How to Connect a Camera to a Computer as a Webcam

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Updated February 13, 2023
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Difficulty Easy
Steps 5
Time Required 10 minutes
Things to Know

The best digital cameras often make fantastic alternatives to using external webcams if you don’t want to use your computer’s built-in camera. All it takes is learning to connect a camera to a computer, like a webcam. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy far greater video quality than you’d get with a typical webcam. Keep reading to learn how.


  • Using a digital camera might seem like it’s just adding extra hardware into the mix, but it’s a great way of improving your video chatting or streaming experience.
  • If you regularly use any sort of video conferencing app, you must invest in a great digital camera to help improve your image quality.
  • Connecting your camera to your computer isn’t necessarily a complicated process, but you will need to invest in some equipment to make it happen.

Using Professional Cameras as Webcams

Whether you’re using Google Meet or any other software for video meetings or calls, presenting the best image of yourself is essential. Using a digital camera as an external webcam will help improve your appearance during that all-important video conference.

Moreover, comparing models is one of the best ways to find a solid camera to use as a webcam. You can do this by starting with our mashups of the Sony Alpha A6000 mirrorless digital camera vs Nikon D5300, and the Blackmagic URSA V1 vs V2.

Insider Tip

If you want a clean video feed, the best option is to connect a high-quality camera to your laptop or computer.

Though today’s article targets Windows users, Apple users should learn how to connect a camera on a Mac. And if you find the process to be too involved, you can always defer to learning how to connect a webcam to a computer instead. You just won’t get the same image quality.

STEP 1 Switch Camera to “Video Mode”

If your camera has a “video mode,” switch it to that mode now. You’ll also need a converter that allows your computer to read the camera’s video input.

STEP 2 Plug the Converter into the USB Port

Plug the converter into your computer’s USB port. Once this is done, you’ll simply follow the instructions that came with the reader.

STEP 3 Connect the Camera to the Computer’s HDMI Port

Now, use an HDMI cable to connect your digital camera to the computer’s HDMI-out port. The next step is switching over from your built-in webcam.

STEP 4 Open Device Manager

Simply go into Device Manager and then into Webcams.

STEP 5 Change the Video Input to the Camera

Once there, you can change your input to your digital camera. You should be good to go now. However, if you’re a gamer, you might want to find the best streaming camera for Xbox One instead of a camera.

If you want more great tips concerning DSLR cameras, check out our resources below:


A USB webcam provides an easier installation experience but won’t provide the same image quality as a digital camera.

STAT: Of those living in a household where the total income was 100,000 U.S. dollars or more per year, 58 percent said that they owned Canon products. (source)

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