If you’re considering live streaming events on location, it’s very likely that you came across the Mevo camera.
It has been around for years and for a good reason. It can be used to stream to multiple platforms, including EventLive, YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and many others.
The key benefits of this little camera?
It uses a great built-in battery, the image quality is pretty good (considering its price), and the smartphone app works surprisingly well. There are other benefits that we’ll discuss in this post, but there are also some drawbacks that we’d like to address today.
To start with, we’d like to show you what the full streaming setup looks like.
You will definitely need a Mevo camera, and we’re working with the Mevo Start today. For a good live stream, you will be using a tripod or light stand, a smartphone to use the app and to act as a WiFi hotspot, and a microphone for best results. You can simply connect the camera using RTMP to broadcast directly to EventLive or the live streaming platform of your choice.
As a wedding photographer, the main benefit I see in this camera is that it is very easy to set up. Not as quick as a smartphone live stream, but almost. It takes less than 5 minutes, and you can connect accessories like external microphones without any adapters or cables hanging around. I love the simplicity of it.
On the other hand, the camera gave us a few problems when we walked away while using the smartphone as a hotspot. It’s also important to consider that moving the Mevo Start around without a built-in screen wasn’t an easy job.
If you think about it, it’s a camera that forces you to monitor the live stream constantly. You need to use another device, which makes you stare at the phone more often than we’d like to. A simple solution to this problem would be to mount a smartphone right next to the Mevo.
The downside that comes to mind is that if you’re using your smartphone to monitor the live stream, why not use it to go live directly from it?
Image quality is similar, the phone is even easier to set up, and you already own one. Oh, and it doesn’t require an external internet connection to work.
What makes the Mevo a good option when live streaming, especially compared to a phone?
The biggest reason to use a Mevo camera over a smartphone is that you can connect more Mevos to create a multi-camera setup with a very small investment. To give you an idea of the price range, the Mevo Start 3-Pack would cost about 1000 US dollars. The best part? You don't even need three of them.
It might sound complicated, but let us show you how simple it is. All you need to create a beautiful live stream is:
- 2 Mevo cameras
- A tripod for each
You can improve that setup by adding a WiFi hotspot that would allow you to walk away from your cameras without losing connection.
To make it work, you have to connect the Mevo cameras to the Mevo Multicam app and you can live switch between them!
The entire kit would cost about 800 USD. It will allow you to create a cinematic live stream while staying on a budget.
Can you make it work with a single Mevo camera?
Yes. A single Mevo Start camera would be enough for simple live streams and it will give you a similar quality to a smartphone, while -somewhat- freeing your phone for anything else you might need.
Is it worth using over an iPhone, for example?
Well, it depends. If you're broadcasting for hours, you might want to be able to make calls with your phone, walk away from your camera, take pictures with your phone for social media, and other tasks.
This setup would also benefit from a WiFi hotspot or connection, as it would definitely simplify your job. If you're not using one, you will need to stay within close range from your Mevo camera at all times.
Is Mevo Start the perfect live streaming camera?
That being said, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with this little camera. Even though it is an amazing piece of hardware, it comes with a few drawbacks. When zooming in, the image quality dropped considerably, especially if you didn’t fine-tune the zoom settings on the app.
Since the camera only allows for 1080p streaming, zooming in to 1.6x gives you a very poor resolution that doesn’t even reach 480p.
At EventLive, we tested the different settings and a 1.3x zoom would be a better option for most live streams, since the resulting quality would be close to 720p.
Another inconvenience we found is that when moving the camera, you can’t see what’s being recorded unless you’re holding your phone at the same time, which makes it very tricky to reposition the Mevo during important moments of the event.
On the good side of things, the Mevo dropped the bitrate quite a bit when our internet connection misbehaved, but it kept the stream going at all times, just like the EventLive app would do. We loved this and we think it’s a huge selling point for events, in which you can’t miss key moments for the virtual guests.
Another thing I liked about the app is that it showed audio levels and it switched to every microphone we connected right away. We plugged in our Rode wireless microphones using the 3.5mm jack on the back. Getting good audio during the live stream was easy and we could make adjustments to the audio levels and see the changes in real-time. We used Apple Airpods to monitor the sound and the app automatically connected to them. This is a real plus since it removes all the guesswork out of it.
At one of our events, we tested the internal microphone. Since we were working in windy environments, it didn’t really work for us. Maybe you could use it for indoor events, or quiet locations without too much background noise. We also noticed on our tests that sound quality improved vastly when we were closer to the action.
We didn’t use some of the features of the camera such as face tracking or lower thirds, but we tested them and they worked very well. We don’t see a real use for these features while live streaming events, but your needs might be different than ours.
Mevo Start: Battery Life in real life
As we focus on event live streaming, battery life is something we discussed and considered when choosing to go live with this camera. The battery life is great, but we haven’t confirmed if it lasts up to 6 hours, as Logitech states on their website.
The battery indicator isn't noticeable on the app, which is something to be improved. You can find the Camera battery levels displayed on 4 led lights on the back of the camera, which is something I don't like. Seeing four levels in 25% steps isn't the best way to let me know whether or not the camera will hold up for another 2 or 3 hours of live streaming.
We used it for about 2 hours at each event and we didn’t need to, but we could have powered it using a USB-C power bank to keep it going. Battery levels didn’t go down considerably, even though we used it in a very warm environment while streaming a beach wedding. About the internal battery, we can’t predict how well it will hold up in the future, but we will for sure test it out in a future article.
How does the Mevo compare to a multi-camera setup?
This is the biggest reason we’d recommend the Mevo over every other alternative. When comparing two Mevos vs 2 mirrorless cameras, the comparison is a no-brainer. You don’t need a laptop, OBS, multiple cables, capture cards, a hardware encoder, or any other equipment to make it work. You just need the cameras and an internet source. Well, and a microphone for a complete setup.
You can run the whole stream from a smartphone, which makes it a very portable combo for live streaming events on location.
Other alternatives come to mind, such as YoloBox or CameraFi, but all of them have shortcomings when compared to the Mevo setup. Reliability is the first one that comes to mind.
Who is the Mevo Camera for?
With all the good things we said about the Mevo Start camera, you might be wondering if it is for you. The answer is quite simple.
Do you want to be able to live stream events with multiple angles without spending thousands of dollars? If so, this is a great option.
Are you looking for a solution that you can set up and focus on something else, such as recording the event or taking pictures? The Mevo allows you to do that, but it competes directly with the phone sitting in your pocket.
Image quality, stabilization, battery life, ease of use, and even simplicity are all similar to a smartphone. If you’re going to be using a single camera, I’d argue that the phone is the better choice in most scenarios, as you don’t have to buy anything more than a microphone and a smartphone holder for it.
Still unsure if it works for you?
Let me tell you who the Mevo Start is great for.
If you’re a wedding photographer, DJ, MC, event planner, or even the videographer who will be shooting the main event, then this is a fantastic kit to jump-start your live streaming business. It is simple enough for you to set it up in 5 minutes and be done with it. It is also portable enough so you don’t have to carry around expensive gear that takes too long to configure.
Keep in mind that you will still need your phone to operate the live stream, which might be cumbersome during the event.
If you have any questions that we haven’t answered in this post, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We will help you with anything you might need.