How to Use Your Camera as a Webcam
With more and more meetings and events being held remotely, we are all trying to put together our own live streaming kit so we can stay in touch. While a portable webcam is great for ease of use and versatility, there are obvious benefits to using your Mirrorless or DSLR camera for your streams, such as improved image quality and compatibility with accessories.
Whether you already own a camera, or you are in the market for one, here are some examples of available technology that allows high-end cameras to be used as webcams.
Olympus OM-D Webcam utility
The Olympus OM-D Webcam utility, which is compatible with Windows only, allows some of the brand’s most popular Mirrorless cameras as a webcam.
The compatible cameras are:
- Olympus E-M1X
- E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III
- E-M5 Mark II
The OM-D Webcam utility can be used in combination with numerous popular video conferencing app, such as Zoom, while audio is not captured through your camera, but instead through the internal microphone of your computer or an external microphone that you connect to your computer.
Mac users with Olympus cameras will have to investigate third-party options, such as the software Cascable.
Panasonic Lumix Tether for Streaming
Panasonic’s existing Lumix Tether app has recently been revamped, with Panasonic releasing this timely solution, Lumix Tether for Streaming. The key change that this software has seen to make it more suitable to the streaming world include the removal of control panels and settings which existed in the previous Lumix Tether app. In use, this means the software is capable of presenting only what the camera sees, rather than the focus settings and controls which were necessary for tethered shooting. For added versatility, these controls can still be enabled if necessary.
This beta software, which is both Mac and Windows compatible, works with the following Lumix cameras.
- GH5 and GH5s
- S1, S1R & S1H
Canon EOS Webcam Utility
Canon has recently released their Windows and Mac compatible EOS webcam utility, and it is still in beta so any minor issues it may have will likely be ironed out in future updates. While other software that we have discussed have been compatible with more recent releases, this Canon option is compatible with the majority of their cameras in recent history.
See here for a full list of compatible camera models.
Fujifilm X Webcam
The Fujifilm X Webcam software couldn’t be easier to operate. You simply download the software (Mac & Windows available), connect your compatible camera to your computer with a standard USB cable and you are set to go.
There is a list of handy instructions on the website that you should have a thorough read through, as certain settings cannot be changed once your camera is connected and streaming.
The compatible Fujifilm X cameras are as follows:
- X-T2, X-T3 & X-T4.
- X-Pro 2 and X-Pro 3
- GFX 50R, GFX 50S & GFX 100
Sony - Imaging Edge Webcam
The recently released Sony Imaging Edge Webcam is welcome news for countless Sony Alpha users, who love the high-end video quality and availability of accessories that their Sony camera offers, but who until now have had to rely on third-party options to livestream.
The Imaging Edge Webcam software can be downloaded here. A full list of compatible cameras can also be found at that link, but below is just a few of the popular recent models that can be enhanced by this announcement.
Compatible Sony cameras:
- A7 Mark 2 & 3
- A7R Mark 2, 3 & 4
- A7S, A7S Mark 2 & 3
- A9 & A9 Mark 2
- A6100, 6300, 6400, 6500 & 6600
- RX100 Mark 4, 5, 5A, 6 & 7
As we mentioned in our write up of the best adventure cameras, thrill-seekers generally don’t want to wait too long between living out their action-packed endeavours and sharing them with the rest of the world. If you are the owner of the GoPro Hero 7 Black, Hero 8 Black or Hero Max, this has been made simple to achieve, thanks to the easy to install GoPro App.
As well as being compatible with multiple streaming platforms, such as Facebook Live and YouTube, the GoPro app allows you to add frames, themes and music to your video, as well as control the settings on your camera. Whether you are streaming an extreme sports event or attending a remote office meeting, the GoPro App makes life fun and easy.
Options for other brands
Certain other brands, such as Nikon, feature brilliant cameras that many of us would love to use to capture our streams, thanks to their impressive dynamic range and high-end digital camera lenses, but at this stage, they do not feature official software to make this possible.
If your camera falls into this camp, Ted’s stock a handy solution in the Corsair Elgato Camlink. Compatible with a huge range of cameras, the Camlink features the following feature set.
- HDMI to USB connectivity
- Easy plug and play design
- Up to 4K 30p video quality
- Ultra low-latency
- Mac and Windows compatible
Start live streaming at home today
Whether you have found a way to use your DSLR or Mirrorless camera for your vlogging and streaming on this list, or ultimately decided that a webcam or smartphone is your best option, Ted’s is always there to help.
Keep an eye on our blog for the latest hints, tips and product advice, and contact your local store if you still need some guidance.
One on One with NOMADasaurus
One on One With Oli Sansom