How to turn your professional camera into a Webcam
With the current situation there has never been so much requirement for video conferencing using Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or even Facetime.
In the last couple of days, I’ve been asked by a couple of cameraman I know how they can use their fantastic kit for this purpose, as they are stuck at home for the next couple of months with thousands of pounds worth of cameras gathering dust.
All these communication platforms running on PC or Mac can take an input from any webcam, but as good as modern webcams are, with their tiny sensors and limited microphones they can never compete with even the most basic professional camera systems.
For my video professional friends here are some simple solutions to turn our favourite ‘proper’ cameras with an SDI or HDMI output into a fantastic webcams. These solutions have SDI or HDMI in, and USB or Thunderbolt out, they all allow the attached laptop or desktop PC to see the high-end camera as a standard webcam (on steroids!).
- Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder HDMI and SDI input – Thunderbolt 2 output.
- Epiphan SDI2USB 3.0 3G SDI input and USB 3.0 Output
- Blackmagic Design Web Presenter HDMI and 12G SDI input USB 720p output
- Inogeni SDI >> USB3.0 3G SDI to USB 2
- Inogeni 4K >> USB3.0 Up to 4K HDMI to USB 3.0
The beauty of the USB solutions is that they don’t need any drivers and they work with any operating system. They can also work with more complex streaming software like Wirecast, V-Mix, and OBS if you want to start a professional looking streaming channel from your locked down loft or blockaded basement.