Facebook Live from a pro camera using a smartphone [guide]

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In previous posts we learned how to use Facebook Live from a computer, stream from a pro camera, some tips and tricks and even gathered a list of the best mobile photography accessories.

In this post i’m going to show you how to use a DSLR/ Camcorder you already have and connect it to your smartphone to broadcast directly to Facebook Live.

Have a Facebook Live question? Join our Facebook Live Professionals community!

Before we begin, make sure you have the below list:

  • Android operated smartphone (sorry iOS, use Mevo)
  • Magewell Usb Capture Dongle (or a cheaper model)
  • OTG cable
  • Camera Fi Live android app
  • DSLR/ Camcorder with HDMI output or a simple USB Webcam
  • HDMI cable
This is how it looks connected

This is how it looks connected

How to stream to Facebook Live from a pro camera using your mobile?

Once you install the Camera Fi Live app, connect the OTG cable to your mobile phone on one side and to the Magewell Dongle on the other side. Use an HDMI cable to connect your pro camera to the Magewell Dongle, turn on the pro camera and launch the Camera Fi app.

>>Learn how to bring more viewers to your Facebook Live Videos<<

If you connected everything correct, you should see the stream from your pro camera in the Camera Fi app. If not, the app will remind you to connect a camera to your phone.


Next step is to login into the social network you wish to stream to, choose between: Facebook, Youtube, UStream and Wowza. Once you click Facebook you will need to choose whether to stream to your own profile or to one of the business pages you manage. If you with to change the stream output you can click the round logo in the to left corner and change from your profile to your page or group.

Since Camera Fi is a freemium app, the basic version is quite limited. You can choose to stream in 720p as max resolution and add the text to your post, but you will have a watermark on your stream until you pay (7.99$/ month or 69$/ year) and than you can stream in HD, upload a preview photo to your video and enjoy some more premium features.

The basic version will still allow you to choose between your pro camera and each of the smartphone’s cameras, so you actually have 3 different cameras to stream from and you can choose between them anytime and quite easily. You can also choose an audio source, be it the smartphone’s mic or some pro equipment connected to your pro camera.

>>Click here for the latest Facebook Live News & Tutorials<<

Once you go live you have the option to share the video directly from the app, because leaving it will cause your video to pause and even end if you don’t open the Camera Fi app again. You will also be able to see the viewer’s comments on you video but you won’t be able to answer them from the app.

One of the coolest features in the app is streaming from both of the smartphone’s cameras (front and rear) as having one of them in the bottom right corner. You will also be able to apply certain filters and draw on the video so your viewers can see.


Pro Camera/ DSLR or a USB Webcam

What if I don’t have a DSLR/ Camcorder?

Not a big deal. If you have a USB webcan you can connect it directly to the OTG cable and save the money and trouble of buying expensive dongles and cables. This will enable you to be more creative with the angles and points of view, otherwise impossible from your smartphone. Unfortunately, the Camera Fi app must remain operating while you are broadcasting, so you will not be able to use your smartphone during the streaming.

facebook live poll

YouTube Live Streaming

Using Camera Fi Live for YouTube streaming is a great idea. The app doesn’t require any external camera and uses the built in cameras your smartphone already has. Considering the fact that the native YouTube app doesn’t support streaming live, this is a great solution.

  • Loi Sua
    March 5, 2017

    Good day! I downloaded the app and it says “No value for email” whenever I open the app and click the facebook button. What should I do? Hope you can help me. I needed the app so much.

    • Geva Telem
      March 5, 2017

      You will have to reach out the the app developers. Sorry.

  • Wayne
    April 14, 2017

    Looking at this with interest, however, is there a way to charge your phone while you have everything plugged in for streaming? or do you just have to make sure you are charged and limit the streaming to the battery life?

    • Geva Telem
      April 14, 2017

      While you are able to connect a USB splitter to the OTG cable for charging, i’m not sure it’ll work and haven’t tried it.

    • Miller White
      December 25, 2019

      I use a different smart phone for livestreaming on YouTube and use wifi to connect on line. The smart phone is wireless charging and fully charged when I start the broadcast. Wireless charging is the best way to keep the battery from going bad and the wifi keeps the smartphone updated. Contact me if you need any advice. Christ truth league

  • amin
    June 17, 2017

    where you buy the megawell usb capture??

  • shots
    October 10, 2017

    as Facebook become more problem for 3rd party app, can you do this and use the facebook app directly, it will work?

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