When it comes to livestreaming, the quality of your camera can make or break the image. We all know how bad a webcam can look, especially in low lighting. Using a DSLR or mirrorless camera can vastly improve the image. When the pandemic hit, every major camera manufacturer developed software that allows us to use their cameras as webcams or livestreaming devices, but not all camera models are being supported. That's where something like Ikan's HomeStream video capture devices can fill the gaps. 

Ikan has two models in its HomeStream lineup, which include a pro version (HS-VCD-PRO) and a less expensive version (HS-VCD-2).

Ikan_homestream1HS-VCD-2 & HS-VCD-PRO

Both capture devices are designed to accept an HDMI feed with a maximum input resolution of up to 4K 30p. The video output on each is 1080p 30fps. However, the pro version has a few more features, including an HDMI loopout that supports up to 4K 30p and a separate 3.5mm audio input to plug in a microphone or lav. There's also a separate 3.5mm audio output. 

The simplified design of the HS-VCD-2 is plug-n-play, allowing you to quickly connect the camera using a full-sized HDMI cable and plug it directly into a computer's USB-A port. This is a great option for those who want a more streamlined design and less cable management. The HS-VCD-PRO is ideal for those who want to send a feed out to another recording device or monitor, or those who want to add a higher-quality microphone to the setup. 

The video capture devices support all the common platforms including OBS, Zoom, Skype, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, vMix, and Twitch. They also support Windows, Android, and macOS systems, making it easy to switch back and forth between different systems. 

Ikan_homestream2HS-VCD-PROCredit: Ikan

When it comes to video capture devices, there are plenty of competitors out there, and the HomeStream lineup is priced right. 

The HS-VCD-2 is only $34 at the time of publishing, making it a great bargain. The HD-VCD-PRO comes in at $79. When comparing it to the 4K output capable Cam Link device at $108, it's a good deal since you're getting the loop out functionality. 

You'll have to weigh the pros and cons of resolution and cost depending on your setup.