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Turning your Nikon Camera into a Livestreaming Webcam

Want to ramp up your livestreams? Whether you’re a gamer looking to flex your skills online, or you’re hosting a talk through a web conference call, your very own Nikon camera can elevate the quality of your video instantly with just a few simple steps. Attaching it and setting it up to your camera is easier than it seems!

Setting it up

For the simplest set up to hit the ground running, easily connect your Nikon camera to your laptop by using the USB cable that was included when you purchased your camera. By downloading and installing the Nikon Webcam Utility, you ‘ll be able to start livestreaming just like that.

If you’re looking for the highest quality video stream, use the HDMI output on your Nikon camera.  Since it makes use of a third-party capture card to capture your livestream, the resulting visual quality can vary depending on what would be the best for your application of choice.  You can opt to stream in basic 720p, or go all out and wow the world in 4G UHD clarity. Locate the HDMI port on your camera and connect it to a compatible video capture device with a HDMI cable. Examples of these capture devices include AverMedia capture cards, Elgato Cam Link and many others.

Then, connect your capture device to your computer and install a compatible third-party livestreaming software. Most livestream application software will work just fine. For a simplified and user-friendly option, try out Streamlab OBS for quick and easy livestream for Windows. Other popular software include Ecamm live for Mac and Vmix for Windows, which are both able to work with Nikon cameras for livestreaming platforms like Twitch, Zoom, or Facebook Live.

Begin Shooting

Going live in 3…2… — but wait, let’s get the settings right first. Having switched your Nikon camera to video mode, remember to change your standby time to no limit, in order to temporarily disable the power saving setting on your camera. The power saving settings work to your advantage when you’re outdoors shooting for hours, but during a livestream, the last thing you’d want is for your camera to go into standby mode and stop capturing at a moment when something crucial happens.

Modes to Shoot In

During your livestreams, it is most beneficial to go into full-manual mode on your camera, with auto-ISO enabled. This way, your camera will be able to automatically adjust the light sensitivity in your scene, ensuring good exposure in various scenarios, taking into account natural shifts in lighting. If you’re using a Z series camera, consider changing your focus mode to full-time AF, and your AF area mode to full-time AF for clarity. Once again, keeping your focus on auto means you can move around without worrying about going out of focus, which will result in blurry, unusable streams.

Additional accessories

The battery that comes with your Nikon camera often won’t last for more than 70 minutes of livestreaming. For longer sessions, you can choose to invest in an AC adapter which will allow you to power your camera from any standard household power outlet, so you’ll never have to worry about breaking your train of thought to switch out the battery or forgetting to change it out.

For an even crisper audio quality, use an external microphone. Do remember to give it a trial run before you start filming, or you might end up with a session that has no audio at all. Additionally, you can put a wind screen over your microphone if you’re livestreaming outdoors, so you can filter out loud and unnecessary ambient noise that might hinder the quality of your audio.

Conclusion

Now that you’re equipped with the ways to turn your Nikon camera into a webcam, it’s time to go live with the best version of yourself!