Top Five Things To Look For In a Webcam
Before getting a webcam, you should really think about what you’re going to use it for and what features you want it to have. For instance, I needed a webcam primarily for meetings and long-distance conversations with family. But I also wanted security for when it wasn’t in use, because you know, hackers like to hack. Good lighting is important when you’re looking for a webcam too. Though, sometimes getting external lighting is not always in the budget, amiright? So, I wanted to share with you some of the top things to look for when buying a webcam.
Auto-focus, Fixed-focus, or Manual focus?
Depending on what you like, you can find a webcam with one of these features. With auto-focus, you don’t need to worry about the camera being blurry on the subject that’s closest to the lens. You also don’t have to adjust by hand to get that sweet spot that nine out of ten times is off. Auto-focus is faster and better for shooting objects close up or if they are in motion.
A fixed-focus webcam is exactly that, its focus is fixed so that when you’re naturally sitting in front of the camera, there won’t be any back and forth adjusting to you or your background.
Then there’s manual focus. If you want to regulate the focus on your own, this would be the option for you. This is generally good for if you’re going to sit unmoving in front of the camera or if you’re filming an unmoving subject.
1080p, 4k resolution, and 30fps vs 60fps
You’re probably thinking, “Uhm, what do these numbers mean?” if you aren’t familiar with webcams or cameras in general. To break it down, resolution is how much detail the image or video recording can hold. So, the higher the resolution the better the quality or details. 1080p is also known as high definition because of the clarity of the image or video and the number of pixels across the screen. Long story short, the more pixels the better the detail and the clearer the image.
You’ve probably heard of 4k; comparable to 1080p, however it has more pixels which means a higher resolution and clearer quality. Not too hard to grasp, huh?
Another feature to consider, and this one I once raised my eyebrows at in confusion, is: 30fps vs 60fps. Again, thinking “What in the…'' but don’t worry, I got you on this. In simplest terms, “fps'' stands for frames per second, which means the rate of how many frames of still images are shown within one second. Let’s compare it to flipping through a book. How many pages are you going to see within a second? Still with me?
So, 30fps means there are 30 frames shown in a video each second. The higher the number, (yup, you guessed it) the higher number of frames in a second. Both 30fps and 60fps are good at capturing motion, but if your video is going to have an exceedingly large amount of motion, 60fps is going to be the better option.
This is an important detail to keep an eye out for when looking for a webcam. We’ve all heard those creepy stories of people getting spied on in their homes, and personally, I am not keen on that. I do not want to give someone the opportunity to watch me in my own home. No, thank you!
A webcam that has a privacy cover to magnetize or a cover to slide over the lens will keep your space safe from hackers. It’ll give you and your family peace of mind knowing that when your webcam is not in use, your life stays private, like it should.
Lighting: Back-light Compensation vs. Ring-lighting
Good lighting is key for getting a better-quality image or video. Webcams with back-light compensation can help you increase your image quality by intensifying the brightness when you’re in a low-light setting. In some webcams, this setting can be switched on and off depending on your needs and situation.
Ever wondered why you sometimes see a circular white light in a person’s eyes when watching them in a video or virtual meeting? This is from a ring-light. Some webcams have the feature of a built-in ring-light that can be turned on or off depending on the lighting in your environment. Ring-lights are more intense and offer direct lighting versus simply compensating for the lighting that is in the room already, and more light almost always means better quality images. If the ring-light is strong enough, you can even record in low-light or totally dark surroundings.
Remote control and zoom-in capabilities
Giving a presentation in a meeting is stressful enough. Struggling to get the right angle for your webcam to capture what you're presenting can be a dreadful process. I can hear you thinking already, that’s why we have screen share, right? Of course, but for those that have a physical subject they’re presenting or need to leave their desks, being able to control their webcams with a remote is convenient.
You’re able to get up, move around, step away from your camera and control it to fit your needs. This also goes hand-in-hand with the function of zooming in. You have the freedom to step back from your webcam, zoom-in to where you are with the remote control, all without having to drag everything with you. Talk about convenience, and I’m here for it.
Long story short, think about how you’ll use your webcam most, and use that to determine what’s best for you. At NexiGo, our long list of webcams are developed by thinking how we can best serve our customers' needs, so no matter what you are looking for you can find it with NexiGo.