Webcam Buying Guide

Webcam Buying Guide
March 11 00:00 2008 Print This Article

Webcams have become a common feature of most computers today. They add a video component to the way that PC users interact with friends and colleagues. Through a webcam, people may be able to chat up with other people online while "seeing them". The webcam becomes the "eye" which allows PC users to visually interact with other people. Buying one would entail that you should first know what it is that you look for or require from the use of a webcam.

Types of webcam

A wide range of webcams are now available in the market for you to choose from. Different models provide certain features that suit the needs of different people. There are webcams that are not just used for chatting with another person online. Some webcams are used to capture still images or record video online. Some are even capable of recording audio along with the video that it captures.

This type of webcam can be compared to a portable video camera but one that provides lesser video quality. There are also webcams that are used as security devices for the home or the office. They serve as the eye for home and business owners while in their absence. They simply provide them with an opportunity to check up on the home or the office and what is going on even while they are away.

What features you look for?

When you buy a webcam, you should be considering what you would be using them for. Since the different webcams available for you comes in a wide range of prices to choose from, knowing what features you look for would end up helping you save money by choosing the right one without spending too much.

If you wish to use them just to chat up with friends online, a standard and cheaper model would already be sufficient. There would be no need to get the more expensive webcam model if your use would be limited to seeing the person on the other side of the chat line.

Video quality

If video quality of the webcam is foremost on your list, select a model that offer higher quality images but it may come at a price. There are also webcams that offer features such as pan and tilt to give you convenient movement options while chatting or filming. There are also webcams now available with their own built-in microphones to allow simultaneous audio and video recording. Such models are also more expensive than the standard models.

PC requirement

Before buying a webcam, you should check if your PC meets the minimum hardware and memory requirements of the webcam that you wish to buy. This is especially important for those people using an older PC and planning to buy the newest webcam model in the market. Another thing to consider is the type of computer display. This will especially be important since some webcams require a stable base for which they can comfortably fit on.

Frame and resolution

Older webcams may not be able to fit above slimmer LCD displays which might be more appropriate for clip-on webcam models. Frame rate and resolution should also be something to consider when buying a webcam. This feature would determine the image quality that the webcam is able to produce. The higher the frame rate, the better the image quality with lesser flicker.

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