Droidcam - Using a mobile phone as high quality webcam

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The video quality from a modern mobile phone has quite a good quality. It can easily compete with even a good webcam. I own a Logitech C920 webcam, able to do 1080p videos. But when compared with the camera of a Honor 7x, that one looks better.

Droidcam is an Android software, that streams the camera data onto your LAN. Together with the Linux client droidcam, this stream can be provided to Linux video loopback device v4l2loopback.

To use that altogether, do the following steps:

Install everything:

  • Install v4l2loopback loopback module
  • Install Droidcam app from Google Play Store to mobile phone
  • Install Droidcam Linux client. To do this, follow instructions on https://www.dev47apps.com/droidcam/linux/
  • Optional: Add new device to /etc/modprobe.d/v4l2loopback.conf. I added the following line (I have 2 loopback devices)
    options v4l2loopback devices=2 video_nr=11 card_label="OBS Virtualcam" exclusive_caps=11
    
  • Reload module v4l2loopback (e.g. with a reboot)

To use:

  • Start Droidcam app on your mobile phone
  • Start droidcam linux client, and enter there the IP address of mobile phone
  • Use any tool like vlc or obs to consume the video stream

Caveats

My notebook accesses my LAN via WLAN. My notebook and my router is capable of handling 300MBit/second via WLAN, so it is quite fast.

If using the Droidcam approach, the WLAN has to handle the camera data stream besides all other communication. Especially when doing a video conferencing call with maybe a remote session or additional screen sharing, I noticed a delay of at least a second, maybe two or three, between what is happening in front of the camera and what is displayed on the notebook.

For a live talk I would not use this solution, because audio + video need to be in good sync.

But for an additional camera, maybe for a seperate scene (macro view on some object), it seems to be ok, I guess.