Nice to see you. Then again….


Using more equipment than you actually need is totally self-defeating, but lots of fun, well sometimes. 

Like many of us, I seem to be spending most of my waking life on one web-conferencing tool or another, Zoom, Collaborate, WebEx, Skype, Google Meet, there are many others.

To edit photos on the move, I invested in a decent, high spec laptop. I’m not saying a Mac Book, a Windows laptop, where you can get the same spec for about half the price, but it does come with some downsides. The designers, to keep the bezel around the screen as sleek as possible put the webcam at the bottom. And boy, it’s a shit webcam. However, that does have some benefits. I really don’t have to make much effort and if I look like a pile of crap, viewers don’t notice. The other downside is that having the webcam at the bottom of the screen, if you tilt it forward too much your audience sees a massive keyboard looming in to view. Well, it’s better than my face I ‘suppose. So, when I saw that Canon had released some software to turn your camera in to a webcam I was intrigued. After all, it feels wrong to use £8k’s worth of equipment just to attend a meeting. But I like to do ‘wrong’.

Having downloaded the software, set up the tripod, attached the camera, I then had to decide what lens. A wide angle, 15mm would just reveal to the world how untidy and lax in the cleanliness stakes I had become. My favourite focal length, 135mm, would mean I’d have to sit in the other room and couldn’t participate in a meeting, except for making stupid faces. I settled on 35mm, another focal length which I enjoy using.

I opened up Zoom, switched camera from Webcam to EOS Utility and was horrified. Crap would be an understatement. The quality was outstanding, and there lay the problem. Had I really let myself go that much? When going out to meet people you at least have to make some effort, and now the camera was picking up how far I had fallen. I turned the camera off, shut done Zoom and put all thoughts of using the set up to attend meetings to the back of my mind.

Hopefully, a gradual, phased release from lock-down will give me time to re-adjust, from can’t be arsed, to, I’d better make some kind of effort.

So much for great ideas. If you have a Canon camera and you’d like to be horrified as well, you can download the software from here.


I can’t wait to get back trackside and behind the camera where I belong.

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