Webcams are scarce due toso you may be looking for a better quality camera than the one on your Mac or PC. Fortunately, there is a way to use your DSLR or camcorder to improve image quality for all those Zoom calls and Skype sessions.
You can use your phone to double as a webcam and save yourself the trouble of connecting a standalone camera, but you may not get the best picture quality.
There are a number of different ways to turn your DSLR into a webcam. Which one you choose depends on your camera, whether it has a USB or HDMI output and whether you are connecting to a PC or Mac.
You also want to put your camera on a tripod to keep it stable during your conversations and connect it to the power if you plan to run it for a while. You can also consider recording your audio with a separate microphone instead of the built-in microphone if you want the best sound.
Read more : CNET's best digital cameras for 2020
Use Canon software to convert your Canon DSLR or camera to a webcam
Canon now has a way to connect its cameras to your PC (it is not compatible with Mac). All you need is a USB cable, which should have been in your camera box. Once you have loaded the software and connected your camera, put the camera in movie mode and set EOS Webcam Utility Beta as input in Zoom, Skype,or .
It is a free download from Canon directly, but first you should check this list to see if your Canon camera is compatible. This is also beta software, so you may encounter bugs and only US Canon camera models are supported.
Try a webcam app for your DSLR that connects via USB
Another option is SparkoCam for PC. It offers a free trial version, but it does put a watermark on the image. It costs $ 70 for the unlocked version, which works with a variety of Canon and Nikon cameras.
Once you have connected the camera to your computer via USB, you can change the exposure and adjust other settings from SparkoCam. Unfortunately, you can't record audio directly from the camera, so you'll have to use the PC or Mac microphone or connect an external microphone so people can hear you. I've experienced some stuttering images when using SparkoCam depending on the camera so it may not be the most reliable solution for you. Ecamm Live is another option for Mac recommended for Nikon users, although I haven't tested it specifically.
Alternatively, if you have a Canon DSLR and use a Mac, you can download two software: Camera Live and CamTwist (both free). Once both are installed and check if the camera is connected via USB via Camera Live, open CamTwist and select Siphon as the video source. On the Settings tab, choose Camera Live as the siphon server. Now you can go to Zoom, Skype or your desired app and choose CamTwist as your video source.
Connect your DSLR via HDMI for the best quality
This is best suited for cameras that can display a clean HDMI signal – that means no overlays such as exposure details or focus aids on it be your picture. It also works with Mac or PC.
First, you need an HDMI cable to get the live image from your camera. Depending on your camera, this can be anything from mini HDMI to full-size HDMI.
Then you need a recording device like the Microsoft Teams .($ 130). Once you connect your compatible camera to the dongle, the HDMI signal is converted into a USB signal, so you can use your camera as a webcam. Just select the camera in your video conference tool of your choice, such as Zoom or
If you want to take your streaming game beyond Skype or Zoom, here's a great tutorial that walks you through the process of connecting your camera and using a free software tool called OBS to adjust even more live streaming settings to suit.