Now that Zoom allows to set a slide deck as a virtual desktop, you might be thinking to yourself
“maybe it is time after all to user a better camera than this integrated webcam after all?”
As I mentioned back in my AV Tune Up video, a little $25ish HDMI adapter can turn that DSLR or mirrorless camera you might have around the house can be turned into a ‘pro’ 1080p webcam alternative. But now with the pandemic still continuing on, more and more camera manufacturers are now just enabling users to natively just plug-and-play their pro level cameras as webcams.
In doing so, the benefit to the end user is a way to have ‘pro level optics’ to help bring up the production value of your live streams or recordings; sans major geek knowledge other than downloading the manufacturer’s software and plugging in the USB cable provided with the camera in most cases.
Finding out what cameras are supported, what settings, or just where to download can be a bit of a Google search filled with landmines. So, here is a simple rundown by manufacturer to the required software, and any manufacturer how-to’s that might be provided. This can be especially helpful if you are planning on diving into OBS for your future recordings…just say’n.
After selecting your camera model(s), click the “Download” button.
- Helpful tip that I ran into setting it up for myself:
When using the ILCE-7M2, ILCE-7S, ILCE-7SM2, ILCE-7RM2, ILCE-5100, ILCE-6300, ILCA-68, ILCA-77M2, DSC-RX1RM2, DSC-RX10M2, DSC-RX10M3, DSC-RX100M4, or DSC-RX100M5, first set the camera to (Auto Mode).
After launching the livestreaming/web conferencing service and starting the video, THEN change to movie mode. When using a camera other than those listed above Set the camera to movie mode.
(* Recently added camera ** USB not included with camera)
Nikon (still in ‘beta’)
- Z 7, Z 6, Z 5, Z 50, D6, D850, D780, D500, D7500, and D5600.
- Hero 8, Hero 9 (from what I can tell so far…) and possibly the original Fusion 360?
- Download GoPro Webcam desktop utility
A Better Streaming Web Cam:
Should you be looking for a less geeky route to go away from OBS, Logitech has taken a pretty good approach with their new Logi Capture app. This with one of their newer generation of cameras, gives users the ability to do overlays, picture-in-picture, and several other advanced features used in somthing like OBS; but in a much more user friendly package. It also integrates well within most of the usual video conferencing software like Zoom/Teams/Google Meet/Hangouts as well as can be used as a recording studio.
- C920 HD PRO
- C920s HD PRO
- 1080P PRO STREAM
- C922 PRO STREAM
- C922X PRO STREAM
- STREAMCAM PLUS
- BRIO 4K PRO
- BRIO STREAM
- A word of caution Mac users, this is still in Beta, and I’ve ran into quite a few bugs while using this app (especially with QuickTime)
iOS as your Web Cam:
Sometime the best camera, is the one you always have on you right? So, with that iPhone you might tote with you, it too can become your pro optics for that next web-conference or presentation.
Using an adapter
Adapter + App
If you wanted to bypass the HDMI all together, more and more there are options for connecting your iPhone directly to your Mac using the Lightning cable. But, in most cases this treats your iPhone as a ‘Virtual Camera’ where a piece of software is needed to relay your phone as a camera to your computer as opposed to being seen as a physical camera. What this means in non-geek-speak is if you Teams for the Mac, this method doesn’t work at this time due to Microsoft’s update earlier in the year.
Camo by Reincubate:
- Free iOS app:
- And the $39.99 Mac /PC client (free with limited features and 720p resolution)
OBS Virtual Cam MAC:
- $15.99 app for iOS
- And the Free Mac OBS plugin