Canon2Syphon v1.6

31 May Canon2Syphon v1.6


UNFORTUNATELY – I’m getting reports that this app now crashes in macOS 10.13 High Sierra. Unfortunately, I have no plans to support this app any longer, so I’m going to have to leave it up to the next person to take the Canon SDK and mash it up with Syphon…

A sort of beta release for using your Canon DSLR with the amazing Syphon framework. This lets you use your DSLR live in VDMX, Modul8, MadMapper, and any Syphon enabled app!

I will be releasing the source soon, but it is literally just taking Kyle McDonald’s ofxEDSDK and the ofxSyphon addon and putting them together if you want to make something yourself. I also can’t release the EDSDK and you would have to grab it yourself from Canon’s developer website.

Should work fine with most DSLR’s. Currently tested with t1i, t2i, t3i…and will hopefully work with 5D and 7D

Let me know if you have issues or suggestions!

UPDATE: v1.1 – camera stream now resizeable. icon tweak. Still working on crashing issues.
UPDATE v1.11 – new/prettier icon from awesome user Simas Gineika. Other updates coming soon, like render to texture instead of window..just working on resizing issues

UPDATE: v1.2 – Added render to texture instead of window…doesn’t seem to improve performance for me, but may help some people? Also added the ability to set a custom syphon server name.

UPDATE: Bangnoise has created their own canon->syphon bridge that I can only assume is more fully featured/reliable than mine…going forward I’d say to check their solution out instead:

Contact me for OLDer versions in case 1.2 doesn’t work

NEW VERSION 1.6 – OSX 10.8 and above ONLY (stops working after 10.12) – Uses EDSDK 2.13.2 and now uses Cinder in the core – this has the advantage of only using 50% CPU as opposed to 150% in the previous version. It now uses these addons from Red Paper Heart and Astellato (8405 downloads)

Version 1.5 – OS X 10.7 and above ONLY – should now support T5i and newer cameras – uses EDSDK 2.13. Runs 24fps/15cam FPS on my 2010 Macbook Pro with a lot of CPU usage – may close after 10min – Program has issues closing it’s threads properly and may need to be force quit. Use at your own risk.

[Download not found] – 30mb download


OLD VERSION 1.2 – OS X 10.6 and above but only supports T2i and similar aged cameras (maybe t3i)

[Download not found]
  • nice
    Posted at 12:19h, 02 June

    does it pick up the full hdmi signal or just the live view thing from usb?

    • Blair Neal
      Posted at 11:28h, 03 June

      It does a combo of both. It’s a fully clean signal with no display overlays on it, but it’s not a full uncompressed 1080p signal. It’s a lowered resolution signal so that it can go over the bandwidth of USB, so its like 1056×704 coming through at maximum.

  • ju huan
    Posted at 10:44h, 04 June

    great work !!
    is it possible to make a photo remotely over usb while streaming the videosignal to syphon ?

    • Blair Neal
      Posted at 13:50h, 04 June

      When you have the application as the front window, hitting spacebar will tell the camera to take a photo..and i think it will download, but it might not save to a proper folder…I forget how it is handling the filepath…I’ll take a look

  • eatyourwork
    Posted at 14:05h, 06 June

    oh my God!!!!! Really great app! thank You! 🙂

  • mastak07
    Posted at 01:19h, 07 June

    Awesome work! Love it thanks heaps guys!!

  • gabe
    Posted at 22:30h, 19 June

    do I need to download and install the Canon EDSDK in order to run this application?
    without doing so, I can get Canon2Syphon to launch without a camera connected, and I see a black screen with ‘no camera found’. When I hook up my 5D and try to launch Canon2Syphon, the application just hangs there and doesn’t ever launch.
    Cool idea, I’m curious to try it out.

  • Blair Neal
    Posted at 08:34h, 20 June

    @gabe Looks like you’ve encountered the first big bug. Could you tell me more about your system and steps to reproduce? I don’t have a 5D but I don’t think that would contribute.

    Are you hooking up the 5D, turning it on, and THEN launching the application? I’m wondering what the hang might be…

  • dadovisual
    Posted at 11:34h, 28 June

    Tested today with a canon 5d mark II, quartz composer and millumin (free software for audio visual show )

    directly on millumin works great, resolution 1056×704.
    passed through quartz also works great without installing nothing more.

    passing trough quartz, make some noise and passed in millumin became slow, but i think its my mistake in qc patching.

    anyway, you’ve done a BEAUTIFUL job man!

  • Stuff that happened in June 2012 | Swedish VJ Union
    Posted at 17:45h, 05 July

    […] Canon2Syphon is another handy app that will take the live video signal from a Canon DSLR camera and send it over Syphon. You will get a fully clear image without display overlays. It’s not full HD since it has to be transferred over USB but it’s near, you will get something like 1056×704 pixels. […]

  • Alastair Leith
    Posted at 00:19h, 09 July

    Hi Blair

    Very interesting, I have Nikon gear but might have to get a lens adapter and a Canon 7D! Do you know if Nikon has a similar API? I know their consumer cameras don’t have the scripting possibilities Canon PowerShots etc have.

    Will USB 3 open up the bandwidth for full res HD720/HD1024 for those luck enough to have a new MBP Retina?


    ps I think you need more line-space-after the end of comments and less line-space-after Names so the names pair up with the comments — frequently I’m getting confused 😉

  • Finlay Braithwaite
    Posted at 16:28h, 13 July

    Can two instances of this software work with two cameras? Would be super handy for lining up two cameras for 3d.

    Amazing software. Thanks for doing this.


    • Blair Neal
      Posted at 18:08h, 15 July

      I’m not too sure actually. You could try duplicating the app, changing one’s name and running them, but I suspect there would be an issue with camera addresses or syphon addresses. Just didn’t anticipate most people needing two cameras..but 3D would be pretty sweet. I’ll think about it once I get two cameras together at some point.

  • zzzfalls
    Posted at 17:10h, 21 July

    you can use terminal… cd ~/(app name) -n … many times you want without change the name of app!

  • Syphon, Canon2Syphon and UVC-CTRL | Zach Poff
    Posted at 18:34h, 27 July

    […] I was excited to discover that Blair Neal has hacked together Canon2Syphon which converts the live USB feed from a Canon DSLR into an almost-HD Syphon stream. (Thus, you […]

  • VM_Nexus
    Posted at 16:30h, 03 August

    Anyone have a download mirror for this? It keeps timing out on me.

  • VM_Nexus
    Posted at 16:35h, 03 August

    Nevermind, I got it now. Thanks!

  • VJ Anomolee
    Posted at 14:06h, 05 August

    Random question, but related.
    Would it be possible to get something like this to work with the USB signal coming out of a BlackMagic Design ATEM video switcher???
    Im trying to find a solution for Video mapping out of of the ATEM. Via Syphon would be great.

  • palmieri
    Posted at 00:37h, 30 August

    tested with macos10.8, canon t2i. worked perfect with modul8, vpt, millumin and madmapper 😉 great job!

  • Brian
    Posted at 16:56h, 27 September

    Hi, I keep trying to use this but it either freezes and I have to Force quit it, or it opens and says “No Camera”. I’m not sure how the signal flow is supposed to happen, but I’m trying to go from a Canon 5D through a USB cable into the Macbook, I have Canon2Syphon, Veescope, and a few Syphon apps (server, client, recorder). It seems like I should be able to view the live view through Canon2Syphon, and open that input on Veescope, right? Any ideas why I can’t?

    • Blair Neal
      Posted at 12:43h, 28 September

      Sorry you’re having a bad time with it! Could you give me some more information about your system? are you running 10.8? I only built this on 10.6 so I haven’t done very robust testing with it. i also only own a t3i so I haven’t tried a 5D before, but I think some other people have gotten that working?

  • Tyler Sammy
    Posted at 14:22h, 29 September

    This is gold! Thanks so much!

  • Tyler Sammy
    Posted at 18:22h, 29 September

    This is gold! Thanks so much!

  • hyperglaze
    Posted at 09:31h, 03 October

    Howdy! Just wondering if there’s any plans on getting this working with the t4i? I had a go but couldn’t get it working.

    • laserpilot
      Posted at 09:46h, 03 October looks like there is a new version of the Canon SDK thats a couple months old so I’d have to upgrade that on my end to get it to work with the t4i (don’t own one myself). I’ll take a look and see if I can get something up in the next week or so.

      • hyperglaze
        Posted at 22:55h, 03 October

        Thanks a lot for your prompt reply and hard work! It’s greatly appreciated!

        • laserpilot
          Posted at 20:33h, 07 October

          Hmm..actually having an issue getting my code to open for EDSDK 2.11. It just locks up on the program open whereas with 2.10 it loaded fine. I’ll have to keep experimenting and maybe check with the creator of ofxEDSDK to see if he has any ideas…I’ll let you know if I find a fix.

  • Nick
    Posted at 18:50h, 09 October

    Can you add a way to change the name of the Syphon server? The Syphon Processing client requires a Syphon server with the hard-coded name “SendFrames”…!

    • laserpilot
      Posted at 13:47h, 10 October

      Yeah definitely…I’ll try and take a look at how to integrate that…it might just be an XML file that you modify for now. Maybe I’ll post a processing version in the meantime.

    • laserpilot
      Posted at 18:50h, 10 October

      Done! v1.2 includes that functionality to add in your own servernames…it’s a little clunky, but it should get the job done. Let me know how that works out.

  • Tom Butterworth
    Posted at 10:54h, 05 November

    yo – just for the record – v002 Camera Live lets you select between multiple connected cameras and has a steadier framerate and lower CPU usage than Canon2Syphon, and marginally improves the latency. It also avoids interrupting the stream every 15 minutes (in some camera modes) – if you pull in the latest ofxEdsdk I’ve pushed the required change to Kyle’s repo to fix that. Canon2Syphon lets you set a custom server name and save stills, which Camera Live doesn’t.

    • laserpilot
      Posted at 11:35h, 05 November

      Ah cool…very good to know. I’ll have to try an update once I get that new git change. Did you have any luck with getting stuff to work with EDSDK 2.11? It was just locking up for me but that just leaves the T4i out of the running for now.

      Also, I’m still running 10.6.8 (and thats what I build Canon2Syphon with) and Camera Live only works for 10.7 and later, so if anyone needs to be more retro, come on down

      • Tom Butterworth
        Posted at 12:18h, 05 November

        The 2.11 EDSDK is broken – even Canon’s own apps crashed when you connected a camera. There’s a 2.12 version in their current apps but the SDK isn’t released to developers yet – you may be able to swap in the version from EOS Utility, I haven’t tried.

  • mathijss
    Posted at 10:55h, 16 November

    This is great! Thank you for working for all the non programmers here!

  • oyloyl
    Posted at 00:48h, 02 January

    not support 650D

  • Orion
    Posted at 17:12h, 24 January

    I’m going to try and build the 2.12 ESDK into your Canon2Syphon so I can try and get the canon t4i working with this. Do you have a build/source that I can just drop the ESDK into? Bangnoise’s Camera Master only supports 10.7 and above, I’m looking for a solution for 10.6 with or with out a drop every 20 minutes is fine with me too. Newbie here so bare with me. Oh and I grabbed the 2.12 ESDK by using Tom’s tip below, just viewed the contents of EOS utility and it’s in there. Thanks for your help on the matter.

    • Blair Neal
      Posted at 19:05h, 24 January

      Sent you the source. Forgot to mention you need openframeworks 0073 or maybe 0071. If you want to pass me back the 2.12 SDK I can try and do a new build as well…shouldn’t take me long.

    Posted at 19:14h, 09 February


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  • Pierre
    Posted at 13:20h, 06 March

    Hi. I need help. Your program is marvelous, but… It was ok ; then, I’ve bought an usb extender. With 20 meters of RJ45, the signal isn’t good : a frame every 10 seconds. An idea ? Thx. Martin.h.pierre(at)

    • Blair Neal
      Posted at 15:50h, 01 May

      Unfortunately USB extenders introduce a lot of problems on their own, and it might not be related to my software. I would suggest trying a different extender, or getting a shorter one, or even one that is powered.

    • Blair Neal
      Posted at 11:18h, 17 May

      Unfortunately USB extenders can introduce a lot of problems, especially when dealing with high bandwidth data like video. I’m not sure of a good solution without telling you to get an upgraded/powered USB extender

  • Cristian Lorenzo
    Posted at 10:34h, 17 May

    Hi Blair Neal, how and where I can make the modification to use another siphon in parallel. Thank you!

    • Blair Neal
      Posted at 11:15h, 17 May

      Not sure what you mean, you should be able to send it out with another program sending syphon stuff (ie one syphon from this, one from vdmx, ending up in madmapper). Do you mean having this program send 2 syphon streams? I believe you can run 2 instances of this software for 2 cameras, but I haven’t tested and it would be really really slow.

    Posted at 08:31h, 30 May


  • VM_Nexus
    Posted at 22:23h, 05 June

    Any idea how to keep it from crashing/timing out after like a minute? I’m using a t3i with 10.6.8 and it seems to work fantastically until it suddenly freezes with no warning (just leaving it sitting there, not moving cables or anything)

  • Kevin Ramser
    Posted at 15:20h, 11 June

    I’m new to all of this, wondering if it’s possible to send sound to the computer from an external mic connected to the camera via the mic jack. thanks!

  • Beethoven Getulio Marques Juni
    Posted at 07:56h, 17 August

    Hey, Is possible change de ISO or the F-stop with Canon 2 Syphon running?

  • Powerful Syphon Tricks: Streaming Screen Captures, Mapping, Live Canon SLR Cameras
    Posted at 12:46h, 11 November

    […] the related post (though GitHub is your current source for the latest project): Canon2Syphon v1.2 [Blair […]

  • Midas
    Posted at 20:34h, 16 November


    Would this be the right place to ask if a further look at implementing your app for the 650d / T4i would be possible?

    This would be so helpful for myself and my teaching profession to help young people learn Cameras and Live Chroma Keying.



  • gil
    Posted at 13:01h, 03 January

    good job working with 60D great !! thanks

  • Kary
    Posted at 12:50h, 27 February

    Does this work with the T4i? I Downloaded version 1.6 yesterday and I *thought* it was working. Well…it was working. However, today, I settled in to a day of filming in Screenflow with what I thought would be my spiffy new webcam via CamTwist…but intermittently, it just stops. The camera shuts off and of course it is longer filming. The only way to get it to start back up is to close and then reopen Canon2Syphon. Any ideas why? Or does this version just not work with my camera? Thanks….

  • Mike Ubell
    Posted at 19:46h, 23 March

    I am using CamTwist. I have installed the syphon package. Does Canon2Syphon connect to CamTwist? I don’t see the Canon_Output stream in CamTwist. I have installed the syphon package for CamTwist.

  • Mike Ubell
    Posted at 20:34h, 23 March

    Does this connect to camtwist like Camera Live does? I don’t see a Canon_output stream in camtwist.

  • » Create a Virtual Webcam for your Syphon Client with CamTwist
    Posted at 14:37h, 04 June

    […] Start a video stream from you favorite application to Syphon, or use your Canon DSLR as a live input using one of these apps (Camera Live or Canon2Syphon. […]

  • lean
    Posted at 01:53h, 11 July

    Hey nice work, plug and play! thanks a lot!

  • Pierre-Luc
    Posted at 21:09h, 15 July

    Hi Blair. Thank you for this. It’s great and yes the 1.6 version uses a lot less CPU. Though I’m testing in on Maverick 1.9.3 with a Canon t3 and when I press spacebar to take a photo, the app crashes. Are you working on any updates? Thanks again.

  • Mickael Lafontaine
    Posted at 06:34h, 03 February

    Hi Blair,

    First thanks a lot for this great work!
    Does your software support multiple cameras ? I’d like to connect 2 or 3 DSLR and switch from one to another very quickly during a performance.

    Thanks a lot

  • Leigh-Rhys James
    Posted at 09:44h, 02 December

    anyone know how to get a canon G16 camera to tether / output to a screen ( like mackbookpro . windows or 4k TV ) ?

    I wanna shoot video with it / still piks on green screen , yet when standing in front of the green screen I need to see what I doing in real time , thru cam lens – like it’s the reason why i need the camera to output / transfer capture data , while shooting to a ” screen ” . I got 4k / and other display on wall for me to look up at , yet can get the whole ” live viewing malarky ” working.

    I been all over trying to work this out.

    using right now both hdmi. and usb, yes I can get the playback working fine , but hey not a playback on a screen issue.

    any one wanna tell me why I being such a dumbbass please lol

    Posted at 05:55h, 16 November

    Hi, thanks a lot for the work!
    In 60d with the syphon server and syphon client + resolume arena 4 work well few minutes, them the cam restart and all the image freeze. When I restart de Canon2Syphon, go to the same history.
    I’m work to know how my mac capture vhs signal with a 4chusbdvr (easycap) + openframeworks code.


  • Mario
    Posted at 20:27h, 26 September

    Hi Blair,

    It seems the app is crushing when ran on High Sierra OS.

  • Mario
    Posted at 20:27h, 26 September

    Hi Blair,

    App seems to be crushing under High Sierra OS…

  • Diego Pacini VJ Surreal
    Posted at 11:55h, 24 October

    Thank you!! It works perfectly