Best Ways to Improve Your Webcam Audio and Video

Photo of the Logitech Streamcam

It’s a universally recognized truth that many of us are spending far more time peering into webcams than before, as well as watching video from other people’s webcams on our own screens. Video calling and video conferencing are now an accepted norm rather than an occasional oddity, and for the sake of your fellow callers, you want your audio and video stream to be as smooth and of the highest quality as possible.

While you might be used to just opening your laptop lid or launching your video conferencing software of choice to start your calls, there are ways to optimize and improve the quality of your output. After just a few minutes of exploring your options, the other people you call will thank you. We are therefore here to help you throughout this process.

We’ll be looking primarily at software settings here, but there’s also more you can do: invest in a better webcam or microphone, ensure you’re in a properly and evenly lit room, and reduce the likelihood of any external sounds being heard. all good practices.

How to adjust built-in settings for better webcam image

Windows comes with a few basic settings that you can tweak to improve your webcam’s audio and video quality. In Windows, open the Start menu to find Settingsthen choose Bluetooth and devices and Cameras: You should then be able to select the webcam of your choice for basic brightness and contrast sliders.

Adjusting them can quickly give you a better video image, and you can see what the changes will look like using the preview window above the sliders. If you want to go back to square one and start again, click Reset options; and if you’re having serious trouble getting your webcam to work, click Troubleshoot.

Windows webcam options screenshot

Windows offers a limited number of settings that you can use.
Screenshot: the Windows

On macOS, it’s a different story: there are no built-in settings to manage your webcam, and it really depends on the app you’re using to access the camera. Since FaceTime is provided by Apple itself and comes installed with macOS, it sort of counts as a built-in settings option, and as soon as you launch the app, you will notice that your default webcam activates immediately.

If you then click on the Control Center icon in the menu bar (it looks like two toggle switches), you will see a Video effects button (to enable background blur in Portrait mode), and a Microphone Mode button: This allows you to choose between Standard, Voice isolation (surrounding sounds are suppressed), and Broad spectrum (surrounding sounds are let through).

Best Third-Party Tools for Better Webcam Image

If you want more optimization options than an operating system the built-in settings can give you, you can get help from third-party tools. These utilities were designed to sit on top of your operating system and work with any webcam. you attached, so they are not specific to particular devices.

Take FineCam for Windows and macOS, for example, which gives you adjustment options for saturation, sharpness, brightness, contrast, white balance, etc., and which can automatically improve the quality of a stream under different conditions. low light. In addition, many one-click filters and effects are available. You can use the software for free, but many advanced options require a paid subscription, which starts at $6.90 per month.

Webcam screenshot

Finecam gives you plenty of settings and features to play with.
Screenshot: fine cam

ManyCam is another software package that is worth a look, and again, it’s packed with features to explore. You can adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation of your video stream, you can combine multiple layers (if you’re presenting slides, for example), and you can experiment with picture-in-picture effects. It’s a suite of useful webcam tools that go far beyond video and audio optimization, but most of these tools require a paid subscription that starts at $49 per year.

You also get a variety of optimization options with CyberLink PerfectCam, which will cost you $9.99 per month for the premium edition (there’s a free trial, so you can test it out first). There are sliders for brightness, contrast, and exposure, you can smooth out the look of your skin, and you can even let the program adjust some of these settings automatically. In addition to that, you get additional effects like background blur and the ability to drop in custom backgrounds as well.

Chances are also that your webcam will come with its own software, which means you’ll want to look…

App settings for better webcam image

If you purchased an external webcam, then he probably works as soon as you plug it in, but there’s probably also free software you can download for it that gives you access to more settings and options. Logitech webcams, for example, have Logitune.

In the main application panel, select your connected Logitech webcam, then open the Video tongue. You will see that you can change the zoom level, field of view and make manual brightness and contrast adjustments, as well as round Auto focus On or off. Under the Settings tab, meanwhile, you can switch HDR on or off, which should keep the light and dark areas of the video stream visible.

Zoom Screenshot

Zoom has optimization options for audio and video.
Screenshot: Zoom

It’s also worth digging into the apps you use to make your video calls, as it’s quite possible there are additional options too, even if you’ve never used them. Zoom is a good example: click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the interface, then switch to the icon Video and audio tabs on the left to make some adjustments.

Below Video, you can choose to activate Touch up my appearance (which reduces some wrinkles) and Adjust for low light (which makes you easier to see in the dark). You can also select Advanced to find the denoising optimization option. Below audiothere are settings to automatically adjust the volume during calls, as well as suppressing a variety of background noises (from pen tapping to dog barking).

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