Most new laptop computers come with a built-in webcam, but unfortunately they have a lot of limitations. As the webcam is fixed inside of the laptop screen, it is difficult to adjust its viewing angle and it causes more trouble on maintenance. In contrast, an external USB webcam offers you higher image quality and more flexibility that help you look and sound your best on screen. In this blog, we’ll discuss several considerations for choosing a webcam for your computer.
First and foremost, the clarity of the video a webcam captures matters most, which we can judge from its resolution and frame rate. Clearer images have a higher resolution, and a higher frame rate means that movements appear smoother on the screen. Webcam prices are usually closely related to the resolution and frame rates they are capable of producing.
The three most common resolutions are standard high definition (720p) which is 1280 x 720 pixels, full high definition (FHD, 1080p) which measures 1920 x 1080 pixels, and 4K ultra-high definition which measures 3,840 x 2160 pixels. You will find a 4K webcam, like WyreStorm Focus 200, is capable of producing sharp-looking video images that rival something a DSLR camera might capture. If you prefer a more cost-effective option, 1080P full HD is an ideal resolution you can use to record a professional-looking presentation. WyreStorm Focus 100 webcam is designed with a premium lens and advanced CMOS sensor, so it can seamlessly stream full HD distortion-less image to your computer.
The other metric for video quality is the frame rate. It determines how many still images comprise a video file measured in frames per second (fps): Higher frame rates (60 fps and over) equate to smoother-looking footage and a larger file size, especially if the frames are in a high resolution.
Professional live gamers who play visually fast first-person shooters prefer to stream 1080P resolution video at 60 fps or over. For recording someone talking into a camera, 1080p at 60 fps is the preferred setting. Here we recommend using WyreStorm Focus 200 webcam. It can stream 4K ultra HD video at 30fps, 1080P full HD at 60fps and 720P at 90fps, delivering outstanding clarity, ultra-smoothness and tiny details even in high refresh rate.
Field of View
A webcam’s field of view (FOV) measures the width of the area that it can capture. A webcam with a wide-angle lens like WyreStorm Focus 200 webcam, has broader field of view. You can choose from three field of view (FOV) presets to perfectly frame your video.
75-degrees captures one person sitting in front of a computer, ideal for eye contact and face-to-face communications. 90-degrees is wide enough to capture two people facing a camera mounted to a computer monitor. 100-degrees is perfect for presenting a whiteboard or a group of people seated at a conference room table.
Mounting Option & Privacy Cover
Most webcams are designed to mount on the top of a computer monitor, and most fit over a laptop display as well. If you’re capturing still images or you want to film other angles besides facing head-on, a webcam tripod will help. These provide more control in your shots, and result in clearer, sharper images which means less time in post-production.
Some webcams come with a lens cover, which can prevent prying eyes from peeping on you when you least expect it. When the webcam is not in use, it also helps protect the lens from dirt and debris, so your video always remains sharp and clear. (See WyreStorm Focus series webcams).
Many webcams have software-controlled features for manually adjusting the lens with pan, tilt, and digital zoom functionality. Usually, these webcams allow you to adjust the brightness, contrast, color intensity, and white balance as well.
Most webcams have at least one built-in microphone. Webcams with two microphones on either side of the lens provide a more natural sounding audio feed to the listener. WyreStorm Focus 200 webcam features dual mic design, ideal for professional video calls and live streams.
Glass Lens vs Plastic Lens
Webcam lenses can be made of glass or plastic. Glass lenses tend to produce clearer, crisper video images, which is why you will find that webcams rated for 1080P and higher video have glass lenses. Plastic lenses are inexpensive and best suited for value webcams.
In conclusion, you need to consider video resolution, frame rate, field of view, mounting method, microphone and other aspects when purchasing a webcam. A high-quality webcam can offer you more convenience in your video chatting with your friends, colleagues or relatives.