Video calls for work and home are now the default. Unfortunately, most of us film and photo people noticed that those webcams are not that great when it comes to image quality. On the other hand, we already have very capable cameras that record awesome video. How can we make those two things work together?
One solution is to pick up an external video capture device, such as the Elgato Cam Link 4K. It’s a good choice, but it is out of stock everyone and costs a bit of money. Greeney from the GreenBox YouTube channel has another method, which shouldn’t cost you anything, for Sony Alpha camera systems.
Step one, go download the Imaging Edge Desktop application from Sony. Once installed you can load it up and download/install/load the Remote app. Head over to your camera now and in the USB Connection setting in the menu select “PC Remote.” Plug it into the computer via the camera’s USB connection.
Now you can open up the Remote app, select your camera, and you’ll see a preview of your camera’s image! Looking good so far, at least you have the image from your camera moving over to the computer in real time. You just can’t quickly select it as an option in your video conferencing app of choice.
The next steps involve another couple pieces of software, mainly OBS Studio and a companion app called VirtualCam for Windows. Install them both and make sure they are installed together in the same place.
With Remote and OBS open you can now create a new source in OBS. Select the Remote app and you should see a preview of the image – along with all the extra info on the side.
In OBS though you can actually crop the image to just the section of the app you want to see! So go select just the portion with the video from the camera, then make it fit the screen. Ta-da!
The final step is to go to Tools > VirtualCam and make sure it starts up and if you plan on using this more maybe select AutoStart. If you want to avoid a mirrored image you can choose in VirtualCam to flip horizontally as well.
Now, open up your video calling app and you should be able to select OBS-Camera as your video setting. There you go, you now have your Sony camera as a webcam. Keep in mind, there is not audio transfer so you’ll either need an external mic for the computer or to use the built-in mic.
It’s a solid trick for using a real camera as a webcam, especially since we all hope to be out of this mess sooner rather than later and maybe don’t want to spend extra money on capture cards.
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