Use Your Phone as a Webcam

Use Your Phone as a Webcam

Better audio and video improve the experience of working remotely.

As the pandemic raged on in 2020, I realized that my 2019 DRINKS' issued MacBook Pro's webcam was crap (2020 MBA is no better) and I wondered if I could use my iPhone camera as my video camera on my MacBook. Turns out you can!

Via Product Hunt, I found Camo by Reincubate. With your iPhone and a Mac (now supports Windows), you can simply use your phone as a webcam. Get the Camo app on your phone, Install Camo Studio on your Mac or PC, then launch the apps on your phone and computer. By clicking on Help & Integrations at the top right of Camo Studio, you can use Camo in other Video apps like Zoom, Teams, Slack, etc.

By November 2020 I went ahead and went 'Pro' and it seems to have had good results

Going Pro gives you extra features like Portrait Mode to blur out the background and removes the Camo watermark, etc.

Be sure to have good lighting with your light source in front of you. During the day I open the door in front of me for natural light and at night I use the Quntis ScreenLinear Computer Monitor Lamp. I also turn off the phone's Cellular Data, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections while using the phone as a video camera so that it doesn't distract me or overheat.

Now I recently learned another way to avoid your crappy computer webcam, from YouTuber Ali Abdaal (I'll get into my obsession with Ali in another post.) Instead of software, he uses the Elgato Cam Link 4K

what it does is that it plugs into an HDMI cable
and so if I'm on Zoom calls,
which I've been spending a lot of time on,
or if I'm doing live streams,
I can plug an HDMI cable into this camera,
that then plugs into the Elgato Cam Link,
which plugs into my Mac mini,
and therefore I use the input from this camera
which acts as my webcam.
And that's like a real flex
if I'm on a Zoom call with people who are using
their crappy quality webcams.

If my wife and I ever decide to buy a nice camera, like Ali's Sony A7iii, I'll definitely pick up the Cam Link.

So yeah, consider Camo or the Cam Link, it really makes a difference, no one wants to look up your nose, so also consider a phone tripod you can set at eye level.