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If you do not have a webcam, or you want to improve the quality of your broadcasts – in this post you will learn how to use your camera as an Internet camera.

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Camera as a webcam

During the coronavirus pandemic in Poland and around the world, there was a significant increase in remote workers, as well as students who had to switch to working from home. Not everyone at that time was equipped with the right tools such as a laptop, tablet from work or university. Many people have desktop computers that have not been equipped with a webcam for on-line communication. As a result, there was a considerable demand for this type of equipment, and in some homes even for several such cameras, because it turned out that at home several people need them at the same time – parents to work and children to learn. As a result, many people want their camera as a webcam to allow not only video transmission, but also increase its quality to the level we know from professional creators and streemerers.

Availability of webcams during the pandemic

Due to the increase in demand for webcams, headphones with a microphone and this type of accessories, some factories that were also affected by the pandemic lost their processing capacity, which meant that manufacturers had limited availability of accessories that everyone wants to buy. It came to the point where it was difficult to buy any camera, sometimes they became more expensive, or only the highest models for a few hundred zlotys were to choose from.

How do I make a webcam out of a camera?

To make a webcam from a camera that we already have, we should only need a USB cable attached to the camera, which we will connect the camera to the computer and a dedicated program / driver dedicated to specific camera models. Below I present a list of available manufacturers and their cameras that give such a possibility, and the necessary software.

Nikon

Selected Nikon SLR cameras and mirrorless cameras will be used as a webcam, thanks to the Nikon Webcam Utility application available for Windows and Mac and the USB cable included with the camera. A tripod and a charged battery will also come in handy, and preferably an AC adapter.

Compatible SLR cameras:

  • D850
  • D810
  • D780
  • D750
  • D500
  • D7500
  • D7200
  • D5600
  • D5500
  • D5300
  • D3500

Compatible mirrorless cameras:

  • Of the 7II
  • Of 7
  • Of the 6II
  • Of 6
  • Of 5
  • Of 50
  • D6
  • D5

Software:

Nikon Webcam Utility – Windows / OSX

Canon

In the case of the Canon brand, the list of cameras is very extensive and includes most SLR cameras and a few cameras from the PowerShot series. In this case, we also need a USB cable and EOS WEBCAM UTILITY software for Windows and Mac. Unfortunately, not all cameras had a dedicated USB cable in the set, so we have to go to the store for it or order it on the Internet.

Canon - Camera as Webcam

Compatible SLR cameras:

  • EOS-1D C, EOS-1D X, EOS-1D X Mark II, EOS-1D X Mark III
  • EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R
  • EOS 6D, EOS 6D Mark II*
  • EOS 60, EOS 70D, EOS 77D*, EOS 80D*, EOS 90D*
  • EOS 7D, EOS 7D Mark II

Compatible mirrorless cameras:

  • EOS M200
  • EOS M50*, EOS M50 Mark II*
  • EOS M6 Mark II
  • EOS R EOS R5, EOS R6*, EOS Ra
  • EOS Rebel SL1, EOS Rebel SL2*, EOS Rebel SL3*
  • EOS Rebel T3, EOS Rebel T3i
  • EOS Rebel T5, EOS Rebel T5i
  • EOS Rebel T6, EOS Rebel T6i, EOS Rebel T6s
  • EOS Rebel T7*, EOS Rebel T7i*, EOS Rebel T8i*
  • EOS Rebel T100
  • EOS RP*

Compatible PowerShot models:

  • PowerShot G5X Mark II
  • PowerShot G7X Mark III
  • PowerShot SX70 HS

*No USB cable included.

Software:

To use the camera as a webcam, go to the EOS WEBCAM UTILITY website and select your camera model, then select the operating system and download the EOS Webcam Utility which is available for Windows and MacOS.

Sony

As with Nikon and Canon, Sony has released Imaging Edge Webcam for Windows and MacOS. A USB cable is also enough to use Sony cameras.

Compatible SLR cameras:

  • ILCA-77M2
  • ILCA-99M2
  • ILCA-68

Compatible mirrorless cameras:

  • ILCE-7M2
  • ILCE-7M3
  • ILCE-7C
  • ILCE-7RM2
  • ILCE-7RM3
  • ILCE-7RM4
  • ILCE-7S
  • ILCE-7SM2
  • ILCE-7SM3
  • ILCE-9
  • ILCE-9M2
  • ILCE-5100
  • ILCE-6100
  • ILCE-6300
  • ILCE-6400
  • ILCE-6500
  • ILCE-6600

Compatible compacts:

  • DSC-HX95
  • DSC-HX99
  • DSC-RX0
  • DSC-RX0M2
  • DSC-RX100M4
  • DSC-RX100M5
  • DSC-RX100M5A
  • DSC-RX100M6
  • DSC-RX100M7
  • DSC-RX10M2
  • DSC-RX10M3
  • DSC-RX10M4
  • DSC-RX1RM2
  • DSC-WX700
  • DSC-WX800
  • ZV-1

Software:

You can download the software you need for Windows and MacOS here .

Fujifilm

Fujifilm has prepared Fujifilm X Webcam for Windows and MacOS which allows you to connect the camera as a webcam using a USB cable. The list of supported models also includes most of the most popular models of this manufacturer.

Compatible mirrorless cameras:

  • GFX100
  • GFX 50S
  • GFX 50R
  • X-H1
  • X-Pro3
  • X-Pro2
  • X-T4
  • X-T3
  • X-T2
  • X-S10

Software:

You can download the Fujifilm X Webcam app here . It is available for Windows and MacOS.

Olympus

Olympus with its app to turn a camera into a webcam with a USB cable is still in beta and may still have childhood problems, but it’s worth a try. The list of compatible cameras is also not too long.

image - Urbanflavour.pl

Compatible mirrorless cameras:

  • E-M1X
  • E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III
  • E-M5 Mark II

Software:

To turn our camera into a webcam we will need the Olympus OM-D Webcam Betaapplication which you can download here. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with the latest macOS Big Sur yet.

Panasonic (disambigu

Panasonic is also in beta, so you have to watch out for minor bugs that may appear, but it’s worth a try.

Compatible cameras:

  • DC-S1R
  • DC-S1
  • DC-S1H
  • DC-GH5S
  • DC-G9
  • DC-GH5

Software:

LUMIX Tether for streaming can be downloaded here .

Better webcam image?

Just using our camera instead of a webcam, which often has a much smaller sensor and worse optics, will give us better image quality. Despite this, it is also worth remembering a few issues that always work.

Light

If we have the opportunity, it is good to sit facing a window or other large and bright light source. If the light is too sharp, we can use an ordinary curtain that will soften it, or a blend placed in the window, or in front of the light source. We can also reflect the light of the lamp from the white wall, or also the blend, so as not to shine directly in our direction. If we have any softboxes with constant light at home, we will already be able to have professional lighting, which everyone in the room on Zoom or Google Meets envy.

Elgato Key Light

One of the most interesting solutions that I have recently met, which looks really good in quality and gives great configuration possibilities is Key Light from Elgato. It is an LED panel that we can control using an application or a dedicated controller, we can adjust its brightness and light temperature, as well as use several of the same panels. When we use the camera as a webcam with such light, we gain great lighting regardless of the time of day.

Streaming light - camera as webcam
See on Ceneo.

Camera settings

Whether in a movie or using a camera as a webcam, manual modes work best. During video conferencing on Zoom, Hangouts, etc. Applications we will sit practically in place, so we can set some parameters in advance in manual mode to achieve the appropriate exposure.

It is also worth setting the focus manually, so that the camera does not look for us when we move slightly. Some webcams have autofocus as an additional option on more expensive models, but it often annoys the recipients of our broadcasts.

Of course, not every program and camera gives such possibilities. Some work in auto mode, or only give a Live View preview. For sure, we can squeeze a lot out of Sony cameras and their program.

Lossless video transmission from the camera to the computer

Unfortunately, the above method of transmission via USB cable may carry some limitations in terms of quality, as is the case with e.g. Canon that will only allow 720p image. For more demanding people who are looking for a way to image from their camera without losing quality, e.g. streaming or more professional applications, there are so-called. grabbers. Grabber is an image capture device, in this case we can capture an often lossless signal from the HDMI port in the camera. On a similar principle can work external video recorders for filmmakers which have their own screen and hard drive.

Camera as a 4K webcam with Elgato Cam Link 4K

One of the most popular and recommended solutions will be Elgato’s Cam Link 4K which captures 4K images in 30 frames, or Full HD 1080p in 60 frames. Depending on the camera model, it is a lossless transmission and without time limits. The device is compatible with typical video conferencing applications such as Skype, Zoom, MS Teams.

Elgato Cam Link 4K - camera as webcam
See on Ceneo.

The device works with cameras and camcorders of the following brands:

  • Sony
  • Canon
  • GoPro
  • Panasonic (disambigu
  • FujiFilm
  • Blackmagic

It also requires a good computer with a USB 3.0 port and a quad-core processor of a minimum of the fourth generation i5, as well as an HDMI cable for our camera. From what I’ve heard, it’s also useful to have good graphics to render it all. The list of compatible cameras and camcorders along with the specification of the connection that we can achieve is given on the manufacturer’s website here.



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Fotograf eventowy - Marcin Krokowski