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
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 beta.speedtest.net. 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: www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/support/details/cameras/dslr/eos-5d-mark-iii
Camera Live: github.com/v002/v002-Camera-Live/releases
Cam Twist: camtwiststudio.com/download/
Open Broadcast Software (OBS): obsproject.com/download
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)