You can use your Canon XA11 as a webcam to live stream, but it’s not as easy as just downloading one piece of software.
This method lets you use your Canon XA11 camcorder as a HDMI webcam.
To summarise, the set-up we recommend is as follows:
- Connect your Canon XA11 camcorder to a capture card using a ‘Mini HDMI to HDMI‘ cable.
- Plug the capture card into your computer.
- Use a suitable webcam software (e.g OBS) and use the feed from the capture card for high quality video for video calls or live streaming.
- Enable clean HDMI for the best results.
This post will guide you through the above steps in further detail and provide you with helpful tips to make sure you get the most out of this setup.
What About Canon EOS Webcam Utility?
You can use other Canon cameras as a webcam using the Canon EOS Webcam Utility.
However, the Canon XA11 is not compatible with Canon EOS Webcam Utility.
So you cannot use the Canon XA11 as a webcam without some sort of capture card or encoder.
This is why we use a HDMI capture card with the Canon XA11 and output a clean HDMI feed.
What Accessories Do I Need to Use My Canon XA11 as a HDMI Webcam?
To use your Canon XA11 as a HDMI webcam you will need a few accessories for different things.
- Essential – Mini HDMI (HDMI C) to HDMI cable (HDMI A)
- Essential – Capture Card (we recommend the Elgato Cam Link 4K)
- Essential – Webcam software e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, OBS Studio
- Optional* – HDMI Extension cable
- Optional but recommended* – AC Power Adapter
- Optional* – Tripod
1. Mini HDMI to HDMI cable
You will need this to connect your Canon XA11 to your capture card.
Normally this doesn’t come with the camcorder so you would need to buy your own if you don’t already have one.
If you need a replacement I’ve linked one below.
The small side is the Mini HDMI (HDMI Type C) and the larger side is the standard HDMI (HDMI Type A).
2. Capture Card (we recommend the Elgato Cam Link 4K)
The capture card will be outputting the footage straight from your Canon XA11 to your video calls or streams via HDMI.
We recommend the Elgato Cam Link 4K as Elgato is a highly reputable company.
The Elgato Cam Link 4K is also a recommended product because it uses a UVC driver.
This basically means it is universally compatible with any conference software that is able to use webcams e.g. Zoom, Skype or OBS Studio.
The CamLink 4K is able to output 4K resolution video which is perfect since the XA11 has a max resolution of Full HD 1080p.
In addition, the Canon XA11 meets the requirements to be compatible with a Camlink. The video below goes through these requirements.
You can check the current price and availability for the Elgato Cam Link 4K on Amazon at the link below.
3. Webcam software e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, OBS Studio
This is up to you what you use, but you will need a webcam/streaming software.
The Elgato Cam Link 4K should work with most popular webcam or streaming software.
For extra information you can check out Elgato’s page for ‘Supported Software for the Cam Link 4K’.
1. HDMI Extension cable
This is only necessary if you need a long cable length from your camera to the capture card.
Most people should be fine with just the Mini HDMI to HDMI that we linked earlier.
If you think the Mini HDMI to HDMI cable you have is too short for your setup, then you will want to get a HDMI male to female extension cable.
It will allow you to basically extend the length of cable between your camera and the capture card.
E.g. A Mini HDMI to HDMI cable fits into the female side of the HDMI extension cable and the male side fits into the capture card.
Tip: To reduce the need for this, get a mini HDMI to HDMI cable that is already long enough on its own.
2. Recommended* – AC Power Adapter
Having constant power is quite important if you are streaming or using the Canon XA11 for a long period of time.
If you plan to stream for a prolonged period of time then your battery may run out.
The AC power adapter can be plugged into the wall allowing your camera to have continuous power.
This will ensure that you will not run out of power when streaming on the Canon XA11.
Luckily, the Canon XA11 comes with a power adapter in the box when you buy it.
You can find the charging port for the camera on the side of the camera under the ‘DC IN’ flap.
The Canon XA11 uses the BP-820 battery pack or the higher capacity BP-828 battery pack.
It uses the Canon CA-570 AC power adapter.
Other similar cameras like the HF G30 and the HF G50 also use these batteries and adapter.
If you need a spare battery or replacement adapter then I have linked some below for you.
- Canon BP-820 Battery / Canon BP-828 Battery
- Third Party BP-820 / Third BP-828 Battery
- Official Canon CA-570 AC Power Adapter
- Third Party CA-570 AC Power Adapter
If you are going to be streaming or using your camera as a webcam you need somewhere stable for it to be positioned.
If you don’t already have a tripod then you may want to invest in one as they can provide more flexibility to your set up.
- Neewer Table Top Tripod – if you need to place your tripod on your desk or table.
- GorillaPod 5K – if you need a lot of flexibility you can attach this to pretty much anything.
- SmallRig Tripod – if you have more space and don’t mind having a larger tripod.
What Software Do I Need to Use My Canon XA11 as a HDMI Webcam?
To use the Canon XA11 as a webcam or for live streaming you will need software that is compatible with the capture card that you decide to use.
The Elgato Cam Link 4K is universally compatible with any conference software that is able to use webcams, like Zoom or Skype.
You can also use it with popular streaming software like OBS Studio.
To read more about compatibility with the Cam Link 4K check out the following link ‘Supported Software for the Cam Link 4K’.
If you decide to use a different capture card then please check the compatibility for that specific capture card with the webcam/streaming software that you intend to use.
Set up the Canon XA11 with a Capture Card
- Make sure your camera has enough battery or set up the AC power adapter so that your camera can receive constant power.
- Adjust your camera settings to suit your preference.
- Use your Mini HDMI cable to connect your camera to the capture card. The small side of your Mini HDMI cable should go into the Mini HDMI port on your Canon XA11. The larger side can go straight into the Elgato Cam Link 4K.
- Plug the Elgato Cam Link 4K into a USB 3.0 port on your computer (a USB 3.0 port is a standard USB port which has a blue colour).
- Open your webcam software on your computer and make sure your camera is turned on.
- Select the appropriate setting so that the Elgato Cam Link 4K is your chosen video feed. (This will depend on the software you decide to use but you can use the Elgato help website for assistance).
- Now you should see a direct feed from your Canon XA11 on your webcam/streaming software.
- If you can see lots of icons on your video feed then that means you need to set your camera up to have a Clean HDMI feed.
To make the most of this setup you also want to make sure you have the ability to use a Clean HDMI feed on your Canon XA11.
This basically means that the camera can output what it is recording without having all of the icons from the user interface such as the frames per second, battery life etc.
Luckily the Canon XA11 does have Clean HDMI.
This is actually one of the major benefits for the Canon XA11 compared to some other older Canon cameras and camcorders which do not have ‘Clean HDMI’.
How to Enable Clean HDMI on the Canon XA11
To enable a clean HDMI feed on the Canon XA11 you need to do the following on the camera:
- Go to your ‘Menu’.
- Navigate to the wrench icon (this is normally the 3rd menu tab).
- Under the ‘wrench icon’ find the ‘Output Onscreen Displays’. You may have to scroll down quite a bit.
- The ‘Output Onscreen Displays’ should be set to ‘OFF’.
- Now your Canon XA11 will output a clean HDMI feed.
You should now be ready to use your Canon XA11 as a high quality webcam or streaming device using a clean HDMI output.
Below are some links that may be of extra assistance.
If you need further help using your Canon XA11 then the video below does a good job of explaining a lot of the basic functionalities.