Choosing the best webcam
10:14

Choosing the best webcam

Tech Industry
Speaker 1: Trust me, you need a better webcam than the one built into the lid of your laptop. We all do. I've brought along four that I've been using lately, no particular science to my selection, but therefore that appealed to me in the market and that I've been using in my own everyday work by looking at all of them and what they do well and not so well, you're gonna to become an expert webcam buyer. [00:00:30] We're gonna learn about their resolution, how they handle color and light. You've seen how bad that can be on your webcam. I'm sure. And some special tricks that each one does. Speaker 1: The first one I wanna show you is this barrel shaped one. This is the Dell ultra sharp 4k. It's the newest of the ones I have here. As of top of 22 Dell, you don't think of them as a webcam or peripheral company so much, they make computers, right? But this one they're making a very big deal of [00:01:00] is being exceedingly high quality and really aimed at the business crowd. I can tell you the build quality of the things fantastic. It's this lovely made from aluminum anize metal work of art. The Dell camera is a 4k camera in terms of resolution. We'll see how it uses that in a moment, the sensors big 8.3, megapixel it five X digital zoom, and a field of view wide or narrow that can run the gamut. Because as you may have noticed, it's [00:01:30] automatically sort of framing. And following me, it tends to think a bit, it kind of buffers, its decision. Speaker 1: I'm too close. It should zoom out. There we go. And if I move way off frame, let's see what happens. Gonna get me over there. Yeah. Not bad. It's a little slow to get it. Once you realize its pacing is kind of leisurely. You don't worry about it anymore, but it's also not jerky, which is great. It's a nice, smooth move that doesn't unduly grab someone's attention. What it's doing is taking that 4k resolution [00:02:00] and not necessarily sending that to zoom. Instead, it's working inside that big 4k frame and finding the best HD subsection of it to center on it's cropping. Basically this is a digital zoom technique that all kinds of imaging devices do, but the Dell's using it to stay centered and properly framed around me as opposed to another camera where gonna see that does that mechanically a couple other interesting features here that have to do with facial and sound recognition. [00:02:30] There is no microphone in this Dell camera. That's very unusual for a webcam. On the other hand, it does have support for windows. Hello, which means you can log onto your windows computer just by looking at the thing. Once you set the that up, Speaker 1: Oh, by the way of the four cameras I have here today, that's the only one that doesn't work with a Mac. You might expect that from a huge maker of windows, computers for privacy, the Dell's pretty old school. The [00:03:00] lens cap is a big old magnetic thing. You just clip on the front or remove. And when you're not using it, you can store it on the back. I'm a little afraid it's gonna get lost. Okay. So the Dell has taught us our first key learning 4k is not about necessarily the same thing. It means when you're watching a movie on television, it's typically best used by a webcam to have a large image, that it can work a piece of to get the best framing or to follow you. As you move around in the overall image. Speaker 1: [00:03:30] Next up is the Logitech Brio. And lots of you will know this camera. This has kind of been the gold standard go-to quality webcam during the whole pan dynamic era. It's a pandemic peripheral early on in the pandemic. You couldn't find one of these things. And if you did, they were like marked up to two or three times their list price, not the case anymore. It's an impressive camera on paper. Also a 4k unit with a 13 megapixel sensor, the largest one I'm showing today. [00:04:00] Again, five X zoom, but it's done digitally. It doesn't have any moving lens elements like the Dell. It has HDR to really bring dark and light things together in the scene. Stereo microphones are built in which can also be used for noise canceling. And it also supports that windows. Hello, login trick for privacy. It includes this really wonky clip on plastic shutter. That was just so bad. I never used it. In fact, I lost it. So I can't even show it to you in some there's no particular trick that the Logitech does. [00:04:30] It's my classic sort of standard solid, good quality webcam with not any particular bells and whistles except 4k resolution. I do find it's images, a little saw compared to the other three cameras. All of which, by the way, are newer. Speaker 1: Now looking just like the Brio right next to it is the anchor power. Conf C 300 conferencing camera. You can tell they're going after the Brios market. I mean, the shape says I'm like a Brio. [00:05:00] It's got an integrated little sliding shutter for privacy that I like a lot. It's easy to flick back and forth now for its lower $130 list price. You give up one thing right off the bat, no 4k resolution. This is a 10 80 H D camera max. Now, as a result, it has a less powerful ability to reframe without losing resolution and getting pixelated. When you only have 10 80 to work with, you have much less of a canvas, if you will. However, it does have a little trick where it will notice if there are two people in [00:05:30] the frame and reframe to get both heads in there. Speaker 1: I'm not getting that close to anybody during COVID. So I haven't tried it now. Anchor RAVs that there's C 300 has really good, low liability and really good color balance techniques built in. And I have found that's generally true. This camera in my experience needs very little. If any, fussing with your lights to pull a good image out of almost wherever you're sitting. And if you really want a wide angle camera, this is the widest one I've got. This will go to a full hundred and 15 degree field of [00:06:00] view. That's the widest. Any of these four can get to, regardless of where they are in their various zooms. The lesson that the anchor teaches us is that you can't judge a book by its cover. It's not the highest price camera. In fact, it's the least expensive I've got here. It's not the most glamorous name. It's not 4k. And yet it's an outstanding webcam that I find takes whatever I throw at it and makes a good image out of it. And all bells and whistles aside. That's really what I get from it and am quite pleased. Speaker 1: [00:06:30] The last camera I wanna show you is the OSBO tiny. This is a 10 80 version, the, of a 4k version, but I've got the less expensive one. And I find 10 80 is ample for this camera because it doesn't need 4k for framing, because if you'll notice the image sensor and the lens, sit on a gimble and that's how it does its framing. Plus it has two X zoom. I believe it's optical zoom, but I'm not entirely sure. So it does electro mechanically. What the other cameras here try [00:07:00] to do digitally moving around in the image. It just moves its sensor around. And speaking of that, it does that sometimes in response to gestures, for example, to frame it up and get it named right at me, I put my hand up just like this open hand and it blinks a certain sequence of lights. Speaker 1: And now I know it's centered right on me. Now let's say, I want to zoom in. You make this little L sign right here and boom, now I'm zoomed all the way in. You wanna zoom out? You do that again. And 'em all the way back out, kind of slick. Here's [00:07:30] the problem kind of useless in what meeting are you gonna sit there and say, I gotta re-center my camera and do this. You know what? It's gonna happen? Yeah. Brian, you gotta comment. Oh no. I was just gesturing to my camera. Okay. Dork. Or if you want to zoom in for a minute and do this, it's either gonna be really distracting or in Italy, it's a dirty joke. So I don't see where the gesture stuff is really gonna make any difference. I prefer to use the OSBO app and I can do all the same stuff and a lot more. Speaker 1: And no one sees me doing this stuff on camera. Now watch how [00:08:00] aggressively the OSBO can follow me. In fact, I'll get outta my chair here on the set and just move around and you'll see it does what no other camera here can do, because it has that motorized GI. It can follow me all over the room. No other camera here is doing that. Even the Dell quickly runs out of pan room within its 4k sensor. While the OSBO can follow you like around a stage, if you're lecturing or something that gives it a unique ability. But when you're sitting at your desk, this ability is not useful. So it's not meaningfully different than the Dell for the average sit [00:08:30] down presentation. But if you're walking around, there's nothing like it for that. And when you want privacy out of the OSBO, it's a very positive, physical thing, nothing to lose. You, you just reach out and turn the sensor down. You just aim it down, straight down at itself. And it turns itself off. Speaker 1: So in some, the most important feature I think in a webcam is its ability to even out bad lighting. Look for that. And for an HDR feature to get there, 4k is probably best for cropping [00:09:00] and framing, not to literally send 4k quality out over the internet. Cameras that follow you all over, mostly useful. If you're doing a Ted talk or a lecture, a little zoom goes a long way, and you typically only use it when you're setting a up your camera. And finally, your webcam's probably aimed at you all day. Get one that has a simple foolproof privacy mechanism. Okay. So what we learned here is that image quality is the most important thing about a webcam and you can't judge it on specs, let alone on [00:09:30] brand. You just have to buy these cameras from some place where you can return them, try it out, but a great camera is gonna do two things. Speaker 1: It's gonna be able to handle whatever light you've got and adjust to it really well. And it's gonna be able to get the color rendition nice and natural. That's the biggest single thing. The auto focus is a close second and most of these handle that very well. And then third is gonna be things like automatic tracking. Most of us don't move around in our sea, eat that much and going a little further down the list might be things like being able to log [00:10:00] in with windows. Hello, facial recognition. So, unfortunately the key here is you've gotta try cameras to know how good they are, but the key other learning is you don't have to spend a lot of money necessarily, and you don't necessarily need 4k resolution either.

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