‘Hi, can you hear me?’ Asked one of the blurry, colourless faces on screen.
If you’ve been working remotely at all this year and using video calls to communicate with your colleagues, you’ve probably experienced this many times.
As great as it is to have technology that allows us to continue working remotely, the novelty of video calls has well and truly worn off.
But one reason why they can be tiring and why after a day of calls, meetings and webinars, you can feel a bit drained, is because often the video quality isn’t that great.
Poor lighting, people silhouetted against their windows, grainy video, terrible audio, lagging…
Ok, that last one’s usually just down to bad internet connection.
But the fact is, at the moment and for the foreseeable future, we are using video conferencing software all the time. For many people that means making do with their built-in laptop webcam.
For the amount you use a webcam, it’s probably worth getting something that’s actually good at transmitting good quality video.
WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
For most business employees and teams, a certain level of webcam is more than adequate.
If you’re streaming regularly or recording webinars or live talks, then it may be worth investing in something a bit more top of the range.
The Logitech StreamCam is one of the best in the biz.
But most people don’t need this. They need something mid-range that is going to show them in a much better light, giving off realistic colours, a focused picture and a good quality microphone transmitting clear audio.
That’s what we’re going to look at in this post.
A lot of laptop users (which is probably a lot of employees) will be using their laptop webcam at the moment. If you’re in the market for a new laptop, how good the webcam is, may be one of your considerations.
Unfortunately, the choice is a little limited on that front…
MOSTLY BAD NEWS FOR BUILT IN LAPTOP WEBCAMS
The ideal solution would be a laptop with a great built-in webcam, but these are kind of hard to come by.
Of course, a lot of built-in webcams are perfectly adequate, offering a respectable 720p resolution. However, because these cameras are fitted in a slim screen and aren’t built for high-res video, they can be disappointing.
Even top of the range consumer laptops like the Apple MacBook Air or the Dell XPS 13 offer pretty poor video quality. When coupled with an average built in mic, you gain no benefit by having a pricier laptop.
In fact, a smartphone like the iPhone 11 has a much better camera than most laptops. The reason for this is that the front facing camera on phones has an established purpose for taking pictures and recording video.
But whilst you might use your phone for the odd video call, it’s not practical for daily business use.
There are some laptops with good built-in webcams.
The best of the bunch are the Microsoft Surface range and the Google Pixelbook.
These are great laptops with webcams that produce good video but they’re also not cheap.
For most everyday users, the best solution is an affordable external webcam.
THE BEST EXTERNAL WEBCAMS AT DIFFERENT BUDGETS.
Here we’ve collected 4 of the best webcams at different budgets, ideal for everyday businesses.
LOGITECH HD C270
- Find it on Amazon.
This is a small, lightweight webcam that will comfortably sit on the top of your laptop.
The 720p camera is the same resolution as a lot of built-in webcams however with added hardware, it produces a much better picture. Light adjustment, colour balancing and face tracking all make for a clearer, brighter image.
The sound isn’t game changing but with a built-in mic and noise reduction it’s going to produce better sound than a normal laptop mic.
AUKEY WEBCAM 1080P
- Find it on Amazon.
For its price, this is a particularly good webcam. The picture quality even in low light is clear.
The stereo mics produce a crisp sound for voice and video chat and the wide, thin construction looks a lot like the next webcam on our list from market leader Logitech.
LOGITECH C920 HD PRO
- Find it on Amazon.
A bit pricier but for this you can get a webcam that will set up most business users for the long haul.
The 1080p resolution, auto focus and sharp lifelike colours that this cam provides are sure to make you look fine and work in a range of light settings.
The dual microphones on either side of the camera provide decent sound for regular business use.
MICROSOFT LIFECAM STUDIO
- Find it on Amazon.
Probably the best of the bunch for video quality and audio, this one will set you back a bit more than the others on the list.
It provides realistic colours in most lighting conditions and has an auto focus lens, meaning if you’re doing presentations or video conferences, this is going to show you in the best light.
An integrated wideband mic also delivers crystal clear sound.
DEMAND IS HIGH!
There you go! Those were our top picks of the best webcams you can get.
There’s plenty out there of course, but we reckon any of these will do the job perfectly.
However, it’s also worth mentioning that due to recent world events, we have noticed that there has been huge increase in the overall demand for webcams and web conferencing equipment. This comes as no surprise, as many people have been forced to work from home and adapt to new web conferencing and video meetings to maintain effective communication with colleagues and clients.
If you are struggling to obtain webcams and web conferencing equipment for your colleagues, don’t worry, we are here to help!
Also, if you have any additional question about webcams, web conferencing or the set-up process, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly support team.
With a new webcam, your video call experience (or more importantly your colleagues), will never be the same again!
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