For now, the OM-D Webcam Beta only supports Windows computers and works with five of Olympus’ mirrorless cameras: the OM-D E-M1X, the OM-D E-M1, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, and the OM-D E-M5 Mark II.
Setting up your camera is easy: simply install the app, connect your camera through its USB-C port, turn it on, and start up the software, and point your Olympus camera will appear as an option in your videoconferencing app of choice exactly like any other built-in or USB camera would. For an even more detailed walkthrough, check out Olympus’ video guide here.
Olympus notes that the OM-D Webcam Beta software doesn’t output sound from the camera — instead, you’ll rely on your computer’s internal microphone or an external USB microphone as usual. The decision is an intentional one, the organization notes, as it allows users to put the camera in the very best location for video without worrying about being too far to grab your voice.
With the release of the newest OM-D Webcam Beta, Olympus joins Fujifilm, Canon, and Panasonic in releasing pc software that makes it better to use your mirrorless camera as a webcam. (Although Fujifilm and Canon certainly are a little farther ahead, with both organizations supporting Mac computers as well as Windows.)
Olympus recently announced that it will be exiting the camera business entirely, with plans to offer off its entire imaging division to Japan Industrial Partners, an investment fund, citing a decline in operation in the camera market. Despite those plans, it would appear that Olympus isn’t just leaving its clients in the lurch, with development of new pc software like the OM-D Webcam Beta and a newly announced lens roadmap for its existing products and services.