How to Use the Rebel T1i as a Webcam

By Kevin Smith

Give your Canon T1a a new purpose by using it for video chat.
i Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Webcams help people all over the world communicate face to face from remote locations, but the images they produce are not of the best quality. Luckily, with the right software, it is possible to rig high-quality SLR cameras to act as webcams. Though SLRs, like the Canon Rebel T1i, are not designed to be used as webcams, the live view feed can be transferred to video chat software when connected to a computer. After the live feed from the camera is properly set up, it is ready for video chat on applications like Skype and Ustream.

Preparing the Camera

Mount the camera on a tripod and chose a vantage point that properly displays you for video chat. Activate Live View Mode in the camera menu, and set the focus to manual by switching the "A-F" switch on the lens to "M."

Download and install the ExtraWebCam software from Register the software with the provided serial number.

Connect the camera using the USB cord and power it on. Wait for the ExtraWebCam software to start, or initiate it yourself by clicking the corresponding desktop icon.

Click the "Connect" check box in the ExtraWebCam window.

Click "Live Viewfinder" from the "Videosource" drop-down menu. View the video feed in the left portion of the window.

Adjust camera settings like exposure compensation, white balance and aperture with the sliders in the right side of the window.

Using the T1a With Skype

Open Skype and navigate to the Preferences section.

Click the "Video" option. Select "ExtraWebCam" from the drop-down menu to the right of the Camera heading.

Exit Skype preferences, and the T1a is ready to be used as a webcam.

Using the T1a With Ustream

Open the Ustream application.

Double-click on one of the camera options at the bottom of the window to open the editing screen.

Select the "ExtraWebCam" option in the Show Video/Images section.

Close the Edit window, and Ustream is ready for webcam chat via the Canon T1a.