How to Use Your Canon Camera as a Webcam

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Whether you want a professional look for your livestreams or simply to look better on your next video chat, one of the best options is to use a dedicated camera with excellent video specs—such as your Canon EOS DSLR, mirrorless, or PowerShot camera. To help facilitate the process Canon has introduced the EOS Webcam Utility for connecting the camera to a computer. Since you likely already have the camera and a compatible USB cable, it seems like an easy way to improve your video calls.

Why Use a Canon Camera Instead of a Webcam?

Obviously, the answer to the above is that a dedicated Canon camera will provide significantly better image quality than a standard webcam. There are many reasons for this, none of which I want to get too deeply into, but suffice it to say that a DSLR, mirrorless, or even point-and-shoot designed for capturing stunning images will beat the tiny imaging unit built into your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Recommended Cameras and Equipment

You’ll need to first check and see if you have a camera supported by the Canon EOS Webcam Utility. Fortunately, the app supports both Windows and Mac computers and the list of supported cameras is quite expansive.

EOS DSLR Cameras

Canon EOS Rebel T7i DSLR Camera
Canon EOS Rebel T7i DSLR Camera

EOS Mirrorless Cameras

Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Digital Camera
Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Digital Camera

PowerShot Cameras

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III Digital Camera
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III Digital Camera

For the most up-to-date list, check out Canon’s Compatibility List.

Beyond having the camera, you will need a USB cable. Many of the listed cameras come with a cable, which is recommended, but if not or you need a longer one, that should be no problem to find. You likely already have a compatible cable in your home.

How to Set up Your Camera and Computer

Fortunately, the process of getting set up for using a Canon camera as a webcam is straightforward. There are only a few key settings to select on the camera before plugging it into the computer.

    1. Set the camera to Movie Mode.
    2. Adjust exposure settings (Manual provides the most consistent look).
    3. Connect to the computer using a USB cable.

Canon has just made this utility available for both Windows and Mac computers. When installed and once the camera is connected, you’ll want to make sure other Canon apps, such as EOS Utility, are closed. Then, all you need to do is go into your video conferencing app of choice and select EOS Webcam Utility as your camera. We would recommend an AC power solution or at least selecting USB power if the camera supports it.

There are a couple of things to note. First, audio is not transmitted from the camera, so you will still have to use the computer’s solution or another mic plugged into your PC. The second is that Mac users will need to use the web app version of their conferencing platform instead of dedicated applications. FaceTime, Safari, Skype, Zoom, and WebEx desktop apps are not supported for Mac. However, Google Chrome and web-based versions of Skype, Zoom, and WebEx work just fine.

Clean HDMI Method and More Info on Streaming

If your camera isn’t on the list or you are looking for an even higher-quality way to connect, you should read Using a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera as a Webcam. It includes the Clean HDMI method, which uses many cameras’ HDMI outputs and a separately available video capture device to feed a high-quality video stream into your computer.

For more information on streaming or learning how to set up another brand or type of camera for use as a webcam, please stop by the B&H Livestream Center. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

55 Comments

Hello.

I'm trying to use my Canon PowerShot SX500 IS as a webcam. I have HDMI-USB Cable plus a video capture card. For some reason, I'm not able to get it to transmit from the Camera to my laptop of video conferencing service. All it shows me is the classic TV multicoloured vertical stripos.  This is the only camera I have and I'll really be grateful if you can tell me how to go about it. 

Thanks

Unfortunately, the Canon PowerShot SX 500 IS does not have a clean HDMI output, which is mostly likely the cause of the issue you're having. Canon does have their Webcam Utility Software which works with a few PowerShot models and connects via USB. Whether they will add the SX500 IS to the compatibility list has yet to be determined.

Hello! I try to use 6D for streaming with OBS and Webcam utility or AverMedia capture card.

In first case OBS don't see EOS Webcam as video source, in second one stream is OK except no sound from 6D!

Can anybody help?

It would be best to add an external microphone to help with capturing sound. The Rode VideoMic Camera-Mount Shotgun Microphone Kit with Auray Custom Windshield, BH # ROVMRK would be an excellent choice.

https://bhpho.to/3xEK1vQ

 

Hi there I am trying to use my 7D As a web cam to record video.
I have tested the camera and and downloaded your program everything is working fine.

I am looking at purchasing this exact mic to record the audio for zoom.
I am wanting to relay audio and video through my 7D and Rode Mic to the zoom call
I havent purchsed the mic yet so I am unsure how to test it.

Will the audio just come through with the video once the rode mic is plugged into the DSLR?
I cant seem to find any articles on how to set up or trouble shoot.

Do not connect the Rode mic to the camera! The HDMI connection from the 7D to the computer does not carry an audio signal. 

Instead, connect the Rode mic directly to your computer. Then the 7D will deliver the video signal to your computer, the Rode mic will deliver the audio to your computer, and when your computer software looks for available cameras and mics, it will find them. 

In whatever software you're using (like Zoom, or QuickTime Player, etc.), when you begin a new video recording, you'll find "EOS Webcam" in the list of cameras, and you'll find "Rode VideoMic" in the list of microphones. Select those, and carry on. If you have the correct cables and the correct software drivers, it just works without any fuss.

(...with one exception: sometimes you'll need to select the EOS Webcam (your 7D) and the Rode VideoMic in your system preferences first, and then select them both AGAIN in your recording software or in your browser-based streaming software, etc. If the system software selections and the recording software selections aren't synchronized, sometimes it doesn't pass the signal through. They will USUALLY synchronize automatically, though.)

You should be using the EOS Utility instead of the Webcam application, and doing a screen/window capture in OBS of the EOS Utility screen/window.

Can the OEM HDMI to USB cable be used for web cam applications?

Hi Gary - 

Yes it can.

I am trying to get my 7d mk ii to work as a webcam. I do not need/want to use Canon's app as I'm using this through an ATEM Mini Pro.

I think I've got the camera set up properly (ie. Clean HDMI, auto shutoff disabled, firmware updated, shooting with Av mode), and I'm using a dummy battery for power and I've got a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable plugged in.

It works great for about 20-25 minutes and then the camera shuts down by itself. Any ideas?

Hi James - 

This camera like most HDSLR's cannot record video continuously for more than 29 minutes. Canon's default setting may be a few minutes less. Sadly, it is not adjustable nor can it be bypassed.

Does this mean that you are limited to only 29 minutes of webcam usage before it shuts off?  Or is it possible to use the camera as a webcam for longer but not record video while you are doing so?

I contacted Canon USA concerning your inquiry.  According to Canon, they state the EOS 7D Mark II was designed as a stills camera with limited video functions.  The camera has a recording limit of 29min and 59sec even when connected via the HDMI port.  Since the camera is not classified as a video camera there is no way around this limitation other than using a USB cable and the EOS Webcam Utility software.

The biggest question I have not seen addressed... sometimes my livestreams can last an hour, how is the camera powered during use? Battery or USB power?  (Also, can you record the session in camera while streaming?  Thanks.

Depending on the Canon camera, you can either use the dedicated AC adapter for it or a device that uses a dummy battery and a USB trickle connection to run off of USB power banks. We invite you to speak with us via Live Chat until 8PM ET this evening so we can go over your options in greater detail. 

So is it able to record the session while streaming?

When using the Canon EOS Webcam Utility, you can still record internally in the camera while live streaming as long as you have a card in the camera. 

I know it says a G7X mark III is compatible but what about a G7x Mark II.  Ive tried plugging it in but ive gotten just the eos webcam Utility Beta picture.. is this camera just not compatible or am I doing somthing wrong? 

Did anyone get the Canon EOS 7D (original one not MK II) to stream live via OBS or Zoom? I tried the EOS Webcam Utility (it works for 7D MKII but the first gen is not listed. Would appreciate if anyone has experience with this or any other potential streaming solutions for this camera.

Yes I got it to work but the 7D doesn't auto-focus for video so shooting moving things isn't great but it does work.  The site will tell you the 7D is not compatible with the EOS webcam utility but it DOES work.  OBS recognizes it and it works as a video input source.

Hola estimados!, Hay alguna manera de conectar la Canon EOS 6D ?

Hello dear! Is there a way to connect the Canon EOS 6D?

Thanks!

Unfortunately, Canon does not include the 6D on its list of compatible cameras.

Ricardo H. T. wrote:

Hola estimados!, Hay alguna manera de conectar la Canon EOS 6D ?

Hello dear! Is there a way to connect the Canon EOS 6D?

Thanks!

The Canon 6D should work fine, I got the Canon 5D and the Canon 7D to work so the 6D should be no problem.

Canon just didn't include a comprehensive list of ALL cameras that would work, so there's no harm in trying.

Good to know. Since the software is free to download it's always worth a shot. Perhaps there is a quality difference between the older and newer models and that is why they were left of the initial list.

Here is a good tutorial for Canon R  HDMI into a Black Magic Ultra Studio Mini Recorder then into an iMac:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyNSr1Xu5WI

I'm not going through OBS or anything, just straight into Zoom.

I am new to video and trying to use my EOS 90D as a webcam. It is working well, but I am not sure how to use the facial recognition for focus, or it this feature even works with the EOS Webcam Utility Beta. Any suggestions. Thanks

I don't have a clear answer for you, but if you are in Movie Mode and Face Detect works when it isn't plugged in but stops when you use the Utility it may just be a bug or issue with the beta software.

any updates on this? I am having the same issue on a t7i

At this time, there are no updates that we're aware of on the beta version of EOS Webcam Utility. 

I downloaded the EOS Webcam Utility Beta onto my computer running on Windows 10, then setup my Canon T7i, video work but no audio. Now I see this article said "...audio is not transmitted from the camera...". So was there something wrong with my setup or is it true audio is not transmitted?

The article is correct, the Webcam Utility does not pass audio to the computer.  Select the audio source in Windows (Bluetooth, external microphone, external audio interface, etc as may be appropriate to your machine).

Due to the USB connection not being able to support it you will have to use a separate source for audio.

The camera's little built-in mic isn't that great anyway. If you're using such an awesome camera, you should find a top-quality mic for your situation too! Whether that's a lavalier or a shotgun or a radio-host mic with a pop filter the size of a dinner plate, use the right mic. 

The tiny nondirectional mic in the Canon is not the right mic.

Any idea if the webcam utility will support the apps when it comes out of beta for Mac? Are they at least working on that? For it to only be web based is a bummer, and I need it to work with Zoom and other apps straight up. 

Great question. We have not heard any news on this front.

I would like to know if it is possible to do this with a Canon Poweshot SX620 HS. Thanks

Canon did not list the PowerShot SX620 HS as compatible with the Webcam Utility Beta.

I notice you didn't include a Canon 6D as an option, why? Thx!!!

Unfortunately, Canon did not include the original 6D as a compatible camera with the Webcam Utility Beta.

Alberto L. wrote:

I notice you didn't include a Canon 6D as an option, why? Thx!!!

Try the 6D, it will probably work.  I got the Canon 5D and the Canon 7D to work so the 6D should be no problem.

I meant to say Canon 5D Mk2, not the original 5D.

I have a Canon 5D MarkII and a 5D Mark III. What about them?

Unfortunately, neither of these cameras will work with the Webcam Utility Beta. However, you can use the clean HDMI output of the 5D Mark III to use another method which we detail here:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/tips-and-solutions/how-to-use-almost-any-camera-as-a-webcam

Yes, they both work, I got my Canon 5D Mk2 and 5D Mk3 to work with this Webcam Utility Beta.

I had the same success with my 5D Mk III and we use a Blue Yeti Microphone as a better quality audio source via usb.  As for Zoom there is an extension for the Google Chrome browser we downloaded that allows us to use the usb connected 5D Mk III as the video source via the browser  since the EOS Webcam Utility is not currently working with the Zoom app.  The video quality on Zoom calls/meetings is now dramatically different from the built in Face Time camera on our 2012 vintage Mac Book Pro without spending $$$ on the clean HDMI interface that is hard to find.

Michael, what Chrome extension did you use?

I notice you didn't include a Canon 70D as an option.  Is that because you should only be using a full frame camera?

You can absolutely use an APS-C or even smaller format (G7X anyone?) using this setup. However, the 70D is not included because Canon did not list it as compatible with the Webcam Utility Beta. I think it's just a little older and can't support the system.

No, the compatibility list for the software includes APS-C cameras, except for the 70D, but since the Canon IFC-500U interface cable also lists the EOS 60D, 70D, 80D and on and on as compatible, I figured it would be just fine and it is.  Great video quality, and the CAD u3 USB microphone sound is good, too.  You will need to use a separate mic for audio, as reported.  I use the 70D with the Canon 35mm macro lens for Zoom meetings.  

Hi Charles,

Are you reporting that the 70D is working with the Webcam Utility Beta? If so, are you using Windows or Mac, because that might play a part in overall compatibility. Would be very interesting and helpful for others to hear.

A little late to the thread but it seems Canon has since updated the list with the official release (currently 1.1), the 70D is now listed.

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