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  1. #1
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    Anyone Using Mirrorless as High-End Webcam?

    In the rabbit hole and would appreciate a push in the right direction. All this camera stuff is new to me.

    Camera will be used for
    • primarily: tripod mounted webcam to do TV interviews, web meetings, and streamer-style content creation for my business.
    • secondarily: skiing and fishing (pretty even mix of still and video)


    Things I understand are important
    • continuous shooting (no 29.9min limit) (EDIT: I guess this doesn't matter for streaming... only if actually using the camera's record feature)
    • clean hdmi out
    • capture card compatibility or webcam utility like Canon
    • articulating touch screen for monitoring
    • bonus: decent amount of control from desktop app


    Things I think I know
    • Lenses are a big part of the equation.
    • I don't need as much camera as anything on my short list
    • HDMI + Capture is still better than native utilities (USB-c) but that may eventually change


    Things I'm not sure are important but might be
    • a6400-level auto focus (not important for primary purpose of streaming set-up)
    • 8 bit vs 10 bit video output
    • cold weather performance and weather sealing
    • IBIS and other stabilization - I know I'll need it on some level
    • avoiding rolling shutter issues like in the a6400 if I'm shooting 4k video of grom
    • sensor size for the utmost image quality
    • packability - pretty sure I don't care about this as much as most of you. If I need a jacket stash B-roller, I'll get something smaller and used, but it still needs to be no bigger than a full frame mirrorless.


    At first, all signs pointed to a6400 (or a5100 for a more affordable entry point). Rolling shutter issues and lack of ibis make me second guess and want to step up to an a7iii.

    Then ease of use, long-term heat concerns (being used every day for video), and especially the USB 3.2 gen 2 at 10gbit/sec made me consider the Canon R6 as perhaps one camera to do it all, for a long long time. If their webcam utility wasn't in beta and was already dialed and proven to be better than Elgato cam link (it's definitely not there yet), that would be a no brainer. Still, I might be willing to trust Canon's commitment to the streaming space (only game in town, really), and the fact that the hardware is already in place on the R5 and R6 to accommodate the improvements via firmware and app updates.

    Also considered a Pani GH5 as I understand their tethering is already reasonably well dialed, but idk... I think the dynamic range isn't on par with the others based on what the internet tried to tell me.

    For my primary use case, I still think the a6400 is the best bang for the buck, by far. And the a7iii edges out the Canon R6 given the uncertain future of their webcam utility.

    Is there anything else you'd put on the short list or any other glaring oversight in my research?
    Last edited by mattig; 07-30-2020 at 10:56 AM.

  2. #2
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    I thought all US cameras are limited to 30 mins--something about a video camera tariff or something? Sony has best AF systems which is a big deal for video. I'm nor sure what runtime is on the Sony APS-C cameras before incineration temp is reached but the new Canon R5 and R6 have overheating problems and are coming up short of 30 mins in tests--Google various videos. Maybe they're better in colder weather, but right now in summer it's a problem. The brand new Sony A7SIII is supposed to be a video-centric camera. But it costs $3500. Sony FF glass will send you to the poorhouse.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  3. #3
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    Yeah that runtime thing used to be a thing apparently, but no longer a thing for some.

  4. #4
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    The a6500 and a6600 do have IBIS
    life ain't guaranteed, love your people while you can

  5. #5
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    i'm looking forward to all the footy of me catching 3' of air for half a sec spread out slo mo into an epic hero sequence...def get a wiiiide angle to improve the impression of going big

  6. #6
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    A6600 is on the short list as of today.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattig View Post
    A6600 is on the short list as of today.
    I bought one a few weeks ago.
    life ain't guaranteed, love your people while you can

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    I bought one a few weeks ago.
    Not sure there's a better endorsement. It came to the forefront of my research today and then I check in to find it mentioned by a photographer whose work is hanging on a wall in my house (the mountain one, not the other stuff). So maybe that's all the research I need to do.

  9. #9
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    I'm not a photographer, watch yer mouth mister.

    In seriousness, I can only recommend this camera from the basis of stills, as I've never set up any sort of vlogging or streaming which is your stated priority.

    For a hobbyist-grade camera that can be packed around, it is excellent. But the sensor simply doesn't gather as much information as a full-frame, and the lenses are generally inferior to those built for the full-frame (though of course you can mount them on the APS-c and accept the crop effect)... so outright image quality lags the pro gear.
    life ain't guaranteed, love your people while you can

  10. #10
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    Have you gotten a permit to install the brass pole?

  11. #11
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    Nikon just announced their Z5 - an entry level full-frame camera. The Z series can all do livestreaming via USB or HDMI. There is an APS-C Z50 as well that looks good. You could get than with a kit lens for under $1k.

    Sony is great, but you will spend a lot more on good glass than with Nikon or Canon. The autofocus was bad on my Z6 at first, but a couple rounds of software updates have brought in eye-AF and more accuracy, so I'm pretty happy with it.

    I shoot ~80% video these days and last year when I compared all the different mirrorless options I like the Z series better for video. For web meetings and casual shooting it's not nearly as important, though, so any of the options will be great.

  12. #12
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    I just purchased a Nikon Z50 with the two lens kit a few days ago. It hasn't arrived yet, but I'll share some impressions when it does.

    I got sick of taking camera phone photos, but I wanted a body and lens(es) that were small and light so that I would actually take them with me when I go hiking/skiing/whatever. The Z50 seemed to offer a hell of a lot of bang for your buck in that regard, and aesthetically, it reminds me a bit of the Nikon N80 I used to shoot with in high school and college.
    I remember a bottomless freedom...

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the additional thoughts. Yes, full frame is enticing. The internet seems to suggest the sigma 16mm f1.4 is the bang for buck I want.

    I'll take a closer look at that z5.

    Other contenders on the list (yes, I realize some are very different than others):

    -EOS R
    - M6 mark ii
    - R6
    - Fuji xt4
    - adding Z5 now

    But since I really need to get up and running ASAP (can't wait a month or so for the R6 to go live), I may just start with an M50, used even, and then reconsider a full frame later on.

  14. #14
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    Case closed. I factored in the time I'm wasting researching and if I redirect that toward productivity, it more than makes up for the cost jump up to the new A7Siii.

    That Nikon Z50 looks amazing for the money, by the way.

  15. #15
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    Nice, buy once, cry once I suppose. Enjoy the new camera.

    Yeah, the Z50 kit is a screaming deal for ~1075 USD with the two lenses. They just released a firmware update about 2 weeks ago that supposedly made significant improvement to the AF tracking, which also influenced my buying decision.

    Should allow me to comfortably get set up with the camera and all accessories/software/etc. for under $1500, which was my goal. I'm spending a lot less on travel this year than I normally do, so might as well get a camera to document future travels when the world isn't a dumpster fire.
    I remember a bottomless freedom...

  16. #16
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    I ordered an AC power adapter and Elgato Camlink capture card to turn my Sony a6000 into a webcam. I have the Sony 16-55 kit lens, Sony 18-135, and Samyang 12mm lenses. I'll report back on how it all works.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    I ordered an AC power adapter and Elgato Camlink capture card to turn my Sony a6000 into a webcam. I have the Sony 16-55 kit lens, Sony 18-135, and Samyang 12mm lenses. I'll report back on how it all works.
    Definitely interested in that feedback. I got my eye on their pci-e capture card. No idea on lenses though. Kit lense probably fine.

  18. #18
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    Donít quote me on this, but I believe even cameras that would normally overheat after a certain amount of time do not have that issue when used as a webcam since they arenít processing the data to an internal card. Pretty damn sure that problem is overcome when recording to an external HD, or when streaming as a webcam.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    I ordered an AC power adapter and Elgato Camlink capture card to turn my Sony a6000 into a webcam. I have the Sony 16-55 kit lens, Sony 18-135, and Samyang 12mm lenses. I'll report back on how it all works.
    Starting a porn site?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post
    Donít quote me on this, but I believe even cameras that would normally overheat after a certain amount of time do not have that issue when used as a webcam since they arenít processing the data to an internal card. Pretty damn sure that problem is overcome when recording to an external HD, or when streaming as a webcam.
    That sounds plausible. Thank you.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    I ordered an AC power adapter and Elgato Camlink capture card to turn my Sony a6000 into a webcam. I have the Sony 16-55 kit lens, Sony 18-135, and Samyang 12mm lenses. I'll report back on how it all works.
    Update - this works awesome. Ran it for 6hr straight, no overheating issues. Massive increase in quality.

    Of the lenses I have, I'm preferring the 12mm mostly due to the larger aperture. It's slightly more wideangle than ideal. I'd like to find an inexpensive 16mm or 18mm manual focus prime but not sure it exists. There's a Sigma 16mm f/1.4 lens that looks great, but for my use case I'm not spending $400 on it.

    I will say this for anyone looking for a higher quality webcam. Invest in lighting first. My $30 Logitech webcam from 10 years ago looks better with good lighting than the fancy camera with crap light. There's no point in putting together a nice camera setup if you aren't going to at least invest in a $50-100 LED light panel.

    Same for audio quality. Buy a real mic. A $100 USB mic will do just fine. An XLR mic is even better. If you're using the built in mic or Airpods you deserve to be kicked in the dick.

    Audio quality then lighting then how your filming location looks then camera.
    Last edited by adrenalated; 08-13-2020 at 03:35 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

  22. #22
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    I would swap the mic and the lights in order of importance but thatís pretty spot on.

  23. #23
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    Just depends if you're trying to look good or sound good. Also, it's not so much the mic as the processing. For example, I can run a $20 dollar mic through my dbx 286s and it sounds 10 times better than my $400 mic plugged right into the DAC.

    Thanks for the a6000 feedback. I might have to try to find a used one to resell later to get me by until the new camera arrives.

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