Need a new webcam? Use an old phone.

When you get a new phone, do you keep the old one? I want you to know that the old phone is still a great camera. Add a stand, and a little software app and you get yourself a high quality webcam.

I use my old iPhone and this $20 phone holder stand as a “Document Camera” for recording demonstration videos.

1. Demonstrating on an iPad 2. My old iPhone acting as a “Document Camera” to project what I’m doing 3. My computer, using iVCam to display what the Document camera is seeing

With the iVCam app installed on the phone and also on my computer, everything the phone is seeing below it is being displayed on my computer where it can be recorded with something like Camtasia, or Live-Streamed over Zoom or YouTube.

The same setup can be a camera for Zoom video calls.

I can use the same phone holder stand but set it behind my computer and adjust it so the phone’s camera is pointed at my face. Then, using the iVCam software, my old iPhone becomes a camera that is selectable in Zoom.

1. The same stand as the first example, just adjusted differently. 2. My old iPhone, running iVCam, with the main camera lens pointed towards me. 3. A zoom call using the iVCam as the selected camera.

To select your phone as the camera for Zoom, click the up arrow next to the video button in the lower left and, under “Select a Camera” choose e2eSoft iVCam. e2eSoft.com is the maker of iVCam.

The steps are:

  • You need an old smartphone, either iPhone or Android
  • Connect the phone to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer
  • Install the iVCam app on the phone and also on computer – Windows only. If you have a Mac, you can google for WebCam Phone software for Mac
  • Open iVCam on phone and point camera as desired. Note: if using it for a webcam pointed at your face, be sure to use the rear camera, not the selfie camera. The rear camera is much higher resolution.
  • Open iVCam on computer to record or live-stream your screen
    or
    Choose e2eSoft iVCam as your camera in Zoom or other video calling service.

If you try it, let us know what you think in the comments below.

If you want to learn more about what to do with old phones, watch our “What Does This Button Do?” YouTube show Episode 201: What can I do with an old phone?

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