If you’re wondering “Can I use the Nikon Z50 as a USB webcam?” then the answer is YES!
You can use your Nikon Z50 as a webcam using a USB cable.
All you need is:
- The correct USB cable
- The correct software
- A compatible webcam application
How Do I Use My Nikon Z50 as a USB Webcam?
To use your Nikon Z50 as a USB webcam you will need to:
- Have the right USB cable – Nikon UC-E21 USB Cable
- Have the Nikon Webcam Utility software
- Have a compatible application to use such as Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams.
This post will teach you how to achieve high quality video by using your Nikon Z50 as a webcam using USB.
What USB Cable Do I Need to Use My Nikon Z50 as a Webcam?
The UC-E21 cable is normally included in the box when you buy the Nikon Z50.
Replacement cables are available on Amazon like the example below.
What Nikon Software Do I Need to Use My Nikon Z50 as a USB Webcam?
You will need to download and install the latest Nikon Webcam Utility software.
Here’s how to do that.
- Go to the Nikon website for the Nikon Webcam Utility software.
- Scroll down to the section where it says ‘Download Software’ and click on the Download Software button.
- You should be taken to this page and this is where you will find the latest version of the Nikon Webcam Utility.
- Now click on ‘View Download Page’ and you should be taken to this page.
- Click on either ‘Windows’ or ‘Mac OS’ depending on the device you are using.
- Scroll down to the ‘Agreement’ section, confirm that you accept and click on the download button.
- On Windows the file should be an ‘.exe’ file and on Mac OS the file will be a ‘.dmg’ file.
- Once it is downloaded, open up the downloaded file and follow the installation instructions.
- On Windows the setup launcher should start when you open the downloaded file. On Mac you will find a file that is ‘.pkg’, you should open this to start the installation wizard.
- Follow the instructions that are shown until setup and installation is complete.
- You don’t need to launch the software once installation is complete. Simply go to your webcam or streaming software of choice and select the Nikon Webcam Utility as your chosen video feed.
- If it doesn’t work you may need to restart your computer.
Now we will move on to show you how to set up your Nikon Webcam Utility to work as a USB webcam with the software you just downloaded.
How to Set up My Nikon Z50 as a USB Webcam
- Turn on your Nikon Z50 camera and set it to movie/video mode.
- Adjust the settings until you have your desired look.
- Go to your ‘Custom menu’ (this is the pencil icon).
- Select ‘Timers/AE Lock’
- Select ‘c3 Power Off Delay’
- Set the ‘Standby timer’ to ‘No Limit’
- Connect the USB cable we mentioned above to the camera. Your Nikon Z50 should have a port which you can plug the cable into.
- Now open up your compatible application on your computer. This could be something like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype etc.
- Locate the Nikon Webcam Utility feed in your video settings for your webcam app. This should connect your camera’s video feed to your live streaming or video conferencing app.
- You should now have a much better quality image for your online video conferences or live streams.
What Applications Are Compatible With Nikon Webcam Utility?
The compatibility with different applications can vary depending on whether you are using Windows or Mac.
At the time of writing this article (February 2022), the following applications are tested to work with the Nikon Webcam Utility.
- Microsoft Teams
- Facebook Messenger
- Google Meet
To check for the specifics:
- Go to this link for the Nikon Webcam Utility download page.
- Choose your operating system at the top.
- Click on ‘Product Description’ to expand and you should see all the system requirements and details for different operating systems.
At the time of writing Nikon Webcam Utility currently supports the following Windows OS:
- Microsoft Windows 10 Home
- Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
- Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise
Note: Pre-installed 64-bit editions only.
At the time of writing Nikon Webcam Utility currently supports the following Mac OS:
- macOS Big Sur version 11
- macOS Catalina version 10.15
- macOS Mojave version 10.14
Downsides of Nikon Webcam Utility
While the Nikon Webcam Utility is straightforward and free (if you already have the UC-E21 USB cable) there are some key limitations.
- You are not able to use sound from the camera, but can only use sound from your computer or an external mic attached to your computer.
- The frames per second is limited to about 10-15 fps.
- The max resolution when using the Nikon Webcam Utility is 1024×768 (for some older cameras it is even less).
If you want to be able to use a higher resolution and sound from the camera or an external mic on the camera then you should use a HDMI output instead.
Check out the post linked below if you want to to use a HDMI output instead.
The video below may help you as they also guide you through the set up process with some extra tips.