Things to consider before buying a new external webcam


Laptops and other larger displays available these days all come with webcams, but there are several reasons for users to get an external one. Those that are usually shipped internally webcams do not output the desired video quality, resulting in poor video call experience. The “perfect” high-quality webcam is very important for a variety of reasons, including webinars, online courses, video podcasts, business meetings, or chatting with family and friends. Here we have discussed some of the most important features that you should keep in mind before purchasing a new external webcam.
A high resolution webcam is important because lower resolutions produce more grainy images on the screen. Fortunately, most modern external webcams only support high definition video recording. You should always choose a webcam that supports at least 720p or more. A webcam that supports 1080p resolution is always better as these become common and cheap.
Frame rate
A webcam with a high frame rate is important, as lower frame rates often cause videos to stutter and freeze. Frame rate is measured in frames per second which is stated in fps and to stream video you will need a minimum of 15 fps. It is recommended to have a minimum frame rate of 30 fps or higher, while a frame rate of 60 fps would be ideal, but it is not generally available in lower budgets.
The performance of a webcam also depends on the type of lens it uses. Entry-level webcams come with plastic lenses, but it’s always wise to go for a glass lens that will not only boost performance, but won’t even increase the price significantly. It is also best to have a webcam capable of taking still images with at least a 2MP lens. Most of the models commonly available today come with a 15 MP or higher lens.
Built-in microphones are another standard feature of webcams, and it’s not hard to find a webcam with at least two built-in microphones. The quality of microphones has improved over the years and most of them today are omnidirectional, capable of recording in all directions around the camera. These types of microphones can be found in most mid-range and high-end webcams.
Additional features
Sense of movement
Motion detection is an additional feature that can turn a webcam into a security system. Some models have this feature built in and if they don’t, you may be able to download software to get this feature, if the manufacturer provides for it.
Another additional feature that you can consider is autofocus because most people don’t sit in perfect positions while recording. A webcam with autofocus will refocus in this situation (at least a little) to offer a better rendering.
Special effects
This feature is completely at the user’s discretion as we may wish to add this feature depending on their type of video chat. Many webcams are equipped with these features while there are other brands that provide special effects software that can be downloaded.
High definition vs Ultra HD
Most webcams record high definition video and if you use it to post videos to social media platforms, the low quality clips won’t appeal to you much. A quality webcam that records in 720p is readily available for a reasonable price. So it’s best to have an HD camera even if you want it for occasional video calls.
However, it is advisable to invest a little more and get a Full HD 1080p camera if you are into a more professional job like streaming videos to Twitch and downloading YouTube videos. These cameras are widely available and won’t even dig a huge hole in your pocket. Webcams that record videos up to 4k Ultra HD are ideal if you don’t want to compromise on the quality of your video.
It is important to note that these webcams may only be useful if the display supports these resolutions. These cameras can be great if creating online content is something you do for a living.
System requirements for the webcam
Not all webcams are compatible with all other computers or operating systems. Always make sure that the webcam you are looking to purchase is supported by your computer and operating system. Most webcam manufacturers allow their cameras to run on Windows, while Mac and Linux users should be more careful before purchasing one. Finding a camera for Mac or Linux (including Chromebooks) may require some research.


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