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USB Webcam Feature - Free

Trash that Webcam, Mount a Camcorder

The first method of turning a camcorder into a Webcam is also the cheapest, and you can't get any cheaper than free. Some camcorders, like the trusty Panasonic GS70, have a USB connection for a "Webcam" mode. Connecting the camcorder to the USB port will temporarily convert the camcorder into a Webcam of sorts.

The process is two-fold. First, you must install a USB camera driver that came with the camcorder. If you have lost the CD, then you can go to the manufacturer's site and find it. After installing the driver, you have to set the camcorder into Webcam mode. The technique will vary from camcorder to camcorder, as explained in the owner's manual.

The Panasonic Webcam was displayed as "Panasonic DVC Web Camera" on all the major Webcam programs such as Active Webcam and Yahoo Messenger.

The picture quality was pretty poor and looked about the same as the Creative Webcam Live! in the Webcam shootout.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 4, 2008 12:46 AM
    I wowuld like to try to use this but cant see how to hook my cam to computer I havew a JVC GZ-HD3 thanks Richard
  • 0 Hide
    justchillinn , July 31, 2008 3:59 AM
    thanks for the article. it proved to be quite useful. I even purchased the WebcamDV software.

    i'm having a problem with my Sony DCR-PC5 though. I have it connected via Firewire. the image I get on my computer is squished vertically, meaning everything looks fatter than it should be. It's not due to any settings on the camera, there are only a few anyways.

    do you know of any software or drivers or something that might help fix the problem I am having? thanks a lot for your help.
  • 0 Hide
    PrinceMio , October 1, 2008 10:31 AM
    I have a Sony DCR-TRV 103. I just went to Staples, bought the 1394 Fire Wire, and the Fire Wire PCI Card for about $32 each. Windows XP recognized it immediately and I am on board, see you on YouTube.
  • 0 Hide
    gipsy , October 11, 2008 12:38 PM
    I am looking fo info on how to use my sony ccdtr23 as a webcam.It has rca plugs.Thank you in advance
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 13, 2008 12:02 AM
    I've recently tried the freeware program, SplitCam.

    Which is excellent! It not only converts my camcorder to a webcam, but even allows you to stream a playlist of video files to your webcam viewer. One tip, if you find tearing on fast movement, tick the option for Filter->Deinterlace which solves that perfectly.
  • 0 Hide
    jdocop , January 10, 2010 12:38 PM
    I, too, would like to use my camcorder, but I see a couple of problems. One, my Samsung SMX-F34BN/XAA does not have any drivers or software that allow it to be used as a camera by any computer (there is a mini AV jack that allows connection directly to a TV, and another cable that connects to USB on my PC; the USB allows the PC to copy whatever is in the camera's smart card, but there is no way to use the camera as a camera). And, two, my PC does not have any firewire connections available. So, two questions arise: Will this Orangeware program still work for my camera? And, could I purchase a card that will create Firewire connections out of a PCI Express X1 slot?
  • 0 Hide
    jdocop , January 14, 2010 5:49 PM
    Have to wonder whether anyone is paying attention to this article. Since no response was forthcoming from you all, I have tried to contact the Orangware web site, and guess what? email to them gets bounced. So, now I have to ask: what is the value of posting your article, if you can't back it up?
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , June 17, 2010 8:30 PM
    I have an older Cannon MV920 which uses a tape and firewire. I tried usinfg it to vido conference inn Skype. Skype would not recognize my camera ?
  • 0 Hide
    jdocop , November 22, 2010 12:05 PM
    I, too, have a Canon that will connect to my PC via Firewire. Try Eagleton's TrackerCam software.........(google it).
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 3, 2011 5:46 AM
    Hi..what camcorder can I use that is out now to do this?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2012 8:48 AM
    i have camileo S10 from toshiba, how can i make it my webcam too ?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 15, 2013 5:10 PM
    The Toshiba Camileo X400 comes with all the leads, software, and printed instructions of how to use as a webcam STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX !!!