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Using a digital camera as a 'webcam'?

Pete-MK (Elite Donator) posted this on Monday, 11th February 2019, 12:01

Got an idea for a video project, using stop motion. I'll be using the W10 laptop for portability, and have a couple of digital cameras knocking around, but plugging them in via USB makes them automatically switch to charge/file transfer mode.

I do have an old, old MiniDV camcorder (2002) but it seems they're incompatible, software-wise.

I managed to find a couple of apps that can use my android phone as a webcam, but the quality isn;t great, plus there's obvious stability issues for a project that might take a while.

Hit me with your best ideas on a postcard please

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RE: Using a digital camera as a 'webcam'?

bandicoot (Elite) posted this on Monday, 11th February 2019, 12:07

Question: why not just use a digital camera on a tripod, with a remote button to take manual 'stop motion' pictures, and then download the stored pictures all later, on to the computer?

RE: Using a digital camera as a 'webcam'?

Robee J Shepherd (undefined) posted this on Monday, 11th February 2019, 12:32

What bandi said, there are utils for compiling still images into a movie. It would give you the best images and most control.


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RE: Using a digital camera as a 'webcam'?

Snaps (Elite) posted this on Monday, 11th February 2019, 12:54

Not sure if your project is internal/external,  stationary/in motion but aren't webcams really cheap anyway?


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RE: Using a digital camera as a 'webcam'?

alfie noakes (Elite) posted this on Monday, 11th February 2019, 13:13

Is it actual stop-motion or did you really mean time lapse?

Manually pressing shutter is fine for stop-motion and you don't need to be connected to computer as said above.

If it is time lapse then some sort of intervalometer is best (unless timed gaps are bigger and you can get away with manual firing) which some cameras have in-built or which can be attached to some cameras (I've got a cheapo Chinese one for my SLR). I can connect my SLR to a computer to monitor/shoot/upload photos but it came with the specialised software to do this. You could get a cheap usb webcam and laptop/opensource software to do the job.

RE: Using a digital camera as a 'webcam'?

Pete-MK (Elite Donator) posted this on Monday, 11th February 2019, 13:48

It's stop-motion, and quite an extensive task. A couple of programs I have use the frame just taken at 50% opacity as a guide for the next shot, so a direct camera feed would have been ideal. Plus while I do have a mini tripod, the shutter button needs to be pressed manually, which may move the camera off-frame.

Naturally, I would have preferred the digital camera route for the picture quality, but if an external webcam would save a lot of headaches, it might be the quickest & easiest route to go down.

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RE: Using a digital camera as a 'webcam'?

Snaps (Elite) posted this on Monday, 11th February 2019, 13:57

Quote:
Pete-MK says...
"Plus while I do have a mini tripod, the shutter button needs to be pressed manually"

Surely it's been a looong time since a cable release was actually a cable.
Even my old EOS 20D had an electronic remote release and that was 15 years ago.

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My new Flash Fiction blog. All my own work
500ish




I am not young enough to know everything.

RE: Using a digital camera as a 'webcam'?

alfie noakes (Elite) posted this on Monday, 11th February 2019, 15:53

I know it slows things down a bit, but I always use the self timer when I don't want to jiggle the camera (although with an SLR even the mirror flipping up can cause a tiny bit of shake)

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