Continue with our COVID coverage, having good audio and video setup at your home office has become an increasingly crucial step to succeed in working from home environments. If you have a DLSR or Mirrorless camera around you can use it as your webcam this will improve your video quality drastically.
Today we will look at how to turn your Canon EOS M100, an entry Mirrorless camera, into a webcam so you can use on your daily zoom video conference calls. Before we begin some background for this setup. If you are on the market to purchase a brand new Canon or any other new DSLR or mirrorless camera as your main webcam chances are the manufacture already has an updated software suite and you no longer need to follow this guide. However, if you happen to have a camera just like what I have and you want to take full advantage of the bigger sensor and high dynamic range of what a mirrorless can produce vs a webcam then follow along.
Canon created an EOS Webcam Utility that allows you to connect their DSRL or Mirrorless cameras as a webcam via regular USB connections, however, the program only tailors to the newer model of Canon cameras. If you have anything other than those cameras listed below then you are out of luck. (unless you have a new future model that has yet been released)
- Canon EOS M100 (or other camera Canon does support)
- dummy battery for Canon EOS M series (so you don’t run out of juice after 1hr)
- microHDMI to HDMI
- HDMI Video Capture Card USB 2.0
- SD Card
This is a preview if you were connecting the camera directly to the computer as a webcam.
As you can see if you have all the annotation overlays around your face that show where the autofocus is around your face during a video call things will get annoying quickly. Thankfully there are tools out there that leverage CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit) so you can get a clean HDMI out.
How To Apply CHDK Hack on Your Canon M100
First format your SD Card as FAT32, then download this tool called EOScard and make sure the SCRIPT is selected and nothing else. Select the SD Card and apply the script override. This will tell your Canon EOS M100 to execute the script during bootup, and the scripts you will dump here will hide all the overlay in the video preview.
Next download the two files we have prepared for you below and put it to the root of the SD Card.
Now eject the SD Card and put it into your Canon M100.
In order to tell the camera to load the script, you need to find the preview button (play icon) at the bottom of the wheel control, and rapidly hitting this preview twice, then hit the SET button twice, then hit the preview one more time.
With any luck, you will see a clean video output and any annotation or video overlays are gone. Now you can connect the HDMI to the USB video capture card, this will turn your HDMI signal as a webcam. From now on as far as Windows is concerned you have a webcam connected to the machine, use it as you see fit.