One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us it that many more people can work from home than most of us previously thought. It’s brought online video conferencing to the forefront of our minds, but with everybody buying up webcams, the decent ones are pretty much impossible to find now. Chances are, demand for webcams will say high for a while, too.
Well, Fuji has now launched its new Fujifilm X Webcam software for Windows. With the assistance of a USB cable, it allows you to turn a number of Fuji cameras into webcams for use with your computer to get results better than anything you could hope for with your standard USB webcam. It even works with their medium format GFX cameras.
It doesn’t work with all Fuji cameras, although it does work with a decent chunk of them. According to Fuji, it’s currently compatible with the following camera models:
This means that you no longer need to deal headache of cheap and unreliable or the cost of reliable but very expensive HDMI capture devices. You can simply plug in your camera and your computer see is as just another webcam.
With more manufacturers adding USB streaming support to their DSLR and mirrorless cameras or even coming with that ability right out of the box, this is going to either cause a lot of webcam manufacturers to lose sales or really force them to step up their game. USB webcam technology really hasn’t developed much in a long time and even the best of them aren’t much better than a 10-year-old smartphone (and many of them are nowhere close to that level of quality), so it would be nice to see some innovation.
Another, perhaps frustrating side effect of cameras gaining USB streaming to your desktop is that it starts to make devices like the Blackmagic Atem Mini and Atem Mini Pro a little redundant for some live streamers. Users will be able to do all of the previewing and switching easily on the computer through applications like OBS without any additional hardware. Of course, that does place a higher demand on the computer, so it’s still worth considering devices like this for multicam live streaming.
With all these other manufacturers stepping up to add USB streaming support, though, I hope Panasonic steps up and starts adding it to theirs, too – especially now I’ve just bought four of them.