Is it Crazy to Use a DSLR For Facebook Live? Nope! And Here’s How!

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Is using a Canon (or any) DSLR for a Facebook Live broadcast a crazy idea or what?

Actually it isn't. And people have been doing similar things for years. One of my most popular blog posts ever was “Using a Canon HDSLR (5D Mark II) as a webcam for skype or ustream” so I know people are doing it!

So here's a new tutorial I found along those lines that I wanted you to think about.

Using a Canon DSLR For Facebook Live

How to Use a DSLR For Facebook Live

Via ReefBum:

I was motivated to find a better Facebook Live video solution for my saltwater reef tank since video from my smartphone was just not cutting it. One big problem is aquarium lighting and a DSLR with its sophisticated white balance features makes it much easier to dial in authentic colors. You also have different lens options with a DSLR so certain perspectives such as macro shots are possible.

Anyway, I decided to go on a quest to figure out how to use my DSLR, a Canon 5D Mark III, as my live camera for Facebook. I did come across a few different solutions but some did not appeal to me since they required expensive video capture cards as well as pricey live streaming software such as Wirecast, which costs $500.

Ultimately, I found a solution utilizing free streaming software that did not require a video capture card.

You do need to connect the camera to a computer via a USB cable so I did have to invest $26 in a fifty foot USB extension cable to reach both my display and frag tanks. The only other thing you might need to buy is a power cord for the camera to keep it from dying during a long broadcast.

You will also need a fast internet speed so you should have at least 3 megabits per second (Mbps) upload speed to broadcast live. To check your speed go to And you should have a fast enough processor on your computer so it can encode the video before it makes it way to Facebook.

The guide I am about to provide is just for Canon DSLRs, specifically Canon EOS DSLRs, so my apologies to you folks with Nikons and other cameras. I did spend a lot of time researching this so if you are the persistent type I do believe it is possible to find a similar solution for other cameras.

Ok, to get this to work you will need to download four different applications. I use a Mac so the links I am providing are for OSX.
Canon EOS Utility:
Camera Live:
Cam Twist:
Open Broadcast Software (OBS):

If you have a Canon EOS DSLR then you should already have the EOS Utility. If not, then you can follow the link above. One note of caution, I upgraded to the new Sierra operating system and ran into problems so I had to downgrade back to El Capitan to get this to work.

Read full instructions at ReefBum “How to Use a DSLR For Facebook Live”

Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

(cover photo credit: snap from ReefBum)


chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind

He's incredibly happy running planet5D and sharing so much joy of photography and filmmaking with his readers.

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