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Using the GH5 for Zoom meetings

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    GH5 Using the GH5 for Zoom meetings

    After a few years of doing hit-or-miss contract work, in March 2021 I got a full-time job as a video producer. And suddenly find myself in multiple Zoom conferences every week, using the little 15-cent webcam built into my laptop. To see if I could use my GH5 as my webcam for these meetings, I got an $18 HDMI-to-USB capture dongle from Amazon -- and it works perfectly with the GH5. It is crazy simple: I plug the HDMI output of the GH5 into the dongle, plug the dongle into a USB port, and open Zoom. For audio, I plug a lav mic into the GH5, which routes the audio out the HDMI port. That keeps the audio synchronized with the video. In Zoom, I tell it that I want to use "USB Video" and for audio I select "Digital Audio Interface (USB DIgital Audio)." Perfect -- my camera for the Zoom meeting is now the GH5 and the audio is the lav that I wear. I couldn't believe how easy it was.

    This is a photo of the HDMI-to-USB capture card I use. As I said, I paid $18 on Amazon for this earlier this year, but I think this specific model is no longer available. Many similar products are still available, however:

    HDMI capture card_600pixel 2021-9-1.jpg

    I do the same thing at work. Use it with Teams for all our meetings and its funny seeing how my old GH4 looks 1000000x better than any laptop webcam. Like the difference between 4k video and VHS kind of difference. Of course I also setup lights in my studio which helps as well.

    I also use the P4k and GH4 for some live DJ events I do with my co-workers. Just a way to keep the team together with an activity during Covid. I get to use my old DJ skills from high school and my live video streaming skills in a fun way. I use OBS and create my own graphics, animation backgrounds, live chroma key and other effects all with cheap HDMI capture devices and OBS.

    Having used many hardware based video switchers for years its truly amazing what can be done for free with OBS.

    I do all my demos at work now using OBS. Stream specific windows from my computer, camera feed, multiple mobile devices and animation.

    There is really no excuse anymore for online conferences to look like crap. I stream live in full HD using Twitch with effects I could never dream of with $10,000 hardware switchers. Oh yeah and I run the DJ software, OBS and multiple animated windows to feed into OBS from a single M1 MBA that is 100% silent and does it all on battery. I just love what we can do today with live streaming.


      Originally posted by Thomas Smet View Post
      I use OBS and create my own graphics, animation backgrounds, live chroma key and other effects all with cheap HDMI capture devices and OBS.

      Having used many hardware based video switchers for years its truly amazing what can be done for free with OBS.
      I'm doing the Zoom stuff on my work computer, which is really buttoned down by the IT department. I don't know if they would allow OBS to be installed on it, but I suppose I could ask. I was just so surprised that the GH5 came right up in Zoom... all I had to do was plug it in using the cheap capture card. And it looks much nicer than the built-in webcam.


        Are you on Microsoft?

        If so I don't know much about it, but just wondering because Apple and QuickTime has had this functionality for like 10 years.

        It's a drop-down menu that sees any connected peripherals, usually plug-in-play (which was always Apple's strength; the simplicity of using technology via smart UI designs and user-friendly straightforward functionality meaning usually no drivers, adapters, convertors, etc).

        I also could have sworn you posted about this before like 2 years ago, ha. Deja vu.


          Originally posted by NorBro View Post
          Are you on Microsoft?

          I also could have sworn you posted about this before like 2 years ago, ha. Deja vu.
          You have a pretty good memory. Around a year ago, I asked about getting a GH5 to work in conferences that use Google Meet. Ultimately, I could not get that to work and was generally frustrated about it. (Although I have not tried Google Meet with this capture dongle thingy that I have.) I was so surprised that it worked perfectly with Zoom.

          And yes, it is a Windows computer. It is the computer issued to me by my employer, so I don't have a choice in the matter. That said, I'm a long-time Windows user. When one employer issued me a Macbook, I tried it for a month and then begged for a Windows laptop. I just couldn't figure out the Macbook. That employer *could* swap the PC, and did.
          Last edited by BobKo; 09-03-2021, 02:26 AM.


            These HDMI devices are creating a webcam compliant standard plug and play video signal so they essentially look exactly like a webcam to Windows and Mac. These are not the same as a BMD capture device where you select the format and codec. Its a webcam standard only which means just about any application that works with a webcam like FaceTime, Teams, Zoom, OBS or whatever should recognize it as a webcam.

            You can feed other HDMI devices into it as well like a computer desktop or video game console to live stream playing video games. Just about anything that pumps out 720p or 1080p through HDMI can become a webcam.


              I now own two Elgato devices and one similar cheap $20 device from Amazon. All three work equally well but the Elgato is a bit more robust and I feel like I can trust it more.

              My only complaint about using multiple devices like two Elgato devices is in OBS they show up with the exact same name in the list of video sources. Hard to tell which is which so you have to load them both and see what they actually are. Then I give them a custom name so I don't forget.

              At work I now use the three devices together so I can stream a iPhone desktop, a Android phone desktop and me on a green screen when I demo new mobile app features. I display all three on the screen at the same time with OBS animation where I scale up each mobile device as I demo the features on each platform.

              Free OBS and three $20 HDMI devices have turned my $900 M1 MBA into a 3 camera video switcher with full graphics, animation and effects. Well the Elgato devices were $100 each but the cheap ones work just as well on a budget.


                Some DSLR cameras can now do this directly without a HDMI device. They encode the video in camera to the webcam standard and use the USB connection to act as a USB webcam. Essentially the same thing. So you may not even need the HDMI devices if you have a couple of modern cameras with this ability. Both my Canon M6 and R6 can do this although I still prefer using HDMI. I think the Gh5 can now as well. My GH4 cannot. I mainly use my GH4 now as my webcam with one of the HDMI devices.


                  It's worth doing some testing with the off-brand capture cards before trusting them. I was just doing a shoot where we wanted to feed cameras (and simultaneously record on camera) into computers for a multi-person zoom conversation.
                  The issue we had was that we were shooting with both FX6 and FX9 cameras in 1080/30p -- but while we could set the HDMI ports of FX6 to output 1080p, the FX9 output only 1080psf. All our adapters properly converted the 1080p, but some would not convert 1080psf (which they saw as 1080i).
                  The Atomos Connect actually did convert both, so we had to assign them to the FX9's while the cheaper adapters worked fine with the FX6's.
                  It was a bit of crazy troubleshooting to figure out.

                  Meanwhile, some cameras will output through their USB ports directly to the computer. I tried this with both my GH5s and BGH1 a while back -- though I believe in both cases we needed to use tethering software that needed to be installed on the computer -- and as I recall when we were tethered we couldn't record directly on the camera. So with the relatively inexpensive HDMI - USB input adapters we decided that was a better way to go.

                  But remember to check the camera outputs.
                  (and as mentioned, I did find that the Atomos Connect worked with just about anything we threw at it!)