How to Use Your Canon 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 Canon EOS DSLR, mirrorless, or PowerShot camera. To help facilitate the process Canon has introduced the EOS Webcam Utility for connecting the camera to a computer. 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 Canon Camera Instead of a Webcam?

Obviously, the answer to the above is that a dedicated Canon camera will provide significantly better image quality than a standard webcam. There are many reasons for this, none of which I want to get too deeply into, but suffice it to say that a DSLR, mirrorless, or even point-and-shoot designed for capturing stunning images will beat the tiny imaging unit built into your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Recommended Cameras and Equipment

You’ll need to first check and see if you have a camera supported by the Canon EOS Webcam Utility. Fortunately, the app supports both Windows and Mac computers and the list of supported cameras is quite expansive.

EOS DSLR Cameras

Canon EOS Rebel T7i DSLR Camera
Canon EOS Rebel T7i DSLR Camera

EOS Mirrorless Cameras

Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Digital Camera
Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Digital Camera

PowerShot Cameras

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III Digital Camera
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III Digital Camera

For the most up-to-date list, check out Canon’s Compatibility List.

Beyond having the camera, you will need a USB cable. Many of the listed cameras come with a cable, which is recommended, but if not or you need a longer one, that should be no problem to find. You likely already have a compatible cable in your home.

How to Set up Your Camera and Computer

Fortunately, the process of getting set up for using a Canon camera as a webcam is straightforward. There are only a few key settings to select on the camera before plugging it into the computer.

    1. Set the camera to Movie Mode.
    2. Adjust exposure settings (Manual provides the most consistent look).
    3. Connect to the computer using a USB cable.

Canon has just made this utility available for both Windows and Mac computers. When installed and once the camera is connected, you’ll want to make sure other Canon apps, such as EOS Utility, are closed. Then, all you need to do is go into your video conferencing app of choice and select EOS Webcam Utility as your camera. We would recommend an AC power solution or at least selecting USB power if the camera supports it.

There are a couple of things to note. First, audio is not transmitted from the camera, so you will still have to use the computer’s solution or another mic plugged into your PC. The second is that Mac users will need to use the web app version of their conferencing platform instead of dedicated applications. FaceTime, Safari, Skype, Zoom, and WebEx desktop apps are not supported for Mac. However, Google Chrome and web-based versions of Skype, Zoom, and WebEx work just fine.

Clean HDMI Method and More Info on Streaming

If your camera isn’t on the list 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 outputs 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.

42 Comments

I am trying to get my 7d mk ii to work as a webcam. I do not need/want to use Canon's app as I'm using this through an ATEM Mini Pro.

I think I've got the camera set up properly (ie. Clean HDMI, auto shutoff disabled, firmware updated, shooting with Av mode), and I'm using a dummy battery for power and I've got a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable plugged in.

It works great for about 20-25 minutes and then the camera shuts down by itself. Any ideas?

Hi James - 

This camera like most HDSLR's cannot record video continuously for more than 29 minutes. Canon's default setting may be a few minutes less. Sadly, it is not adjustable nor can it be bypassed.

The biggest question I have not seen addressed... sometimes my livestreams can last an hour, how is the camera powered during use? Battery or USB power?  (Also, can you record the session in camera while streaming?  Thanks.

Depending on the Canon camera, you can either use the dedicated AC adapter for it or a device that uses a dummy battery and a USB trickle connection to run off of USB power banks. We invite you to speak with us via Live Chat until 8PM ET this evening so we can go over your options in greater detail. 

So is it able to record the session while streaming?

When using the Canon EOS Webcam Utility, you can still record internally in the camera while live streaming as long as you have a card in the camera. 

I know it says a G7X mark III is compatible but what about a G7x Mark II.  Ive tried plugging it in but ive gotten just the eos webcam Utility Beta picture.. is this camera just not compatible or am I doing somthing wrong? 

Did anyone get the Canon EOS 7D (original one not MK II) to stream live via OBS or Zoom? I tried the EOS Webcam Utility (it works for 7D MKII but the first gen is not listed. Would appreciate if anyone has experience with this or any other potential streaming solutions for this camera.

Hola estimados!, Hay alguna manera de conectar la Canon EOS 6D ?

Hello dear! Is there a way to connect the Canon EOS 6D?

Thanks!

Unfortunately, Canon does not include the 6D on its list of compatible cameras.

Ricardo H. T. wrote:

Hola estimados!, Hay alguna manera de conectar la Canon EOS 6D ?

Hello dear! Is there a way to connect the Canon EOS 6D?

Thanks!

The Canon 6D should work fine, I got the Canon 5D and the Canon 7D to work so the 6D should be no problem.

Canon just didn't include a comprehensive list of ALL cameras that would work, so there's no harm in trying.

Good to know. Since the software is free to download it's always worth a shot. Perhaps there is a quality difference between the older and newer models and that is why they were left of the initial list.

Here is a good tutorial for Canon R  HDMI into a Black Magic Ultra Studio Mini Recorder then into an iMac:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyNSr1Xu5WI

I'm not going through OBS or anything, just straight into Zoom.

I am new to video and trying to use my EOS 90D as a webcam. It is working well, but I am not sure how to use the facial recognition for focus, or it this feature even works with the EOS Webcam Utility Beta. Any suggestions. Thanks

I don't have a clear answer for you, but if you are in Movie Mode and Face Detect works when it isn't plugged in but stops when you use the Utility it may just be a bug or issue with the beta software.

any updates on this? I am having the same issue on a t7i

At this time, there are no updates that we're aware of on the beta version of EOS Webcam Utility. 

I downloaded the EOS Webcam Utility Beta onto my computer running on Windows 10, then setup my Canon T7i, video work but no audio. Now I see this article said "...audio is not transmitted from the camera...". So was there something wrong with my setup or is it true audio is not transmitted?

The article is correct, the Webcam Utility does not pass audio to the computer.  Select the audio source in Windows (Bluetooth, external microphone, external audio interface, etc as may be appropriate to your machine).

Due to the USB connection not being able to support it you will have to use a separate source for audio.

Any idea if the webcam utility will support the apps when it comes out of beta for Mac? Are they at least working on that? For it to only be web based is a bummer, and I need it to work with Zoom and other apps straight up. 

Great question. We have not heard any news on this front.

I would like to know if it is possible to do this with a Canon Poweshot SX620 HS. Thanks

Canon did not list the PowerShot SX620 HS as compatible with the Webcam Utility Beta.

I notice you didn't include a Canon 6D as an option, why? Thx!!!

Unfortunately, Canon did not include the original 6D as a compatible camera with the Webcam Utility Beta.

Alberto L. wrote:

I notice you didn't include a Canon 6D as an option, why? Thx!!!

Try the 6D, it will probably work.  I got the Canon 5D and the Canon 7D to work so the 6D should be no problem.

I meant to say Canon 5D Mk2, not the original 5D.

I have a Canon 5D MarkII and a 5D Mark III. What about them?

Unfortunately, neither of these cameras will work with the Webcam Utility Beta. However, you can use the clean HDMI output of the 5D Mark III to use another method which we detail here:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/tips-and-solutions/how-to-use-almost-any-camera-as-a-webcam

Yes, they both work, I got my Canon 5D Mk2 and 5D Mk3 to work with this Webcam Utility Beta.

I had the same success with my 5D Mk III and we use a Blue Yeti Microphone as a better quality audio source via usb.  As for Zoom there is an extension for the Google Chrome browser we downloaded that allows us to use the usb connected 5D Mk III as the video source via the browser  since the EOS Webcam Utility is not currently working with the Zoom app.  The video quality on Zoom calls/meetings is now dramatically different from the built in Face Time camera on our 2012 vintage Mac Book Pro without spending $$$ on the clean HDMI interface that is hard to find.

Michael, what Chrome extension did you use?

I notice you didn't include a Canon 70D as an option.  Is that because you should only be using a full frame camera?

You can absolutely use an APS-C or even smaller format (G7X anyone?) using this setup. However, the 70D is not included because Canon did not list it as compatible with the Webcam Utility Beta. I think it's just a little older and can't support the system.

No, the compatibility list for the software includes APS-C cameras, except for the 70D, but since the Canon IFC-500U interface cable also lists the EOS 60D, 70D, 80D and on and on as compatible, I figured it would be just fine and it is.  Great video quality, and the CAD u3 USB microphone sound is good, too.  You will need to use a separate mic for audio, as reported.  I use the 70D with the Canon 35mm macro lens for Zoom meetings.  

Hi Charles,

Are you reporting that the 70D is working with the Webcam Utility Beta? If so, are you using Windows or Mac, because that might play a part in overall compatibility. Would be very interesting and helpful for others to hear.

A little late to the thread but it seems Canon has since updated the list with the official release (currently 1.1), the 70D is now listed.

I was thinking of using my EOS M 50 for live streaming our church sermon to those that can’t make it but I thought I remember reading somewhere that you can’t record longer than 30 minutes with it. Is recording a video as opposed to live streaming different?

This setup with Canon's app doesn't fall under that 30 minute restriction (though there may be other things to watch out for, such as battery life). The 30-minute limit is for when you are actively recording and saving to the memory card. Streaming should not hit that limit if you are not recording.

Good news that the software is available for both Windows and Mac computers.  It works great with the EOS 70D and Canon's 15.4 foot long USB interface cable IFC-500U for Zoom meetings.  One battery lasted for nearly two hours of webcam use. (Your mileage may vary.) 

I keep the link to Canon's video handy for reference before every meeting, just in case.  Thank you, Shawn.  

Glad to hear it is working for you!

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