Many people ask if they can use their digital camera as a webcam. In
the early days of digital imaging, it made sense to dual-function a
camera because a webcam was a serious investment. However, webcams are
now so inexpensive that manufacturers are not considering this
functionality important in their digital cameras. In fact even the word
'webcam' creates the impression of bad imaging, so associating this
function with a camera actually makes the camera seem 'cheap'.
So, why do so many people ask if they can do this? I believe it's
caused by the 'grandfathered camera' problem. Advances in camera design
have been so stunning in the last few years that it makes no sense to
use an old camera when you could use a new one and get better pictures.
But what do you do with the old camera? This is where people start
thinking "I wonder if I can use this as a webcam?".
So, can your camera be used as a webcam? Probably not, but here's how
you can tell. Make sure you've installed all the software you can find
for your camera, power it up, and plug it in. Windows will tell you if
it has a webcam function. If it's a webcam, then it will appear in "My
Computer" as a device, right along with all the disk drives. To be
sure, go to your control panel and select "Scanners and Cameras". Is
your camera listed? If not... it's not a webcam.
In the unlikely event that you have a 'video in' on your computer, and
that your camera has a 'video out' then you can follow the instructions
the sony site
("how to use a digital still camera as a webcam");
but most people will not have that yellow 'video in' connection.
Your camera doesn't work as a webcam? No, I thought not. Here's a
different suggestion for what to do with that old camera: keep it in a
different place. Seriously, keep it in the car, at work, or at the
cottage. One day, something interesting will happen there, and you'll
be grateful of a camera with ANY resolution, even that old one!