How to Connect a Canon Camera as a Webcam

By JoshuaJohnson

It's easy to make your Canon act like a webcam.
i Camcorder image by Edward Stephens from

Most new camcorders come with USB or FireWire ports, making them easy to connect to a computer for video editing. But what about webcasting? Many webcams are the size of a ping pong ball, with easy procedures for transmitting audio and video. But Canon camcorders, and even some of the high-end SLR cameras, can also be wired to act like webcams.

Your Canon camera comes with software that will allow it to be used as a webcam, according to Best Buy's Jose Ortiz, a New York-based Sales Associate in Digital Imaging. Begin by installing that software so your computer will recognize the device for webcasting. Your computer won't recognize it automatically (unless it was custom-built and has the Canon software pre-installed). The software will also let you know during installation if your computer doesn't meet the minimum requirements for running your model of camera as a webcam. If you don't have the installation software, search Canon's website for a downloadable version.

Connect the camera to the computer using the FireWire cable. The camera should be turned on when you connect it to the computer.

Once you install the software, Canon will create its own program folder in your computer. Go to your Canon system settings in that folder. Set the camera function to "webcam." (This setting may also appear as "live stream.")

In your settings, you also need to be sure the video you stream through the camera isn't being stored on the camera. Check your settings to be sure the data is being stored on external memory (such as your computer's hard drive), rather than internal memory. If you use the camera's internal memory, then the camera will stop streaming when the memory runs out--even though you'll see yourself onscreen. It's just like having a camera without a memory card--you can "snap a picture," but it won't be stored anywhere.