Yes, you can use the Panasonic Lumix G85 as a webcam and for live streaming, but you will need the right accessories to make this possible.
It’s not as easy as just downloading one piece of software.
To summarise, the set-up we recommend is as follows:
- Plug the capture card into your computer.
- 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 details and provide you with helpful tips to make sure you get the most out of this set up.
Can I use the Lumix Webcam Software for the Panasonic G85?
First of all you may see online that you can use the LUMIX Webcam Software (Beta) to use a Panasonic Lumix camera as a webcam.
However this is not true for the G85 as the LUMIX Webcam Software is only compatible with the following models.
As you can see the Panasonic G85 is NOT on the list of compatible models above, so we need to find another solution.
*The above is true at the point of writing this post which is November 2021.
What Accessories Do I Need to Use My Panasonic G85 as a Webcam?
To use your Panasonic G85 as a webcam you will need a few accessories for different things.
- 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 but recommended* – AC Adapter with dummy battery/DC coupler
- Optional* – Tripod
- Optional* – Wide angle lens
1. Micro HDMI to HDMI cable
You will need this to connect your Panasonic Lumix G85 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 (and probably only) way to use the Panasonic Lumix G85 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 HDMI.
We recommend the Elgato Cam Link 4K as Elgato is a reputable company which has a compatibility checker too.
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 Panasonic Lumix G85.
To check for yourself you can go to this Elgato camera checker link, search for Panasonic, and go to the Lumix G85.
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 that you want to use.
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 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 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.
2. Recommended* – AC Adapter with dummy battery/DC coupler
This is arguably essential if you are streaming or using the G85 for a long period of time.
For example, if you plan to record for a few hours in 4K then your battery will definitely run out.
See this post regarding recording limits on the Panasonic G85 for more info.
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 Panasonic G85.
If you are going to be streaming or using your camera as a webcam you need somewhere stable for it to sit.
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 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.
4. Extra Lens
Depending on your set up you may require a new lens.
For example, if you only have a telephoto lens there is no way you will be able to do 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 G85 then you should be fine.
The kit lens for the Panasonic G85 is the 12-60mm F3.5-5.6.
This lens should give you a wide enough angle to allow you to use it as a webcam or for streaming.
If you are happy with the focal length, but want a lens that allows you to go to a slightly wider aperture then you can use the Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8.
What Software Do I Need to Use My Panasonic Lumix G85 as a Webcam?
To use the Panasonic G85 as a webcam or for live streaming you will 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 Panasonic G85 for Webcam or Streaming
- Make sure your camera has enough battery or set up the AC adapter so that your camera can receive constant 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 the side of your Panasonic G85. 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. It is recommended that you use a USB 3.0 port. You can also try USB 2.0, but sometimes this can lead to choppy video as USB 2.0 is not able to transfer data as efficiently.
- 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 Panasonic G85 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.
To make the most of this set up you also want to make sure you have the ability to use a Clean HDMI feed on your G85.
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 Panasonic G85 does have Clean HDMI.
How to Enable Clean HDMI on the Panasonic G85
To enable a clean HDMI feed on the G85 you need to do the following:
- Press the ‘Menu’ button.
- Go to the third menu item on the left hand side of the screen which looks like a wrench on its own.
- Under the wrench sub menu, go to the third page. There should be 6 pages in total so you should be on page 3/6.
- Select ‘TV connection’.
- There will be an option for ‘HDMI Info Display (rec.)’ . Set this setting to be ‘OFF’.
- Now you should have a clean HDMI out feed, so that anything on your capture card will just be showing the image you are recording and no settings.
Below you can see two videos that show you how to do this.
Below are some links and videos that may be of extra assistance.
Elgato Cam Link 4K DSLR Tutorials (these are with a Panasonic G7 but should also apply to the Panasonic G85)
The video below goes through some Panasonic Lumix G85 accessories for streaming: