There’s two methods of using the Nikon Z50 as a webcam…
This post shows you the method which achieves the best quality using your Nikon Z50.
It requires the use of a ‘Clean HDMI’ output and a capture card…
Don’t worry, we’ll tell you how to do it easily.
To summarise, the set-up we recommend is as follows:
- 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.
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.
Can I use Nikon Webcam Utility for the Nikon Z50?
You may see online that you can use the Nikon WebcamUtility to use the Nikon Z50 camera as a webcam.
While this is an alternate method of using the Z50 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 we have included a link in our further resources section at the end of this post.
What Accessories Do I Need to Use My Nikon Z50 as a HDMI Webcam?
To use your Nikon Z50 as a webcam using HDMI output you will need a few accessories.
- Essential – Micro HDMI (HDMI D) 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* – Tripod
- Optional* – Wide angle lens
1. Micro HDMI (Type D) to HDMI (Type A) cable
You will need this to connect your Nikon Z50 to your capture card.
The small side is the Micro HDMI (HDMI Type D) 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 Z50 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.
We 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 Z50 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 Z50.
To check for yourself you can go to this Elgato camera checker link, search for Nikon, and go to the Z50.
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. 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 Micro HDMI to HDMI that we linked earlier.
If you think the Micro 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 Micro 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 Micro 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.
- Manfrotto Tripod – if you have more space in your room and don’t mind having a larger tripod.
3. 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.
However, if you have the standard kit lens which normally comes with the Nikon Z50 then you should be fine.
The standard kit lens for the Nikon Z50 is the ‘NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR’ lens.
This lens should easily give you a wide enough angle to allow you to use it as a webcam or for streaming.
What Software Do I Need to Use My Nikon Z50 as a Webcam?
To use the Nikon Z50 as a webcam or for live streaming you will need webcam 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 Z50 for Webcam or Streaming
- Make sure your camera has enough battery so you don’t run out of power.
- Use your Micro HDMI cable to connect your camera to the capture card. The small side of your Micro HDMI cable should go into the Micro HDMI port on your Nikon Z50. 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).
- Go to your ‘Custom Menu’ (this is the pencil icon).
- Select ‘Timers/AE lock’.
- Scroll to ‘c3 Power off delay’ and select this option.
- Under the ‘Power off delay’ settings go to ‘Standby timer’ and set this to ‘No limit’. This makes sure that the display doesn’t go into standby 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 Z50 on your webcam/streaming software. Adjust your camera settings to suit your preference.
To make the most of this setup you need to make sure you have the ability to use a Clean HDMI feed on your Z50.
This basically means that the camera can output what it is seeing without having all of the icons from the user interface such as the frames per second, battery life etc.
Luckily the Nikon Z50 is able to output a Clean HDMI feed…
How to Enable Clean HDMI on the Nikon Z50
To enable a clean HDMI feed on the Z50 you just have to make sure that the camera is in video mode instead of photo mode.
Your capture card should then just transmit a clear display of what the camera is seeing through HDMI to your computer.
Quick Recap of Items
The 3 main items you need to use your Z50 as a webcam with clean HDMI output are as follows:
Did you know you can also use your Nikon Z50 as a USB webcam without using a capture card.
You might also want to know what the recording limits are on teh Nikon Z50.