Why Can’t I Use A Cheap Web Cam For Video Conferencing

In order to have a quality conference call, you need to invest in a little more than the camera built into the laptop, or even a cheap Web cam you had stashed away. There are other video conference tech options available, and you don’t need to necessarily pay a large amount for the right equipment. So whether you have it installed in your conference room or take it with you, there are plenty of options available. However, here are a few of the reasons why you should not use a cheap desktop Web cam for video conferencing.

Video Specs

Just because a camera is marked as “High-Definition” does not mean it actually has the same video quality as your HD television. It may have the same lines of resolution, but many are not able to pick up the same color spectrum. Cheap cameras present a poor color spectrum. This will result in colors looking washed out and presentations not looking as crisp. While the resolution is good, the color range is just as important for a conference call.

Another important video spec is the frame rate. This is the number of times the image is captured in a given second. The standard film frame rate is 24 frames per second while a standard video is 30 frames per second. However, more and more video options are coming out with 60 frames per second, which provides an exceptionally clear video display. Cheap Web cameras often have lower frame rates, down around 10 to 15. This can make the video look jumpy. If you’ve ever watched a camera stream and it looked jumpy, it likely occurred either due to a poor Internet connection or a low frame rate.

Wide Angle

During a conference call, you’ll likely need to pick up multiple people at a single table. Standard cameras are not able to pick up this wide of an angle. Some cameras may have a handful of display options, but this might be digitally altered. You want an optically obtained wide angle. A digitally altered angle will cause a video to look pixelated, which will not help with the quality of your conference call.

Microphone

Microphones on cheap cameras are terrible. There’s just no way around it. If the camera is even able to pick up the audio from the rest of the room it’ll sound muddled, higher frequencies will sound like static and low frequencies, if the microphone picks it up at all, will just sound like one tone. You will want a separate microphone configuration to improve the quality of your call. In fact, make sure to invest in a quality microphone setup on top of a quality camera as well. You want to put the best foot forward on conference calls, which you are not able to do with inferior products.

Lighting Options

You don’t always have many lighting options for your conference room. Inferior cameras will not do well in low light while others become washed out in brighter rooms. By investing in a quality camera it will be able to adjust to the light setting. Whether set to do this automatically or through manual settings, higher-end cameras can handle the different kinds of lighting configurations your conference room has.

Zoom Features

There are times you’ll want to zoom in during a presentation. With a cheap desktop camera, you won’t have any optical zoom options. This means it has to digitally enlarge the visual, causing it to pixelate. A quality video conferencing camera has optical zoom, which moves the camera lens closer, allowing you to avoid the pixelation.

Video conference calls have become an important part of modern business. While most computers now have cameras built into the screen this equipment is not beneficial for essential business calls. By putting more money into the camera equipment, you’ll drastically improve the overall quality of the video call, no matter where the other conference call member is located.

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