Tech Advisor

How to use a digital camera, camcorder or GoPro as a webcam

Webcams are hard to come by at the moment. These sudden necessities have sold out across major retailers, with remaining stock going for inflated prices through third-party and eBay sellers. All is not lost, however – you might still be able to cobble together an equivalent set-up with a digital SLR (dSLR) camera, camcorder, GoPro or premium point-and-shoot you already own. Provided that the device passes muster, you just need to buy a capture device and possibly a few accessories.

The cost? About the same amount of cash as those opportunistic webcam listings (currently between £130 and £180 for models with RRPs of £100 and below). And you’ll likely end up with better picture quality, too.

Before you buy anything

Not only does your digital camera or camcorder need to be recognized by a capture device, its settings must let you shut off any auto-shutdown features and visual distractions like focus boxes and on-screen display information. Manual focus control is also helpful.

To figure out if your camera qualifies, you can start by looking at Elgato’s list of devices compatible with its Cam Link 4K dongle ( ), but it’s not exhaustive. (If your model appears there, you should find it pretty straightforward to use it as a webcam.)

Instead, spend 15- to 20 minutes searching online and check whether others have been successful using

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