Skip to main content

All the ways to turn your phone or camera into a webcam

All the ways to turn your phone or camera into a webcam

/

Use your iPhone, Android, DSLR, or mirrorless to monitor your home or Zoom with friends

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

camera manuals

In the spring, while the pandemic was surging and people were moving into home offices, it was nearly impossible to find a webcam to help secure your home or provide a better Zoom experience. As a result, camera manufacturers began issuing software that would enable camera owners to convert their tech into a working webcam. And while the webcam famine has abated somewhat, it could still be a good idea to convert your older phone or camera into a webcam — not only will you be saving a bit of cash by repurposing your tech, but you’ll be saving your devices (at least temporarily) from having to be recycled.

The following are some resources that might help you create a new webcam from your old tech. We start with a couple of general how-tos and then offer information about some apps that you can get from specific camera manufacturers.

How to convert a phone or a camera

How to use your Android or iOS device as a webcam

We’ll start with how to get your Android phone or tablet to act as a webcam for your computer, and then we’ll move into doing the same with your iPhone or iPad. 

How to use your DSLR or mirrorless camera as a webcam

If you really want to step up your video call game, you can actually use a DSLR or mirrorless camera as a webcam for your computer and have the best-looking video of anyone in your group chat.

Cameras can be used for webcams as well.
Cameras can be used for webcams as well.

Software from camera manufacturers

Canon cameras

If you’ve got a recent Canon mirrorless, DSLR, or PowerShot camera, you can now use it as a webcam and put everyone else on your video call to shame. The company has released a beta of EOS Webcam Utility for Windows 10, along with a beta version for macOS, that lets you plug in any of the supported cameras over USB and have it serve as your PC’s webcam. 

Fujifilm cameras

Fujifilm has released new software that lets you use certain X-series and GFX-series mirrorless cameras as ultra-high-quality webcams. The app is called Fujifilm X Webcam and it works over USB, letting you benefit from much sharper lenses and larger image sensors than the potato camera in your laptop. You’re even able to use Fujifilm’s renowned film simulation modes.

GoPro Hero 8
GoPro Hero 8
Photo by Brent Rose for The Verge

GoPro Hero cameras

GoPro will now let people on Windows PCs use its Hero 8 action camera as a webcam — though the experience is only in beta for now. The compatibility with Windows follows the introduction of the webcam functionality for macOS users in July.

Nikon cameras

Nikon has also unveiled its own Windows 10 and macOS beta software that allows you to use its mirrorless and DSLR cameras as webcams. The Nikon Webcam Utility uses a USB cable to connect your camera to your computer and produce a high-quality video stream.

Olympus mirrorless cameras

Olympus is becoming the latest camera company to release an app that allows customers to use its mirrorless cameras as high-quality webcams with a new OM-D Webcam Beta app for both Windows 10 and macOS.

Panasonic Lumix cameras

Panasonic has released an official Lumix webcam app. The software, still in beta since its quiet release, lets you plug your camera into your Mac or Windows machine and have it recognized as a video source in apps like Google Meet and Zoom. 

Sony A7C
Sony A7C
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

Sony cameras

Sony has released a new version of its Imaging Edge Webcam software for Macs, which allows you to directly plug in a recent Sony camera to use as a high-quality webcam for Zoom or Skype calls on your computer. The company had already released a version of the software for Windows back in August, but the new release means that Mac users can also get in on the action, with crisp, high-quality video calls.

Wyze security cameras

Smart home gadget maker Wyze has released a firmware update and set of instructions for turning its low-cost security camera into a working webcam. The update involves manually installing firmware onto your Wyze camera that will temporarily turn it into a webcam, after which it will no longer connect to the Wyze app and function normally. However, Wyze says you can reverse the process to restore security camera access to the device and have it function normally again.

Update October 21st, 2020, 3PM ET: This article was updated to include information about the Nikon Webcam Utility.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 26 minutes ago Dimorphos didn’t even see it coming

J
External Link
Jess Weatherbed26 minutes ago
Won’t anyone think of the billionaires?

Forbes reports that rising inflation and falling stock prices have collectively cost members of the Forbes 400 US rich list $500 billion in 2022 with tech tycoons suffering the biggest losses.

Jeff Bezos (worth $151 billion) lost $50 billion, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (worth a collective $182b) lost almost $60b, Mark Zuckerberg (worth $57.7b) lost $76.8b, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (worth $4.5b) lost $10.4b. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (worth $83b) lost $13.5b while his ex-boss Bill Gates (worth $106b) lost $28b, albeit $20b of that via charity donations.


T
Thomas Ricker6:45 AM UTC
Check out this delightful DART Easter egg.

Just Google for “NASA DART.” You’re welcome.


M
The Verge
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard LawlerSep 26
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 26
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.