This past year has seen pretty much every major camera manufacturer release software that allows for a set of cameras to work as a webcam for your computer. But what if your camera isn’t supported? Luckily, there is a cheap, easy solution to that.
Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, and Panasonic have all released software for PC and Mac computers that enables select cameras to be used as webcams with popular video conferencing services. But not all companies have added support for all cameras, and in some cases, some conferencing services aren’t supported.
There is a relatively inexpensive solution to all this though: an HDMI capture card.
While some might think this is an obvious solution, there are many who might not know what a capture card is, how they work, or that they were even an option.
Plugging your camera directly into your computer without custom software won’t work. To use your camera as a webcam through your computer without that custom software requires a dongle that is capable of capturing a video signal from an external device via its HDMI connection. Prior to 2020 and the explosion of video conference calling needs, capture cards were most commonly used with video game consoles as a method of recording content either for YouTube or live streaming to Twitch.
Earlier this year, capture cards were extremely difficult to find in stock because of the sudden growth in demand thanks to COVID-19, and many of the ones that were available ran anywhere between $80 and hundreds of dollars. Some of the more expensive ones had additional features, but for simple webcam use, only a basic one is required. Stock on various capture cards is relatively stable and there are several options on Amazon. The very affordable $13 solution presented in the video above is no longer available at the time of publication, but similar options can still be had for as little as $16.
If you don’t feel like fiddling with a camera manufacturer’s software, picking up a capture card is a cheap and easy way to use pretty much any digital camera with an HDMI out port as a webcam with your computer.
(via Photo Rumors)