Turn Your DSLR Into a High-Quality Webcam With This Device!

Turn Your DSLR Into a High-Quality Webcam With This Device!

July 9, 2020 0 By Nicki Sun

We’ve all seen the expensive video capture cards by Elgato, Magewell, and Blackmagic Design. As someone who doesn’t livestream every day, I couldn’t justify paying $100-300 to use it for the occasional Zoom call. Upon doing some more research, I stumbled across these unnamed <$30 HDMI video capture cards on Amazon (updated link as my original one sold out!) and wanted to know if they would be a good workaround.

Lucky for you (and me!), I purchased it to test it out so you never have to wonder! Spoiler alert: they work!

Here is a video of how I set it up, plus a look at the quality you get. And these cards are getting even cheaper!

Some things you’ll need in addition to the HDMI Video Capture Card:

  1. An HDMI cable to connect your specific camera to this device. I have my trusty Panasonic Lumix GH4, so I specifically needed a micro-HDMI to HDMI out cord. And I wanted a longer cable (at least 6ft) so my camera didn’t have to be super close to my computer. If you’re using a GoPro, you would also need this same cord.
I have a micro-HDMI port on my Panasonic GH4 camera.

Here’s the exact cable I have:

2. A USB-A to USB-C adapter. Since upgrading to the Macbook Pro, I don’t have built-in USB-A port anymore (it’s so dumb!). If you’re in the same situation, here are some of the solutions I’ve used:

USB-C Hub

Just the USB-A to USB-C Adapter (3 pack)

But now, I use the Kingston Workflow Station. I do have the SD and microSD card readers as well, but you would only need the Dock + USB Minihub in this case:

So here is how you connect your DSLR camera and use the HDMI Video Capture Card:

The micro-HDMI to HDMI cable connects into the HDMI video capture card, and the card goes into the USB-A port.

Also, instead of plugging in another device into my computer for audio, I was able to use my wireless Saramonic Blink 500 lavalier mic and designate my external audio source to “USB” as well. This is single mic version of the dual mic I have:

Saramonic Blink 500 Wireless Microphone System for DSLR

Once your camera is connected through the HDMI video capture care, and your audio is connected to your camera, you just designate your Video Camera to “USB Camera” and your Microphone to “USB Audio” within Zoom.

In Zoom, you switch your Camera under the Video settings to “USB Camera”
In Zoom, you switch your Microphone under the Audio settings to “USB Audio”

And there you go! You’ll now be able to use your preferred camera as a high-quality camera for Zoom calls, livestreaming, and gaming!

Have a question? Let me know in the comments!