Update to my COVID -19 Rig Rundown post from a few weeks back (a post that was an overview of my Skype setup). Some folks may have already be using this solution and don’t need this info. For those who haven’t tried this yet; hopefully this will be helpful info to someone.
I already have two webcams, but I was looking for something with a better quality picture. I was looking into the Elgato Cam Link for my Canon Vixia HF R600, but at the time, I purchased a newer webcam instead. That cam unfortunately got lost in the mail, and the company is getting me a refund.
So I revisted getting the Elgato Cam Link, which is now pretty much backordered everywhere now. Or when you do find it, there’s some crazy price gouging on the units that can be had. It was usually $100-$140. I saw prices for $200-$400, used. Oy. SO – here’s some alternate solutions I explored, and what I actually ended up using.
I used the iVCam app in the Apple store to turn my iPhone SE into a webcam. (This will work on an iPad or an iPhone). $9.99 one time purchase, and it is a much better quality cam than either of the two cams running on my computer.
If you make the purchase through the App on your phone, it will work with any computer that has the software downloaded. If you purchase it through your computer, it will run multiple devices with the app.
I’m running Windows 10 on a PC for my Skype machine. So, yes, this is compatible with a PC. You will have to have iTunes installed if you want the phone to interface through a USB/lighting connector.
There is similar software for the Android phones. Search YouTube and you will find some videos with software recommendations. Note; I was not able to test ANY of these solutions. If you want to test these, please let me know which solutions were successful for you in the comments for this blog.
This is another solution that did would work well for me (more on why shortly), but might work well for someone else; digiCam Control is an open source (ie FREE) piece of software that will turn a DSLR into a webcam. I hooked up my Canon 50D EOS running Magic Lantern to it; it did find the camera instantly and it was compatible with it. So that was a nice surprise. I tried the Canon Vixia HF R600 videocamera next; that did not work.
I did not opt to go with the Canon 50D as a webcam simply because it would be running on battery the whole time it was working as a webcam, with no way to charge. I do have the extra large battery pack, but there is another issue that concerned me. There are reports of DSLRs overheating and shutting down when used in this way (as many an ameteur filmmaker has found out). I decided to not subject my camera to that. However…this solution is FREE, and it may work for some folks out there, especially if their camera has a way to charge while running OR if they do not have to run it for 5- 6 hours at a time.
My original COVID – 19 Rig Rundown post is here.