A good webcam can be quite expensive, and it may simply not be at hand at the right time. And the camera quality of such a device is likely to be worse than that of your iPhone. Why not use a smartphone as a webcam for video communication? And to do this is actually not difficult.
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Video Conferencing iOS Applications
Using iPhone as a webcam for a computer requires installing the corresponding application on the smartphone. It is worth running this program and checking its performance, as well as the corresponding program (links below) on a Windows or Mac computer. Sometimes you can do without a computer at all. In this case, you need to use the usual messenger applications.
If you want to make Skype calls using your webcam, chat with colleagues in Zoom or Slack, or just chat with friends via WhatsApp or Viber, try downloading the appropriate iPhone app. These applications are specifically designed for mobile devices, so they work great on a small screen.
If you want to use the speakerphone when using the iPhone, then you will need to purchase an inexpensive tripod. There are many tripod mounts for smartphones on the market that allow you to conveniently place any video equipment you have. Almost everything you need will allow you to carry out a high-quality tripod spider, which you can install on almost any surface.
The main disadvantage of such a scheme is that you will depend on the microphone and speaker of the iPhone. Wireless headphones are the best way to solve this problem. The sound quality will be very good, and it will be much easier for you to deal with a microphone located so close to your face.
Of course, sometimes you have to work at a computer. In this case, little can replace a separate webcam. Fortunately, the iPhone does a pretty good job of the alternative.
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How to use iPhone as a webcam for a computer
Using iPhone as a webcam will require installing a special application on your phone and computer. Unfortunately, the iPhone does not support this function “out of the box,” so third-party software will be required to implement it.
We tested several applications and read reviews on them. As a result, two options can be distinguished: EpocCam (for iPhone, iPad, Windows and Mac) and iVCam (for iPhone, iPad and Windows). Both products can be attributed to the premium class with numerous free options, it is possible to test the functionality of the program before purchasing it. Windows 7, 8, and 10 are supported.
In addition to Mac and PC versions, EpocCam also offers three versions of the iPhone application. The free version has limitations, the high-resolution version costs 599 rubles, and the version for 1,490 rubles is designed for professionals who want to use several cameras. The free version is limited to a camera resolution of 640 × 480 pixels and puts a watermark on top of the camera image.
iVCam works almost identically, but only the Windows version is available. The iPhone app and related software are free to download. The free version of iVCam supports HD resolution, but also contains a watermark on top of the video stream. For the removal of this picture you will have to pay 749 rubles using an in-app purchase.
Both of these applications allow you to use both wireless and USB connection. You can select front or rear cameras, use different lenses and even turn on the flash on your device to better illuminate the scene. If you decide that you like some application and want to unlock the full version, then both options are relatively inexpensive (599 rubles and 749 rubles) relative to the average quality of webcams.
In addition, there is an application called iCam (379 rubles). Unfortunately, you will not be able to test it before purchasing. The program is also based on UPnP for a wireless connection that may not work with all routers. Another solution is NDI | HX Camera, a free application for video producers. However, this program may seem complicated to most users.
Whichever application you choose, you will need to leave it running and open on the iPhone screen, which will act as a webcam. After installing the application and setting up the iPhone, you will need to go to the settings for the video conferencing application on your computer, where you need to select a virtual webcam as the source device for the video signal.
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Tips for Using iPhone as a Webcam on a Computer
A wired connection will always be better than a wireless one. If you want the most reliable webcam solution, turn off your wireless connection and select a USB connection. Both of our selected apps support a USB connection. If you do not walk around the house while chatting, using Wi-Fi in this case does not make much sense.
If you want to use your iPhone as a webcam, you will also need a way to place it in a fixed position. The best solution is a tripod for your smartphone or an existing standard tripod.
The universal spider tripod mentioned above is ideal for this because you can mount them almost anywhere.
In case you already have a tripod, but there is only a mount for the smartphone to it, pay attention to this option.
Both applications allow you to use a rear view camera, which you should definitely use. Not only can you use the flash if necessary, so the iPhone cameras on the back are significantly superior to the selfie camera.
You can use EpocCam and iVCam to capture the sound, but that would not be a good idea. Headphones are a good accessory, but a quality desktop microphone will sound 10 times better. We advise you to adjust the lighting (even if using a table lamp) before the call to make sure that your face does not turn out to be excessively darkened (in detail).
Using the iPhone as a webcam will drain the battery. If you are not using a USB connection (which also charges your phone while chatting), then make sure the smartphone is connected to an outlet.