As the use of video chats, conferences, and even live streaming surge during these times, so has the need for webcams. Many laptops already have built-in cameras as well as some monitors but those might not even be able to compare to the camera on your smartphone’s face. What if you already have a powerful dedicated pro or amateur camera at home? If you have one of a handful of Panasonic LUMIX cameras, all you really need is this new beta software that will let you experience a clutter-free live streaming interface when using your camera as a webcam.
Panasonic isn’t actually the first to come up with this idea and is, in fact, just the latest to join that bandwagon. Canon fired the first shot back in April with its EOS Webcam Utility and Fujifilm followed suit last month. What makes Panasonic’s version a bit different, however, is that it isn’t a completely new functionality but builds on its already existing LUMIX Tether software.
LUMIX Tether, as the name suggests, allows owners of a select number of Panasonic’s cameras to control and take still photos on their computer. It shows a live view of what the camera sees as well as some GUI controls for accessing the camera’s settings. Those GUI panels, however, are a hindrance and distraction when streaming live which is what this new software is for.
To put it simply, all that the LIVE VIEW mode for the new LUMIX Tether for Streaming does is to remove those panels and graphic items, showing only the live camera feed on the screen. This, presumably, is also what streaming or video chat software will see, giving the illusion that you’re using a high-end webcam. You can still, however, show that UI if you need to.
Panasonic’s LUMIX Tether for Streaming is still considered to be in Beta and is only available for Windows 10. It is also compatible with a small number of LUMIX cameras, namely the DC-GH5, DC-G9, DC-GH5S, DC-S1, DC-S1R, and DC-S1H. You’ll also have to connect via a USB cable, of course, so you’ll still have to prepare a convenient and unobtrusive way to position your camera.