Canon's beta software turns recent mirrorless, SLR, and point-and-shoot cameras into a webcam. Here's what you need to know.
With USB webcams in short supply and demand skyrocketing due to the sharp spike in remote work, Canon has stepped in with a solution. Its new software, the EOS Webcam Utility, is available as a free download, and turns your Canon EOS SLR, mirrorless camera, or PowerShot compact into a USB webcam—assuming you have a recent model, of course.
The software is in beta, and with a recent update supports both 64-bit Windows 10 systems and macOS computers running High Sierra, Mojave, and Catalina.
It's limited to recent models, and while there are some low-cost options on the list, you can't plug in a $100 PowerShot Elph. Support is limited to G series PowerShots and interchangeable lens models.
But, unlike webcams, you can click over to a retailer and order many models for speedy delivery to your home office.
The Windows version of the software promises to work with pretty much any app where you can select your input camera, but Mac owners are a bit limited.
I installed the beta on my 2017 iMac and connected an EOS R mirorrless camera. Setup was as painless as promised, though I did have to reboot the system after installation. And it works easily with Google Meet.
Canon states that Zoom and Skype aren't supported. I can verify that Skype doesn't work, as the latest version killed support for anything other than my Mac's webcam.
I was able to log into Zoom without issue, though it could be because I installed this hack on my system to use real cameras with Zoom. If you're comfortable going into Terminal and installing Xcode, it's a workaround.
The EOS Webcam Utility works with the entire spate of current-generation EOS models—Canon's branding for its SLR and mirrorless lines—and a handful of their predecessors. This is good news if you've bought a Canon camera in recent memory, but leaves owners of older bodies in the cold. If you already have one of the following cameras, you're set.