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    For streaming games, you basically don’t need a camera. However, viewers have a much better experience if they are able to see a gamer’s face and reactions as well. It is obvious that you need a webcam for this. As technology advances, so do the expectations for the quality of the video.

    Choosing the right equipment is not a simple endeavor. The same goes for choosing a camera. For many, DSLR cameras are the best option. Let us see how you can use DSLR as webcam.

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      What is DSLR?

      DSLR stands for the digital single-lens reflex camera. It has a digital imaging sensor that takes pictures from a single-lens reflex camera. The reflex design means that there is a mirror inside the camera that sends the image from the camera lens to the imaging sensor.

      First of all, you should know that this is a camera for professional photography. Therefore, you will need more than just a DSLR. On the other hand, the minute details you can adjust with it enhance the quality of the video.

      When Can You Use DSLR as Webcam?

      The answer is all the situations when you would normally use a webcam, such as:

      • Live streaming is the first thing you have probably thought of. Even though game streamers have a small video of themselves in a corner, a good picture will ensure a better experience for you and your audience.
      • VOD content is another situation. Prerecorded videos also need to be of good quality.
      • Video conferences – business meetings, webinars, and the like – are when many people watch a video of you and you certainly want to be seen well.
      • Some people take selfies or other photos with their webcam. Well, regular webcams are not designed for this. But since DSLR cameras are primarily for photography, taking photos with them, even when it is connected to act as a webcam, will give you high-quality pictures to have and share.
      • It can also be used as a DIY solution for baby monitoring or home security.

      Requirements of a Good DSLR Camera

      A decent DSLR camera should fulfill the following requirements:

      • It should have an HDMI output.
      • It should give out ‘clean’ HDMI, that is, it should not output any layers over the captured picture.
      • It should not overheat.
      • It should have the option for a power source without a time limit.
      • It should have a lens that has a wide view. This is because in case it covers a narrow space, people will see only your face and you will often stray out of the video.
      • The lens should be fast. You want the number after f/ on the lens to be as low as possible. It will blur the background and you will be in focus.

      Pros

      There are many good sides to using a DSLR as a webcam.

      • The quality of the picture is much better than that of many other cameras available in stores.
      • The light sensor works to produce the best possible picture illumination – with studio quality.
      • Customization is greatly enhanced with a DSLR camera – there are plenty of possible adjustments.
      • You can control the zoom and focus by switching lenses.
      • There is the option of background blur – to keep the focus on your face.

      Cons

      As with everything, DSLR has some bad sides, too.

      • Additional hardware, and often software, is needed for it to work.
      • These take up more physical space.
      • The setup process is not as simple as plug-and-go. It requires time and research.
      • It is a costly option.
      • The question of the DSLR’s longevity when used often is in question – some (but not all) users have complained about this issue.
      • It may go to sleep mode more quickly than you want it to.

      Setting Up a DSLR as a Webcam

      Setting Up a DSLR as a Webcam

      What Do You Need?

      Firstly, you need a DSLR camera. Because it is a photography camera, you should make sure it has video capability.

      Next, you should have a power adapter. Surely, the camera has its own battery, but streaming for longer periods of time will drain the battery fast and it will not work well.

      Then, a capture card. Its function is to connect the camera and the computer for streaming live or recording videos through recording what is happening on the screen.

      And lastly, you need cables to connect all those parts. The ends may be USB, HDMI (regular, mini, or micro).

      Additional equipment that would improve how you are seen on camera includes a tripod for the camera and a lighting kit.

      DSLR and USB Connection

      Some DSLR camera manufacturers developed software for live chatting with those cameras. If you have one of these, you only need the camera, the USB cable, and the software.

      The programs are usually downloadable and you only need to install them and calibrate the settings. If you choose this method, you should check well that your camera model is compatible with the software.

      DSLR and HDMI Connection

      This is a more frequently used method and it works for all DSLR cameras. It gives a better image than that given through a USB connection. Aside from the camera and the HDMI cable, you need a capture card as well (and its cable, which is probably USB).

      How to Add Camera in OBS

      Adding your camera to the OBS studio is simple. Here are the steps:

      • Click the plus sign under Sources. Alternatively, in that same area, make a right click and choose New Source.
      • Select the Video Capture Device option.
      • Name your source.
      • A dialog box will appear, you should click the dropdown menu and choose your camera or capture card.
      • Now you will see your preview window.
      • Click OK.
      • You may resize the video to the size you need.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Is it safe to use DSLR as a webcam?

      Yes, it is safe. Modern cameras have safety precautions that are built-in so that they prevent overheating. They shut the camera down before damages happen.

      This is a downside of this camera (for live streaming purposes). That is why one of the things to check when choosing a model.

      Which camera is best for live streaming?

      This is a highly personal matter, as not everyone will agree with any list. However, here are a few cameras that have proved to be efficient and satisfactory:

      – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
      – Nikon D780
      – Canon EOS Rebel SL3
      – Sony A68
      – Canon EOS 80D

      Where should I put the camera for streaming?

      Camera positioning is an important thing to pay attention to. Here are some basic tips on how to make the best of it:

      Put the camera at the height of your eyes, not lower, not higher.

      Adjust the angle. It would be best not to sit directly in front of the camera, as your face may seem flat and it would feel awkward for viewers. A better choice is to sit at a slight angle so that your face shows a bit of profile.

      Conclusion

      A DSLR camera can be used as a webcam and gives a far better video quality than cameras that are built in laptops or the webcams that can be bought (and are due to the Covid-19 pandemic hard to find in stores).

      Though it is a pricey option, once everything is set up, most users are more than satisfied.

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