If you do not have a separate webcam for your computer, or it is already outdated and produces a poor quality image, you can connect a smartphone instead. The optics and processing algorithms in them are not inferior, if not significantly superior to conventional inexpensive webcams.
Perhaps the gadget will not become a permanent replacement for a specialized camera, but it will definitely help out until you get a new device. In addition, the phone can be used as an additional recording tool during live broadcasts or video calls.
How to use your smartphone as a webcam using DroidCam
This application can be used with smartphones on iOS and Android, and versions for Windows and Linux are available for a computer. It supports two connection options: via Wi-Fi or USB cable.
The wireless option works if both of your devices are connected to the same router at the moment. For a USB connection in the case of Android, you need to activate the debugging mode. It is done like this:
- Open the settings of your smartphone, go to the «About phone» section and tap seven times on the item with the build number until a message appears stating that you have become a developer.
- Next, in the main settings menu, find the «For Developers» item.
- Find and activate USB debugging in this section.
You may have already enabled USB debugging before, in which case you can skip the previous steps. Now let’s move on to setting up DroidCam.
1. Install DroidCam on your smartphone from the application store, and also download from the official website and install the program client on your PC.
2. Launch DroidCam on your smartphone. In the upper right corner of the screen there is a menu with three buttons. Using the first, you can switch between the main and front cameras, the second activates Full-HD mode. Through the button with three dots, you can go to the settings, where there are settings for the camera, microphone and dimming the display. The main screen displays the IP address and port to connect to the PC.
3. Launch DroidCam on your computer. Then you need to decide whether to activate communication with your phone via Wi-Fi in wireless mode or via a USB cable. In the same window there are checkboxes with which you can control the transmission of video and audio signals. If you chose Wi-Fi, then in the Device IP and DroidCam Port fields, enter the appropriate values from your phone. In the case of USB, it is enough to press the device update button with two arrows. Next, click Start.
4. If everything is entered correctly, then the connection should work — the camera and microphone are activated on the smartphone, the corresponding signal will be displayed in the PC client. In the program on the computer, you can enlarge the video screen into a larger separate window, switch to HD mode and stop the connection.
The menu at the bottom with zoom, mirror image, image rotation, screenshot creation and other functions is only available in the Pro version of DroidCam for Android.
During active shooting on a smartphone, it is possible to quickly turn off the screen so as not to waste battery power. Also available are anti-flicker settings, exposure lock, and signal broadcast stop. In the extended version of DroidCamX, continuous shooting in Full HD is available, additional video display settings, but you can do without these functions.
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How to use your smartphone as a webcam using Camo
Compared to DroidCam, the Camo application stands out with a more up-to-date interface design and a large set of features in the basic version. But at the same time, this program works only through a USB connection. Therefore, in the case of Android, you need to activate the debug mode, as described above. Camo can be used on iOS, Android, Windows and macOS.
1. Install Camo on your smartphone and Camo Studio on your computer by downloading the program from the official website. Connect your phone to PC with a USB cable.
2. Run the program on your computer and then on your smartphone. The operating system must detect the connected phone. Camo will automatically establish a connection with the camera and microphone of the mobile gadget. Additional manipulations do not have to be done.
The video will appear on the computer screen in Camo. All settings must be done through Camo Studio on the PC, the smartphone at this moment will simply display the frames from the camera without additional buttons.
There are quite a lot of settings available in Camo Studio. Here you can switch between the phone’s cameras, select a microphone, adjust the exposure, ISO, activate the flash, adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation and other picture properties. It is also possible to select signal resolution up to 1080p, rotate the frame, use zoom.
Camo offers not only the standard set of features to display a nice picture. There are additional graphic filters and 3D masks for those who want to cheer up their interlocutors.
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How to use your smartphone as a webcam using IP Webcam
IP Webcam only works in conjunction with Android and Windows. The program is not the most convenient to set up, but it has a fairly wide range of features, extensions are available for it. The application is useful for video calls and monitoring the premises through a smartphone camera.
The system works via the Internet via wireless communication in local or public access. If you want to broadcast live in IP camera format for viewers, you will need to set up an account in the Ivideon cloud service.
1. Install the app on your smartphone and the Configure IP Camera Adapter Windows client on your computer.
2. In the mobile application, set up the camera — resolution, quality, frame orientation.
3. Next, in the application, go to the «Broadcasting in the local network» section and set a new login and password there to access the video signal. The port can be left as default.
4. Click «Run» at the very bottom. The smartphone will start broadcasting the video signal from the selected camera.
5. Launch the client on the computer and enter the previously configured login and password, video resolution. In the uppermost field, you need to specify the IP address and port that are currently displayed on the smartphone screen at the bottom, copy this line to the clipboard. Click the Apply and OK buttons.
6. You can use the browser to check the transmitted signal from the camera. Enter the address you copied earlier into the address bar and activate it. The tab will display the video broadcast from the smartphone.
In the mobile application, you can set up and stop the broadcast through the «Actions» button. To use the smartphone camera via IP Webcam in applications like Zoom, you need to select the signal source in the settings — MJPEG Camera.
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