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The Best Way to Use Sony A7 III as a Webcam – USB VS HDMI

From at-home zoom calls to live streaming on Twitch, there are plenty of situations where a high quality webcam is needed. 

Luckily you can use your Sony a7 III (also known as the ILCE-7M3) as a high quality webcam to level up your footage.  

You can use the Sony a7 III as a USB webcam without a capture card or you can use the Sony a7 III as a webcam using a HDMI output and a capture card

It’s important to know the differences between these methods to know which method is best for YOU. 

Ways To Use The Sony a7 III as a Webcam 

You can use your Sony a7 III as a webcam using either the ‘USB + Imaging Edge Webcam’ method or the ‘HDMI + capture card’ method. 

USB with Imaging Edge Webcam Software (No Capture Card)

Requirements

  1. The correct USB cable – Micro USB Cable or USB C cable (you may need an adapter depending on your setup)
  1. The correct software – Imaging Edge Webcam
  1. A compatible webcam application e.g. Zoom, Skype, OBS Studios

You can see more details about this method in our post on how to use the Sony a7 III as a USB webcam

HDMI with Capture Card Method

Requirements

  1. The correct HDMI cable – Micro HDMI (Type D) to HDMI (Type A)
  1. A suitable capture card e.g. Elgato Cam Link 4k
  1. A compatible webcam application e.g. Zoom, Skype, OBS Studios

You can see more details about this method in our post on how to use the Sony a7 III as a HDMI webcam

USB vs HDMI Methods Compared 

The USB with Imaging Edge Webcam method is a cheaper and simpler set up. 

However, you will have better quality by using a capture card with the right HDMI cable.

Summary

USB with Imaging Edge Webcam

  • No capture card required.
  • This method will provide better quality than a standard webcam, but not as good as the capture card method. 
  • Lower quality than HDMI – the maximum resolution when using Imaging Edge Webcam is 1024 x 576 pixels.
  • You cannot use audio from the camera or any external mics that are attached to the camera.
  • You may have some issues with frame rate and choppy footage.

HDMI with Capture Card

  • Better quality – you can get both Full HD and 4K footage from this method. 
  • You are able to use audio from the camera or any external mic attached to it.
  • You should get very smooth footage without issues in frame rate (as long as you get a decent capture card).
  • More costly as you will require the use of a capture card.

Which Method Is Right for You? 

If you just want better quality video calls with an easy to use set up, then go for the USB with Imaging Edge Webcam setup.

This is also the best method if you want to keep costs very low.

If you want Full HD (or better quality) streams or video calls then go for the HDMI cable with capture card method. 

In the video below you can see a visual comparison between the two methods.

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