To communicate with relatives, streaming and work conferences, one and the same camera may not be suitable. How to choose the best webcam, we understand in this article.
Most of the devices that we use for video calls already have a camera – for example, a smartphone or laptop. But in some cases, their capabilities are not enough. Then you can buy an additional webcam, and the best choice will differ depending on what exactly you need it for.
Webcams for the home
Talking to friends or family over Zoom or Skype is a nice touch. You may need a webcam in a few instances:
- You have a PC with a monitor that doesn’t have a built in camera;
- You have a laptop, but its camera is not of sufficient quality;
- You have a TV with Smart TV and you want to use it for video communications.
In the first case it will be important to have a microphone – otherwise you will have to buy one additionally or use a headset. The quality of the picture is not so important for personal calls, but we still advise to focus at least on the matrix resolution 1280*720 – that is, HD.
There is no sense to chase after higher resolution. First, the higher it is, the higher the requirements for data transmission speed. If you have a low data transfer rate, the channel may not be able to “pull” Full HD or 4K. Secondly, most laptops and monitors today have 1920×1080 resolution, so there is no point in transmitting 4K video to them.
Webcams for streaming
While almost any video camera is suitable for a regular video call, the streaming video camera’s quality is very important. The viewer/subscriber loyalty depends on the resolution of the image – very few people would like to see the image spreading into pixels.
The most popular expansion for streaming websites is 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD). The smaller may be taken only for game streams when the main object on the screen is the playing field, and your image huddles in the corner of the video.
If you plan to move in the frame (for example, leading cooking classes), get a camera with autofocus. They’re a little more expensive than regular cameras, but your images will always be sharp. The Logitech StreamCam does it. Focusing is special here: the Logitech Capture technology allows you to recognize faces and focus on them.
Most of the time, streaming models already have built-in microphones. In advanced versions, there is also a noise cancelling function. It is a very useful thing – for example, if you stream a game and the processor and video card are heavily loaded, the noise from the coolers can be quite loud.
Webcams for conferences
Conferences can be ordinary group calls – then you will fit almost any camera from those that we recommended for home. But often it is necessary to hold a meeting as a whole team: that is, to get together in a room and call a partner. Then you have to take a few important features into account:
- Resolution – 4K is also possible. Televisions are often used for work video meetings – if it is a modern model, it will most likely have a 4K screen. In addition, a higher resolution will allow you to see all the participants of the conference.
- The viewing angle is not less than 70°. Of course, everything depends on the size of the room and the number of participants. If you have a lot of participants, you’ll need a wide angle lens to fit all in one frame.
- Availability of built-in microphones. If the room in which you plan to hold a video conference is small (no more than 3 meters from the camera to the participants), you can take a model with a built-in microphone. For example, the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is a two-in-one solution.
This camera does not require drivers, is compatible with all major video conferencing programs and supports autofocus on the face. However, for very large conversations, it is better to use a speakerphone or a full-fledged conference system.