Turn Your Canon DSLR Into A Webcam With This Free App

Turn Your Canon DSLR Into A Webcam With This Free App
Photo: <a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/bangkok-thailand-january-2020-canon-eos-1613036380">Shutterstock</a>

If you’re a pro photographer with Canon DSLR (or just happen to have one lying around), you can now use your camera as a webcam thanks to the newly launched EOS Webcam Utility Beta app.

That’s good news for anyone looking to upgrade their webcam’s video quality. Quarantine life has caused a spike in the number of remote meetings, group video chats and uploads by burgeoning content creators on YouTube, Twitch and more. At this point, a good webcam is a necessity, and though many of us are equipped with laptops and smartphones that have decent built-in cameras, a DSLR can seriously up your video quality.

To be fair, using a DSLR as a webcam isn’t exactly a new, and some newer Canon cameras even have an HDMI out that can capture clean video and audio directly off the camera. But even on these newer models, capturing and streaming live video from your DSLR requires additional paid software and, in some cases, extra hardware like captures cards. Canon’s EOS Webcam Utility Beta, meanwhile, can do away with all of that… for some Canon owners, at least.

As the name suggests, Canon’s EOS Webcam Beta software is still in beta, and only a few select Canon DSLRs are supported right now:

A list of currently supported DSLRs (Screenshot: Brendan Hesse, Canon)

Similarly, the app is only compatible with Windows 10 right now, but Canon says support for additional operating systems is possible in the future. It’s also limited to users in the US for now.

Admittedly, that’s quite a list of limitations, so we’ve included a short roundup of other apps that let you use a DSLR as a webcam for both Mac and Windows users at the end of this guide. For now, though, let’s discuss how to get Canon’s new webcam app up and running.

How to install and use Canon’s EOS Webcam Utility

Aside from a supported camera and Windows 10 PC, you’ll also need a USB cable compatible with your camera so you can connect it to your PC. The exact type of USB connection differs between models, but you can check to see what cable you need on Canon’s support page. If you’ve met those requirements, you can now setup the EOS Webcam Utility software.

  1. Download the Canon EOS Webcam Beta. You may need to provide your camera’s serial code to access the download. You can find it on the bottom of your camera’s battery slot or in the original packaging/user materials.

  2. Run the installation file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup.

  3. Connect your Canon DSLR via USB.

  4. Run the Canon EOS Webcam Utility and follow the on-screen instructions to connect your camera.

  5. You should now be able to select the camera as a webcam or video source in programs like Zoom, OBS, Facebook Messenger and more (Note: the EOS Webcam Utility needs to be running in the background to maintain connection, so don’t close it until you’re done using the camera).

Other ways to use your DSLR as a webcam

If your camera or PC aren’t supported by Canon’s EOS Webcam Utility, there are other ways to use your DSLR as a webcam:

  • Sparkocam for Windows is free to download but will leave an annoying watermark over your video. You can remove the watermark by purchasing a licence: $US70 ($107) for a yearly licence or $US100 ($153) for lifetime access.

  • Mac users, try the free program CamTwist Studio instead.

  • The other option is to go the external hardware route with a camera capture card like the Elgato CamLink.

These alternative options are, admittedly, more complicated to set up—and more expensive—than the plug-and-play EOS Webcam Utility option, but they should still get the job done.

[Petapixel]

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