伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频

Using a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera as a Webcam

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Zoom, Hangouts, BlueJeans, Slack, and Teams. These are words that have taken on a whole new significance over the past few weeks. With so many of us now relying on livestreaming, video chat, and video conferences, the quality of connection and the quality of your image is increasingly important. It may be time to upgrade from the camera in your computer or the basic webcam that has been dangling off the side of your monitor for all these years. Joking aside, appearing clear, in focus, and well-lit is crucial when impressions are being made, whether that be for work situations or catching up with family and old friends. Fortunately, it’s very easy to turn your compatible DSLR or mirrorless camera into a high-quality webcam.

EOS Webcam Utility Beta Software

Canon has made it quite simple to use many of its EOS DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and recent PowerShot cameras as a webcam for video conferencing with its new EOS Webcam Utility Beta Software. The free software, compatible cameras, and instructions to install are located and you’ll only need your camera and a USB cable. After you install the software, you will have to restart your computer, but the plug-and-play set-up process is not complicated. Be aware that this beta software is not yet available for Mac systems and is supported only for U.S.- based users.

First, set your camera to Movie mode, and set the exposure to your liking (brighter for work meetings and dark and moody for a Zoom date?), then plug the USB cable into the compatible camera and into a USB port on your computer. Once the connection has been established, go to your preferred video meeting app, click camera settings, and open EOS Webcam Utility Beta and you are ready to go.

The improved imaging from a DSLR or mirrorless camera will be apparent immediately, but the advantages extend beyond just resolution quality. With zoom capability or with a selection of lenses and utilizing basic exposure adjustments, one can create a specific and more functional look. For example, use a wide-angle lens to include several folks in the screen image or a fish-eye lens for fun, or perhaps, macro to demonstrate details of an object. You can also adjust aperture for “cinematic,” shallow depth of field that will blur out the background and keep the viewer concentrated on your sharp features. Importantly, if your camera has tracking focus, the focus will adjust to stay on your face even when you lean back or move in.

One tip for EOS users, if your camera has “Highlight Tone Priority” built into it, turning it on while video conferencing or livestreaming could help bring out details when your overall scene is too bright.

Via HDMI

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Canon doesn’t get to have all the fun. For any brand of camera that has clean HDMI output, there is another high-quality option. To clarify, “clean” HDMI refers to video output that does not contain any of the onscreen data indicators normally seen in the viewfinder or LCD, so your image appears on screen without all the setting numbers and letters surrounding your head.

To set this up, in addition to the compatible camera with a fully charged battery, you will need an HDMI cable, a video capture device or card伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频, and the software that will recognize the signal from your camera and HDMI video-capture device. This part is crucial, because the capture device is what converts video signals into digital data compatible with your computer. And no, the HDMI output on your computer won’t work. Start by plugging in the HDMI cable to the video capture card, the other end of the HDMI cable into the port in your camera and the USB cable from the capture card into your computer.

Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder
Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder

After turning on your camera and switching it to movie mode, you will need to go into your camera’s menu and enable the clean HDMI, at whichever resolution you prefer or is compatible with your device. One thing to be aware of is to disable the “Auto Power Off” setting so your camera does not turn off in the middle of a conference. As mentioned, live video will burn through a battery charge, so, for long video conferences, either have a spare battery handy or use a compatible AC power adapter. Also, be aware that if your camera is in autofocus mode, the focus points might appear on your video feed.

Once your cables are hooked up, you will need to download and open a livestreaming software application such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) or XSplit. The software should recognize your camera system and give you the option to establish it as the video capture device, do so and then simply set your web conferencing or livestreaming software to recognize your camera as the capture device, and you are set to go.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Using a DSLR or mirrorless camera with clean HDMI capability creates a high-quality image for live video and Canon now offers its easy-to-use beta software for using a USB connection. There is non-proprietary software available for other cameras from other manufacturers, as well.

Accessories to Improve the Image

Whether you are using Canon or another brand of camera, the imaging capabilities of a quality camera will outshine a typical webcam immediately. However, you should be cognizant of a few things to create a look that best suits your needs. For starters, where will you place the camera? If it’s possible to place the DSLR behind your monitor, this is one option, but be careful it’s not so high as to create an awkward angle. Some people prefer the camera slightly below or to the side of the monitor for a more flattering view of your face. Depending on the size of your camera, a tabletop tripod might serve that function easily—just check its weight capacity before purchase. For larger cameras and more adjustable placement, consider grip options such as a magic arm that can clamp to your monitor or a light stand next to your desk. There is a range of options for placing your camera near your computer, including devices that won’t scratch or damage wood, such as The Green Pod伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频, but do not place the camera too low, no one needs to know how many nose hairs you’re sprouting.

The Green Pod Camera Platform
The Green Pod Camera Platform

Lighting is also important. A flattering light set up can be created with household or desk lamps, but affordable LED options can really improve your look and enable brightness and color temperature adjustments that will serve you as the natural light in your home (or your mood) changes through the day. Small LED light kits can be placed on your desk or attached to your camera’s hot shoe mount.

Genaray LED-7100T 312 LED Variable-Color On-Camera Light
Genaray LED-7100T 312 LED Variable-Color On-Camera Light

Whatever lighting source you choose, consider the angle of the light and brightness. If possible, it’s better to avoid mixed lighting sources, for example, daylight on one side of your face and a warm incandescent bulb giving a yellow glow to the other side of your face. If you use a desk lamp that is very bright or directional, consider using a kind of diffusion for more balanced lighting or bouncing the light off of a nearby white wall. In general, placing the light or lights at eye level off to the side of your monitor is acceptable, and avoid lighting that is directly above your head or coming up from below unless heavy shadows or a horror film aesthetic is desired. Also remember that with longer cables and camera support, you don’t necessary have to sit in front of your monitor.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频A final thought is to consider audio. Simple advice involves muting your microphone when you are not speaking to prevent folks hearing background noise or an inappropriate comment. Also remember that a hard floor and open space will create unwanted echo, so consider using rugs or rooms with drapes if that is problematic. Be sure to check the audio levels on your computer and within the apps you’re are using. In general, a mid-range setting is appropriate for standard conversations.

The audio provided by a DSLR’s built-in microphone is arguably better than that from your computer, but an external microphone will certainly improve the quality in each of these cases. Many DSLR cameras have an input for an external microphone and numerous desktop USB microphones are available and very simple to install. Also, a range of lavalier microphones伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频, which can be clipped to your shirt, will improve your conversational audio output.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频As we are realizing, the days of work from home, video conferencing, and livestream events will be common practice for the foreseeable future, so now is the time to consider using the quality cameras you have and perhaps investing in affordable accessories to create webcam solutions for improved communication with friends, family, and colleagues.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Use the Comments section, below, to suggest any solutions you have used to improve your video conferencing.

11 Comments

The ability of Canon cameras to function as webcams is very interesting.  A number of the supported cameras accept audio input from stereo external microphones, or with appropriate cables, two mono microphones.  As far as I know, Zoom and Skype only accept mono audio signals. Does the EOS Webcam Utility Beta  software support mixing the stereo audio signal to mono?  Otherwise the audio from one channel will be lost.

Unfortunately the EOS Webcam Utility Beta doesn't support audio from the camera (at least not yet).

Meanwhile, instead of the 5D, I am using C100 Mk II as a webcam. I can stream the clean HDMI out to the BM Web Presenter all-day long, no problem. My audio has to be connected to the C100 line input (not the Web Presenter line in) in order to maintain lip-sync. This makes for a fantastic cinema-quality webcam. BUT, as Canon ALWAYS has to put up some kind of roadblock to move you up to more expensive models, for the C100 it is the face-tracking DPAF: as long as I use the plastic STM lenses with vignetting, I can enable real-time face-tracking which works really well (except for the vignetting part). If I put an L-series lens on the C100, it disables the real-time DPAF face-tracking.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频The main problems I have had trying to use 5D iv as a webcam, is that it shuts-off after 30 minutes if there is no user interaction with the camera. Most of my video conference calls are longer than this.  In addition, Canon chose to block 29.97 FPS from the HDMI output. Only 23.98, or 59.94 are available. So I use a Blackmagic DesignWeb Presenter to create the USB stream from the 59.94. Now Canon releases firmware for this, but is not supporting Mac on the beta version?? come-on - they always mange to put up some kind of roadblock to usability. Will these other issues be addressed by the new webcam utility?

Eric... thanks for these hands-on comments, very useful. I'm keeping an eye on the Canon updates for news when Mac will be supported and will pass that on.  Is there not an "Auto-power Off" option on your 5D IV?

As a Mac user, what options are available?

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频I downloaded the Windows 10 64-bit EOS Webcam Utility Beta  software this evening and purchased a long USB interface cable at the Canon USA store.  It's Beta software, which means it's still a test version (some 'bugs'may remain to be found by the 'beta testers") so I expect they'll start on the Apple/Mac OS from the cleaned Windows version.  Keep poking around  the Canon USA Support site...  

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频My EOS 70D wasn't in the compatibility listing, but the 60D and 80D were, but the USB adapter cable lists all three so I'm crossing fingers and toes.   

Hi yo, Silver, away!  Who was that mask'ed man?  That was the Lone Ranger!     Good luck in your endeavors.  

What I use for a non-canon camera might be a bit overkill for you tastes, but I think you can find some more cost-efficient solutions.  I have a Magewell USB Capture 4K plus; zoom and Facetime find it just fine as a camera source.  I suspect the same would be true of the above-mentioned Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder .  The B&H page for an IOGEAR HDMI -> USB converter says that it's plug and play for the mac; B&H part number BH #IOGUV301.  I also have a professional audio interface, that I can mark as system input using audio-midi setup.  (The one I have is a metric halo ULN-8, but I've been doing professional sound recording work for 25 years; a much cheaper audient evo4 would work as well just for web streaming; or you could use one of the zoom recorders as a USB interface + mic.  The magewell also shows up in audio-midi setup as a candidate for system sound input; and my guess is that the IOGEAR device would also if your camera has a built-in microphone.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Thanks for helpful comment Keith.

I found instructions for using Camera Live and Camtwist to enable Canon DSLRs to be used as a webcam on a Mac:

The issue I've found is that Zoom 4.6.8 is the last version to support Camtwist. It appears that with Zoom 4.6.9 and newer versions, it simply doesn't recognize Camtwist anymore. Zoom 5.0+ is about to be required for all calls starting June 1st as it provides an important GCM encryption update, so don't rely on this solution if you are using Zoom. MS Teams still works with it, however.

伊人网络在线综合视频在线视频Arthur: A few livestreaming software compatible with Mac are OBS Studio, Telestream, and Wirecast.  Thanks

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