How To Pick The Best Webcam

With working from home forever on the rise, more people need webcams in order to participate in online meetings. Although most laptops come with built-in webcams, most desktops do not and require the purchase of an external webcam.


This article will teach you about the most important features to look for and consider when purchasing a webcam. 

Resolution

The very first feature you should consider when picking a new webcam is the webcam’s resolution. The resolution determines how clear the recorded image will be. 


There are three main resolutions that you’ll find on the market, 720 p, 1080 p, and 4K. 


Unless you are recording a professional presentation, a resolution of 720 p should be functional. You will still be able to see everything that is happening in the video however, it won’t be crystal clear and there may be some pixelation with more complex images.


A resolution of 1080 p will work for just about everyone. This can be used to record professional presentations and you should be able to see most details clearly. This is also the resolution that you will want to use for live streaming. If you use anything higher than this, your video will begin to lag as it requires too much bandwidth to stream.


For the majority of the population, a 4K resolution webcam is overkill. They cannot be used for video calls or streaming since they produce videos that are simply too big to transfer rapidly. 


The main use that 4K resolution webcams have is when someone is recording a video to edit and use at a later date. In this case, a 4K webcam will provide you with the best quality and allow you to edit and transfer the video several times without losing so much quality that you can no longer tell what it is.

Field of View

Another important feature to consider is the field of view. A webcam’s field of view tells you how wide of a perspective it has and how much it will be recording. You’ll find webcams with three standard fields of view, 60 degrees, 78 degrees, and 90 degrees.


Webcams with a field of view of 60 degrees are best for situations where only one person needs to be shown on the webcam. This means that they are great personal webcams.


78-degree webcams can record two to three people sitting directly in front of the computer. They are a good option if you normally record just yourself, but occasionally need other people to join you.


The widest lens at 90 degrees is best when you need to record groups of people. These are good options when you want to use your webcam to record an entire group of people for a business meeting or want to be able to show a physical presentation.

Autofocus

If you regularly record using your webcam and sometimes have issues with your video footage becoming blurry when you move slightly toward or away from your computer, picking a webcam with autofocus may be a good decision. 


The autofocus technology will help to ensure that even if you move around slightly, your video does not become blurry.


This can also be helpful if you use your webcam to give a presentation. That way as you are moving about giving the presentation, the webcam is automatically refocusing and you won’t have to worry about moving out of focus. 

Mounting Options

There are three main ways that a webcam can be mounted, to your computer, on your desk, and on a tripod.


Mounting your webcam to your computer is the best choice if you just want to record yourself and the area behind you. Webcams are usually attached to your computer using a clamp.


Mounting the webcam directly on your desk is a good choice if you have plenty of extra space on your desk and you want to be able to record an angle that isn’t just head-on. 


In the case that you want to use your webcam in multiple locations and need to be able to move and adjust it easily, you may want to purchase a webcam with a tripod. Tripods allow you to easily adjust the camera angle and move the webcam to different surfaces. They also allow you to film with the webcam while carrying it, using the tripod as a handle.

Key Takeaways

Webcams are useful devices that allow you to record yourself or participate in live video calls directly from your computer. 


Before purchasing a new webcam, there are several features you should consider including the resolution, field of view, mounting options, and whether it has autofocus.

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