How to Use a DSLR as Webcam

Sometimes, you might want to use a camera (aka DSLR) as a webcam. However, you will have two potential issues: you may not be able to connect your camera via USB or the computer might not recognize it as a webcam.

Connecting your camera DSLR as webcam in USB 

As referenced in this great article by Wistia, you can use a bridging device to adapt both plugs. 

You can use the AJA-U TAP. It’s a little black adapter that converts HDMI to USB. The AJA U-TAP also doesn’t require any software or drivers. It works out of the box.

Here’s the setup for Canon 5D Mark IV:

  1. Plug Mini-HDMI into 5D.
  2. Plug HDMI into AJA U-TAP.
  3. Plug AJA U-TAP into USB.
  4. Select the U-TAP as the audio and video device in Livestorm

Some additional tips for this setup:

  • On the 5D, shoot at 25 frames per second for better Livestorm experience
  • Better to have an external source for microphone, the camera might not be enough
  • Use a basic tripod for stability and frame
  • For the lens, try using a wide lens to mimic the webcam configuration your laptop
  • We recommend not relying on the battery to keep the camera on as it may shutdown while you're live. Instead, plug the camera into an outlet to keep it powered. 

There are other adapters of course, but this one seems to show the best results.

Bear in mind, that this is not how you should do web conferencing, our recommendation is to go with a USB webcam instead. Depending on you DSLR type and settings you could experience lags due to the weight of the stream. So if you decide to proceed with a DSLR as a webcam make sure you know what you are doing.

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