Because of recent social distancing policies, webcams are now more vital than ever. Whether you need it for work from home, play, or just to stay in touch, the right webcam can help stay connected even as we’re forced to be apart. But just what is the “right” webcam? Which one should you get and what do you need to use it? We’ve put together this primer to get you started. Give it a read, then give us a shout if you have any questions or need help selecting gear.
As always, B&H is happy to answer all your questions, including everything you want to know about webcams, livestreaming, and other types of remote communications, such as learning from home. You can also check out our Intro to Livestreaming article for some additional tips on webcams.
What Is a Webcam?
Generally speaking, a webcam is a camera that’s designed to transmit still images or video through your computer to a network (e.g., the Internet). Webcams can either be internal (built-in) or external, and each comes with its own unique set of features and specifications (image resolution, field of view, microphone type, etc.) Webcams have countless applications, including teleconferencing, vlogging, virtual meetups, livestreaming performances, remote worship, and so on.
What Makes a Good Webcam?
As with most gear, what makes a webcam “good” depends on the user and application. A particular webcam might be perfectly fine for video calls, but it can’t meet the demands of an advanced livestreaming production. Likewise, if you’re only using a webcam for weekly chats with a relative, there’s no need to invest in some high-dollar, dual-camera setup. Know your application before you shop webcams. That will make it easier to find a webcam that delivers the best video and audio quality for your needs.
What Do I Need to Use a Webcam?
Every webcam has its own specific set of computer requirements. On top of that, different applications call for additional gear, equipment, and even services (Twitch, Zoom, Facebook Live, etc.) However, if you’re using a webcam to transmit video to a network, you must have a reliable Internet connection with suitable transfer speeds. Regardless of webcam quality, if your connection speeds are too slow, your production will not work.
Need more help with webcams? Contact us any time. Our chat lines remain open and we are always ready to help.