Are you a Skype fanatic, a podcast star, or an amateur movie-maker who loves capturing the world around you?
Whether you’re looking for an external webcam to conduct interviews or create your own movies and skits, you have to know what’s what. Some features are more important than others—do you know what they are?
Buying a webcam is like buying a sharp LC-42 Inch Smart TV – you need to study the features first, before placing your order.
Image via Flickr by Jon Ovington
As with any camera, the resolution is the most important aspect. Whether you’re using a small portable camera or taking videos with your shiny new tablet, a clear picture tops the list of important features. You don’t need the highest resolution but you do need to think about the size of your screen. Don’t go overboard with resolution, just make sure your external webcam promises at least 2.0Mp. At that level, you’ll enjoy a clear picture filled with vivid colors but you won’t waste your money on extra resolution you don’t really need.
Image via Flickr by xxrobot
There’s nothing worse than an unfocused video. If you’re making a movie or a podcast, you just lost your audience. If you’re doing a video interview, you just lost the job. When your images are blurry and out-of-focus, no one wants to watch the finished product. You don’t have to spend time fiddling with anything, though. The same tips you follow when buying the Kindle Paperwhite Tablet is what you must follow here. Because there are various types of Kindle in the Amazon store. Buying a webcam with auto focus abilities ensures sharp quality. You won’t have to spend that much more but you’ll be supplying a higher quality product.
Image via Flickr by stevegarfield
Focus is one thing; the frame rate is quite another. If you intend to move around in your videos, then smooth motion is critical. That requires a camera with a high fps, or frames per second, rating. While a standard 15fps is great if you plan to stay still, 30fps or more works better when you’re animated. If you’re into making little films and movies, go even higher. It keeps the image from stuttering, which is irritating. While you’re at it, get a cam with face-tracking. That way, no matter where you go, your face remains the central focus. The externa webcam requires focus, just like the Kindle HD Fire. Always ensure you follow the laid out guidelines before buying. This is going to save you money and time.
Image via Flickr by Travelin’ Librarian
What’s a video without clear sound? The last thing you want is to have a Skype chat or a video conference with an external microphone hanging out in the frame. It just looks messy, plus there is too much temptation to constantly adjust it or hold it up to your mouth like you’re rocking out Steven Tyler style. Most external webcams have microphones built into them, so choose one of those instead. However, make sure that it’s a quality mic; otherwise you’ll get stuck purchasing an additional headset, and that never looks cool. Never.
If all you do is chat on Skype or create video blogs, you probably haven’t given these features that much thought, and that’s a mistake. Take your webcam to the next level, no matter how you use it; your audience will thank you with accolades and standing ovations.
Shaun Chatman is a freelance writer by night and a gym trainer in the day. He lives in Dunedin, Fl. Shaun spends his free time playing with his kids or his gadgets.