How to use camera as a PC webcam
Prima di enter the dettaglio della procedura su how to use a camera as a webcam, it seems to me only right to make some clarifications in this regard.
In fact, you must know that there are actually various ways to use a camera as a PC webcam. The simplest one - which I'll tell you about today - involves installing software on the PC (officially made by the camera manufacturer) and connecting the two devices via cable, so that the computer can acquire in real time the video stream captured by the camera.
Before that possibility spread, however, there was another way to use cameras as webcams: one connected external capture card to the computer and the camera, in order to “capture” the stream coming from the camera via HDMI and then use it on the PC.
Even today there are those who believe that this method is preferable, as it is capable of ensuring a higher video quality, but given the greater difficulty in carrying out the entire procedure and, above all, the outlay of money necessary to purchase the card. acquisition, I decided to focus on the simpler use of the acquisition software provided by the camera manufacturers.
That said, if you want to dig deeper, I leave you with a video tutorial from Nikon that illustrates the connection of an external capture card with camera and PC and links to buy some great capture cards suitable for the purpose.See offer on Amazon See offer on Amazon
If everything is clear so far, I would say to ban the chatter and take action. Since the software to use varies according to the model of camera in your possession, I will give you detailed information on the model of camera in my possession and then I will give you more general information relating to various brands of cameras. Have fun!
How to use a Nikon camera as a webcam
To give you a concrete example regarding the possibility of using a camera as a webcam, I will examine the situation linked to the well-known Japanese brand Nikon.
In fact, at the end of 2020 the latter released a free program called Webcam Utility, which allows owners of some Nikon cameras to be able to use them on the computer to make video calls and any other operation involving the use of webcams.
In particular, the program, compatible with Windows 10 e MacOS, supports dozens of camera models: to find out if your model is also compatible, just connect to the Nikon official website, type the camera name in your possession, access the relevant page and move to the tab Software. If your model is supported, you will find the option for download Webcam Utility.
In any case, to download the program, just click on the link View the download page present next to the item relating to operating system you are using, accept terms and conditions, select one regione (for example, Europe) from the appropriate drop-down menu and press the button Download.
If you need guidance on how to install the program on your computer, here they are: on Windows, just start the .exe file obtained, accept the license terms and press the buttons in succession Next, Next e Finish. On MacOSinstead, you have to open the .dmg file which contains the utility, launch theexecutable inside, click on the buttons Continue (for three times), Agree e Install. After that you have to enter the Password of the Mac administration and you have to press on Close e Move, but will conclude the setup.
At this point, take yours camera, which must obviously be compatible, and connect it to your computer through USB port. Typically Nikon models, like mine D5600, have one standard microUSB or USB Type-C port on the left side, designed for connection to the PC.
Once the camera is connected to the computer, turn it on and wait for the system to configure it (on Windows, messages such as "The device is ready"). Also remember to fix the lens, as it could be retracted.
Now, switch to video recording mode (for example, on the Nikon D5600 you have to move the toggle Lv located at the top right). If the room warns you that it is not possible to enter the Live View mode under these conditions, you probably have to charge the battery to the maximum (generally, for long sessions it is advisable to purchase an adapter to keep the camera connected to a power outlet) or change mode (try to switch to manual).
Once you have managed to activate the video mode with the camera connected to the PC, just open one of the compatible programs, for example Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Facebook Messenger or Skype and choose Nikon Webcam Utility as an input device for the video stream.
To give you a concrete example, come on Skype just press onthree dots icon at the top, choose the option Settings, move to the tab Audio and video and select Nikon Webcam Utility like video camera.
Here you can also see ashot preview. Obviously, you will not hear the audio, since a USB connection is used. For this reason, you will need to connect an external microphone or use what you already have so that others can hear you.
Perfect, now you know how to use your Nikon camera as a webcam for your computer. If you want some advice, you might be interested in going to the camera settings e turn off all those power saving options which can, for example, do turn off the device after a certain period of time.
Unfortunately, I cannot provide you with more precise information on this, since each model is a story in itself. However, you may be interested in taking a look at Nikon's official guidelines (video in English).
In addition to this, if you want some advice, it is also good to use a tripod, so as not to have too many problems in positioning the camera.
How to use other cameras as webcams
How do you say? You don't have a Nikon but one camera from another manufacturer? No problem: I'll explain immediately how things stand for other brands.
Well, generally the main manufacturers adopt a solution similar to that of Nikon, that is, they provide a program compatible with certain models which allows you to "transform" the camera into a webcam.
By now, all major manufacturers allow users to do this, obviously using compatible devices. Just to give you some examples, the Canon is called EOS Webcam Utility and is compatible with both Windows that with MacOS. To know all the supported models and for more information, I suggest you consult the official Canon website.
Sony Instead, it provides guidelines for its own Imaging Edge Camera. Moving on to Fujifilm, you can download the tool from the official website X Webcam. In regards to Panasonic, the beta version of the program is available on the official portal LUMIX Tether for streaming.
For the rest, if you're wondering how to use an action camera as a webcam, you need to know that too GoPro has a program of this type, which is called GoPro Webcam Desktop Utility. You can find all the details of the case on the GoPro website.
If you are wondering instead how to use an IP Camera as a webcam, you might be interested in taking a look at the Tp-Link guidelines, where a practical example is given. In short, all major manufacturers have official solutions.
In any case, if your camera is not among those compatible with the official tools of the manufacturers, you might think about implementing the procedure through HDMI and capture card which I illustrated in the preliminary chapter.
Alternatively, you need to know that there is a program called v002 Camera Live, Compatible with MacOS, which aims to "transform" into webcams all the cameras that use the libgphoto2 library (The complete list of compatible models is available on the gPhoto website).
Everything is done by connecting the camera to the computer via USB port, just like for the official solutions. However, it is one more cumbersome solution and you could potentially encounter difficulties in carrying out this operation.
However, if you are an experienced user and you are interested in this possibility, I suggest you start from the latest release on the Github portal and deepen the project through the appropriate documentation in English.
There are also other interesting programs, such as digiCamControl Virtual Webcam, Available for Windows. It can be downloaded for free from the official website and allows you to control the video stream coming from the camera.
Put simply, you just have to connect your room via USB port, select it from the menu on the left and press the button Start Live View. You can also use the buttons on the left for to focus (Focus) or for adjust the capture options. There is also an indication regarding the residual charge.
Perfect, now you have one working webcam, which you can select from the various programs where you need it (usually referred to as DCC Virtual Camera).
I showed you the existence of these programs also due to the fact that some users claim to have had problems with the official ones, since they could not recognize certain models as they should.
Turning to solutions such as digiCamControl Virtual WebcamInstead, some people have managed to fix and use everything correctly quickly.
In short, there are many solutions to "transform" the camera into a webcam: I suggest you take a look at the ones I have listed and find the one that best suits your needs.
How to use your mobile phone camera as a webcam
Be il tuo obiettivo è quello di use your mobile phone camera as a webcam, you must know that it is possible to do this by means of some Whatsapp designed for this use.
Usually the video stream to the computer using Wi-Fi or cable and then a program takes care of using it for the virtual webcam. If you want to learn more, you can find all the relevant information in my tutorial on how to use the mobile phone camera as a webcam.
Great, now you know everything there is to know about the subject. To conclude, I remind you that, if you want to switch to a device created for this use, you can take a look at my buying guide for the best webcams, where you can also find particularly cheap solutions.How to use a camera as a webcam