Can I use my Canon camera as a webcam: Canon Webcam Software


Can I use my Canon camera as a webcam

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Canon, not known for surprises, has recently come up with a double surprise. First, they released the amazing specifications on their new EOS R5 and now they’ve turned 25 of their cameras into high-quality webcams by releasing free canon webcam software.

Can I use my Canon camera as a webcam? You can now use a compatible Canon EOS or PowerShot camera as a high-quality webcam. All you need is a USB Cable and Canon’s free EOS Webcam Utility beta 0.9.0 for Windows software that can be downloaded from the Canon USA website.

Turn your Canon camera into a webcam - Pinterest image

There are a few things you need to do before your camera is up and running as a webcam, so read on and I’ll explain what you need to know and do to use the free Canon webcam software.

Watch how to download and install the EOS webcam utility beta 0.9 0 for windows software

What is the Canon EOS Webcam Utility software?

As already mentioned. The EOS Webcam Utility Beta 0.9 0 for windows software allows you to connect a compatible EOS and PowerShot camera to a Windows 10 (x64) computer by a USB cable. Once the software is installed and the computer rebooted the camera should be recognized as a video source by many video conferencing, streaming, and recording applications.

I’ve installed the app and used my EOS R with Zoom, the meeting software, and streaming application Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). But so far I’ve not been able to get my EOS R to appear as a camera option on Skype.

UPDATE: Although EOS Webcam Utility beta will not work with the desktop version of Skype, it will appear as an available video source if you use the web version of Skype with the Google Chrome web browser.

EOS Webcam Utility beta will appear as a video source in Skype if you use the web version of Skype instead of downloading Skype to your computer
EOS Webcam Utility beta will appear as a video source in Skype if you use the web version of Skype instead of downloading Skype to your computer

If you also have problems when using the native Zoom, or WebEx applications, Webcam Utility beta should work with the web versions in Google Chrome.

Because the software is a beta version you should be aware that it might contain bugs or not behave as expected. Also, Canon states that the software is meant for use in the U.S. only. If you are based outside of the U.S. and decide to download and install the software, it will work but will not be supported by Canon outside of the U.S.

Which Canon cameras are compatible with the EOS Webcam Utility?

The EOS Webcam Utility releases some extra functionality from 25 Canon DSLR/Mirrorless and PowerShot cameras launched over the last few years.

Many of these cameras have been very popular with online video creators, YouTubers, and vloggers. The 80D has been an incredibly popular DSLR with YouTubers and can now be set up as a webcam with nothing more than a USB cable and the free Canon webcam software.

The M50 has been my favorite recommendation for YouTubers wishing to improve their videos. It too is on that list. As is my own camera, the EOS R. 

Here is the full list of compatible Canon Cameras for Canon’s EOS Webcam Utility beta software.

EOS DSLR CamerasEOS Mirrorless CamerasPowerShot Cameras
EOS-1D X Mark IIEOS M6 Mark II *PowerShot G5X Mark II *
EOS-1D X Mark IIIEOS M50 *PowerShot G7X Mark III *
EOS 5D Mark IVEOS M200 *PowerShot SX70 HS *
EOS 5DS
EOS 5DS REOS R
EOS 6D Mark II *EOS RP *
EOS 7D Mark II
EOS 77D *
EOS 80D *
EOS 90D *
EOS Rebel SL2 *
EOS Rebel SL3 *
EOS Rebel T6
EOS Rebel T6i
EOS Rebel T7 *
EOS Rebel T7i *
EOS Rebel T100 *

Note that only about half of these cameras come bundled with a USB interface cable. Those marked with an asterisk (*) do not come with a bundled cable.

System requirements to run EOS Webcam Utility beta

There is a minimum PC system requirement to run Canon’s webcam software. Although the following is the minimum specification it is recommended to have a Windows 10 (x64) PC with a higher specification.

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 1.6GHz or faster
  • RAM: 2GB or more
  • Display resolution: 1,024×768 or higher
  • Screen colors: Medium (16-bit)

How to get and install the EOS Webcam Utility Beta software

This video takes you through the process of using select Canon cameras with the Canon Webcam software free download. Full details are included below.

Canon Webcam Software Download Guide

To download the installation software follow these steps.

  1. Go to the Canon EOS Webcam Utility beta webpage using this link.
  2. Find and click on your camera in the list.
  3. On the product support page click on the “Drivers & Downloads” tab (or scroll down).
  4. Click on the “Software” tab if it isn’t already selected.
  5. In the Operating System dropdown list choose Windows 10 (x64), if not already detected.
  6. Find “EOS Webcam Utility Beta 0.9.0 for Windows” and on the right side of the screen click the “SELECT” button.
  7. Click on the red “Download” button that was revealed to start downloading.
  8. When the download is complete locate the software in your Downloads folder and run the installer. If you are using Chrome the name of the software should appear in a gray bar at the bottom of the browser, click on the name to run the installer.
  9. Once installed you will need to reboot your computer before you can successfully use your Canon camera as a webcam.

As a reminder, you can get the software from the U.S. Canon site.

Four recommended compatible cameras

G7X MkII
EOS M50
EOS 80D
EOS RP

Setting up your camera to work with your PC

This is a really simple bit.

Set up your camera on a tripod or mount so that the lens is at or very slightly below your eye level. That’s actually nothing to do with the webcam utility but it will help you look much better in your video meetings.

Now turn on your camera and change to the movie or video shooting mode you want to use. I prefer Manual.

Then adjust the settings to get the exposure you’re happy with.

Next, uncover the flap covering the USB socket on your camera and connect the USB cable. Then plug the other end of the USB cable into a USB port on your PC.

On your camera’s screen, you’ll see a picture of a desktop PC, indicating the camera has hooked up to the computer. When you open your meeting, streaming, or recording app, go into your video settings and choose EOS Webcam Utility Beta as your video source. Once selected, your camera’s screen and your app’s video screen will display whatever is in front of your camera.

Power and USB cable accessories

Since battery performance can degrade over time it would be advisable to test the battery life of your system in advance. If necessary you could do a “test call” to check how long you can go before the camera’s battery becomes exhausted. Note that the ambient temperature will influence battery efficiency. Under colder conditions, you can expect a shorter battery life.

If you find that your battery life is less than the expected length of your conference or meeting call you can one of two things.

  • Only turn on your camera when you need to be seen
  • Use a DC Coupler (dummy battery) with an AC power adapter or Power Bank    

The first of those options is not ideal but it does work. For instance, if you are using Zoom, you can stop your video feed by clicking on the video camera icon in the bottom control bar or use the keyboard short-cut ALT+V. But also remember to turn off your camera. When you wish to be seen you can again click on the video camera icon in the bottom control bar or use the keyboard short-cut ALT+V. Remember to turn on your camera.

The second option is far more practical since you just need to set up and forget.

The other issue you may have, depending on which compatible Canon camera you have, is whether you already have a USB interface cable. Just under half of the cameras in the list were shipped with a bundled USB interface cable. So, if you haven’t already got a cable check the table below for your compatible Canon cable.   

Compatible Canon AC power adapters and DC Coupler

Camera ModelAC Adapter & DC Coupler
EOS-1D X Mark IIAC Adapter AC-E19 with DC Coupler DR-E19
EOS-1D X Mark IIIAC Adapter AC-E19 with DC Coupler DR-E19
EOS 5DS RAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E6
EOS 5DSAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E6
EOS 5D Mark IVAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E6
EOS 6D Mark IIAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E6
EOS 7D Mark IIAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E6
EOS 80DAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E6
EOS 90DAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E6
EOS RAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E6
EOS 77DAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E18
EOS Rebel T6iAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E18
EOS Rebel T7iAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E18
EOS Rebel SL2AC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E18
EOS Rebel SL3AC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E18
EOS RPAC Adapter AC-E6N with DC Coupler DR-E18
EOS Rebel T6Compact Power Adapter CA-PS700 with DC Coupler DR-E10
EOS Rebel T7Compact Power Adapter CA-PS700 with DC Coupler DR-E10
EOS M6 Mark IICompact Power Adapter CA-PS700 with DC Coupler DR-E17
EOS M200Compact Power Adapter CA-PS700 with DC Coupler DR-E12
EOS M50Compact Power Adapter CA-PS700 with DC Coupler DR-E17
EOS Rebel T100N/A
PowerShot SX70 HSN/A
PowerShot G5 X Mark IIN/A (Note: USB Power Adapter PD-E1 cannot be used at the same time as USB Interface Cable)
PowerShot G7 X Mark IIIN/A (Note: USB Power Adapter PD-E1 cannot be used at the same time as USB Interface Cable)

Compatible Canon USB Interface Cables

In the following table I have grouped the cameras by their common interface cable. So, if you own multiple Canon cameras will quickly see whether they use the same cable. This maybe useful if one of your cameras was supplied with a bundled cable and the other was not.

Camera ModelCanon Suggested USB Interface CableWhat is the cable reallyBundled with camera
EOS-1D X Mark IIIIFC-100U (to USB C)USB 3.1 Type C to Type C cableYes
EOS RIFC-100U (to USB C)USB 3.1 Type C to Type C cableYes
PowerShot G5 X Mark IIIFC-100U (to USB C)USB 3.1 Type C to Type C cableNo
PowerShot G7 X Mark IIIIFC-100U (to USB C)USB 3.1 Type C to Type C cableNo
EOS M6 Mark IIIFC-100U (to USB C)USB 3.1 Type C to Type C cableNo
EOS RPIFC-100U (to USB C)USB 3.1 Type C to Type C cableNo
EOS Rebel T6iIFC-130UYes
EOS Rebel T6IFC-130UYes
EOS-1D X Mark IIIFC-150U IIYes
EOS 5DS RIFC-150U IIYes
EOS 5DSIFC-150U IIYes
EOS 5D Mark IVIFC-150U IIYes
EOS 7D Mark IIIFC-150U IIYes
EOS 6D Mark IIIFC-400PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Mini USB Type B cableNo
EOS 80DIFC-400PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Mini USB Type B cableNo
EOS 77DIFC-400PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Mini USB Type B cableNo
EOS Rebel T7iIFC-400PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Mini USB Type B cableNo
EOS Rebel T7IFC-400PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Mini USB Type B cableNo
EOS Rebel T100IFC-400PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Mini USB Type B cableNo
EOS Rebel SL2IFC-400PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Mini USB Type B cableNo
EOS Rebel SL3IFC-600PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Micro USB Type B cableNo
EOS 90DIFC-600PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Micro USB Type B cableNo
EOS M50IFC-600PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Micro USB Type B cableNo
EOS M200IFC-600PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Micro USB Type B cableNo
PowerShot SX70 HSIFC-600PCUUSB 2.0 Type A to Micro USB Type B cableNo

I actually own an EOS R and the bundled interface cable is a USB-C to USB-C cable. But if I were to buy the IFC-100U (to USB C) from the Canon USA website it would cost me $60. I think that’s a lot of money for a 3ft (1m) USB 3.1 Type C to Type C cable, so I’ve bought a few from Amazon and tried them.

From the table above, you can see that the EOS R uses the same USB cable as the EOS-1D X Mark III, EOS RP, EOS M6 Mark II, PowerShot G5 X Mark II, and PowerShot G7 X Mark III. So the cables I’ve found on Amazon should also work with these cameras and the EOS Webcam Utility beta software.

I’ve listed below the three USB cables that I’ve found to work with my Canon EOS R. Hit the green buttons if you’ve like to see more cable details on Amazon.

NOTE: Even though Canon’s official USB cable is a USB 3.1 Type C to Type C cable, the Anker Powerline+ mentioned below is a USB 3.0 cable. Despite the difference I have found it to work perfectly well on both my desktop and laptop setups.

Anker USB-C to USB-C 3.1 Gen2 3ft
Anker Powerline+ USB-C to USB 3.0 3ft
AmazonBasics USB Type-C to USB-A 3.1 Gen2 3ft

Why has Canon released the EOS Webcam Utility software?

The Canon website says…

With so many of us relying on video calls to stay connected during these challenging times, the quality of that connection is key. Turn your compatible Canon camera into a high-quality webcam now!

Canon U.S.A., Inc

I think Canon is genuinely trying to help and giving back to their customers.

Since we all started working from home webcams have been stripped from the shelves of online retailers. As I write this in my fifth week of lockdown I’m finding it impossible or at least very difficult to buy a good quality webcam from a trusted brand.

So, with Canon releasing this new webcam utility they’re going to make a lot of their customers very happy. The webcam utility is simple to install and use, and will help lift some of the stress felt by people trying to master the technology and skills required for remote working.

It also helps to solve the current shortage of known brand webcams and video capture devices. And will surely boost Canon’s reputation and certainly won’t hurt their sales.

Who is the EOS Webcam Utility Beta for?

First off you obviously must have one of the 25 Canon EOS or PowerShot cameras in the table above. With that caveat over, this option is right for you if you’re working from home but you can’t get a webcam or don’t want to buy a webcam. The only additional hardware required is a USB-C to USB-A cable, which you probably already own.  

You might also want to use your Canon camera as a webcam if you’re not getting the results you’re hoping for from your laptop (often they only have a 720p webcam) or your smartphone camera.

It’s also something to consider if you are using Zoom or other conferencing apps but want better video quality. If you’re starting out with video streaming this software will get you going without the need for additional hardware, like the Elgato Camlink. I’ve used it to hook up my EOS R to the OBS streaming application and it works fine.

Related Questions

Can I use my Canon as a Webcam?

Use a video capture device, like the Elgato Camlink 4K, so your camera becomes a video source. Insert the Camlink into your PC’s USB port, then connect to the HDMI output socket on your Canon camera. A free alternative on select Canon cameras is to just connect your Canon and PC with a USB-C cable and use the free Canon EOS Webcam Utility Beta software from the Canon USA website.

Do you need a webcam for zoom?

A webcam is not essential to use Zoom. Open Zoom, then click on the Settings cogwheel. From the menu on the left click on Virtual Background. Then choose the image or video loop that will be displayed. If you want to use a custom image or video click the “+” icon at the top right of the Virtual Background selection area. Finally, close the window.

What is a good webcam resolution?

The minimum resolution you should consider is 720p at 30fps. But ideally, you should choose a webcam that can manage a resolution of at least 1080p at 30fps. But if you are a gamer, you will probably want a webcam capable of 1080p at 60fps, so that the framerate matches that of your game footage.

Do you really have to cover your laptop camera?

The safe answer is YES. If you have inadvertently downloaded malware or been hacked your webcam can be used to spy on you. In an interview Mark Zuckerberg’s iPad was observed to have tape over the camera, so that probably endorses the idea you should cover your webcam.

What can I use to cover my laptop camera?

You can cover your laptop’s webcam with a number of things. I use post-it notes over the camera but electrical tape works well, since it is less likely to fall off. Whatever you use make sure the tape is opaque. Ordinary transparent Scotch tape will not work.

What are the two dots next to my camera on my laptop?

The two dots next to your laptop’s camera lens are the camera LED light that shows the camera has been turned on, and the second dot is a hole for the built-in microphone. If you see the camera light is on but you have not opened an app that uses your laptop’s camera, this may indicate that you have been hacked.

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