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Connecting your DSLR or Mirrorless camera via USB

Ecamm Live supports many DSLR cameras connected to the Mac with a USB cable.

Updated over a week ago

Ecamm Live features special support for using a DSLR or mirrorless camera for video, using just a USB cable. You can skip the extra hardware.

If you don’t already have a camera and are reading this tutorial because you want to learn what's involved in upgrading your equipment, please purchase one of our recommended cameras.

Camera Compatibility

If you already own a DSLR or mirrorless camera, there's a good chance you can use it as camera in Ecamm Live. However, not all cameras are compatible. Most high end Canon and Nikon cameras will work. We have a list of compatible cameras here, however it is not a complete list. If you're not sure about your particular camera, give it a try, or you can ask in our Facebook Community. We're constantly working to support more and more cameras and support will improve over time.

For Canons, please check out this Intro Guide for Canons.

For your specific camera, there may be certain settings and modes which must be enabled on the camera itself. There are simply too many different models of camera out there for us to provide a guide for each one. Here are some general guidelines:

Connect a Power Source

For best results, connect an AC power source rather than running on battery power.

Remove Memory Card

IMPORTANT: Take the SD or CF card out of your camera before each time you use it for streaming. Put it somewhere safe so you don't lose it!

Connect Your Camera and Turn it On

Connect your camera to your Mac via USB. Your camera may have come with its own special USB cable. Be sure to use a data-capable USB cable, and not a "charge-only" cable. If possible, connect the USB cable directly to your Mac. Connections through USB hubs may not connect or be reliable for high-bandwidth devices such as cameras. 

Accept Security Prompts 

The first time you connect, Ecamm Live may request two security permissions:

You must accept these permissions to allow camera access over USB. If you denied these permissions by accident, you can reset them in the Privacy Preferences.

You will now see your camera show up as a video source in Ecamm Live’s Camera menu. 

If the camera's name is in the menu, but is grayed out, it may not be compatible.

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