How To Use Your Phone As A Webcam
To achieve a high quality picture for live streaming and video calls, at the fraction on the cost, I'm going to tell you how you can use your phone as a webcam.
Most webcams, whether built into your device or bought separately, are of poor quality with poor exposure, white balance and autofocus. If you're live streaming or on a video call, your cameras picture quality must be on point, something you can now achieve by using your phone.
Phones vs Traditional Webcams
When my webcam recently broke, I searched online for a new one and quickly realised how expensive stand-alone webcams were.
For a 'decent' webcam, I was looking at around £200, which is a lot of money to spend on something I felt didn't give you a quality picture for the money.
This got me thinking.
The cameras on our smartphones are better than ever. I've used them myself on occasion when I've needed to capture DIY style videos on set.
So surely there's an app that will allow you to use your camera phone as a webcam?
After some research, I found a brilliant piece of software called EpocCam.
EpocCam allows you to easily connect your iOS or iPadOS device to a PC or Mac using either a wifi connection or USB.
To get started, all you do is download the free software onto your PC or Mac and install the app onto your smartphone.
Within seconds of getting everything installed, EpocCam is ready to go, and your phone will start working as a webcam on your computer, integrating with other programmes like Zoom, Google Meet and OBS.
It will also allow you to use the front-facing or rear-facing camera, enabling you to have flexibility over video quality and focal length.
Mounting Your Phone to Your PC
Once you're happy with the software and how it works, you need to mount your phone to your PC.
Traditionally, webcams are lightweight and sit on the top of your screen. However, a smartphone can be a lot heavier and have an awkward shape, so you will need a bespoke solution for mounting it properly.
You will be able to go online and buy specialist clips or mounts for your smartphone that can then attach to your PC, or you can create your own.
I used a combination of a Smallrig Phone Mount, Smallrig Ball Head, Smallrig Magic Arm and Smallrig Super Clamp. Once all the pieces were put together, I clamped the mount to my mounter stand.
Clamping to a monitor stand vs the screen will ensure more stability for your smartphone and will put less strain on the screen itself.
Try using this tripod with the phone clamp if you're using a laptop.
The last step is setting up a power supply to ensure your phone doesn't run out of juice during video calls or live streams.
I ordered an anchor lighting to USB cable that ran down the back of my PC into a plug socket on the wall. It was a cheap solution that did the job.
Not only will this charge my phone, but it'll also ensure a more stable connection to the computer as opposed to the wifi option.
The More Cost-Effective Solution
Although using your phone as a webcam might seem like more work to set up initially, it's a far more cost-effective solution than a traditional webcam.
To buy the phone mount and USB cable would cost you around the £50 mark.
If you want a higher quality picture and remove any watermarks that come with the free version of EpocCam, you can opt for the Pro Version, which only costs £7.99.
All in all, using your phone as a webcam will cost around £60-70, which is a lot cheaper than a £200 traditional webcam that is way overpriced for the quality you get.
DISCLAIMER: This isn't a sponsored blog; I just highly rate the software and equipment mentioned. Some of these links have an affiliate code, and if you purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
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