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Turn your Sony camera into a webcam with this easy trick

New software from Sony lets you turn your digital camera into a high-quality webcam for video chats and livestreaming.

Turn your Sony digital camera into a webcam with this new, free software.

If you're still working and socializing from home due to coronavirus spikes across the country, it may be time to upgrade your webcam to make sure you look your best on video chats and livestreams (changing your Zoom background and turning on the beauty filter can only do so much). 

If you have a Sony digital camera, there's now a free desktop application that will turn it into a high-quality webcam, so you can video chat or live stream while taking advantage of your camera's features, like autofocus and high-resolution picture quality. (If you don't have a Sony camera, you can also turn your GoPro into a webcam, or turn your phone camera into a webcam.) 

Here's how to download Sony's new Imaging Edge Webcam software, to turn your digital camera into a webcam. 

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

Which Sony cameras will work with the new webcam software?

You'll need one of 35 models of Sony digital camera that are compatible with the Imaging Edge Webcam software. These include a number of the Alpha and RX models. Find the full list of compatible cameras on the page where you can download the software. 

You'll also need a PC running Windows 10 ($110 at Amazon) to download the software. (If you haven't upgraded yet, you can still download Windows 10 for free following these steps.) Make sure your operating system and drivers have been updated to the latest versions. 

Finally, you'll need a USB cord (there's one that comes with the camera that will work) to plug the camera into your computer once the software is installed. 

Read more: Best gear for video chats from home: Webcams, lights, mics and more


The software will work with 35 different Sony digital camera models.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

How to turn your Sony camera into a webcam

1. Download the software

Download the Imaging Edge Webcam software to your Windows 10 PC from Sony's website (you should always check privacy policies before downloading software). Select your camera model (you can choose more than one), and click the download button.

2. Change your camera settings

This step depends on which Sony camera model you have. Generally, you're looking to go to Menu > Network, and turn off the option to control with a smartphone, and turn on the option for PC remote. Find specific instructions for your camera model on Sony's support site

3. Connect the camera and computer using your USB cable

Plug your camera into your computer using your USB cable. Then set your camera to Auto mode

4. Launch your video chat or livestream service on your computer

On your computer, pull up Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or whatever other video chat or live streaming software you're using. After doing this, change your camera from Auto mode to Movie mode

5. Change your settings

In whatever service you're using to video chat or livestream, go into the settings to change the camera from your computer's built-in camera to the Sony camera. You'll have to check how to do this for each individual service, as they may be different.

Then, change your camera settings. The aspect ratio will remain set to 16:9 using the software. (Note that the webcam does not include audio, so you'll have to use your computer's built-in microphone, or an external microphone.) You're done! Enjoy using your new webcam.

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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