How to Connect a Camera to a Computer as a Webcam

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Updated August 10, 2022

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 how to connect a camera to a computer as 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.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • 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.

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 look into finding the best streaming camera for Xbox One instead of using a camera.

Warning

A USB webcam provides an easier installation experience, but it 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)

How to Connect Camera to a Computer as a Webcam FAQs

Why shouldn’t I use just use my built-in webcam?

If your digital camera has a great video mode, it’ll provide a far better experience than a laptop webcam. If you have a lot of videos to film or conferences to attend, having a proper webcam is crucial.

Will I need to download additional software?

Depending on the method you use to connect your camera to your webcam, you might need to download some third-party software, especially driver software.

How can I improve my sound quality on a video conferencing app?

Getting an external microphone can be extremely helpful in improving audio input quality. A separate microphone is relatively inexpensive and pairs great with a digital camera webcam.

Will I be able to use a USB connection with my camera?

Some digital cameras will support a USB connection, but you’ll still need additional hardware or software so your laptop or computer can read the camera input.
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