EOS cameras with clean HDMI output are ideal for live streaming to online platforms such as Youtube, Facebook and Twitch. The combination of large sensors, high sensitivity and lens quality means you get great pictures quality. But not all cameras make it simple or even possible.
If you want to feed the video signal from your camera to a computer or switch box it’s essential that the feed doesn’t include the usual camera info icons, settings and focus frames. People watching your livestream don’t want to see that. While you can use many EOS cameras connected with USB and the EOS Webcam Utility, it’s not the same as the signal from a clean HDMI output.
Initially the request for a clean HDMI signal appeared as soon as the EOS 5D Mark II arrived, cinematographers wanted to record in a unit external to the camera in a format that suited their workflow, a similar call came for many other cameras since. Fortunately it’s something that has been adopted for several models over the years, and now almost all recent models can be configured for clean HDMI output in 1920 x 1080 and for some models 4K too.
Cameras with clean HDMI output
EOS RP, EOS R5, EOS R6
The HDMI display setting is where you select a clean HDMI output or not. You need to set the camera to movie mode to find this menu setting.
EOS 90D, EOS M6 Mark II
These cameras have the usual black menus, the displays are similar, this screen is from EOS 90D. The HDMI info disp setting is only visible when movie mode is selected. Either FHD or 4K clean outputs are possible.
EOS 250D, EOS 850D, EOS M200, EOS M50 Mark II
These cameras have the white/gray menus by default, the displays are similar for each model, this screen is from EOS M50 Mark II. The HDMI info disp setting is only visible when movie mode is selected. Either FHD or 4K clean outputs are possible.
EOS R, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS-1D X Mark III
These cameras have a menu to allow clean HDMI outputs. Resolution depends on the selected movie resolution. The default is that menus and displays are shown on the external display, so you need to select the external display only as in the screen above.
Older cameras with clean HDMI limitations
EOS 7D Mark II
EOS 7D Mark II has a clean HDMI setting, in the HDMI output + LCD settings. However the EOS 7D Mark II is not an ideal camera for live streaming as in use I find that my camera will just stop outputting live feed after about 20 to 30 minutes. It’s as if the camera / sensor gets too hot and it needs a break. You then have to press the shutter button and the movie button or power cycle the camera to restart it. This is less than ideal. If you are also feeding a mic input in to the camera, auto is cutoff when the camera stops too.
EOS 80D / EOS 200D
There are a few cameras that don’t provide clean output, but if you press info to reduce the displayed shooting info you get close to a clean feed. The problem is that you still have AF frames overlaid on the HDMI feed. The only way round that is to select manual focus on the lens, then you get clean output. I’ve used an EOS 80D with a 24mm lens at f/4 in manual focus and it runs well for multiple hours, and there’s enough depth of field that a lack of AF is not a problem.
I am sure there’s a few other camera of this generation that can do something similar and am working on a list, so please let me know in the comments.
Clean HDMI for Zoom / Skype / Teams online meetings
I’m using a Black Magic ATEM Mini Pro to provide a quality webcam input to my meeting software. With a clean HDMI feeding in to the ATEM Mini I use one EOS camera as a webcam, but also switch to another input to share a presentation slide or even another camera’s menu settings. The ATEM Mini Pro also live streams to a multitude of online platforms. Prior to getting the ATEM Mini Pro I also used my old Intensity Extreme screen grabbing machine as a webcam input to Zoom and Skype with a camera feeding clean HDMI in to it.
If you don’t need clean HDMI the list of cameras that work with the free Canon EOS webcam utility is quite long, and some say more cameras work than are on the list. The cameras will need to be connected with a USB cable to work with EOS webcam utility.