If you are one of the many people who have had to start working from home or attending online classes, you probably need a webcam to keep up with the virtual meetings and appointments. Here are some tips to help you choose the best webcam for your needs:
Look for a webcam that can also take care of your sound needs, even if you have a separate microphone. You can lower or disable the volume on the camera and then re-enable it whenever you need to.
Make sure the webcam comes with an apparatus to hold it in place. You can find webcams that can be fastened to a monitor or placed on a table. Some can also be mounted on a tripod.
Consider whether you need a webcam at all. Laptops and all-in-one computers usually have cameras built-in.
Choose a webcam with at least 720 pixel resolution, but ideally 1080 resolution capabilities if you need to present things on video in high detail.
Once you have your webcam, setting it up is easy if you follow these steps:
For USB webcams, plug in the webcam and run the installer from the manufacturer’s website. If the webcam is still not working properly, unplug it, restart your computer, and plug the webcam back in. If the problem persists, go to the Device Manager and update the driver for the webcam.
For internal webcams, check if there is a sliding switch on the edge of your computer near the camera to turn it on. Then, run a test at webcamtest.net to make sure it works.
If your camera is being detected but not working on a webpage that needs to access it, check the site permissions by clicking on the lock icon to the left of the website’s address in Google Chrome and selecting site settings. Click on the dropdown menu for camera, and select allow.
Once you can see yourself on camera, check the lighting and sound:
Make sure the light source is behind the camera so it is not in the shot and shines light on you.
Eliminate light sources coming from behind you that might cause you to appear too dark, like closing blinds or turning off lights.
To deal with sound, make sure your microphone and its cable are not too close to other electronic or magnetic devices that might cause feedback or echoing.
your microphone and its cable is not too close to other electronic or magnetic devices. Having the webcam next to your speaker can cause a frustrating echoing feedback loop. If you have more than one microphone in the same room, all kinds of issues can arise. Since we are going for simple video conferencing here, the best advice is to use a headset with a built-in microphone. The headset keeps your hands free for typing and taking notes while keeping the microphone close to your mouth. Plus, it can help eliminate any background noise. If you don't have a headset, you can try adjusting the microphone's sensitivity settings or using a noise-cancelling microphone.
SET UP A WEBCAM | BACKGROUND
If you're working from home or attending virtual classes, you might want to consider your background. Make sure it's clean and uncluttered, and avoid having anything distracting or unprofessional in the frame. If you can, sit with your back against a solid-colored wall or use a virtual background. Many video conferencing apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams offer virtual backgrounds that can replace your real background with an image or video.
SET UP A WEBCAM | FINAL TIPS
When it comes to setting up your webcam, it's important to test it out before you need to use it. Run a test call with a friend or family member to make sure everything is working properly. Check your lighting, sound, and background to ensure you look and sound your best. Also, make sure your internet connection is stable to avoid any lag or interruptions during your video call.
In conclusion, with remote work and virtual communication becoming more common, having a good webcam setup is essential. By following these tips for selecting, setting up, and optimizing your webcam, you can ensure that you look and sound your best during your video calls.