Webcams for newbies – What you need to know

If you didn’t know, webcams are an incredibly popular instrument of communication. Webcams bring you as close to in-person communication as possible. While phone calls allow you to talk to someone, you can only hear them. Webcams, on the other hand, allow you to make video calls, which are more real than any other form of communication. 

Additionally, webcams capture images, which is an important feature to have in this day and age. Webcams are video cameras that stream video and capture images in real-time when connected to a computer with a stable internet connection. Webcams are generally small, and you can place them on the top of your computer monitor. 

Why go for webcams? Webcams allow you to video chat with friends and family, conduct group calls, stream live videos or record. Given how significant a role video content plays in brand-building, you could use a webcam to record videos and send them to your prospects. Consider using Gmail video for your video call needs. Webcams, especially the higher-end ones, are incredibly efficient devices that capture real-time video and audio.

While most laptops these days have a built-in webcam, you will find that they have their setbacks. The fact that you cannot move the camera around to adjust the angle or position might be a deal-breaker for you. This lack of flexibility can affect your images. 

This is where getting an external webcam comes into play. You can place an external webcam anywhere, making it easy to capture video and images from the angles you want. 

You ought to know a couple of things about the types of webcams you have at your disposal. Based on that, proceed to get the one that best suits your needs and purposes. 

What are the different types of webcams?

As mentioned earlier, these are the main types of webcams on the market:

In-Built (Integrated/Embedded)

In-built webcams, as mentioned, come with most portable computers, like laptops. As you may have guessed, these webcams are built for convenience, the same way laptops are. This is why they are referred to as in-built or integrated webcams. 

You can find them on top of the screen. Of course, the resolution and quality of these webcams depend on the laptop that you purchase. If you invest in a fairly high-end laptop, you can expect to get some quality images and video out of your in-built camera. Some models offer you a dual camera, with one camera for videos and the other one to capture images. 

External Webcams (Standalone Webcams)

External webcams, also known as standalone webcams came into existence much before the integrated webcams. They generally come with a USB cable or any other cable you would use to connect them to your computer or laptop. 

Unlike integrated or in-built webcams, you may place these webcams anywhere you want to. However, they usually work well at the top of the computer. Make sure you adjust the lens. 

You can adjust the position and angle, and it should go without saying that the quality of images and videos these webcams capture is much better than that of integrated webcams. Again, it primarily depends on the webcam model you get. 

While these webcams come with wires and can be difficult to use, their pros outweigh the cons. The early webcam models did not come with an in-built microphone, unlike the ones you have on the market today. While you could do just fine with an in-built microphone, you are much better off investing in an external audio mic or headset. 

This way, you get high-quality audio and video, which is vital if you want to do video marketing and video selling full-time. 

Network Cameras

Network cameras are similar to standard webcams, except they use Ethernet or wireless networks to transmit data. You can find network cameras in closed-circuit surveillance TVs since they work phenomenally for high-end video conferencing set-ups. As you can imagine, these webcams generally cost more than traditional webcams and require a high speed, stable internet connection to operate without issue. 

What should you look for in a webcam?

Before you run to the store and look for the fanciest webcam for your system, you may want to take a moment and find out what you should look for in a webcam before you buy one. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

Frames per Second (FPS) is a vital factor to account for when you look for a webcam. FPS determines the speed at which the images in the video, and hence the speed of the video. 

15 FPS is the minimum frame rate most people go for. However, this is not the ideal speed for you to go for. Instead, consider choosing a webcam that operates at 30 FPS to be able to enjoy video and images of higher quality. This is especially important for video calls and live streaming

If you get a webcam that runs at 30 FPS, you will still need a reliable internet connection to run it properly. An unstable internet connection will lead to lag and poor video and image quality, irrespective of the frame rate you go for. Be sure to conduct a webcam test before you buy one. 

Additionally, you should make sure your webcam has decent audio. Make sure you pick a webcam that has a good in-built microphone to get started. However, you may want to get an external mic, as mentioned above. 

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