Canon EOS Cameras as Webcams?

Canon WebCam Utility Beta

As we all learn to work from home, the limitations of the average webcam are starting to become apparent, particularly for those building businesses and brands in-front of the camera.

We all know that good video starts with good audio. But, once you’ve got your audio locked down, how does one up their image quality game?

Mobile camera technology has really come a long way, particularly in the last few generations. But the front-facing cameras generally don’t provide the sort of control one needs to get a really good image, particularly when running one’s feed into Zoom or Skype.

The answer lies largely in features found in interchangeable lens in either the DSLR or mirrorless format. But, these cameras were NOT built to stream.

For the longest time, the best solution on the market was the Blackmagic Web Presenter. However, it is no longer readily available through normal sales channels. Much of that tech has been rolled into the recently announced ATEM Mini Pro.

While I still think there is a market for a standa lone Web Presenter, this may mean ATEM Mini Pro is the replacement. We’ll have one in hand soon and will let you know our thoughts when we do.

In the meantime, what is one to do?

Canon has a solution, sort of.

Canon recently announced the release of EOS Webcam Utility Beta. The video below walks you through the setup process. And, one can download the software here.

As a long time Canon shooter and former Canon Professional Services member, I have a lot of experience with Canon and a great deal invested in the platform. So, when I heard about this, I was excited.

That did not last.

First, the software is only available for Windows. As a Macintosh user, that means I’d have to build a Windows PC to use it. I don’t stream from the Windows platform for good reason.

Second, forget giving an old camera body to a new life as a webcam. So far, the utility only works with the most recent generations of Canon bodies. Check out the full list of compatible cameras beneath the video.

This may change over time, but I doubt it. There is no incentive for Canon. Increasingly, interchangeable formats are going to be replaced by smartphone cameras. For most consumers, this is already the case.

Does this mean this software is useless? No.

But, it does not fit my workflow and probably never will. But, if you think it my work for you, give it a shot. If if blows you away, let me know in the comments.

Compatible Cameras

Image Credits: Canon.

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Doug Daulton

Doug’s career has been invested in leveraging emerging technology to tell stories that interest him and helping others do the same. His work includes ground-breaking, high-profile live streams and independent feature films.

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