Hollyland VenusLiv streaming camera officially announced

Aug 7, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Aug 7, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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We first got to take a peek at this one back in April at NAB 2023. It’s the Hollyland VenusLiv (buy here), and it was an impressive little streaming camera. Back when it was called “Venuss”. But that’s changed with the official announcement.

The new camera is pretty much as was stated at NAB. It’s a camera intended primarily for live streaming. It works in both horizontal and vertical orientations, with high-speed autofocus and multiple connectivity options.

YouTube video

It’s always interesting to see companies that typically make products to complement cameras jumping into the actual camera market itself. And while Hollyland isn’t planning to compete with the likes of Nikon, Sony and Canon with this one, it looks like they’ve done a decent job with this one.

Hollyland VenusLiv – Built for live streaming

It’s not a camera designed for narrative work or any of the types of projects you’d usually use a cinema or mirrorless camera for. Instead, this one is purpose-built for lives streaming. It does have an SD card slot, allowing you to capture footage offline (at 1080p resolution), but it’s not its primary intended purpose.

Yes, you saw that right above. It’s a 1080p camera, not 4K. That might seem like it’s not got a massive amount of resolution versatility for the price Hollyland’s asking, especially when you can pick up gimbal mounted 4K webcams that track and follow you for under $300.

6x Zoom (but only 3x optical)

The built-in lens offers a field of view equivalent to 24-70mm optically with a built-in 3x optical zoom. You can combine this with the 2x digital zoom to take that field of view equivalent up to 135mm for 6x total zoom.

Bearing in mind that you’re only shooting 1080p HD, it’s probably best to work on only having the 3x zoom range. Digital zoom combined with YouTube compression could make your image degrade very quickly.

5″ HD Touchscreen Display

The camera has a large touchscreen display that can be rotated around to just about any angle you wish. So, if you’re using VenusLiv cameras to stream somebody else and you need to monitor what they see from behind the camera, you can have it facing back behind itself.

If you’re streaming yourself, however, you can rotate the display around entirely to the front. This lets you easily see your composition, focus and other shot aspects in real time. Of course, you can always plug a monitor into that full-sized HDMI socket, too.

Lots of connectivity

The Hollyland VenusLiv includes both gigabit wired ethernet and wireless network connectivity. This is a great advantage over many dedicated live-streaming cameras, which often only include WiFi or USB connectivity.

Speaking of USB, VenusLiv has three USB sockets. One is a Type-C USB 3.1 socket for connecting it to your computer as a USB camera. Your computer will treat it like any other camera or capture device. The second is a Type A host socket. I’m not entirely sure what this is supposed to be for. There are no hints on the Hollyland website.

The third USB port is another Type-C, sitting on top of the camera. This one’s a USB-C 2.0 that serves as an audio interface. Hollyland says it’ll work directly with the Hollyland Lark C1 (buy here) and Hollyland Lark Max (buy here) through its USB-C plug. Whether this is compatible with other USB microphones, like the Rode VideoMic NTG on-camera shotgun mic, is unknown.

It also features a 3.5mm mic/line input socket, though. So, you have a backup in case USB audio isn’t an option. It also sports a full-sized HDMI socket. This, too, is a feature you don’t often see on streaming cameras, which typically prefer to beam their signal over WiFi or USB.

Finally, there’s an SD card slot for saving your footage too. The Hollyland spec sheet does say it supports SDXC, but that’s any capacity 64GB or higher. No upper storage limit is mentioned, so perhaps it works with those huge 1TB cards.

Hollyland VenusLiv Specs

Lens Pixels4K Optical Zoom Lens
Equivalent focal length24-70mm
ApertureF1.2 (equivalent F6.3)
Zoom1X~6X (3X optical * 2X lossless digital)
Field of View80° horizontal, 46° vertical
FocusAuto hybrid focus
Video Output FormatHDMI output: 1920 * 1080P 60Hz, USB UVC:1080P 60/30fps YUY2, RTMP Push Stream:1080P 60/30fps
Touch Screen5″ LCD (1080x1920px)
Wireless TechnologyWi-Fi: 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0
Power Consumption<12W
External BatteryNP-F batteries
Input Voltage12V DC
Weight900 gram
Dimension178 x 99.7 x 94.8mm

Price and Availability

While you might not think that a streaming camera would cost all that much, the Hollyland VenusLiv is quite expensive. If you want to get one, the Hollyland VenusLiv is available to buy now for $999. Yup, I told you it wasn’t cheap.

I think I’ll be skipping this one myself, but I’m curious to see how popular this becomes with the wealth of other streaming solutions and cameras on the market.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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