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How to Live Stream with a DSLR Camera on Your Android phone

Hi, this is the CameraFi Live team.

CameraFi Live provides a function to broadcast with an external camera that supports USB UVC(USB Video Class). You can connect wired cameras such as wearable cameras, webcams, microscopes, and endoscopes directly. Or, your DSLR cameras, camcorders, and drones can be used as a video source in your live-streaming with an HDMI-UVC capture card. If you have a professional broadcasting camera, it is also available with SDI to UVC capture card.

Recently, there was a big problem of blocking the USB UVC device in the Android OS 10 smartphones. We were looking for various solutions and provided a separate app to find a way to support USB cameras in Android OS 10 as well. CameraFi Live team asked the smartphone manufacturer to solve the issue quickly, and it seems to be resolved from the latest devices by updating their software. (Related Notice)

For using UVC cameras, you need to connect your camera directly to the USB port in your smartphone. If your camera is a USB type A, you need an OTG cable that fits your smartphone(micro USB or USB type C).

However, to connect a DSLR camera, you need additional supplies.


1. Camera with HDMI output

To live stream what your camera is taking, you need a camera with a clean HDMI output, which means that it does not contain onscreen data indicators such as recording status, exposure settings, battery charge, and so on.

Please also check if your camera can output audio as well as video. Some DSLR cameras provide video HDMI output but no audio. In this case, you need to use the microphone from your smartphone as the audio source instead.

2. HDMI UVC capture card

We are currently recommending ExtremeCap UVC - BU110 from AVerMedia. Depending on the characteristics of the mobile environment, the capture card must be designed to operate with a small amount of power consumption from the smartphone. As most capture cards are designed to connect with a PC, problems might occur even though the connection seems to work well at first.

Recently, various capture cards are being released on the market. CameraFi Live team has purchased and tested several products. We will let you know if we find a good one for mobile use.

3. USB-C multi-adapter and a portable charger (optional)

If you broadcast with a capture card connected, the smartphone battery will run out quickly. Therefore, some streamers use a USB-C multi-adapter and a power bank to charge their smartphone while streaming live. Please note that low-end smartphones may not work properly due to the heat generated during the power supply.


Q1. Is 4K resolution available?

A1. I would say that 4K support is not possible with the current environment. Reading data through USB devices is using a lot of CPU resources. Since decoding, encoding, and network streaming have to be done at the same time, 720p(1280*720) 60fps seems to be the best option even with the latest smartphones like Samsung Note 20 in our tests. If you apply several effects and broadcast for a long time, the frame may drop in Galaxy Note 20.

CameraFi Live team is working on a project to reduce CPU usage and improve performance, and smartphone hardware/AP will get better by the day. We believe that we can open 3840*2160(4K) 30fps and 1920*1080(FHD) 60fps one day.

Q2. I cannot see the screen when I connect the USB camera.

A2. It is the inquiry that we are receiving the most. You should check if your DSLR, HDMI/USB cable, and smartphone work one by one.

  • DSLR: Check if your DSLR supports HDMI output(video/audio).

  • Capture card: Check if your capture card works properly.

  • Smartphone / OTG cable: Check if your smartphone or OTG cable has any problem.

If your smartphone does not support the OTG function, the capture card will not be recognized. In addition, smartphones using low priced AP(Mediatek, HiSilicon Kirin, Spreadtrum, low-end Exynos, etc.) might not support the large data transmission via USB.

  • Power supply: Check if it is not working due to the power supply issue.

If you have any questions, please send us the email via or leave a comment below.

Thank you.