The best teleprompter performs somewhat of a magic trick. It displays your script or notes in a way that you can read them while staring straight into the camera. That way, you can maintain eye contact with your audience without every fumbling over your words. And that means you'll look confident, informed, and knowledgeable about your subject. This makes a teleprompter a must-buy for anyone streaming live or recording a video who wants to look professional.
Teleprompters work by displaying your script as scrolling text, a bit like in the opening of a Star Wars film. These words are reflected on a sheet of glass in front of your camera, so you can read them while looking straight at the lens. The glass is constructed in a way that splits the light in two (known as a beam splitter). That way, your script is invisible to your camera and won't appear on the audience's screen.
Teleprompters for the YouTube generation
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Teleprompters have been used in broadcast television for decades, but have traditionally been very expensive. However, a new generation of cheaper, smaller, and lighter devices is now serving the streaming generation on platforms like Twitch and YouTube.
Typically, these work like this. You lie your phone or tablet flat, in a tray in front of the glass. Then you use an app to display your script on the device's screen. This is reflected in the glass. And behind the glass, there's space to place your camera (or another smartphone) to film yourself. To see what that looks like in practice, watch this short video of our favorite teleprompter, the Glide Gear TMP 100.
To help you find the right device for your needs, below we've listed the best teleprompters available today, at a range of prices. These include the best teleprompter for YouTube pros, as well as the best teleprompter for corporate use, and the best teleprompter for beginners.
Finally, if you need a camera to use a teleprompter with, read our guide to the best YouTube cameras.
The best teleprompters 2023
If you're creating YouTube content as part of your main job, we recommend the Glide Gear TMP100. Not least because we use it ourselves at Digital Camera World. When you're making a YouTube video, this is the best teleprompter to help you look both professional and natural as you stare straight down the camera. It's easy to set up, with no need for tools, and lots of mounting options for fixing it your tripod.
There’s plenty of room to install all kinds of cameras, even with long lenses, behind the glass, and the tray in front takes devices up to 10.5 x 9.5 inches – which covers most phones or tablets, although admittedly it’s not big enough for the iPad Pro.
The screen is nice and large, enabling you to read the text from up to 10 feet away, and the beam splitter glass is high quality. It can be easily set up or packed away, too, and comes with a convenient travel bag that offers good protection for the glass. In short, this has everything a YouTuber needs to read from an autocue and look good while doing so.
If you only do the odd YouTube video, you may want something a bit cheaper than number one on our list. In this case, check out the Desview T3.
You can use any tablet or smartphone up to 11 inches in diameter. There’s a Bluetooth remote to turn the page, pause, and speed up or down, although this can be a bit confusing at first. You also get customized shading rings for phones and DSLRs to prevent light from sneaking around the lens and flaring the beamsplitter glass. Plus it's pretty easy to set up and use in practice.
On a tight budget, and looking for a small and cheap teleprompter? This one won't work with tablets, but does connect to DSLRs (everything from a Canon EOS M to a Sony FS5) and smartphones, including the iPhone, via a flexible lens mount. It comes with a Bluetooth remote control and an iOS or Android app and does the job well.
This model is cheap for a reason: it's made of plastic and not exactly sturdy. But on the plus side that makes it lightweight, and at this low price, you won't find finer. Note: it's titled 'Ambitful Teleprompter Kit' in most places but also (for reasons that are beyond us) appears as 'Keayisofine Teleprompter' or 'Pronstoor Teleprompter' elsewhere.
Traveling around a lot, and want something nice and light? Then we recommend the Padcaster Parrot Teleprompter, which is cheap, simple, and very compact.
Made of lightweight plastic, this teleprompter weighs just 64g, making it perfect for slipping in a bag when you’re on the move. Bear in mind, though, that it does feel a little flimsy, the glass is relatively small, and the buttons are a little clicky, which may interfere with the audio on your recording.
On the plus side, you can mount almost any DSLR using one of the included 13 mounting rings. You also get a glass cleaning kit and a Bluetooth Remote, which allows you to pause, play, and adjust speed remotely. And overall, this is the best teleprompter if portability is your priority.
If you never use a camera or tablet for your shooting, just a phone, this is the model for you. This cheap and compact device allows you to film on your phone while using another phone or tablet to project your script onto the glass, with a reading range of up to 10 feet.
It can also work with a camera with a small lens, although we wouldn’t recommend buying it with this in mind, as there’s not a lot of space at the back. More broadly, this teleprompter is well-made, with a metal frame. It's collapsible, making it great for travel. And you get a carry bag and protective hood too.
If you’re creating a corporate video, you might be willing to spend a little more. The Proaim P-TP300 is expensive, but it is purpose-designed for meetings, instructional videos, news reporting, seminars, advertisements, and other business uses. And looks impressive enough to leave clients feeling they’re in good hands.
Despite its large screen, which is readable from up to 15 feet away, it’s lightweight and easy to assemble and transport. It's compatible with DSLRs and small to mid-sized camcorders, such as the Black Magic Pocket 4K. The tablet tray is a generous 10.6 x 8.2 inches, making it compatible with any iPad 1-4. And you even get a pair of cotton fabric hand gloves to help protect the glass.
If you're primarily using an iPad for filming, here's our top pick. Well constructed with an all-aluminum frame, this lightweight teleprompter includes an adjustable opaque hood that enhances reading. You also get a bag for carrying it, a remote for operating it, and a companion app. It's easy to assemble and works well in practice.
This collapsible teleprompter is suitable for models including the iPad 10-inch, iPad 10.2-inch, iPad Air 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 11-inch, and iPad mini (there is a bigger 13in version available for larger iPads). It's also compatible with a range of Samsung tablets, phones, handheld cameras, and video and photo tripods.
What sets this final teleprompter apart is that it can be used with "most computers with built-in webcams", as well as external webcams, cameras, and smartphones. It requires minimal assembly.
With tough, all-metal construction, it's nice and rugged, too. However, be aware that the hooks that attach it to the top of your screen require a display that's not much greater than one inch thick.
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