I'm looking for a Webcam with large aperture and shallow depth of field, similar to the F 1.8 Canon lenses, so far It has been really difficult since most of the specifications for any webcam are meant for home users.

I do video casting with green screen, and it does help tremendously having large aperture to diffuse the green screen (color evenness) and clarity at night with inexpensive lighting equipment. Also editing time is reduced considerably since I wouldn't have to re-sync audio and video or import files from the DSLR to my computer.

Please give your thoughts.

  • If you can get some distance between the green screen and the subject, you can light the green screen differently (use blinders with extra lights) such that when the subject is exposed properly, the green screen becomes over-exposed. This is an alternate way to get the color evenness you are hoping for.
    – horatio
    Jan 15, 2014 at 16:17

4 Answers 4


Actually, your best bet is to use a PCIe or USB 3.0 HDMI input card, like a Blackmagic Intensity, which will take the clean HDMI output of many high quality cameras (e.g: a Nikon D600 or D800, a Canon C100 or C300, etc.) and make it available to other apps on your computer. This is what professional productions do for green screen work to ensure they're getting the full quality image out of the camera before it hits the camera's compression software.

  • Does this apply to Canon T3i? Jan 16, 2014 at 17:00
  • The Canon T3i only output 480p via HDMI when in video mode, so whilst it will work, you're better off getting a proper camera (DSLR or a camcorder/video camera) with what they call 'clean HDMI output'. Jan 16, 2014 at 20:49
  • Thank you, for know I will keep up using my DSLR with Magic Lantern and continuous video shooting on a 32 GB video card to get decent amount of time and quality. Jan 17, 2014 at 18:38

Working at this level, your best bet is probably to use a DSLR and use one of the hacks available to use them as a webcam via USB. Consumer web-cams use a very small sensor which makes it virtually impossible to get any kind of meaningful background blur. You really need the large sensor of a DSLR to best accomplish what you are looking to do.

  • I agree, but also make sure you get a camera with at least 4:2:2 chroma subsampling. Not sure if you find this in most webcams today. Jan 12, 2014 at 11:29

Opal C1 and Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra are product offerings that offer DSLR-like quality, and specifically, aperture control, and both cost about $300 at the time of this answer.


I expect this is a market that will emerge after Corona. I can't see the rationale in investing in a full frame DSLR for the single purpose of using it as a WebCam. There are a few things that you want from your "better quality webcam", wide angle, large aperture (i.e. from f8 and down to f1.8 or even f1.4), and 4k of course. The cameras that are used as webcams today can do all this, but you're paying for a whole bunch of features that you aren't going to need, such as storing to a memory card, video/photo/timelapse specific settings, even framerate could be made cheaper by setting a hard limit to 24 or 30 frames/s, you really don't need more for a webcam.

With a larger sensor, it is even debatable if you need 4k.

My guess is that we will see this kind of devices come soon.

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