USE YOUR DSLR AS A “WEBCAM”:

woman in white long sleeve shirt vlogging
Photo by Alena Darmel on Pexels.com

You might be wondering why you’d use a DSLR camera in place of your webcam. The answer is simple enough. You’ll likely have a better lens and capture quality on that camera than any standard webcam you can purchase.  

An HDMI capture card like the Cam Link 4K also allows you to make the most of your camera’s video capabilities. Where most webcams can only manage 720p, the Cam Link allows up to 4K at 30FPS. So with the right lighting, your video will be much more professional, crisp and satisfying too. 

Use your DSLR or mirrorless camera as your webcam, and change the quality of your videos by a huge margin.

WHY WOULD I WANT TO MAKE THAT CHANGE?

A DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera provides a more accurate view of what you’re photographing, as the viewfinder displays exactly what is in front of the lens. DSLRs have been used for years – since replacing traditional SLR cameras – for professional photography. While they’re slowly succumbing to the march of technology and the new generation of mirrorless cameras, for many the DSLR is the perfect marriage of old school photography and the digital era.

A webcam, in contrast, is more compact, with a small lens, smaller CMOS sensor, and lower resolution. They’re optimized for sending data through wires rather than direct to a memory card, which means that webcams are more efficient, but the result can be, you guessed it, pixelated.

DSLR cameras can replace webcams for streaming video over Zoom, Skype, or whatever video conferencing software you’re using. If you’ve ever watched live streams on YouTube with stunning picture quality, the chances are the streamer was using a DSLR.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO START USING YOUR DSLR AS A WEBCAM:

To use your DSLR camera as a webcam, ensure you have:

  • A tripod that suits your camera.
  • A high-capacity battery or mains power solution. Mains power supplies for DSLRs typically feature a dummy battery that slips into the battery compartment. This then connects to an adapter to power the camera.
  • The micro-USB cable that shipped with your camera, or a mini-HDMI cable.
  • Optional: LED ring or other lighting, microphone.

Ensure you have these items and have them connected or set up before proceeding.

Another reason to use your DSLR camera or mirrorless camera today, is the resolution is now so much higher than ever. Panasonic Lumix cameras and Nikon, Canon, Fuji Film, are now primed to shoot their video in 6K or even 8K!!! Yeah, you want super good quality, you should consider these cameras for your WEBCAM work. Get in to the higher quality images and see what will be the difference to your viewers who will notice you are a serious “videographer” now.

IS WEBCAM FUNCTION AVAILABLE ON DSLR CAMERAS?

Some digital cameras include a webcam function, and this includes some DSLRs.

So, before proceeding, check the driver disc that shipped with your camera, along with the menus on the device. If there is a webcam setting you can use, you’re free to proceed with connecting the device to your computer, webcam mode enabled. The camera should then be detected as a standard USB webcam, ready to be used with your video chat software. Note that if this is an option for you, the resolution will be lower than usual, limited by the constraints of the USB cable.

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