Nikon is the latest camera company to release software that enables it cameras to function as webcams, a necessity in our new remote-working world. Camera companies began releasing this new functionality several weeks ago as retailers experienced a shortage of high-quality webcams and many people were forced to find alternatives while working remotely.
Though many laptops and tablets contain built-in webcams, they’re often poor quality and, increasingly, positioned at weird angles. That’s fine for brief chats with friends and family but isn’t ideal for working eight or more hours a day at home with entire teams of people. That’s where high-quality external webcams come in.
If you’re a professional or amateur photographer, that means you likely own at least one dedicated camera…one that probably has far better image quality than any webcam on the market. Many photographers turned to third-party workarounds to use their cameras as webcams, but these processes were often buggy, limited, and too technical for some users.
Camera companies caught wind of this DIY effort and started releasing official software that enables this functionality natively, though some of it is quite limited in scope and won’t be supported going forward. The official tools are much easier, faster, and reliable.
Nikon has officially joined other companies like Panasonic, Canon, and Fuji in releasing a free software tool that offers this functionality. The tool works with Nikon DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, so you won’t be able to use your little point-and-shoot pocket camera. The key benefit of this software is that you won’t need a capture card to use the camera as a webcam.
The webcam utility beta can be downloaded from the Nikon website now.