A dark or blurred picture combined with poor sound can make video chat a torture. Choosing a good webcam helps, but not only.
Homeschooling and home office have been part of everyday life for many since the beginning of the pandemic. But video telephony has also become partly indispensable in private life. A good webcam is helpful here, reports the magazine “Computer Bild”, which examined eight models between 27 and 100 euros (issue 8/21).
Webcam test winner for little money
Among other things, the picture quality, microphone, operation, bracket and extras in the equipment were tested. Overall, the Creative Live! Sync Cam 1080p. Even in low light it delivers decent pictures, has a good retaining clip and even a rubber cover. The fact that the colors are sometimes a bit pale is bearable for 50 euros, according to the testers.
A camera from the lower price segment secured the price-performance victory: the Nulaxy C900 delivered passable results in the visual test and could also be securely attached to the screen. However, the 27 euro camera is not suitable for use in dim light.
Use your smartphone as a webcam
If you have a smartphone with a good camera, you can also use it as a webcam. The iVCam app was tested in conjunction with a Samsung Galaxy S21. The testers achieved an excellent image quality that the webcams couldn’t keep up with. Whether with a smartphone or webcam – to get the best out of your camera for video chat, you should pay attention to a few things.
Also interesting: Properly secure the children’s homeschooling laptop
So that your own face does not disappear in the dark, light sources in the background such as windows and lamps should be avoided. It is best to choose a dark background and illuminate your own face with an extra lamp. In order not to be seen unfavorably from a frog’s perspective, it is best to position the webcam at eye level. If you have a notebook, it is best to use books and boxes to help, or a tripod.
Privacy and security
In order to avoid unauthorized external access to your camera, the anti-virus software should be set correctly. The virus protection program Avast Ultimate offers this function. To do this, open the program, click on Privacy and then on Webcam Protection. Some webcams also lack a cover. An adhesive slide can provide more privacy for as little as 6 euros. For those who generally do not want to allow a view into their premises, video chat programs such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams offer their own backgrounds and soft focus, which blurs everything except the user himself.
Also interesting: The best tips for aspiring video bloggers
Picture and sound
Since the image settings via Windows are rather moderate, the experts recommend the use of external programs such as the free Cyberlink YouCam 9. If the automatic improvement is activated here, the brightness of the image is automatically adjusted. Parameters such as contrast can be readjusted and saved using additional sliders. And if good sound quality is important to you, the experts recommend connecting an external USB microphone.