Canon has announced a set of webcam accessory kits for a select range of its DSLR and mirrorless cameras, building on the Webcam Utility software the company launched last year to make using a Canon camera as a high-quality webcam easier.
There are currently three versions of the utility kit available at two prices. The most expensive kit works with the EOS RP mirrorless camera and retails for $159. For slightly less at $89 each, two other kits support either the EOS Rebel T3, T5, T6, and T7 cameras or the EOS M50, M50 Mark II, and M200 cameras.
A Canon representative confirmed that the higher price for the EOS RP kit is due mainly to the different battery insert required to power that camera.
The actual components in each box vary but all three kit options include a USB cable to connect the camera to your computer as well as a battery insert with a power connection to allow the camera to operate continuously from a standard power outlet.
The EOS R5 and R6 are not included as compatible with the RP kit because the DR-E18 coupler included with that kit won’t fit in those two cameras (they require the DR-E6 coupler).
Canon originally launched its Webcam Utility software in April of last year with limited support for a small subset of cameras, just 25 models, and also only Windows machines and a limited number of video chat applications worked with the utility. A month later, Canon launched the same software, still in beta, for Apple computers. By November, the software had officially come out of beta and supported almost twice as many cameras as it did at launch with wide support for 14 of the most-used video chat applications.
While not all of the cameras supported by the Webcam Utility are noted as compatible with these kits, Canon likely did its research on what cameras are typically used by folks who aren’t familiar with what individual pieces they might need to make a webcam out of their Canon cameras. In that same thread, DPReview notes that buying the Canon kits isn’t saving you much money when compared to buying all the components separately and clearly targeting those who simply value the convenience of an all-in-one package or addressing the segment of the market who might not know exactly what they might need to effectively use their Canon cameras as webcams.
Putting significant effort behind turning cameras into webcams without the use of capture cards and now also selling pre-built converter kits clearly signals Canon now sees the value in supporting the feature, especially given the number of people who are still working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Editor’s note: The original story included a note that the RP Kit would work with the EOS R5 and R65 cameras as noted by a Canon representative PetaPixel spoke with. Shortly after publication, Canon corrected that statement and clarified that the connector included with the RP Kit is not compatible with the R5 and R6 cameras. That correction has been noted above and we apologize for any confusion this may have caused.