. The SC1 cable is only necessary when the presenter is positioned more than a metre away from the smartphone.

Vlogging setup by convertkit

Stabilisation

To stabilise your footage, you will need a tripod. The Benro BK10 comes with a smartphone holder whereas the Joby Griptight ONE is ideal for those who already have a tripod and only wishes to add the phone holder/bracket. The Griptight ONE has a universal screw to mount directly onto any tripod. The Benro 3XS has the added benefit of being able to electronically follow the presenter as they move around by moving left and right.

Background

You don’t necessarily need to shoot in front of a professional backdrop. Many vloggers set up their cameras in front of a clean, uncluttered wall. For a professional background, we recommend the Visico Backdrop Stand Kit. This provides the frame to which you can add a paper or muslin (curtain) backdrop. Even though using white is most popular, we stock a variety of colours for you to choose from. For those interested in digitally changing the background, using a Chroma Green screen is best.

If you’re not planning on live streaming the church service, we recommend using a video editing programme as this will allow you to add music and text to the footage. There are many free available options like Quik, Periscope and Meerkat.

This article was compiled with the help of sales consultant, Bernard Koch. For further advice, please get in touch with him at [email protected]

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