In the new era of teleconferencing, avoiding a virtual meeting or hosting one yourself is almost inevitable. Aside from live streams, we also use video meetings for lectures and remote conferences. However, getting a multiangular solution for your presentations can be challenging – unless you know how to set up multiple iPhones as webcams to include those extra details.
We all know this already. Laptop cameras suck! Despite the increasing abundance of 4K screens and powerful hardware, for some reason, manufacturers still settle for underwhelming 720p cameras for average laptops — and not to forget their sometimes awkward positioning. The poor quality of most laptop webcams has fueled the demand for external webcams, which ultimately pack in an extra cost. In my case, I don’t only want a 4K presentation but also a view that includes all the additional details and angles. To achieve this, I must use at least two of my iPhones simultaneously while hosting or attending a video meeting.
Thankfully, the new iPhone versions have excellent 4K cameras up to 60fps. However, finding a software that can conveniently contain multiple iPhones and allow a seamless presentation of all angles while attending a virtual meeting is difficult. As an online tutor who has spent a lot of time testing out so many recommendations — most of them paid, it’s a relief to say, “here’s something that finally works!”
Is it Possible to Connect Multiple iPhones as Webcams?
If you are like me, a software that allows you to place your iPhones in different locations and toggle between them while in a virtual meeting is very welcome. Having used a solution like NeuralCam on my iPhone as an alternative for my potato laptop camera without enough luck — I wanted better software that could effortlessly handle all my iPhones as webcams.
I find it boring to place a single webcam right in front of me while trying to explain complex concepts to my audience on Zoom, especially if I need to show specific details on my other screens.
Despite many recommendations surfing Google and Quora, I couldn’t find a good solution. Apparently, not so many people knew how to display multiple angles on a virtual conference without having to opt for the cumbersome DSLR alternative. Of course, finding a software that provides sufficient bandwidth to get a good video stream isn’t easy, so I was ready to pay for it.
Finally, I learned about FineShare FineCam from a colleague’s recommendation as a service that lets you connect iPhones as webcams and helps you easily create multi-scenes using multi-iPhones and switch between them. It works on live streams and virtual meetings using a shared WiFi network or a USB cable.
Does FineCam Work?
When I first tried FineCam, I had muttered, “don’t expect too much.” However, FineCam turned out to be a pretty fine service. I could finally cover all four angles of my studio and zoom in and out on both portrait and landscape modes — while creating videos or chatting on Zoom.
I enjoyed my iPhone camera’s total capacity during a virtual meeting without looking like a pixelated version of myself from Minecraft. HDR color support also boosts my appearance in low lighting. FineCam also offers cool green screen templates, but that wouldn’t be necessary if you need to display more than one angle.
You don’t need a high-performing computer or iPhone to run FineCam successfully. A Windows 7 – 11 PC or macOS 11 and above Mac with 2GB RAM and an iPhone that runs iOS 13 or higher is good enough to let you roll. My primary interest is getting to display more angles while in virtual meetings. Therefore, it wouldn’t be necessary to explain all the valuable features of the software.
After installing FineCam on my iPhones and Windows PC, the next step was to set it up. Setting both apps on all devices took approximately seven minutes, and I granted permission to the app on my iPhone to access the camera. Next, I ran the app on my Windows PC and then sent connection requests from the phones to the PC, and I comfortably linked.
As expected, the next step involved me mounting my iPhones on different locations — front, rear, and the right using tripods. These angles were necessary to cover my arm movements and the full view of my workspace from the back. It was also fun to toggle from the front to the right while explaining my point to other virtual attendees.
Here’s what I think
Everyone wants a better option, and they want it faster, cheaper, and more accessible. In this case, you are better off without a webcam — escaping those exposure problems and low light performance or even a DSLR which comes with more work. I’m also ruling out GoPros because although it allows WiFi connection, it is impossible to live stream on multiple GoPro cameras. Also, using FineCam potentially eliminates environmental waste, which you should have contributed to if you had purchased alternative hardware that still wouldn’t meet expectations. An increment to the 53.6 million metric tons of global electronic waste recorded in 2021 isn’t a cute idea.
At a fair price monthly or yearly, FineCam provides so many advantages when streaming on Twitch, OBS, and YouTube Live or having a virtual meeting on Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams.
It does not make sense to opt for webcam options solely serving multimedia needs when our powerful iPhones can work as a multipurpose alternative. Whichever way, it depends on your overall goals and live stream objectives. Nonetheless, despite the overall sound experience FineCam offers, I’d like to see it become compatible with Android devices.