Webcams can be expensive and difficult to find at this time. Moreover, their video quality is probably worse than your iPhone's camera. So why not use your iPhone as a webcam for your video meetings? Here's how to do it:
First consider using iPhone apps instead
To use your iPhone as a webcam, you must install an app on your iPhone (which must be active for it to function ), and an associated app on your Windows PC or Mac. Installation is pretty straightforward, but there's an even simpler alternative: native apps.
If you want a webcam to have Skype calls, chat with colleagues on Zoom or Slack, or just catch up with friends via WhatsApp, consider just the relevant iPhone app. These apps are built specifically for a mobile experience, so they work great on the small screen.
If you want a hands-free experience when using your iPhone this way, invest in a cheap tripod. You can buy tripod mounts for smartphones to customize existing photo equipment. Or you can do anything on a GorillaPod that you can attach to just about any surface.
The biggest disadvantage of this route is that you are dependent on the microphone of your iPhone and speaker. Wireless earphones, such as AirPods, are the best way to get around this. The sound quality is reasonable and you will be a lot easier to understand with a microphone so close to your face.
Of course you sometimes have to sit behind a computer. Nothing replaces a special webcam for that. Fortunately, you can make that with your iPhone, too.
Using your iPhone as a webcam
To use your iPhone as a webcam, you need to install an app on your phone and some software on your computer. Unfortunately, your iPhone does not support this functionality by default, so third-party software is required for it to work.
After trying different apps and reading a lot of reviews, there are two that we recommend: EpocCam (Windows and Mac) and iVCam (Windows only). These are both premium products with generous free options, so you can try before you buy. The Windows versions support Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7.
EpocCam for Mac and PC has three iPhone apps available. The free version has limitations, the high-definition version is $ 7.99, and the $ 19.99 version is for professionals who want to use multiple cameras. The free version is limited to a 640 x 480 resolution and includes a watermark over the camera image.
iVCam works in an almost identical manner, but is only available for Windows. The iPhone app and associated software can be downloaded for free. The free version of iVCam supports HD resolutions, but also includes a watermark on the video feed you can pay to remove. You can purchase iVCam for $ 9.99 from the developer's website or through an in-app purchase of $ 9.99.
Both allow you to use a wireless or USB connection. You can choose a front or back camera, use different lenses, and even turn on the flash on your device to better illuminate the scene. If you decide you like either app and want to unlock the full version, they are both great value (under $ 10) compared to a webcam.
There is also an app called iCam ($ 4.99). Unfortunately, you can't try before you buy it. It also relies on UPnP for a wireless connection, which may not work properly with all routers. Another solution is NDI | HX Camera, a free app for video producers. However, it is slightly more complicated than most people would like.
Whichever application you choose, you should leave it open and run it on the screen of your iPhone while using it as a webcam. After installing your app and setting up your iPhone, you need to go to your video conferencing app settings. Select the virtual webcam as the input device for the webcam here.
Tips for using an iPhone as a webcam
A wired connection will always do better than wireless. If you want the most reliable webcam solution, throw away wirelessly and opt for a USB connection. Both apps chosen by us support a strong USB connection. Unless you walk through the house while chatting, WiFi makes little sense here.
If you want to use your iPhone as a webcam, you also need a way to keep it quiet. The best solution is a smartphone tripod, or tripod mount if you already have a tripod to use.
GorillaPods are perfect for this because you can mount them almost anywhere. The Joby GripTight ONE is a sturdy little tripod mount for smartphones that can be attached and detached almost immediately. The GripTight PRO 2 (shown below) comes with an appropriately sized GorillaPod in the box. If you're in trouble, you can also make your own smartphone tripod mount with ring clips.
Both apps allow you to use the rear camera, which is something you should definitely do. Not only can you use the flash when you need to, but the cameras on the back of an iPhone are vastly superior to the selfie camera. If your iPhone has multiple lenses, you can choose between those too. However, we recommend sticking to the regular wide (not ultra-wide or telephoto) lens for a more flattering focal length.
You can use both EpocCam and iVCam to capture audio, but you probably shouldn't. Headphones are fine, but a good desk microphone sounds 10 times better. You can also adjust your desk lamp before making a call so you don't look like a zombie.
Using your iPhone as a webcam will drain the battery. If you're not using a USB connection (which charges your phone while you chat), make sure to plug it into a power outlet. If your iPhone battery runs out while you are on a call, your video will too.
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In the ever-changing world we find ourselves in, personally connecting with colleagues, customers, friends, and family can make a huge difference . For work purposes, don't forget to check out the best free video conferencing apps.
If you chat with friends and family more often, check out our favorite video chat apps.