As technology evolves, the quality of video conferencing gets better and better. Just think of what a video call looked like even ten years ago – things have certainly changed a lot since then. We now use video conferencing more than ever, and if you’re doing them regularly, it might be a good time to upgrade to a high-definition webcam to give you a crystal-clear picture. Pretty much every desktop computer and laptop now comes with a built-in webcam, but they don’t compare to the real thing.
Of course, built-in cameras are fine if you’re having a chat with your coworkers and regular clients. However, when you’re doing professional presentations or having an important online meeting, you want everything to go perfectly. There are various ways to do that. Having a fast, reliable internet connection is just one of them. You can also take control of your environment – like your background and lighting. But to top it all off, you need to invest in a webcam that will be able to show you looking your best in glorious high definition.
Recommended Webcams for Web Conferencing
eMeet C960 Webcam
NexiGo N60 USB Webcam
Logitech BRIO Webcam
Built-In Webcam vs External Webcam
Sometimes a built-in webcam is good enough. Especially if you’re only doing a few video calls with friends and family. In that case, you should be able to cope without upgrading as built-in webcams come at no extra cost, and you don’t have to worry about carrying them around. Not only that, but they’re also incredibly easy to use as everything is set up for you already, so there’s no need to mess around with drivers. However, some of that comes as a disadvantage too. You can’t upgrade a built-in webcam, meaning that you’ll never get a better resolution. And if you have any issues with it, you’ll have to send your entire computer away to get it fixed.
When you have to make an important video call – like a job interview or a meeting with a new client that you want to impress – it’s best to upgrade to a standalone webcam. The most obvious upgrade you’ll notice is the picture quality, which will range anywhere from 720p HD to 4K Ultra HD – depending on your budget. But external webcams are also designed to correct bad lighting and automatically focus on you. Of course, this comes at a cost, but it’s worth it for the best quality video conferencing possible.
How To Choose the Best Webcam
When it’s time to buy your webcam, there are a lot of things you need to consider, not least because of how many different webcams are available on the market. Cost is a big issue, and you certainly get what you pay for. So if you want to broadcast in 4K or record videos for training or YouTube then you can’t rely on a budget model. Similarly, you need to consider the field of view. For example, if you’re presenting with a coworker sitting next to you or using a whiteboard, you don’t want a webcam that you’ll have to move several feet away from just to fit everything in the frame.
Don’t get so caught up in having the best picture that you forget about the audio, though. Some webcams come with impressive built-in microphones, but others aren’t as good so you may need to fork out for a separate one instead. There are other neat webcam extras that you may find helpful too. While most standalone webcams come with some sort of image correction to get the best possible picture regardless of how dark a room is, others have lights built into the camera.
Best Tips To Enhance Video Quality
A state-of-the-art camera is just one step towards having great video quality. Although external webcams do their best to enhance the lighting, it’s something you can also take control of yourself. There are plenty of lighting solutions for video conferencing that give you a consistent soft light and help you avoid harsh shadows, which makes it look like you’re recording from inside a cave.
Another thing to look at is the picture settings of your webcam. You’ll usually find that you can change the brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, and other settings. It might take a little experimenting to work out exactly how each one works, but getting these settings just right can really improve the quality of your image.
You also need to consider your environment. For example, your video background says a lot about you – especially in a professional setting. No one will be impressed by seeing a cluttered mess in the background of the shot. Of course, you can use a dynamic background if you’re on Microsoft Teams or Zoom, but they can also be distracting. Instead, try and find a simple, clean backdrop – it’ll also help your webcam give you a better picture. You can even buy video conference backgrounds to cover up any mess.
Finally, your internet connection is important for video conferences. Although this isn’t something you can control directly (who chooses to have slow internet anyway?), you can make sure that you’re not running any programs or downloading anything in the background.