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How to use your Canon DSLR as a webcam w/o a capture card

It is now possible to use certain Canon DSLR cameras as a webcam! This is extremely exciting news for streamers! So, Canon has released a beta utility that enables the use of select cameras as a webcam over the USB connector. This is a pretty big change, one that can have a significant impact on the cost of transitioning to a “real camera” for your stream. After all, you are saving around $100 to $400 on a capture card, like the Elgato 4k60 Pro MK.2 or Cam Link 4k.

Here is a list of Qualifying cameras for the utility: (Organized cheapest to most expensive for your convenience.)

EOS Mirrorless CamerasEOS DSLR CamerasPowerShot Cameras
EOS M50EOS Rebel T6PowerShot SX70 HS
EOS M200EOS Rebel T7PowerShot G7X Mark III
EOS M6 Mark II EOS Rebel T100PowerShot G5X Mark II
EOS RPEOS Rebel SL3
EOS REOS 77D
EOS Rebel T7i
EOS Rebel SL2
EOS Rebel T6i
EOS 80D
EOS 90D
EOS 6D Mark II
EOS 7D Mark II
EOS 5DS
EOS 5DS R
EOS 5D Mark IV
EOS-1D X Mark II
EOS-1D X Mark III

First, NVIDIA steps up and releases an early Beta of RTX Voice, and now this, to answer the needs of the working from home movement. Changes are happening at an unprecedented rate, all in the name of making the lives of everybody a little bit easier. We hope other manufacturers follow suit in this regard.

Why use something like a Canon DSLR as a webcam?

In a few words: Video fidelity, and the cost gap between what is considered a “Webcam” and a “real camera” like a DSLR, or mirrorless body. In some cases, you can actually get a solid used DSLR camera for LESS than what a webcam is selling for. That’s…just…crazy honestly.

Webcams are great little pieces of technology, and for a long time, they were reasonably priced. However, recent… difficulties have exploded their cost to consumers almost threefold, with the usual go-to webcam for streamers costing a whopping $188-250. Yes, the C920 is being sold for $188, right now as of this article’s post date on Amazon. Nuts…

Why, you might ask?

Simple supply and demand sadly. There is an overwhelming demand for webcam products right now to bring businesses up to remote working standards necessary to maintain a level of functionality. With supply chains being impacted, and demand up, you have the perfect storm for rising costs.

How do I use this in OBS?

We’ll refer you to the Stream Professor, EposVox for this. He is an individual, who like us, researches streaming to a level that most wouldn’t bother. If you haven’t heard of him, you’re in for a treat.

Unlike us though, he actually has one of the qualifying cameras at the ready and is able to test it first hand. He goes over his initial impressions on the software and promises a follow-up video to go into more detail as he explores this tool.

Which camera should you buy?

Honestly, Whatever fits your budget. As far as we are aware, the only thing you need to worry about now with these cameras is a dummy battery (it’s in the title of the battery on amazon usually.) that is compatible with the Canon DSLR you choose, and a tripod or something. The utility should already strip the OSD, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that like we do with the HDMI out on some cameras.

The cheapest body on there is just under $300, and considering the brio is over that, USED, there is quite literally zero reason to buy a webcam over a Canon DSLR that supports this new utility.

We’ll update this article as we learn more about this tool and how it affects latency, etc. Check back later for when we do!

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