3 digital cameras connect to Macbook Pro


New Member
Hello all! I have a 2017 Macbook Pro with touch bar running Big Sur version 11.1. I'm looking to stream a performance to Zoom using OBS. We're currently planning on using 3 iPhones to stream to the laptop wirelessly as the video sources, and I've tested that to see how it works, and it works fine. But someone wanted to try use digital cameras to possibly increase the video quality. Would it be possible to connect 3 digital cameras (unsure as to the specific types), either wirelessly or not, to this laptop without killing it? It would also likely need to have QLab open to run sound. Any advice/info would be greatly appreciated!!
Streaming over NDI with iPhone will give you much more flexibility than cameras hooked up over HDMI to multiple capture devices. Start with something achievable and think about upgrading the process after having it working. Trying to use cameras is a cool idea, but the idea should also include how to bring it together in OBS. Short of 3 USB Video capture devices, long HDMI cabling with signal boosters, etc.. Digital cameras is going to be much more difficult. Good luck.


Agree with @thomaslfessler. iPhones make great OBS cameras, but of course there are some limitations as well.

You can certainly attach 3 cameras, but you'll need 3 HDMI capture devices (or a single device that captures all 3then does the switching for you...but I've not used one) plus long cables, etc.

I have 3 HDMI input sources to my 2015 15" MBPro, plus another iPhone using OBS Camera...plus all sorts of media and image sources, and it works just fine...no problem with encoding or rendering lag.

As for the HDMI capture devices, I've used Elgato HD60S+, elgaty CamLInk4K and an off-brand capture device for about 1/3 the price. All have worked well.

I use the hardware encoding for my stream, which takes the load off the CPU. I also do NOT use Studio Mode as it kills my CPU. I do use Multiview, though.