Recently, Nikon announced that they were going to be releasing a beta of their new “Webcam Utility Software” that allows certain Nikon DSLRs and Z mirrorless cameras to act as webcams when connected to a computer without any type of capture device. All you need is a USB cable. Well, Nikon has now finally released that software. Well, a beta of it.
It’s compatible with all of the Nikon Z mirrorless cameras (including the new Nikon Z5) as well as some of their recent DSLRs including the Nikon D6, D850, D780, D500, D7500 and D5600.
At the moment, there are some limitations with the software. It’s a beta, for a start, but it only works on Windows 10. So, older versions of Windows and Mac owners are just plain out of luck. Officially, anyway. It’s possible that it might still run on older versions of Windows (for those still running Windows 7), but there are no guarantees.
Nikon also notes a number of issues that you’ll need to keep in mind when using the software, too.
- The camera temperature may rise and live view may end after periods of extended use. Wait for the camera to cool.
- Using live view increases the drain on the battery.
- Exit Nikon Transfer 2 and Camera Control Pro 2 before connecting to the camera.
- When Webcam Utility is accessed from multiple web conferencing apps simultaneously, live view will be available to only one app.
- When using Nikon Transfer 2 or Camera Control Pro 2, end the connection to “Webcam Utility” in the web conferencing app.
- You may not be able to adjust camera settings while the camera is connected to a computer. Before adjusting settings, turn the camera off and disconnect the USB cable.
They also note that while operation has been tested with the list of supported cameras, this is still a beta release, so there are no guarantees. But, it’s a start.
There’s no word on when we’ll see a Mac release, but if they’re following in the footsteps of everybody else, I think we may be able to expect one within the next 2-3 months. Or, at least within 2-3 months of the software getting out of beta.
You can download the Nikon Webcam Utility Beta from the Nikon website, and you can see Nikon’s streaming tips here.