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5 webcam alternatives you may already own – check out Geek

  Alternatives to webcam you may already own
BRO.vector / Shutterstock.com

The big webcam shortage of 2020 is still going strong and with so few options available it can certainly be frustrating if you need a webcam now . However, there are some alternatives to a standard webcam that you may not be aware of and that you may already own.

Today, many devices use cameras to some degree, and you may be surprised how many of them may have turned into makeshift webcams. The obvious example of such a thing would be to use a DLSR camera with a USB capture card (like the Elgato Camlink 4k) to turn it into a high-end webcam. Unfortunately, the USB capture cards affected by the same problems as regular webcams stock, so we will not go into here. Either way, there are still some great options for alternative webcams, whether you have a new destination, a device that you use every day, or something that has been collecting dust in your closet for years. So, without further ado, let's start .

Your Phone or Tablet


This is the option many are looking for when looking for a webcam alternative. And that makes sense, as most modern mobile devices have impressive cameras and some even surpass high-end webcams. Fortunately, the Epocam app allows you to turn your iOS or Android device into a wireless webcam for your computer.

All you have to do is make sure your device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer, then download and install the associated apps and drivers for your platforms from the Epocam website ( it's compatible with both macOS and Windows) and you're good to go. Your phone or tablet appears as a normal camera option on your computer. It's great to see such a simple option that pretty much anyone can use.

Epocam is free, but if you don't want to handle ads, you need to buy the Pro version for $ 5.49 on Android and $ 7.99 on iOS

A Canon Camera

  Canon Webcam Utility [19659008] Canon </span></figcaption></figure>
<p>  Canon <span class= has some driver & # 39; s given that some of its EOS, EOS and PowerShot cameras Mirrorless- & # 39; s can be converted into webcams. (Here's a list of compatible cameras.) The program is currently in beta for both macOS and Windows, but it's fairly easy to install (and Canon provides instructions for it). Once you have installed the driver for your corresponding camera and your camera is connected, you are done – quite easy.

The the obvious advantage of using a Canon camera is that it improves the quality of any webcam out of the water. Of course, you may need something like a tripod to properly position your camera, but that shouldn't be too difficult to get your hands on.

One thing you need to manage is your camera's battery life. You can use a battery-to-power adapter to charge during use, but this varies by model. If you visit the product page of each camera, Canon states on the 'Supplies & Accessories' page. whether they make a compatible adapter for that model. (Although you can also use third-party options if you also find something compatible.)

A Panasonic camera

  Panasonic GH5

If you have a Panasonic camera, you can still do something similar to do . LUMIX Tether for Streaming has just been released and allows some Panasonic cameras (full compatibility list) to connect directly to your computer and act as a webcam. LUMIX Tether itself has existed for a while, but focused on tethered shooting, so it had GUI elements (such as a focus area) mark on the video feed. But this new version removes those elements, so you can use your Panasonic camera as a high-end webcam.

Installing and using LUMIX Tether is quite easy. All you really need to worry about is making sure that "Live" mode is enabled in the software itself – that's what removes the GUI elements mentioned earlier. It's also worth noting that this is only available for Windows.

Panasonic cameras, of course, have the same battery problem as Canon cameras. Panasonic does not manufacture its own adapters like Canon, so you will have to rely on compatible third-party offers for each camera model.

A Wyze Cam

  Wyze Camera and Wyze Cam Pan

Like Canon and Panasonic, Wyze has released drivers to convert the Wyze Cam v2 or Wyze Cam Pan in webcams for Windows 10 or macOS. It's a bit more complicated because you also have to flash software on the camera itself, but it's not that difficult anyway.

You must have a few things before you start. Namely a MicroSD card (and a MicroSD card reader if your computer has no ports) and USB-A to USB-A cable. If you have it, it's (quite) easy to download and install the drivers for your corresponding platform, put the corresponding firmware for your Cam v2 or Cam Pan on the MicroSD card and then the MicroSD card disconnected in your . Wyze Cam. Then press and hold the "Setup" button while connecting the camera, keep holding it until the light turns blue, then you have to wait for your camera to restart.

Wyze has a comprehensive guide to doing this, which we highly recommend because it explains some of the finer details you need to know to set up the camera correctly. (You can also refer to the manual to reverse this process). After you've done everything, all you have to do is plug your Wyze Cam into your computer with the aforementioned USB-A to USB-A cable, and you're good to go.

Xbox One Kinect

  Xbox One Kinect

The Kinect may have failed as a revolutionary way to play video games, but if you have one or find a cheap one online (which isn't difficult) is), it can actually make for a pretty good webcam. You need an adapter to connect your Kinect to your PC, but after that you just need to download and install the drivers from Microsoft supplies – it's that simple.

The best use of the Kinect as your webcam is that it supports Windows Hello, meaning you can use facial recognition to unlock your Windows computer. That's a nice bonus feature and makes the Kinect a great choice for any Windows user.

It goes without saying, but this option is only for Windows. Sorry, Mac users.

Xbox One Kinect

Xbox One Kinect Sensor

After a simple driver installation, your old Kinect can act as a webcam and even support Windows Hello.

PlayStation Eye

  PlayStation Eye

Another failed peripheral of video games, this time we take a step back in time. Since the PlayStation Eye was released for the PlayStation 3, it probably has been collecting dust for a while if you have one. But by using a third-party driver called CL Eye (the "Platform" driver, which costs $ 2.99), it can now act as a full-fledged webcam – it even looks like a webcam!

After installing CL Eye, connect the PlayStation Eye to your PC and you are good to go. Included with CL Eye is a program called "PS3EyeTest.exe", which you can use to test the camera and even adjust some settings such as contrast and white balance. Now, the Eye's camera quality certainly won't blow you away, but it's still good enough for some video calls.

Like this Kinect for Windows.

PlayStation Eye

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