EMEET Streamcam One – Up Your Content Creation Game
Author: Lee Herbet
These days just about everyone needs to speak on camera at one point or another. Even if you’re not creating content, you still have video calls and so on. The EMEET StreamCam One is more targeted at content creators but could be a good solution for folk who want to deliver better quality content of any sort, but with a caveat.
First let’s talk about what it is. The EMEET is a camera with some pretty nifty features:
- Wireless ability to stream video
- 8-hour battery life, so can be used out and about
- Two built-in microphones and a super easy to use wireless microphone
- A 1/2.8″ Sony sensor
- Ability to use multiple cameras at once on a single stream.
- A microSD slot so you can capture video and audio on the camera to edit later
Now about the image quality. It’s good, it’s definitely better than most webcams, but if you’re expecting it to somehow look just as good as a high-end camera with a light set up, I’d like to introduce you to the laws of physics. 😉
You’re still going to want to have a light or two and maybe watch a tutorial or two about how to best light your setup for video. But once that’s done, you can get a very nice looking image out of the camera.
Also keep in mind the camera can only capture up to full HD at 1080p. This is more than fine for most online content and most livestreams, but it would have been nice to have a 4K version for those who want higher resolutions. Though I appreciate that would have raised the price by a noticeable amount.
The price at time of publishing is $399 AUD for a single camera, $671 AUD for two cameras and $999 AUD for three cameras. The reason why you may want more than one camera is that the software you use with the StreamCam One allows you to do live switching between cameras either while you’re recording or doing a livestream. I was only sent a single camera so I wasn’t able to test this feature out, so can’t comment on how smooth it may or may not be.
The other reason a 4K sensor or 4K version of the camera would have been nice is that you’re able to “zoom” in on your image, even while you are streaming live. Since it’s a 1080p camera this means that it’s a digital zoom and will, of course, mean your image will get a bit soft when you do this. But I would rather have this feature than not have it.
The “zoom” feature in the app is pretty cool, as you can control it manually or have it use “Auto-Director” mode where it will try and keep the zoom on the subject or multiple subjects in your frame. I found it a bit hit and miss, but overall pretty good.
The two built-in microphones are fine and do a decent job. I am really pedantic about sound quality and the best way to get good audio is to get your microphone as close as possible to your audio source. So the wireless microphone that is included is the real winner here. I think it’s done in a pretty clever way with how it magnetically attaches to the camera when not on your subject.
When you do want to place the wireless mic on your subject it has a built-in clip which makes things easier and the sound quality is pretty good for the price and what it is. My only real gripe is how big the wireless microphone is. When you clip it onto your – or your subject’s – shirt, it’s not subtle and it is very obvious that it’s there.
Quick microphone tip. You don’t want to attach a microphone to the neckline of a typical t-shirt, that’s too close to the person’s mouth. You actually want to place the microphone on their chest, right about the chest plate. Because the StreamCam one’s microphone is the shape and size it is, it can look even more awkward in this placement. It would have been great if they could have either made it small, or given us the ability to attach a lav microphone to the wireless mic and use it as a receiver, then we could use a more subtle lav mic and wireless still get the audio to the camera. Of course this all would have added cost and so I totally appreciate why this wasn’t done.
There is an app, which is where I actually came undone a bit – more because of user error than because of the app. I first downloaded the Mac app from the EMEET website and for the life of my I couldn’t get the Mac app to see the camera. The computer could see the camera and I could use it as a webcam, but I couldn’t access the camera from the app to change any settings on the camera. Turns out the Mac app isn’t compatible with the camera, which wasn’t very clear.
The iPhone app- there is an Android one too – is really good. You can leave the camera on all auto settings, or choose from some “filters” they have for things like sunny, cloudy, black and white, etc. But there is also a “Pro mode” which allows you to change things adjust things like exposure, which they call “luminosity”, contrast, hue, saturation, sharpness, backlight contrast and white balance. You can also flip or mirror the image.
There is also a “HDR” function. I won’t go into details on what HDR is or how I doubt this is “true HDR” but to put is simply, this allows you to get a better exposure on the camera in situation where you have extremes between the darkest and brightest parts of your image. I am guessing they are using some software trickery to do this. It’s ok.
One thing I would like them to add to the camera features of the app is the ability to save “profiles”. I found I had to play around with the Pro Mode quite a bit to get something that I liked the look of. It would be nice if I could then save those settings as a profile to easily come back to and use in the future.
You also have some decent audio controls over which microphone the camera uses, although this was also a pain point as it took me a few tries to connect the wireless microphone. I would have thought it would come “pre-connected” as it were but it doesn’t so that’s something you need to be aware of. So be sure to check that in the app when you first set up the camera and make sure you connect the microphone.
The App also allows you to start, stop and control a livestream to multiple feeds at the same time. So, in theory, you could go live to Facebook and Youtube etc at the same time. You can even add elements like images or titles into the feed from within the app, though keep in mind you need to pre-load those into the app before you start the feed.
I was pleasantly surprised by how full featured the app was.
The pitch that EMEET is trying to make with the StreamCam One is that you don’t need all the professional gear and knowledge to deliver high quality video and audio for livestreams and creating content. I would argue that they are half right. I think the StreamCam One delivers a much better product than if you were using a webcam and the built-in microphone on your computer and it is really simple to set up and use. But you’re still not going to get the high level of quality you’d get from a high-end camera and microphone and that’s fine. The quality you get from the StreamCam one is still streaks ahead of what most people could produce with their built-in gear and costs a lot less than all the high-end gear.
So if you’re looking at upping your content creation or streaming setup without spending a fortune and learning how to use that high end gear, you should definitely have a look at the EMEET StreamCam One.
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