how to use camcorder a webcam

How to Use Camcorder as Webcam

A web camera or webcam is one of the most useful tools in the digital age. And if you are into filmmaking and vlogging (video blogging), this device is certainly one of your top priorities. It can easily be adapted to use for your daily youtube videos and if you already have a camcorder or camera sitting around, simply plug it in and your on your way. 

Now, webcams are not entirely cheap. You may need to shell out hundreds of dollars in order for you to get the finest qualities. However, not everyone can afford this option.

Luckily, there are a lot of alternative solutions for this kind of concern. And this will largely work if you have a fully-functional camcorder in your belongings.

So, the question now is - how to use camcorder as webcam?

Before you proceed to do the exact steps, you must understand first the underlying principles for each device. When you get to learn all of these things, even just the basics, it will be much easier for you to transform your old camcorder into a fully-functional webcam. If you still need to purchase one of these great story telling devices. We have written up our favorite camcorders section here.

Understanding Camcorders and Webcams

Camcorders and webcams are two entirely different devices.

Camcorders are the electronic devices that people would use in capturing, shooting, and recording videos, all at once. They have their own power sources, and most of the time, they rely on batteries.

Camcorders feature great qualities of video resolutions. Moreover, their lens and sensors are made from the finest qualities, which is the reason why videos taken from these devices are clear and detailed.

On the other hand, webcams are simply devices that can be used for video streaming. The main components of a webcam are only a camera lens and a microphone. (But, not all webcams have microphones) Plus, it does not record videos.


Web cameras do not have their own power source. Usually, they just get their power once they are connected to the computer. As for the quality of output, webcams do not generally produce great qualities. But, they are decent enough to be utilized for simple purposes.

With these things at hand, it is quite safe to say that camcorders can function like webcams due to its lens and sensor features. But while it is already established, keep in mind that using your camcorder as a webcam comes with reservations. Do you know what type of camera you have?

Hence, learning to use camcorder as webcam may require you to have few things first.

Things You will Need

As mentioned, camcorders have much more complicated features and functionalities, and you will need to have a number of items to ‘convert’ it as a webcam. Keep in mind that without these materials, you cannot fully utilize your camcorder as a webcam substitute.


If you are using a firewire camcorder, here are the things you will need:

  • Firewire Card
  • Firewire Cable

As for others who are using an analog camcorder, these are the things you must have:

  • Video Capture Card
  • USB or HDMI cable

But for digital camcorders, which are much more convenient to manage when learning how to use camcorder as webcam, you may only need this:

  • USB or HDMI cable

Webcam Software

All types of camcorders will require you to have a webcam software. These programs are often free to download from the internet. But, if you want to utilize a software along with the premium features, it may require you to pay few bucks to access the program. Normally, the costs of these programs do not exceed $50.

webcam software

5 Easy Steps on How To Use Camcorder as Webcam

Step 1 - Identify the Type of Camcorder 

Initially, the first thing that you will need is to know the exact type of your camcorder. Once you get to know the important details and information of the device, you can then proceed to acquire all the needed materials and tools. Please refer to the materials mentioned above for each kind of camcorder.

Step 2 - Charge Battery or Connect  Camcorder to Power Source

Next, ensure that the camcorder is fully charged. But keep in mind that using the batteries of your camcorder as its main power source is not advisable. Camcorders would only last up to 5 minutes in its idle period.

Due to the power-saving feature, some camcorders will turn itself off when batteries are utilized as the power source. Hence, you will need to plug your camcorder in its base power source or the electric plug.

Once the camcorder is connected, make sure that it is still functioning well. Try to do a test run first.

Step 3 - Connect your Camcorder to Your Computer’s Hard Disk

Now that the camcorder is all set and ready to go, you can now install and connect the firewire card or the video capture card into your computer’s hard disk. Keep in mind that these cards are important since it is responsible for transferring the video output into the processor of your computer.

Consequently, connect the firewire cable or the USB cable from the camcorder to the computer where the card is installed.

These processes and steps may be disregarded if you are using a digital camcorder. Normally, digital camcorders would only need HDMI cables to do all the work. But, you have to make sure that your digital camcorder has an HDMI port.

Step 4 - Software Setup

When the cables and wires are all connected, you can now access the webcam software that you downloaded (or purchased) earlier.

Different programs have different installation processes which are generally easy to understand and follow.

Step 5 - Use your Camcorder as a Webcam

Once completed, you can now use the camcorder as your new webcam, ensuring better quality of videos.

Final Thoughts

The things and processes shared above is the standard setup. But, it is important to note that things can go rough when learning to use camcorder as webcam. Expect few workarounds as you go along the way.

It is also advisable that you reach out to the camcorder’s manufacturer for specific instructions on how you can use your device as a webcam. The world of digital technologies is always growing and changing, especially when it comes to the capture space. We provide as much up to date content as we can while building more informative and useful parts of our website, so be sure to check back at our home page to learn more!

About the Author Julia

My admiration for cameras first started in senior high school when I bought my first point-and-shoot. As soon as I heard that first click of the shutter, I knew I was in love. Since then, I’ve always had a camera in my bag, ready to photograph anything that gives me inspiration.

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