Using a cam link to capture video for streaming

Hi All!!

Just wondering if anyone has experience using a normal DSLR camera (I have a Canon 250D) as a streaming camera. . . I know in order to take advantage of the HD functions on the camera one needs something called a CAM LINK to capture the HD Video into the laptop and stream it out over the internet.

I am asking in the context of a set up for the Community Open Mics as the video quality on my lap top camera is not up to standard and it feels silly to buy a web cam when I have a camera sitting around not doing much. . .

So here’s the question . . the industry standatd CAM LINK seems to be this EL Gato CAMLINK which is over a €120 to buy. There are off brand clones of these cam links that you can get for as little as €20 BUT I am concerned that there will be a latency issue with a cheaper model CAMLINK.

Hoping community members might have some experience to share as far as video set up goes. And if there is specific experience in using a DSLR cameras a w eb cam with the CAM LINK hardware, that would be fabulous!!

Hope I can get some advice on this as I really HATE spending money where it’s not required. . .or for something that will later become obsolete. . .any and all advice welcome!!

Cheers all!!


I use a Cam Link 4K and a DSLR (Sony a5100) to broadcast. Have been for several years and works great. The Cam Link isn’t cheap, but I don’t know that I’d trust others.



I’m still a newcomer to the site and have been setting up a simple video recording facility on my PC.

If your PC is Windows this might be worth a try. Connect the camera to the PC: open the Camera App in Windows; if you see your camera activity displayed in the Camera window, great: from there you can record video and take pictures. I’ve just completed this process and have made recordings and taken pictures using my webcam connected to my PC via USB.

As you’ve already been streaming with your Canon another option I picked up elsewhere on this site was OBS (Open Broadcaster Software): it is a free download and allows both streaming and recording; I’ve been able to use my webcam with OBS for recording too.

Hope that’s some help.




Jeremy, I have no experience using a DSLR as the camera and connecting that to the PC.

Another option that may improve your situation is to use your phone as the camera, assuming you have a smart phone with a decent camera.

You can then use OBS in the laptop and connect the phone camera to OBS using one of two apps, either OBS Ninja or DroidCam. There are topics in this sub-category that talk about both.

From OBS there are topics to explain how to route the audio and video to Zoom.

If you have a suitable phone it will only cost you time to try this out (though there is a paid and free version of DroidCam and I’m not clued up on the necessities, OBS Ninja is free).

I don’t know prices to compare but another option would be to purchase a USB webcam. That may be a more economical option compared to the CAMLINK. I can’t comment on that, but worth keeping in mind if a purchase is required.


Hi David --thanks for the input. Just one quick additional question. . .

Could I run an iPad camera through OBS via the software that you mention?

I can google it as well just thought you might know off hand. . .

Thanks again for the information!!!


I use a DSLR hooked up to my PC for video recording and streaming. I have a Canon EOS R50 - it’s one of the newer ones so basically just plug and play via USB with no extra software required. I did a bunch of research before buying it.

When it’s plugged in it works just like a webcam (but high quality), so any app that can use a webcam can use it (e.g. Zoom, OBS, etc).

For the other Canon cameras, there is the free Canon Webcam Utility. I had a look at the list, and your 250D is supported. So you install that on your PC, follow the instructions hook your camera up via USB and you should be good to go.


Jeremy, my guess is yes but it is a guess based on my assumption that in many respects and tablet and a phone are the same.

But given the post from @jkahn maybe you have an answer to test out.



Thanks so much for this, it kind of pulled me out of “one track thinking.”

I started looking into the poor quality of my video (from the laptop camera) the MORNING OF the OM . . :roll_eyes: . as, for some reason, the penny didn’t drop til then that I’d have to rely on the lap top camera for the OM. . .usually, I use the iPad for video stuff that isn’t streaming. . .

Well, of course, it was all a bit fraught and I wanted to get the best image possible and so went the HDMI route. (I didn’t have a USB cable that worked to simply plug and play the camera . . and, once I got the HDMI idea into my head, didn’t think about the fact that getting a normal USB cable for the camera would allow me to “plug and play” (using the Canon Webcam Utility which I had managed to dowload and install properly for the camera I have) . . .anyway. . .

Have ordered a cable and also a dummy battery so I can stay online with the camera for as long as needs be. . .I am pretty sure that your suggestion will work and I can avoid the cam-link expenditure for the time being. . .

Thanks again. . .once again the K.I.S.S. principle proves to be winner of the day and VERY applicable in this case. . .

Hope your playing and practicing are going well!!


@DavidP yeah, David, I had a look into this possibility and it is totally possible to do this using the OBS platform and downloading some special drivers, etc. Turns out that I have loads of options that are relatively cheap to implement given that I have several different quality sources of video. . . . Thanks again for the interest and advice!! I am going with @jkahn suggestion for the moment. . .think it’s the simplest and most direct way to do this!!


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Ah, forgot to mention the dummy battery! Although you’ve figured that out.

Glad I could help.

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Well, this battery dummy has now learned what a dummy battery is … :nerd_face:
Seems there’s pretty much one to fit most battery forms in the DSLR market, although think I would be limited 30min bursts on oldet dslr
More GAS, :scream:, but inexpensive enough to have a play.
Thank you chaps for the call and the responses. :+1:t2:

@beejay56 @DavidP @Elixir1253 @jkahn @Norm_G

Thanks all for your input on this question!! I received the USB cable and dummy battery set up yesterday and did a quick trial to check and all looks perfectly fine with this set up. May go to HDMI in future if I do more livestreaming but at the moment I reckon this level video quality is enough. I do appreciate your help. . . In the end it was a pretty straight forward fix and a third of the cost!! Cheers all!!!