How to Use Your Nikon 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 Nikon mirrorless or DSLR. 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 Nikon Camera Instead of a Webcam?

In one word: quality. The webcam that comes with your tablet, laptop, or smartphone is nowhere near as good as a large-sensor mirrorless or DSLR camera. You also get more control over the image with a Nikon camera. You can set the aperture and ISO just as easily as you set a color profile to add a look to your footage. A webcam is usually always set to auto mode, and sometimes it provides unflattering color casts. If you want the best video, you should use a dedicated camera.

Recommended Cameras and Equipment

If you want to use the USB cable­­-only method, you’ll have to check and see if your camera is supported by third-party software, such as Ecamm Live. The company provided the following list of specific Nikon cameras that it or its community members have personally tested.

If your camera isn’t on the list, that doesn’t mean it won’t work, just that it hasn’t been tested yet. I would suspect many other current Nikon releases are compatible. If you happen to test a different camera and want to add it to the list, please leave a note in the Comments section, below.

How to Set up Your Camera and Computer

The easiest way to set up your Nikon camera as a webcam is to use the new Nikon Webcam Utility. First, download and install the free Nikon Webcam Utility program for either PC or Mac. Next, you should connect your Nikon camera to your computer using a simple USB plug-and-play method. And that’s it. As long as you have downloaded and installed the Nikon Webcam Utility to your computer, it will automatically recognize your compatible Nikon camera any time it’s connected to the computer via USB. And once your camera is detected, you can then open any compatible video conferencing application or software (Zoom, MS Teams, Google Meet, etc.) and start streaming. 

Nikon Webcam Utility. Live stream like a pro with Nikon Cameras
Nikon Webcam Utility

Clean HDMI Method and More Info on Streaming

If your camera isn’t compatible 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 output 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.

93 Comments

 

Hello, if I connect a mini hdmi to the Nikon d7100 and from the mini hdmi an hdmi to the PC, could I use it as a webcam?

You can connect your mini HDMI cable to the Nikon D7100, but you would need a device such as the Elgato Cam Link 4K, BH # ELCL4KGCD to allow for use as a webcam on your PC.

https://bhpho.to/3savTsc

Hello i have a nikon p500 and it has a HDMI thing. will this camera work as a webcam?

Although the Nikon P500 has an HDMI port, it would not provide a clean HDMI output to be used as a webcam. 

Hello I just received my D5500 from B&H today & I can't get the webcam utility to work on my Mac. I installed it correctly, connected my camera with a good quality USB cable, set the camera to A & all I get on Zoom is the Webcam Utility screen 

We’re sorry to hear that you’re having trouble. If you haven't done so already, the camera must also be set to live view in order for the Webcam Utility to work.

I have a Nikon Z-50. I need to record a long conference session, several one+ hour sessions on my laptop(HP-WIN10). I have a USB plug to keep the battery charged, and a micro HDMI cable with the Connect 4K video/audio encoder connected to my laptop.  I'm not seeing a  straightforward way to tell my computer to start recording. Any guidance and suggestions would be appreciated. 

The Nikon Z50 Mirrorless Digital Camera may not work for your usage needs.  While it is compatible for Live View usage using the Nikon Webcam Utility software, the major issue would be battery life.  The Nikon Z50 does not have an AC adapter for continuous shooting usage needs, and while the camera does offer USB charging, it does not have the ability to charge the camera's battery while the camera is powered on for usage.  The approximate battery life of a full Nikon EN-EL25 Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery used for movie recording is 75 minutes, or one (1) hour and 15 minutes.  You would need multiple batteries in order to record the number of meetings you have, and try to ensure they do not run over 60-75 minutes in length.  

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In regards to recording your meetings, recording would not be a feature of the Nikon Webcam Utility software.  This would be a feature of the compatible video conferencing software you would be using (i.e., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Facebook Messenger and/or Skype).  You would have to view the instructions of your video conferencing software on how to use their software for recording purposes, and where you would find the record button to START/STOP stream recordings.

hello, I've been having trouble with my d7000 camera. I'm unsure if it's compatible with the Nikon webcam utility but if there is a fix or explanation I would surely be happy to read it 

Unfortunately, the Nikon D7000 is not compatible with their Webcam Utility nor does it have clean HDMI output for use with an HDMI streaming device. I'm very sorry. 

I have a d500 and when i connect to my computer the video output just shows the nikon webcam utility logo

According to the manufacturer, the Nikon D500 DSLR Camera is compatible for use with the Nikon Webcam Utility Software for use as a web camera.  If you are having issues with the software working correctly, I would first recommend to ensure the firmware of your camera is updated to the most recent version (as of the date/time of this reply, that would be Version 1.31, released on March 8, 2022.  It can be downloaded from the link included below.

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https://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/en/products/323/D500.html

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If the above does not fix your issue and you are still having issues with the Webcam Utility Software, I would recommend to contact Nikon USA directly either by calling them toll-free within the United States at 1-800-NIKON-US (1-800-645-6687) 9AM-8PM EST, Monday to Friday, or you may contact Nikon via e-mail using the Contact Us form on their website at the link included below:

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https://www.nikonimgsupport.com/ni/NI_ask_support?ctry=US&lang=en_US

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I have a d3400 and all i see is a wierd question mark on the nikon webcam utility

 

Unfortunately, the Nikon D3400 is not listed as compatible with the Nikon Webcam Utility. 

I have a Nikon D40X. I have downloaded the Nikon webcam utility app, but when I go to zoom and select the utility app, all I see on zoom the the utility ap, nothing from the camera. Can you advise?  Thank you. 

Unfortunately, the D40X is not compatible with Nikon's Webcam Utility app, mainly because it lacks a live view setting. 

Thank you for your response. Can the CoolPix AW100 be used with the Webcam utility?

The Nikon Coolpix AW100 would also not be compatible with the Nikon Webcam Utility. According to Nikon, the following cameras would be compatible: Z9, Z7II, Z6II, Z6, Z5 Zfc, Z50, D6, D5, D850, D810, D780, D750, D500, D7500, D7200, D5600, D5500, D5300 and D3500.

Can I use the Nikon Coolpix L810's A/V cable?

Unfortunately, it would not be possible to connect the Nikon L810 with its supplied A/V cable to allow for use as a webcam. 

So I have a d5100. first I wish the utility app could be for android. second when I do set up the d5100 and try and do a live stream I can not get rid of the info on the screen from the camera settings during live view. I hit the info button on the camera and its still there. how do I get rid of this annoyance ?

Unfortunately, it is not possible.  The Nikon D5100 DSLR camera does not have clean HDMI output, so the camera info will be displayed on the video output by the camera's HDMI port.  The Nikon D5200, D5300, D5500, and D5600 DSLR cameras would be the options that are compatible with clean HDMI output and which would not display image data on the screen when using the HDMI output.  That being said, if you wish to use the free Nikon Webcam Utility Software for streaming purposes, the Nikon D5300 DSLR camera would be the most entry-level D5000-series DSLR from Nikon compatible for use with their Webcam Utility Software.

Is it possible for the D500 to autofocus using the Webcam utility?

(Plenty of information out there on autofocus with Z series, but I'm not finding settings for DSLR's when using the webcam utility)

Unfortunately, autofocus would not be available when using the D500 with the Nikon Webcam Utility. 

Thanks - that what I thought, but I would hate to miss out due poor research on my part

We understand completely. Thanks for reaching out to us. 

does the micro USB port work or do I have to use the UC-E6 port?

You can use the Micro USB port with a Micro USB to USB A cable to connect the D5600 to the Nikon Webcam Utility software. 

Hi, i got capture card, and nikon p530, and in obs it shows only menu from my p530 camera, and i only can watch pictures from camera, how switch it to photo or video view? Or thats only what i can get from p530 ? 

Unfortunately, the Nikon P530 does not offer a clean HDMI output. This is reason why the menu is only visible when using the OBS software and a capture card. I'm very sorry. 

Hi Kirk, do you know if with a Cam Link it would work?

In order for the Elgato Cam Link 4K to work, the camera would need to offer a clean HDMI output. Unfortunately, the P530 does not offer this feature. 

The compact cameras like Coolpix B700 doesn't work at all right ? would a camlink solve it ?

The Elgato CamLink would require a camera with a clean HDMI output, which the B700 would not offer. 

Will the utility work with the D7100 using USB to USB?  Don't see it listed in the Utility covered cameras list.  Also, how do people power the camera for longer stints of use?

 

While the Nikon Webcam Utility does not list the D7100 as compatible, this camera does offer a clean HDMI output. That being said, it can be used with the Elgato Cam Link 4K, BH # ELCL4KGCD which will allow you to use most webcam software.

https://bhpho.to/3kOB2Vp

 

Unfortunately, the Nikon D5000 does not offer a clean HDMI output so it could not be used as a webcam. I'm very sorry. 

I have a Nikon D5500 and the Nikon Webcam Utility (PC version). I am using the Nikon-provided USB cable to attach to the PC, however I continually receive the message "Cannot start live view at current settings or under current conditions" message when attempting to start live view on the camera. Has anyone gotten live view to work when attached to a PC via USB?

Some things you may wish to check with your camera is to first ensure if you are using a zoom lens, check to see if the retractable lens barrel is retracted. If you are using a lens with a built-in aperture ring, make sure the aperture ring is stopped down to the smallest (minimum) aperture. If you are using a non-CPU lens, make sure your camera is set to [M] Manual mode. With CPU lenses when using the Nikon D5500 DSLR camera, you would need to set your camera's Mode Dial to either [P] Program Auto, [S] Shutter Priority, [A] Aperture Priority, or [M] Manual mode. If you do not have a memory card inserted into your camera, make sure [Enable Release] is selected under [Slot Empty Release Lock] in the Setup menu. (Press the MENU button → Setup Menu → Slot Empty Release Lock → Enable Release).

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Many of the above are listed on the Webcam Utility software compatibility and troubleshooting webpage on the link included below. It may be good to view this webpage as well as the YouTube video they have created concerning downloading the software and recommended camera settings. If you find you are still having issues connecting with your Nikon D5500 DSLR camera, you may wish to contact Nikon USA directly for assistance by calling them toll-free at 1-800-NIKON-US (1-800-645-6687) 9AM-8PM EST, Monday to Friday.

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https://www.nikonimgsupport.com/na/NSG_article?articleNo=000043805&configured=1&lang=en_SG

Has anyone been able to try this with Nikon D5000?

I planned to use my DSLR as a webcam for my Mac but it doesn't work with FaceTime. Which capture card or software should I use to make it work? 

What you can use is the Elgato Cam Link 4K, BH # ELCL4KGCD if your DSLR has a clean HDMI output, which should work with FaceTime. 

 

https://bhpho.to/3kOB2Vp

 

Can I use my D3200 With my Pc as a Webcam? I found that Ecamm Live works for Mac only. what should I do because I can only use a USB right now because I can't afford C-link4K.

You may purchase the Atomos Connect 4K, B&H # ATOMCON001, as well as an HDMI cable such as the Pearstone HDC-103 High-Speed Mini-HDMI to HDMI Cable with Ethernet (3'), B&H # PEHDC03, to use your Nikon D3200 DSLR camera as a web camera with your computer.  You may also wish to purchase an AC adapter such as the Power2000 AC-EL14 AC Adapter and DC Coupler Kit, B&H # POACEL14, to provide continuous AC power for your usage needs.  Do note that you will need to press the "Info" button on the rear of your camera to enable HDMI clean out.

Would the software support Nikon D3100?

Being that the Nikon D3100 doesn't offer a clean HDMI output, that would make it incompatible.  I'm very sorry. 

hi, when plugging in my coolpix L840 into my elgato cam link,  it just shows my image library on my computer thats all it lets me do.   anyone know why this is?

 

We're sorry to hear about the trouble you're having. The problem is most likely due to the L840 lacking a clean HDMI output. Otherwise using the Elgato Cam-Link with a camera that does have the clean HDMI output would work just fine with the appropriate software. 

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