I probably don’t need to tell you there are more people working from home now than ever before. And with this change of lifestyle there comes many hurdles, one of which being video conferencing. While you might not particularly enjoy the idea of your messy bed hair being projected onto your boss’s screen in full HD quality every morning, low quality video calls can be the bane of a workday. And if it’s streaming you’re going for, who’s going to want to watch a stream with no facecam? Or worse, a low quality facecam?
That’s where a decent webcam comes in handy. There are many out there, and often it’s easier to just grab the first one you see off the virtual shelf, but getting the right one is where it’s at. Unless you’re into the whole laggy, pixelated, ‘are they stood still or is their crappy webcam frozen again?’ aesthetic. No judgment here.
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What is it?
It’s a webcam! Simple enough. Plug it in and see your gorgeous face projected onto whichever app you’re recording or streaming to. For most purposes (such as streaming or video conferencing) it won’t matter too much whether you go for one that runs at 720p or 1080p resolution, which means your options are wide open. Going for something tried and tested, with a proven track record of good quality, is the ticket.
Why should you buy it?
The two use cases previously mentioned are streaming and video conferencing. In the former case, you’re probably going to want a webcam capable of getting your viewers to stick around. Not many people want to watch a Twitch streamer that doesn’t have a face cam – it’s simply too impersonal. And perhaps even worse than no face cam is a face cam that’s low quality.
When it comes to video conferencing, you buy a decent webcam more for the sake of your poor coworkers than yourself. They don’t want to watch your downscaled, pixelated mug stutter its way through the morning standup meeting. A little bit of give and take goes a long way! Maybe if you upgrade, they will too.
Apart from these use cases, the other obvious ones are to record video content and catch up with friends and family.
What options do you have?
There are plenty of options depending on your budget, but for most people not requiring professional grade quality, there are some pretty decent webcams down in the budget end and middle of the market.
Microsoft’s L2 LifeCam HD-3000 is a good shout for those of you on a tight budget who want a 720p webcam that delivers stellar video quality and a host of features such as 360 degree rotation and Microsoft’s TrueColor dynamic exposure shifting technology.
Logitech’s C920 Pro is what you should go for if you have some extra cash to spare and want the best quality without having to spend an outrageous amount of money. It’s been the go-to for streamers for a long time for good reason, offering full 1080p resolution with superb image and stereo sound quality.
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