Article ID : 00297475 / Last Modified : 28/03/2024Print

How to use your Alpha or DSC camera as a webcam to live stream with the USB streaming function

    IMPORTANT: This article applies only to specific products and/or operating systems. Check the Applicable Products and Categories section of this article before starting these steps.

    The USB streaming feature is the easiest method to live stream, is available on select Alpha and DSC cameras, offers enhanced live-stream video and audio capabilities, and doesn't require Imaging Edge Webcam software. Not all cameras support USB Streaming feature, check your camera's Help Guide to determine if USB Streaming is available for your model.  Manuals are posted on your model support page.

    Before you start

    • Update the firmware of your camera .
    • You will need the supplied USB Type-C cable or a compatible equivalent. We recommend using supplied USB Type-C cable to ensure proper connection.
    • The model in the videos is the ZV-1F and ILCE-7M4, but the steps and capabilities are the same or similar to other models.

    Watch the video (using the ZV-1F camera) or skip to the steps for instructions.

    Tip: Learn how to turn captions on or off when watching Internet videos from YouTube

    Setup USB live streaming

    Note: You can adjust movie recording settings (focus, exposure, etc.) before activating USB streaming as they apply to the live-streamed video.

    Watch this video for the setup process (using the ILCE-7M4 camera).

    Tip: Learn how to turn captions on or off when watching Internet videos from YouTube

    1. Set the camera to a movie recording mode and set the desired exposure, focus, etc.
    2. Activate USB Streaming on the camera:
      • Review the Livestreaming video and audio (USB Streaming) section of the Help Guide for your camera.
    3. Connect the camera to the computer or other device with the USB cable or compatible equivalent.


      • During USB streaming, power is supplied to the camera from the computer. If you want to conserve computer power, set the USB Power Supply to Off on the camera.
      • If USB Power Supply is set to Off and power is supplied from an adapter or a USB Power Delivery device, you must have a sufficiently charged battery in the camera.

    4. Start streaming from your live streaming or web-conferencing service and adjust video and audio settings as needed.
    5. Depending on your camera, do one of the following to exit USB streaming:

      The camera will return to movie mode.

      • Press the MODE button.
      • Press the center of the control wheel.
      • Turn off the power to the camera.
      • Disconnect the USB cable.

    Troubleshooting tips

    • If the camera's power is turned on while the USB cable is connected, then USB streaming will not activate. Disconnect the USB cable, activate USB streaming, and then reconnect the cable.
    • If the PC Remote Function is grayed out, then set Smartphone Connect to OFF and try again.
    • If USB Streaming is grayed out, set the camera to MOVIE mode and try again.
    • If you assign USB Streaming to a Custom Key, you can activate live streaming with one button press moving forward. Refer to your Help Guide for details.
    • There may be differences in the video and audio capabilities depending on your camera, so check your Help Guide for details.
    • If USB streaming is not available on your camera, consider using these alternative live streaming options: