What do I need to start camming? Now that you have decided to become an adult webcam model, it’s time to get set up. You will need some inexpensive equipment before you start, so let’s have a look at what is required. It’s likely you already have most of the equipment already so you may be ready to begin right away!
The good news is, once you have your equipment, there are no further costs other than upgrading your equipment or buying extra bits to help spice up your stream.
What is required to start camming
First off, let’s go through what you absolutely must have before you start camming. This is all required equipment that you cannot cam without or at least it will be unprofitable to do so. We will look in detail at each piece below but just quickly, here are the requirements;
- Performance Area
- Digital Copy of Government Issued Photo ID
What do I need to start camming in terms of a PC? This is the biggest cost but chances are, you already own a computer that is ready to use. Most modern computers (~4 years) should suffice with no issues however you may want to check before your first stream (The last thing you want for your first attempt is to have a laggy stream!). Have a look at your computer specifications; there should be a sticker with the basics on or you can use the free program speccy which will give you a detailed view at your PC. If you are still unsure or have any questions, feel free to drop by our community forums. Generally speaking if you see an i3, i5 or i7 sticker and your computer is relatively new, you should be absolutely fine.
Buying a new PC for camming
If you are looking to buy a new computer to cam with, we highly recommend you go with a desktop over a laptop unless you intend to travel. The reason; You will pay a lot more for a laptop with the same or very similar specifications. That is not to say laptops will not work, only that the upfront cost of buying one is significantly higher than a desktop. Another benefit of buying a desktop is that you can upgrade and replace components with relative ease whereas you are limited to what you can replace with a laptop and repairs are often expensive.
When asking about a new computer, make sure to tell them you are wanting to stream with it – If you don’t want to tell them you are camming, just say you are looking to get into video game streaming or streaming on youtube. Generally speaking, the most important component is the CPU (processor) followed by RAM. You want at least 8GB of RAM with an ideal amount being 12GB – 16GB. You can always go with 8GB and upgrade in the future as RAM is easy to upgrade whether you choose a desktop or laptop and most modern computers will support anywhere from 16GB to 48GB. All other components are largely irrelevant, however, we recommend getting an SSD if you can as the performance over a standard harddrive is well worth the little extra it costs and will make your computer boot and run much much faster.
Operating Systems - What do I need to start camming?
You may also be wondering which operating system is required to start camming. The good news is that most, if not all, will be usable. It is important to note the following though;
While Windows 7 and Windows 8 will work fine, we recommend you upgrade to Windows 10 when you get chance. It isn’t going to break the bank, has improved security and you may even see some performance gains over older versions of windows.
- MACINTOSH (Mac, iMac, Macbook Pro etc)
Depending on whether Apple still supports your hardware, you can upgrade your Operating system for free using the software update function. You can find a guide here: How to Upgrade your Mac.
If you use Linux, chances are you already know how to upgrade. Linux is generally the most secure but please be aware that some devices do not have Linux drivers. If you are using linux but want to use windows for camming, you can create something called a dual boot system.
Just a few examples
And that’s it! If you want to see some example computers, here are a few that we have inspected to verify they will work. Please note that they vary in prices depending on their specifications and it may be worth going to for a more expensive model as it will future proof it:
- Dell Inspiron
- HP Elite 8300
- Acer TC-885 (Highly recommended as you will receive free tech support)
What do I need to start camming in terms of a webcam? A little obvious, we know, but you may be surprised to hear that a laptop webcam probably isn’t going to cut it. Without a doubt, you will want a HD webcam. Streaming in non-HD resolutions is going to result in poor returns as people are looking for a crisp view of the action.
The good news is, webcams have dropped massively in price recently and that means that getting a good starter cam won’t break the bank.
webcam comparisons - What do I need to start camming?
You may already have a fairly good webcam, and if it works okay, you might be good to start camming right away. If not, you should look to buy one of the following;
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As you can see, all of these are Logitech. Logitech are the dominant webcam makers. On the other hand, you may find others out there that can work just as well. Please be aware, you will want to avoid microsoft lifecams. The Lifecams have an autoadjust that you cannot turn off and it makes the stream choppy or downright unwatchable.
What if I can't afford a new webcam?
If you can only afford to use your laptop camera, it may be enough to get your started however you will not be performing optimally and some sites will outright reject non-HD broadcasters. You will also likely be dealing with a bad microphone that may pick up on the laptop fans or other noises which will be unpleasant to your viewers.
One last thing
Whatever you go for, make sure to get familiar with the settings. This is extremely important as it will allow you to configure your webcam to suit your room’s lighting. It is best to spend some time configuring your webcam’s settings manually rather than leaving anything on auto.
What do I need to start camming in terms of internet? Your internet connection is the most important part of your equipment. Without the correct upload speed, you will be unable to stream in HD quality or even worse, your stream will be choppy and buffer.
So what internet do I need? Generally, for a 720p stream, you are looking for 1-2mbps upload. If you are wanting to stream full HD (1080p) aim for around 2-4mbps upload and 4k, you are looking at 12mbps+ upload.
You may notice we say upload, this is because your connection has two speeds. The first is the download speed, that is how much data you can download (aka from the internet to you). The second speed is upload speed and it’s how much data you can upload at once (aka, how much you can send to the internet). These are often very different, especially in the UK for example, where download speeds are usually much higher than upload speeds. It is important to ask about the upload speed if you are changing your internet.
Just how do you find your current internet speeds? There are plenty of easy to use sites that will measure your speed within seconds and provide you a clear answer. The most common is Speedtest. This is a completely free service!
If you need to change your internet, we highly recommend finding a comparison site first as they will often get better deals than going direct.
4. Performance Area
What do I need to start camming in terms of space? This one should seem obvious, however, there are some considerations that need to be taken. We will just go through some quick bullet points on how to choose the correct area. If you only have a bedroom, that’s fine, you will still benefit from the points.
- Make sure your area is well lit. Lighting can play a huge part in your stream. You need to make sure you are visible and that your camera is able to pick up any darker areas.
- Your area should be clean and tidy. While there are people who enjoy the dirty, unclean look, most people don’t. They want to see you have good hygiene, so make sure your area is clean and uncluttered.
- Hide anything that has personal information on it. We all have mementos of ourselves and loved ones but when performing online, you want to make sure these are not visible. This includes things such as family pictures, photos of familiar areas, anything that has an address on it (fast food menus, mail, college cups etc). Unfortunately there are people online who will exploit the opportunity to look you up if they see personal items so always double check there are none before you start your stream.
- A lock goes a long way. Having a lockable door will mean your stream won’t be interrupted by a family member, friend or even worse, your children. Door locks are cheap and inexpensive to fit, having one could save you and your stream from an embarassing experience.
- Remove the distractions. While having say, a reptile terrarium, may seem cool, it will likely detract viewers from watching you. The same goes for TVs or anything else that’s bright and moving. You want the focus to be on you so make sure your cam makes you the center of attention.
A lot of models will often put aside a room specific to modeling. After all, this is your business, some people have offices, other’s have cam rooms.
5. Digital Copy of a Government Issued Photo ID
Finally the last thing you require is some form of government issued photo ID. This can be a driving license, passport etc. This is due to a legal regulation that performers ages are documented and verified.
If you don’t have a passport or driving license, you may be able to get another form of ID. In the USA, you can apply at your local DMV for a non-driver ID. This will suffice as it has your photo and is government issued.
Hopefully you now have everything required to get started, make sure to check the site for tips on how to monetize your streams. You may also want to look at our Recommended equipment page.