When it comes to the quality of your video on your gaming live stream, who cares… right? That’s really going to be the sentiment throughout this video. Are there really people out there judging you on how pixel sharp your video quality is? Okay, I admit, there is a balancing act between absolute dirt quality and tac sharp. But as a streamer, especially if you’re someone who’s just starting out, and really those of you who have a solid audience that tunes in every time you go live, you’re not going to need to spend hundreds of pounds on capture cards or DSLR cameras with an HDMI output, and a wide aperture lens for that shallow depth of field. You just need something that’s going to look good and keeps that purchase cost down as much as possible. And I’ve found a solution.
What spurred me on to make this video, is a webcam that I’ve been testing on my Twitch channel. It’s a camera by a PC peripheral brand called Rapoo, and the model number is XW2K. It’s a small webcam, capable of recording at 1440p, and has a nice 85-degree wide-angle view and for the most part, it’s absolutely wicked.
Now to admit a truth, I at one point used my Sony A7RII full-frame DSLR, and I watched countless videos on YouTube, listening to these streamer turned YouTubers talking about ideal gaming setups and their fancy DSLR cameras and 4K Elgato capture cards and all that jazz and I fell for it. I wanted it all because I thought by having all of that pro gear, I was going to be the best. But I was wrong. Yes, at some point in your streaming journey, as long as you’re growing your Twitch channel effectively, you’re going to find yourself having some extra cash in your bank account. But, is it really worth investing in expensive gear, when a £35 Rapoo XW2K webcam is definitely more than enough to keep you going? That money you’re earning from Twitch can just as easily be pumped into some online advertising for your stream through social media, or better lighting to make your stage more interesting to look at, or even a better microphone to make your voice audio sound as good as possible.
You’ve got to remember, that for the majority of game streamers, a face cam is going to be in the corner, nice and small, so it takes up as little of your game screen as possible, and at this size, especially as more and more people are tuning into Twitch on mobile to watch their favourite streams, the sharpness and resolution of your face cam is going to matter less and less. The Twitch app, according to backlink.io has been downloaded more than 100 million times, and the latest stat released by Twitch, almost 40% of viewers come from mobile. At the size of your mobile screen, are people really looking at that small camera feed face cam in the corner and thinking “Nah I’m not watching this, look at the potato quality camera!” Probably not. It’s about your content. It’s about how entertaining you can be which will bring back an audience. And more importantly, it’s about sound and having a nice balance and quality of your voice and game. You’re probably watching this video on your phone right now, which makes this next segment of my video all the more important, as you’ll be able to compare both types of cameras.
Your lighting is also important when you go live on Twitch. If you’ve got awful lighting, even the most expensive DSLR cameras are going to look bad, so keep in mind too that even though you might have spent hundreds, or maybe even a thousand bucks on your camera and lens setup, you’ll still need to spend more on lighting to make yourself look good. I would always recommend saving cash on your video camera and think about how you can get a decent key light and if you’re feeling fancy, some background lights.
But don’t take this video as gospel. If you want to go and spend all your hard-earned cash on a fancy capture card and DSLR camera, go for it. It’s your money. But, if you’re new or even a growing Twitch streamer, and are conscious about your budget, the Rapoo XW2K webcam and the great quality that it can bring to your Twitch stream definitely deserves a look in.