Learning how to use a digital camera as a webcam can save you having to buy overpriced and underperforming dedicated webcams. Using a digital camera will give you higher quality video and that gorgeous depth-of-field effect to your videos.
The hardest part is getting started and knowing what to. That’s where our guide comes in. We’ll take you through the steps of connecting your DSLR or another camera to your PC and use it as a webcam.
Our steps are easy to follow and as foolproof as possible. You’ll find tips and tricks along the way to help you avoid common mistakes and save you time.
Let’s jump into the guide!
Table of Contents
How to Use a Digital Camera as a Webcam
We’re going to cover the major digital camera brands like Sony, Fujifilm, Nikon, and Canon. By the end of the guide, you’ll be ready to get started and know what you need to do with the equipment you have.
For all of these options to work best, you should consider getting the following items:
- External lighting for better image quality
- Battery adapter that lets you charge your camera while using it as a webcam
- A decent quality tripod
Let’s get started!
How to Use a Fujifilm Camera as a Webcam
Before getting started, you’ll need to check your Fujifilm camera for two things:
- There is an HDMI output port slot on the body of the camera
- Whether your camera can put out “clean HDMI” – this means the HDMI video output doesn’t have all the menu and video overlays on the footage
You should be able to find this in your user manual. If you don’t just search it up on Google by typing your camera’s make and model, followed by “clean HDMI output” in quotation marks.
You’ll need a Micro-HDMI to HDMI cable to connect your camera to your PC, and a video capture device. We recommend going with the Elgato Camlink, as it’s compact and has excellent quality.
The final thing you need is your camera’s software on your computer. Here are the next steps to follow once you’re ready:
- Plug the HDMI cable into your camera’s HDMI output
- Connect the other end of this cable to the video capture device
- Connect the video capture device to your PC
- Turn off “Auto Power” in your Power Management settings
- Make sure “HDMI output info display” is turned off in Movie Settings
That should successfully connect your Fujifilm camera to your PC as a webcam. Give it a test by opening Skype or Zoom and adding the camera as your virtual camera video source.
How to Use a Sony Camera as a Webcam
We’re going to show you how to use your Sony camera without needing to buy an expensive video capture card.
You’ll also need the USB that came with your camera if possible. If you can’t get it, then any data-enabled USB will work (if it fits your camera’s USB slot).
On your PC, you need to download the Sony Imaging Edge software (search it up on Google) and OBS Studios. Install them and move on to the next steps:
- Press the menu button on your camera
- Head over to the tools section (last option on the far right side)
- Navigate to the 4th page
- Select and enter the “USB Connection” option
- Choose the “PC Remote” option
Now you can connect your camera to your PC via the USB cable we mentioned earlier. Now, move over to your computer and follow these instructions:
- You should have the Sony Imaging Software and OBS Studios installed
- Make sure the shortcuts are easily accessible on your desktop
- Double click to open the “Remote” shortcut icon
- Make sure your camera is powered on and plugged into your PC
- If the connection doesn’t show up in the list then try a different USB cable
- Double-click on your camera name
- Wait for a couple of second for the connection to process
- A new window will pop up and show the camera feed
- If you don’t see it, make sure the camera is in manual mode
Once you’re in this window, let the camera focus on your face and then click the “AF” option. The camera will lock onto its current focus and hold it there.
Go back to your desktop and open OBS Studios, and follow these instructions:
- In the bottom left of the window, you should see two black/grey boxes
- In the box on the box on the right, you’ll see a “+” sign in its bottom left corner
- Click that symbol and click on “Window Capture”
- Type the name of your camera in (e.g. A6300)
- Click “Ok”
- From the drop-down menu next to “Window”, select “Remote”
- Video feed should pop up and you can click “Ok”
You can resize the window and crop to as you need. You now have a ready-to-go webcam that you can use for hours without stopping.
How to Use a Nikon Camera as a Webcam
Go download and install SparkoCam to your PC. Once this is done, connect your Nikon camera to your PC via USB cable.
Turn your camera on and let it connect and be processed by Windows.
Open the SparkoCam software and click on “Device”. In this list, choose the Nikon Camera option. This will connect your Nikon camera to the PC.
Now you can open your video conferencing software and add the video source as SparkoCam.
SparkoCam has several different licensing options that range from free up to relatively cheap options. If you want the highest quality webcam feed, you’ll need to get a paid license.
We’ve used the free version before and it worked fine, but it’s up to you.
If you want to go all-in and want the highest possible quality, you’ll want to use an HDMI cable and a video capture device. You’ll follow all the same steps we used in the “How to use a Fujifilm camera as a webcam” section from earlier in this guide.
You’ll get excellent resolution and video quality that look far more professional than a traditional web camera.
P.S. several webcam test sites are dedicated to testing and comparing the quality of your webcam feed. You can easily find them with a quick internet search and know exactly where you stand.
How to Get a Better Quality Webcam Setup
Here are a couple of tips to make your webcam feed look at and sound more professional:
- Mount your camera on a decent tripod
- Using good lighting will have a huge effect on the quality of your video
- Make sure the camera is focused on your face
- Use a good camera angle that looks good for you
- Use an external microphone for the highest quality professional audio quality
Well done for taking the time to get the best quality from your webcam. Having it looking professional will go a long way to improve the quality of your meetings and the impressions you leave people with.
Take what you’ve learned on how to use a digital camera as a webcam and put it into practice. You’ll have high-quality video and that gorgeous depth of field effect in no time – good luck!