Tips To Choose The Right Webcam
There are plenty of reasons for having a webcam. They can be useful to help stay in touch with family or to stay on top of working from home and looking professional. At first, webcams were low key affairs producing grainy images like a TV from the 40 or 50s. These days, almost anyone can afford at least a half-decent webcam and with the rise of working the web to make money and video conferencing for distance working, making the investment in the right tech is expected. If you are just getting started or thinking of upgrading, here are a few pointers to help you make a good webcam purchase.
1. High-Definition vs. Ultra HD Deliberations
Online, the quality of videos you share matters if you want to attract viewers. HD (high definition) is not only important, it’s essential. If the webcam is HD, then the resolution of the webcam is inherently 720p or greater. It is recommended that webcam resolution should not be less, even if it is being used for family chats.
Webcams, being more common now, come in all price ranges. Before making a purchase, it is advisable to consider carefully your expected use and set this against the price you are willing to pay. Even so, even the best high-resolution webcam can only perform as well as the computer monitor and system, usually Windows OS, allow it.
If you upload videos onto YouTube or Twitch every now and then, then a 1080p HD webcam is recommended. For people in research, producing vlogs or in similar professions that require immaculate results to earn money, there are webcams with greater resolution, up to 4K Ultra HD, which are known to give worthy results.
2. Frame Rate
In a good web camera, it’s the frame rate per second (fps) that plays the lead role, as this determines how smooth the quality of the video will be. This rate is how many images, or frames, the webcam can take in a standard amount of time. A webcam with 30 fps is considered suitable for normal use but when better image quality is required, the frame rate should be no less than 60 fps.
3. Quality Of Lens
To deliver professional-level results you also need a good quality lens. Generally, plastic lenses cannot produce as fine an image as a webcam with a lens made from glass.
4. Mounting Options
There are a number of ways a webcam can be attached to a computer system, depending on how you are planning to use it, and how much room you have. If you are low on space, mounting the cam with special grippers directly onto the monitor is an option. Otherwise, it can be placed on an adjustable webcam stand. If you plan to use it for video surveillance, then the webcam can be permanently mounted to a wall or surface so that it covers the area that needs to be watched.
5. Connecting The Webcam
Usually, webcams come with a USB cord that connects it to the USB port of the computer. If you have a desktop computer, the USB opening is either at the front or the back of the system unit but all laptops have it on either side. If your webcam has an extra power cord, it is worked into the plug.
Network webcams are different and connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Being wireless, they are easier to place and more versatile and this is reflected in their price.
6. Using Your Web Camera Effectively
Know that even if you’ve found a good web camera, taking the best photos and videos depend on many factors. For instance:
- The better the lighting around the webcam is, the better the results. Look for smart solutions like those offered by Logitech, with a Low Light Boost or Red Light feature that enhances images even in poor light conditions.
- Adjusting the monitor brightness might be a quick fix for a dark image, but even this tactic results in little improvement if the room lighting is poor. Once you have managed to get the ambient lighting up to the mark, you will still have to adjust the device light and monitor settings to get the best image on the screen.
- Getting set up for a clear picture of yourself through a webcam can be tricky sometimes, especially if there is a window or a bright wall behind you. It puts you in shadow. This can be remedied by placing a light source behind the monitor, to banish shadows and keep your face well-lit. A simple desk lamp on the right spot can get the job done, or you can go for specialized LED lights if looking to spend money.
- The settlement is different when using the camera in a laptop, iPad or Android tablet, mobile phone or a webcam. The gadgets with built-in cameras require users to pay attention to the placement of the device ideally, level with the eyes. Getting the line of sight just right by balancing devices on books and such is quite an achievement. On video calls, you want to engage naturally in the conversation and to do this you have to look into the face of who you are talking to and at the same time look into the eye of the camera. It’s a balancing act that can be perfected with practice. Webcams make all this a little easier.
7. Additional Features
There are numerous useful features that come with some webcams, such as automatic zoom or a quality built-in microphone, automatic recording, auto-mode, to list just some.
However, which webcam you decide on comes down to what you are using it for and how much perfection you want in terms of results and functions. So does how much money you can expect to spend. Certainly, if you are aiming for something near professional, as far as price goes, it’s the sky’s the limit. This is still relatively new technology and with demand high, it is constantly developing which is why it could be wisest to keep it simple and go for the best webcam you can afford.