For now, the OM-D Webcam Beta only supports Windows computers and works with five of Olympus’ mirrorless cameras: the OM-D E-M1X, the OM-D E-M1, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, and the OM-D E-M5 Mark II.
Setting up your camera is easy: simply install the app, connect your camera through its USB-C port, turn it on, and start up the software, after which point your Olympus camera will appear as an option in your videoconferencing app of choice just like any other integrated or USB camera would. For a more detailed walkthrough, check out Olympus’ video guide here.
Olympus notes that the OM-D Webcam Beta software doesn’t output sound from the camera — instead, you’ll rely on your computer’s internal microphone or an external USB microphone as usual. The decision is an intentional one, the company notes, as it allows users to place the camera in the best location for video without worrying about being too far to pick up your voice.
With the release of the new OM-D Webcam Beta, Olympus joins Fujifilm, Canon, and Panasonic in releasing software that makes it easier to use your mirrorless camera as a webcam. (Although Fujifilm and Canon are a little farther ahead, with both companies supporting Mac computers in addition to Windows.)
Olympus recently announced that it would be exiting the camera business entirely, with plans to sell off its entire imaging division to Japan Industrial Partners, an investment fund, citing a decline in business in the camera market. Despite those plans, it seems that Olympus isn’t just leaving its customers in the lurch, with development of new software like the OM-D Webcam Beta and a newly announced lens roadmap for its existing products.