Smartphone as webcam with DroidCam


Because of the increased working from home, we appear more often than ever before the camera with our nose. Don’t have a webcam? Then you can also use your smartphone as a webcam. After all, there is also a camera on it! This way you can video chat without a pricey webcam but with the comfort of your PC. We use the app DroidCam for Android and iOS for this.

DroidCam is one of the most enjoyable working apps for those who want to use a smartphone as a webcam. We use the free version, which is often more than adequate, although the resolution is somewhat limited and you miss some extra camera features that we explain further on.

You can use DroidCam as an IP camera without additional software, but to use the camera in applications such as Skype or Zoom, you need additional software. You can download it for this specific app via dev47apps.com. The software actually creates a virtual camera that you can then immediately use as a ‘real’ camera in the applications mentioned.

In this article we use a PC with Windows, but the software is also available for Linux.

DroidCam as an IP camera

If you start DroidCam on the smartphone, you will see an IP address, port number and two internet addresses. You can open the internet addresses with a browser on a PC in the same network. This way you can use the smartphone as a simple IP camera.

In addition to a PC, you can of course also view the video feed from another smartphone or tablet in the network.

The first internet address also provides the camera image plus some extra buttons for autofocus, zooming in and out and switching the LED flash on or off. The second internet address (ending with / video) contains only the ‘raw’ video feed and can be used in an application such as VLC media player, but can also still be accessed via a browser.

A temporary or permanent setup as an IP camera seems practical to us, for example as a baby camera on vacation. Please note that only one user can view the video feed at a time.

DroidCam as a webcam

To use DroidCam as a webcam, with Skype or Zoom, for example, you need the DroidCam Client software on the PC. Make sure to start both this software and the app. Then transfer the IP address and port number, as shown on the connection screen of the app, exactly in the DroidCam Client on the PC.

On the PC you can optionally select with a check mark whether the audio (the microphone sound of the smartphone) should be transferred in addition to video. If you already have a microphone with the PC, we recommend that you use it. Headphones (with built-in microphone) often give the best results.

If the colors are a bit dull or not right, adjusting the white balance can help. This is possible with the app, via the menu at the top left, where you can also change a few other options. If you use the paid Pro version, the white balance, along with a few other options, is also easy to adjust via a button bar in the DroidCam Client.

By default, DroidCam uses the camera on the back of the smartphone. But you can also select the selfie camera on the front. On the connection screen of the app, click on the icon at the top right. On older devices and budget models, the camera on the back often gives a better quality, on newer devices it matters less.

You will also see an option in the menu (via the three dots) Settings. For example, you can indicate that the device must remain ‘awake’, which is necessary with many devices to keep WiFi and the camera active. You can also have the screen dim automatically.

Even so, you will notice during longer sessions that it is smart to charge the smartphone while using DroidCam. It demands a lot from the battery. You can also enter a username and password for use as an IP camera, so that not everyone can request the image just like that.

Pro version

DroidCam has a more extensive Pro version (4.99 euros) called DroidCamX Pro. It is free of advertisements and offers some extra features. This way you can choose a higher resolution and you have more control over the settings of the camera. With the free version, the resolution is limited to 480p.

In practice, that already gives an excellent image, as long as it is not stretched on a large screen. A higher resolution is therefore not immediately necessary and can even be disadvantageous, with side effects such as a delayed image.

DroidCam is not the only app to turn a smartphone into an IP camera or webcam. Other well-known examples are IP Webcam and EpocCam. These apps also usually offer a paid version that removes ads or adds extra features.

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