Months into the COVID-19 crisis, it’s not getting any easier for office employees now working from home to track down webcams for teleconferencing. Following in the footsteps of Canon and Wyze, Panasonic has released a Windows utility that allows direct connection to its Lumix cameras. This allows them to double as webcams.
This sort of thing was typically possible with a little bit of ingenuity, or sometimes as a baked-in feature—Sony’s Alpha series of mirrorless cameras can double as a webcam out of the box, for example. Panasonic’s version of the tool is free, though you’ll need a Lumix DC series G9, GH5, GH5 S, S1, S1R, or S1H camera to use it, plus the correct USB 3.0 or 3.1 cable.
An older version of Lumix Tether allowed photographers to output the monitor video from the camera to Windows, but that included all of the camera’s shooting info and things like a focus indicator. The beta version outputs video only, like a conventional webcam. At the time of writing, the Lumix Tether beta software is only available for Windows.