How to Use Your Sony Camera as a Webcam

With so many of us broadcasting from our homes, you might be keen to know how to use your Sony alpha series camera as a webcam. Check out this quick and easy guide for how to make your Facebook Live streams and maybe Zoom conferences look a little more professional.

This short video from Chris Watkins runs you through a quick setup for making the most of your Sony a6x00 or a7 camera, taking advantage of a piece of software called OBS Studio. This open-source, free software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux allows you to record your screen and stream live, with the potential to broadcast to Facebook Live, should you wish.

In theory, you can also connect OBS to stream via Zoom, though there’s a plugin to install and you’ll have to dig through the forums to figure out how to get it set up. If you’re on a Mac, check out this excellent tutorial from the guys at Brand New Box.

From the comments, the process does seem a little buggy, and your success may be determined by your specific hardware setup. In theory, it’s also possible with other cameras and their proprietary software in combination with OBS. If you achieve any other combinations, be sure to post your results in the comments below.

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24 Comments

Alex Petsen's picture

Content starts at 1:10

Jeff McCollough's picture

OBS hasn't been working with Zoom lately and I'm not sure why.

Marius Pettersen's picture

Worked with the latest update - or my community patch carried on over. Anyway, there is a way to fix the 'grey feed' from OBS if the latest update isn't working.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Hmmm All I get is the "fail to start camera error" in Zoom when I select OBS. OBS works with other platforms though.

Marius Pettersen's picture

Take a look in this thread: https://obsproject.com/forum/threads/obs-virtualcam-not-working-with-zoo...
I used the "ok_zoomer" patch mentioned in post #6 and it worked for me.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Awesome! I'll check it out later!

Mutley Dastardly's picture

Well there 's no need for me to make it work with zoom - as long as i can use this setup with Jitsi it's all fine to me.

Deleted Account's picture

Elgato CamLink 4k and an HDMI cable. Now you have a web cam.

Andy Pearson's picture

Shameless plug here, (only because its relevant) but I created a video over the weekend explaining how to get GoPros and Phones into Zoom too. Uses some of the end same process, but a bit more technical.
(Any apologies for the poor quality, it was all done in a day)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl89WfCmCn4

Nick Rains's picture

No need for any coding or geeky stuff to connect an iPhone as a webcam, but not for free though. There is an iOS app called OBS Camera which will connect to OBS via the normal charging cable. I think it's $15. Works like a charm. You can create a scene and add a video source by choosing iOS Camera instead of USB Camera.

OBS can easily work with Zoom by using a windowed (or full screen) projector and sharing that window (or full screen) in Zoom. Just watch for sound sync.

Craig Jeffries's picture

Useful video - tried and got it working with my Sony A99ii. One issue not covered in the video - switching the USB mode in the camera menu system was greyed out and stuck on Mass Transfer setting. If you have 'use smartphone as remote' switched on in the wifi settings it won't let you change this. Turn that off and you can set the USB to Remote like in the video

Andy Day's picture

I just tried connecting OBS to Zoom via CamTwist. Zoom doesn't recognise it as a camera, sadly. Super frustrating!

Craig Jeffries's picture

I'm not sure what CamTwist is, but I got my A99ii working through zoom just by using the Virtual Cam plugin from the OBS website.

Andy Day's picture

Thanks Craig! I'll check it out.

Andy Day's picture

Argh. I think the VirtualCam plugin is only for Windows.

Andy Pearson's picture

I've just heard that the latest version of Zoom has disabled the use of CamTwist as a virtual Camera. Looking into alternatives now!

Andy Day's picture

You saw this, I assume? https://github.com/johnboiles/obs-mac-virtualcam It's a bit beyond my paygrade.

Andy Pearson's picture

I hadn't! I'll check that out and see how easy it is to use.

Christopher Watkins's picture

Hey guys, thanks for sharing my video! I also made this one for people trying to use this feature with Zoom, Skype etc but it does look as though zooms latest update has stopped this working. If you want this to work you will need to download and older version of Zoom. They are aware of the issue and trying to sort it out.

https://youtu.be/JXhYgybNz0I

Darcy Gauthier's picture

My issue with this solution is that there is a significant amount of latency, almost 1 second, and the framerate seems to be very low, 20 fps or less I would guess. I saw a few others with the same issues in the youtube comments so I know it's not just me. In any case it's a bummer because this would be a really simple and affordable alternative to purchasing a capture card!

John Hills's picture

FYI, will not work with a6000. 6000 does not support Live View from PC remote anyway. (I believe it does work on mobile)

David Clark's picture

The lack of sync between audio and video seems to make this useless. Is there a way to get them in sync?

Nick Rains's picture

You get what you pay for. As a workwaround this can work up to a point, but many people have identified weaknesses, particularly in audio lag and framerate. If you are even slightly serious about streaming, invest in a Blackmagic Cinema 4K (maybe a used one) which can be properly mains powered, has a MFT lens mount and the audio is almost flawless. This is not an expensive option, but not trivial either. You will still need a video capture card - the BMD Atem Mini is perfect for this task.