How to Use a Video Camera for Live Streaming (or DSLR as a Webcam!)

How to Use a Video Camera for Live Streaming (or DSLR as a Webcam!)


– One of the easiest ways
to improve the quality of your live streaming
setup is to use your DSLR, your camcorder, or any other video camera. And the process to do it
is actually super simple, and to show you how simple it is, in this video we’re gonna
run you through step by step exactly how to use a video
camera for live streaming. (upbeat music) Hey, it’s Justin from Primal Video, where we hope you leverage video to amplify your business and brand. And in this video, we’re
gonna be stepping you through how to use your DSLR, your camcorder, or any other video camera
next time you go live. And the process works even
if you’re not live streaming and you just wanna use that
camera or DSLR as a webcam for an interview or for a presentation, or pretty much any other online video. And while we’re stepping
through the process, I’ll also touch on some of my favorite software
for live streaming. But I want to hear from you guys. What software do you use the most and why? Drop a note in the comments below and take a look at what
some of the other people are commenting as well, because you might find
some cool new tools. All right, so step number one, or the first thing you’re going to need is an HDMI interface unit
or an HDMI capture card. Some way to get the video feed from your camera into your computer. Now, we’ll have links
down in the description to everything that we’re
gonna mention in this video, but Blackmagic is a company that makes some really great gear for doing exactly this. I’m a big fan of the
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, which sells for around
the $145 price point. This one is Thunderbolt only and Mac only, but it will let you plug in
both HDMI or SDI cameras. Now, another great option by Blackmagic if you’re on Windows or you’re looking for a USB 3 equivalent if
you don’t have Thunderbolt, then you can check out
the Intensity Shuttle. And you can pick these up for
around the $199 price point. Another company that makes
really great HDMI interface units is called Epiphan. There’s two main ones that they sell. One of them is a 1080p version, and the other one is a 4K version, selling for around 399 and 499. And the biggest advantage with these ones is that whether you’re a Mac or PC, there’s no drivers or software or anything that you need to install to get them up and running. So they are probably the
easiest to get running, but they are a little bit more expensive. Now there’s lots of other
options out there as well, but these ones are really
my go-to recommendations. We’ve also used a few devices from Elgato, and while they work well
for the live streaming side, a lot of them can’t easily
be used to mimic a webcam or to be used as a webcam
inside of apps like Skype. So yeah, check out the
Blackmagic or the Epiphan. So now that you’ve got your
HDMI interface unit sorted, the next thing you’re
gonna need is a camera with clean HDMI output so the video feed that’s
coming out of your camera through HDMI is clean. It doesn’t have all of your camera status and display and battery
level and record time and all that information. Some cameras actually
output that through HDMI with no way of turning it off. Now this can be the case with all different brands of cameras, but there are a lot of
Canon cameras specifically that don’t give you that clean HDMI output or the video feed without
all your camera data on it. Now this isn’t the case for most cameras, but you will want to do
a quick Google search for your camera make and model with the words clean HDMI afterwards to see if your camera actually
has clean HDMI output. Otherwise the video feed
or the video footage you’re gonna get out of that camera while you’re live streaming will have all of your
camera data on it too. The next step then is to
connect everything up, so plug your camera into
your interface unit, then connect the interface unit into your Mac or PC, and then open up either
your live streaming app, things like OBS, Wirecast, vMix, Ecamm, whatever it is you’re
using to live stream, or whatever it is you’re
using for video communication, whether it’s Skype or Zoom
or any other platform. Then it’s just a matter
of selecting your webcam or your video source to
be that interface unit, which is your camera. Now, depending on your computer, which camera you’re using, and
which interface you’re using, there can be some delay
between the audio and the video if you’re using a microphone
that’s not connected to the camera itself, so if you’re using a
podcast-style microphone directly into the computer. And you can sometimes have
delay between the audio going directly into your computer and the video coming through
the HDMI interface unit. Now there’s a couple of ways
that you can overcome this. If you have the ability to
plug in your microphones or your audio directly
into your camera itself, then that HDMI feed from your
camera into your computer is going to have the
audio perfectly in sync because it’s all coming
from the camera itself. Another way that you can fix
this if your video and audio are slightly out of sync is, if you’re using
software for live streaming like vMix or Wirecast, you
actually have the option to adjust the delay on the audio so that it can match your
camera and stay in sync while people are watching. So that’s how easy it is to use your DSLR, your mirrorless, or your video
cameras for live streaming or for things like Skype
calls or Zoom calls as well. Now, if you’re interested in finding out how you can live stream on YouTube with more than person
on the stream with you, then check out the video linked on screen, and I’ll see you soon.

70 Replies to “How to Use a Video Camera for Live Streaming (or DSLR as a Webcam!)”

  1. Thanks, Justin. I use my Canon T3i plugged direct in PC with usb cable. The software SparkoCam creates a virtual webcam. I use it in vMix to do my Physics Live classes every week. Do I need to buy a capture card?

  2. Thank you for information Justin, I wouldn’t know where to start I just thought you press a start button lol, 😊❤️

  3. A lot of Canon cameras turn off after 24minutes. Many dslr do this even if not recording because they are not allowed to act as long recording video cameras due to tax reasons. For my Canon 70d I installed magic lantern on the camera and use the Canon live view software over USB into obs it works fine but also the camera gets very hot so anyone doing livestreams regularly for long periods you may damage your camera sensor as it isn't designed for long periods of use.

  4. Do you guys know when the El Gato HD 60 will have compatibility with other softwares and not just El Gatos streaming software? I bought one and I had no clue until I tried it out on my MAc

  5. Great video! I am looking into this now and what about battery life during live stream? I would think you would need to get a continuous battery right?

  6. Hey Justin. Thanks for the video. I use Panasonic GH4, Blackmagic Mini Recorder, mimoLive on Mac. There is a peculiarity with this setup in that GH4 only seems to output video to HDMI at 24 frames per sec. But actually it doesn't matter since mimoLive takes care of the conversion. I use a Zoom h4n for audio via usb and the mimoLive app to sync audio and video. While it works well on my 2012 MBP I suspect it uses extra resources.

  7. Hi Justin…I use a Canon 80D(no clean HDMI). Any possible options for the canon 80D for a clean HDMI?

    If I wanted to buy another camera for live streaming what do you recommend?

    Best – Mike

  8. You might want to check out the Elgato Camlink. It’s specifically designed to be used with cameras. It might solve the problems you had with the others.

  9. I am currently using a phone to livestream directly to Facebook. Facebook seems to take over the video camera so I can't use any of the camera settings on the phone (to lock in the focus for example). How do you overcome this problem?

  10. Have you anything on external video recorders in the field? My personal requirement would be more budget friendly than some.

  11. Hey Justin, it’s me again. I can’t the find your video on end cards and CTA’s at this moment but I wanted to share this 2 minute video with you just for your opinion. The 20 seconds at the end is not only a CTA, but it puts pressure on them to do it. What do you think? https://youtu.be/Xy6fs0c1mTw

  12. ABOSLUTELY NOTHING SIMPLE ABOUT THIS PROCESS. THIS PROCESS REQUIRES ORDERING SOMETHING, PAYING MONEY, WAITING FOR YOU TO GET YOUR ORDER

  13. One important thing I would add to this video is a power adapter for the camera. I have live streamed with my D3300 and found it kept switching back to it's menu screen every now and then which was a bit odd.

  14. Hey, amazing video and I`m checking tutorials on how to connect my Cannon to laptop and use it for live stream on YT. Part I don`t understand after seeing few videos is – is HDMI capture card necessary or is it just for some improvement? I know there are HDMI cables ( micro HDMI ) which I can plug directly from my Cannon into my computer – would that work at all or this makes no sense?

    I`m just trying to figure out purpose of capture card as I understand that with USB cable I can connect it directly and it can work. If someone can explain differences between connection with USB and HDMI ( with and without capture card ), it would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  15. The ElGato camlink is an HDMI to USB 3.x interface that shows up in windows as a webcam, it's about $130 and is plug and play in most cases just an FYI

  16. How about plugging in multiple DSLRs at the same time, to be able to switch around camera inputs?
    What does one need the shuttle for? Other videos by other people don't have those shuttles but just plug the camera in directly.

  17. Dear Justin.
    Can I connect the microphone, like the blue yeti, into DSLR? or do i need to find other option of microphone? thanks

  18. Great video.. i have a question, can I change the interface unit for a Web cam, can I use a web cam instead a regular camera? thank you soo much

  19. I use the elgato Camlink with a panasonic G9 and a sigma 16mm 1.4 and it works so well, such a crazy Facecam upgrade!

  20. Hey Justin, I have a Panasonic gh2. Do you think it would be compatible with the capture card to go live or is that version of the camera too old?

  21. What is the differences between hdmi and multi in the camera? What are they for? And do all cameras use the same size of hdmi cable?

  22. Hey Justin, wondering if I can use a Nest Camera to do a Facebook Live without using an OBS or any other capture software?

  23. Thanks Justin! Do you know how to connect the mic into mac? It doesn´t work! or if it works, the speakers stop working. I didn´t find a video of you explaining this. Could you help me? thanks!

  24. Hi Justin, thank you for your tutorial. Can I use my Belkin Express Dock Hd to connect my Lumix Gh5 to my macbook? I can't to work it

  25. How do you turn off the AF Display? that annoying box that follows your face around on the screen (i use the camera for streaming). I can turn off other displays except that. Canon 800D/T7i and connected to pc using camlink

  26. Not so good video – just connect and off you go ! no word about some camlink stuff ect. God knows what else is there?

  27. hey

    Justin Brown
    Thank you so much for your time explaining that.
    was pretty useful to me,
    now I can do quality streaming like a PRO!.
    ….. I have another challenge trying to do streaming with my Gopro Fusion 360 , if you have any suggestions about it will be great. thank you and get in touch streaming.

  28. Hi Justin. Your videos ROCK! Okay here's one. I've got a VIXIA HF R80. I'm trying to pre-record my creativity videos (for obvious reasons like set up) and THEN live stream. I have a MacBook Air Mohave 10.14.3. Are there any platforms that make it so that it seems like a live stream, but is actually pre-recorded that are not a fortune to work with? Thanks for all you do, for all of us!

  29. What is the video editing software you are using, if you don't mind me asking? I like the graphics you use on the footage…. thanks.

  30. never mind my last comment. Found your video on using a pro camera. AWESOME videos. Just subbed your channel.

  31. So question: why do we need the interface unit? Can I not just hook the HDMI cable directly from my camera to my computer? I know for a fact both have an HDMI port.

  32. i am trying to find out witch is the best to use to use whether it be webcam camcorder and so on probably not going to stream at 4k only because most cam site do not support 4k and most of all most of us do not have 4k tv and laptop and monitors. u need that see see 4k video and live stream so i was looking for the very best camcorder or what ever out there 2019 to give me the best live stream want to look like omg wow to other who see me want to have the best looking live stream in the hole site so that my competition will say booo whooo and waaaaaaa need the best stick out there as the saying goes if u know any thing please advise

  33. so there is not a way to do this without dropping a ton of money? im a college student i cant do this solution. rip

  34. Dam I just searched so hard to find help but I am trying to just use a usb cord to connect as a webcam but then you have all this crap lmao

  35. Hello, I have a question my dlsr turns off after 30 mins of live streaming.. what should I do? Help please?

    Thank you so much!

  36. Do i need something similar to the Shuttle interface in order to get my URSA Mini, BMPCC4k and Canon XA15 to run on OBS? I have the BM mini recorder sdi-hdmi converter and another off brand converter but my mac (2018) doesn't read it as a camera. What would you recommend for a two camera setup?

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