How to Use 500D as a Webcam

By Rianne Hill Soriano

The Canon EOS 500D is a DSLR camera known as the second of the Canon series that offers video-capturing capability. It allows high-definition video capture with either 1080p (1920 by 1080 pixels) or 720p (1280 by 720 pixels) resolution. It also provides the option to record in VGA resolution (640 by 480 pixels), which is a standard-definition format. While Canon doesn’t specifically state it in the camera’s manual, there are third-party programs that make it possible to use the 500D as a webcam.

Step 1

Install the camera drivers in your computer using the CD that comes from the camera package. If you don't have it, search for the installer file at the Canon website. Make sure you have the updated version. This ensures that all the camera drivers are properly installed in your computer to make it fully compatible with your camera.

Step 2

Install a third-party webcam program compatible with the 500D. Although a number of these third-party webcam programs are available online, most of them don’t support DSLRs or the 500D model. One of the most popular programs used for the 500D is ExtraWebcam.

Step 3

Connect the camera to the computer using a USB connection, then turn on the camera.

Step 4

Open your third-party webcam program and configure its settings. If your camera doesn’t automatically get configured as the video source for Web streaming, you must first select the 500D as your source. Choose the VGA or HD resolution in the camera resolution option, depending on your more specific preferences. Using HD resolution requires very fast Internet speed for both you and the one viewing the webcam broadcast. In many cases, the VGA resolution is the more practical choice.

Step 5

Fix your camera’s position according to how you want your subject to look on the webcam footage. Using a tripod makes the camera positioning a more convenient and secured task.

Step 6

Start the webcam streaming using your third-party program or a messenger program such as Skype, Yahoo! Messenger or Google Chat. If the default webcam used in your messenger program requires manual set up, simply confirm the 500D as the video-capture device you want to use.