How to Use Your Panasonic 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 Panasonic mirrorless camera. To make this happen, Panasonic has introduced the Lumix Tether for Streaming (Beta) application for simpler connectivity. 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 Panasonic Camera Instead of a Webcam?

If you want to look your best, you should be using your best camera. Phones, tablets, and other devices have stepped up their game when it comes to their onboard cameras, but that is nothing compared to a dedicated system like a Panasonic mirrorless. You get shallow depth of field, can add profiles to give a distinct look, and can use whatever lens you want.

Recommended Cameras and Equipment

Using Lumix Tether for Streaming (Beta) requires a Windows computer and the use of select Panasonic cameras:

You’ll need a USB cable for tethering, and it is highly recommended to use the one that came with your camera.

One final note is that this beta software is based on Lumix Tether (Ver. 1.7) and adds an additional display option for livestreaming. As a beta, there is potential to encounter bugs or occasional hiccups during use.

How to Set up Your Camera and Computer

This is a simple setup—just put your Panasonic Lumix mirrorless on a tripod or other mount, plug it into your computer via USB 3.0, and open the Lumix Tether for Streaming (Beta) software. That’s just about most of the work.

When you are looking at the program, you will see a “LIVE VIEW” mode. This activates the camera view only. By doing this, you have a nice, large view of what the camera sees. At first, you may see GUIs on the screen, such as the focus area or control panels. You’ll want to make sure you turn these off if you want to use the camera for streaming.

Now that you have a GUI-free video feed from your camera available on your computer, you can now use a software such as OBS Studio to grab that feed and use it as a webcam.

Alternative Methods and More Info on Streaming

If your camera isn’t on the list, you don’t have a compatible computer, or you are looking for an even higher-quality way to connect, you should check out this article on Using a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera as a Webcam.

Let us know how the software works and if you have any questions in the Comments section, below.

8 Comments

Hey guys. Does this not work with the Lumix dc-g95? I've tried...may be something I did or didn't do cos I'm as green as can be to this... But I need some advice please. Is there any way to use my camera as a webcam, and is the g95 not able to be used with the Lumix streaming software? Please help

Thanks

According to Panasonic, the G95 doesn't offer direct streaming but it does have a clean HDMI output which can be used with a capture device.  This would in turn allow the camera to be used as a webcam. The Elgato Cam Link 4K, BH # ELCL4KGCD would be a great option for this.

https://bhpho.to/3savTsc

Do you know if they will add on the GH4 to the list. Even thought it's not listed, I gave it a go with my GH4 and (of course) didn't work. I also checked out your EOS article thinking maybe they expanded drivers for 3rd party Panasonic, etc but no go there either. Would be keen on any work around to get the GH4 working as a web cam. Thanks in advance for replying. Cheers!

At this time, there are no plans to add the GH4 for compatibility with the Panasonic Webcam Software, but you can still use it with the Elgato Cam Link 4K via the HDMI connection. 

Bummer, just noticed that a Windows computer is required. Is Panasonic planning a Mac-compatible Lumix Tether? I know I could use the clean HDMI out of my GH4 with a video capture device but would be nice to skip having to buy that.

 

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There hasn't been any news yet but I hope so as a Mac user myself. Not that you can really compare but Canon also launched as Windows-only and eventually released a Mac app.

Bummer, just noticed that a Windows computer is required. Is Panasonic planning a Mac-compatible Lumix Tether? I know I could use the clean HDMI out of my GH5s with a video capture device but would be nice to skip having to buy that.

We haven't received any news about a Mac version yet, but considering this update is still in Beta there are likely some important updates coming soon.