How to turn your Olympus camera into a webcam for your Mac

New Olympus software for MacOS will let you use your camera as a webcam for video chats and conferences. There's also a version for Windows.

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Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome
2 min read

You can now use your Olympus camera as a webcam for Mac and Windows computers.


If you're still working and socializing from home due to coronavirus spikes across the country, you might be looking to upgrade your webcam without shelling out any cash. A new piece of software from Olympus makes it easy to turn your Olympus camera into a high-quality webcam for video chats and conferences on ZoomMicrosoft TeamsGoogle Meet or just about any other platform on your Mac computer (there's a Windows version that was released earlier, too). 

If you don't have an Olympus camera, you can also turn your GoPro into a webcam, turn your Sony camera into a webcam or turn your phone camera into a webcam.

Here's how to download Olympus' new OM-D Webcam Beta Software to turn your digital camera into a webcam. (Note that this software is still in beta, so it may contain bugs, and it isn't covered under Olympus customer support -- proceed with caution.)

Read more: Ultimate webcam tips: How to look and sound great online

Which Olympus cameras will work with the new webcam software?

The Olympus OM-D Webcam Beta is compatible with the following camera models:

  • E-M1X
  • E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III
  • E-M5 Mark II

You'll also need a Mac computer with MacOS 10.15 (Catalina), 10.14 (Mojave), 10.13 (High Sierra) or 10.12 (Sierra), and a USB cable to connect your camera to the computer. (For more on the Windows version of the software, check out this Olympus support page.) 

Lori Grunin/CNET

How to turn your Olympus camera into a webcam

Step 1: Download the software 

Download the OM-D Webcam Beta Software from Olympus' website (you should always check privacy policies before downloading software). Open the setup.exe file and follow the instructions.

Step 2: Connect your camera

Connect your camera to your Mac using the official USB-C tether cable provided with the original box. Turn on the camera, and select the icon that looks like a camera connected to the computer (Tethered USB mode) on the monitor. 

Step 3: Change your settings

On your Mac, pull up Zoom, Microsoft Teams , Google Meet or whatever other video chat application you're using. Go into the settings, and change the camera from your computer's built-in camera to OM-D Webcam Beta. (Note that the webcam doesn't include audio, so you'll have to use your computer's built-in microphone, or an external microphone.) And that's it! You can find more-detailed instructions on using the camera as a webcam if you need them. 

There are lots of other ways to repurpose the equipment you already have, like your old phone and old laptop. Once you get your setup going, you can also check out the online classes and equipment you need to become a YouTuber, or just pick up the best gear for online meetings

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