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Using Cameras Connected via HDMI

How to connect a camera such as a DSLR, GoPro or camcorder with an HDMI connection to Ecamm Live.

Updated over a week ago

Since Macs don't have an HDMI input, HDMI sources must be connecting using an additional piece of hardware called an HDMI encoder or capture device. 

Popular HDMI capture devices include Elgato's Cam Link 4K and Blackmagic Design's UltraStudio Mini Recorder 3G

These devices accept an HDMI connection, and connect to the Mac.  Once connected, the camera can then be used with Ecamm Live.

Choosing an Encoder

For older Macs that have a Thunderbolt 2 connector, but not USB 3.0, we recommend Blackmagic Design's UltraStudio Mini Recorder.  You can learn more about connecting a Mini Recorder in this step-by-step tutorial video

For newer Macs that have USB 3.0, we recommend a USB-based encoder. Here are a few that we like:

With the exception of the Blackmagic Design device, HDMI encoders are plug-and-play, as they present as a webcam on the Mac, and will show up automatically in Ecamm Live.

Other Considerations

Checking for Clean HDMI

When using a DSLR camera or camcorder's HDMI connection for live streaming, you'll need to ensure that the camera provides "clean HDMI". This means an HDMI signal that doesn't contain the on-screen information, focus rings, etc. that can be seen though the camera's viewfinder. To check this, connect the camera's HDMI cable to an encoder, or to a television or display and ensure that you don't see any on-screen text on the video feed.

Some cameras have a setting to turn on a clean HDMI mode, some provide clean HDMI all the time, and some cameras do not have the ability to provide clean HDMI.

Ensure That The Encoder Supports Your Camera's Resolution and Frame Rate

Each HDMI encoder supports a range of video resolutions and frame rates. For example some encoders may not support 1080p60, while others support up to 4K resolution. Before purchasing an HDMI encoder, ensure that your camera can provide an HDMI resolution and frame rate listed in the encoder's technical specifications.

Other Resources

Digital Trends in depth article How to Use (Almost) Any Camera as a Webcam by Hillary K. Grigoins, has a ton of helpful ideas and thorough explanations of how to accomplish them. We recommend the read.


If the HDMI encoder isn't providing video to Ecamm Live, review these troubleshooting steps.

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