This post shows you the method which achieves the best quality webcam footage using your Nikon D850.
It requires the use of a ‘Clean HDMI’ output and a capture card…
Don’t worry I’ll tell you how to do it easily.
To summarize, the set-up I recommend is as follows:
- Connect your Nikon D850 camera to a capture card using a ‘Mini HDMI to HDMI‘ cable.
- Plug the capture card into your computer into a USB 3.0 port.
- Use a suitable webcam software and use the feed from the capture card for high quality video for video calls or live streaming.
- Enable clean HDMI for 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 Accessories Do I Need to Use My Nikon D850 as a HDMI Webcam?
To use your Nikon D850 as a webcam using HDMI output you will need a few accessories.
|Mini HDMI (HDMI C) to HDMI cable (HDMI A)||AC Adapter with Dummy Battery / DC Coupler (recommended)|
|Elgato Cam Link 4K||Tripod|
|Wide angle lens|
|Extra Lighting e.g. Elgato Key Light Air|
|HDMI Extension cable|
1. Mini HDMI (Type C) to HDMI (Type A) cable
You’ll need this to connect your Nikon D850 to your capture card.
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)
This is essential.
The best way to use the Nikon D850 as a webcam is to use a HDMI output and a capture card.
The capture card will be outputting the footage straight from your camera to your webcam or live stream via a HDMI output.
I recommend the Elgato Cam Link 4K as Elgato is a reputable company with a product which is easy to use.
It also has a camera compatibility checker so you are certain that your Nikon D850 works with the Elgato Cam Link 4K.
The Elgato Cam Link 4K is also the most 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.
Below you can see a screenshot from Elgato’s website showing compatibility with the Nikon D850.
*Note : There is a slight error on Elgato’s website where it says that the D850 uses Micro HDMI , but this is incorrect. It uses Type C HDMI which is Mini HDMI.
To check for yourself you can go to this Elgato camera checker link, search for Nikon, and go to the D850.
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
You have quite a bit of freedom here.
You will need a webcam/streaming software that you want to use.
Luckily, 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. Recommended* – AC Adapter with Dummy Battery / DC Coupler
Having constant power is quite important if you are streaming or using the Nikon D850 for a long period of time.
If you plan to stream for a prolonged period of time then you don’t want your camera to run out of power.
The AC adapter uses a dummy battery in the battery compartment of the camera and allows your camera to have continuous power.
This will ensure that you will not run out of power when streaming on the Nikon D850.
Below is an example of a dummy battery kit which is compatible with the Nikon D850.
2. 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 can get a HDMI male to female extension cable.
This will allow you to 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 cable to HDMI cable that is already long enough on its own.
Having somewhere stable for your camera to sit is essential when using it as a webcam.
The last thing you want is shaky footage or a camera that gets knocked out of place during a video call or stream.
If you don’t already have a tripod then you may want to invest in one as they can provide more flexibility and stability to your setup.
- Neewer Table Top Tripod – if you need to place your tripod on your desk or table.
- GorillaPod 3K – if you need a lot of flexibility you can attach this to pretty much anything.
4. Extra Lens
Depending on your setup you might want a new lens.
For example, if you only have a telephoto lens there is no way you will be able to do a face cam for a gaming stream with a camera only inches away from your face.
You would need a wider angle lens.
The D850 is a fairly high end camera which doesn’t typically come with a ‘kit lens’ like a lot of beginner DSLRs do.
Since the D850 is a full frame camera a focal length of about 24mm will be ideal.
However, this does depend on where you want to place the camera and how far it is from you.
Even if you have the best camera in the world with the best lens in the world, a room with not enough light is still gonna look terrible.
Pick up some extra lighting if you don’t have any to make sure you can get the best out of your setup.
The Elgato Key Light Air is a solid option for lighting for streaming setups.
What Software Do I Need to Use My Nikon D850 as a Webcam?
To use the Nikon D850 as a webcam or for live streaming you’ll need software that is compatible with the capture card you decide to use.
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 Nikon D850 for HDMI Webcam or Streaming
- Make sure your camera has enough battery or has an AC-adapter with dummy battery so that your camera can receive constant power.
- 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 Nikon D850. The larger side can go straight into the Elgato Cam Link 4K.
- Plug the Elgato Cam Link 4K into a USB port on your computer. You should be using a USB 3.0 port (these USB ports are blue on the inside).
- Switch your camera to video mode.
- 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 Nikon D850 on your webcam/streaming software. Adjust your camera settings to suit your preference.
- If you can see lots of icons etc. on your video feed then that means you need to set your camera up to have a Clean HDMI feed (see below).
To make the most of this setup you need to make sure you have the ability to use a Clean HDMI feed on your D850.
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 Nikon D850 is able to output a Clean HDMI feed…
How to Enable Clean HDMI on the Nikon D850
To enable a clean HDMI feed on the D850 you need to do the following:
- Go to your Menu.
- Go to the ‘SETUP Menu’ this should be the one that looks like a wrench.
- Under the setup menu you should find an option called ‘HDMI’ (you may have to scroll down to find this option).
- In the HDMI sub menu select ‘Advanced’
- You should now find an option called ‘Live view on-screen display’ . Make sure this is set to ‘OFF’.
The menu locations in your camera menu could change if you have firmware updates.
The main thing to look for is the ‘Live view on-screen display’ setting and to turn that off.
Quick Recap of Items
The 3 main items you need to use your D850 as a webcam with clean HDMI output are as follows:
- Your Nikon D850 camera
- A capture card
- A ‘Mini HDMI to HDMI’ cable
Can I use Nikon Webcam Utility for the Nikon D850?
You may see online that you can use the Nikon Webcam Utility to use the Nikon D850 camera as a webcam.
While this is an alternate method of using the D850 as a webcam, you will not achieve the same level of quality as you would when using a capture card.
If you really want to use Nikon Webcam Utility then I’ve included a link in the further resources section at the end of this post.
If you are happy to sacrifice bit of quality then you can also use your Nikon D850 as a USB webcam without using a capture card.