You can now turn your Canon DSLR or mirrorless into a webcam with Canon’s new software

Apr 29, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

You can now turn your Canon DSLR or mirrorless into a webcam with Canon’s new software

Apr 29, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Canon has just released EOS Webcam Utility Beta software that lets you turn your DSLR, mirrorless or PowerShot camera into a webcam. With most of us working from home now, the demand for webcams has increased immensely, so this solution could be great if you just want to use the camera that you already have.

YouTube video

Tatsuro ‘Tony’ Kano, executive vice president of the Canon U.S.A., says:

“In unprecedented times, it’s imperative for Canon to provide our customers with useful, simple and accessible solutions to assist them in whatever imaging needs they have. Our goal is that the EOS Webcam Utility Beta software can help reduce some of the remote workday stress for employees who are tasked with video conferencing and virtual meetings.”

The software is still in beta, so if you decide to use it, Canon is seeking your feedback on Canon Community forum, where you can also find some useful tips. You’ll need to download the software for your camera model, and you can find all the links and the instructions here. The following cameras support the software:

There are ways to turn your DLSR into a webcam, but they require a third-party software. So I believe that Canon users will appreciate the native software from the same brand. On the minus side, there are some limiting factors: not many camera models are supported, and only folks from the U.S. can use the software. I hope that it will at least be expanded to more cameras in the future.

As a Nikon user, I would like to see something like this from Nikon as well. I could rock my meetings with the team and online drinking with best friends! Joke aside, I recently bought a new desktop and I haven’t bought the webcam, which leads me to the next point.

The current COVID-19 situation has forced many people to start working from home. I bought a computer shortly before the emergency, and tried to find a webcam about a week later. And I couldn’t find one that doesn’t cost a fortune. The demand is huge, and so is the delay in delivery. Not to mention that the prices went higher even on the generally cheap models. So, the possibility to use the camera I already have, with a software from the same company, seems pretty tempting to me. What do you think? Do you find something like this necessary and would you like to have software like this for your camera brand?

[via DPReview, image credits: Canon]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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21 responses to “You can now turn your Canon DSLR or mirrorless into a webcam with Canon’s new software”

  1. Peteris Zālītis Avatar
    Peteris Zālītis

    WHY?? are we in 90ties? wtf? Why is this necessary? who needs this?

    1. Keiran Blackwell Avatar
      Keiran Blackwell

      Peteris Zālītis because most of us are working from home if self isolating, and our DSLRs or mirrorless camera provide far better image quality than our inbuilt webcams.

    2. Peteris Zālītis Avatar
      Peteris Zālītis

      Keiran Blackwell ok, I meant, that Canon could work on some more important stuff, like firmware updates etc, but ok, yes I will use my $$$$ work tool as a webcam, ok.. :D

    3. Daniel Scott Avatar
      Daniel Scott

      Or webcams in general – let’s face it. I swear that webcam dev is a thing of the past :/

    4. Mezame Shashin-ka Avatar
      Mezame Shashin-ka

      Peteris Zālītis I’m using a Sony A6500 as a webcam. It works best for my live-streams now. I run my workshops online as I can’t run them in studios these days. For you, it may not work. But for others, especially during these extraordinary times, yes, it’s a necessity.

    5. Tan Chek Chow Avatar
      Tan Chek Chow

      Really, I rather they look at nicely wear-up blur video of me

      than

      DSLR quality of half asleep image of me

    6. Keiran Blackwell Avatar
      Keiran Blackwell

      Most people who have DSLRs aren’t professionals, and offering extra use cases is no bad thing.

  2. Rick Benford Avatar
    Rick Benford

    Main reason is YouTube.
    Cameras like the Canon M50 and Sony A6300/6400 line are designed with YouTubers in mind. Live feeds have become very popular so they are trying to fill a niche.
    For most photographers this option is useless but even a lot of photographers now are making more money on YouTube then they do actually shooting!

  3. Stewart Norton Avatar
    Stewart Norton

    Always baffled me why this isn’t standard in all DSLRs.

  4. Tony Marjakangas Avatar
    Tony Marjakangas

    No support for MacOS :(

    1. Andreas Heckel Avatar
      Andreas Heckel

      Tony Marjakangas should be possible using gstreamer and gphoto2 for MacOS! But it‘s a waste of time as you will get very low resolutions and frame rates. What this new canon webcam does is that they are using the live view output of the camera. Use your Canon EOS Utility for MacOS to get a impression on the video quality. Hint: Move fast to see the low frame rate ? That‘s all you will get with any orther software-only-solution over USB! The only way to get clear video stream out of your DSLR is to grab the HDMI-Output of your DSLR using a video grabber like elgato cam link.

  5. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
    Jolyon Ralph

    You haven’t explained what the ** after some model names means.

  6. Andreas Heckel Avatar
    Andreas Heckel

    I assume this Software simply streams the live view that you can already see at the old EOS Utility. Otherwise they had to release new firmware for the Cameras. That means this „new“ Canon Tool works like a solution we have on Linux for Years! For testing this out with my 7D MK II and my 1DX MKII i did create a lookback device and then used gohoto2 to get the live view. Use gstreamer or ffmpeg to feet it to the lookback device and that‘s it. The Downside is that you will get terrible low resolutions an framerates.

  7. Iain Mack Avatar
    Iain Mack

    So the webcam that comes with (most) laptops, iMac, then all tablets cameras isn’t good enough! ?

    1. A_n_S Avatar
      A_n_S

      Believe it or not, but a lot of folks still work from something called a desktop computer…. :)

    2. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Actually, correct. Most of ’em are absolutely terrible, not even as good as a 10-year-old smartphone.

  8. Marc Schoué Avatar
    Marc Schoué

    This Software is for use in the U.S. and will not be supported outside that area
    Because in Europe or elsewhere your Canon is totally different and will explode if you use it as a webcam… Stuff like that (totally arbitrary region locks) is annoying as hell! ?

  9. Mohamed Benmeddour Avatar
    Mohamed Benmeddour

    Windows ???

  10. Glenn Giese Avatar
    Glenn Giese

    Meh…?

  11. Ryan Larkin Avatar
    Ryan Larkin

    I was sooo excited about this, but of course this does not work on a MAC. Also, still no good way to get a real clean HDMI output from my 80D. I just can’t fathom why these all of these expensive cameras cannot double as a streaming. Photographers and videographers need versatility more than anything these days. I understand it takes time to program software, but how difficult can it be when there are so many cheap knock cams that can stream. All the pro cams are capable, just make it available to the users that purchase your products. It would be an ‘value add’ feature to be able to stream direct from USB or HDMI output!!!

  12. Dan J. Avatar
    Dan J.

    The list of compatible cameras have some with double asterisks, but no explanation what that means.