How to choose a web-camera correctly? What is a web-camera model, you can choose for your computer, and what to pay special attention when choosing?
Nowadays internet capabilities increase by leaps and bounds every year, month, day. No one can be surprised by the fact that communicating on the network you can not only hear but also see the others. Huge advantage gives users a webcam for internet use, as well as when talking with relatives, friends and colleagues, especially if they are located in other cities or countries. Besides web-camera can be used for normal photo or video, and as an alarm system in your home, which will broadcast video over the Internet.
First of all, we shall understand, what webcam, specifically for what purposes we choose it, and how it will be operated.
Webcam – small mobile camera, which together with the PC for transferring images to a web page when communicating on the Internet. With the webcam, you can also take photographs and send them to friends.
During the short period of time through which the web-camera have become part of our life, the degree of resolution and sensitivity have improved many times, at the same time that the price of most of these devices are falling with each passing day. Choosing the most appropriate for itself a web-camera on the necessary characteristics and at a reasonable price is not too difficult task, even if you are not completely familiar with its operation technology. Choosing the right webcam is mainly based on the fact how you will use it, and, consequently, the higher are your requirements for the quality, the higher will your choice.
Consider some of the criteria for the selection of webcams:
– Web camera matrix.
Choosing a good web camera, you must pay attention to the type of its matrix. This may be the CMOS (low-cost and lower quality) or CCD sensor (the higher cost, but to give a picture of better quality).
– The resolution of the webcam in the video shooting mode.
Also, it has a great influence on picture quality. Then how to choose a webcam? The number of dots is meant by the resolution (pixels) horizontally and vertically, so called the photosensitive matrix. Naturally, the higher the resolution of the matrix, the more of these points, it is possible to obtain more accurate and detailed picture quality. Resolution is measured in megapixels (one million pixels megapixels, image-forming).
resolution of 320 × 240 pixels (less than 0.1 megapixels) – the minimum resolution for web cameras, which is quite suitable for conventional video conferencing;
640 × 480 pixels – the standard, there are almost all web-cameras allows you to not only communicate on the network but also to record the mini-movies;
1280 × 960 pixels and more – from the most expensive models, with which you can shoot decent video, and even take pictures of excellent quality and large size.
More in the choice be sure to pay close attention to the actual resolution of the resulting image, and not the fact that it is obtained by interpolation (digital zoom), it can be 5-10 times more. Accordingly, increased several times the image will be far from a quality of what you hoped.
– The sensitivity matrix.
An important parameter that determines the minimum level of brightness of the subject, in which the webcam is capable of doing an acceptable image quality. It should be noted that even in a dark expensive webcam CCD-sensor will give a picture interference. Sensitivity webcam matrix is measured in lux.
– The number of frames per second.
Be sure to pay attention to this parameter (called fps), while its value is less than 30, the video will “slow down” and hang up. 30 frames per second – is an acceptable value for the transmission of continuous video. Almost all modern web-cameras have such a frequency. Webcams with fps from 40 and more, certainly are more expensive, but the quality of the image is much better. When choosing a web camera, be careful not to overdo it with the characteristics. Take into account the speed of your internet connection. After all, if your internet access available with a speed of 1-2 Mbps, then choosing an expensive and high-quality camera with 90 fps and a resolution of 6 megapixels, for example, Philips SPC1300NC / 00, you get a result similar to that if you had a simple little web Cam for 20 bucks. Is it worthwhile to pay?
– The possibility of joining.
Ways to mount webcams are several, all depends on the type of your monitor. If you have a computer with an LCD screen, then choose a web-camera with a special clothespin, for an ordinary CRT monitor, you can take the camera, which is simply placed on it, or on the desk, on the shelf, but as close as possible to the screen to look at it. You both are looking into the camera so that the other person could see that you are speaking with him. For laptop are acceptable any options. The main thing is that the attachment should be simple, but reliable, and has been able to adjust the web camera in space and of course, to be convenient.
Most webcams are connected to the USB-cable with one of the available ports on the computer. Choosing a camera for your home computer, be sure to pay attention to wire length, it should be at least 1.5 meters. For a laptop USB-cable length does not really matter. Some wireless webcams are used to connect the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth adapters.
– Support platforms.
In principle, any webcam that you are going to purchase will be compatible with any PC running Windows. Usually, the system automatically detects and installs the necessary software when you first use the webcam. You simply connect it to the system unit. Users of other operating systems, such as the Mac, should better check for the webcam driver on their compatibility with a specific operating system on the manufacturer’s website. If you still need to install drivers from a disc that came with the webcam, it is also very easy to do. As a rule, manufacturers are developing a program so that they are simple enough to use even for newbies.
– Additional Features.
Nowadays, many web-cameras have many additional features. For instance, besides the function of photographing a webcam video may have the option of editing the information. The webcam can also be present electronic control contrast and brightness, automatic correction of color and frame rate, as well as the Smart zoom function. Besides all this, the webcam can be used for surveillance, if it is equipped with a motion detector and a rotating mechanism. Sometimes not out of place is the possibility of additional picture settings – color correction, brightness, and white balance.
– Built-in microphone.
Not all cameras have, and you decide whether to buy it separately or choose a web camera with already built-in microphone. By the way, in all laptops, the microphone is initially built and re-buy it is not necessary.
– Video Effects.
This is more for entertainment. Many web-cameras support software, which can manage various visual effects: for example, a virtual foreground, television spots, overlay text over video, animation, water, fog, and others. With their help, you can make your image from the webcam how everything from sexy, cute, romantic.
They are now a lot of the market and they offer a very extensive range of webcams. Philips, A4Tech, Oklick, Ritmix, Hercules, HP, Microsoft, Axis, Canyon, Prestigio, MSI StarCam, Chicony – this is not a complete list of them. But, my opinion, absolute leaders still are – Logitech, Genius, Creative.
And last, for many the most important point – the price of a webcam. Scatter them very large – from 10 to hundreds. The choice depends entirely on what you want from a web camera, which will suit your specifications and, of course, on the amount that you are willing to spend. Look at the price in the last turn. Select exactly the model that fully fit your needs on all technical specifications, and then compare their prices.