Guide to use your DSLR as a webcam

Guide to use your DSLR as a webcam
July 11, 2020 No Comments Photography atul.ghosh87@gmail.com

Live streaming demand have increased worldwide and it will increase day by day as the number of cases are increasing and to follow social distancing guidelines people are preferring to stay at home and work.

And demand of live streaming will increase so we everybody can follow the social distancing norms. Weather it is wedding, corporates events or education sector we will see the use of live streaming in future as well.

Due to the pandemic situation stores are out of Webcam stock? Learn how to use your own DSLR or mirrorless camera as a webcam.

If you are trying to setup work from home environment you need a webcam and you must be searching online for best webcams available online but all webcams are out of stock coz the demand is very high right now.

It’s a problem many people are facing, but for many, there’s a fairly easy solution: Use your DSLR/camera as a webcam. 

Yes, your trusty DSLR or mirrorless camera that’s kept free and gathering dust now because your vacation has been cancelled can be used as a webcam for all those Zoom and Skype calls.

And, because your camera will have a much larger image sensor than most webcams do not have, your video streams will look a lot better.

Even your phone can be used as a webcam, many people can’t spare their phone to be used just for this purpose as you might get important calls on that as well and that’s where your camera appears in.

Mostly in many cases, all you have to do is plug your camera into your laptop or desktop via USB, and run an application. 

If you are thinking of using your camera as a webcam, we also recommend investing in a tripod, so you don’t have to place your camera risky or somewhere on a stack of books or hang it as we have seen in many viral videos.

Below are a few ways to use your camera as a webcam, from a universal app to manufacturer-specific apps. 

How to use your camera as a webcam

In many cases, you can use your DSLR camera as a webcam by plugging it into your Laptop/desktop via USB, and then using software such as SparkoCam to allow some video conferencing apps, such as Zoom, to access your camera.

However, Panasonic, Canon, Olympus, and Fujifilm have released their own apps, which may work better if you have a compatible model.

SparkoCam

Windows users who own a Canon or Nikon camera will find SparkoCam to be a quick solution.

This free software supports a wide range of Canon and Nikon cameras and lets you add effects, such as animations and face accessories.

This app only works on the Windows system, but it’s compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

SparkoCam-compatible cameras
Canon:
 Includes EOS-1D X Mark III, 1D X Mark II, 7D Mark II, 6D Mark II,  5D Mark IV,  EOS 90D, EOS 80D, EOS 850D, 800D, EOS 750D, 77D, Canon 5DS, Canon 5DS R, EOS R, EOS RP, EOS M6 Mark II, EOS M200, M50,  PowerShot G7X Mark III,  PowerShot G5X Mark II, EOS T8i, T7i, T7, T6, T6i, T6s, T5i, EOS Rebel SL3, SL2, SL1

Nikon: D850, D810, D780, D750, D500, D7500, D7200, D5600, D5500, D6, D5, D4s, Z6, Z7

Download SparkoCam

Canon

Canon released a beta utility that allows you to use select Canon DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and PowerShot cameras as a webcam; compatible cameras include the EOS Rebel SL2, SL3, T6, T7, EOS 80D, EOS 90D, the PowerShot GX5 II, GX7 III, and SX70HS. And, it works with both Windows 10 and Mac systems.

 Download Canon EOS Webcam Utility Beta

Fujifilm

Fujifilm released the Fujifilm X Webcam app, which is a Windows 10-only program at the moment, but works with the Fujifilm GFX100, GFX 50S, GFX 50R, X-H1, X-Pro2, X-Pro3, X-T2, X-T3, and X-T4 cameras. Firmware updates for the X-T200 and the X-A7 will now let you use those cameras, too. Fujifilm also said that its software will work with Macs starting in mid-July.

Download Fujifilm X Webcam

Olympus

Owners of the Olympus E-M1X, E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III and the E-M5 Mark II can use the Olympus OM-D Webcam beta software in conjunction with a PC to use those cameras as a webcam. Sorry, there’s no Mac support at this time.

Download Olympus OM-D Webcam beta

Panasonic

While Panasonic’s existing Lumix Tether app already lets you control some of the company’s cameras from your laptop or desktop, a new beta version of the app (Windows only) lets you view a Livestream from the camera, which you can pass through to a videoconferencing app of your choice. The Lumix Tether beta app is compatible with the DC-GH5, DC-G9, DC-GH5S, DC-S1, DC-S1R, and DC-S1H cameras.

if you plan to stream with SparkoCam software, there are a few Nikon models that won’t work. They include Nikon D3000, Nikon D3100, Nikon D3200, Nikon D3300, Nikon D3400, Nikon D3500.

It makes sense to stream video with the gear you already have. Why buy another expensive camera if the one you already own will work? And why settle for a basic webcam with a cheap sensor? Using your DSLR as your webcam can save you money and give you better results.

How to use your Sony alpha Mirrorless camera as a webcam

  1. Go to Menu and navigate to the suitcase option.
  2. Under the suitcase option, go to setup 4 USB Connection option then select PC Remote option.
  3. Connect your camera through USB cable
  4. Download and Install Imaging edge Studio Desktop version software pack for Windows or Mac. It will download 3 different applications Viewer, Imaging Edge, and Remote. When you connect the remote app through USB cable it will remotely start showing the live feed on your computer from your camera.
  5. Download and Install OBS studio.
  6. Open OBS Studio and Click window capture and press ok.
  7. Now select Remote and make adjustments.

Download Imaging Edge

Download OBS Studio

DSLR as a Webcam: 5 Ideal Users

While it isn’t hard to setup this up, it isn’t for everyone. Here are some users who would benefit from a DSLR webcam setup.

  1. Vloggers and YouTubers
  2. Live streaming
  3. Remote workers
  4. Gamers
  5. Shooting still photos: auto save them to your computer. Great for product shoot.

DSLR vs Webcam: Pros and Cons

So while lots of laptops have built-in webcams and USB webcams are pretty cheap, they are limited.

DSLR Pros:

1. Image quality. A DSLR have a big image sensor and it can even beat the best webcam available in the market in terms of Image quality.

2. Image Adjustment:  Webcams come with a limited number of adjustable settings. It can be easy for some users But if you have a knowledge of DSLR settings and you really want to adjust exposure, ISO, aperture, and composition, you’ll love using a DSLR webcam.

3. Audio quality: Dslr Mic quality is far better than the mic available in a webcam, and you’ll have better audio with a DSLR camera.

       if you add in an external mic, it gets even better. Of course,  you can also add a USB mic to improve your webcam audio.

Web cam Pros:

1.Battery life: . Because the webcam is either built-in or direct powered by USB, you don’t have to think about battery life.

2. Power Supply: On the other hand, DSLR cameras are not easily powered while filming. So, you’ll need to have a supply of charged batteries.

3. Filming Sessions: Depending on your camera, you can expect between 50 to 90 minutes of filming time with your DSLR.

If you plan to shoot long sessions in excess of 1 hour you need to have an extra battery and sensor heating can also cause your DSLR to shut down for a while which is irritating during a live meeting.

So if you are planning to go on a long video conferencing or recording session webcams are the best as it is powered by USB and you don’t have to worry about the battery and heating issues.

Price:  Actually, this depends on what you already own. And even if you own a DSLR, the capture card is going to cost you. But if your priority is better image quality then the cost is a secondary thing.

Webcams are important for lots of platforms. Content creators publish videos on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and Instagram.

Remote workers use Zoom, Skype, and Slack to communicate with clients or their colleagues.

Here are the basic pieces of gear you’ll need to make a DSLR web camera with the above-stated software.
  1. SparkoCam software
  2. DSLR camera (Canon or Nikon)
  3. USB cable: specific to your camera
  4. Desktop or laptop computer running Windows OS
  5. External microphone (Canon and Nikon don’t support their mics for audio).

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