Have you wondered how the Top streamers have such amazing looking cameras? Maybe you thought to yourself, “what webcam are they using?”. Well chances are they aren’t using a webcam at all. They’re most likely using a DSLR hooked up to their stream.

In this article we’re going to break down exactly how to add a DSLR camera to your stream.

Can You Use A DSLR Camera On Twitch Streams?

Yes, as long as your camera has an HDMI out, you should be able to use it on stream however you may need a few extra tools to make it work. These may cost you a few extra bucks but your stream will stand out massively from the competition.

How To Connect Your DSLR To Streamlabs OBS

  1. Connect an Elgato Cam Link to your computer
  2. Plug your DSLR into the Cam Link using an HDMI to HDMI Mini Connector
  3. Add the Camlink as your video source in Streamlabs OBS

Below I go into much more detail on how to set this up and some bugs you may run into along the way.

What Do I Need To Use My DSLR As My Streaming Web Cam?

The Elgato Cam Link 4k

The Elgato Cam link 4k allows you to stream live footage from your camera to your computer and stream software via HDMI. If your looking for a 4k image then this is device you want. It’s the go to for high quality streams.

There is also cheaper alternatives such as the DIWUER Capture card on Amazon. It comes in at a much cheaper price point and is actually fairly good for being so cheap. You may experience some latency but if you’re only using it for your camera you can set a delay in OBS for your voice and have a pretty inexpensive solution for connecting your DSLR to your stream.

HDMI To HDMI Mini Cable

To connect your camera to your capture card you will need an HDMI to HDMI mini cable. This sends the image from your camera to your capture card, then through to your PC.

From experience I would recommend getting a pretty long one to give you flexibility on where to place your camera. It’s better to have too much cable to work with than too little.

Plug In Battery Power

If you’re going to be streaming you do not want to be changing camera batteries every 5 minutes. Believe it or not you can get an always on plug in power source. If your anything like me and only really use your camera at your desk this is an absolute life saver. Just turn on your camera and you’re instantly ready to go.

The power source I use for my Sony A6400 is this Smartpow Power Supply. I’m going to be using the Sony A6400 as the example camera for the rest of this article but you may need to get a different power supply for your camera.

So that’s the three pieces of tech you will need and obviously a camera and lens which I’ll assume you have if you’re reading this.

How To Connect Your DSLR To Your Computer

How To Connect Your DSLR To your computer for streaming

Once you have all the tech you need to get set up its a fairly simple process.

I’m going to be using the Sony A6400 as my streaming camera. I’ve been using this camera for over a year now and it works great. The only thing is if you try to stream in 4k for long periods of time the camera can overheat and will need to be turned off for a short period of time to cool down.

I haven’t had this issue streaming in 1080p from the camera even on a 12 hour stream. As most people are only streaming in 1080 this really shouldn’t be an issue anyway.

Adjust Your Camera Settings

When connecting your camera there is a few settings you will want to adjust to get the best possible quality for your stream.

Auto Focus

You want to make sure that you have auto focus enabled on your camera so that you never have to adjust anything during while you are streaming.

This is what auto focus looks like in your settings on the Sony A6400.

Auto Power Off Temp

If your camera has an option for Auto Power off temp I would recommend turning this to high. As you’re going to be streaming on Twitch for long periods of time your camera will inevitably get hot. If you don’t have this set to high it will turn off very quickly.

File Format

For the file format you have two options; 4k or 1080p.

4K – If you’re in a colder environment and want the best possible image quality I would recommend running in 4k. It will look amazing on your stream and your viewers will definitely appreciate it. If you have forked out the money for an Elgato 4k Camlink then max it out! However if you experience overheating issues even after changing the heat temp setting bump it down to 1080p.

1080p – If you are using a cheaper capture card that can’t handle 4k or you’re experiencing overheating issues you’ll want to go with 1080p. If you’re using a top of the line Camera it will still look great.

Setting Up The Elgato Camlink

Setting up your Cam Link is super easy. It is a plug and play device meaning there is no real setup with it. Just plug it into your computer via usb, connect your camera with the HDMI to HDMI Mini cable and then in the software you’re using you will be able to select Cam Link 4k as the source. This will then display the camera in your software.

Adding Your Camera to Your Streamlabs OBS Software

Once everything is plugged in you can fire up Streamlabs and add your camera like any other webcam.

Just go down to Add Source –> Video Source –> Camlink 4k

You should now see your camera in your scene ready to go.

Troubleshooting Issues With The Camlink & Streamlabs

My Camlink Does Not Show Anything In Streamlabs?

This is a common issue and is usually caused by having your camera open in some other app. For example if you have Elgato recording software open on your computer and open Streamlabs at the same time you won’t have anything show in streamlabs.

Make sure that you only have one program using the Cam Link at any one time and you shouldn’t have any issues. You can select De-activate in your video source settings and re-activate this should now show you camera if you have closed everything else.

DSLR Overheating While Streaming

This happened me over and over again when I started using the cam link and Sony A6400. It took me a long time to find the solutions.

The first thing is changing the settings I mentioned earlier in the article. Change Auto Power Off Temp to high. This should allow you to stream much longer without any issues even in 4k.

If that still doesn’t work chances are you’re streaming in a hot environment. I noticed that when I streamed with my window open I never had issues with overheating and the camera turning off. However if the windows were closed, my heating was on and my PC was acting like a fireplace then my camera would occasionally turn off. So if you cool down your room you may find the issue goes away.

If you’re still having issues you can add some form of external cooling to your camera. I have seen people use small USB fans to help keep the camera cool externally. I have never tried this myself but if your adamant about streaming in 4k this might help keep the camera cool enough for long broadcasts.

My Camera Battery Is Dying When I Am Streaming?

Most cameras do not come with an always on power source. For most camera’s you can buy a power adapter that is shaped like the battery and just plug into the camera. You can leave this in your camera at all times and just switch your camera on and off without ever having to worry about the camera dying.

With the Sony A6400 I use this power adapter.

Is My Camera Compatible With The Elgato Cam Link 4k?

Elgato have provided this video helping you to figure out whether or not your own camera will work with the Cam Link.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully this article has helped you set up your DSLR camera with your streaming setup. Enjoy streaming an amazing high quality broadcast to your viewers and kicking up your stream quality a notch.

If you have any questions feel free to drop them below and I’ll help out in any way I can.

Author

James is a marketer by day and gamer by night. He loves sharing his Marketing background in the world of streaming. When he's not working on campaigns he's likely to be spotted in Verdansk.

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