iPad + Elgato Cam Link 4K + EOS R5

Since the release of iPadOS 17 on September 18, 2023, some iPads can be connected to any USB video class (UVC) webcam or capture card, which opens the possibility of using the Canon EOS R5 (or any other DSLR/mirrorless camera) as an external camera, connected to an iPad trough an HDMI capture card like Elgato Cam Link 4K, but there are some things to consider, first, which iPads are compatible:

In my case, I have a iPad Air (4th Gen), and I use a generic USB-C hub to connect the iPad to Elgato Cam Link 4K USB-A port, then, I plug a Micro-HDMI to HDMI Cable from the capture dongle to the EOS R5, and now I can use FaceTime with the external camera.

¿Having issues seeing the external camera from the iPad?

Well, turns out that the Canon EOS R5 (and some other cameras) can output “non-standard” HDMI signals, you have to select a common resolution in the camera, after some tests I found that 1080p (1980x1080px) at 29.97fps works without any issue. I was struggling before because I was using 4K-DCI (4096x2160px) at 24fps, I also had some issues with 4K-UHD (3840x2160px) either at 24fps or 23.976.

By the way, I also had this issue on a MacBook M1 and a MacStudio M1 Ultra, so it is better to set the camera to a typical HDMI signal like 1080p at 29.97fps. If you use the EOS R5 in C-Log 3, consider setting the Color Space to BT.2020, because Cinema Gamut is also NOT supported by the HDMI standard.

At this time, only FaceTime allows the use of the external camera by default without any explicit setting, there is no option to use the external camera in apps like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. And only time will tell if the developers of this apps allow this functionality, considering that some, like TikTok, only allow external cameras on their own apps as a reward for activities on their mobile apps. Camo Studio is the only app that I know, can stream from an external camera.

UVC-capable apps

USB Hubs (sorted by price):

  1. Sabrent 2-Port USB 3.1 Gen 1 Hub
  2. UGREEN 7-in-1 USB-C Hub
  3. Xcellon 7-in-1 USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
  4. HYPER HyperDrive Next 8-Port

Compatible capture devices

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