Guides

How to turn your iPhone into a super high-quality webcam

Improve your Zoom game using hardware you probably already have.

Face it, your webcam sucks. Yes, even your webcam, Mr. Logitech. Most webcams have barely evolved in the last decade, and yours is no exception.

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You could use a DSLR to up your Zoom game, but buying one just for video chat is total overkill. Something you do probably have lying around: a last-gen smartphone with — you guessed it — more than one great camera.

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Software

Using your phone as a webcam is actually really easy, once you've found the right software. There are plenty of choices for iPhone users, so we'll break down the merits of each.

EpocCam

EpocCam ticks just about every box. There's a free option; it links with both macOS and Windows; you can connect it via WiFi or USB.

It's also by far the highest-rated option on the App Store, and the company has a huge FAQ for troubleshooting.

See in the App Store

To get the most out of EpocCam, you'll probably end up going for the paid version, which includes full 1080p support and customization options like manual focus and pinch-to-zoom. It also gets rid of the company's watermark.

EpocCam

Camo

Reincubate's Camo app is newer to the market but has plenty of glowing reviews on social media. Like EpocCam, the free version offers somewhat limited video resolution and features, and, yes, there's an annoying watermark, too.

See in the App Store

One nice thing about Camo is that, unlike other offerings, you don't need to install any additional drivers on your computer to get going. Just one iPhone app and a matching one on your laptop.

It's a little pricey, though: $39.99 for a year's license or $79.99 for a lifetime one.

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iVCam

iVCam's interface is probably the least polished here, but it's super reliable. I like that you can use it to record video directly to your laptop's hard drive, as someone whose iPhone storage is perpetually full.

See in the App Store

Again, you'll probably want the paid version, to take advantage of full HD video and to remove the company's watermark — but for just $10 per year you can use it on as many devices as you want.

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Hardware

A slightly downward angle is considered to be the most flattering, so you'll need a stand that's adjustable but has a bit of reach.

These repurposed microphone arms are perfect; they've got the strength to hold up your phone but aren't as bulky (and expensive) as pricier arms for DSLRs.

Lights

For the best possible video situation, you'll want lighting better than what you can get from just your desk lamp. Input guides editor Evan Rodgers recommends this inexpensive LED panel light for a professional, diffused look.

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You could break the bank trying to look your best on Zoom calls — or you could try out a few apps, pay a few bucks for your favorite, and invest in some nice lighting equipment instead. Thank us later.

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