Photo Credit: Olympus
Olympus has launched a software to turn the brand's mirrorless cameras into webcams, for people who are working from home. The OM-D Webcam Beta software is free-to-use and works on only a select range of Olympus' mirrorless models. The software doesn't use the audio output from the camera itself, so the user can place the camera anywhere that's suitable (and in range of the USB cable), without having to worry about audio quality. Using the software, Olympus cameras can be used with popular video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Teams or OBS.
According to the brand's official page, the select range of Olympus OM-D models compatible with the software are the E-M1X, E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III, and E-M5 Mark II. As of now, OM-D Webcam Beta is only compatible with Windows PCs.
Thanks to their technological advantages, mirrorless cameras are slowly gaining popularity over DSLR products. They allow light to directly hit the image sensor to generate a digital preview of the image on the electronic viewfinder or the connected monitor. DSLRs, on the other hand, use an internal reflex mirror to bounce light up into the optical viewfinder. This makes mirrorless cameras lighter, and much faster for video capture.
Setting up the software is pretty easy. All you need to do is download and install OM-D Webcam Beta, connect the camera with the PC using a USB Type-C tether cable, select the camera icon on the monitor, and the camera is ready to be used as a webcam.
In terms of audio, the user can choose to use either the inbuilt mic of their desktop or laptop, or use an external USB microphone of their choice. Since the camera's inbuilt mic is not used, it can be set up in any position you need to get the best result in terms of video. This can be of particular use for presentations where the user may need to move about a little, such as for online classrooms on Zoom.
Earlier in June, Panasonic introduced the Lumix Tether for Streaming app which allows users to turn some of their mirrorless cameras into webcams. Canon and Fujifilm also attempted to do the same recently.
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