As we are still currently in a lockdown and the whole “work from home” idea is still very much present, I decided to create my own home “live streaming” setup. One thing I wanted to do however was to use my Nikon Z6 as the main streaming camera, which wasn’t too hard to do, but finding the right pieces to make it all work together was! After watching a few YouTube videos for ideas and watching the Joe McNally home broadcast setup from the last lockdown, I put together a list of “must-haves” and slowly ticked them off.

The idea behind wanting to do more live streaming or video content was the fact I get a lot of questions in my Instagram DM’s, wanting to know photography tricks, tips and how I manage to create the look in my photos. So what better way than demoing this live or in a video they can watch at a later date. Plus as video content is becoming more and more popular and with lockdown 3.0 it was the ideal time! Especially after the first lockdown, I thought I’d try something a little different.

The Tools Need for Live Streaming

Obviously, the biggest part of any live streaming setup is going to be the camera, however, being a photographer I’ve already got that part covered! So for me, it was those extras to turn a basic setup into a great setup. The same when shooting still photos, lighting plays a big part in creating that professional look as well as having decent sound. As I’m going to be doing a lot of talking I needed to make sure my sound quality was to a high standard. You can’t be trying to talk on a video and not be able to hear what the person is saying! After doing quite a bit of research I landed on the following products to help in creating my live streaming setup.

There wasn’t too much I needed to buy seeing as the more expensive items I already owned. Whilst there might be cheaper options the reason why I went with Elgato as the main brand for the products was how popular and highly regarded their products are within the streaming world. I did at the start try out a cheapy none branded HDMI capture card to take the video from my Nikon Z6 into OBS however, I found the picture detail wasn’t the best and that the sound delay from capture to when the Wave 3 mic was recording kept dropping slower and slower. At one point I had to set the delay of the mic by 300ms+ to match the visuals from the camera.

The nice thing about the lighting as well especially the Philips Hue is that I can control it all via my iPhone in the Hue app. So I can change the colour, brightness and set the mood of the scene all via my iPhone. As there’s a desktop app for the KeyLight Air lights I just installed that to my desktop, as then I can control the main light by a few clicks of a button, adjusting colour temperature and brightness.

Live Streaming

What About Camera Power?

The only part of the project I found the trickest to try and solve was having enough power for the Nikon Z6. Whilst I have about 4-5 batteries for the camera as it’s positioned out of arms reach I can’t quickly check the battery levels, especially during a stream. So rather than having to swap batteries, I ended up looking in a mains powered system. However, the first 3rd party system I tried for some reason just wouldn’t turn on the camera. Looking within the Nikon Z6 manual they recommended the Nikon EH-5B Power Connector and the Nikon EH-5B AC Adapter, which lucky enough Ffordes had both of these items in stock within their used department! Quite the result as well seeing as you can’t really find either of these products in stock.

Going Live!!

So after finally sourcing all the products and tech needed it’s time to hit that record button, turn on the mic and start creating some high-quality live streaming content. Whilst I might not be streaming gameplay and getting “dubs” in Call of Duty, what I’m hoping to do is inspire other creatives who are either looking to start getting into photography or in fact want to expand their knowledge.

Therefore make sure to follow me on YouTube where I’ll be posting my video content and the odd live stream, look forward to seeing you there!