Nikon camera closeup stock image

How to use your Nikon DSLR or mirrorless camera as a high-quality webcam

Free new software for Windows and Mac will improve your video chat appearance

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With millions of people working from home for the majority of 2020, webcam sales soared and stock quickly ran dry, as workers headed to Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Realizing an opportunity, camera companies released software to turn their digital and DSLR cameras into high-quality webcams. Even security camera company Wyze and action camera maker GoPro did the same.

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The latest to join in, albeit a little later than the rest, is Nikon. The company's free new software is available in beta form (so expect the odd bug here and there) for Windows and Mac, and works with a wide range of the company's cameras.

As well as conference calls and video chats with friends and family, the software can be used to live-stream from a DSLR or mirrorless camera. So if you've still a bit of free time on your hands, a career as a video game streamer awaits…

A small drawback is how the software is video-only, so you'll have to use your computer's microphone, or one plugged into the computer, for audio. Nikon also warns that camera temperature will rise while used as a webcam or streaming cam for extended periods of time, and doing so will increase battery drain. It also says the resolution is set to 1024 x 768, also known as XGA.

Stock image of using a DSLR camera to record videoUsing DLR cameras webcams has become increasingly popular in 2020 Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to Nikon the software works with the following cameras:

  • Z 7II
  • Z 7
  • Z 6II
  • Z 6
  • Z 5
  • Z 50
  • D6
  • D5
  • D850
  • D810
  • D780
  • D750
  • D500
  • D7500
  • D7200
  • D5600
  • D5500
  • D5300
  • D3500
If you can't quite stretch to using a Nikon SLR as a webcam, head over to our GearBrain guide highlighting 10 top ways to improve the picture and sound quality of your video calls. Then brush up on your lighting techniques with our guide to lighting your video calls like a professional.

Nikon Z 7II FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body Black

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