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04-18-2020, 03:49 AM   #1
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DSLR as webcam?

In these days of social isolation and meeting via Zoom etc I find I have missed the boat as far as buying a webcam is concerned.
But I wonder if any of the Pentax DSLR's I own can be pressed into service - has any one done this? If so how?
A quick scan of manuals has not been very instructive so I turn to my top source of Pentax info - PF

04-18-2020, 04:00 AM   #2
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maybe the heating of the sensor could be an issue?
04-18-2020, 04:04 AM   #3
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Take a look at the Ricoh Camera SDK for remote control of the camera, not all cameras are supported though.
RICOH Camera SDK
04-18-2020, 04:14 AM   #4
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You'll need something like blackmagic mini recorder between your camera and computer to make it work, with your camera(and cables for it, there are plenty youtube clips about this, just not with pentax). And codec for streaming. I'm using my K-1 and after all of fiddle, it works well. No problem, it can go on for hours. You'll need a microphone thou, because Audio does not move through that HDMI. Put it in LV and take all info off the LV and you are good to go.

04-18-2020, 04:52 AM - 3 Likes   #5
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I would just buy a cheap webcam delivered to the door than put added use on a good camera
04-18-2020, 05:16 AM   #6
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A second the webcam suggestion for something like Zoom. If I was making a video that would retain more quality and could be processed, like a YouTube video (not live stream) then your DSLR would make more sense.
04-18-2020, 05:33 AM   #7
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I'm thirding the webcam option. A decent webcam is a much better option and will most likely be cheaper than the added wear on the camera + extra stuff needed to connect the DSLR, not to mention it will be mostly plug-and-play...
04-18-2020, 05:38 AM   #8
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Thx for above suggestions.
Sadly in UK at least it's difficult to find an acceptable webcam, lots of cheapies which are really low quality, other better offerings mostly sold out.
I just thought that before I buy anything I have several digital cameras here, mostly Pentax, that might be persuaded to do the job.
Ah well back to online shopping.

04-18-2020, 06:00 AM   #9
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How to Use DSLR as a Webcam in 2020? Detailed Guide with Video
04-18-2020, 07:03 AM   #10
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I think that it is good time to be a USB web cam dealer now a days. I have simultaniously HD web cam and my Pentax working. and in good light webcam is quite good. But if there is no webcam available, then you are in front of a dilemma. I'd try out those software things, too propably. But I'm more in need of something where you just need to plug something in and get good HD quality to work with your stream program. Good microphone is good to have regardles. I have used that webcam mic also and there is a reason why I have also a proper one.

I was looking at that elgato USB stick too. should be fine? It'll cost anyway something to get signal from camera to desktop. Good RTML streaming from computer to for example zoom or which ever, is OBS. It works and has some learning curve, but it is for free.

good luck with exploring.
04-18-2020, 08:52 AM   #11
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I don't think any current or discontinued Pentax DSLRs support high definition video output through the USB port. That eliminates software only solutions. Several of the newer models support HDMI video output, and there are devices to capture the HDMI signal and convert it to a streaming format to be sent to your computer via a USB cable. Unfortunately, the last time I looked for one of those, they were $300 Canadian and up and my cameras don't provide a high definition video output (even if they record to the memory card in HD), so I dropped that plan.

---------- Post added 04-18-20 at 09:56 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by roberrl Quote
I find I have missed the boat as far as buying a webcam is concerned.
In a pinch a smartphone with the mobile Zoom, Whatsapp, etc. app installed will handle everything for you (the webcam, video capture, audio, streaming software and network connection), but performance won't be as good as with a desktop computer.
04-18-2020, 09:34 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by roberrl Quote
In these days of social isolation and meeting via Zoom etc I find I have missed the boat as far as buying a webcam is concerned.
But I wonder if any of the Pentax DSLR's I own can be pressed into service - has any one done this? If so how?
A quick scan of manuals has not been very instructive so I turn to my top source of Pentax info - PF
Which Pentax DSLRs do you own? Later is better, but anything from the K20D on will do video. Pentax has never been well regarded by the motion picture takers, in any case.
04-18-2020, 09:47 AM   #13
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Just asking - my wife did not know her laptop has a camera - are you using a laptop and does it have a camera? Can you use an old set of earbuds that include the throat mic for voice?
04-18-2020, 11:55 AM   #14
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If you have Apple it most likely has a cam built-in. As monochrome said many PC laptops have cams too.
04-18-2020, 12:08 PM   #15
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As far as I know unfortunately as far as I know no Pentax DSLR has clean HDMI Output.

If it had, you could use something like an Elgato Cam Link 4K to connect to your computer via USB and do high quality live streaming with or just save movies directly to your computer.

I already thought about buying a not too expensive Panasonic MFT with 4K support to do such.

Hope that Pentax some day delivers clean high quality HDMI output.
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